Film Fests Archive for April, 2011

SFF Dispatch: Wrapping a Terrific Fest

What a great film festival Sarasota has. Gorgeous city to get to hang out in, enthusiastic audiences, sunshine, beautiful beaches, fabulous parties, and most importantly, a really solid slate of films, curated by Artistic Director Tom Hall and Director of Programming Holly Herrick, who, in addition to having excellent taste in film, are two of the nicest people in the indie film world.
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Dallas IFF Dispatch: Murder Songs and Warlords

After a long day of travel, I finally made it to Dallas this afternoon for a couple days at the Dallas International Film Festival, just in time to check into my hotel room (replete with round bed and zebra rug), change into something more appropriate for the warmer Dallas weather (the sun! my eyes!) and hit the ground running with a couple screenings.

First up was Small Town Murder Songs, a Canadian film directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly. The film stars vet Swedish actor Peter Stomare (sporting a ‘stache that would be right at home on a 1970s porn set) as Walter, a cop in a small Mennonite town in Ontario. A murdered stripper (the first murder the town’s police force has ever had to deal with) is the catalyst for the story, as Walter almost immediately targets Steve (Stephen Eric McIntyre), the seedy white-trash lover of his ex-mistress Rita (Jill Hennessy, terrific here). Martha Plimpton is quietly powerful in a less showy role as Walter’s current girlfriend (or maybe wife? This isn’t made explicitly clear).
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Pay No Attention to What’s Behind the Curtain …

How should a journalist handle reporting information that a film festival might prefer not be written about?
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“It was always a crisis, but we had a great time,” James Schamus said, grinning. “Now I know how much fun directing is. I didn’t know. No one told me.”

“Athina Rachel Tsangari looks at men as if they are creatures from one of the wildlife documentaries she referred to in her poignant debut Attenberg. She is part of a undeclared new school of cinema, which might be called ‘The Behaviouralists’. So far there is only one other member of this school, Yorgos Lanthimos, whom she has previously collaborated with. He recently made The Lobster which sees Colin Farrell play a man who chooses a lobster as the animal he must turn into if he loses a bizarre relationship game in a hotel-cum-sanitorium. Games, systems and rules are essential for the Behaviouralists yet always in flux.”
~ Bert Rebhandl in Frieze

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