Rome’s own international film festival (RIFF) started this past Thursday with the opening film American Song Writer: a movie that opened to a modest crowd despite being a snug fit for Rome’s viewing audience. American Song Writer is about the late 20th century Nashville music man Danny Darst, and plays to the myth of Americana musical artistry. Mr. Darst arrived in person and played a set for the attendees of Riff, with an informative question and answer session following his performance.
Compact and contradictory maxims such as, “the helplessness of poverty” and “no one owes you anything” formed the theme of the movie and serve as the foundation of Danny Darst’s philosophy. As director Michael Altman explained “I’m not an good camera man, but with Danny all I had to do was turn the camera on and he did all the work for me”.
Friday marked the first full day of movies, and also displayed a modest attendance; although the last of Rome’s First Friday Concert series provided the real show for most visiting the downtown area. Danny Darst played in the concert solidifying the two downtown events into one melded visual and auditory block of entertainment.