Monday, March 30, 2009

festival hits

You know, when I first went into the movies Lionel Barrymore played my grandfather. Later he played my father and finally he played my husband. If he had lived I'm sure I would have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older.
Lillian Gish (1893–1993) actor of stage, screen and television

yesterday was the last day of the cleveland international film festival (ciff), today I'm hoping that life will return to normal. I'm not complaining, it was been an amazing week even if I fell behind on everything!

this year I volunteered at the film festival - which afforded me the opportunity to see many more films than I normally do when the film festival comes to town. but, even better than being able to see more films, volunteering at the festival provided me the opportunity to meet all sorts of new, wonderful people and to feel a part of a really special community event.
here's the list of films I saw, where they are from, and, if documentary, the subject of focus - roughly in order seen:
  1. sin by silence - documentary, usa, domestic violence; criminal (in) justice system
  2. generation rx - documentary, usa, the medicalization of childhood
  3. herb and dorothy - documentary, usa, the love of art
  4. dancing forest - documentary, uk, togo, france, successful grassroot development in africa
  5. rooster's breakfast - slovenia
  6. bahrtalo! comical documentary from hungary, russia & germany, the 'realities' of life in eastern europe
  7. forgotten transports: to estonia - documentary from czech republic, incredible story of a group of czech women who survived the camps
  8. trinidad - documentary, usa, the story of a frontier town which is regarded as the 'sex-change capital of the world'
  9. between the folds - documentary, usa, exploring the artistry of paper folding
  10. sing opera! - documentary, usa, showcasing an opera which stars 65 children
  11. tricks - poland
  12. war child - documentary, usa (primarily set in sudan), the incredible story of emmanuel jal and a story of the transformative nature of music
  13. various independent shorts - from a number of countries
  14. a place to live: the story of triangle square - documentary, usa, the story of the nation's first affordable, multicultural glbt housing development
  15. a deal is a deal - united kingdom
  16. chef's special - spain
  17. the way we get by - documentary, usa, the lives of a group of seniors in bangor maine who have dedicated their lives to greeting us troops returning from war zones
  18. of parents and children - czech republic
  19. blind loves - documentary from slovakia, the lives of a group of blind people looking for love and happiness
fortunately none of the films I saw were losers, not surprising since film festivals try to showcase films that are at the cutting edge of the art form and give small films the start they need to contend with the overwhelming dominance of mainstream hollywood movies.

there were a number of films I wish I had seen, but hopefully they will be available elsewhere in the months ahead. in the past, I've been fortunate to find the cleveland public library will often have copies of films that I regretfully missed at the ciff. of course, there is cedar-lee theater and cinematheque which always bring independent films to town.

this year's film festival broke all sorts of attendance records and by the quality of the films I saw this year probably also broke some other sort of record too.

okay, time to start that process of returning to a non-celluloid life!

photos: top: a view of terminal tower from inside the tower city mall where the 33rd cleveland film festival was held; the producer, director, one of the women featured, and local community sponsor of the powerful and must see documentary sin by silence. I have made a commitment that when the film is released on dvd to buy at least one copy to contribute to the local high school. I hope the film airs on pbs, it is perhaps one of the most effective and powerful stories I've seen focused on the crisis of domestic violence. march 2009

oh by the way, for all you trivia freaks out there, did you know that today is the 45th anniversary of jeopardy! created by game show maven (and entertainer) merv griffin the original jeopardy! first aired on march 30 1964. by the way, current host alex trebek has been hosting the show since 1984 - not a bad gig. I confess, I'm a jeopardy! junkie; although I love playing along with the show, there is no way I would try out - it would inevitably be a case of this if I did.

the song gua by emmanuel jal - telling part of the story of war child


Cathy said...

love the top photo! I love movies too--i should volunteer at a festival some time!

R.L. Bourges said...

yayy volunteers, for sure!

Thanks for the links, I'll definitely check out both of those films. (I'm also curious to know what you thought of #6 - Bartalo ?)

Jeopardy - ok, now I get it. There's a show like it here in France called Questions pour un Champion. And guess what? I could sing along with weird Al cuz...cuz... I was eliminated from the selections :-( by one question :-((
the shame ? :-(((
the 'miliation? :-((((

I wasn't fit to talk to for the whole evening. But I'm over it now. I think.

cheers to Cleveland :-)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

LOVE that photo! Amazing.
And by now, you dear Mouse, must be completely movied-out!

Merle Sneed said...

Terrific photo as always. I wish I made tome for more films.

Dot-Com said...

Must haven been great fun, and nice bonus to get to watch a lot of movies!

tut-tut said...

Cleveland rocks! Aren't you lucky to have seen them all, too! Volunteering at something like that makes the experience all the richer, too.

Jeopardy; hmm, I think you'd be a great contestant . . .

Coffee Messiah said...

Sounds like there's many good films coming out in the near future.


mouse (aka kimy) said...

cathy - it is definitely a worthwhile thing to do, how there's a festival near you!

rlb - bahrtalo! was quite simply a HOOT! totally wacky.... it was thoroughly entertaining although I wouldn't say it was truly a 'great' was great in it and I must say I have a weakness for anything that focuses on romany life and culture. coincidentally, one of the people featured in the documentary blind loves was also romany (or is it romani)

av - believe it or not, I'm not movied out. it was like being on a wonderful vacation!! I met people at the festival who averaged 3 to 5 movies a day for 10 days of the festival! if someone was truly hard core they could have seen between 5 and 7 movies each day (not counting shorts) .... the festival featured about 145 features and about 250-300 shorts!

merle - thanks it was a neat perspective. outside of the film festival I try to go to at least a movie a month - I'm blessed with living in a town that really appreciates film and we have some terrific venues.

dot-com - the start of what I hope will be an annual volunteer gig!

tut - you'll love it when you move up here! tee hee!!

coffee - I hope a lot of the films make it to local theaters; but expect like most festival films they will have limited runs. I should post a foot note about the big hits of the festival....

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a fantastic opportunity. I am curious to hear about the 'medicalisation of childhood'. you certainly get to see and hear some interesting things. How many of these films will be available on dvd?

e said...

Hi Mouse! Looks like you saw some interesting films! I'm not posting much, but wanted to stop by. I too was curious regarding The medicalisation of childhood???

Brian Miller said...

what an amazing pic the first one is. hot! volunteering at a film festival sounds like the way to go! i agree,
would probably have to take a movie sabbath afterward.

Lover of Life said...

That photo was fantastic! How nice to have been able to see all those films and their varied subjects.

Ronda Laveen said...

Fantastic photo. Sounds like a rejuvenating week.

lettuce said...

what a lovely feast of alternativeness!

i wonder how long it will be before you feel like watching another film

Baino said...

Good on you! I love film festivals (I love films) but rarely get the chance except for Tropfest . .short film festival in Sydney in January . .How do you get your photos so 'big' on blogger . .am I missing something?

Squirrel said...

I like that Gish quote. and now have some documentaries to add to my list. Funny, I was just looking thru docs in my library system yesterday since they'd gotten a whole new batch in.