[WITH 3 GEMS!!] Again, the St. Louis wow-festival is a trip! This year, SLIFF after 2300 submissions – not counting distributors and studio considerations – will screen 420 films from 72 countries! Below are *some* recommendations – I am missing many but my time is restricted at this time. 1.The good bets that I have not seen have no check marks. 2.Those I can vouch for are marked with an [X] 3. Those I very much appreciate: [X][X] 3.Those stand-outs, the gems, have an [X][X][X] …Read More
An interview with Pier Marton, translated from the Spanish. Excerpts: “what follows does not represent ideas but stands for a lived-through experience — something which by definition can neither be communicated nor argued with… what needs to be unlearned is beyond our grasp… it is by becoming somebody that one crowns a successful education — self-distinction, self-inflation are inculcated from the start… what is being discussed here corresponds to the very same silence that Rimbaud and Gauguin may have experienced through their exiles, or through death’s notorious silence… It should be evident that when something tragic takes place, words are failing us. Those crises contain a form of wisdom and clarity which would be good to apply during our “normal” states — not only during those dramatic transitions, when we don’t know what is happening. We actually never know what is happening and, in finding speech inadequate, words should always fail us. […]Read More
The best St. Louis International Film Festival in memory! Three of my favorite films: “In Transit” – The last of the great direct cinema documentary filmmakers, the recently deceased Albert Maysles (Salesman, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, Running Fence…)… an eloquent love letter to humanity.
With a rarely seen fragility and gentleness, this tour de force of a film allows us to sense how precious each life is. Each individual’s aspirations and vulnerability is magically brought to light: one of the most touching film experience at this festival! — “The Fool/Durak” – … In the midst of the squalor of a small Russian town, through its understated acting and gritty realism, a suspense as worthy as that of a James Bond film, slowly but surely, takes shape. How institutions and the self-serving individuals that populate them can hold onto their morally bankrupt power… — “Embrace of the Serpent” – By following their actual diaries, this sumptuous and sensual film – some would call it an hallucinatory trip – pays tribute to two explorers and their guides as they venture into unknown regions of Colombia. One of the most astonishing and luminous film at the St. Louis International Film Festival! […]
November 5 – November 15 — The 2015 Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) – A UNIQUE CHANCE TO WATCH CINEMATIC TREASURES… films which, no matter how outstanding they are, often will not find a distributor in the U.S. Where else can you get to travel to 70 countries in 10 days through 447 films (97 narrative features, 86 documentary features, and 264 shorts)? Those I can already vouch for include Deep Web (opening night), Embrace of the Serpent, In Transit, The Fool/Durak, Sea Fog/Haemoo, Once in a Lifetime, In My Father’s House, Theeb, Three Windows and a Hanging, Dry, Eadweard, Court, Among the Believers, Hitchcock/Truffaut, The Last Mentsch, Armor of Light, Can You Dig This, Landfill Harmonic, Thao’s Library, Right Footed, Radical Grace, Something You Can Call Home, Cemetery of Splendor. Feel free to write for more info […]Read More
— Going All Out for the Papal Visit — [a picture is again worth a thousand words] – What does “ecstasy” look like these days? (Sister Mary Gabriel of the Sisters of Life is screened at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Washington, D.C. – Wednesday September 23, 2015) – “Beyond the Finish Line” and other photographs by Josh Haner […]Read More
LAST DAY IS THURSDAY! – AT THE TIVOLI IN ST. LOUIS: Wild Tales/ Relatos Salvajes/Les Nouveaux Sauvages/Storie pazzesche/Jeder dreht mal durch! My review (an excerpt): the humor is explosive, the jokes hard-hitting, the dysfunctional machine is perfectly well-oiled! Society has a great many constraints but if we go outside, we can feel sooo free! Damián Szifron, the director of “Wild Tales” explores what lies beyond the rules, when we lose control… and anything can happen. After breaking the all-time record of attendance in Argentina, it was nominated […]Read More