February 28, 2008

Fests and events, 2/28.

True/False "Over the past month, we've been soliciting thoughts on the world's top documentary festivals from a variety of filmmakers and industry figures," writes AJ Schnack. "We combined their honest takes (anonymity was assured) and our own research to form what we hope will be an annual survey of the 25 Top Festivals for Documentary Films." He's got the top 10 today; more follow tomorrow. Update, 3/4: Parts 2 and 3.

"True/False officially begins tonight, but as is tradition, the festival hosted a special preview screening last night for students at the University of Missouri," reports Karina Longworth at the SpoutBlog. "The film was ...an Alternative to Slitting Your Wrist, and it was a perfect pick for the young crowd."

Also: "Lynn Shelton's second feature, My Effortless Brilliance [site] stars Sean Nelson of the band Harvey Danger (whose biggest hit, 'Flagpole Sitta,' was memorialized in a ridiculously popular web clip last year) as Eric Lambert Jones, a novelist whose self-obsession costs him his relationship with his oldest friend." And she's got four questions for Shelton.

Films From the New Europe "With communism's collapse and globalization's bloom, Eastern and Southern European cinema has inevitably had to remake itself. But in what image?" asks Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times. "In Films From the New Europe on Friday and Saturday, USC's film school and its Visions and Voices humanities initiative will showcase an eclectic sampling of post-Cold War movies addressing that question." Tomorrow and Saturday.

"Much like Dog Day Afternoon did two decades later, Violent Saturday gives the bank robbery an ensemble touch, with a story set in the kind of petite town that opens up nicely to vignettes," writes Eric Kohn in the New York Press. "Most of the movie consists of build up, but the payoff makes it worth the wait." Tomorrow through March 6 at Film Forum.

"As the grass gets greener (or Edmonton's hairline of snow slowly recedes, at least) and St Patrick's Day approaches, this weekend's Irish Film Festival at Metro reminds us there's more to the old country than imitation Irish pubs and artificially colored beer." Brian Gibson in the Vue Weekly.

Craig Phillips sends word of a March 7 screening of Citizen McCaw in Santa Barbara. The doc chronicles a raucous clash between the editor and the publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Il Conformista "One of the greatest movies ever made, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist is also one of the most influential, beloved by filmmakers around the world," blogs Shane Danielson for the Guardian. "Now it's opening again in a new print at BFI Southbank, before touring nationally."

The Sarasota Film Festival (April 4 through 13) has announced its lineup; the Circuit's Michael Jones has got it and notes that a question or two has been raised about the opening night film, The Deal.

This week's Austin Chronicle is all about SXSW Interactive.

Online viewing tips. At ScreenGrab, Scott Von Doviak selects the "Five Most Intriguing SXSW Trailers: Documentaries."

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Posted by dwhudson at February 28, 2008 2:41 PM


Hi David,

I spoke with Mike Jones for his Variety blog piece and I wanted to respond his "conflict of interest" and your "one or two questions have been raised" comments. I won't waste your space here, but I wanted you to know I did blog a response to this which can be found here.

I thought for sure you'd lede with our Liv Ullmann/Ingmar Bergman retrospective... cest la vie!

Hope all is well,

Posted by: Tom Hall at February 28, 2008 7:09 PM

That's a great entry, Tom, and I'll add to the comment I left there that it more than answers any questions raised. Thanks again.

Posted by: David Hudson at February 29, 2008 12:59 AM