The film festival calendar is such a tight affair that even a slight change has cataclysmic repercussions on events both big and small. When longtime Venice Film Festival topper Marco Mueller’s contract was not renewed, the upstart 7 year old Rome Film Festival immediately grabbed him. The Rome event, with its market sidebar and access to the professionals based in the Italian capital, has been a growing event, if not in glamour than in influence. Traditionally held in October, the Festival has pushed its dates one month later, in order to avoid being crowded out for event films by Venice (which begins later this month and runs through September 10. The new dates are November 9 to 17, which avoids a direct conflict with the 30-year-old Turin Film Festival, a prominent discovery festival that will take place this year from November 23 to December 1. However, it will overlap with the entire schedule of the 53-year-old Festival dei Popoli in Florence, the country’s oldest documentary festival, which is scheduled for November 10-17. Since all Italian festivals receive large chunks of change from the federal government, this a delicate decision, since both festivals named risk decreased media attention and possible public funding. Rome organizers believe that by changing its dates to November, the festival’s The Business Street market event will gain stronger footing as a halfway point between the big markets at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and the Berlin International Film Festival in February. Additionally, they hope that with a late-in-the-year date, the Festival might serve as a new springboard for winter releases either vying for Oscar eligibility or the Christmastime box office.
This Is Not Berlin (“Esto no es Berlín”) (Hari Sama) 2 out of 4 stars. What doesn’t sound interesting about a movie detailing the queer art scene of 1980’s Mexico City? I, for one, was all in. Unfortunately, despite centering … Continue reading
Love, Antosha (Garret Price, 2019) 3½ out of 4 stars. The actor Anton Yelchin (1989-2016), who died in a freak accidentin his own driveway, starred in movies both large and small, from the rebooted Star Trek franchise to the highly … Continue reading
Cold Case Hammarskjöld (Mads Brügger, 2019) 4 out of 4 stars. Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) was the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in Africa. An idealistic and militant soul, the … Continue reading
Luce (Julius Onah, 2019) 3½ out of 4 stars. In Luce, director Julius Onah makes up for having afflicted The Cloverfield Paradox on us by delivering a gripping, thought-provoking cinematic essay on race, gender, colonialism, class, power and privilege (white … Continue reading