Close-Up on Festivals


2015 AFI FEST                                                                                                                                         November 5-12, 2015

The Look of Love: Todd Haynes’ Carol

Todd Haynes’ latest work, Carol, which premiered locally at the 2015 AFI FEST presented by Audi, was re-visited today at the Harmony Gold Theater in West Hollywood where the film’s screenwriter, cinematographer, and costume designer represented the film in a post-screening panel discussion with more...


1st EUphoria Film Festival
September 19-24, 2014

The Discovery of Dawn: A New Day with Susanna Nicchiarelli

Writer-director-actress Susanna Nicchiarelli centers her story on two women.  In 1981 in Rome, a professor is murdered on campus and falls into the arms of his best friend and colleague, who himself mysteriously disappears within days.  Flashing forward to 2011, the two daughters of the missing colleague, Caterina more...


18th City of Lights-City of Angels                                                                                April 21-28, 2014

Sixteen-Going-On-Seventeen: Ozon’s Young and Beautiful

Young and Beautiful — it sounds better as Jeune et Jolie, the name of a teen magazine in France; the French title for François Ozon’s latest film points to a wry analogy with the first career of his leading lady, model-turned-actress Marine Vacth, who truly “walks the walk” even if she doesn’t “talk the talk.”  She plays Isabelle more...


3rd Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival                                                                                           March 6-9, 2014 

Atalay Taşdiken’s Meryem

In the turquoise luminosity of a vast lake are reflected heaven and earth alike, clear spring skies and a mountain peak that open the vista of a young maiden who awaits her future.  She sees only its promise.  Our first glimpse of her, in a flowing white gown with a man at her side, perched on a precipice looking out on the water with  more...


7th German Currents Festival of German Film                                                                       October 4-7, 2013  

German Currents: The Flow of the Year

“German Currents: Festival of German Film” will showcase a cross-section of the country’s highlights in cinema production at its seventh annual event, held this year at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood from October 4-7, 2013.  A wide spectrum of programming will encompass theatrical, more...

 

17th City of Lights-City of Angels                                                                                April 15-22, 2013

Three Worlds at COL-COA 

COL-COA, this year bigger than ever, will present 38 feature films and 19 new shorts with at least 9 of the participating writers, directors, actors and producers on hand to discuss their work.  In two adjacent theaters nicknamed the “Truffaut” and the “Renoir” just for this week of French film premieres in Hollywood  more...


14th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                         January 12, 13, 19, and 20, 2013

The Deep: Art Has that Potential, to Be Something Bigger


One of the joys of the Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles is the chance to follow the evolving career of an extraordinary and prolific talent from one “Nordic” season to the next right in Beverly Hills.  At the Writers Guild Theater (135 South Doheny) on January 12th, 13th, 19th, and 20th, the festival will showcase 25 films more... 


2012 AFI FEST                                                                                                          November 1-8, 2012

Caesar Must Die: The Taviani Brothers Bring the Theatre to Life

Rome’s Rebibbia Prison. Thirteen inmates, most of them serving life sentences, are directed by Fabio Cavalli in performing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with the collaboration of the facility at-large.  Through their watchful camera, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani film this process — in the cells, the prison yard, the High Security more...


20th Pan African Film and Arts Festival                                                                      February 9-20, 2012 

Mariette Monpierre Takes Us to Guadeloupe: Elza at the 20th PAFF

Billowing sails in azure skies, turquoise waves on soft white sand, red ginger blooms from jungle-green hills are all there for Elza as she arrives on her first trip back to her homeland in Guadeloupe.  It’s a tantalizing adventure, sensual as an island breeze, but with one aspect that holds it all in check: Elza is there to retrieve more...


13th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                         January 7, 8, 14, 15, 2012  

A Swedish Grande Dame at the SFFLA: Pernilla August and Beyond

Button up your overcoats — there’s a strong north wind whipping throughthe southland, a female voice that can ride as well on a whisper, that lets you see your own breath in the air when warmth and tenderness take over the chill.  On January 7th at 8 pm the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. follows its gala buffet with Beyond, more...


13th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                         January 7, 8, 14, 15, 2012   

Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre: Miracles of Everyday Life

Now in its 13th year, it’s not surprising that the Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles  at the Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny at Wilshire) is seeing a recurring visit in the work of one of Nordic cinema’s giants.  A showcase for the region’s submissions for the Best Foreign-Language Film at the Oscars, the SFFLA more...


2011 AFI FEST                                                                                                         November 3-10, 2011

AFI FEST 2011: Surprises, Departures, and Then Some…

The AFI FEST 2011 Presented by Audi offers ten days (November 3-10) of new films at the Mann’s Chinese and the Egyptian theaters, two of the most glamorous iconic settings of old Hollywood and also two of its best venues for viewing.  With free ticketing (at http://www.afi.com/afifest/), audiences can access the more...


12th Polish Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                          October 11-20, 2011

Feliks Falk’s Joanna: A Man-Made Women’s Weepy?


The Polish Film Festival Los Angeles, now in its twelfth year and a new time slot on the calendar, October 11-20, 2011, presents twenty-one feature films along with numerous documentary, animation, and short works either made in Poland or taking up Polish subject matter.  Opening the festival at the Egyptian Theater in more... 


6th South East European Film Festival Los Angeles                                                   April 28-May 2, 2011

Vlado Škafar’s Dad: The Space Between


It’s a bold move — and an exceedingly admirable one — to open the South East European International Film Festival Los Angeles with Vlado Škafar’s stridently original Dad (Oča) from Slovenia.  Yet this festival, founded in 2002, is not afraid of innovative and artistic programming.  For four days, April 28 – May 1, it will more...


15th City of Lights-City of Angels                                                                                April 11-18, 2011

Angèle and Tony: Alix Delaporte Casts Her Net in the Rough Seas of Love

Funny that she’s called Angèle, we think when the film opens, as we see her maneuver a three-minute sexual encounter behind a wall on the street to get her hands on a hot new child’s toy.  “It’s Action Man – the latest on the market in China.  You wanted Action Man, didn’t you?” he asks, a they both zip up their pants.  This more...


15th City of Lights-City of Angels                                                                                April 11-18, 2011

My Afternoons with Margueritte, My Evenings at COL-COA

This year for its 15th anniversary, “City of Lights, City of Angels,” a week of French film premieres in Hollywood, boasts screenings of 60 films, including 34 features and 26 shorts (for which the French are duly famous), at the Directors Guild of America.  With the exception of COL-COA Classics screening in the more... 


26th Santa Barbara International Film Festival                                                                     January 27-February 6, 2011 

The Conductor: Lisa Langseth’s Pure

For winter-tourist fans checking into their seaside hotels for a stroll by the waves and a breeze of Hollywood stardust, the 26th SBIFF was a ribbon of red carpets rolled out for celebrities from James Franco to Nicole Kidman.  How refreshing it was to discover amidst the glitzy galas and big tributes a “little” Swedish film more...


12th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                         January 8, 9, 15, 16, 2011 

Mamma Gógó Looks Back: The Ghostly Tales of Fridrik Thór Fridriksson

One of the delights of the SFFLA is that the attendees get to meet and talk with many of the filmmakers right in the lobby over Nordic drinks and “sauna” sausage at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills.  Iceland’s  Friðrik Þór Friðriksson arrived this year along with his latest venture in writing, directing, and more... 


12th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                         January 8, 9, 15, 16, 2011  

The 2011 Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles Opens with Steam of Life

There’s nothing like a trip to the sauna for Opening Night of the 12th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles (January 8, 9, 15, and 16 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, 135 S. Doheny at Wilshire).  Preceded by the festival’s Gala Buffet, the night starts with Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen’s Steam of Life more...


14th City of Lights – City of Angels                                                                                              April 19-25, 2010

The 14th annual City of Lights–City of Angels once again moves “April in Paris” (the 19th to the 25th) to Los Angeles at the Directors Guild of America for a week of French film premieres that screen each day from morning to midnight with several panels of guest speakers followed by wine-and-cheese happy hours more...


25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival                                                                     February 4-14, 2010 

At Luca’s Table:  Gaudagnino’s I Am Love

With only one screening, sold-out, at the 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, word is out: I Am Love (2009) is a feast for the senses. Yet a big part of what Italian writer-director-producer Luca Guadagnino serves up is food for thought, which makes the devouring all the richer.  Lest there be doubt, his first feature more...


11th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                         January 9-10, 16-17, 2010

Applause Places Acting Center Stage as Zandvliet Brings Cassavetes Home

What is often most exciting at a film festival, though least expected, is the discovery of a lesser known work — at least in southern California, where audiences would think they’d seen everything.  The Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles shows films day and night (Jan. 9, 10, 11, and 16), not just those submitted for the Oscar more...


11th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles                                                                          January 9-10, 16-17, 2010

Letters to Father Jacob: A Love Story for the Faint of Heart

The11th Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles will celebrate its gala with award-winning guest Klaus Härö on-hand on January 9th at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills (135 S. Doheny) to introduce his fourth feature film, also his third to be submitted to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Film   more...


2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival                                                                         January 5-18, 2010

Porumboiu’s Police, Adjective: Witnessing Our Times

Internationally lauded for his highly original  12:08 East of Bucharest (shown at the 2007 PSIFF), a droll look at the quizzical moment of the Romanian Revolution as everyday citizens might have taken stock of it, Corneliu Porumboiu filled the screen again this year at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival with his more...


2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival                                                                         January 5-18, 2010

Little Red in the Looking Glass: Fredrik Edfeldt’s The Girl

Both the 2010 PSIFF and the 11th SFFLA previewed this lyrical tale of a venturesome preteen who has infinite trust in her own imagination.  The Girl unfolds through the innocent eyes of an always curious and sometimes frightened child, one as sensitive to her world as she is withholding of a reaction, and who can be both  more... 


58th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg                                                November 5-15, 2009

Klaus Härö Graces Mannheim-Heidelberg Fest with Letters to Father Jacob

The 58th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg, where the “art of cinema” is upheld above all celebrity, box office, and entertainment values, screened 32 new films this season: 17 in the International Competition section, 8 in the International Discoveries program, and 7 in the Festival Highlights segment more... 


2009 AFI FEST                                                                                                                                                              October 30 - November 7, 2009 

A Lake at the AFI FEST: Where Downsizing Means Upscaling


It was cold enough to split stones.  We noticed a foot-warmer, then an easel, then a man, swathed in three coats, his hands in gloves, his face half-frozen.  It was M. Monet, studying a snow-effect. 
Unwittingly,
the journalist who wrote this in 1868 was stunned by Claude Monet as an intrepid observer of nature more...


German Currents Festival of New German Cinema

September 30 – October 5, 2009

Geliebte Clara, I’m Looking for You:

Helma Sanders-Brahms and Clara Schumann

On Sunday, October 4th the Goethe Institut Los Angeles will provide three ways to get acquainted with the work of German writer/director/producer Helma Sanders-Brahms.  At 11:00 a.m. the Institut will host an exhibition of photographs documenting the making of two films, Clara by Sanders-Brahms and Klimt by Raoul Ruiz more...


German Currents Festival of New German Cinema

September 30 – October 5, 2009

Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family 

Thomas Mann Yesterday and Today


 “A real book is not one that’s read, but one that reads us,” said W.H. Auden.  It’s a witty expression of a keen observation by the poet that, for all practical purposes, married the daughter of the author Thomas Mann.  Of course this was after both Erika Mann and her father were to see their citizenship revoked in Nazi  more...



2009 Los Angeles Film Festival

June 18 – 28, 2009

Mapping Wah Do Dem: Chace and Fleischner Take You There…

 At the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival, filmmaking partners Sam Fleischner and Ben Chace wowed audiences and jury members alike with the world premiere of Wah Do Dem, racking up the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature (with $50,000 cash attached).  The Jury observed that this debut feature was a  more...

 

24th Santa Barbara International Film Festival                                                                     January 22-February 1, 2009

Flickering Light: Impressions of Truth in Ceylan’s Three Monkeys

One of the most challenging and by far most rewarding of films at the 24th Santa Barbara International Film Festival in its highly impressive slate of World Cinema was Three Monkeys.  Last year Cannes named Nuri Bilge Ceylan its Best Director.  Not only had he made five features in eleven years, but he was picking up his more...


24th Santa Barbara International Film Festival

January 22-February 1, 2009

   So Yong Kim’s Treeless Mountain: Verses in Time


It’s always astonishing when a quiet film lingers.  Of the thirteen films showcased in the International Features section of the 24th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 22 to February 1, 2009), there is hardly a more striking one to illuminate the gifts that Asian Americans bring to the art of cinema today than  more...


13th City of Lights – City of Angels

April 20-26, 2009

Visions and Voices:  On the Muses of Seraphine

One of Eric Rohmer’s earliest films, La Collectionneuse, is in essence about three “collectors” idling away the summer in the south of France, namely, an off-handedly attractive young woman who appears to take on a new sexual conquest nightly and a pair of male guests who have been invited to stay at the same 17th-century more...







 

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