Sunday, 08 November 2015 11:58

SLIFF: Day Four

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Downloaded, The final installment of Alex Winter related programming screened yesterday, This documentary about the rise of Napster and music downloading played to a capacity theatre yesterday.  Winter hosted a final Q&A with Winter.

I enjoyed Jasmine, an under the radar entry at the festival. This noir styled thriller has a great plot twist in the final act that throws all of your preconceptions about the plot and protagonist right out the window. Director Dax Phelan, who has St. Louis connections, answered questions about the film.

The 33 tells the story of Chilean miners who were trapped 2000 feet underground.  Based on 2010’s real events it played every one of its cards to engage the audience.  It is an intensely emotional film about the triumph of will and the importance of never giving up. Antonia Banderas was, for the most part, solid in it, although his proclivity for overacting does come out in a few spots. Lou Diamond Philips is terrific in a supporting role. Gabriel Byrne and Bob Gunton have the worst Chilean accents ever, but somehow you over look all of that. Juliet Binoche also stars in the film as a gritty and tough advocate for the miner’s families. The supporting cast is really good as well.

I was trying to see Husband Factor at the Hi-Pointe Backlot. Like Maxwell Smart, I missed it by this much, as it had sold out a few minutes before. Since I couldn’t see that one I saw the aforementioned The 33 instead. Looking at today’s slate of films, Husband Factor screens at 1 p.m. at the Hi-Pointe Backlot. It’s a Turkish comedy about youth, marriage and family.

This leads me to remind everyone to get advance tickets early. Films will sell out in advance!

Today is a pretty big deal!

Civil rights activist and U.S. Congressman John Lewis will be in attendance for the screening of the documentary, Get In The Way: The Journey of John Lewis at 7. p.m. at Brown Hall at Washington University. The film is the first biographical film about Lewis. if  you plan on attending this free screening arrive early. It is going to be a madhouse and seating is limited!

At 6:45 p.m. Women in Film Award recipient Rosemary Rodriguez returns to SLIFF after a 14 year absence to present her new film, Silver Skies. This maverick director has a massive resume in television and film having directed the film Acts of Worship, and episodes of The Good Wife, Hell On Wheels, Elementary, Hawthorne, Empire and Rescue Me.

If that was not enough, the Hungarian Oscar entry, Son of Saul, is playing at Webster at 6:15 p.m.  The movie is about Saul Ausländer, a Hungarian Sonderkommando, (an isolated prisoners forced to assist the Nazis at Auschwitz) who, while working in the crematorium,  finds the body of a boy he believes to be his son. Traumatized, he undertakes the impossible task of finding a rabbi to offer the lad a proper burial.

Carol is riding a wave of Academy Award momentum for its two stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Price of Salt, it is a 1950s love story about two women from very different backgrounds. The film sees Blanchett reteam with Director Todd Haynes whom she worked on with I’m Not There. It screens at 4 p.m. at the Tivoli.

If music is your thing then head to The Stage at KDHX for Revival: The Sam Bush Story at 7 p.m. This documentary from Wayne Franklin and Kris E. Wheeler traces the evolution of Newgrass founder Sam Bush as an artist and explores the genre he created. Newgrass takes the fundamental sound of bluegrass music and augments it with a fresher, more contemporary sound. Bush will be on hand with the film’s directors for a performance and Q&A after the screening. 

Seeing as today is going to have a lot of crowds it is recommended that you plan on arriving early to find parking and get tickets. 

For information on all Day 4 events visit the festival website, www.cinemastlouis.org

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