If it's spring in Boston, that means it's time for the Independent Film Festival of Boston. This year, Chlotrudis is co-presenting two films at the festival. MADE IN JAPAN is the remarkable story of Tomi Fujiyama, the world's first Japanese country, music superstar, and her dream to play the Grand Ol' Opry again. This doc, directed by Josh Bishop, is a funny yet poignant multi-cultural journey through music, marriage, and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman. MADE IN JAPAN screens on Sunday, April 26, 3:15 pm at the Somerville Theatre. | Read more »
CHLOTRUDIS co-presents THE CASE AGAINST 8 and WE ARE THE BEST! at 12th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON
The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again as a coprsenter as part of the festival’s 12th year. We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to share in both the festival’s documentary and narrative wealths, by copresenting one of each this year.
Lucas Moodysson’s latest film, WE ARE THE BEST!, is about a teen punk band and has been heralded a comic coming of age masterpiece by international critics. Based on a graphic novel by Moodysson’s wife, the film is set in Stockholm in the 80’s, where two 13-year old girls band together to strike out in musical rebellion against all the obstacles in their teenaged life. | Read more »
CHLOTRUDIS co-presents Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL at 11th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON
The 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 co-presents Kore-eda’s I WISH & Guy Maddin’s KEYHOLE at INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON’s 10TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR
The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again to co-present two films as part of the festival’s 10th year. We are particularly pleased to have a second opportunity to present the films of two acclaimed directors, Canadian Guy Maddin's KEYHOLE, and I WISH, the latest from Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda. | Read more »
CHLOTRUDIS co-presents ‘CAIRO TIME’ starring Patricia Clarkson, & ‘I AM LOVE with Tilda Swinton at INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON
The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again to co-present two films as part of the festival’s 8th year. I AM LOVE will play on Saturday April 24th, while CAIRO TIME will screen on April 26th. Both films boast outstanding performances by their respective leading ladies and were among members’ favorites at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. | Read more »
Hello Chlotrudis Members!
There is a lot going on this week... so many films to chose from and so many different speical events going on. This week's hosts, Gil and Amanda, have decided to keep the weeknights clear in case you want to go to any of the Coolidge Award activities on Monday or Tuesday, so please join them for a very special Chlotrudis Sunday Night at the Movies when they will head to the Harvard Film Archive to see director Bong Joon-ho present his latest film, MOTHER. Bong Joon-ho has thrilled Chlotrudis members in the past with his Buried Treasure nominated MEMORIES OF MURDER and his surprise hit THE HOST. Tickets go on sale at 6:15pm for this 7pm show, so do plan on arriving early.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Appearing in Person
With Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin Ku
South Korea 2009, 35mm, color, 129 min. Korean with English subtitles
Bong Joon-ho’s latest film is at once a murder mystery, a portrait of a small Korean town and, above all, a meditation on the dark complexity of the ambivalent bonds binding parents and children. Kim Hye-ja brings a riveting, desperate energy to her portrayal of the title character, a woman trying to prove that her son has been coerced into confessing to a murder he did not commit. As her investigation continues and expands, it unearths ever-darker layers in the community and in the relationship between mother and son. Bong’s talent for conjuring a sense of menace from landscape, color and framing suggests a rich hybrid of Hitchcock’s crisp storyboarded world and Imamura’s ribald animism. Kim’s character ultimately reveals her Imamuran ancestry - earthy, potentially violent, and seemingly indomitable.
Check out the trailer:
Many people have already enjoyed CHILDREN OF INVENTION during it's area premiere at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, but at long last this made-in-Boston movie gets a theatrical run at the Brattle Theatre. Director Tze Chun and Producer Mynette Louie will be present at the Friday and Saturday 7:30pm screenings, and I can't recommend this film highly enough. If you haven't seen it yet, DON'T MISS IT! This film will definitely be among next year's nominations... as the Buried Treasure at the very least. It's a fine, fine film and an amazing, local achievement. Go see it.
Check out the trailer:
**editor's note: So I just watched the trailer again when I went to get the link to post it and now I have to go see the film again. It's that good.
Speaking of the Independent Film Festival of Boston, they've got a couple of free sneak preview screenings this week that you might want to check out. On Wednesday, March 3, 7:30pm at the Kendall Square Cinema, join the IFFB for a free screening of the documentary THE ART OF THE STEAL. Director Don Argott will appear in person for a Q&A immediately after the screening. On Thursday, March 4, 7pm at the Somerville Theatre, the IFFB presents the Danish thriller TERRIBLY HAPPY, which opens on Friday at the Kendall Square cinema. This is a great opportunity to see a few great sneak previews. Admission is free, but you will need a flyer to get in. Go to the IFFB website and print out the flyers.
Check out the trailer for TERRIBLY HAPPY:
Boston Jewish Film Festival has a sneak preview screening taking place this week as well. On Tuesday, March 2, 7pm at the West Newton Cinema, join them for a special screening of PROTEKTOR. PROTEKTOR is a stylish thriller, well-acted. The Boston Jewish Film Festival is pleased to present this film from the Czech Republic, currently without U.S. distribution -- in other words, see it now. The year is 1938; the country, Czechoslovakia. Hana has her first big success in film – and the German Occupation, or Protectorate, begins. As a Jew, Hana’s dreams for a successful career are smashed. Her non-Jewish husband Emil, a radio reporter, collaborates with the Nazis more and more. Running late to work, he grabs a stray bicycle on the street, one that looks a lot like that used by the would-be assassin of the Reich Deputy Protector Reinhard Heydrich. Winner, Krzysztof Kieslowski Award, Best Feature Film, Denver International Film Festival and Czech Republic entry for Best Foreign-Language Film at Academy Awards, Tickets are $15 general admission; $12 discounted for students, seniors 65+, and members of The Boston Jewish FIlm Festival and WGBH. Purchase tickets online with a credit card by clicking here or purchase at the West Newton Cinema box office, daily from 1PM to 8PM.
The Coolidge Corner Theatre has chosen internationally acclaimed director Jonathan Demme as the recipient of the 2010 Coolidge Award. Demme will arrive in Brookline to accept the honor and to participate in related public programs on March 1 – 2. On March 1, 2pm the Coolidge will hold a special benefit screening of Demme's documentary THE AGRONOMIST, which will be a fundraiser Haiti earthquake relief efforts. That same night, March 1 at 8pm, the Coolidge will feature the New England premiere of NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW, with introduction and Q&A with Jonathan Demme. Tuesday, March 2 at noon will feature a MELVIN AND HOWARD screening and panel discussion with Demme and key cast and crew members. Then the big event takes place Tuesday night at 6:30pm with the Coolidge Award reception and ceremony. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit the Coolidge website.
At the Brattle Theatre, get ready to party in style at their 10th Anniversary Oscar Party! This annual staple is one of the best parties of the year (I would say second only to our very own celebration)! This year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary, their Special Pre-Party & Fundraiser will feature special guest, producer/director James Ivory! Support the Brattle Film Foundation and the Brattle Theatre by attending their exclusive party and silent auction fundraiser and meet director James Ivory. Then stay and watch the awards! The festivities kick off at 5:30pm on Sunday March 7. I'm part of the Oscar Party's Host Committee, so I do hope you will join me for a great time and an opportunity to support the Brattle as well. Your $75 ticket will admit you to the special pre-party for some delicious hors d'oeuvres, open bar, and attendance at the official Oscar broadcast, as well as an opportunity to participate in the Brattle's Silent Auction and win some really terrific prizes. More information can be found at the Brattle website.
See you at the Movies!
Playing this week, February 26 - March 4, 2010.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge
Special Engagement! Area Premiere!
Children of Invention Director Tze Chun and Producer Mynette Louie will be present on Fri. and Sat.
The Films Of Jacques Tati
A Benefit for Hands On Disaster Response (Haiti)!
Happiness Is (Sun.)
Harvard Bookstore Presents
Jodi Picoult (Wed.)
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline
2010 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
2010 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts
The Last Station
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsburg and the Pentagon Papers
Coolidge Award Screening Crazy Mama (Fri. & Sat.)
Coolidge Award Screening Caged Heat (Fri. & Sat.)
Special Coolidge Award Events
The Agronomist w/ Jonathan Demme (Mon.)
The Neil Young Trunk Show w/ Robyn Hitchcock Live! (Mon.)
Melvin and Howard w/ Jonathan Demme and special guests moderated by Elvis Mitchell (Tue.)
Reception w/ Jonathan Demme and special guests (Tue.)
2010 Coolidge Award Ceremony Honoring Jonathan Demme w/Jenny Lumet & special guests (Tue.)
Capitol Theatre, Arlington
The Young Victoria
Somerville Theatre, Somerville
Blood Into Wine
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge
Night Visionary, Philippe Grandrieux's Adventures in Perception
Sombre Director Philippe Grandrieux in Person! (Fri.)
A Lake Director Philippe Grandrieux in Person! (Sat.)
Bong Joon-ho: The Pleasures and Terrors of Genre
Mother Director Bong Joon-ho in Person! (Sun.)
Memories of Murder Director Bong Joon-ho in Person! (Mon.)
Kendall Square, Cambridge
Red Riding: 1974
Red Riding: 1980
Red Riding: 1983
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
The Last Station
The White Ribbon
A Single Man
Embassy Cinema, Waltham
Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Making of Western Myth
Cheyenne Autumn (Sun.)
History of Film: From Silent Movies to Social Networking
M (Fri. & Sun.)
Festival of Films on Art
Light, No Light (Fri.)
Nora preceded by Oslo Opera House (Sat.)
Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun (Sat.)
Karsh is History (Sat.)
Mort a Venise (Sun.)
Anthony Caro, Sculpture like Religion (Wed.)
Piotr Anderszewski (Wed.)
Photography on Film
Harry Callahan (Sat.)
New Films from Quebec
It's Not Me, I Sweaer (Thu.)
The Stuart Street Playhouse, Boston
Check the theatre's website.
West Newton Cinema, West Newton, MA
Check the theatre's website.
Michael R. Colford
Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film, President
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!
The Independent Film Festival of Boston has announced its festival line-up for when it returns to the Somerville Theatre, the Brattle Theatre and the Coolidge Corner Theatre April 23 - 29, 2008. Opening the festival is TRANSSIBERIAN, the latest from director Brad Anderson (NEXT STOP, WONDERLAND; HAPPY ACCIDENTS) starring Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, and Ben Kingsley. Anderson, his screenwriter Will Conroy and the cast will be in attendance at the opening night premiere. Closing the festivities on Tuesday, April 29 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre will be Werner Herzog's environmental documentary ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD.
The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film will be co-presenting two films at the IFFB, both from our neighbors to the north. On Friday, April 25 and Sunday April 27, join us for another tour de force performance by the talented Ellen Page who stars in THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS a visual extravaganza directed by Bruce McDonald. Chlotrudis will also welcome Guy Maddin to town for his magnificent autobiographical, pseudo-documentary, MY WINNIPEG. It screens on Monday, April 28.
Read the IFFB's official announcement below:
The Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFFBoston) today announced the films that will be featured at the 2008 Independent Film Festival of Boston. The sixth annual festival will be held April 23-April 29, 2008. This year, to meet the demands of its growing audience, IFFBoston has expanded its slate to include 96 films. The festival, complete with over 150 film screenings, filmmaker Q&A sessions, panel discussions, visiting filmmakers, parties and events will showcase the works of filmmakers who seek to create films that are life changing, thought provoking and expose aspects of life in new and revealing manners.
TRANSSIBERIAN directed by Brad Anderson, written by Brad Anderson and Will Conroy, and starring Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, and Sir Ben Kingsley will open the festival on Wednesday, April 23rd at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. This marks a return to Boston for Brad Anderson, who previously shot his features NEXT STOP WONDERLAND and SESSION 9 in the city. Brad Anderson, Will Conroy, and cast will be in attendance for the Opening Night screening.
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD directed by Werner Herzog, will close the Independent Film Festival of Boston on Tuesday April 29th at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline.
Two feature length films will be making their World Premiere at the Independent Film Festival of Boston this April. The first, TWELVE, brings twelve of Boston’s brightest young filmmakers together on a collaborative project wherein each of them directed a segment of the film, each in a different month of the year, with the other 11 directors always serving as their crew. The directors who make up the twelve are Scott Masterson, Seanbaker Carter, Andy McCarthy, Garth Donovan, Luke Poling, Noah Lydiard, Megan Summers, Brynmore Williams, Joan Meister, Marc Colucci, Jared Goodman, and Vladmir Minuty.
The second film having its World Premiere at the festival is MEADOWLARK, an autobiographical documentary by first-time filmmaker Taylor Greeson, which simultaneously explores issues of faith and sexuality while confronting the violent murder of the filmmaker’s brother.
Special guests attending the festival include Famke Janssen, Guy Maddin, Harmony Korine, Harlan Ellison, Mary Stuart Masterson, Jay McCarroll, Chris Eigeman, Brad Neely, Harry & The Potters, and many more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Discounted passes are available on the festival website, http://www.iffboston.org, through March 31st. Individual tickets will be available on the website starting April 1st. There are film-only passes, party-only passes, and Chrome passes which grant access to all films and parties available.
INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON 2008 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:
AUGUST EVENING, directed by Chris Eska
BALLAST, directed by Lance Hammer
BEAVER TRILOGY, directed by Trent Harris (Buried Treasure screening)
BIG MAN JAPAN, directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto
BLOOD CAR, directed by Alex Orr
THE CAKE EATERS, directed by Mary Stuart Masterson
FLASH POINT, directed by Wilson Yip
FROWNLAND, directed by Ronnie Bronstein
GOLIATH, directed by David Zellner & Nathan Zellner
JETSAM, directed by Simon Welsford
MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, directed by Barry Jenkins
MISTER LONELY, directed by Harmony Korine
MOMMA’S MAN, directed by Azazel Jacobs
MONGOL, directed by Sergei Bodrov
MY EFFORTLESS BRILLIANCE, directed by Lynn Shelton
MY WINNIPEG, directed by Guy Maddin
NATURAL CAUSES, directed by Alex Cannon, Paul Cannon, and Michael Lerman
THE NEW YEAR PARADE, directed by Tom Quinn
PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND, directed by Daniel Barnz
PING PONG PLAYA, directed by Jessica Yu
PINK, directed by Alexander Voulgaris
SAVAGE GRACE, directed by Tom Kalin
SEVERED WAYS: THE NORSE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, directed by Tony Stone
STUCK, directed by Stuart Gordon
TIME CRIMES, directed by Nacho Vigalondo
THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS, directed by Bruce McDonald
TRANSSIBERIAN, directed by Brad Anderson (Opening Night Film)
TRIANGLE, directed by Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, and Tsui Hark
TURN THE RIVER, directed by Chris Eigeman
TWELVE, directed by Scott Masterson, Seanbaker Carter, Andy McCarthy, Garth Donovan, Luke Poling, Noah Lydiard, Megan Summers, Brynmore Williams, Joan Meister, Marc Colucci, Jared Goodman, and Vladmir Minuty
VEXILLE, directed by Fumihiko Sori
WOODPECKER, directed by Alex Karpovsky
AMERICAN TEEN, directed by Nanette Burnstein
AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR, directed by Steve James and Peter Gilbert
CRAWFORD, directed by David Modigliani
DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, directed by Erik Nelson
ELEVEN MINUTES, directed by Michael Selditch
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, directed by Werner Herzog (Closing Night Film)
FRONTRUNNER, directed by Virginia Williams
THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE, directed by Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis
INTIMIDAD, directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin
JOY DIVISION, directed by Grant Gee
JUMP!, directed by Helen Hood Scheer
LIFE. SUPPORT. MUSIC., directed by Eric Metzgar
THE LINGUISTS, directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger
LIONESS, directed Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers
MEADOWLARK, directed by Taylor Greeson
NERDCORE RISING, directed by Negin Farsad
NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE, directed by Jay Delaney
PUBLIC ENEMY: WELCOME TO THE TERRORDOME, directed by Robert Patton-Spruill
SAVIOURS, directed by Ross Whitaker and Liam Nolan
SECOND SKIN, directed by Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza
SECRECY, directed by Robb Moss and Peter Galison
SEX POSITIVE, directed by Daryl Wein
SONG SUNG BLUE, directed by Greg Kohs
VERY YOUNG GIRLS, directed by David Schisgall
WE ARE WIZARDS, directed by Josh Koury
WILD BLUE YONDER, directed by Celia Maysles
APOCALYPSE OZ, directed by Ewan Telford
AQUARIUM, directed by Rob Meyer
A CATALOG OF MY ANTICIPATIONS, directed by David Lowery
CHIEF, directed by Brett Wagner
DOXOLOGY, directed by Michael Langan
THE DRIFT, directed by Kelly Sears
THE EUROPEAN KID, directed by Ian Martin
THE EXECUTION OF SOLOMON HARRIS, directed by Wyatt Garfield and Ed Yonaitis
FILM MAKES US HAPPY, directed by Bryan Wizemann
GLORY AT SEA, directed by Ben Zeitlin
HEARTBEATS, directed by Vincent Coen
IF A BODY MEET A BODY, directed by Brian Davis
I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE, directed by Cam Christiansen
I LOVE SARAH JANE, directed by Spencer Susser
JACKSON WARD, directed by Matt Petock
KIDS + MONEY, directed by Lauren Greenfield
LA CORONA, directed by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
LARRY (THE ACTOR), directed by Brett Portanova and Eric Poydar
THE LONELY BLISS OF CANNONBALL LUKE, directed by Levi Abrino
MAN, directed by Myna Joseph
MAYBE IN THE SPRINGTIME, directed by Mai Sato
MR.P, directed by Jake Vaughan
PEPPER, directed by Harry McCoy
PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY, directed by Bo Price
THE PULL, directed by Andy Blubaugh
THE RAMBLER, directed by Calvin Reeder
REORDER, directed by Sean Garrity
SAFARI, directed by Catherine Chalmers
SANGIT SENYOR, directed by Alan Lyddiard
SAVE THE WORLD, directed by David Casals-Roma
SIKUMI (ON THE ICE), directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean
SPIDER, directed by Nash Edgerton
34x24x36, directed by Jesse Epstein
TONY ZOREIL, directed by Valentin Potier
WELL-FOUNDED CONCERNS, directed by Tim Cawley
WOMAN IN BURKA, directed by Jonathan Lisecki
- Collaborative Screenwriting Presented by Zhura.com
A discussion with screenwriters and other industry professionals on the benefits of collaboration featuring Amy Fox (Heights) and Will Conroy (Transsiberian)
- Distribution 2.0
A discussion with some of the companies on the cutting edge of film distribution featuring representatives of Spout.com, Current.com, Indiepix, and Ourstage. Moderated by Amy Dotson of the Independent Feature Project (IFP).
- Comics to Film/ Film to Comics
A presentation by “Robot Stories” writer/director and writer of the hit comics The X-Men and World War Hulk, Greg Pak.
The Independent Film Festival of Boston will reach a diverse audience by incorporating a number of venues in the greater Boston community including:
- Somerville Theatre in Davis Square
- Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square
- Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline
Posted on behalf of Gil...
Just wanted to pass along some interesting news that I came across on YouTube. As you probably know, the filmmakers of FOUR-EYED MONSTERS have been extremely resourceful in promoting their independent film on the web. Last year, they even worked with IFFB in screening their film at the Somerville Theatre for a few weeks.
Now, the filmmakers have decided to work with Spout.com to post their whole 70-minute film on YouTube for free for one week only. At the beginning of the film, they explain that they will receive $1 for every person that signs up with Spout.com which is a social networking site for film fans. Signing up doesn't cost anything and only takes a few seconds. At the moment, they have raised $3100.
When coming across this on YouTube, I got excited for two reasons. First, I had missed the film at the Somerville so I'm glad that I had a chance to see this film. After watching it, I can see why they've developed a following and I hope that the filmmakers make another film. Second, if the FOUR-EYED MONSTERS filmmakers prove to have success in bringing new subscribers to Spout, it could provide an ideal alternative for indie filmmakers to fund their films.
So check out spout.com/foureyedmonsters and you'll see what I'm talking about.
After Gil sent me this piece, I checked out Spout.com. It's pretty cool, I signed up, and made the FOUR-EYED MONSTERS another $1! So easy. Support Independent Film, and make me your friend if you join!
posted on behalf of Gil Cordova by Michael Colford at the O'Hare Airport in Chicago!
While some may associate the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin only with music, SXSW is actually a ten-day festival in mid-March that also includes an interactive media conference in addition to one of the top film festivals and film conferences in the country. As some of you know, Amanda and I lived in Austin before moving to Boston and we’ve been able to attend SXSW on and off for the last ten years. So this year, we were fortunate enough to travel south for a steady diet of good films interspersed with margaritas, barbecue, and warm weather.
With all that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of the films that we saw:
RUNNING WITH ARNOLD – Half-baked political doc about the action star turned California governor. Despite some great footage, the film only brushed the surface as to why California voters thought Arnold was their best option to govern the state. Due to scheduling, the film didn’t include his recent re-election which would have provided another interesting chapter of the Arnold saga. (2 ½ cats)
THE UNFORESEEN – In this documentary produced by Robert Redford and Terence Malick, Austin filmmaker Laura Dunn profiles the life of real estate developer Gary Bradley and his battles with local Austin environmentalists. The film, which includes some of the most gorgeous cinematography that you are likely to see, presents a thorough analysis of the types of sacrifices that come with economic progress. (4 ½ cats) Will be screened at IFFB.
STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME (www.stealapencil.com)–Director Michele Ohayon (Cowboy del Amor) profiles the life of Jack Polak, a young accountant who was sent to a concentration camp in 1943 with both his wife and girlfriend. Adapted from the novel by the same name, the film is both a tragedy and a love story and also noteworthy for condensing a large amount of history and personal narrative in an informative and engaging manner. (4 ½ cats)
SCRAMBLED BEER (MALTA CON HUEVO) – Odd-couple comedy from Chile about a slob who is trying to get along with his neat freak roommate. Formulaic at first, the film has some nice twists that prove original and entertaining. (3 ½ cats)
EAGLE VS. SHARK – Certain to appeal to fans of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE and MURIEL'S WEDDING. A funny little comedy from New Zealand about two relationship-challenged twentysomethings. (4 cats) Will be screened at IFFB.
KNOCKED UP – the latest comedy by one of my favorite writers/directors, Judd Apatow, who directed THE FORTY YEAR-OLD VIRGIN and the cult TV shows "Freaks and Greeks" and "Undeclared." In this film, Seth Rogan plays Ben, an aimless slacker who is forced to make some mature decisions when he “knocks up” Katherine Heigl after a drunken one-night stand. As with Virgin, Apatow brings some heart and depth to a one-note premise and it is certain to be one of the better studio films that will be released this summer. (4 ½ cats)
638 WAYS TO KILL CASTRO – British filmmaker Dollan Cannell looks into the countless attempts by the CIA and Cuban exiles to kill Fidel Castro. Without doubt, the film includes some unbelievable footage, yet I couldn’t help but think that the parts were better than the whole. Still worth checking out for those thought-provoking parts. (3 ½ cats)
RUN GRANNY RUN – Documentary about 90-year-old Doris “Granny D” Haddock who was the Democratic nominee for the New Hampshire US Senate seat. Underestimated by both her opponents and allies, Granny D struck a chord with voters as she campaigned against politicians who caved in to special interests. One of the better political docs that I’ve seen and another example of the difference that one person can make. (4 cats)
MONKEY WARFARE – In this Canadian feature starring Chlotrudis faves Don McKellar and Tracy Wright, the two actors play former revolutionaries who are keeping a low profile from the authorities. As a result they are forced to work low-income office jobs and sell garage sales purchases on the Internet. When the two encounter a young woman intent on taking on the establishment, an interesting conflict develops. While McKellar is great as usual, the film is a true showcase for Wright. (4 cats) Will be screened at IFFBoston AND CO-SPONSORED BY CHLOTRUDIS.
As is the case with festivals, we could not see everything that we wanted to see. Fortunately, the Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFFB) will be screening many of the most buzzed-about films that were shown at SXSW. IFFB starts next Wednesday, April 25 and continues through Monday, April 30th. Some of the films include:
FAY GRIM - the IFFB opening night film and a follow-up to Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool
AUDIENCE OF ONE – Special Jury Award Doc Winner at SXSW about a minister who believes that God told him to make the next blockbuster biblical film
BLACK SHEEP – Peter Jackson-produced horror/comedy about genetically-mutated killer sheep
HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS – the new film from “mumblecore” filmmaker Joe Swanberg (LOL) and starring fellow “mumblecore” filmmakers Andrew Bujalski (MUTUAL APPRECIATION), Mark Duplass (THE PUFFY CHAIR) and Todd Rohal (THE GUATEMALAN HANDSHAKE)
THE KING OF KONG – Documentary about competitors looking to break the world record score on video game classic Donkey Kong
A LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR – Documentary about the legal world and five law school graduates studying for the bar exam
Many festival films now have their own websites and MySpace pages where you can view trailers which is the best way to get an idea as to whether you might want to see the film. If you haven’t already checked out the IFFBoston lineup (www.iffboston.org), I encourage you to check it out so you’ll be all set for next week.