film festival

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home1/chlotrud/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

CHLOTRUDIS co-presents ALWAYS SHINE and THERE SHOULD BE RULES at 14th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON

Always ShineThe Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again as a co-prsenter as part of the festival’s 14th year.  And we are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. | Read more »

Chlotrudis picks the Best of the Fest at the Provincetown International Film Festival

The Way Way BackInspired by the HBO-sponsored Audience Awards selected by attendees at the Provincetown International Film Festival, Chlotrudis polled the members who attended the Fest to make their own picks for the best doc and best narrative feature, with decidedly different results.  The PIFF Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to HAUTE CUISINE, a film that underwhelmed the only Chlotrudis member who saw it, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary went to TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM, an entertaining film that failed to get top marks from the Chlotrudis members who checked it out.   | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY sponsors Xavier Dolan’s transgender love story, ‘LAURENCE ANYWAYS’, at PROVINCETOWN FILM FEST

Laurence AnywaysThe CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT FILM (CSIF) is pleased to announce its sponsorship of LAURENCE ANYWAYS, at the PROVINCETOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (PIFF), to be held June 19 - 23.   The film will have two screenings, 1:30pm on Thursday 6/20 and 11am on Sunday 6/22, both at the Art House. | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS co-presents Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL at 11th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON

Stories We TellThe Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again to co-present a Canadian film as part of the festival’s 11th year.  We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to co-present another film from acclaimed actor/director Sarah Polley the autobiographical STORIES WE TELL, her documentary directorial debut.   In 2007 Chlotrudis co-presented Polley’s first directorial feature, AWAY FROM HER at the 5th IFFBoston.  | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY partners with Boston LGBT Fest to present THE GREEN as part of CELEBRATING WORLD CINEMA

The GreenThe Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film (CSIF) is pleased to partner with the Boston LGBT Film Festival in co-presenting THE GREEN, part of the CELEBRATING WORLD CINEMA series sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The film screens on Friday September 23rd at 7:30, in the Alfond Auditorium at the MFA. As an added bonus, the film’s screenwriters Paul Marcarelli and Molly Pearson will be in attendance and a Q&A will follow the screening. | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT FILM at the BOSTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: ARMY OF CRIME

Army of CrimeThe Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film (CSIF) is pleased to be part of the 22nd annual Boston Jewish Film Festival, one of New England’s longest-lived and most acclaimed film festivals. Chlotrudis will be a Community Partner for the screening of ARMY OF CRIME (L’ARMEE DU CRIME) on Saturday November 6th, at the Musuem of Fine Arts in Boston. Set in 1943, ARMY OF CRIME depicts a legendary chapter in the story of the French resistance during World War II. | Read more »

Hats Off to Gerry and Amy!

This year's Independent Film Festival of Boston took place over the weekend, and I was quite happy to catch five films this year. I seem to have trouble doing festivals when they're in my hometown. This year Chlotrudis co-sponsored two films, Bruce McDonald's inventive, psychological thiller, PONTYPOOL, and Hirokazu Kore-eda's masterful homage to Ozu, STILL WALKING. I was also able to catch WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, Ondi Timoner's thought-provoking follow-up to DIG!, I NEED THAT RECORD, a documentary about the fading independent record store, and Monday night's very special event, FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES.

Many attendees of this year's Chlotrudis Awards ceremony noticed that Gerry Peary and Amy Geller (left), stalwart supporters of the Society, were absent. They had a good reason: they were at South by Southwest, premiering their debut documentary, FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM. Gerry's been working on this film for years, and we were lucky to be a part of the New England premiere of the film at the Institute of Contemporary Art, as part of this year's IFFB. It was a wonderful evening, with Gerry and Amy;s friends and family in attendance. Chlotrudis members came out in force, filling an entire row in the theatre. It was nice to see Boston film critics and Chlotrudis supporters Peter Keough and Wesley Morris (who also appears in the film) as well as documentary filmmaker, and Chlotrudis nominee Lucia Small (MY FATHER, THE GENIUS and THE AXE IN THE ATTIC).

So congratulations to Gerry and Amy for their accomplished and informative film, and to the Independent Film Festival of Boston for another great year! Next year maybe I'll make it to seven films!

PIFF - Day One

This year, for the first time, we decided to arrive at the Provincetown International Film Festival for Opening Night, so Scot, Beth Caldwell and I boarded the fabulous, if ungodly early Ptown Ferry at 8 a.m. to get a day of relaxing before the movies kicked in. We checked in to Romeo's Holiday, our B&B, got our terrific massages by Lenny, and were prepared for our opening night film.

FILTH & WISDOM (UK; 81 min.)
directed by Madonna
cast: Eugene Hutz; Vicky McClure; Holly Weston; Richard E. Grant

I'm not sure what I expected from Madonna's directorial debut, but I know the main reason why I came was because of a fairly positive review I read from the Berlin Film Festival. Had I dug a little deeper, I would have found this Variety review and stayed far away. That said, FILTH & WISDOM is not without some redeeming qualities (its 81 minute running-time being one of them), and it was fun to be a part of the opening night film. As an added bonus, actress Vicky McClure, one of the film's three leads, was present for the Q&A, which I have to say was a more enjoyable experience than the film itself.

The main problem with FILTH & WISDOM wasn't the direction (although a more experience director would have certainly done a better job, Madonna did a perfectly fine job at the helm) but the writing. While the imdb credits the screenplay to Dan Cadan, the film itself listed the screenwriters as Madonna and Cadan. Based on her own experiences, Madonna would have been better served by a better script. The story, about three roommates living in London and going through some tough times is fairly disjointed (certainly as evidenced by the plot explanations needed by the audience during the Q&A!) and certainly less than compelling. There is some philosophical claptrap about, you guessed it, filth and wisdom, the filth being evident, but where she came up with the wisdom is anyone's guess.

The actors acquitted themselves well, and there are moments of a delicate directing touch that surprised me such as a moving moment with an Indian housewife (that really shouldn't have been in the film in the first place as it came out of nowhere). As A.K., the philosophizing, Ukranian punk-rocker/sex worker, Eugene Hutz (EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED) is certainly a compelling figure and is making quite the name for himself in what seems to be a new stock character. Vicky McClure is wonderfully effective despite the script limitations as a down-on-her-luck retail worker at a chemist who longs only to travel to Africa to help orphans. From the sounds of the Q&A Madonna is a director who works well with her actors, possibly from her experience acting in films. Only time will tell if she can hone her craft to create a truly worthwhile film. 2.5 cats.

After a quick dinner, we regrouped with Beth and Beth for PIFF's opening night party at Crown & Anchor. Again, as my first time attending Opening Night, I was surprised by the number of people who attended that party. The ubiquitous John Waters was there, of course, as were many of the filmmakers with films in this year's festival. One pleasant surprise was re-connecting with Lucia Small (pictured left with Beth Curran and me), director of the Chlotrudis Awards nominated MY FATHER, THE GENIUS, whose latest film, THE AXE IN THE ATTIC is playing this year. Lucia used to live in Boston, but has relocated to NYC, so we haven't seen each other for a while. She's such a delightful person, it was so nice to catch up with her.

Miami Offerings from Northern Europe

After a lovely day at the beach, Monday night found us exploring cooler climes first in Sweden, then in the Netherlands. MIFF is truly international, and Monday night was certainly the strongest night of the week.

YOU, THE LIVING (Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark/Norway; 95 min.)
director: Roy Andersson

Swedish director Roy Andersson follows-up his delightfully surreal SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR with an exploration of humankind in all its subdued glory. YOU, THE LIVING, subtitled, a film about the grandeur of existing, is constructed as a series of vignettes, many hilarious in their deadpan absurdity. In an opening sequence, a woman repeatedly shouts at her lover and her dog, telling them to leave her. When they finally, reluctantly leave, she breaks into song. It's surprising and delightfully funny. Members of a marching band show up repeatedly, particularly a tuba player who annoys both his wife and his neighbors when he practices at home. A young woman meets a rock star she admires and later dreams of their wedding night with him. Another man dreams of facing the electric chair after attempting (and failing) to perform the old pulling a tablecloth out from under place settings at a dinner party.

YOU, THE LIVING took three years to shoot, because nearly all of the sets, including the outdoor scenes, were constructed for the film. There's an amazing sequence when the young girl and her rock star, dream husband are in their new apartment which slowly begins to move like a train across the city. Andersson's washed out palette of grays, browns, light blues and whites are enhanced by the whitened faces of the actors. Andersson's films are experiences that might not be for everyone, but they are unique and delightful for me. 4 cats.

BLIND (Netherlands/Belgium/Bulgaria; 98 min.)
director: Tamar van den Doop

BLIND is your basic, tragically doomed romance, yet it's one that writer/director Tamar van den Doop handles with such beauty and originality that it becomes elevated to something much more. Ruben Rietlander is a young man perhaps barely out of his teens, who lost his eyesight during childhood. His elderly mother Catherine cannot properly care for him on her own, and the women she hires to read to him are driven away by his violent tantrums. Enter Marie a scarred, albino woman in her 30s who is shunned by the villagers. For some reason, perhaps out of desperation, Catherine hires Marie to read to her son. Perhaps because she is an outcast herself, Marie will not put up with Ruben's outbursts and she physically manhandles him rather than flees shrieking as is the norm with the hired help. Gradually, the two fall in love, but in Ruben's mind, Marie is a beautiful young woman with fiery red hair and blue eyes. As is the case in tragic romances, Ruben's doctor discovers a way to restores Ruben's eyesight. Marie knows if this happens, their love is doomed, so she leaves and manages to stay hidden from the heart-broken Ruben... until the inevitable happens.

BLIND is gorgeously shot. Tamar van der Doop has a terrific eye, and the incorporation of Ruben's visual fantasies of how things might appear are surreal and gorgeous. Halina Reijin is particularly strong as Marie, keeping her rage tightly coiled inside, and watching her slowly unclench as she slowly lets her guard down around Ruben is a real treat. The period costumes, and lush settings add to the visual feast. 4.5 cats.