The big local event of DC’s film year starts next week, FilmFestDC (contrary to what I told an out-of-town programmer friend with whom I went out last night — I really thought at the time that the festival began this week). The Opening Night film (a la-dee-da affair I’ve never gone to) is the Russian musical HIPSTERS, which I almost certainly will see at some point. And the Closing-Night film (which I have gone to once — Lukas Moodysson’s TOGETHER some years ago) is the (still undistributed — why?!?!) German feel-good food-porn film SOUL KITCHEN. There are programs of films from Italy and Romania, the latter of which seems more mouth-watering at this moment in history. There also seemed to be, though not a formal program, a large number of wedding films and music-related films.
These are the films playing here that I saw and (with one exception, that I will see again) reviewed at Toronto or Charlottesville last year:
AIR DOLL (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 7)
I KILLED MY MOTHER (Xavier Dolan, Canada, 7) — my review here (2nd capsule)
IRENE (Alain Cavalier, France, 3) — my review here (3rd capsule)
SCHEHEREZADE, TELL ME A STORY¹ (Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt, 5) — my review here, 2nd capsule
SHAMELESS (Jan Hrebejk, Czech Republic, 3) — my review here (4th capsule)
SOUL KITCHEN (Fatih Akin, Germany, 6) — my review here (4th capsule)
TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE² (Cristian Mungiu / Ioana Uricaru / Hanno Hofer / Razvan Marculescu / Constantin Popescu; Romania) average: 6.6, directors not specifically matched to the shorts — my review here (4th capsule)
“The Legend of the Official Visit” — 8
“The Legend of the Party Photographer” — 7
“The Legend of the Chicken Drivers” — 4
“The Legend of the Greedy Policeman” — 6
“The Legend of the Air Sellers” — 8
VIDEOCRACY (Erik Gandini, Sweden, 2) — my review here (3rd capsule)
As to what I’ll be seeing … I haven’t purchased any tickets because, as I don’t think I can take time off work, I cannot be certain I’ll make every 630 show I’d like to. There’s a couple I will make certain I attend, but this plan is my wildest dreams:
Saturday, 24 April
430 Avalon I, DON GIOVANNI (Carlos Saura, Spain/Italy)
700 Avalon MADE IN HUNGARIA (Gergely Fonyo, Hungary)
1000 E Street THE MESSAGE (Chen Kuo-fu and Gau Qun-shu, China)
¹ FilmFestDC’s stated 186-minute running time for SCHEHEREZADE may be wrong; the IMDb and the Toronto Festival both list the film as 134 minutes, and I certainly don’t remember it being 3 hours.
² Marculescu is not credited at FilmFestDC page, though I don’t know whether it is correct or Toronto’s page is. The film itself had no director credits
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