Like with all of the St. Louis International Film Festivals (SLIFF), the 26th version makes it very easy again to be overwhelmed by the number of films presented. Ready for this year’s astounding stats?
Over 2400 submissions, plus a few hundred films from distributors, sales agents and studios.
After careful vetting, these are the winners:
372 films from 64 countries
When I introduce SLIFF to someone who is not familiar with it, I tell them that this is a fantastic way to travel the world and a rare chance to watch films that will possibly never reappear in St. Louis (nor possibly in the US)…
… even if they are masterpieces!
And every year, such pieces make their way to SLIFF,
UNFORGETTABLE FILMS! (…)
This free screening, the US Premiere of a riveting courtroom drama documentary that has played in front of the European and the Hungarian Parliament and on French, German and Canadian television (besides other countries), will take place at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum Sunday March 26 at 1 p.m. “Judgement in Hungary” – Filmmaker Eszter Hajdú spent three years following the trial of four men charged with killing Roma children and adults, motivated by “racial hatred.” The young filmmaker and her crew documented the 167 days of hearings in this intense, award-winning drama set in a small court room in Budapest, Hungary. Having played in 32 countries and the recipient of 19 international awards, the film has been broadcast in Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands […]
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. […]
On January 1st, World-Wide Wishful Thinking Day, the Grand Opening of the School of No Media! Excerpts from the front-page: “We live as if tomorrow did not exist, ignoring the imminent oblivion that awaits us all… but it does not stop there. The fact that experience is not transmissible compounds all of our mistakes, and our planet steadily falls apart. Full of wishful thinking, we want to believe… but nothing is a surprise anymore. What we know strangles us: reality is off limits and immediacy has gone. Our universe is built up to the extent that alienation, separation, isolation – and for some of us, exile – have become the very fabric of our existence, the only turf we inhabit.
Both centrality and normalcy as a whole are two of our major hoaxes, but again it goes further: like some kind of tautological monstrosity, we are so full of ourselves, we have become the victims of our own centrality” […]
My review: Thinking is not to agree or disagree. That’s voting. — Robert Frost – It may be odd to like what disturbs us but it is clear that Best of Enemies is meant to provoke, and in that sense it is most successfully engaging. In 1968, while trailing NBC and CBS – to debate the Democratic and Republican national conventions – ABC hired two commentators, the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and the liberal Gore Vidal Vidal; the strategy worked and the ratings jumped way up! Almost every night the sparks were flying all over, not by the fireplace but on the small screen: two of the most articulate public intellectuals – in the days when such individuals still existed – were brilliantly sparring around the politics of those conventions. And then everything blew up. […]
An excerpt from my review: “As of July 1 2014, China’s population was estimated to be 1,393,783,836, about 20% of the world’s population, one in five people in the planet are Chinese nationals. Now and for the next twenty years, 250 millions of peasants are to move to the cities – existing ones or brand new ones like Ordos, the one featured in this film. There, as some of the characters in the documentary state, they are to become “more civilized.” A must-see film if you want to experience one of the many Chinese dreams, already set into motion.” […]