This year marked the 9th anniversary of the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island, and my first time attending. The event, a prohibition era inspired celebration, was first conceived by composer Michael Arnella of (Michael Arnella and his Dreamland Orchestra) as a small gathering, and originally produced by Governor’s Island. However, after three years, Michael Arnella took the reigns and grew it into one of New York City’s most memorable and enjoyable annual summer events.
For $37.50, you gain general admission where you’re welcome to picnic on the lawn in style. But the celebration is more than just a throwback party which takes place two weekends a year. Michael Arnella, as well as all of the performers and vendors, pay homage to the era by being as accurate as possible in their delivery and execution of everything from the music they play to the food they serve. And while dressing in the period attire isn’t mandatory, floating through a sea of people who look like they’re headed to a speak easy, makes the pretend prohibition era feel that much more real and magical.
This short film, by Carolyn Bevacqua, is worth checking out for a number of reasons. Most importantly – Nine Fourteen (the short film) earned Official Selection at 11 festivals around the US and won 2 awards including a Remi Award at this year’s upcoming 45th Annual Worldfest. If you like it, please consider backing the production of the Nine Fourteen feature film with a donation on kickstarter.com
About the film:
Sharon Davis is a bipolar mother who, when faced with the idea of living alone, cannot handle it and lands in a psychiatric ward after her youngest child leaves home to study at NYU. Faced with the ultimatum of staying inpatient or finding a caretaker to live with her, Sharon makes the desperate decision of calling upon her estranged son, Brian, who left home when he was 17 to become a rock star.
Lost, and the victim of betrayal in his own life, Brian grudgingly agrees to come home and care for his mother but for a fee. Two perfect strangers, both at their worst, are forced to come together in this story of utter humanity. As rock star and mental patient are transformed into friend and foe, mother and son and then back to perfect strangers. Nine Fourteen is a journey from lost to found in the quest for eternal freedom from ourselves.