Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Some Major Film Festivals in June 2010

SERIES: Major Film Festivals

First, three events:

Number one. The Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado, opened 28 May and closed on the 31st. It began in 1979 as an opportunity for climbers and mountaineers to enjoy the rugged outdoors surrounding Telluride during the day, and watch mainly documentary films about mountains and mountain cultures at night. It has evolved over the intervening decades to embrace a much wider and more diverse audience and the programming now stretches to the leading edges of contemporary social, cultural and environmental issues. The orientation toward activism has not diminished. Watch for it next year. Here is the Festival's Official Site.

Second, the 12th Festival of German Films in Madrid, Spain, is in progress. It opened 1 June and will run through the 5th. Hey, I follow German and Spanish cinema, so I put it here for my own selfish benefit and for others who might like to know.

The Spaniards and Germans have had a surprisingly good relationship since World War II, which is odd since the German Junker airplanes attacked the Basque village of Gernica prior to the declaration of war and almost destroyed it as part of a sick experiment hatched by Franco and the Nazis to test the new German planes on real people. The German's helped finance Franco's overthrow of the elected Republican Government, based in Barcelona, which alas, was soon crushed just like the people of Gernica.

I frequently visited Spain and Germany, including Gernica, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich and Berlin, in the late 1970's and early 80's. I found the Spanish film community mesmerized by the then New German Film, and especially by director Werner Von Fassbinder, considered its Wunderkind. I was in Spain when he died suddenly and the film community in Madrid was devastated.

On the other hand, the German film industry in the 1970's quickly embraced the anti-Franco New Spanish Cinema directors such as Berlanga, Bardem, Borau, and especially Carlos Saura. It was at the 1966 Berlin Film Festival that Saura met Geraldine Chaplin shortly after her role in DOCTOR ZIVAGO. She became his greatest muse, star of nine of his films and mother of one of his sons, Geraldine Chaplin.

This is the 12th Festival of German Film in Madrid, and it will center at the Cine Palafox, Calle Luchana, 15. Tickets cost less than $5.00. The program is funded mainly by Lufthsansa Airlines and the Goethe Institute, with the participation of the Federal Republic of Germany and Kodak, and the Spanish cinema magazine, Fotogramas, which specializes, ironically, in movies extranjera (outside Spain).

Films will include THE TIN DRUM, THE WHITE RIBBON, THE CROCODILES, and the retrospective of the films of German director/ cinematographer Joseph Vilsmaier, whose first three films were HERBSTMILCH (Autumn Milk, 1989), RAMA DAMA (no English title, 1991) and STALINGRAD, 1991. He was the director and cinematographer on those as he is on his latest NANGA PARBAT (no English Title, 2010). German Film Festival in Madrid.

Third, the film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting their "Open Roads: New Italian Film” 3 - 10 June. Info and tickets.

The 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), 16 - 27 June 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The full Festival program was announced yesterday. The 2010 retrospective is 'After the Wave: Lost and Forgotten British Cinema 1967-1979'. There will be a special 3D Gala Screening of Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 on Saturday 19 June. Press registration is now open. The Festival will be on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter.

There will be 133 features from 34 countries at the Festival. It will open 16 June with a gala screening of THE ILLUSIONIST, directed by from Sylvain Chomet.

The Closing Night Gala on 26 June will be the World Premiere of THIRD STAR, a British tragi-comedy buddy movie from first-time director Hattie Dalton, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Burke.

THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS will screen in competition. Any objections?

Also, if you see the video promo for the festival, the lady says Edinburgh is the oldest continuously running film festival. Technicality. This year will be the Venice Film Festival's 67th year. It is the oldest festival, ever, but not continuously because it had to be suspended when the Nazis occupied Italy during World War II. Hey, Edinburgh cut them some slack and make a true statement!

To see more films in the lineup, click title of this post, and read article in the

Other festivals later this month:

The 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival (17 - 27 June); AFI Silver Docs Documentary Festival, Silver Spring, Maryland (21 - 17 June); and screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, California, "Tribeca in Hollywood" (25 June - 8 July).  

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