From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
July 22, 2017
“Laugh about it, Shout about it….”
Wednesday afternoon I visited the Filmmaker’s Lounge and the Bellmore Movies theater, where the Long Island International Film Expo was in full swing. LIIFE was celebrating its 20th Anniversary!
After capturing photos and a short video of MAGGIE WAGNER, the vivacious actor who plays Mom in the short film MOM, I spoke with TRISH APPELLO, the festival Coordinator and Secretary of the non-profit LITV/Film Foundation, which, along with the Nassau County Film Commission, presents the Festival.
When Appello told me about the feature documentary Where Have You Been, Lou DiMaggio? – the last filmed being screened that last night of the festival – I decided to return after dinner to catch it.
“MARIAM’S DAY OFF”
That night I arrived in time to first watch Mariam’s Day Off, a foreign film by Director ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, who filmed it in Armenia.
“Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes….”
I found the placid-on-the-surface story about a young prostitute who ends up spending a day with an artist and his family at his art studio so emotionally compelling and poignant that it wasn’t until about half way into the short film (0:44:22 min) that I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s in black and white!”
Bellmore, NY, USA. 19th July 2017. ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, Director of “Mariam’s Day Off” short film, speaks at LIIFE 2017. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
“WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, LOU DiMAGGIO?”
The next and final screening was the documentary Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? – a feature film (75 min) directed by BRAD KUHLMAN about comedian LOU DiMAGGIO considering returning to comedy after being away from the stage for 20 years.
For more than one reason, I was glad Appello had enthusiastically recommended seeing, Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio?
For starters, it was fun to see so many of DiMaggio’s fellow comedians – including Joy Behar, Richard Belzer, Rebecca Corry, Larry David, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Howie Mandel, Colin Quinn, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld.
And Lou DiMaggio’s stand up comedy sets on his road to comeback were certainly memorable, and for wildly different reasons.
“We’d like to help you learn to help yourself….”
And what likely made the strongest impression on me in Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? was cautionary advice DiMaggio’s fellow comedian gave him about returning to stand up comedy – for it reminded me, in a way, of advice my late mom, an opera singer, gave her voice students, including my talented younger brother:
The world has more outstanding singers than it can afford to support. And the difference between the best and next best in a major competition or audition can be imperceptible even to an expert – so luck will play a big part in the career each has.
When choosing if you’ll pursue a living in the arts, follow that path only if you’re absolutely driven to AND you can handle the competition and pressure.
Bellmore, NY, USA. 19th July 2017. L-R, HENRY STAMPFEL, BRAD KUHLMAN, LOU DiMAGGIO, TRISH APPELLO, MARIA PUSATERI, and ANNE STAMPFEL pose during final Screening Night of Long Island International Film Expo 2017 at Bellmore Movies. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)
“We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files….”
For the Q&A, eight filmmakers associated with the films screened that night participated. After hearing the candid, detailed answers to the audience’s thought-provoking questions, I wished I’d arrived in time to watch all the films.
- View VIDEO of comedian Lou DiMaggio at the Q&A to hear behind-the-scenes info, including what the biggest obstacle was he faced making the documentary:
VIDEO above: Lou DiMaggio answers Q&A question at LIIFE 2017. [Q&A did not take place aboard a ship on stormy seas, despite appearances to contrary.]
“And here’s to you….”
The next night at the Long Island International Film Expo Awards Ceremony, LIIFE celebrated its 20th Anniversary and 2017 winners, including the Best Documentary Feature: “Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio?”
“Wo, wo, wo….”