RIDING THE UNBALANCE BETWEEN:
1. excellence and a kind, singular and porous identity that contains some of the scruples, humor, musicality and the beauty of a harsh and confusing, yet benign and rich reality – away from distractions.
2. the stupidity and blindness of complacency, violence, injustice, pretense, egos, short-term/wishful and group “thinking,” and empty talk – in all of their surprising embodiments.
OR one could say that this is
an appeal for a world NOT so caught up in anthropo/ego/euro/ethno/oculo/esthetico -CENTRISM.
A warning to:
1. Beware of those who claim to be strong – they are often dangerous.
2. Unmask the hoax of “centrality” (if in doubt, ask an “EX-centric”).
3. Perceive the arrogance of normalcy: everybody, in one way or anotherm is handicapped ! Which bring us back to 1.
Stephen Crane has a short poem about such a lofty goal:
“I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
‘It is futile,’ I said,
‘You can never -‘
‘You lie,’ he cried, And ran on.”
This site is still very much in progress.
Thank you for your patience.
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! (…)
“The film never can tell the truth, the truth is always unbearable.” — Ai Weiwei. My review: “Many words like ‘humanitarian crisis’ or ‘refugees’ conceal great human tragedies; the news channels remind us daily that despair is at our doors but everything remains abstract – overall we do not know. With the type of fearlessness that landed him in jail, the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai WeiWei, insists though, as he often does, that we face reality, however disturbing it may be.
As someone whose family was exiled within China – like Tarkovsky, his father was a famous poet – Ai knows his topic well. But he is aware that the crisis is global – the result: a monument of a film, 23 countries in 140 minutes (out of 900 hours of footage) […]
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 […]read more
Imagine you are the articulate and incisive James Baldwin and three of your friends happen to be Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X, and all three of them are killed. You leave behind some revelatory notes about this “peculiar” situation… which remain untouched for forty years.
Imagine now that you are the talented and engaged Haitian filmmaker, Raoul Peck*, and you are exclusively privy to that writing and you manage to produce your film… independently.
Now, like a torch, it lights up our darkest skies: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is that film! (…)
[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
If you ever have to prove with words that reality does exist, good luck… precisely the kind of challenge that “Denial” takes on with great resolve. Based on a true event, an American Jewish historian finds herself here having to prove in court that the Holocaust did take place… What happened is what happened and we will continue to be joined to others in space, and in time… but as long as words exist, they will be used to conceal reality and historical revisionism will endure. There where it hurts the most is where the enemy will strike: as Pierre Vidal-Naquet, the French historian wrote, it is a tentative of extermination on paper that relays the actual extermination. Whether done by a country like Iran, any group or individuals, denying the Holocaust is a form of antisemitism.read more
Excerpt from my review: “We eagerly divide up our lives into past, present, future (and history), and act as if the riddle of time, this most perplexing mystery, had been solved. Yet, a few scientists, philosophers, artists, poets, filmmakers and other mystics keep venturing outside these ready-made formulas….. Through a rich mixture of documentary and fiction footage, composed like the free verse reflections of a visual archeologist – the film plays with our tired eyes: will it be able to jolt us out of our endless complacency and arrogance?” […]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