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Sarah Lyman Kravits, UVA class of 1988, was in grad school in Washington when she was picked for a few moments of screen time in Oliver Stone's 1991 film, JFK. "Oliver Stone wanted everyone smoking," remembers Kravits, a nonsmoker. "I was trying to concentrate on not looking like an idiot smoking."
The nonsmokers were given clove cigarettes. "They were making me feel ill," says Kravits in a phone call from New Jersey, where she now lives. "I didn't want to put it out because I wasn't very good at lighting cigarettes."
Ten takes later, they had the scene in which Donald Sutherland walks through the Pentagon past Kravits, who plays a general's secretary and waves him into a smoke-filled meeting room.
"Oliver Stone kept calling me 'honey,'" says Kravits. Sutherland was quite a character– and shoeless, she reveals, although that wasn't visible to viewers.
Kravits has moved from drama to parenthood and textbook writing, but she fondly remembers her bouffant-haired stint as an extra in JFK, which will have a 20th anniversary screening with Stone at this year's Virginia Film Festival.
It’s hard to tell whether Charlottesville’s resident experimental filmmaker Kevin Everson spends more time behind the viewfinder of his 16mm camera or at airports.
Since 2010, Everson’s films have played at, among other venues, the Toronto Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and throughout Europe and South America, frequently with him in attendance. The Whitney Museum’s Everson retrospective ran from April to September and was warmly reviewed by the likes of the New York Times. His films were also released in a 3-DVD set called Broad Daylight and Other Times.
Meanwhile, he continuously made new movies, five of which are screening at this year’s Film Festival in an hour-long program, hosted by Everson.
Everson, 45, seems pleased by– but wary of– his critical laurels. “It’s Kool and the Gang,” he says. “I’m just grindin’ it out. It’s good. I take it with a grain of salt, because at the end of the day, I’ve got to make new s***. So I never let it get to me...
“I’ve got no problem with it,” he laughs.
Everson’s latest movies are “an exercise in form,” he explains. “There’s five films, but three different forms.” Most are fiction, but one is a semi-documentary.
Predictable Everson isn’t. With his usual avant-garde flair, he “did three films based on Columbus, Mississippi, that aren’t shot in Columbus, Mississippi,” he says wryly. “They’re shot in...
Cismont resident Jack Fisk has a charmed career. Few movie production designers have worked on so many critically acclaimed films or as consistently with extraordinary directors, such as Terrence Malick and David Lynch. Like them, Fisk favors art over commerce.
Yet versatility is a hallmark of Fisk’s designs. He recreated a hauntingly accurate 1950s America in his breakout film, Malick’s Badlands (1973) and more recently in The Tree of Life (2011). He built the prom that Carrie White incinerated in Carrie (1976). For Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood (2007), he earned an Academy Award nomination for replicating California’s ragged early oil towns and rigs.
With boyish enthusiasm, the utterly unpretentious Fisk, 65, says his love of building artificial worlds began in childhood when living in a wooded area in Richmond.
"I built a lot of forts.” As an adult, he says, “They turned into sets.”
After Fisk graduated from art school, director Jonathan Demme gave him his first production design assignment for $100 a week on the 1971 biker movie Angels Hard As They Come. Bewildered, Fisk called cinematographer Stephen Katz to find out what an art director does.
“And he said, ‘I don’t know,’” Fisk laughs. “So, to cover my a**, I did everything: I did costumes and props and went crazy, but I loved it.”
Since they met in ninth grade David Lynch has figured heavily in...