The Florida Project

There is something about movies that bring people together. Whether they make us laugh or cry there is a hidden meaning behind each of them that leads to people wanting change through discussion. In the hit independent film The Florida Project, the message was clear and the meaning powerful. On February 10th, the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut brought this film to life.

In the lobby filled with paintings by local artists part of The Constantine Art Group patrons came in after waiting patiently in the box office lobby. While some sat at tables munching on popcorn, others were admiring posters for upcoming events like Popovich on March 16th and The Wizard of Oz on March 9th. However, they all had one thought on their mind which was The Florida Project. There was small talk about the film as many have not heard of the film before.

As photos of past events were flashing on the screen of past events like parties and children musicals in the theater patrons made their way in looking at brochures for local community programs, like Lighthouse Community Center and the Thames Yacht Club. Others were holding brochures that had the dates for music acts like Rodriguez on April 13th and An Evening with Andrew Bird on March 2nd. The chatter about these upcoming events at the Garde seemed endless.

When the time had come for Steve Sigel to take the stage the exciting chatter about upcoming events seemed endless. Before welcoming everyone to the Garde he revealed that a cellphone had been found in the bathroom. After some comedic banter about the lost phone, the woman managed to find her phone because her friend had called it for her. He then proceeded to talk about Tape Face appearing on Febraury 15th, the hilarious mime from America’s Got Talent will be making an appearance at the Garde Arts Center. After lightening the mood, Steve explained the name for the film came from Walt Disney’s original name of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Florida Project, as an independent film, received critical acclaim with Willem Dafoe receiving several nominations for his performance as the motel manager Bobby. With a film about families living in motels in the shadows of Disney World this was a film that would be remembered.

The lights went down and after previews for Call Me By Your Name and A Fantastic Woman, both coming to the Garde in coming weeks the film began. There was laughter and tears as the movie came to a close. When the film ended many stayed behind to watch the credits as well as talk about the ending of the film that inspired many.

The Florida Project came to the Garde Arts Center providing a unique atmosphere for everyone all over. In the film we follow a precocious young girl as she looks beyond her surroundings through friends and bonding with her mother. Living in a hotel in the shadow of tourists who come from all over to Orlando, Florida, only the Garde could provide from a legendary movie palace.

When the film was over many people were talking in the lobby about the film they had just watched. A magical night was brought to life with tears and laughter at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut with the independent critically acclaimed film The Florida Project.

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