Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The 2010 HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Here's a little information and a lot of links to info about the festival.
First of all, Gurney's Inn, which is the site of the Opening Night Party, has just announced (tweeted in fact) a special rate and some room availability for Opening Night.
Last year at Gurney's Inn
It's a great place. (I've been there the last two years and I'll be there again this year.) It's incredibly convenient to stay late at the party and then go up to your room!
By the way, I'll be photographing and interviewing actors and filmmakers at the Opening Night Party -- and for the rest of the festival -- so if you'll be there, let me know. (Post a comment here, DM on Twitter, or send an e-mail--Contact info on the left pane!).
Here's the Gurney's Inn Tweet:
RT @GURNEYS We are running a $150 special room rate next Thursday (night of Hamptons Film Festival). Call 631 668 3203 to contact the reservations dpt.
Here are some links to QPORIT stories about HIFF:
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR FILM AT HIFF!
HIFF 2010 - FIRST PREVIEW: THE 2010 HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
HIFF 2010 - PREVIEW: FILMS & EVENTS COMING TO THE HAMPTONS
SELECTED STORIES FROM PAST FESTIVALS...
HIFF 2009 - ROONEY MARA IS THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
(Rooney was one of last year's Breakthrough performers at HIFF 2009; these are some pix I took there.)
HIFF 2009 - VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH EMMY ROSSUM FROM DARE
(Emmy Rossum was a Breakthrough Performer at HIFF 2009, and she had a starring role in the film, Dare. This is a video interview I did with her. Emmy is currently taping Shameless, a new TV series for Showtime.)
HIFF 2009 - SURROGATE
( Comments -- not a review; I rarely write reviews, but I often write comments -- about a very intereesting film shown at HIFF 2009)
HIFF 2009 - PREVIEW -- THE 2009 BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMERS
HIFF 2009 - A QUICK SURVEY
HIFF 2008 - PREVIEW
HIFF 2008 - EVE: A SHORT FILM BY NATALIE PORTMAN
(I really liked this short film, which Natalie Portman directed. Natalie stars in Black Swan at HIFF 2010.)
HIFF 2008 - DAY 1
HIFF 2008 - VIER MINUTEN AND HANNAH HERZSPRUNG
(Hannah Herzsprung, one of the finest and most popular young actresses in German was in the Breakthrough Performers Program in both 2007 and 2008. This story and others about her from the Festival have been enduringly popular. Each time one of her films opens, or she comes into attention, QPORIT gets a huge flood of traffic (largely but not entirely from Germany and Europe) for stories that mention her. Most recently this just happened again earlier this month.)
HIFF 2008 - VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH AMY REDFORD ABOUT THE GUITAR
HIFF 2010 - SLOAN SCREENWRITERS LAB AT HIFF
HIFF 2007 - SLOAN PRIZE
(The Sloan foundation supports films (and theater) that include scientists and scientific themes. They award a generous prize, and they also support panels about science and filmmakinig, and they support the development of film scripts (at HIFF and other Film Festivals) and theatrical scripts (in collaboration with Theater companies).
HIFF 2007 - OPENING NIGHT
HIFF 2007 - JUMP DEMO WORKSHOP
HIFF 2007 - AUGUST RUSH
(One of my favorite films from HIFF 2007. It's underrated, possibly because it's sweet, and it does have a terrible title, but I think its love of music -- of the music in the world around us -- is priceless.)
HIFF 2007 - TEETH
(Jess Weixler was one of the 2007 Breakthrough Performers.)
HIFF 2005 - THE BEE SEASON
(Here's one film from HIFF that I absolutely hated.)
HIFF 2005 - THE WARRIOR CLASS
(This was my favorite film from HIFF 2005. I interviewed the director, Alan Hruska, in his office. He directed Emmy Rossum in one of her early films. A poster of the film is on the wall in the picture I took of him at his desk.)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I was really looking forward to THE EVENT. But...
THE EVENT lost all its steam in the first episode. It was interrupted by so many commercials there was no flow... Usually a pilot episode, a premiere, gets a two-hour limited commercial release. This was a one hour commercial sometimes released to show a little limited action.
The action itself was interrupted by weird time shifts. And the time shifts themselves were ambiguous. "The Present." OK. "Ten Day Earlier" OK. "Five Days Earlier" Not OK: Here's the problem: Is that five days earlier than the Present? or five days earlier than ten days earlier (ie 15 days earlier than the Present)?
The time shifts and the way they were edited also gave the show too much of the flavor of FLASH FORWARD. I liked FLASH FORWARD, but: Been there. Done that. (In any case FLASH FORWARD was cancelled, not a good omen for THE EVENT.)
I did like the cast and the acting alot.
THE EVENT seems to be a story about aliens visiting Earth. They have secrets (including how to make a plane disappear in mid-air). There may be two sets of aliens, one pro-Earth, the other anti-Earth. It's a decent premise for a good show (as long as it's not too LOST-like or too similar to other TV shows gone by -- or bye-bye).
Paradoxically, losing a few sponsors might save the show. I hope the second hour will improve on the first.
(Note: Week 2 - Sep 27, 2010 -- Seemed like a bit more action, and a bit less commercial time. Flashbacks still annoying. Some idiocies in the script. Overall a mixed result, but slight improvement over week 1. I'll keep watching for now!)
THE EVENT - NBC - MONDAYS AT 9:00.
NYFF PREVIEW - CERTIFIED COPY
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Photo credit: Laurent Thurin Nal
An IFC Films release
Certified Copy is a well acted, two character, , romantic drama taking place over a day or so, about a French woman (who owns an art gallery in Italy) and an English art critic and author, who meet after he gives a talk in the village where she lives.
Certified Copy was directed by Abbas Kiarostami. The woman, Elle, is played by Juliette Binoche, a role for which she won the Best Actress Award at Cannes 2010. The man, James Miller, is played by William Shimell (a British opera singer).
The genre is one I have some reservations about (though it's a terrific example of the genre): it's the "The characters know what they are talking about, you figure it out," suspense genre, where some tension comes from the shifting relationships of the characters, and more tension comes from trying to understand WTF is going on: what kind of backstory, what kind of relationship, what kind of people make the dialog make sense.
I think I figured it out, a day or so after watching the film. Here's my theory:
The man and woman had a one night (or very brief) affair 15 years ago, during which her son was conceived.
The son does not know the man is his father.
They may have spent the previous night together (or not).
Five years ago, running into the woman and her son at the statue of David inspired the man to write the book he is now lecturing on. (He did not talk to them then; perhaps they saw him, perhaps they did not.)
They are not married, or even together. She pretends they are married. She does so enthusiastically; he goes along sporadically and grudgingly; sometimes speaking true things about the relationship ("our son") without necessarily pretending they are married.
She wants to get back together with him. He does not want to get back together at all.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
HIFF 2010 - PREVIEW: FILMS & EVENTS COMING TO THE HAMPTONS
We recently ran (see the story that immediately follows this:) A FIRST PREVIEW of films to be shown at this year's Hamptons International Film Festival, HIFF 2010...
OPENING NIGHT: Barney's Version with Dustin Hoffman
OPENING NIGHT IN SOUTHAMPTON: The King's Speech
CENTERPIECE: The Debt
CLOSING NIGHT: The Swan with Natalie Portman
Julian Schnabel's Miral with Frieda Pinto
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest with Noomi Rapace
Miller's Crossing by the Coen Brothers in a tribute to Ben Barenholtz
plus Stanley Tucci mentoring the Breakthrough Performers
and James Franco in a Conversation; in the film 127 Hours, and presenting his own short film, The Clerk's Tale.
In this post we have information about the full slate of films.
One of the principal highlights of this year's festival is the East Coast Premiere of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (the third film in the trilogy) with Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. Noomi will be at the festival participating in the Breakthrough Performers events. As we noted before, Rooney Mara, who will play Lisbeth in the American version of these films, participated in the Breakthrough Performers program at HIFF last year.
Jane Goodall is expected to attend, for the presentation of a documentary about her work. Here's a tweet with more info about Jane Goodall:
QPORIT RT @TEDNews All Jane Goodall's stories for NatGeo, 1963-now: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/gombe-hub
The Sloan Foundation will again be presenting a reading of screenplays in progress. The arts program of the Sloan Foundation supports the development of plays and films with technical and scientific characters or themes.
Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity and Mr & Mrs Smith, will present Fair Game, a thriller (starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn) based on the true story of Valerie Plame.
Three friends of mine appear as actors in films at the festival: Beautiful and talented actress Robin Singer stars in Kisses, Chloe, Supermodel/actress Xenia Siamas has a featured role in Casino Jack, and Dan Rattiner of Dan's Papers appears in King Of The Hamptons.
The Breakthrough Performers program includes both "Rising Stars" from the US and the world, selected by HIFF; and "Shooting Stars," from Europe, named at the Berlin Film Festival.
This year's Breakthrough Performers are:
Rising Stars (from US & the world)
Jessica Chastain (THE DEBT),
Luke Grimes (SHIT YEAR),
Frieda Pinto - India (from Slumdog Millionaire)(MIRAL),
Noomi Rapace - Sweden (THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST),
Brittany Robertson (THE FAMILY TREE, CHERRY),
Shooting Stars (from Europe)
Pihla Vitala - Finland (BAD FAMILY).
Zrinca Cvitesic - Croatia (ON THE PATH),
Anais Demoustier - France (SWEET EVIL),
THURSDAY OCTOBER 7TH – MONDAY OCTOBER 11TH, 2010
Among those expected to attend are…
Edie Falco, Joel and Ethan Coen, Davis Guggenheim, Bob Balaban, Jane Goodall
Bruce Weber, Marcia Gay Harden, Doug Liman, John Wells, Alec Baldwin, Bill Nighy, Alex Gibney, Peter Hedges, Paul Giamatti, Noomi Rapace, Vlade Divac, Carter Burwell, Sally Hawkins, John Turturro, Frances McDormand , Neil Labute, Julian Schnabel and many more
The HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is proud to announce its Spotlight Films, the World Cinema Section and the films in this year’s Competition.
The 2010 Hamptons International Film Festival runs from Thursday, October 7th through Monday, October 11th (Columbus Day weekend) in East Hampton with additional venues in Southampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk.
Festival headquarters are located at c/o The Maidstone Hotel on Main Street in East Hampton.
“With entries from such countries as Chad, the Czech republic, Columbia, Denmark and others, our mission to bring a wide range of viewpoints from around the world to the east end of Long Island is continued again this year” stated Executive Director Karen Arikian.
"Our Spotlight section continues to shine again this year featuring such high profile films as the US Premiere of Julian Schnabel's new film MIRAL, to the wonderfully charming MADE IN DAGENHAM starring Sally Hawkins. We are so excited to share films by such masters as Danny Boyle and Doug Liman, with the emerging filmmakers of the Competition section." states Director of Programming David Nugent. “From the insouciance of Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats, the opening film or our Canadian focus, to the somber elegance of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man, this year’s Competition filmmaker’s represent the voices of some of the most exciting emerging artists from around the world”.
The heart of the Hamptons International Film Festival has always been its Golden Starfish Award and the films in the Competitions for
Best Narrative Feature (over $125,000 in goods and in-kind services),
Best Documentary Feature (3,000 in cash)
Best Conflict and Resolution Film ($5,000 in cash) and
Best Short Film ($1,000 in cash).
Jury participants include writer/director Peter Hedges, composer Carter Burwell, producer Anne Carey, HBO’s Sheila Nevins, filmmakers Amir Bar-Lev & Marc Levin, Huffington Post’s Regina Weinreich, Shooting People’s Ingrid Kopp, Silas Marder (Silas Marder Gallery), and Variety’s John Anderson.
The fest will open with the US Premiere of the Sony Pictures Classics BARNEY’S VERSION. The Festival's Southampton venue will kick off the following night with Tom Hooper's THE KINGS SPEECH. The US premiere of THE DEBT, featuring 2010 HIFF Rising Star Jessica Chastain, is the Centerpiece Film of the festival and HIFF alum Darren Aronofksy's chilling thriller BLACK SWAN is the Closing Film for the Festival.
127 Hours - New York Premiere
The latest film from Academy Award-winning visionary director Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 28 DAYS LATER) is another cinematic tour-de-force. Based on a true story, James Franco (SPIDER-MAN, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) stars as Aron Ralston, a mountain biker whose journey across the Utah desert took an unexpected turn for the worse when a boulder crushed his right hand. Unable to shift the boulder or remove his hand, Aron contemplates the events in his life that brought him to his present circumstance. But when his water and food supplies begin to dwindle, Aron knows his time is running out.
Made In Dagenham – East Coast Premiere
1968, Dagenham, England: site of the largest Ford Motor Company factory in Europe. Here, 168 female employees work sewing car seats, earning a fraction of the income of their male counterparts. Soft-spoken Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY) is elected to attend a typically uneventful meeting between the charlatan union representative and ruthless Ford execs, and soon becomes the unlikely leader and spokesperson for a historic strike demanding equal pay. Full of humor and characters with unforgettable tenacity, MADE IN DAGENHAM is the inspiring true story of a brave grassroots movement that continues to be extraordinarily relevant today. Directed by Nigel Cole the film also stars Rosamund Pike and Miranda Richardson.
Miral - US Premiere
Director: Julian Schnabel
Cast: Frieda Pinto, Hiam Abbas, Alexander Siddig, Willem Dafoe
Miral is a little red flower that is commonly found on the side of the road; it is also the name of a young woman (Frieda Pinto) whose story illustrates the lived experience of the Israeli/Palestinian struggle. Master director Julian Schnabel (THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY) takes on the celebrated novel by Rula Jebreal, a multi-generational story of Palestinian women whose lives are shaped by historic conflict. An intimate tale of loyalty, love and family is painted onto a pristinely gorgeous desert landscape, and MIRAL is an eye-opening drama as well as a transportive experience of breathtaking cinema.
Doug Liman, the director behind THE BOURNE IDENTITY and MR. AND MRS. SMITH, returns with a gripping, edge-of-your-seat political thriller, based on the true story of Valerie Plame. Academy Award-nominee Naomi Watts stars as the undercover CIA agent investigating weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Plame’s cover is blown after her husband, Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), publishes a controversial article in The New York Times. Featuring remarkable and studied performances by an excellent cast, FAIR GAME brings us back to the historical event that shook the CIA just a few years ago.
A young girl of ten covets her mother's bracelet, only to lose it on her way to school. A frustrated father (Elias Koteas) flees his family woes, only to get detoured in the most unexpected ways. A housewife and painter (Edie Falco) can barely contain her excitement when her famous actor neighbor (Embeth Davidtz) asks her for a ride to the ferry. In these loosely connected stories, filmmaker Eric Mendelsohn (JUDY BERLIN) pinpoints the yearning and anxiety lurking in his Long Island suburbanites, and crafts an intoxicating, impeccably acted, and must-see film in the process.
Blue Valentine - East Coast Premiere
BLUE VALENTINE is the stunningly authentic and emotionally truthful story of a romantic relationship. Cindy (Michelle Williams) and her jovial husband Dean (Ryan Gosling) seem to be entering a pivotal moment in their relationship. Over the course of a single day, the memories and experiences that brought them together collide with the thudding reality that they have reached a tipping point of inevitable change in their marriage. BLUE VALENTINE features tour-de-force performances by Williams and Gosling, who unflinchingly portray the intricate web of emotions spun over the years of a complicated marriage.
Kevin Spacey gives an unforgettable performance as corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who swindles millions from Native Americans and labor workers in his unending quest for money and power. Director George Hickenlooper skillfully knits together Abramoff’s high times as an influential Washington DC insider and his lows, during his term as a convicted felon. At once deeply religious and yet enormously dishonest, Abramoff is a walking contradiction, and the mystery of his motivations is central to this suspenseful true-life drama.
The Company Men - East Coast Premiere
Television giant John Wells (ER, THE WEST WING) makes his feature directorial debut in this moving portrait of the effects of corporate downsizing on a community outside of Boston. With an all-star cast including Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Chris Cooper, Craig T. Nelson and Kevin Costner, Wells deftly explores some of the reasons that America found itself in the recent economic downturn, as well as the role individual choices can play during such crises.
The Family Tree - East Coast Premiere
The Burnett family is, to put it mildly, dysfunctional. The bitter, WASP-y matriarch Bunnie (Hope Davis) suffers from amnesia after engaging in some extramarital wrestling with the next-door neighbor. Father Jack (Dermot Mulroney, at his most unhinged) feels his professional and personal life swirling chaotically around him. Son Eric (Max Thieriot) is a Bible-thumping expert marksman, and daughter Kelly (Brittany Robertson, 2010 Hamptons Rising Star) is a bad girl. A deranged satire on "family values" and the quirky indies that skewer them, THE FAMILY TREE is sure to be one of the most talked-about independent comedies of the year.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest ("Luftslottet som sprangdes") - East Coast Premiere
In 2009, the Hamptons International Film Festival brought you the North American Premiere of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. This year, Stieg Larsson's internationally-bestselling Millennium Trilogy comes to a thrilling close with director Daniel Alfredson THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. When we last left her, computer hacker Liesbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) was wounded and near death when she was rescued by controversial journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). Now she is accused of murder, and it is up to Blomkvist to return the favor she once did him risk his life and prove her innocence.
An Invisible Sign - World Premiere
Young Mona idolizes her father, a brilliant mathematician. When he suddenly demonstrates signs of mental illness, Mona begins to obsess about numbers, using them to interpret an unpredictable and threatening world. Now an adult (Jessica Alba), Mona’s old superstitions and compulsive behaviors continue to flourish, but a new job as an elementary school math teacher (a position she both relishes and dreads), may force her out of her protective shell. With imagination and humor, as well as a special sensitivity to the realities of mental illness, AN INIVISIBLE SIGN carries a magic all its own.
Wild Target - US Premiere
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, the HARRY POTTER series) is a professional assassin with an overbearing mother. Killing runs in his family, and Victor’s mother refuses to let him forget it. Everything is about to change, however, when Victor falls in love with his next target, Rose (Emily Blunt, THE YOUNG VICTORIA). On the run from his employers, Victor, Rose, and their companion Tony (Rupert Grint, the HARRY POTTER series) must stay one step ahead of the game to remain alive in this action-packed comedy from director Jonathan Lynn (MY COUSIN VINNY). The film is directed Jonathan Lynn.
GOLDEN STARFISH NARRATIVE COMPETITION:
Heartbeats (US Premiere) Directed and starring Xavier Dolan with Niels Schneider, Monia Chokri, Anne Dorval - Francis (played by the director Xavier Dolan himself) and Marie are the best of friends but their shared interests wreak havoc when they both set their sights on the handsome and elusive Nicolas. Basking in the glow of their affections, Nicolas seems oblivious to the tensions mounting between the two friends and a bizarre love triangle unfolds. With sensual slow motion sequences and skillful use of music, Dolan offers up a new kind of romance while questioning the nature of love itself.
Mamas and Papas (North American Premiere) Directed by Alice Nellis- It is one of life’s greatest challenges, one of the most overlooked type of sacrifice, and depending on the eye of the beholder, the pinnacle of desire or fear. In her gorgeous and concisely crafted drama, director Alice Nellis enters the world of four couples who are experiencing wildly different reactions to parenthood. From several unhappy accidents to a couple desperately trying to conceive, the characters and situations in each story are lived in, complete and fully compelling; and together are a poetic exploration of the challenges of contemporary family life.
Old Boys (North American Premiere) Director Nikolaj Steen with Kristian Halken, Robert Hansen, Laura Christensen - Middle-aged Vagn Bendtsen leads a quiet, mundane, and lonely life. When his soccer team takes a trip to Sweden to face off against a team of police officers, little does Vagn suspect that it will be the adventure of a life time. Left behind in a gas station restroom, he implores a young man, John Lund, to help him catch up with his bus. Unbeknownst to Vagn, John just held up the gas station, and this is only the first stop on his crime wave.
Of Love and Other Demons (East Coast Premiere) Director Hilda Hidalgo with Eliza Triana, Pablo Derqui, Jordi Dauder, Joaquin Climent - A cinematic dreamscape conjured from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s richly textured and macabre novel about a magical coming of age in the colonial Caribbean. A teenaged girl with long red hair contracts rabies from a dog bite, and is sent to a monastary, either to receive a miracle cure, or to die in the house of God. Despite the lurking shadow of death, the amber-haired girl experiences an awakening in confinement, and kindles a first romance with a young monk.
Shit Year (North American Premiere) Director Cam Archer with Ellen Barkin, Luke Grimes, Melora Walters - Cam Archer’s follow-up to his heralded debut WILD TIGERS I HAVE KNOWN pushes the filmmaker into startling new directions. SHIT YEAR plunges us into the fractured world of Colleen West, an actress who decides to retire early, on the heels of an intense fling with the very pretty co-star of her last play. As the fragile, egotistical West, an inimitable Ellen Barkin anchors this phantasmagoric drama with supple realism, earthiness and sensuality. Shot in luminously grainy black-and-white, SHIT YEAR is as ambitious, brazen and challenging as the early films of Godard, Cassavettes and Jim Jarmusch.
GOLDEN STARFISH DOCUMENTARY FILMS:
Circo (New York Premiere) Director Aaron Schock - An enchanting journey on the caravan of a family-run Mexican traveling circus, CIRCO is the insiders’ tale of family life under the big top, and a document of an almost extinct way of life. Circo Mexico has been family owned and operated since the 19th century. The trade is passed on from one generation to the next, and to be a member of the family is to participate in the business. But as declining audiences threaten the circus’ viability, the ties that bind the family loosen, and they face an uncertain future.
Cool It (US Premiere) Director Ondi Timoner - Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg is the author of a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist; which soon after its publication, became a highly controversial player in the global argument about climate change. Lomborg’s book proposed a model of welfare economics to deal with the warming crisis, and firmly criticized measures taken in the Kyoto protocols. While many still consider Lomborg a villain, director Ondi Timoner takes a measured approach to understanding Lomborg’s fascinating argument. The result is a documentary that is both compelling and inspiring, no matter on which side of the Lomborg fence you find yourself.
The House of Suh (US Premiere) Director Iris Shim - One of Chicago’s most famous murder cases surrounded sister and brother Catherine and Andrew Suh, first-generation Korean Americans, who conspired against, shot and killed Catherine’s former boyfriend. Over a decade later, director Iris Shim revisits the case and opens a Pandora’s box of family secrets that reveals the murder to be anything but black and white. What emerges in THE HOUSE OF SUH is a riveting and tragic portrait of a troubled family, which sheds light on the psychological complexity of cultural assimilation.
Love, Etc. (World Premiere) Director Jill Andresevic - What does "love" look like? A charming panorama of the heart, LOVE, ETC. chronicles five stories from all over New York City: love lost, gained, lasting, and new. There's the young couple planning a traditional Indian wedding, and a divorced single father balancing life, kids, and dating. Two teens experience first love; meanwhile, Albert and Marion, two former Tin Pan Alley songwriters married for 48 years, explore their lasting bond. Shot throughout all five boroughs, LOVE, ETC. sings with stories both funny and bittersweet.
Just A Beginning (World Premiere) Directors Jean-Pierre Pozzi, Pierre Barougier - In this remarkable vérité documentary, the filmmakers take us inside the classroom of an unusual public nursery school, where four year olds are attempting their first ever philosophy class. A dedicated teacher guides the children through discussions on the subjects such as love, power, difference, aging and death; and the children’s observations are at times remarkably profound, funny and insightful, but always unique. As the children wrap their heads around life’s most important questions, JUST A BEGINNING sheds light on concepts that most of us are still examining as adults.
GOLDEN STARFISH SHORT FILM COMETITION:
The Clerk’s Tale (East Coast Premiere) Director James Franco--Acclaimed actor and artist James Franco directs this psychological thriller about a sales clerk. Based on a poem by Spencer Reece.
Clean (East Coast Premiere) Director Isold Uggadottir--A woman who works as a dance instructor struggles to keep her drug habit under control. Directed by Hamptons alum Isold Uggadottir (COMMITTED).
Barking Island ("Chienne d'histoire") (East Coast Premiere) Director Serge Avedikian-- A haunting political allegory set in 1910 Constantinople, the film was awarded the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Rachel (East Coast Premiere) Director Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli-- Hamptons alum Jena Malone (THE MESSENGER) stars as a young woman who encounters unforeseen trouble as she travels to enlist in the military.
New Media (New York Premiere) Director JJ Adler-- Morris, a wealthy and unsatisfied middle-aged man, tries to make his mark on the world by creating his own "viral video."
FILMS OF CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION IN COMPETITION:
A Screaming Man (East Coast Premiere) Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun--with Youssouf Djaoro, Dioucounda Koma, Emil Abossolo M’bo - Winner of the Prix de Jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s deceptively simple film is a lyrical evocation of the small tragedies of war. Aging swimming champion Adam’s joy in life is his work maintaining an upscale hotel pool in Chad. When he loses his job to his only son, he is forced into a small betrayal that soon puts family drama on a collision course with national tragedy. A not-to-be- missed selection, A SCREAMING MAN is quietly moving piece about fathers, sons, family, and war.
Grace, Milly, Lucy…Child Soldiers (New York Premiere) Director Raymonde Provencher – This riveting documentary presents the all-too familiar plight of child soldiers in Uganda through an unprecedented new perspective: that of the young girls forced to join the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army as soldiers, wives, killers, and mothers. Set against an uncannily beautiful African landscape, Grace, Milly, and Lucy, now living in rehabilitation facilities for ex-child soldiers, recount the atrocity of their experience, and speak to a triumph of spirit after a life of undue violence and hardship in this quietly moving and captivating piece.
The Accidental Terrorist (US Premiere) Directors Miki Mistrati, Nagieb Khaja - An enrapturing mystery that follows young Danish Muslim Cem Aslan as he probes his fascination with his one-time childhood friend Abdul Kadir, now confined to a Bosnian prison convicted of plotting a terrorist attack. What made these two men from so similar circumstances make such different choices? How did they become such different men? Or are they really that different after all? Miki Mastrati’s truly fascinating documentary unpacks these rich questions in the context of a gripping mystery investigation.
Striking a Chord (New York Premiere) Director Susan Cohn Rockefeller - An affecting perspective on American troops in Iraq, Susan Cohn Rockefeller’s film is an intimate examination of the under-reported and widespread effects of post-traumatic stress disorder among US soldiers today. Focusing in particular on the healing power of music the film offers a refreshingly positive approach to PTSD, opening doors for alternative routes to reconciliation and recovery while at the same time bearing witness to the genuine pain experienced by men and women in combat.
My So-Called Enemy Director Lisa Gossels - In 2002, 6 Israeli and Palestinian teenagers traveled to the US for “Building Bridges,” a women’s leadership program and camp in New Jersey. The life-changing nature of their experience there is documented in this ambitious film, which follows the girls over the course of their time at the camp, and through the next 7 years of their lives. As their views mature and their paths in life diverge and converge, the shades of their experiences at the camp continue to resonate in their lives and politics as they begin to assume their places as the next generation of women political leaders.
Medal of Honor (Medalia de onoare) (New York Premiere) Director Calin Peter Netzer - Aging war veteran Ion I. Ion is content to live out his days in peace with his uncommunicative wife in his unheated apartment, when word surprisingly arrives that he has been awarded a commemorative medal for his service in World War II. Ion is shocked and honored, but the only problem is he can’t seem to remember what brave wartime act the award could possibly be for! Ironies mount in Peter Netzer’s dryly humorous tale as Ion navigates both Romanian bureaucracy and his own hazy memories in search for some ounce of meaning in either.
WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE
12 Paces Without A Head ("12 Meter ohne Kopf") North American Premiere
Director: Sven Taddicken
Cast: Matthias Schweighofer, Ronald Zehrfeld, Devid Streisow, Hinnerk Schonemann
Set your course for the seven seas in this rock n' rolling fusion of medieval pirate adventure and buddy comedy! Klaus Stortebeker and Godeke Michels have a reputation of being two of the most notorious and feared pirates—or at least they used to. As of late, they and their crew have gotten sloppy and lazy. But when the two buds discover a new weapon that will revolutionize warfare, they know it is time to make their comeback. Directed by Sven Taddicken, winner of the 2006 Audience Award for EMMA’S BILSS.
Bad Family ("Paha perhe") - North American Premiere
Director: Aleksi Salmenperä
Cast: Ville Virtanen, Lauri Tilkanen, Pihla Viitala
Mikael, a severe man, lives a disciplined lifestyle with his teenage son Dani, but is suddenly forced to take in his long-estranged daughter Tilda after the sudden death of his former wife. Witnessing the immediate affection and attachment between his formerly separated children, Mikael begins to unravel as his gnawing suspicion that something more might be happening between them grips his family. Writer/director Aleksi Salmenperä and his trio of actors turn this age-old set-up into a razor-sharp, potent, nail-biting thriller, mixing moral ambiguity, tense silences and shocking altercations to startling effect.
Beneath Hill 60 - North American Premiere
Director: Jeremy Sims
Cast: Brendan Cowell, Harrison Gilbertson, Anthony Hayes, Bella Heathcote
In the deadly fog of World War I, the 1st Australian Mining Company makes their way to the Western Front in Belgium, to dig tunnels that extend behind German lines and aid the advance of British troops. Oliver Woodward, a mining engineer, leaves his new love in Australia to lead his company. Together they embark on one of the most dangerous and important missions of the entire war.
Director: Jeffrey Fine
Cast: Kyle Gallner, Laura Allen, Brittany Robertson, D.C. Pierson
Love is never a simple equation. Aaron is a very bright but sheltered freshman at an Ivy League college who wants to enroll in their elite engineering program. He has a crush on Linda, a vivacious 36-year-old who has returned to school to straighten out her life. However, Linda’s 14-year-old-dauther, Beth, happens to be in love with Aaron. The math doesn't work in either direction as Aaron is drawn into a dysfunctional triangle and begins to learn that life can be more complicated than any of his engineering equations.
Le Quattro Volte
Director: Michelangelo Frammartino
Cast: Giuseppe Fuda, Bruno Timpano, Nazareno Timpano
In a tiny medieval mountain village in Italy, the changing seasons establish a divine rhythm. LE QUATTRO VOLTE is a lyrical film that traces life, death and rebirth through the experiences of an elderly shepherd and his jolly flock of mischievous goats. Infused with the gentle drama and humor of the village and its natural surroundings, the film’s sumptuous narrative is a miracle of observation and verité magic. LE QUATTRO VOLTE nods to the earth’s great cycles, older and grander than any one of us.
The Housemaid ("Hanyo")
Director: Im Sang-soo
Cast: Jeon Do-you, Lee Jung-jae, Youn Yuh-jung
One of the most controversial and talked-about movies of this year's Cannes Film Festival, Im Sang-soo's THE HOUSEMAID is a riveting, sexy updating of Kim Ky-young's 1960 classic suspense film of the same name. Shortly after Eun-yi is hired as the housemaid for a wealthy family, she begins having an affair with her boss, Hoon. Secrets can't be kept for long in this claustrophobic house, and the discovery of Eun-yi's pregnancy only amplifies the family's scheming jealousies. THE HOUSEMAID is an erotic thriller like no other.
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Cast: Rosanna Arquette, Diane Kruger, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard
Charged with suspense and a thrilling race against time, INHALE deals with the reality that parents will do anything to save their child. Ambitious Sante Fe District Attorney Paul (Dermot Mulroney) and his beautiful wife Diane (Diane Kruger) have a child with a rare degenerative lung disease, and are desperately awaiting news of a lung donor. As their daughter's condition worsens, Paul gives up on the notion that the proper procedures will help to save his daughter. A doctor in Juárez, Mexico may be able to guarantee a solution, but at what price?
Jaloux - US Premiere
Director: Patrick Demers
Cast: Sophie Cadieux, Maxime Denommee, Benoît Gouin
A romantic weekend in a woodsy country house is what couple Marianne (Sophie Cadieux) and Thomas (Maxime Denomee) prescribe themselves in a last effort to repair their failing relationship. Upon arrival at Thomas' uncle's secluded cabin, a curious neighbor greets them, and to Thomas' dismay, invites himself to crash the couple's weekend. A fateful evening in the company of their new acquaintance reveals that there may be more at stake than just Thomas' jealousy. A smart psychological thriller with excellent performances by the three leads makes JALOUX a delightfully dark treat.
Kawasaki's Rose ("Kawasakiho ruze") – East Coast Premiere
Director: Jan Hrebejk
Cast: Lenka Vlasakova, Milan Mikulcik, Martin Huba, Daniela Kolarova
A brilliant and meticulously crafted drama, KAWASAKI’S ROSE examines the long-lasting emotional destruction often left in the wake of fascism. Pavel Josek, an esteemed psychiatrist, is about to receive one of the Czech Republic’s highest national honors. Josek’s son-in-law, suspicious of Josek’s reputation as a dissenting hero during Communism, looks for an opportunity to discredit his father-in-law. Layer after layer, the film spirals inward on its cast of characters, revealing in each a level of humanity and fragility that is seldom articulated cinematically. KAWASAKI’S ROSE is a truly rare find.
King Of The Hamptons - World Premiere
Director: Dennis Lynch
Cast: Dennis Lynch, Dan Rattiner
A midlife crisis has hit Dennis Lynch. He’s turning 40, his career sucks, his wife is pregnant, and his grandfather is suing him. Leaving it all, Dennis takes a Hamptons adventure with A-List Hamptonite, Dan Rattiner, founder of Dan's Papers. What begins as an ordinary man's quest to experience the extraordinary, turns into a series of moments that teach us how to face past hurts, embrace future opportunities, and live for a greater purpose. Appearances by Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Alec Baldwin, Ed Burns, Chevy Chase, Mercedes Ruehl, and Kim Cattrall.
Kisses, Chloe - World Premiere
Director: Stephen Padilla
Cast: Brad Coolidge, Mikal Evans, Robin Singer
Stephen Padilla's finely rendered chamber drama finds a young couple, Emily and Alex, arriving at a beachside house in the Hamptons to reunite with Emily's old college friend, Chloe. Nervously anticipating trouble, Emily forewarns Alex that Chloe will flirt with him, and that she is very good at what she does. Alex is playfully dismissive of her concerns, but unfortunately, Emily may be right. Padilla uses the quiet isolation of this setting to his advantage, building the simmering tension in this erotic triangle until it reaches its inevitable boiling point.
The Little Tailor ("Le Petit tailleur")—US Premiere
Director: Louis Garrel
Cast: Arthur Igual, Lea Seydoux, Grand Albert, Lolita Chammah
Arthur is apprenticing under Albert, an aging tailor looking for someone to take over his shop once he retires. Albert has his eyes set on Arthur, but Arthur has his eyes on a beautiful young woman who is about to change his life. Written and directed by one of France’s hottest young stars, Louis Garrel (LOVE SONGS, THE DREAMERS), and nostalgically shot in black and white, THE LITTLE TAILOR recalls the youthful innovation and joie de vivre of France’s Nouvelle Vague and filmmakers such as Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Garrel’s own father, Philippe Garrel.
Me, Too! ("Yo, también") - New York Premiere
Directors: Alvaro Pastor, Antonio Naharro
Cast: Lola Duenas, Pablo Pineda, Antonio Naharro, Isabel García Lorca
A heartwarming portrait of a life caught between two worlds is at the core of ME, TOO! Daniel (Pablo Pineda), an adult with Down Syndrome, completes a university program and starts his first job. Capable, independent and ambitious, Daniel thwarts Downs stereotypes, and maintains close relationships with friends across the disability to able-bodied spectrum. But when Daniel falls for Laura, a beautiful but troubled and fully able-bodied colleague at work, his Downs takes center stage. Can he breach the disability divide and win Laura's love?
On The Path ("Na putu") - North American Premiere
Director: Jasmila Zbanic
Cast: Zrinka Cvitesic, Leon Lucev, Ermin Bravo, Mirjana Karanovic
Luna (played by Hamptons 2010 Shooting Star, Zrinka Cvitesic) is a gorgeous Bosnian flight attendant looking forward to starting a family with her husband, Amar. Both born into Muslim families, Luna and Amar are living with the demons of their childhood: memories of the war in which their families were brutally persecuted. After an unfortunate incident at work, Amar accepts a job in a fundamentalist Muslim community, and begins to frighten Luna with his increasingly extremist views. Featuring terrific performances, and rich with cultural detail, ON THE PATH is a unique relationship drama.
Seducing Charlie Barker
Director: Amy Glazer
Cast: Stephen Barker Turner, Heather Gordon, Daphne Zuniga
Things aren't going right for Charlie, an unemployed actor in the asphalt jungle that is New York City. His wife, Stella, is a successful radio producer, and all his friends say he has talent, but that doesn't mean he is satisfied with where he is. Then Charlie meets Clea, a mysterious woman supposedly from Ohio whom he thinks has all the answers—and he hopes they are the right ones. SEDUCING CHARLIE BARKER is a biting satire on New York City's infamous but irresistible entertainment world.
Director: Eleonore Faucher
Cast: Sylvie Testud, Amira Casar, Lubna Azabal, Jean-Pierre Martins
It's the mid-1970s in Lyon, France, and the three Mercier girls are stuck together like glue. While the girls have a French last name, their single Italian mother raises them, along with her large, loud and excitable Italian family. Yet middle child Sybille cannot ignore the red hair that sets her apart from the Di Biaggio's, and must be linked to the French father the girls have never met. Culled from the memories of a French-Italian childhood, SISTERS is a moving, nostalgic portrait of family traditions that confronts the difficulties of growing up without a father.
A Somewhat Gentle Man - East Coast Premiere
Director: Hans Peter Moland
Cast: Stellan Skarsgard, Bjorn Floberg, Gard B. Eidsvold
An offbeat black comedy with a distinctly Scandinavian sense of humor, A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN is an entertaining tale of a down on his luck ex-convict battling a world that is determined to make him repeat his mistakes. When Ulrik (Stellan Skarsgard) is released from prison, he aims to do well by his new employer and the family that has all but forgotten him. But the group of ne'er-do-well thugs that got him convicted in the first place won't cede his participation in their criminal exploits so easily.
Soul Boy - US Premiere
Directors: Hawa Essuman, Tom Tykwer
Cast: Samson Odhiambo, Leila Dayan Opou, Katherine Damaris
Appropriate for ages 12 and up
SOUL BOY is a magical adventure, as well as a morality tale, that begins in the slums of Kibera in Kenya. Abila is a 14-year old boy whose family owns a small shop in Kibera, but they have fallen behind on their rent. Discovering one morning that his father has gambled away his own soul, Abila makes a deal with the town witch that sends him off on an intrepid journey around Kibera to get his father back.
Sweet Evil ("L'Enfance du Mal") - North American Premiere
Director: Olivier Coussemacq
Cast: Anaïs Demoustier, Pascal Greggory, Ludmila Mikael
Surprising twists will keep you guessing in this wonderfully subdued French thriller.
Celine (played by 2010 Hamptons Shooting Star Anaïs Demoustier) is a 15-year old girl living as a runaway on the streets. At the home of an esteemed judge and his wife, Celine finds an abandoned shed and secretly moves in. The owners soon discover their castaway and aim to send her to social services, but Celine has other plans in mind, and tricks up her sleeve that belie her innocent demeanor.
Small Town Murder Songs - US Premiere
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Cast: Peter Stormare, Martha Plimpton, Jill Hennessy, Aaron Poole
A violent murder disrupts the slow life in a small, Mennonite town in Ontario, and Walter (Peter Stormare), a slow-talking policeman, is called to investigate the case. The town's colorful residents inch Walter closer to important clues, but he'll have to confront his own demons—a violent streak that could threaten his career—before getting to the bottom of the murder mystery. A brilliantly unique setting and characters, gothic style, and a remarkable score of traditional a cappella hymns sets SMALL TOWN MURDER SONGS apart from a typical crime tale.
Director: Lena Dunham
Cast: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Jemima Kirke
With TINY FURNITURE, the 20-something writer/director/actor Lena Dunham has arrived as a very bright star on the American independent film scene. Dunham plays Aura, a recent college graduate who returns home to live with her mother and teenage sister in their spacious Tribeca loft. As the days wear on, Aura struggles to snap out of her near catatonic post-graduate haze and figure out what she should be doing with her life. In the tradition of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, TINY FURNITURE is a universally pleasing comic gem.
When We Leave ("Die Fremde")
Director: Feo Aladag
Cast: Sibel Kekilli, Settar Tanriogen, Derya Alabora, Florian Lukas
A stunning and heartbreaking drama, WHEN WE LEAVE confronts the realities of female oppression within traditional, religious families. Umay (Sibel Kekilli) is an ethnically Turkish German citizen living with her husband and his family in the Istanbul suburbs. Suffering horrible abuse at the hand of her spouse, Umay escapes with her young son and flees to her family in Germany, who are horrified and shamed at her actions. WHEN WE LEAVE has been recognized many times over with many honors since its recent premiere, including six nominations at the German Film Awards.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY
Ahead Of Time
Director: Robert Richman
Subjects: Ruth Gruber, Eli Wallach
Ruth Gruber's life story, as told in her words at 97 years old, is too extraordinary to be fiction. Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family in 1911, she became the youngest ever PhD at age 20, completing a portion of her studies in Nazi-occupied Germany. Pursuing a career as an international foreign correspondent during the Second World War, Ruth stared down sexism and anti-Semitism to become a champion in her field, and found herself the precipice of many historic moments that would change the world forever.
And Everything Is Going Fine
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Subject: Spalding Gray
One of the Hamptons’ most adored longtime residents, Spalding Gray was a brilliant playwright and actor, best known for his dazzling, distinctive monologues, out of which he crafted an art all his own. His unforgettable play, SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA, secured him as a giant in the history of American theater. Master director Steven Soderbergh relies on Gray's own words — captured from scores of recordings, interviews and performances — to craft this profound, insightful and wonderfully entertaining portrait of a quintessential American artist.
Beautiful Darling: The Life And Times Of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar
Director: James Rasin
Subjects: Candy Darling, Andy Warhol
In the 1960s, Candy Darling was a fixture in Andy Warhol's Factory and a glamorous starlet on New York's downtown scene, basking in the limelight she'd craved since her childhood as a boy in Massapequa, Long Island. While she found acceptance and adulation, relationship and money problems hounded her, and ultimately cancer brought her vibrant life to an end before her 30th birthday. Interviews with her contemporaries Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Penny Arcade, Paul Morrissey, and Fran Lebowitz, and rare footage with her dear friend Jeremiah Newton create a loving and nuanced portrait in this remarkable film.
Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff
Director: Craig McCall
Subjects: Jack Cardiff, Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall
The career of renowned cinematographer Jack Cardiff has spanned a century. The master, whose compositions seem to be painted on the screen, is behind visual masterpieces such as THE RED SHOES, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP and BLACK NARCISSUS, among many others. Cardiff tells his story in his own words (with some help from his group of famous devotees) in this fascinating documentary, which leads us step by step in an adventure through the history of cinema in the 20th Century. CAMERAMAN is must-see cinema for film lovers everywhere.
Client 9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer
Director: Alex Gibney
The personal escapades of politicians always titillate the public imagination and discourse. Still, few rocked the political landscape, and were as genuinely surprising, as the sex scandal of former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who, after it was discovered had been spending thousands on high-end prostitutes, promptly resigned from office in early 2008. From the Academy Award-winning director of TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, CLIENT 9 traces Spitzer’s fascinating rise as the state district attorney through the aftermath of his fallout, with interviews from many of the important players in Spitzer’s career… including Spitzer himself.
Jane’s Journey - North American Premiere
Director: Lorenz Knauer
Subjects: Jane Goodall, Angelina Jolie, Pierce Brosnan
Jane Goodall, calm, quiet and reserved, may be the most powerful voice speaking on behalf of the earth today. Traveling 300 days a year to speaking engagements around the world about conservation and sustainability, Goodall still finds time to make her way back to Gombe National Park in Tanzania, the site of her 45-year study of chimpanzees. Chronicling Jane's life from childhood up to her revolutionary work with the Roots and Shoots program, JANE'S JOURNEY, the first-ever true biography of Ms. Goodall, is as riveting and inspiring as Jane herself.
Director: Tom Shadyac
Screenwriter: Tom Shadyac
Subjects: Tom Shadyac, David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn
I AM is the story of a successful Hollywood director, Tom Shadyac, who experienced a life threatening head injury, and his ensuing journey to try and answer two very basic questions “What’s wrong with our world?” and “What can we do about it?” Tom visits some of today’s great minds, including authors, poets, teachers, religious leaders, and scientists searching for the fundamental endemic problem that causes all of the other problems, while simultaneously reflecting on his own life choices of excess, greed and eventual healing.
Life With Murder - East Coast Premiere
Director: John Kastner
How would your family life continue if unspeakable events came to shatter it: if your only son were to murder your only daughter? Director John Kastner poses this question to the Jenkins family of Chatham, Ontario, where Mason Jenkins, son of Brian and Leslie, is serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder of his sister. Against popular understanding, Brian and Leslie have remained closely in contact with their son. LIFE WITH MURDER deftly explores their awkward dynamic, and conveys surprising new information that may bring the family closer to the truth.
Louder Than A Bomb
Directors: Greg Jacobs, Jon Siskel
Chicago's Louder Than a Bomb draws hundreds of high schoolers from all over the city's diverse neighborhoods to compete in what is now the largest youth poetry slam competition in the world. In the tradition of SPELLBOUND and WORDPLAY, this thrilling documentary gives us an inside look at four teams (and their star "slammers") gunning for the top prize. But behind the competitive fervor lies the film's true spirit: this is a warm, tenderhearted look at a group of talented young poets, pouring out all their angst, frustrations, hopes and insecurities through raw, unfiltered words.
Nenette - New York Premiere
Director: Nicholas Philibert
Nenette is a forty-year old orangutan. She spends her days lounging and being observed at the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris, her home since 1972, which she shares with her only surviving son, Tubo. Acclaimed documentarian Nicolas Philibert (BAFTA Foreign Film nominee, TO BE AND TO HAVE) casts a becalmed gaze on Nenette, who occupies nearly every frame of his beautifully sparse yet provocative new film; a bustling soundtrack of inquisitive kids, their parents, and the zoo's handlers provide the movie’s only human presence.
Directors: Roger Weisberg, Vanessa Roth
At 18 years old, Risa Bejarano decided to let Roger Weisberg and Vanessa Roth detail her journey out of the foster care system in their 2004 documentary AGING OUT. A few months later, she was murdered. NO TOMORROW examines the trial of Juan Jose Chavez, who, after being convicted of the murder of Bejarano and two others, faced a second phase of litigations to decide if his crimes warranted the death penalty. And as AGING OUT is used in the case against Chavez, Weisberg and Roth contemplate its ethical and moral implications.
On Coal River - New York Premiere
Directors: Francine Cavanaugh, Adams Wood
Our airwaves were dominated for a moment with the subject of "Clean Coal Technology," and talk about how coal might contribute a viable solution to our emissions problems. ON COAL RIVER is a journey to coal's source, the hills of Appalachia, where mountain top removal for coal mining is destroying a way of life as well as endangering the health and safety of thousands of West Virginians. ON COAL RIVER is an eloquent and profoundly revealing documentary about hazards hidden behind the Appalachian curtain, and the bravery of those calling for change.
Once Brothers - World Premiere
Director: Michael Tolajian
Subject: Vlade Divac
Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac were friends who grew up in Yugoslavia with a common bond: basketball. Together they lifted the Yugoslavian National Team to unimaginable heights, and later went to America where they became two of the first international players to attain stardom in the NBA. But with the end of the Cold War in 1991, Yugoslavia split up. War broke out between Petrovic's Croatia and Divac's Serbia. Long-buried ethnic tensions quickly surfaced and these two men, once brothers, found themselves on opposite sides of a deadly civil conflict.
Precious Life ("Chaim Yakarim")—US Premiere
Israel, 2010, 82 minutes
Director: Shlomi Eldar Filmmaker Shlomi Eldar, a prominent Israeli journalist, uses his influence to call attention to a poor Palestinian baby boy in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. The boy’s family and Eldar are overjoyed when an anonymous Israeli donor agrees to sponsor the operation. But the situation unexpectedly draws out the mother’s deep-seated prejudice, and in turn, Eldar questions his own ideas about tolerance. PRECIOUS LIFE is a challenge to the senselessness of ongoing violence, and a demand for human understanding and reconciliation, in the midst of the 2008-2009 blockade of Gaza.
Rehearsal For A Sicilian Tragedy (“Prove per una tragedia siciliana”)
Director: Roman Paska
Italy, 2009, 77 minutes
In REHEARSAL FOR A SICILIAN TRAGEDY, actor John Turturro leads audiences on an intimate journey through his ancestors’ homeland, where, while researching a prospective film to be set in the world of the island's unique puppet theater, Turturro and director Roman Paska key in on one of its few remaining practitioners, Mimmo Cuticchio. Shot during preparations for the Sicilian Day of the Dead, and intertwining encounters with colorful residents and cultural figures including the author Andrea Camilleri, the film is both a fond and revealing portrait of a Sicily little known to the outside world.
USA, 2010, 88 minutes
Director: Cathryn Collins
An investigative documentary that blows the door wide open on Russian politics, VLAST (POWER) examines the complex case of Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky and his oil company, Yukos, were once the strongest and most profitable force in Russia, symbolic of the country's shifting attitudes since the fall of the Soviet Union. But when he was arrested on multiple charges of corruption and conspiracy on October 25, 2003, the backdoor politics that had been running the country came to light with a vengeance.
Welcome To Shelbyville - World Premiere
USA, 2010, 67 minutes
Director: Kim A. Snyder
Welcome to Shelbyville is a dramatic glimpse of America at a crossroads. In one small town in the heart of the bible belt, just minutes away from the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, longtime African American and White residents struggle to integrate with a growing Latino population, and most recently, hundreds of Somali refugees of Muslim faith. Through the vibrant and colorful characters of Shelbyville, the film explores the sensitive interplay between race, religion, and ethnic identity; and is an intimate portrayal of a community striving to understand what it means to be American.
Waiting For Superman
USA, 2010, 102 minutes
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim, the daring filmmaker behind the groundbreaking and controversial documentary AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, returns to the screen with an investigative look at the American public education system. Never one to skirt issues, Guggenheim dives in headfirst and follows five students—Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily—to see how these bright young people are handled by an institution that is supposedly on their side. Insightfully dismantling the complex issues surrounding the subject, Guggenheim delivers a well-balanced but hard-hitting movie that is already one of the most talked-about films of the year.
Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today [The 2009 Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration]
USA, 78 Minutes
Original version written & directed by Stuart Schulberg. Restoration created by Sandra Schulberg & Josh Waletzky.
Narrator: Liev Schreiber
Documenting history’s greatest courtroom drama, NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY shows how the four Allied prosecution teams built their case against the top Nazi leaders, laying the groundwork for all subsequent prosecutions for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The original 1948 film, written and directed by Stuart Schulberg, was never released in U.S. theaters due to political concerns. The original negative and sound elements were eventually lost or destroyed; filmmakers Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky created a new 35mm negative and re-constructed the soundtrack using original sound from the trial.
Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Albert Finney
Join us for a special 20th Anniversary screening of the 1990 Coen Brothers gangster classic, with select cast and crew in attendance for a post-screening discussion. MILLER'S CROSSING is the story of two warring crime mobs in a corrupt, Prohibition-era city. Tom Reagan, a respected loner with strong ties to the current boss, plays alliances across enemy lines when he makes a move that could turn him into a missing person. MILLER'S CROSSING is a masterful morality tale, teeming with irony and humor, and featuring a cast of amazing characters that only the Coens could dream into being.
For the complete schedule and to purchase tickets for HIFF 2010, see:
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
HIFF 2010 - FIRST PREVIEW: THE 2010 HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2010
OCTOBER 7-11 2010
For (much) more (reviews, interviews, pix, features) about HIFF 2010...
QPORIT: HIFF 2010
HIFF has just announced some of the major films, events, and participants for this year's festival, according to Indiewire, which has a long association with the festival (and other sources).
The festival will open in East Hampton, on Thursday, October 7, with Richard J. Lewis' Barney's Version (based on a novel by Mordecai Richler), starring Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, and Minnie Driver.
Although not yet announced, there is usually a big party on opening night following the film.
The following night, Friday, October 8, the festival will open in Southampton with Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.
The Hamptons Festival usually has screenings and events in many of the towns in and around the Hamptons on Long Island, incuding East Hampton, Southampton, Montauk, and Sag Harbour.
The Centerpiece Film is John Madden's "The Debt", about a Mossad operation, starring Sam Worthington and Helen Mirren. (Madden directed Shakespeare in Love, and Proof.)
Also announced is the screening of Julian Schnabel's Miral with Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave, a drama that takes place after the first Arab/Israeli war. Schnabel is expected to attend the festival. Julian Schnabel was the receipient of a Sloan Foundation prize for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
The Festival has a series of "Conversations with..." major film personalities. Isabella Rossellini and James Franco have so far been announced as participants. Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, with Franco, about a mountain climber trapped under a boulder, will be screened at the festival.
The festival (together with IndieWire) toasts an industry leader each year. This year Ben Barenholtz will be honored (on Saturday, Oct 9). Marcia Gay Harden, Frances McDormand, Joe and Ethan Coen and John Turturro are expected to attend this event. Barenholtz was the owner/operator of the Elgin Theater, and a producer and promoter of indie films and indie filmmakers. This event will incude a 20th anniversary screening of the Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing with Marcia Gay Hardin. Miller's Crossing was executive produced by Ben Barenholtz.
The Sloan Foundation, a sponsor of the festival, actively promotes the presentation of science and scientists in feature films, including development programs for screenplays featuring scientists and scientific themes. They usually sponsor several interesting events relating to science and the art of filmmaking during the festival.
HIFF, concentrating all its energies into a single weekend, is known for its fine parties. Here are two snapshots from last year's parties:
At a HIFF 2009 party
Photo by Eric Roffman
At a HIFF 2009 party
Photo by Eric Roffman
For (much) more (reviews, interviews, pix, features) about HIFF 2010...
QPORIT: HIFF 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
There was a tweet about GOOGLE:
"@msnbc_tech Creepy Google stalker proves your online privacy is an illusion http://bit.ly/bzkImU "
But it's not just Google (and Facebook). It's not just "online".
Everyone should be aware that every business you deal with -- your bank, your credit card company, your movie company, your book company, your college, etc. -- They all keep records (and they did before the Internet was invented).
Many employees from the company have access to data about you which tells a lot about you. They use it properly when they field a customer service call. They may use it semi-un-properly when they notice something about you, while doing, for example, a customer service call, or IT testing on new computer software: they may have proper access to it for proper reasons, but use it improperly after they have had access. They may access it improperly simply because they can.
"Many employees" includes loyal employees, disloyal employees, transient consultants, and foreign workers doing outsourced projects.
It did not start with the Internet. Before electronic privacy abuses, for example, many organizations handled social security data improperly on printed records.
Now, many people are storing confidential records in online data bases, private photos in online phone banks, secret messages in e-mails (all of which are archived somewhere someplace). There is no way for any individual to prevent someone at some time from gaining access to these data stores, and finding something that was done or said and archived there. Electronics leaves a persistent trail.
It is safe to assume that any information stored online, and any transaction (business or social) conducted over the Internet, or conducted with someone that keeps any records at all, is retrievable.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
NYFF 2010 SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Here's some information from the 48th New York Film Festival 2010 (NYFF) about Special Screenings and programming.
It's a collection of film events that rivals even the main slate in its breadth and interest!
For the NYFF 2010 MAIN SLATE
For the NYFF 2010 DIRECTORS DIALOGS
Sept. 24 - Oct. 10
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU
Frederick Wiseman's BOXING GYM
A LETTER TO ELIA from Martin Scorsese & Kent Jones
In-person 11-film tribute to Japanese master director Masahiro Shinoda
Special appearances by Olivier Assayas, Mike Leigh and David Thomson
Views from the Avant-Garde
This fascinating breath of programming will include special screenings of Andrei Ujica's acclaimed essay film The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, the latest from documentary master Frederick Wiseman, and Martin Scorsese's personal homage to the late Elia Kazan.
Also included are two Masterworks programs, Elegant Elegies: The Films of Masahiro Shinoda and Fernando de Fuentes' Revolutionary Trilogy;
Returning to the festival stage is audience favorite, The Cinema Inside Me, this year featuring an in-depth, illustrated conversation with Olivier Assayas; as well as Views from the Avant-Garde making its fourteenth experimental journey to the screen.
Once again, the New York Film Festival will partner with HBO in hosting four HBO Directors Dialogues (see separate article: http://qporit.blogspot.com/2010/08/nyff-2010-dialogs-with-directors.html).
The Masterworks and Special event programs offer a plethora of special event screenings and discussions, exploring varying stories, storytelling-processes and filmmaking styles and allow audiences additional opportunities to sample what they have always loved about the New York Film Festival and perhaps try out what they have always been curious to explore further.
Masterworks Elegant Elegies: The Films of Masahiro Shinoda
Running Sept. 25 - Oct. 10
A spectacular filmmaker and key to the Japanese New Wave, Shinoda was fascinated by both traditional Japanese aesthetics and the modernity of cinema. Gamblers betting it all in games they can't win, samurais heading into their final battles, lovers realizing their bonds are no match for an uncaring destiny: This is the remarkable universe of Masahiro Shinoda.
This Masterworks program will showcase 12 of Shinoda's films, including such not to be missed titles as, Pale Flower, Double Suicide, and The Ballad of Orin.
We're honored to welcome Mr. Shinoda to this year's festival for this special tribute, presented as part of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of Japan-NYC Friendship.
Masterworks: Fernando de Fuentes' Mexican Revolution Trilogy
Running Sept 29-30
A foundational figure of Mexican cinema and a true jack-of-all trades, Fernando de Fuentes landed in the cinema in the early Thirties and made this remarkable trilogy of films on the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1918, the first major revolution of the twentieth century. All three films in this series deal with the intimate nature of the conflict -- how often it pitted friend against friend, brother against brother.
Of special interest is Let's Go with Pancho Villa, Latin America's first super-production, made in full collaboration with the Mexican government when they were trying to jump-start a national film industry.
Following the screening of Let's Go with Pancho Villa, there will be a panel discussion on the cinematic depiction of the Mexican revolution. Prints courtesy of La Cinemateca de la UNAM.
A Letter to Elia & America, America Sept. 27
6:15 (A Letter to Elia) +
7:45 (America, America)
A Letter to Elia
Martin Scorsese & Kent Jones, 2010, USA; 60m
A Letter to Elia is a heartfelt declaration from one great American filmmaker to another, as Scorsese speaks candidly and passionately about one of his formative filmmaking influences: the late Elia Kazan. Utilizing precisely chosen clips from Kazan's signature films, and interview footage of the director himself, Scorsese and Jones recount the director's tumultuous journey from the Group Theatre to the Hollywood A-list to the thicket of the blacklist. But most of all, they make a powerful case for Kazan as a profoundly personal artist working in a famously impersonal industry.
Mon Sep 27: 6:15
Elia Kazan, 1963, USA; 174m
Based on the life of Kazan's own uncle, the director's favorite among his 19 feature films is the unforgettable story of an impoverished and oppressed Greek Turk determined to escape, by any means necessary, to the land of the free. His perilous journey across mountains and oceans, through arranged marriages and crafty swindlers, rivals that of an earlier Greek voyager, Odysseus, in its epic emotional sweep. Rarely screened and never released on DVD.
Mon Sep 27: 7:45
Nuremberg [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration]
Stuart Schulberg, 1948, USA; 78m
One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis' own films and records. The trial established the "Nuremberg principles" - the foundation for all subsequent trials for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Though shown in Germany as part of the Allies' de-Nazification campaign, U.S. officials decided not to release Nuremberg in America for political reasons, nor was it shown in any other country. Over the years, the picture negative and sound elements were lost or destroyed. Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky's restoration uses original audio from the trial, allowing you to hear the defendants' and prosecutors' voices for the first time. The film ends with Justice Robert H. Jackson's stirring words - "Let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage aggressive war" - words which leap the decades and make Nuremberg startlingly contemporary.
A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring the following participants:
Benjamin Ferencz, chief prosecutor, Nuremberg trial of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen; first head of Claims Conference for Jewish restitution; advocate of the International Criminal Court; Aryeh Neier, human rights advocate; President, Open Society Institute; former director of ACLU and Human Rights Watch; Emilio DiPalma, one of the courtroom guards seen in the film; author of memoir Just a Kid: A Guard at the Nuremberg Trials; Sandra Schulberg, creator (with Josh Waletzky) of the restoration; daughter of the film's writer/director Stuart Schulberg.
Tue Sep 28: 6:15
The Cinema Inside Me: Olivier Assayas
Presented at Alice Tully Hall on Oct. 3
Filmmaker turned film critic (at Cahiers du cinema) turned filmmaker, Olivier Assayas (Carlos) has become over the past two decades one of the most respected filmmakers working anywhere today. His critical writing on cinema was crucial for introducing the new Asian cinema into France, and he continues to maintain a strong interest in the avant-garde and experimental films. In conversation with NYFF Selection Committee Chairman Richard Peña, Mr. Assayas will offer a personal guided tour of some key moments in his own history of cinema-showing sequences from films and by filmmakers who powerfully influenced his thoughts on cinema as well as his filmmaking practice.
Views from the Avant-Garde
Sept. 30 - Oct. 3
Curated by Mark McElhatten and Gavin Smith.
For its 14th year, Views offers an expanded edition, presenting four nights of New York and world premieres from the frontiers of innovative moving image making. Highlights include:
Robert Beavers's The Suppliant,
James Benning's Ruhr,
Nathaniel Dorsky's Pastourelle,
a restoration of Manoel de Oliveira's Rite of Spring,
and Phil Solomon's three-screen American Falls.
Also expect new work by Thom Andersen, Ute Aurand, Stephanie Barber, Mati Diop, David Gatten, Janie Geiser, Lewis Klahr, Dani Leventhal, Jeanne Liotta, Matt McCormick, Tomonari Nishikawa, Michael Robinson, Fern Silva, Deborah Stratman, Peter Tscherkassky and many others, plus nightly special Furman Gallery projection performances by Paul Clipson and Bruce McClure.
Frederick Wiseman's Boxing Gym
Frederick Wiseman, 2010, USA; 91m
Master documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman returns to the Festival with his terrific 38th feature. Taking as his subject Lord's Boxing Gym in Austin, Texas, Wiseman observes men, women, and children as they train and interact in a lively and diverse environment. The irresistible portrait is marked by Wiseman's sensitive eye and adroit editing, and recalls his past meditations on bodies in motion (Ballet, La Danse) and on violence, people at play, and America in microcosm. Followed by a conversation and Q&A with Frederick Wiseman.
Oct. 4, 6:15
Mike Leigh: Shooting London
Acclaimed director Mike Leigh-at the NYFF with his newest film Another Year-is a quintessential chronicler and interpreter of London (past and present). London is the city he lives and works in, and a "character" all its own in the Leigh universe. Leigh will discuss the importance of London neighborhoods and sites in his films, and their integration into his films' themes. Moderated by Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and interspersed with a selection of film clips.
Oct. 6, 6:30
Biographical and Beyond: An Evening with David Thomson, Featuring Birth
Praised as the finest reference book ever written about movies, David Thomson's The New Biographical Dictionary of Film is its author's idiosyncratic, indispensible, and deeply addictive indexing of the key players in the history of moving pictures, from Abbott and Costello to Catherine Zeta-Jones. On the eve of the publication of the revised and expanded Fifth Edition, we have invited Thomson (himself a former member of the NYFF selection committee) to discuss his work, his writing process, and to present a film of his choosing. His selection is Birth (2004), director Jonathan Glazer's metaphysical thriller starring Nicole Kidman as a woman who becomes convinced that a 10-year-old boy is the reincarnation of her late husband. Thomson has hailed the film as a neglected masterpiece. Post-screening discussion with David Thomson and Film Society Associate Program Director Scott Foundas, followed by book-signing in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery.
Oct. 7, 6:30
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, with
A Matter of Life and Death
Oct. 8, 6:30 (Cameraman) & 8:45 (Matter)
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
Craig McCall, 2010, UK; 86m
As wonderfully informative as it is delightfully entertaining, Cameraman traces the eight-decade career of cinematographer Jack Cardiff. A child actor who found his true calling on the other side of the camera, Cardiff was the first European to be trained in shooting Technicolor; a few years later, Michael Powell promoted the ace cameraman to full-scale cinematographer for A Matter of Life and Death. Soon, cinematic history would be made: together, Powell and Cardiff set the standard for the creative use of color in classics such as The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. Craig McCall traces the development of Cardiff's art on both sides of the Atlantic, detailing his constant interaction with the painters and paintings he admired while offering a treasure lode of Cardiff anecdotes about Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, Marilyn Monroe and a host of other legends. A Strand release
Oct 8, 6:30
A Matter of Life and Death
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946, UK; 104m
In Cardiff's pioneering collaboration with Powell, a dashing young WWII airman (David Niven) chats up, then bares his soul to a beautiful radio operator (Kim Hunter) even as his planes dives to earth. It's not quite clear where precisely Niven comes down, because the movie takes a turn from Technicolor wartime melodrama into a meditation on the worth of a life and the righteousness of a death, as they're weighed in a chilly, monochrome Heaven and in an operating room where surgeons work to save Niven's damaged brain. No comfy allegory here; Powell's gem is made of harder-and more valuable-stuff. With Raymond Massey, Roger Livesey, Robert Coote, Marius Goring, and Richard Attenborough.
Oct. 8, 8:45
The Autobiography of Nikolae Ceaucescu
Andrei Ujică, 2010, Romania; 180m
An astonishing work of the sociopolitical imagination, Andrei Ujică's audacious essay film imagines the life of the controversial Romanian President as he himself might have recalled it on the eve of his 1989 execution. Working from a treasure trove of pristine archival footage (of official communist-era newsreels), enhanced by an ingenious sound design, Ujică spins a riveting first-person narrative that traces its subject's rapid rise through the political ranks, his efforts to unify the Communist East, and even his goodwill tour of the Americas-with little matters like the millions of ordinary Romanians denied basic human services consigned to Ceausescu's subconscious (and Ujică's cutting room floor). The pièce de résistance: a North Korean welcome ceremony that ranks with Busby Berkley at his most kaleidoscopic.
Oct. 9, 11:30am
Joe Dante's The Hole in 3D
Joe Dante, 2009, USA; 92m
Like his Gremlins, Explorers and Small Soldiers, director Joe Dante's latest frightmare-and his first in 3D-takes place in one of those placid, Midwestern anytowns that, in the sci-fi classics of the 1950s, regularly played host to intergalactic blobs, body snatchers and other strange invaders. Here, the aberrations come from below rather than above-specifically, from a boarded-up pit in the basement of an ordinary suburban home, which gets reopened when a single mother and her two curious sons move in. Like a Freudian Pandora's box, the hole gives rise to the deepest fears of those who peer into it, from the purely abstract to the terrifyingly physical. All of which is mere prelude for our eventual plunge down the hole itself, which Dante turns into an ingenious, Caligarian funhouse of long shadows, exaggerated perspectives and things that go bump in the night (all, it should be noted, accomplished on a fraction of usual Hollywood budget). Winner of the Venice Film Festival's inaugural Persol 3D award.
Oct. 9, 6:00
the Spanish-Language version, accompanied by Gary Lucas
The fascinating and more "full-blooded" 1931 Spanish-language version of the classic tale is freshly accompanied by an eerie live solo guitar performance by guitarist, composer, and Grammy-nominated songwriter Gary Lucas. Directed by George Melford, the movie was filmed at night in Hollywood on the same sets as the Bela Lugosi Dracula with a Spanish-speaking cast. Lucas's score has received great critical acclaim and, together with the immortal blood-sucker, promises to make for an unforgettable night.
Oct. 9, 9:30
The Marvelous World of Segundo de Chomón
Known as the "Spanish Méliès," Segundo de Chomón was a major film pioneer whose inventive special effects and optical processes influenced the cinema for years to come, and can be found in many silent classics, from Pastrone's Cabiria to Gance's Napoleon-not to mention his own extraordinary works. Through the generosity of the Filmoteca de Catalunya in Barcelona, we're delighted to present a sampler of de Chomón's great achievements, including masterworks such as The Electric Hotel, The Witch's Cave, and The King of Dollars, with piano accompaniment by Makia Matsumura.
Film scholar Tom Gunning will be on hand to discuss the importance of de Chomón's work.
Oct. 10, 12:30
Verena Paravel & J.P. Sniadecki, 2010, USA; 80m
Tucked between the new Citifield baseball stadium and the Van Wyck overpass lie a ramshackle collection of auto-body repair shops and other small businesses, staffed by an extraordinarily multicultural cast of characters. But New York City has other plans: the area has been targeted for development, complete with apartments, malls, and parks, and this commercial shantytown may soon be a memory. Filmmakers Verena Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki have created a revealing and tender portrait of Willets Point, Queens,that captures the many roads the American dream has taken. Best First Feature, Locarno Film Festival
Oct 10, 3:30
General Public tickets will be available September 12th. For more information visit
or call 212 875 5601.