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Published August 23rd, 2017
Film Clips
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With the slogan "Something for Everyone from Around the World," the California Independent Film Festival is a wonderful experience where you will see films before they are shown in theaters nationwide.
"The Last Poker Game" is one of those movies and it also happens to be Academy Award winner Martin Landau's last film. I had the opportunity to discuss the movie with Landau before he passed away. He was very proud of "The Last Poker Game," which was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Howard Weiner. "When I first read it, I really enjoyed it. It was unusual, and it kept unfolding in unpredictable ways," Landau said.
"The Last Poker Game" tells the story of Dr. Abe Mandelbaum (Landau) who just moved into a new nursing home in Newburyport, Mass., with his ailing wife. After forming an unlikely friendship with a womanizing gambler (Paul Sorvino), their relationship is tested when they each try to convince a mysterious nurse that they are her long-lost father.
Weiner will be in attendance at the Rheem Theatre screening of "The Last Poker Game" at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8. This will be the film's California premiere.
Weiner is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School where he leads research into new ways to treat multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases. "The Last Poker Game" began as an unpublished novel, but after a discussion with his son, Ron, Weiner decided to turn the novel into a risquÇ movie script about two aging men, Sorvino and Landau, who meet in a brand new nursing home, become friends and get mixed up with a mysterious nurse, Maria Dizzia.
Landau said, "The script showed a doctor's point of view of a nursing home, instead of a Hollywood point of view of a nursing home. It treated older folks with a little more dignity."
"The Last Poker Game" received rave reviews at New York's Tribeca Film Festival when it premiered this past spring.
It has a TRT (total running time) of 85 minutes.

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