Heartland Interviews: JUDGE REINHOLD

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his month, Heartland was able to score an interview with Judge Reinhold, the gifted actor many know from the Beverly Hills Cop movies,Walking Across EgyptThe Santa Clause movies and Checking Out. Judge has acted in over 75 films in his 25-plus year career. In addition, Mr. Reinhold has been a longtime friend of the Heartland Film Festival and has attended both the October festivities and our events in May in conjunction with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So, without much further ado and in no particular order, here are My Most Truly Moving Pictures according to Judge Reinhold:

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter – A film from the late 1960s that not everybody has seen. It’s one of Alan Arkin’s first films. He plays a deaf man who rents a room in a southern household and strikes up a relationship (platonic) with the teenaged daughter. It’s about his struggle to overcome his loneliness and frustration. It’s a beautiful film about loneliness.

“I tend to be drawn to movies that are portraits of loneliness. I find it incredibly tender and touching. At their best, films give us windows into people’s lives, and I think we’re all courageous in our loneliness at some point in our own lives.

“This film also is an exquisite performance by Arkin – particularly the scene where he pretends to be listening to music as she [the daughter]is trying to explain what music sounds like to him.

Paper Moon – This is a perfect little film – every frame is just perfect. What’s touching to me is that it shows how important family is.

“This was Tatum O’Neal’s first film, for which she became the youngest-ever Oscar winner. Also, Ryan O’Neal, her real father, plays her father in the film.

“As fractured, as tenuous a familial relationship they have, it’s still family. It shows the depths of family connection and how profound it is.

To Kill a Mockingbird – This film is deeply beautiful. The confrontation of the fanciful world of a child and the ugliness of life us an amazing combination and such an achievement.

“Also, as an actor, it held one of the seminal moments for me…the scene on the porch where Gregory Peck, Atticus, was listening to his children talk about their mother who had died and he just listened – he didn’t do anything. That moment illustrated to me that I didn’t need to be presentational in my work. That was my ‘Aha moment.’ That simple act of being emotionally invested while holding back – you draw the audience in. From that scene, I learned an important lesson about film acting.

“I also chose this movie for personal reasons. A lot of the people I’ve met who love it have problems with their fathers. I was estranged by my father, and Atticus is really for people who’ve lacked a paternal figure – he’s gentle, kind, thoughtful – an ideal father.

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“What’s Truly Moving to me about all of these movies is that amazing alchemy between the shot and/or the camera move, the dialogue, and the acting moment. It’s those moments to me that are just transcendent. When it all comes together like that, I get teared up – that’s what I’m in it for.”

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