Angela Bassett shines in front of the Arlington Theatre | Credit: Becky Sapp, Getty Images for SBIFF

Angela Bassett Really IS the Queen

Queen Ramonda herself, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Angela Bassett, was as powerful and lovely in person as she is on the big screen. Accepting the Montecito Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Bassett discussed her career — starting with her roles in Boyz n the Hood and Malcolm X — in a wide-reaching conversation with SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The other films they discussed included: The Jacksons: An American Dream, What’s Love Got to Do with It (which earned her a Golden Globe, an Oscar nomination, and an NAACP image award in 1994 for her amazing portrayal of Tina Turner), How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Akeelah and the Bee, among others. This year she is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Wakanda Forever.

“She paved the way for newer generations to be able to see themselves represented on stage,” said Durling.

Bassett said she drew upon her own family for inspiration in her performances as Queen Ramonda in both the first Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Ryan Coogler, director of both Marvel masterworks, presented her with the award onstage as he spoke about the impact Bassett’s movies had on his own life. 

From the Film-Festival Adjacent File

Four Quartets, starring Ralph Fiennes in a stage adaptation of a TS Eliot poem and directed by his sister, Sophie Fiennes, picked up a distribution deal from Kino Lorber on Wednesday, the day before its SBIFF debut. The film has an additional screening scheduled on Monday, February 13, at 11:30 a.m. at the Metro 4. 

Jamie Lee Curtis, who will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award on Saturday, February 11, just signed a deal to star alongside Nicole Kidman in a series based on Patricia Cornwell’s popular Kay Scarpetta series of mystery novels. According to a report on Deadline, Kidman will play the title role (a brilliant forensic psychologist) and Curtis will play her sister, Dorothy.

Oscar nominee Ke Huy Quan, who is part of the SBIFF Virtuosos Awards on Wednesday, February 15, tells interviewer Pete Hammond that upon returning to acting in Everything Everywhere All at Once after a 30-year hiatus, he kept the role a secret from his family (except for his wife and lawyer) until right before the trailer for the movie came out. Hammond will interview Brendan Fraser on a Valentine’s Day presentation of the American Riviera Award, while Dave Karger moderates the Virtuosos Award, featuring Quan, the following night. What do you want to bet that “keeping the role a secret” comes up?

Free Film Fun

The free International Directors Panel is Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. at the Arlington | Credit: SBIFF

Looking ahead, we’ve got the new International Directors Panel on Sunday, February 12, at 2 p.m. at the Arlington. Directors include: Colm Bairéad (The Quiet Girl), Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front), Lukas Dhont (Close), Santiago Mitre (Argentina, 1985), and Jerzy Skolimowski (Eo).

Also of high interest is a free screening of the documentary on the late great musician David Crosby, called David Crosby: Remember My Name, on Monday, February 13, at 2 p.m. at the Arlington. 

Additional free daily films (all at 2 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre) are: Soul of the Ocean (Tuesday, February 14), Elvis (Wednesday, February 15) — with star Austin Butler receiving the Virtuosos Award at the Arlington that evening — Patrick and the Whale (Thursday, February 16), and To Leslie (followed by a Q&A with director Michael Morris, on Friday, February 17). I can’t wait to see that one — for obvious reasons. 

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