Wine Country Film Festival

Festival Info

THE WINE COUNTRY Film Festival screens films in Sonoma County Aug. 5 through Aug. 16 at two locations: the Sebastiani Theatre, 476 First St. E., Sonoma; and Valley of the Moon Cinema, Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen.

For more information, call the festival hotline at 935-3456.

Dozens of films from all over the world fill the big screen during the festival. So how in the world are you going to pick which ones to see?

Start by checking out these two hot picks:

Midnight Mambo
Here is a lighthearted movie about a painful truth: Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you lose. Carlos (played by Vicente Ramos Bermudez) is a Guatemalan immigrant who has washed dishes 12 hours a day for two long years to send money back to his wife, Luisa, in Guatemala. As the film opens, Carlos is finishing his last day of work and preparing to return home to enjoy the good life his Herculean effort has made possible. But, naturally, things go awry: Fickle Luisa (Wendy Latta) has grown tired of waiting and run off to Texas with an American lover and the hard-earned money. Carlos–torn between love and outrage–goes after her, accompanied by his 20-something Anglo waiter friend Tony (Philip Marino). As a road movie, buddy flick, and exploration of racial tensions, Midnight Mambo is unabashedly ambitious. The pleasant surprise is that, despite a few rough spots,writer/director/actor Philip Marino has foiled fate to deliver a winning story. Midnight Mambo screens Thursday, Aug. 6, at 5 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma.

Slacker comedies–including Slackers and Clerks–are cynical by nature, right? Not in the hands of the writer/director team of Alex Mindt and Randall Harvey. Their engaging romantic comedy Nowheresville–which makes its world premiere at the 1998 Wine Country Film Festival–is warm and funny, tough and tender, as it explores the madness of love. The film follows Tom (Henry Lubatti), a hapless Seattle ferryboat worker who drifts in an emotional limbo while trying to summon the courage to propose marriage to his live-in girlfriend. Love triangle? You bet. Unexpected twists prevail. Forget everything you know about slacker comedies–this is a low-budget indie film with a lot of heart. Nowheresville screens Thursday, Aug. 6, at 9 p.m. (under a full moon) at Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen.

From the July 30-Aug. 5, 1998 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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