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Thread: Comment Page: THE 2010 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

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    Comment Page: THE 2010 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

    My coverage of the 2010 MIFF for Film International journal is now available online at:
    The 27th Miami International Film Festival
    Any comments on attending the MIFF, the piece I wrote, or any film discussed therein would be greatly appreciated.

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    I'm sorry to see that due to your other duties you were unable to make a contribution to the Filmleaf Festival Coverage section for the Miami festival this year. March 5-14, 2010 was the time of the 27th annual Miami Festival; you don't give the date or even the year in your piece on the festival for film.int.

    We've already talked about Chéreau's PERSECUTION and agreed on its failings. You've also discussed PERSIAN CATS on the site with Mithuk, but I still have not seen it. I did see and report on another clandestinely shot new Iranian film, Nader T. Homayoun's TEHROUN, in the New Directors/New Films series at Lincoln Center this spring. It also had theatrical distribution in France. Your discussion of the Caribbean films is a very quick review. MOLOCH TROPICAL sounds interesting. As for the other Spanish-language films you quickly summarize, I don't share your enthusiasm for NORTHLESS (also ND/NF, but I did not review it), and I also loved ALAMAR, which has since been shown in San Francisco at the Sundance Kabuki, the SFIFF HQ. WIND JOURNEYS was in the SFIFF too but I didn't see it. True, I haven't heard of films of note coming out of Colombia before.

    It's a well-written survey, excellent for the format and length; but I wish you could have given us a fuller account of individual films as before; and I don't think you wrote about as many films as in the past.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-27-2010 at 01:24 AM.

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    [QUOTE=Chris Knipp;24804]I'm sorry to see that due to your other duties you were unable to make a contribution to the Filmleaf Festival Coverage section for the Miami festival this year.
    Yep. Thanks. This year you have to click a link to get my coverage and you get it four months after the fest. I am glad the journal made it accessible online because I am bound by contract not to post it elsewhere.

    March 5-14, 2010 was the time of the 27th annual Miami Festival; you don't give the date or even the year in your piece on the festival for film.int.
    I wish I had included the date within parentheses after the first mention of the festival.

    True, I haven't heard of films of note coming out of Colombia before.
    Perhaps OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS and MARIA FULL OF GRACE don't count because the directors are foreign. I've seen a few good Colombian docs like LA SIERRA, but I think we mostly have fiction films in mind here. I have seen a number of decent crime movies from Colombia (like SATANAS and ROSARIO TIJERAS) but the only thing that makes them distinctive is the milieu. Probably the two best Colombian movies came out in the 90s: LA ESTRATEGIA DEL CARACOL (The Snail's Strategy) and THE ROSE SELLER by Victor Gaviria (whose ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS and RODRIGO D:NO FUTURE are also good). The more recent A TON OF LUCK (2006) was worth watching too. But two Colombian movies (production is up to about 8 films per year since the mid 2000s) this rewarding being shown in the same festival qualify as a surprise or revelation.

    It's a well-written survey, excellent for the format and length
    Thank you very much.

    I wish you could have given us a fuller account of individual films as before; and I don't think you wrote about as many films as in the past.
    Those years when I could review 50 festival films are not coming back. I have no choice as my current writing has to meet all kinds of demands imposed by academia and the publishing industry. This piece on the 2010 MIFF is similar in structure to the kind of coverage of festivals one finds in film journals and specialty magazines like Film Comment and Cineaste. Because of length limits I had to decide which films to highlight and which to ignore. I pretty much decided not to write about films which had distribution. The exception was PERSIAN CATS which I found tremendously moving and inspiring. I also decided to mention a few films I didn't like for the purpose of balance: the plainly bad Cuban film (from a director who had shown potential previously) , the rare Bahamian film (too didactic and tendentious),and the disappointing PERSECUTION. Which leaves the undistributed films I loved: LOLA from the Phillipines, MEDAL OF HONOR from Romania (the only one likely to get distribution), SUMMER OF BOYITA from Argentina, and MOLOCH TROPICAL from Haiti.And two very good films each from Mexico and...surprise...Colombia. This year I was only able to watch 32 films at the MIFF. More than I'll be able to watch next year because the most prestigious film studies conference (SCMS New Orleans) coincides with the dates of the festival. Perhaps I will go back to Sarasota (April) to catch some of what I'll miss at Miami.

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    No, MARIA FULL OF GRACE and MADONNA OF THE ASSASSINS wouldn't qualify as Colombian filmmaking.

    This piece on the 2010 MIFF is similar in structure to the kind of coverage of festivals one finds in film journals and specialty magazines like Film Comment and Cineaste.
    That's why Filmleaf's Festival Coverage and other websites that provide running reviews of festival films have an edge over such roundups. And of course, as you know, to be in touch with new filmmaking, you have to be there. 32 films at a festival is a goodly number. But, if you have other duties now, life goes on.

    It is definitely worth noting films you saw that were not good. Festivals too often pass around bad films with admiring blurbs mindlessly repeating their praises. Writing primarily about films that do not have distribution makes sense. However if you have anything distinctive to say about a film it's worth saying it, maybe getting to be the first to do so, regardless of distribution or the lack of it.

    I hope you'll be able to continue to make a substantial contribution to the Festival Coverage section in individual reviews as before.

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    FSLC Latinbeat Film Festival, Sept. 8-18, 2010

    You might have some comments on the upcoming titles of Lincoln Center's Latinbeat series. This is a press release just sent out today so I just will paste it in here because there's no link yet:



    The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents

    2010's Latinbeat Film Festival
    11 Filmmakers over 11 Days
    5 US & 9 NYC Premieres

    Wednesday, September 8th through Saturday, September 18th


    New York - July 27th, 2010 - The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the upcoming 13th Latinbeat Film Festival, with sixteen films from eight different countries, this year's Latinbeat Film Festival is as eclectic as Latin America itself. The countries represented are vastly different from each other, yet their films share a sense of urgency, embodying a constant search for new forms of expression -- whether they delve into the past to explain the present (Cuchillo de palo/108, Thursday Widows, El Rati Horror Show, My Life with Carlos, Eva y Lola) or take the audience on deeply transformative journeys through overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes in remote areas of the region (Cephalopodus, The Cramp, Crab Trap), the Latinbeat Film Festival looks to offer audiences the opportunity to experience great filmmaking from a visceral and passionate region that has consistently served up captivating characters, images and stories. This coming September's program features impressive debuts by up and coming filmmakers with bold new films like; Renate Costa's Cuchillo de palo/108, Oscar Ruiz Navia'sCrab Trap, and Mariano Llinas's Extraordinary Stories, as well as the welcome return of familiar names who have premiered here in the past, such as; Enrique Piñeyro, this year with the U.S premiere of El Rati Horror Show, Marcelo Piñeyro with the U.S. premiere of Thursday Widows, and Matias Meyer withThe Cramp. With five films making their US premiere and nine additional titles having their New York premiere at the Film Society's Walter Reade Theater, the 2010 edition of the Latinbeat Film Festival promises to delight, engage and inspire audiences.

    "No matter the subject or genre, the films in this year's Latinbeat Film Festival seem to challenge our ideas of Latin American identity, allowing us to experience the vertigo of its constant renewal almost first hand," says The Film Society's Marcela Goglio. "As democracies consolidate and societies try to come to terms with their turbulent pasts, a constant search for a new identity is palpable in the stories told on film; and whether fiction or documentary, many of this year's films deal with abrasive historical issues that are still having an impact on Latin American people today, which gives the series a sense of urgency and excitement."

    The 2010 Latinbeat Film Festival opens with the US Premiere of Marcelo Piñeyro's Thursday Widows (Las viudas de los jueves), based on the best selling thriller by Argentine author Claudia Piñeiro. Widows unravels a web of deception, violence, corruption and alienation that underlies the apparently seamless lives of four families living in an upscale gated community outside of Buenos Aires, set within the explosive context of Argentina's political and economic crisis of 2001. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Juan Diego Botto, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Ernesto Alterio, Pablo Echarri, Thursday Widows, has already seen box office success in Argentina and Spain and is certain to leave audiences at the edge of their seats, as a thriller not to be missed.

    The 2010 Latinbeat Film Festival will also host two special events; Women Leading the Latinbeat, is the Film Society's popular brunch event honoring the talented Latin American women filmmakers participating in this year's program. The filmmakers in attendance will include Eva and Lola director Sabrina Farji, Thursday Widows producer Vanessa Ragone, (with more to be confirmed in the weeks ahead) , who will participate in a panel discussion to be held in the Film Society's Furman Gallery on September 12th at 11am. Co-presented by The International Committee of New York Women in Film and Television, Women Leading the Latinbeat is a free event with the purchase of a ticket to the 1pm screening of Eva y Lola.

    Also scheduled, Latin-O-America, co-presented with Cinema Tropical, that will feature up-and-coming, New York-based U.S. Latino and Latin American filmmakers followed by a cocktail reception in the Furman Gallery on September 9th beginning at 700pm. Moderated by Carlos A. Gutiérrez, co-founding director, Cinema Tropical, the Latin-O-America participants will include:

    Nicolás Entel (Sins of My Father); Sandra Kogut (Mutum); David Barba (Pop Star on Ice); Margarita Jimeno (Gogol Bordello Non-Stop).

    Additional Latinbeat Film Festival highlightswill include the screening of the astonishing and groundbreakingExtraordinary Stories, co-presented by Film Comment Selects. Immediately after the screening, the audience can join in on the conversation between the Film Society's Scott Foundas and director Mariano Llinas, taking place Friday Sept 17th at 630pm. Also showing, a sampling of original shorts by renowned Argentine directors, in celebration of Argentina's bicentennial this year.

    The 2010 Latinbeat Film Festival will host one of its largest contingents of Latin American directors to visit New York since the series began over a decade ago. Filmmakers confirmed to attend this year will include: German Berger (My Life With Carlos), Efterpi Charalambidis (Libertador Morales), Sabrina Farji (Eva y Lola), Carlos Hagerman (Back to Life), Ruben Imaz (Cephalopodus), Mariano Llinas (Extraordinary Stories), Matias Meyer (The Cramp), Enrique Piñeyro (El Rati Horror Show), Cristian Jimenez (Optical Illusions), Marcelo Piñeyro (director, Thursday Widows), and Vanessa Ragone (producer, Thursday Widows).

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    Sorry to say my future fest coverage will be similar to this year's.
    Wow! That's a lot of material for discussion! Some quick comments.
    I don't know if the two Argentinian directors with the name Pineyro are brothers (one born in Italia but that doesn't mean anything). I know that both are very good directors working within the Argentine film industry (older and more conventional than the filmmakers of the Nuevo Cine Argentino). Both have a good track record. I have seen about 3 or 4 movies by each director. Real solid filmmaking.
    Glad as can be about CRAB TRAP being included (that's the other Colombian movie I wrote about, the one that didn't play at SFIFF).
    OPTICAL ILLUSIONS played at the MIFF but I didn't see it (looks good).
    The other film that played at the MIFF which I missed, most lamentably, is EXTRAORDINARY STORIES. It's over four hours, highly experimental, demanding, with a super dense narrative, and made on a low budget. The most "sophisticated" Latino critics love it. Conversely, the film is said to generate substantial walk-outs from audiences who don't expect to have to work so hard during a movie screening.

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    Thanks for sharing your expertise. I'll keep what you said in mind if the opportunity arises to see any of these.

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    You're welcome. I hope EXTRAORDINARY STORIES get shown here as part of a series or something. It is the kind of movie that film history forgets or neglects, like Rivette's OUT 1. I might have to download it online to watch it.

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    EXTRAORDINARY STORIES is from Argentina and by Mariano Llinás.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1225831/

    MUBI is interested in it. http://mubi.com/films/20997 Maybe they will make it available some time.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-29-2010 at 08:15 PM.

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    Thanks. Have you noticed that IMdb is now using every film's English title as the main title rather than the original title when it is in a foreign language?

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    Now that you mention it, yes. That has its advantages and disadvantages. I prefer to know the original titles, but in the case of languages I don't at all know, they can be confusing, and of course English is the language of IMDb and a kind of lingua franca today. By the way I was going to say that HISTORIAS EXTRAORDINARIAS made me think of HISTORIAS MINIMAS, the titles of one of Carlos Sorin's charming films. It's not ultiamtely a good idea to downgrade the origial title, because it conveys the intentions of the filmmakers better than some approximation of substitute cooked up by American distributors. Of course INTIMATE STORIES loses the modesty and irony of Sorin's original title.

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    New argentine cinema

    I see now that was part of a bigger list on MUBI:

    NEW ARGENTINE CINEMA.

    I've only seen ten or twelve. You probably have seen all of them. EXTRAORDINARY STORIES is there.

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    You found arsaib, apparently. You got along better with her (did you know arsaib is a female?) than I did. My taste and hers coincide more often than not. It's just that arsaib was the kind of person who got offended if you disagreed with her. She'd get upset, for instance, if I were to argue that films directed by Pineyro, Aristarain and Solanas are not part of the new wave of Argentine cinema (Nuevo Cine Argentino) but films made within the established mainstream film industry in Argentina. Then again, I feel like hugging anyone who makes a list in which the top 3 films are by Martel and they are followed by four Lisandro Alonso films. The movie at the top is THE HOLY GIRL! Tuesday I will give a lecture on Martel at the U, then show this amazing film and debate its merits.

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    MUBI is a big film site. I don't know about getting along, but I don't do feuds.

    I can see your point that the list is too large for "New."

    I assume "Oscar" is not a woman.

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    I don't do feuds either. I use my real name here but I have used two monikers at other sites in the past: Cineman and Orson Lubitsch. Very masculine, no? It would be fun to use something like Reel Queen or Lady Cinerama and have readers assume I am female... Have you ever used a moniker online?

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