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The Theory of Everything (2014) A Stephen  Hawking Biopic. A Lush Baroque Love Story Turns into a Medical Nightmare --   Alex Deleon, filmfestivals.com A Theory of Almost Everything-- or Cosmology for Beginners. Viewed at MK2 Bibliothèque, Paris, January 26, 2015. This fervent quasi religious hagiography starts out as a tender saccharine love story in Cambridge,1963, but soon segues into a Medical Horror picture. It ultimately became an ordeal to sit through because h...

20th GAIFF: Highlight of the week was meeting French Critic Brigiitte Leloire

GOLDEN APRICOT YEREVAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 9 — 16 July 2023. by  Alex Deleon    Filmfestivals.com Looking back at  the 20th GAIFF  Golden Apricot film festival I can say that the most interesting person I met  here was  Brigitte Leloire Kerackian,  Armenian French journalist from Lyon France.   I was surprised to find that  Brigitte shares my interest in Indian cinema, especially the Bollywood cinema, and has done ex...

The Drummer reviewed from The Golden Apricot Film Festival

By Alex Deleon for filmfestivals.com   The Golden Apricot Film Festival,  now in its twentieth year, always tends to spotlight films from countries in the region which are not likely to get much exposure at other festivals.  This, in addition, of course, to a wide selection of other films from around the world and prize winners from top festivals such as  Cannes and  Venice. On Bastille Day, July 14th, I caught up with two off-beat Georgian features a...

"Magic Mountain" review from The Golden Apricot Film Festival, now in its twentieth year

  By Alex Deleon for filmfestivals.com The Golden Apricot Film Festival,  now in its twentieth year, always tends to spotlight films from countries in the region which are not likely to get much exposure at other festivals.  This, in addition, of course, to a wide selection of other films from around the world and prize winners from top festivals such as  Cannes and  Venice. On Bastille Day, July 14th, I caught up with two off-beat Georgian features a...

"Beat" Takeshi, the Wildman of Japanese Cinema, is the Special Guest of the 20th GAIFF film festival

2023 Golden Apricot Film Festival  in Yerevan runs July 9 – 16, 2023 By Alex Deleon  for Filmfestivals.com Takeshi Kirano at the height of "beatness" in "Violent Cop", 1989 Takeshi Kitano (北野 武, Kitano Takeshi, born January 18, 1947), better known as Beat Takeshi (ビートたけし, Bīto Takeshi) in Japan, is a Japanese comedian, actor, and filmmaker.  The nickname "beat" which he adopted as...

Golden Apricot will launch with Jessica Woodworth's Luka

By Alex Deleon The 20th Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival will take place from July 9th to 17th this year. As always, the festival will present films from different countries around the world in the competition sections, including films from prestigious film festivals such as Cannes and Berlin. World cinema artists will come to Armenia to share their experiences and art with cinema lovers. This year, "Golden Apricot" celebrates its 20th anniversary, coinci...

ALL ABOUT EVE ... A classic film review of a Classic

 All About Eve (1950) The Divine Bette Davis at her peak -- Fasten your seatbelt ... By Alex Deleon. An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends -- and DOES she ever!!'  Viewed at the Berlin Film Festival, 2010.   Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz.  Writer: Mankiewicz,written for the screen by the director himself. Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, wit...

Goa Festival Controversy over "The Kashmir Files"

By  Alex Deleon   Leading Israeli filmmaker, Nadav Lapid (47) has touched off a gigantic controversy in India with critical remarks over the Bollywood entry,  "The Kashmir Files" at the  53rd International Film Festival of  India (IFFI), which ended on November 28 in the resort city  of Goa. Lapidus presided  over the jury and made his remarks at the closing ceremony describing the already contentious film as  "vulgar propaganda" &n...

"Aurora's Sunrise": a Genocide documentary with animation, was the sensation and the discovery of the 2022 Golden Apricot Fest

 "Review by Alex Deleon  "Aurora's Sunrise":   a Genocide documentary with animation, was the sensation and the discovery of the 2022 Golden Apricot film festival in Yerevan.  More than a genocide tale, it is one of the long suppression and eventual resurrection of the life and testimony of an indomitable genocide survivor, Aurora Mardiganian (a.k.a Arshaluys Mardigian) ,  who lived to retell her tale at age 83, when an Armenian American scholar f...

Nineteeth Golden Apricot Reviews: "The Forgotten Homeland"

 by Alex Deleon for Filmfestivals.com     Nineteeth Golden Apricot Reviews "The Forgotten Homeland"  A Documentary film by Egyptian director, Essam Nagy. was the main event of the first full day of the festival.  The subject  was the aftereffects of the 2020 Artsakhh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan World Premiere. A shocker to end all shockers. The full house audience  at the Moskva Theater Red Hall  was transfixed. I was...

Golden Apricot Reports: AMERIKATSI -- A new look at Armenia from a half Armenian viewpoint

Golden Apricot Reports -- July 10-17, Yerevan            by Alex Deleon   The film poster shows a man standing in a Storks nest gazing out at the holy Mount Ararat in the distance, and perhaps beyond to the Diaspora.  In Armenia storks are a symbol of the Diaspora because they always come back home no matter how far they have flown ... AMERIKATSI   means  "The American " in Armenian and it was the prestige Opening Film ...

Golden Apricot, Yerevan, 2022 YOL, The Full Version, restored and expanded raises festival consciousness

  19th Golden Apricot Film Festival Reviews, Yerevan, 2022 YOL, The Full Version, restored and expanded raises festival consciousness.          By Alex Deleon for filmfestivals.com     Freshly minted and fully packed to stir the soul!   The Turkish film YOL (The Way)  caused quite a stir when it was "rescued from prison" and presented at the 1982 Cannes film festival where it shared the  top prize, the Palme d...

Kaagaz Ke Phool : Citizen Kane comes to India -- A masterpiece by Guru Dutt

Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) INDIA, Guru Dutt Classic Citizen Kane comes to India -- A masterpiece by Guru  Dutt By Alex Deleon  वक़्त ने किया क्या हसीं सितम तुम रहे न तुम हम रहे न हम वक़्त ने किया क्या हसीं सितम तुम रहे न तुम ह...

Golden Apricot Reviews: Asghar Farhadi's Hero

     Golden Apricot  Reviews:  "A Hero", Iranian, 2021, directed by Asghar Farhadi by Alex Delonian Filmrestivals.com    Asghar  is a past master of the shaggy dog story that makes mountains out of mole hills yet manages to maintain interest.  He is also very good at getting the best out of his actors. The  so-called hero of this film is Rahim Soltani who is in and out of jail on debtors charges for failure to pa...

Golden Apricot Reviews: Three aspects of Genocide

By Alex Deleon, filmfestivals.com   Evolucion,  director Kornel Mundruczo, Hungary.. A stifling regurgitation of all the atrocities perpetrated upon the Jews in the concentration camps and elsewhere, as told by a bitter aging Hungarian mother to her unreceptive daughter. The mother was born in Auschwitz and somehow survived to tell the tale. The daughter who would rather forget the Holocaust doesn't really want to hear all this, but the mother d...

Golden Apricot Reviews: "Maro's Secret". (El secreto de Maró): truly truly truly amazing!

By Alex Deleon, Yerevan  "Maro's Secret", at Moskva Theater Red Hall: director Alejandro Magnone starring the amazing Norma Aleandro, age 85. This actress is truly truly truly amazing! Rarely does the first film you see at a festival make such an impression that you feel your festival is made right there, even if you don't see another picture. That was  my reaction yesterday to the  unheralded Argentine drama  "Maro's Secret" starr...

Dilip Kumar, legendary Indian actor, dies at 98.

By Alex Deleon Dilip Kumar, one of Bollywood’s most revered actors has died. The Indian actor died Wednesday ,July 7, in a hospital in Mumbai after a long illness. He was 98. Kumar was known as the “Tragedy King.” because of the many heartbroken lovers he portrayed, which became his calling card during the Golden age of Hindi cinema.  His active career spanned five decades from 1944 to  1998 during which. time he appeared in over 160 films.    Among ...

The Golden Apricot Film Festival, GAIFF, Rides Again in Yerevan honoring Paul Schrader

After being canceled last year because of the Covid pandemic Yerevan's unique Golden Apricot film festival is back in action. The 18th edition of this Armenian festival has been moved back this year from its usual midsummer slot to the current early autumn  time frame.  The traditional guest of honor this year is senior Hollywood director Paul Schrader, now 75, with nineteen directed feature films behind him. Schrader started out as a film critic and screenwriter. His study of J...

Karlovy Vary rides again ...

By Alex Deleon   The  full scale revival of the Karlovy Vary film festival is an encouaging sign that the end of the Covid era may soon be in sight. Delayed only a month from its usual early to mid July slot the 55th edition  is in full swing with a healthy turnout of fans and celebrities. Guests wore COVID-safe wrist bands after having presented proof of vaccine status on arrival, but few masks were in sight in the fully packed hall at the opening ceremony High profile...

The Film Festival Master Class Phenomenon or how the festivals get big stars to visit them

By  Alex Deleon, flying film cynic   As far as VIP visitors are concerned, some pretty big names can turn up in some pretty peculiar places, as long as their schedules permit, the deal is made sweet (for example by offering a “Lifetime Career Award”), and the destination in question happens to be a spot on the planet which the celebrity in question may be interested in seeing, just for the helluvit.    So, for example, Harvey Keitel turns up i...

Casablanca. Revisited, with revisionist sequel... Here's Looking At You, Kid!

It's still the same old story ... Casablanca.     The story of a hot love affair with  badly crossed wires. Rick Blaine,  an American  adventurer  (H. Bogart) is hanging out in Paris after the Spanish Civil war and carrying on a hot and heavy love affair with Lisa, a central European refugee from the German occupation of her country. She is a stunning beauty. (Ingrid Bergman). When the Germans blitz France out of action , Rick and Lisa agree to mee...

"Don't stir my Martini, Just shake it a little" Sean Connery, 1930 - 2020 a Fond Farewell

By Alex Deleon                 Some actors never die, they just pass away to a higher realm.             The ultimate incarnation of James Bond, double 0'Seven, has cashed in his chips here down below, but in cinema heaven he will reign forever as the coolest of the cool with a License to Kill, but only bad guys, which he did flawlessly in half a dozen of the best romantic action films ever made. Several other ac...

Social Distancing in Action!

Staying safe at the movie with Spielberg. ...

Battle of a Soldier A confinement review

By Alex Deleon Just watched one of the greatest of all Russian films -- On Russian TV, One of the very best. Ballad of a Soldier.  World War II. Black and white masterpiece. I saw it only when it first came out in 1959 But it made such a tremendous impression on me that still remembered many scenes all these years later.     Years later in Manila  I was at the same dinner table with director Grigori Bondarchuk and we  had a fine conversation -- that was 1983,...

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