Writer/Director Dennis Lee made a personal appearance for the showing of his newest film “Fireflies in the Garden“ at the Cinémas Palme D’Or in Palm Desert last Saturday evening. The event began with a viewing of the film and at the conclusion of the film Mr. Lee joined Cinémas Palm D’Or host “Bulldog” Bill Feingold (KNEWS FM 94.3) with audience members for a Q&A session.
Dennis Lee initially chose the profession of teaching, and not until he was teaching first and second graders did he decide to go to film school. Right before his first semester in film school, his mother was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. This was a life-altering event for Lee.
Lee, traumatized by his mother’s death, yearned to have her visit his dreams. But she never did. His own sister claimed to see their mother numerous times during her sleep and in an effort to bring his mother’s life some meaning Dennis wrote “Fireflies in the Garden.”
After graduation, Dennis made a few short films and worked at getting “Fireflies in the Garden” made. Through a friend, he met Danny Moder (Julia Robert’s husband) and he was signed on to film the movie. According to Lee, Danny was the one to suggest Julia may want to star in the film. Once Julia Roberts was signed, the cast grew to included Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Blunt and Hayden Panettiere.
The film was shot in 26 days with an undisclosed budget. But problems occurred during post-production. The film was made in 2007 and was released in foreign markets in 2008. It has recently seen a revision of the editing and is finally is being released in the United States.
Lee’s next film is “Jesus Henry Christ” – a dark comedy starring Toni Collette and Michael Sheen. He also has a script ready to produce about the life of Burmese activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
See here for my review of Fireflies in the Garden
For Up To Date News on the Oscars®, please see Kay’s Facebook page: 84thAnnual Academy Awards
Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
Enjoy this review? Receive e-mail alerts when new reviews are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” button above. Thank you!
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com