SLIFF: Day 10Written by Robert Levy
The St. Louis International Film Festival has been around for 23 years. During all of that time the Fest has never attempted a day of programming as bold, audacious and diverse as today.
In addition to some great music and dance programs the day includes a full slate of independent films, a filmmakers coffee, master classes, a dinner extravaganza and a burlesque show!
Today’s cinema smorgasbord truly does have something for everyone. So explore the schedule, get a posse together and go to the Fest!
The 50-Year Argument
The New York Review of Books is the subject of this documentary co-sponsored by Martin Scorsese.
The Boxcar Children
Brown Hall/Washington University
This animated film is based on the popular collection from Gertrude Chandler Warner. Set in the 1920s, it centers on the Aldens, four kids who are making it on their own. Things get bad however when one of them becomes sick. Dan Chuba and Mark Dippe will be on hand for a Q & A after the film.
Me and You
It’s been 32 years since we’ve gotten a film from Bernardo Bertolucci. With Me and You he focuses on themes of family, escapism and intimacy through Lorenzo, a teenage who runs away from the world in favor of a world of isolation. When his half sister enters the pictures things really get weird in this sumptuous feature from one of cinema’s masters.
Rubber Soul is a documentary about two interviews with Yoko Ono and John Lennon. The first is from 1970 with Rolling Stone. The second happened a decade later, in 1980, with Playboy Magazine. Director Jon Lefkowitz uses these two moments to accentuate their impact on music and society.
My Sweet Pepperland
Baran, a war hero, returns to Iraq and takes up the post of sheriff in a town in Kurdistan that borders Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Baran walks an honest path, refusing to use corruption for his own gain. Sparks begin to fly when the rigid Baran meets up with the town’s schoolteacher.
A Hard Day’s Night
Centene Center For The Arts
Beatles fans are in paradise as Richard Lester’s cinematic romp, A Hard Days Night screens at SLIFF. The film has been restored for its 50th anniversary and since this version never made it to local screens SLIFF is showing it here alongside a handcrafted menu from Tenacious Eats is pretty cool. Tickets include both dinner and the film.
Tribute to The Nicholas Brothers
This year Dance St. Louis and Cinema St. Louis have teamed up for a program of Dance In Film. One of the movies highlighting this series documentary about the prolific Fayard and Harold Nicholas, brothers whose vanguard dance work is unmatched. Bruce Goldstein of the Film Forum in New York hosts this free presentation.
Eddie Marsan is a terrific actor with a great deal of range. His new film, Still Life, showcases him perfectly. He plays John May, a meticulous council worker who tirelessly works to find relatives of people who die alone. This obsession leads to some seriously goofy activity as he plans services for those who have no family.
Tribute to Roberta Collins
The life and career of B-movie queen Roberta Collins is remembered with a concert from Stace England and Screen Syndicate. A retrospective of her work, including interviews, clips and trailers is featured as well as a screening of Caged Heat.
Centene Center For The Arts
SLIFF is throwing a live burlesque extravaganza that is sure to knock your socks off. This filmmaker party comes complete with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a show hosted by the legendary Show Me Charlotte
Yesterday I spent a majority of my film watching time at Plaza Frontenac. It is not my favorite venue. This has nothing to do with the theater or its staff, but mostly its surroundings. PF is stale, aloof and devoid of character.
If you need to kill time between movies there’s not a lot to do. None of the stores hold any appeal to me, and just try to find an unsweetened ice tea or snack in that place.
All of this has made me a part of the SLIFF diaspora that fleas the warm shininess of the mall in favor for the nearby Panera Bread which has served as a sort of hangout pro temps for cinephiles waiting to see movies in the mall.
But getting back to the movies. sadly all of this barely even cracks the surface of today’s offerings. The best recommendation I can offer is to dive in headfirst and find stuff you want to see.
Check the schedule on line at www.cinemastlouis.org