May 2011 Archive

IFF Boston 2011 : Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

11 May 2011, 6:24 am
subtitle (or excerpt)

If, like me, you somehow managed to miss the late-night-talk-show-host-wars, Rodman Flender’s film will catch you up, but here’s the gist, as I see it: O’Brien turns down what for many would be the gig of a lifetime, and walks away with a fat cash settlement, the massed goodwill of the Internets, and an injunction […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : El Bulli - Cooking in Progress

10 May 2011, 6:13 am
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I knew nothing about Ferran Adrià’s avant garde restaurant El Bulli before going into this screening, which I think was fine state to start with, but it’s immediately apparent that much of the film is about the process by which Adrià and his team craft the menu for the next season. Director Gereon Wetzel pulls […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : Septien

9 May 2011, 5:00 am
subtitle (or excerpt)

Writer/director/co-star Michael Tully’s dark and funny dysfunctional family tale Septien is tricky to talk about without spoilers, because some of the fun of it is in how it sets up a number of expectations and only fulfills some of them. In the Q&A session after the screening, Tully, who is also a professional film critic, […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : Documentary Shorts 1

8 May 2011, 7:07 am
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I didn’t think the documentary shorts program we saw was quite as impressive overall as the narrative shorts program, but I enjoyed it a lot. The unifying theme here was character studies, most of which offer a surprise (which I will not spoil).
Charles Fairbanks’ “Irma” spends a good proportion of its running length on the […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : Make Believe

8 May 2011, 6:08 am
subtitle (or excerpt)

J. Clay Tweel’s documentary about the competition for “Teen World Champion” at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas is structured similarly to the other quirky-characters-in-a-competition films (for instance The King of Kong, which Tweel also worked on). We meet and follow several of the contestants as they rehearse and evolve their acts for the […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : Last Days Here

6 May 2011, 6:26 am
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So get this: Roughly forty years ago Bobby Liebling put together an almost legendary heavy rock band called Pentagram — worthy successors to Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. For various reasons, generally self-inflicted, but not about the quality of their music, they never got a big-time record deal, despite some heart-breaking near misses. Flash forward […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : Fanny, Annie & Danny

5 May 2011, 5:44 am
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Overall I really liked writer-director Chris Brown’s dysfunctional family black comedy. The writing is flavorful and interestingly paced, and the performances are terrific. Collette Keen is particularly fine as the domineering, obscenity-spewing matriarch Edie, whom one of the commenters in the post-screening Q&A session described as a “great new screen villain.” It’s a hilarious, over-the-top […]

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IFF Boston 2011 : Trigger

4 May 2011, 6:19 am
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Director Bruce McDonald and writer Daniel MacIvor’s drama Trigger is about the former leaders of a rock band meeting up years after an acrimonious, druggy flameout (I wondered if the band might be loosely modeled on Veruca Salt, although there’s also something Mick’n’Keef about their dynamic, and maybe a bit of Chrissie Hynde in Wright’s […]

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