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Martin Scorsese Masterclass in Cannes

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Alex Deleon

Locarno Fest closes with awards and Nashville

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NASHVILLE CLOSES FEST AS AWARDS ARE ANNOUNCEDThe 58th installment of the Locarno film festival at the Tippety-top of glorious Lago Maggiore in the Italian Speaking part of Switzerland (Ticino) got underway on Wednesday, August 3rd and concluded August 13. Some 300 films of all kinds will be projected at numerous venues all over town, but the main event is the slate of 18 features in competition for the spotted leopard awards, the jungle cat in question being the symbol of this fabulous Alpine re...

Locarno video competition and more

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Video CompetitionThe Iranian entry “President Mir Qanbar” by Mohammed Shirvari is a most unusual documentary about a 74 year old man from a village in the Turkish speaking Azerbaijan region who mounts his own private campaign to run for president of Iran. He travels from village to village on a bicycle addressing whoever will listen with a portable megaphone and is accompanied by a deformed cripple riding a donkey cart. Being a poor villager himself he contends to be sensitive to the probl...

Krakow Short & Docu Festival

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45th KRAKOW SHORT & DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL "L'embarras de choix" The 'Krakow Internationl Festival of Short and Documentary Films', which is now its 45th incarnation Making it one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals of this kind in the world, has shortened its official monicker to a more simple "KRAKOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL" and has expanded its offerings to a mind-boggling 440 films -- all screened within six days as singleton showings in four different locations. With this ...

Harvey Keitel Special Guest of Istanbul Film Festival

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Harvey Keitel Special Guest of24th International Istanbul Film FestivalThe Istanbul International Film Festival which started out as a small "filmweek" offshoot of a general Turkish culture festival back in 1982 has now grown into an interesting middle-sized festival bridging Europe and Asia while simultaneously showcasing Turkish films before a considerable gathering of world press and cinema professionals. A jury headed by New Zealand director Jane Campion, whose film "The Piano" starring Harv...

Rouen prizes and the triumph of Villa Paranoia

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The final judgements at Rouen, Festival of Nordic Cinema, were as follows :Best film, professional jury, "Uno" by Aksel Hennie, a very violent and morose Norwegian product, about scruffy Norwegian hoods who hang out at a boxing gymnasium on the underside of Oslo, directed as far as I can see, at people with deep agressive urges: Best actor, Bjorn Sundquist -- the barber of "My Favorite (Jealous) Hairdresser", and best actress, Monic Hendrickx, for her role as an attractive woman who has suffered...

Rouen Festival: Flemish films in focus

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With the festival passing the midpoint the discoveries and revelations keep on coming. One of the best sections has been an eight unit overview of Flemish language films, a national cinema based in Antwerp which is all but unknown outside of Belgium and is easily confusable with Dutch cinema because the Flemish and Dutch languages are as similar as British and American English -- but also as different! -- The standout of this section is "Rosie -- Een duivel in mijn kop" (Rosie, A Devil in my Hea...

XVIII Festival of Nordic Cinema, in Rouen

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The 18th annual edition of the Rouen "Festival du Cinema Nordique" will take place this year between March 9 -19 in this most picturesque of northern French cities. One may wonder what is the connection between France and Nordic cinema and the answer is two-fold: (1) Rouen, the seat of the festival, is situated in the heart of Normandie, a part of France which was invaded and colonized by the Vikings, or "Northmen" -- the Men of the North, way back in the middle ages, hence the name of the regi...

Tromso Festival opens the European Fest season

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TROMSO FESTIVAL IS THE CURTAIN RAISER OF THE EUROPEAN FILMFEST SEASON -- The Tromso film festival, located in extreme Northern Norway, precisely six degrees above the Arctic Circle, is not only the Northernmost accredited film festival in the world, but also the first international film festival on the annual Europen calendar, preceding Gotteburg and Rotterdam which come later in the month. This will be the fifteenth installment of this unusual midwinter film fest under the Northern Lights an...

London ends a 16 day run

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The London Film Festival has ended its 16 day run with more of a whimper than a bang, closing out with a gala screening of the inconsequential comedy, “I Heart Huckabee”, which failed to attract the usual flow of celebrities on a chilly Thursday Night in Leicester Square. An alternate last-night screening, “MA MERE”, a socio-pathological shocker from France, starring one of the best of all Gallic actresses, Isabelle Huppert turned out to be a better festival capstone than “Huckabee”...

"Los Angeles Plays Itself" (and at London Fest)

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LONDON FILM FESTIVAL, ”LA PLAYS ITSELF”In the category of “Experimental”, films which, in one way or another tend to defy categorization, today’s entry was “LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF”, a two hour and 49 minute celluloid essay on the way the city of Los Angeles has been presented in various Hollywood films over the years. The director of this homage to the City of Angels (and incidentally to little known ‘B’ movies shot in L.A.), Thom Andersen, was present to introduce the film...

Fritz Lang's rare Spione restored for London Festgoers

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FRITZ LANG’S “SPIONE”, 1929, RESTOREDA major event of the current London Film Festival was a showing of a listening, newly restored print of Fritz Lang’s 1929 “SPIONE” (Spies). Appearing on the cusp of the sound era this was one of the final monuments of the silent cinema. The film is, to some degree, a reworking of Lang’s earlier “Dr. Mabuse", and is an extremely fanciful espionage story, apparently set in a mythological Czechoslovakia, with Japanese, German and British agents f...

Vanity Fair, 5X2 and a few more reviews from London

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Alex Deleon,London Film Festival,November 1, 2004Today’s films:(1) “Vanity Fair” with Rees Witherspoon as the social climbing “mountaineer”, Becky Sharp with seamless English accent, in Napoleonic era England, via Thackeray – A lush high budget production by Mira Nair (of “Monsoon Rain”) – fantastic costumes, makeup, sets, horses, rich colour photography, good acting all around from a full cast of English stalwarts, Bob Hoskins, Gabriel Byrne, nearly the entire British “a Li...

London Film Fest 4 Chaplin keystones

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In the restored prints section a group of four early Chaplin shorts, all from the year 1914, were shown with live piano accompaniment. These restorations were made with the cooperation of film archives and collections all over the world and, presumably, show the films in a condition as close as it is possible to achieve, to the form in which audiences saw them ninety years ago. Even the printed inter-titles have been reconstructed, presumably, as originally shown. These films were all made at ...

London Fest opens in relaxed ambiance says Leigh

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The London Film Festival (November 20 – November 4) has opened appropriately, with a new English film, Mike Leigh’s “Vera Drake”, set in 1950s London. Mr. Leigh and the star of his film, Imelda Staunton, who is in line for an Oscar for her startling portrayal of a back-street abortionist in early post-war London, were guests of honour last night at the British premiere of the film. Other high profile guests were directors Anthony Minghella (“Cold Mountain”) and Ridley Scott. Vi...

San Sebastian delivers its Conchas

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Earlier we said: "If this one (Turtles Can Fly) doesn't take the big prize tomorrow, I for one, will be very much surprised". CUT TO: Saturday Night. September, 25 -- well: It did!Prizes. In the final sweepstakes "Turtles Can Fly", the odds-on favorite from Iran, did not disappoint and claimed the Concha De Oro (Golden Seashell) top prize for best film. Director Bahman Ghobadi dedicated his prize to the Kurdish people with a satisfied smile and an upheld fist. Other main prize winners ("Si...

San Sebastian: live from the fest closing week end

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Friday's competition program opened with “BOMBON, The Dog”, an Argentine film by Carlos Sorín who won a jury prize here two years ago with “Minimal stories”. This director works characteristically with non-professional actors who appear in his films under their real names. “Bom-Bon” is the name of a docile white mastiff who shares the lead with a gentle man from Patagonia by the name of Juan Villegas. Juan, after losing his job in a remote desert gas station, held for twenty years, ...

San Sebastian: live from the fest closing week end

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Friday's competition program opened with “BOMBON, The Dog”, an Argentine film by Carlos Sorín who won a jury prize here two years ago with “Minimal stories”. This director works characteristically with non-professional actors who appear in his films under their real names. “Bom-Bon” is the name of a docile white mastiff who shares the lead with a gentle man from Patagonia by the name of Juan Villegas. Juan, after losing his job in a remote desert gas station, held for twenty ye...

San Sebastian: live from the fest closing week end

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Friday's competition program opened with “BOMBON, The Dog”, an Argentine film by Carlos Sorín who won a jury prize here two years ago with “Minimal stories”. This director works characteristically with non-professional actors who appear in his films under their real names. “Bom-Bon” is the name of a docile white mastiff who shares the lead with a gentle man from Patagonia by the name of Juan Villegas. Juan, after losing his job in a remote desert gas station, held for twenty ye...

San Sebastian live

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THE 52nd SAN SEBASTIAN FILM FESTIVALAs if to serve notice that this festival is solidly back on track in the "Big Time" the 52nd edition of this Basque Country autumn extravaganza opened with a bang on September 17 with a screening of Woody Allen's latest opus, "Melinda Melinda" and an opening night lifetime award presented to the American director who was here in person to accept the honor from the hands of Spanish super-star director, Pedro Almodovar.. Allen who is well known for his dislike ...

Krakow fest honors Albert Maysles

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The Krakow festival of short and documentary films is one of the oldest and most prestigious events of its kind in the world. Launched in 1961, the 44th installment of the festival, was held here from May 28 to June 1st. There are two competition sections, one for international films and one for indigenous Polish films.Retrospectives are another strong feature of the festival while, in many cases, the filmmakers are present to discuss their work with the audience and press.The distinguished gue...
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