Elliott Gould and dozens of films highlight a starry weekend in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND – Theater screens will light up tonight for the eighth annual Port Townsend Film Festival, which will feature a veteran actor who starred in the 1972 movie “M*A*S*H” and played Ross and Monica Geller’s dad in the 1990s television sitcom, “Friends.”

Elliott Gould joins the festival celebrating great films and filmmakers – which runs today through Sunday – as its special guest this weekend.

The 69-year-old actor whose career spans five decades and more than 70 films, will meet the public at “A Very Special Evening with Elliott Gould,” at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Uptown Theater on Lawrence Street, the festival’s new film venue.

Gould’s featured screening choice there will be “The California Split,” a 1974 Robert Altman film in which he starred with George Segal.

Gould will show another of his favorite films, “The Touch,” at 12:05 p.m. Sunday at the Rosebud Cinema on Taylor Street.

It will be a rare 35 mm print of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s only English-language film, filmed in 1971, in which Gould starred with Max von Sydow and Bibi Andersson.

It is the only 35 mm print in North America, said Hollywood Reporter columnist Robert Osborne. “The Touch” has never been transferred to DVD.

Gould will also be interviewed by San Francisco-based public radio personality Sedge Thomson on “West Coast Live” at 10 a.m. Saturday, from The Upstage Theatre.

There, Gould will reunite with director Charles Burnett, who Thomson will also interview.

Gould played a role in Burnett’s 1995 cops thriller, “The Glass Shield.”

Burnett’s student project, “Killer of Sheep,” will be the opening night film at 6:30 p.m. today in the Uptown Theatre.

A third “West Coast Live” guest will be former U.S poet laureate and author Billy Collins, who is in town as a festival guest curator to present his film selection: director Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy classic, “Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964).

The film will be shown at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Uptown Theatre.

Other film festival highlights of the more than 50 independent and classic films:

  • “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1931), Russian director Rouben Mamoulian’s black comedy, will be shown at 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Theatre. It will be preceded by the 21-minute short film, “Jack the Vomiter.”

  • The big screen will go up at Taylor and Water streets for the outdoor movie, “Superman: The Movie,” filmed in 1978, at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Port Townsend personality Joey Pipia will introduce the movie and present a superman and superwoman costume contest during which participants test their super powers.

  • At an outdoor movie, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, “Dick Tracy,” Pipia will present a trivia contest.

  • At an outdoor movie, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, “Spider-Man 2,” Pipia will present a contest for original superheroes costumes, with the audience voting for the best.

  • “Beyond the Call” will be shown at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Uptown Theatre. Port Townsend filmmaker Ian Hinckle recommends the film as merging “the verve of Indiana Jones and the call of Mother Teresa.”

    Making an appearance at 5 p.m. Saturday in front of The Rosebud Theatre will be actress Melissa Leo, who is now filming director Martin Scorsese’s “Righteous Kill,” with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.

    Leo will appear with writer/director Michael Knowles, whose film credits include “One Night” and “Acting 101.”

    The festival moved uptown this year, said film festival director Peter Simpson, after the Uptown Theater became a part of the event.

    A music stage and outdoor area will be created on Polk Street.

    A drop-in theater will screen free films at the Port Townsend Community Center, off Polk Street.

    The event will also feature independent film seminars, including “Shaping Reality: An Introduction to the Documentary,” with Bruce Hattendorf at 1:30 p.m. today at the Upstage Theatre.

    Past honored guests at the Port Townsend Film Festival include Malcolm McDowell, Eva Marie Saint, Tony Curtis, Jane Powell, Shirley Knight, Patricia Neal, Debra Winger and Arliss Howard.

    THE PORT TOWNSEND Film Festival begins today at 10 a.m., continuing to 9 p.m., and will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

    It will be in venues throughout Port Townsend’s downtown – Taylor Street – and uptown – Polk Street.

    Films will be screened at Uptown Theatre, Lawrence and Polk Streets; Drop-in Theatre at Port Townsend Community Center, Lawrence and Tyler Street; Pope Marine Theatre, Water and Madison Street at City Dock; Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St.; Rosebud Cinema, 235 Taylor St.; Taylor Street Outdoor Cinema, Taylor between Water and Washington streets; and the Upstage Theatre and Restaurant, 923 Washington St., behind the Rose Theatre.

    Parking can be a challenge in both downtown and uptown Port Townsend on weekends, so the Jefferson Transit downtown No. 11 shuttle will run from the Haines Place Park & Ride. To get there, if coming in on Sims Way, turn west on Haines Place to  12th Street, just past Safeway and McDonald’s.

    Festival bus service will be  provided by All Points Charter and Tours, which stops at the Taylor Street information kiosk, next to Haller Fountain on Washington Street.

    The bus will stop at all festival venues, including the Hospitality Center, behind The Bishop Hotel on Washington Street. The services will take passengers to the park & ride on request.

    Online and festival box office advance ticket sales close at noon today and reopen at 4 p.m. at the Uptown Theatre and Rose-Rosebud Theatre box offices.

    Advance tickets may be picked up beginning at 4 p.m. today and before each screening.

    For more information, visit www.ptfilmfest.com or phone 360-379-1333.

    For a schedule of films, see today’s Peninsula Spotlight, the Peninsula Daily News’ weekly entertianment guide published every Friday.

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