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What's playing at FilmFest Kansas City

Category: Dear Frankie News
Article Date: October 14, 2004 | Publication: The Kansas City Star | Author: ROBERT W. BUTLER

Posted by: admin

“Ambush” (2002; Finland, 123 minutes): Inspired by a true story, this war yarn takes place in the summer of 1941 when Finnish troops — mounted on bicycles — were mobilized along Russia's border. Sort of a Scandinavian “Private Ryan.”

(Screening at 3:30 p.m. Monday)

“An Iranian Perspective: Life in Short Films” (2003; Iran; 80 minutes): These short Iranian films reflect life as it actually is lived in that country. Go beyond what you read in the papers.

(Screening at 2:55 p.m. Monday and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 21)

“Around the Bend” (2004; USA; 85 minutes): Christopher Walken and Michael Caine headline this provocative tale of four generations of men who haven't seen one another in years. They're suddenly brought together by the chance to uncover the truth about their family's past. Director Jordan Roberts will conduct a Q&A following the screening.

(Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday)

“Bird” (1988: USA; 161 minutes): Winner of the Academy Award for best sound and numerous festival prizes, this is Clint Eastwood's take on the often troubled life and brilliant musical career of Kansas City native Charlie “Bird” Parker. Forest Whitaker is sensational as the legendary saxophonist. FilmFest has obtained Clint Eastwood's own archival 35mm print.

(Screening at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday)

“Clint Eastwood's Piano Blues” (2003; USA; 90 minutes): Part of the blues documentary series presented by Martin Scorsese on PBS, this Clint Eastwood-directed installment features Fats Waller, Ray Charles and KC legend Jay McShann. Producer Bruce Ricker will attend.

(Screening at 7:15 p.m. Friday)

“Dear Frankie” (2004; United Kingdom; 102 minutes): It's a story about the lengths a parent will go to to protect his child from the ugliness of the world. Emily Mortimer is great as the mother and so is Jack McElhone as her deaf son. With a great turn by Gerard Butler (soon to be seen as the star of “Phantom of the Opera”).

(Screening at 5:30 p.m. Saturday)

“A Decade of Canadian Animation” (1994-2004, Canada; 90 minutes): Some of the most creative and entertaining animated films collected in the last 10 years from Canada's most brilliant and cutting-edge animators.

(Screening at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday)

“Demonlover” (2002; UK/France/Japan: 129 minutes): Nominated for the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Connie Nielsen, Chloe Sevigny and Gina Gershon star in a flashy thriller that imagines two corporations competing for illicit 3-D manga (comic book) pornography.

(Screening at 1:20 p.m. Sunday)

“Denying Brazil (A Negacao do Brasil)” (2000; Brazil; 92 minutes): Riveting documentary about Brazilian black actors and their role in the history of soap operas, the product with the largest audiences in Brazilian television.

(Screening at 8 p.m. Tuesday)

“Distant (Uzak)” (2002; Turkey; 110 minutes): Mahmut is a 40-year-old photographer in Istanbul who's doing pretty well until his wife leaves him and one of his out-of-work cousins comes to him looking for help. This intimate drama is said to be one of the best Turkish films of the last decade.

(Screening at 4:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Sunday)

“Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall” (1997; USA; 106 minutes): It's both a concert and tribute to films of Clint Eastwood in which jazz music is prominently featured. Performers include Joshua Redman, Jimmy Scott and Kansas City's own Jay McShann. Director Bruce Ricker will be on hand.

(Screening at 12:45 p.m. Monday)

“Eulogy”: (2004; USA/UK/Germany; 91 minutes): Three generations of a family come together for the funeral of the patriarch in this black comedy. Great ensemble cast: Hank Azaria, Glenne Headly, Piper Laurie, Ray Romano, Rip Torn and Debra Winger.

(Screening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday)

“Europa Europa” (1990; Germany/France/Poland; 112 minutes): It's based on the true story of a Jewish boy separated from his parents early in WWII who survives by passing himself off as Aryan. Eventually he becomes a poster boy for the Hitler Youth. Writer/director Agnieszka Holland will attend the screening and discuss her work.

(Screening at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday)

“Facing Windows” (2003; Italy/UK/Turkey/Portugal; 102 minutes): Stuck in a dying marriage, Giovanna starts caring for a Jewish Holocaust survivor her husband brings home. Inexplicably the old man becomes the catalyst in her attraction to a man in a neighboring apartment.

(Screening at 4 p.m. Sunday and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday)

“Flickering Lights” (2000; Denmark/Sweden; 109 minutes): Four small-time crooks steal a fortune from their gangster boss and hide out in an old wrecked house.

(Screening at 1:20 p.m. Oct. 21)

“The Flower of Evil (La Fleur du mal)” (2003; France; 104 minutes): Three generations of a wealthy French family are caught in the crossfire when an old murder scandal is unearthed. Written and directed by the great Claude Chabrol.

(Screening at 2 p.m., Friday 3:15p.m. Saturday)

“Friday Night (Vendredi Soir)” (2003; France; 90 minutes): Planning to move in with her lover, a young woman becomes stuck in a terrible traffic jam where she meets a new man. Directed by Claire Denis.

(Screening at 6:15 p.m. Monday)

“Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence” (2004; Japan; 99 minutes): In the year 2032 a detective investigates the case of a sex robot who has murdered her master. This classic anime was nominated for the Golden Palm at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

(Screening at 10 p.m. Saturday)

“I Am David” (2003; USA; 95 minutes): Adapted from Ann Holm's novel North to Freedom, it's the story of a 12-year-old boy who escapes a communist concentration camp to seek freedom in far-off Denmark. A reprise screening of the film that won the Audience Favorite Award at last year's FilmFest.

(Screening at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday)

“I'll Sing for You (Je Chauterai Pour Toi)” (2001; France/Mali; 79 minutes): A moving love story told by a singer whose music takes us on a social, political and geographical voyage of Mali from 1960 to today.

(Screening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday)

“It's Easier for a Camel (Il est plus facile pour un chameau)” (2003; France; 110 minutes): This tragicomedy examines the life, daydreams and overwhelming guilt of a young Parisian woman who is far too wealthy and feels guilty about it.

(Screening at 8:30 p.m. Monday)

“Julie Walking Home” (2002; Germany/Canada/Poland/USA; 113 minutes): Her son dying of cancer and her marriage falling apart, Julie flees to Poland in search of a faith healer. She comes across a love so pure it heals her as well. Director Agnieszka Holland will attend the screening and discuss her film.

(Screening at 8 p.m. Oct. 21)

“The Grudge” (2003; Japan; 92 minutes): It's coming out in an American remake, but this is the real thing, Takashi Shimizu's thriller about the curse gripping a house where horrific murders took place.

(Screening at 9:45 p.m. Friday)

“The Last of the Blue Devils” (1979; USA; 90 minutes): Bruce Ricker shot this moving tribute to the greats of KC jazz (Count Basie, Jay McShann, Big Joe Turner) while living here in the mid-1970s. The finished film won rave reviews in the United States and drew the attention of jazz fan Clint Eastwood, who arranged to distribute it internationally. Director Ricker and piano wizard McShann will attend this 25th anniversary screening of the documentary.

(Screening at 9 p.m. Friday)

“The Last of the First” (2004; USA; 88 minutes): Filmmaker Anja Baron chronicles the New York jazz scene and finds many of its legendary jazz and blues performers still hard at work. Terrific music.

(Screening at 5:15 p.m. Saturday)

“Last Life in the Universe (Ruang rak noi nid manasun)” (2003; Thailand/Japan; 112 minutes): Opposites attract when a mysterious, obsessive-compulsive Japanese man in Bangkok is thrown together with a Thai woman who is everything he is not.

(Screening 3:20 p.m. Sunday and 1:05 p.m. Monday)

“Les Choristes” (2004; France/Switzerland/Germany; 95 minutes): A new music teacher eventually wins the trust of the boys in a reform school.

(Screening at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. Wednesday)

“The Lost Reels of Pancho Villa” (2003; USA/Mexico; 55 minutes): This compilation of real footage of the Mexican revolutionary has been declared one of the strongest documentaries to come from Latin America in years. Shown with “Something's Brewin' in Shiner.”

(Screening at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21)

“Monster Road” (2004; USA; 80 minutes): This winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Slamdance Fest explores the fantastic worlds of legendary underground clay animator Bruce Bickford. His work, especially the dark and magical work he created for Frank Zappa in the 1970s, has achieved cult status worldwide.

(Screening at 3 p.m. Friday and 8:30 p.m. Sunday)

“Noi the Albino (Noi Albinoi)” (2003; Iceland/Germany/UK/Denmark; 93 minutes): Teenage Noi drifts through life on a remote fjord in Iceland and dreams of escaping his solitude with a city girl who works at a gas station.

(Screening at 6:15 p.m. Sunday and 3:45 p.m. Oct. 21)

“S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine” (2003; Cambodia/France; 101 minutes): Hard-to-watch but essential documentary about genocide in Cambodia.

(Screening at 4:45 p.m. Monday)

“Still: Here/Now (Dal: Yma/Nawr)” (2004; Wales/UK; 75 minutes): This inventive film takes viewers on a 2,000-year odyssey through Europe's oldest surviving bardic tradition. Noted Welsh actors (like “Notting Hill's” Rhys Ifans) read traditional poems while Welsh musicians (like John Cale) provide music.

(Screening at 8 p.m. Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Tuesday)

“Something's Brewin' in Shiner” (2004; USA; 25 minutes): This amusing documentary is a tribute to what may be the best little brewery in Texas: the Shiner Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Director Mike Woolf will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening. Shown with “The Lost Reels of Pancho Villa.”

(Screening at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21)

“Strayed (Les Egares)” (2003; France/UK; 95 minutes): Acclaimed director Andre Techine offers this scorcher about a widowed teacher (Emmanuelle Beart) who flees German-occupied Paris with her children and begins a relationship with a teenage farm boy who gives them shelter.

(Screening at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday)

“Tasuma” (2004; Burkina Faso/France; 90 minutes): An aging war veteran who has spent years trying to get his pension finally loses patience. A heartwarming story of one man's struggle for justice.

(Screening at 6 p.m. Oct. 21)

“Think Tank” (2005; USA; 92 minutes): Some of the same people who made “Napoleon Dynamite” teamed to make this film about a group of super-smart geeks who invent a new game: frictionless pool. Director Brian Peterson will attend.

(Screening at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday)

“Time of the Wolf (Le Temps du Loup)” (2003; France/Austria/Germany; 114 minutes): Isabelle Huppert stars as a member of a family that arrives at their holiday home in the country to find it occupied by strangers. Nothing will be the same again.

(Screening at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday and 1 p.m. Oct. 21)

“To Be and to Have (Etre et avoir)” (2002; France; 104 minutes): This documentary is set in a one-room school in rural France where the students (age 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher.

(Screening at 5 p.m. Friday and 5:45 p.m. Sunday)

“Tracker” (2002; Australia; 98 minutes): In 1922 Australia an Aborigine man is accused of murdering a white woman. Three white men and another Aborigine (the Tracker) are sent out to find him.

(Screening at 7:45 p.m. Saturday)

“Traveling Sideshow: Shocked and Amazed” (2004/USA/45 minutes): Jeff Krulik's documentary employs vintage newsreels and photos, plus new footage of contemporary practitioners, to chronicle the rise and fall of the circus sideshow. Krulik will attend for a Q&A.

(Screening at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21)

“Variety Girl” (1947; USA; 93 minutes): Dozens of stars (Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Barbara Stanwyck) show up to explain how Variety Clubs International (the show-business children's charity) was formed. A special presentation of Variety Tent #8.

(Screening at 7 p.m. Monday)

“Warriors of Light” (2001; Germany; 91 minutes): A documentary about artist Yvonne Bezzerra de Mello, a human rights activist who works with homeless boys in Rio de Janeiro.

(Screening at 6 p.m. Tuesday)

“Warriors of Honor” (2004; USA; 80 minutes): Kansas Citian Brian Barkley directed this Civil War documentary that places the war in its historical and cultural context while emphasizing the Christian beliefs of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Barkley will conduct a Q&A.

(Screening at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday)

DocFeast titles

DocFeast is a mini-festival of documentary films that will play Saturday afternoon at the Palace as part of FilmFest '04.

DocFeast highlights:

“The Art of the Documentary”: Local filmmaker Tim DePaepe (“Shades of Gray”) and a representative from 7th Art Releasing in Los Angeles will discuss the art and challenge of making documentary films.

(Noon Saturday)

“Cambio de Colores: The Changing Face of America's Heartland” (2004; USA, 30 minutes): Peter Morello takes an intimate look at the lives of area Latinos in five video vignettes shot in Missouri and Kansas. Q&A follows with Zach Christman and Morello.

(Screening at 2:15 p.m. Saturday)

“Call it Democracy” (2004; USA; 71 minutes): A fresh perspective on voting rights, election reform and unresolved voting controversies. Q&A follows with filmmakers Matt Kohn, Dan Efram, Brian McNeli and Chris Boscardian.

(Screening at 3 p.m. Saturday)

“Life Is Lifey — The Marie Series” (2004: USA): Emily Evans Sloan sends a postcard to her late sister using found footage of old home movies. Followed by Q&A. A DocFeast presentation.

(Screening at 4:30 p.m. Saturday)


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