November 23, 2008
The end of any music or film festival is always a bummer. You spend so much time with a schedule of stuff to see and do that you begin to experience as an extension of your life.
With that in mind, it'll be nice to put away the SLIFF schedule for this year and get on with it.
The Festival this year expanded documentary programming. There were 44 docs and the program really came to life this year. The Pixar and free programs were cool too. This of course complemented a balanced schedule of new cinema from all over the world.
I am rounding out the fest with some documentary action, but there is some great cinema being offered today that should not be missed!
Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes
NPR darling Keillor is profiled in this documentary by Peter Rosen. Despite all of his success Keillor is still somewhat of an enigma to his audience. This film looks at what makes the humorist tick. Rosen profiles the public and private Keillor and shows that there is not much about Keillor that we don't already know.
Beaufort won the 2007 Berlin Film Festival and has been praised by critics all around the world for its depiction of the 2000 conflict in Lebanon. The film was also nominated for a best foreign film Oscar.
The plot dwells on the Israeli army as it withdraws from a Lebanese fortress near the end of the conflict.
Beaufort is an example of how cinema can bring the folly and stupidity of war to the screen in an emotionally jarring and realistic manner.
The Power of the Game
One of two football (soccer) films featured this year. The social dynamics of soccer around the world are explored here. Noted director Michael Apted's thesis is that soccer does more to break down cultural barriers than we might suspect. He does this by using the 2006 World cup as a backdrop, telling stories of teams, players and fans along the way. Michael Apted will be on hand to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award and discuss his film.
This will sell out. There is a hurricane of good press following Mickey Rourke's performance as a past his prime wrestler who still gives his all in the ring. Outside the squared circle he must repair his damaged personal relationships. Directed by Darren Aronofsky. This should be a terrific closer to the Fest.