Powerful Words and Concerns

Powerful Words and Concerns

Posted by Mike Finnegan on Apr 16th 2018

This year’s Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, unreeling Thursday April 26 through Sunday April 29 across several venues in Hollywood, carries the sturdy foundational theme of Powerful Words: The Page on Screen, expressed via its 60+-movie lineup of screen originals and skillfully scripted adaptations from books, plays and other media. Twilight Time library gems are represented, one former item (the sinister Technicolor thriller Leave Her to Heaven, an early release that’s since sold out its limited run) and one currently available (the lovely period drama Places in the Heart (1984), which screens April 29 with its writer/director Robert Benton and star Sally Field in attendance). But the festival entry that holds a steadfast place in this label’s heart is TT co-founder Brian Jamieson’s heartfelt and revelatory award-winning documentary profile of the legendary actress Nancy Kwan, To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey (2010), screening on Friday April 27 at 9:30 PM at Club TCM at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Hong Kong-born Kwan, whom the TCM Festival is also saluting with a Saturday April 28 screening of her screen-debuting and star-making The World of Suzie Wong (1960), remains an important figure in screen history as a groundbreaking Asian-ancestry film star whose diversity of roles and early 1960s popularity inspired and paved the way for generation of talents that followed. Jamieson’s impressionistic and thoughtful film, which won Best Documentary Feature honors at the American International Film Festival and the World-Fest International Film Festival and has been screened at various other confabs to appreciative audiences over the past several years, paints a thorough portrait – through triumphs and struggles – of an engaged, entrepreneurial artist who continues to mentor actors and writers. For those in Los Angeles later this month, it’s worth the journey. Others unable to join the film-fan throng can seek out the TT hi-def Blu-ray of Places in the Heart and Redwind Productions DVD of To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey, both powerful presentations on your home screen.