Big-time big screener to be honored in Asheville

The fifth annual Asheville Film Festival has announced the winner of this year’s Career Achievement Award: Tess Harper, a Golden Globe and Oscar nominee who has made her mark with films ranging from Silkwood to Crimes of the Heart to Loggerheads, the last of which was filmed in North Carolina.

Besides working with some of the best directors in the business, Harper has “shared the screen with Robert Duvall, Meryl Streep, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman and Bruce Willis — and held her own with them all,” notes an announcement from festival organizers. “As part of the Asheville Film Festival honors,” it adds, “several of her best works will be screened throughout the event.”

Visit for more about the film fest, which takes place Nov. 8 to 11 at multiple venues in Asheville.

— Jon Elliston, managing editor

Photo: Tess Harper in Tim Kirkman’s Loggerheads

About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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21 thoughts on “Big-time big screener to be honored in Asheville

  1. Ken Hanke

    I am, as always, filled with remorse to add to Mr. Bugg’s disturbingly disappointed outlook on life (a remarkably bleak outlook, I may say, for one who did not have to sit through BRATZ, UNDERDOG or DADDY DAY CAMP), but ERNEST GOES TO CAMP is not on the list of movies being screened this year, but there IS a chance that we might be running AMITYVILLE 3-D in 3-D, assuming a good 3-D print can be acquired (this is, as yet, unknown).

  2. Damn! Hanke beat me to the Amityville 3-D reference! I will say that if AV3-D screens, I’ll take back everything negative I’ve ever written or said about the AFF.

  3. Ken Hanke

    Oh, I think you may have reason to do so anyway judging by what I’ve seen of this year’s competition entries.

    As for AMITYVILLE 3-D, it all hinges on finding a good print — and good prints of a 24 year old color film are not always easy to find. Watch this space — and the festival website — for updates.

  4. Ken Hanke

    Well, we’ll try our best to get you something better than that.

  5. Orbit DVD

    You should have seen MEET THE ROBINSONS back in the spring. Best 3D ever, my eyes didn’t hurt and it wasn’t a bad film either.


  6. Ken Hanke

    No, but it wasn’t a very good movie, either. That was in the new Real D 3-D and I’m hoping, since the equipment is in place, that Carmike plans on bringing the Real D version of TIM BURTON’S NIGHTMARE BEFORE XMAS to town this fall. We are, however, getting really far afield from the topic at hand.

  7. chall gray

    this seems to serve as further proof that we are fast becoming the film mecca of the south.

  8. Chall: No way, dude! It proves that 3-D is wicked awesome. Can’t we invite Simon MacCorkindale or Joe Alves to attend the AFF, so that we have some reason to screen “Jaws 3-D”?

  9. chall gray

    Or we could invite Brendan Fraser and screen “Airheads 3-D”!

    Although there might be a Smashing Pumpkinsesque problem with ticket sales….

  10. Ken Hanke

    I’ll make a deal with you, I’ll push for getting Paul Morrissey to come next year and maybe we can run FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN in 3-D — Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, an X rating and 3-D all in one package. All you have to do is steer this back toward the topic.

  11. Ken Hanke

    And, Mr. Shanafelt — “wicked awesome?” You’ve been standing too close to the Adam Sandler section in the video store again, haven’t you?

  12. Ken: I’m pretty sure I picked that phrase up from Kurosawa’s “Red Beard.” You know, in that scene where Mifune is acting like some spoiled man-child and is forced through plot contrivance to made at least a half-hearted attempt at entering into the real world, only with hilarious results. Maybe I misread it … stupid Criterion translation!

    Tess Harper is cool, though. She’s no Udo Kier, but I’m not complaining.

  13. Ken Hanke

    Sometimes even Udo Kier isn’t Udo Kier (ever see OMEGA CODE 2?).

    But you’re right that Tess Harper is indeed cool.

  14. James P. Fisher

    Can you boys get back to work now…Oh, wait a minute this IS work for you.

    The Film Fest should have much stronger all-around content this year. After the absolutely horrible closing film I sat through last year, I am glad to see the work being done for an improved 2007 Fest.

  15. David Forbes

    This year’s content on the film fest will be some of the best Asheville has ever seen. We have a more international range of films than ever before, along with some great local films and an overall high quality to the submissions.

    And yes, Tess Harper is cool. It will be great to have her here at the festival, and after just talking to her, she has a real enthusiasm and appreciation for Asheville.

    You know what else is cool? On-topic comments. Those are extremely cool.

    David Forbes
    Film Festival Liaison

  16. Ken Hanke

    Ah, James, you only thought the closing film was bad because you didn’t see the opening film! Actually, I didn’t think CANDY was so much bad as terminally depressing to a point of “why did anyone want to make this?” Someone asked me what it was about and all I could think to say was, “It’s a romance about two drug addicts — and then it gets really depressing.”

    We don’t know yet what the opening and closing night films will be, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be better than last year’s. After all, in the past, we’ve had GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, KINSEY, BEING JULIA and THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. That’s not unimpressive.

  17. Off-topic comments on the internet! Oh no!

    Seriously, though, we could do a lot worse than having a classy actress like Tess Harper grace our film fest. Are we likely to land any other cinematic notables?

  18. Ken Hanke

    Don’t forget that filmmaker Tim Kirkman (LOGGERHEADS) will be here, too. Also, that great friend of the film festival Don Mancini (creator of “Chucky” and writer-director of SEED OF CHUCKY) is coming back again as a judge. Also on hand as judges are Robby Benson, Harry Anderson, Larry Toppman (CHARLOTTE OBSERVOR) and Sam Watson (JOHNSON CITY PRESS). I know that one other judge has confirmed.

    And more surprises are in the offing.

  19. Mancini and Harry Anderson? I’m sold. Maybe we can get them to make a short film where Chucky has to go on trial for all his horrible crimes, only to face his match … Judge Harry Stone! Anyone have a number for Marsha Warfield’s agent? I doubt we could land John Larroquette or Richard Moll this late in the game.

    Sorry, sorry … I’m off topic again.

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