Friday, 13 November 2015 08:16

SLIFF: Day Nine

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The home stretch is here and Day 9 brings a nice collection of documentaries, shorts and free programs about important issues. There are also some terrific feature films screening as well.

Henri Henri has been on my list of movies to see since the schedule went public. Martin Talbot’s film has drawn comparisons to Amelie’ in that it features a quirky and odd protagonist thrust into the real world. It’s about Henri, an orphan charged with maintaining the chandeliers and lights in a local orphanage. His life is turned upside down when his home is sold forcing him to make his way out into in a fast paced world. Alone in a new environment he finds a job, meets a girl and sees the world with a new luminosity. This fish out of water story is told with a lighthearted comedic tone that is paced and timed to perfection. It also screens on Saturday. Friday, November 13, 7 p.m., Plaza Frontenac.

The Dinner is an Italian film based on Herman Koch’s novel about two brothers who discover things about each other over a family supper. It seems simple enough until surveillance footage showing the assault of family member splits open wounds and leads to a powerful cinematic conversation about class, justice, family and responsibility. 9: 10 p.m. at Plaza Frontenac with another showing tomorrow afternoon at 4:45 p.m. If you want to see this get tickets in advance. It will sell out.

If you love silent movies then please check out an exciting double bill of Tod Browning gems screening at Webster tonight starting at 7:30 p.m. This double bill features a film he starred in, The Unknown, (featuring Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford) along with one he directed, Freaks. Both will feature a live musical accompaniment by the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra and an introduction and post-film discussion by Tom Stockman, editor and creative director of the We Are Movie Geeks website.

The Missouri History Museum is hosting The Whole World Was Watching” Photographs and Videos of Ferguson by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This free event at 7 p.m. Social activists and photojournalists will enjoy

program of photos and videos related to the happenings in Ferguson. Included in the presentation are recently shot material, accompanied with live commentary about the images and from the Post-Dispatch photography staff.

It has been eight years since Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-Hsien has released a film. Well thankfully he’s back with a new martially arts film that percolates and builds into a burst of cinematically stunning kinetic energy. The Flight of The Balloon director has set his film in 9th century China where a young woman returns from exile to kill her fiancé.’ Hou Hsiao-Hsien was named best director at Cannes 2015 for his work on this film. If you want to see this but have scheduling issues, fear not. The Assassin is coming to the Webster Film series in the next month where it will play for several days. 7:30 p.m. Tivoli.

Over at SLU’s Center for Global Citizenship there is a free screening at 7:30 p.m. of Finding Bosnia, which tells the story of a Bosnian refugee looking to reclaim her cultural identity. It’s star, Ivana Horvat and co-director Hopffgarten will be on hand for a Q & A.

 This afternoon features a wonderful film from Japan, Yoko the Cherry Blossom. It’s the true story of a schoolteacher in war torn Japan who is forced to accept fate after his students are called up to serve in the Imperial army. This reflective movie examines the emotional impact of war and the connectivity of community. 2:15 p.m. Plaza Frontenac.

 The Stage at KDHX offers The Jones Family Will Make A Way, which chronicles the thirty-year career of this legendary gospel music family.  Controversy erupts however when the choir takes it’s message outside of their own church, leading to critical claim and exposure. Director Alan Berg has reminded us of the importance of gospel in America’s musical heritage while recognizing the work of this influential family.

 With the end of the fest in range it is becoming harder and harder to make tough choices with regard to selecting what movies to see. There is so much out there and the schedule is so layered that you literally get headaches trying to plan it. The best plan is to read the movie summaries a few times and then make a list of priorities. Then do some research online to determine what your next steps will be. Hopefully this weeding process will allow you more flexibility after you check the SLIFF schedule for repeat showings.

 It can be an arduous task, but at the end of the day you’ll find your nirvana. Or you could just randomly pick something too.

Either way the big takeaway from all of this is that SLIFF 2015 is massive so support it.

 For a full list of movies visit: www.cinemastlouis.org

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