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Danny Glover arrives in Thessaloniki

Danny Glover arrives in Thessaloniki
November 23, 2007

The steady stream of Hollywood personalities continues with the arrival of Danny Glover on the Macedonian Littoral. The sixty-one year old Afro-American actor has appeared in over ninety films since his debut in 1979 as one of many background jailbirds in Don Siegel's "Escape From Alcatraz", which was a Clint Eastwood vehicle of the era. In the mid eighties he was a regular on the popular TV series "Hill Street Blues" and had a leading role opposite Whoopi Goldberg in Spielberg's "The Color Purple" in 1985. His real break-through, however, into the heavy payroll Hollywood big time, came with the box-office mega-hit "Lethal Weapon", a violent crime thriller-comedy in which Glover played an old-fashioned detective obsessed about his age who goes by the book, opposite a highly disturbed (i.e., psychotic) homicide investigator, Mel Gibson -- who like Dirty Harry before him, tends to throw the book into the trash can. "Lethal Weapon" 2 quickly followed in 1989, was another smash hit, and by the time "Lethal Weapon" IV arrived in 1998 Glover was harvesting a cool 7 million$ a clip for his continuing turn as aging detective "Roger Murtaugh" ( -- and was beginning to give Morgan Freeman a run-for-the-money as “Black Flavour of the Month!)

More recent roles have included "Missing in America" and Lars von Trier's "Manderlay", both 2005, and the Mo-Town saga "Dreamgirls", which was a hot contender in several categories at the 2006 Oscars back in March. "Missing in America" was, incidentally, a Viet Nam War veteran story which also featured David Strathhairn in one of his many cameleon-like supporting roles. Here in Thessaloniki Glover will appear on the silver screen heading the cast of John Sayles latest feature, "Honeydripper", a cotton harvest saga with funky down-home music set in rural Alabama in 1950. "Honeydripper" screens tomorrow and the next-to-last day of the fest will open with a Master Class by Mr. Glover himself. Regarding the new film Sayles dropped an odd remark the other night, (in response to the question "What will you be doling next") --"Who knows if I'll be doing anything? It all depends on whether this one makes any money..."

Danny Glover's presence here is, of course, part of the John Sayles spin-off which has energized one or more events nearly every day during the festival. John, who at six-five or so, is a towering presence around the festival grounds (one wonders if this guy didn't maybe gave up a lucrative NBA career to go into filmmaking), has personally introduced many of the films in his full retro, was the recipient of a special "Alexander" tribute at a Gala evening in the Olympian Big Hall a couple of nights ago, and was today the conferrer of yet another Master Class -- a series which, I must add, has been cannily selected and operated, and has been one of the best attended "sidebars" of the festival.

I didn't make it to the Sayles Master Class this morning, opting instead to join a festival sponsored tour to Mount Olympus -- residence to this day of the Greek Gods, Zeus, Aphrodite, and all that gang of ancient immortals -- which, considering that we are in the Cradle of Western Mythology here, was an unrefusable offer. Moreover, the tour guide on this Archaeological adventure, Constandinos Sfikas, must be commended on his altogether proficient, fascinating, and highly educational guidance through the recently unearthed ancient ruins of the city of Dion, and the archaeology museum at the site.

Tomorrow the Master Class with Mr. Glover should be one worth getting up for in the morning. Otherwise the partial retro of the films of Japanese "shomin-geki" master Mikio Naruse (1905 - 1969, with a filmography running to 89 titles from 1930 to 1967) has been evoking the Greek equivalent of oohs and aahs, as the Greeks discover that there was more to "classical Japanese cinema" than just Kurosawa, Ozu, and Mizoguchi. More on that later. An eventful Friday evening is coming up as the festival enters the final weekend. Γεια σου!

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(www.filmfestivals.com)

THE FESTIVALS BLOG by Alex Deleon. Watch for festival coverage from the circuit.

Ambiance and reviews from the hot spots. Welcoming your comments too.


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