By Christopher Bonet
[Photo: Chia-Liang Liu’s “Dirty Ho,” part of BAM’s series Heroic Grace II: Shaw Brothers Return]
Returning for its twentieth year, L.A.’s biggest and brightest film fest continues promoting domestic and international, mainstream and independent, feature-length and short, narrative and documentary and, well, pretty much all things cinema. This year’s highlights include the US premiere of Emilio Estevez’s directorial Oscar-run “Bobby,” the world premiere of Zhang Yimou’s glitzy “Curse of the Golden Flower” and a 24-hour movie marathon to support charity.
Director Peter Bogdonovich hosts this one-night celebration of influential filmmaker Otto Preminger’s 100th birthday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. A selection of film clips from Preminger’s films will be screened alongside a discussion with colleagues, family and friends, and the event kicks off a month-long retrospective that includes screenings of the great “Laura,” “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “Anatomy of a Murder.”
This film festival promotes, clearly) the work of Filipino filmmakers. The highlight of the festival will be Auraeus Solito’s Sundance favorite “The Blossoming of Maximos Oliveros,” which is this year’s Filipino candidate for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music presents its yearly display of new films out of the Czech Republic. Safe bets include Jan Svankmajer’s “Lunacy” (love that stop-motion meat) and Ivan Trojan’s “Wrong Side Up.”
What, you may ask, is Machinima? Where the hell have you been? Machinima is an art form that combines video game production, animation, and filmmaking to present a new style of storytelling think “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” without the crushing disappointment. The Machinima Festival returns for its fourth year to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.
One of the premiere film festivals to highlight Polish filmmakers hits the city of Chicago for two weeks. We’re intrigued by the Jan Jakub Kolski film “Jasminum” and the retrospective on silent film star Pola Negri.
Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center presents this retrospective on the acting career of international star Isabella Rossellini to coincide with the release of her directorial debut, “My Dad is 100 Years Old,” about her father, the underrated Italian neo-realist director. Phew. Other highlights include “Wild at Heart,” “The Saddest Music in the World,” and, of course, “Blue Velvet.” Pabst Blue Ribbon!
Mr. Wonka himself, Gene Wilder, will be available to discuss his favorite films at the Avon Theatre in Connecticut throughout the month. His films of choice are Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Merry Widow,” 1938’s “Topper Takes a Trip,” and his very own “Young Frankenstein.”
Last year’s Shaw Brothers retrospective was one of the best series to run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Now BAM takes another look at the legacy of the influential Hong Kong production company, showcasing further kung fu and wuxia highlights.
Nov. 10-Dec. 24
The Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, presents this retrospective on the little-known French director who emerged during the New Wave of the 1960s. This series includes a rarest-of-the-rare screening of his 743-minute 1971 film “Out 1,” presented over two days, with breaks for dinner.
This Swedish film festival introduces Europe to many of the hottest films of the fall. This year, director Lasse Hallstrom will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from his native country. We wish we could tell you more, but alas the website is in Swedish.
Superheroes seem to be all the rage these days. Recent hits like Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” series and the “X-Men” trilogy pleased critics and reignited superhero interest, while the new series “Heroes” is one of the few successes of this year’s TV season. All things caped and masked hit the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for this five-day retrospective of the superhero films of yesteryear. Hollywood’s original “Superman” (directed by Richard Donner) and “Batman” (directed by Tim Burton) will be screened, along with their initial sequels. Also screening will be the artsy 1960s caper “Danger: Diabolik” and the unappreciated comedy “The Specials,” about a group of loser superheroes headed by Thomas Haden Church.
This year’s Best Feature nominees include such indie classics as, er, “The Departed,” “Little Children” and “Marie Antoinette.” Oh well, at least the red carpet will be good.