Film Festivals

CIFF – The “Hugos” controversial but jury limited.

There was much controversy over the International Competition’s jury selection of Sieranevada as Best Picture and Best Director recipients.  Many pointed to other films that they regarded as being far superior.  However, the jury is limited in its choice to those films that enter the competition and the majority of those other films elected not… Continue Reading

CIFF – Two Should Have Stayed Home

There were two films shown at the Chicago International Film Festival that were extremely artisitic in their cinematography and metaphorical usage but totally failed as a meaningful films – The Daughter orig. La Hija from Argentina and Crosscurrent orig. Chang jiang tu from China.  I stayed after each viewing to listen to the directors explain… Continue Reading

CIFF – The Handmaiden

Sensually mesmerizing, intricate suspense with many twists, and a number of sub-plots make this Korean film a true study in the art of film.  Camerawork and lighting combine to provide a lavish beauty. The story is presented in 3 books and differs at times from “Fingersmith” the Sarah Waters book which is the source material. … Continue Reading

CIFF – I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake is a moving, relevant, realistic film about two middle class Brits being dragged down by the system.  Although this is set in Great Britain, it just as easily could have been set in the U.S. The story is simply told through words and images.  What is not said is just as important… Continue Reading

CIFF – Elle

This film will be released in November so I do not want to give any spoilers here.  Suffice to say I loved the film.  It had the right mix of everything.  Isabelle Huppert is wonderful;  the camerawork and lighting are superb; the story has the right mix of black comedy, drama, sex, noir, suspense and… Continue Reading

CIFF – Jackie

I needed to wait a day and let the film sift through my mind in order to decide how I felt about this film.  At times beautiful and poetic while sad.  At times confusing and surreal.  (Part of this was due to the editing style. ) Natalie Portman did an outstanding job but I never… Continue Reading

CIFF – Un + Une

About half way through this film I started looking at my watch hoping it would make its point and end soon.  Then somehow it bought me back into the film and carried me to the finis.  Reaction among viewers today was mixed from “average” to “loved it”.  I was somewhere in between those. One definitely… Continue Reading

CIFF – Graduation (Romania)

Disappointing film from Romania.  A friend asked me if I thought I was watching a series of episodes from a soap opera. None of the origins of the sub-stories are ever made clear.  The script never quite builds suspense although it is clear we are supposed to feel that. Great use of lighting and soft… Continue Reading