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Christian

FilmFest DC 2014

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I'm slipping. I thought about checking the FilmFest DC lineup a couple of times in recent weeks, but only did so a minute ago. 

 

The schedule's up. I'm going to start going through it now.

 

Recommendations welcome, as always.

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Well I hated The Double, but I think I was the only one. How are you on Brazil? If you like that, you might like The Double.

I liked Belle...a lot. But it sort of got overshadowed by the other historical race narrative at TIFF.

 

I may be in DC for part of this. Was going to try to catch Cold Eyes and maybe some other stuff. Let me know what you get tix for.

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Ken, I don't mean to drag out my FilmFest DC plans (although I always do), but I'm interested in seeing Sorceror at AFI Silver sometime between 4/19 and 4/24 and will have to make room for at least one assigned non-FilmFest DC screening that week, both of which I'm prioritizing over FilmFest stuff.

 

For now, I have my eye on a couple of weekend free FilmFest DC showings at the National Gallery of Art, but I don't know if I'll be able to make either of those, not because of conflicting assignments but because of family obligations. I'll try to lock things down as soon as possible.

Edited by Christian

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I put in for Press Credentials, but I never heard a reply. Odd.

 

Anyway, I'm a bit behind right now having just got back from Full Frame, so I need to decide myself soon what my plans are.

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He Who Gets Slapped is one of the more unusual and overlooked silent films, and is definitely worth checking out, especially with the live musical  accompaniment.  This film has some of the greatest quotes from the silent era and has a special place in movie history as being the first picture shot by MGM studios.

 

The opportunity to see this on the big screen is special.  Outside of the rare airing on TCM, the only way to see it is by purchasing it as a print-on-demand DVD-R which I haven't seen, but has been reported to be of poor quality.

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Hmmm....just got an e-mail. 

Go to DC Filmfest or stay in NC and see the free media screening of THE OTHER WOMAN? Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?

 

Christian, it looks like I'll be in NoVA for the 18th-26th.  Don't have an exact schedule yet but am trying to see in some order or other: White Lies; Half a Yellow Sun; Last Days of Robin Hood; Cold Eyes; Something Necessary; When Jews Were Funny; Life's a Breeze; Giselle; Siddharth; Bad Hair; and Rock the Casbah. 

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Let me see how that week shakes out. Sorceror at AFI Silver is happening 4/19 at 1 p.m. Right now my only FilmFest planned screening is for the 27th, but there's probably only one possible assignment conflict the week you're up. I won't know more until Friday unless that possible screening (Locke) is announced separately before the weekly email from Allied.

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Here's this year's could-be-the-final-Filmfest-DC article

 

Soak it up: Next year, if you want 10 days of cinema you can’t see elsewhere, you’ll either have to hit up AFI Docs, itself struggling with its identity after moving half its slate downtown after years in Silver Spring, or assemble your own Filmfest from the city’s dozens of smaller, niche film gatherings.

 

Unless, of course, Filmfest finds a savior. 

 

Ken, the weekend is packed, and I have a Thursday-night assigned screening (Locke, if you're interested). Sarah's out Monday and Wednesday. I'm not sure where you're staying, but if dinner or some other form of get-together is an option, please let me know.

Edited by Christian

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So White Lies was decent. Sort of a cross between Vera Drake, A Soldier's Story, and Million Dollar Baby...only from New Zealand. 

 

I thought it might be setting up to be really good, but once it gives its semi-big reveal, it doesn't show much interest in being about much of anything else, and a story like this really needs to be about more than one thing. 

The last scene (playing over the credits) is pretty swell, though.

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Here's this year's could-be-the-final-Filmfest-DC article

 

Soak it up: Next year, if you want 10 days of cinema you can’t see elsewhere, you’ll either have to hit up AFI Docs, itself struggling with its identity after moving half its slate downtown after years in Silver Spring, or assemble your own Filmfest from the city’s dozens of smaller, niche film gatherings.

 

Unless, of course, Filmfest finds a savior. 

 

 

I don't know, maybe I'm just spoiled by Cameron Bailey at TIFF, but...

 

Festival director Tony Gittens was on hand to introduce Half of a Yellow Sun yesterday.  He told us the director had flown in from Nigeria, but didn't know her name. After being told her name by someone in the audience, he mispronounced it. He told us this was one of two films playing at the festival from south of Sahara Africa and that as he was sure we all knew, a lot was going on in Nigeria right now....for instance that actress (whose name he also could not remember) just won the Academy Award for "12 Years as a Slave."

We were, however, all encouraged to buy memberships in the film society so that this would not be the last year of the festival.

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Ken, the weekend is packed, and I have a Thursday-night assigned screening (Locke, if you're interested). Sarah's out Monday and Wednesday. I'm not sure where you're staying, but if dinner or some other form of get-together is an option, please let me know.

 

Christian, I somehow missed this first go round. Monday's bad for me. I'd be happy to join you at the Locke screening if it is the 24th rather than the 17th. I'm staying in McLean and I have a car, so I could join you at the venue if it is Metro close or arrange to meet you in Fairfax if you are planning on driving. 

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Great! Locke is playing at 7 p.m. -- not 7:30 -- at Landmark E St., and it runs just 85 minutes. I'll Metro to the theater (right near Metro Center) and will plan to meet you there by 6:30. 

 

That Tony Gittens story is funny/sad. 

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Okay. I'll meet you there around 6:30. 

Other festival notes. I liked Five Star Life. I really liked Siddharth. Cold Eyes was enjoyable in that stylish Asian police procedural sort of way but nothing super special. 

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Here's my write up of the festival.

 

Case in point is Richie Mehta’s Siddharth, easily the best film I saw at the festival and the first film I have seen this calendar year that seems a safe bet to end up on my year’s end list of top ten favorites.

 

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Audience Award for Best Feature Film

Audience Award for Best Documentary

verdict1.jpg
The Verdict

Circle Award

The 2014 Circle Award is presented to The Verdict (Belgium), directed by Jan Verheyen. This gripping and masterfully crafted film candidly examines the meaning and limits of justice in a democratic system alongside the complexity of the human experience and emotions. Throughout the film, the audience is compelled to watch on the edge of seats, drawn deeper and deeper into the story through the masterful use of all elements of filmmaking--from the script to acting, direction to cinematography.

The Circle Award jury presents a special Jury Award to the beautiful and touching film, Rock the Casbah. This film portrays with great skill and honesty the story of a family at one moment in time that also transcends both that time and place to become universal.

Edited by Christian

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