FILM BOX- Super selections: Film fest features the famous

This year's release of a Superman sequel prompted speculation about its star, Brandon Routh, an uncanny Christopher Reeve doppelganger. Considering the fates of George Reeves, the original Man of Steel, and Reeve, whose tragic accident and sad demise captured the world's sympathy, people worried what fate might await Routh (although the fact that his name wasn't some variation of "Reeve" may help him dodge Fate).

The Virginia Film Society seems to have picked up on the buzz, featuring as its first film Hollywoodland. The drama inspired by Reeves' (Ben Affleck) death from a gunshot wound to the head follows a private detective (Adrien Brody) who uncovers unexpected connections to his own life as the case turns more personal. 

Hollywoodland was produced by UVA alum Glenn Williamson, who helped pull off the local showing scheduled for September 5. Production designer and current UVA architecture grad student Leslie McDonald leads a discussion after the showing about the trials of creating a film set in the 1950s. 

Other highlights include the return of the "Manhattan Short Film Festival," a special nationwide event that asks local cinema-goers to determine the best short films in the world (September 19); The Guguletu Seven, which follows an investigation of the shooting of seven men during the apartheid regime in South Africa (October 3); "Hollywood, Teach Us to Pray," an array of film clips depicting how Hollywood has shaped American prayer rituals (October 28); and the unreleased mystery The Hole Story (November 21).

One of the highlights of this year's series will be the local premiere of Don't Tell [November 7], an Italian number nominated for Best Foreign Language Film that "includes key scenes filmed in Charlottesville," according to Richard Herskowitz, director of the Festival. "Enrico Cesaretti, who teaches Italian at the University of Virginia, was close to the filmmakers and will talk about their experiences here," Herskowitz adds.

"Hollywoodland" opens the season on Tuesday, September 5 at 7pm in the Vinegar Hill Theatre. Subsequent screenings are held at the theatre at 7pm and most feature special guest speakers. "Hollywood, Teach Us to Pray," shows at the Regal Downtown on Saturday, October 28, at 10:30am. Admission to individual screenings is $8, free to Film Society members.