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Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) reels out over 200 films from around the globe. Filmmakers and celebrities attend many of the screenings and events during the festival. Parties and gatherings at area "hot spots", on board yachts, and on the beach will provide audiences an opportunity to hob knob with film talent and other movie buffs.




Spotlight On Jeff Goldblum

Friday, November 3-----The spotlight is on the noted actor Jeff Goldblum this evening as the Festival presents its Centerpiece Film, PITTSBURGH, tonight at 7:45pm at the historic Parker Playhouse. The film is a rollicking mockumentary of Goldblum's decision to take a breather from his active Hollywood career to take up the lead role of Professor Harold Hill in a low-budget local theater production of THE MUSIC MAN, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

The circumstances of what led him to this folly and how a decision by any famous actor effects an entourage of managers, agents, stylists and hangers-on is the focus of this deliciously funny mockumentary, co-directed by Kyle LaBrache and Chris Bradley. In the great tradition of THIS IS SPINAL TAP, the film mixes fact and fiction, with a cast that includes Goldblum chums Ed Bergley Jr and Ileanna Douglas, and even his mother and step-father. The film will be followed by the Centerpiece Gala at the War Memorial Auditorium.

It is still tempting to think of actor Jeff Goldblum as a newcomer of sorts to the world of movies, but in fact, the actor has had roles, both fleeting and starring, in 54 films over a film career that began with his first film credit as Freak #1 in the 1974 Charles Bronson revenge thriller DEATHWISH.

Born Jeffrey Lynn Goldblum in 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Goldblum began his career on the New York stage after moving to the city at the age of seventeen. After a few non-descript supporting roles in unheralded films, Goldblum made his first impression on moviegoers with little more than a single line in Woody Allen’s multi-Oscar winner ANNIE HALL. If you blink, you miss him, but he is the frazzled young man who is on the phone at a party in Los Angeles that Allen and Diane Keaton attend. The line? “I’ve forgotten my mantra”, delivered in a unique style that got the biggest laugh in the film and seriously launched his film career.

While he showed off his impressive sense of comic timing in the classic ensemble film THE BIG CHILL (1983), Goldblum’s career really took off when he appeared in a series of high voltage horror films, most notably the remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1984) and his starring role in David Cronenberg’s remake of THE FLY (1986).

The quirky actor was the rather unlikely star of some of the biggest blockbusters of the 1990s: Steven Spielberg's dinosaur adventure JURASSIC PARK and its sequel, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK. In those films, he perfected the interpretation of the snarky intellectual that he has honed into “a Jeff Goldblum type” for such films as the alien invasion flick INDEPENDENCE DAY, and recent roles in the indie hit IGBY GOES DOWN and Wes Anderson’s THE LIFE ACQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU.

Goldblum has also made his mark on television. He was cast as “a Jeff Goldblum type” for memorable guest appearances on such popular television shows as WILL GRACE and FRIENDS. His guest starring role on WILL AND GRACE brought him an Emmy nomination. Viewers of Nick At Nite can catch his early appearances on such shows as STARSKY AND HUTCH and LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY. In addition, he has voiced voiced characters on the animated series THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL, and has hosted SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE twice, in 1993 and 1997.

Last year, Goldblum returned to his theater roots by taking on the role of a police investigator in the highly regarded THE PILLOWMAN, by Scottish playwright Martin McDonagh. Strong reviews for his performance and the chance to see a bona fide movie star on the Braodway boards helped make the film a major success with audience and critics. That this occurred in the same year as his ill-conceived tryst with musical comedy, as evidenced in tonight’s film PITTSBURGH, points to the mixture of courage and folly that has always embodied this quirky actor's best work.

10 Fun Facts We Bet You Did Not Know About Jeff Goldblum:

1. As a boy he grew up watching sci-fi and monster movies. His favorite film? THE FLY from 1957. Never realizing that its remake would be the role that cemented his stardom.

2. He is the the voice behind the iMac/iBook television commercials for Apple Computer.

3. He plays in a jazz band called The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, along with fellow actor Peter Weller, that performs at local clubs in Los Angeles.

4. He studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under the guidance of legendary acting coach, Sanford Meisner.

5. He was once married to actress Geena Davis, with whom he co-starred in three films, back to back: TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000, THE FLY and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY.

6. He can wiggle his ears one at a time. He demonstrated this talent on several appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

7. He has appeared in more remakes of cult science fiction/horror films than any other contemporary actor in Hollywood, including his starring turns in INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and THE FLY.

8. He was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.

9. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1996 for co-producing the short film LIVE ACTION FOR LITTLE SURPRISES.

10. He has been nominated a record three times for the Saturn Award, the highest honor of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, for his roles in THE FLY (1986), JURASSIC PARK (1993) and INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996). He won for THE FLY.

Sandy Mandelberger
Online Festival Dailies Editor

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About Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Online Dailies for the 24th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival , October 23 - November 11, 2009

United States

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