Monday, July 20, 2015

Macon Film Festival 2015 and Burt Reynolds

Another Macon Film Festival has come and gone. I didn't like the change to July but in retrospect it is a good thing. I can't go to the music festival Bragg Jam next weekend. Life is a series of trade-offs.

Burt Reynolds 1991 cropped
photo by Alan Light
This year, the best part was the guest host, Burt Reynolds. He was born in Valdosta, GA, raised in Florida and a running back for Florida State. Growing up, he did not have any interest in acting. I got to see the interview after the movie Deliverance.

Deliverance is a phenomenal story and film. Jon Voight is an incredible actor. I did not get to see the movie in 1972. I was 16 and my dad said I could not go to any raunchy movie with a raunchy actor. Burt Reynolds had posed in a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine, and my dad who could be the grand titan of propriety did not like him for it.

I had made it to the movie "Love Story" when I was 13. I bragged about what a good movie it was. But, I did not like the movie. So - a little scandal didn't have the appeal it originally had. I did go see the lesser quality flick "Macon County Line" with Max Baur of "The Beverly Hillbillies" fame. Another boring flick I liked because it was cool to like.

So Deliverance was an engrossing surprise. Burt Reynolds was another surprise. I should have known that he was an intelligent artist. He discussed how he played a buffoon in so many roles because that was asked for that there were people who thought that was true of him. Frankly, I started teaching in 1978 and all of the "Smoky and the Bandit" type movies were of my student milieu.

I doubt I watch "Smokey and the Bandit" but I do plan to go back and watch Sharkey's Machine which Burt Reynolds directed and produced. I went to the showing of Sharkey's Machine, but my mother called me in the middle of the movie. I was disappointed to leave. I had gotten a good seat in the front to hear Burt Reynold's interview. Don't worry, mom was fine when I got home.

In short, I am now a huge Burt Reynold's fan. What touched me most was he made sure 12 of his films were made in the state of Georgia. He said Georgia never let him down. I can say he never let Georgia down. We couldn't ask for a better native son.


  1. Deliverance was great indeed, made me scared of hillbillies and banjos lol The first smokey and the bandit I enjoyed, second was meh.

    1. I'm getting a hankering to watch Smokey and the Bandit. Ironic in that my developmentally delayed brother probably watches it about 20 to 30 times a year.

  2. Hi Ann,

    Loved the film, "Deliverance." Never could figure out the "duelling banjos" bit, when there was only one banjo ;) Burt Reynolds, a great actor and somebody who ended up doing commercials in the UK for a glasses company.

    Thank you, Ann.


    1. I don't know why they call it dueling banjos when it is usually a guitar and banjo trying to out pick each other or at least the musicians are trying to out pick each other.

      I tell you, actors really have to hustle to make a living. They get one big windfall and they have to make it last or invest it in another film, etc to make some more. I have a lot of admiration for their guts. I always worked a day job.

      I hope all is well with you Gary.


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