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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 2009 Festival Releases (Read 57,202 times)
Zabladowski
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #60 - 26. Sep 2009 at 05:37
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We can only hope, K.

When I have finished my Korean survey, I'll report on some new releases upcoming in the good old USA.

Miracle Seller  (Poland)

The road movie as a metaphor often feels rote, but in the hands of skilled filmmakers, it can also be heartbreaking, humorous, inspiring, and bittersweet. Boleslaw Pawica and Jarek Szoda make their feature debut with this road movie about a recovering Polish alcoholic and two Chechen refugee children trying to get to France to find their father. [Miracle Seller] is about outsiders; those who live among us but are persecuted in their own home. In modern Poland, Stefan sets out to offer his thanks to the Virgin at Lourdes for saving his life. Part of his penance is found in donating his time to the needy. Urika and Hasim are stranded in a strange country, alone and unwanted. They have become accustomed to the hostility that greets them at every turn. In a nearly unbreakable cycle of prejudice, the children show Stefan the same kind of contempt, even as they grow more dependent upon him – and he on them. The destination is not the goal in Pawica and Szoda’s film.

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The Road to Kalimugtong  (Philippines)

A brother and sister trek over mountains, cross rivers, and walk over a bridge between cliffs to and from school. After school, they take care of pigs and their ill grandfather in bed. At night they dine with their older brother and do homework. Looks like a simple life which has nothing to lose, but it has. When news arrives that the mine is collapsed where their older siblings have been working to support them, the family falls in danger of starvation. The repetition of daily life mixes with dramatic tension which gradually rushes to them. This tiny-budget film struggles not to lose their warm relationship at home.

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Last Cowboy Standing (Finland)

A family drama about unfortunate brothers who are a Finnish version of Cain and Abel. Eighteen-year-old Rupert still suffers from the nightmares of what his abusive father made him do when he was little. To him, his father is a curse. To his younger brother Evert, however, father is still father. Trouble and conflict slowly brews between the brothers with contrasting characters, and the situation climaxes to a tragedy even Rupert does not want.
The film displays a strong narrative based on an emotional story. In contrast, the plot itself is on the calm side. There aren’t any experiments and it doesn’t depart from the mainstream filmmaking methods. Still it examines the wound and its healing in an extraordinary manner, due to the sentiments and touch specific to female directors. The beautiful leading actors, their characters, and their acting also exhibit a feminine image. So far, the films made by the Aki & Mika Kaurismäki brothers have been celebrated as the best in Finland. Now, it’s time to remember the name of this newcomer. In many aspects, it’s worthy to be called the discovery of Finnish films.


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Bridges (Argentina)

Three young teenage boys who love soccer, are troublemakers, and always lie to their teachers and miss class. They are always up to no good. And they aren’t alone. Their families are surrounded by restlessness. It almost seems like a so-so movie about teens from Argentina. But when one of the boys steals a gun from another boy’s house, things start to take a different turn. There is an accident, and the boy disappears. Where did he go?
Sometime later, two boys and the missing boy’s sister head off to an unknown location. With the accident as the starting point, the film turns into a little odyssey within the heart of Buenos Aires. Their journey is not different from that of adults. The unfortunate accident and the night time journey where they meet with many different people older than them are quite tingling. When they finally reach their destination, that tingling makes an unexpected, heavy impact. At that moment, the movie emerges as a serious drama depicting the growing pains of all boys and girls. The daring omission in the narrative, and the long aftertaste it provides is very impressive.


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Zabladowski
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #61 - 26. Sep 2009 at 05:59
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Stolen Lives (USA)

Detective Tom Adkins’ son Tommy Jr. disappears on a fateful Fourth of July afternoon, and in the ensuing eight years Tom’s work becomes an obsession for him. Tom attempts to solve the case of his missing son, but his efforts have yielded only one solid suspect – an already jailed and convicted kidnapper named Roggiani, whose current sentence is on the verge of being commuted – and no concrete proof. An early morning phone call leads Tom to the mangled remains of a young boy, buried in a box beneath the ground. At first Tom believes that the victim could be Tommy Jr., but forensic evidence reveals that this boy was murdered 50 years prior. Driven to solve the murder as a means of exorcising his own demons, Tom uncovers the long-forgotten mystery of a man named Matthew Wakefield and the disappearance of his son John.

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Rare Fish (Singapore)

Ribud has recently lost his wife. Iah and her son Roby try to comfort him. He eventually drags a heavy metal motor outside and gets on a boat. He rides out further and ties the motor around his ankles. He starts to heave the motor over the side until he sees Roby's body floating in the water, and brings the body back to Iah.

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Shorty (India)

After his parents die, nine-year old Chivlya is taken away by his uncle. Chivlya works as a water boy until schools open for the next term. He fluctuates between the peaceful memories of the past, and the harsh present, longing for his grandfather to take him away.

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Summer (China)

This summer is really tough for Xiao Guang. He longs to leave the city and return to the countryside. His father is too busy, so Xiao Guang stays with his step-mother Yuan Jie. Xiao Guang was really close to his grandfather. But recently when he called his grandfather, nobody answered. So Xiao Guang decides to go back to the countryside to find out why.

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Blogog (Philippines)

A seven-year boy gets more than he bargains for when he picks up a filthy yellow ball by the creek. It's a unique fable that follows a boy’s journey of discovery and examines a child’s inherent capacity to bounce back from life’s challenges and tribulations.

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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #62 - 26. Sep 2009 at 16:20
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From Korea, it's on to the "heartland" of the USA. Indianapolis and the Heartland Film Festival.
New titles being shown there are

The Big Table  (USA)

Belonging to a large family, a young boy in the South learns about life, family and forgiveness over Thanksgiving at his grandmother's house. He finds out what it really means to sit at "The Big Table."

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The Eagle Hunter's Son is the story of a young boy's quest to become an eagle hunter like his father. His journey takes him from the Altai Mountains, which are on the border of Mongolia and Kazakhstan, to the city. On the way, his inner journey focuses on his coming of age.

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Armed with the dream of playing a real Little League game, the boys from Monterey, Mexico travel to the United States. After an unexpected first round victory, they find themselves on an once-in-a-lifetime journey. Relying on their religious faith, a warm-hearted priest, and their love for the game, the nine players and their coach embark on an incredible, record-breaking winning streak that leads them from southern Texas to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. A miracle happens that cements their place in history and changes their lives forever. This film stars Jake T. Austin, Clifton Collins Jr., Emilie De Ravin and Cheech Marin.

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This film was mentioned ages ago by joseph. I think this may be it's first public screening.

Fifty Cents  (USA)

It's 1957 and 11-year-old Tommy has two things he fancies, his grandpa's wartime pocket knife and the girl down the road. His pushy friend Mike is pressuring him to swear off girls, maybe forever. Tommy seeks the advice of an older bachelor with surprising results for all.

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Gone Fishing  (UK)

Gone Fishing is the touching story of a young boy and old man coming to terms with bereavement through their shared love of fishing and the legend of Goliath, the biggest pike ever caught!

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Half Kenneth  (USA)

In 1945, after the death of their father, Ken and Jo escape a Japanese-American internment camp to find their Caucasian mother. Along the way, they discover something neither of them could have anticipated.

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Kavi is a young boy who is forced to make bricks with his family in Maharastra, India as a modern-day slave. While his family has accepted their fate, Kavi won't settle for it and wants to escape.

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The Light of Family Burnam (Canada)

An adventurous 10-year-old boy, who is terminally ill, plans his own upcoming funeral with the help of his grandfather. All the while, he is enlightening his father about the lighter side of death.

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« Last Edit: 30. Mar 2013 at 22:21 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #63 - 26. Sep 2009 at 17:11
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Marbles with Thoreau (USA)

While exploring the woods near Walden Pond, two children stumble across a mysterious abandoned cabin. They quickly discover the cabin is in fact occupied by none other than the 19th century genius, Henry David Thoreau. What will the children discover as they cross the threshold into Thoreau's whimsical world?

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How far would you go to protect your family? Jack and Molly Campbell enjoyed an idyllic life with their adopted 6-year-old son, Joey. One phone call shatters their world when they learn Joey's biological father has just been released from prison, and discovered a loophole in the adoption papers. He now lays claim to his son and wants to start a new life by taking Joey back. When a judge upholds the biological father's claim, Molly and Jack decide to devise a plan to prevent Joey from being handed over to this brutal man. This film is based on the novel by best-selling author Karen Kingsbury.

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Scarecrow  (USA)

Jack Wren, a newly recruited Confederate soldier, is overwhelmed by the bloody realities of war and deserts. He encounters two runaway slaves in route to the North and freedom, and in time witnesses a different source of courage and discovers a battle worth fighting.

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It's 1987 and sixth grader, Cameron, wants desperately to make Talia his girlfriend. Three things stand in his way: Mitch Fallin, Jake Magnum and a mullet.

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« Last Edit: 30. Mar 2013 at 22:22 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #64 - 27. Sep 2009 at 00:14
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Fascinating collection of movies. Most any of them would be worth watching, I feel.

Will you be posting the films of interest at the upcoming Heartland Film Festival?  Smiley
  
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #65 - 27. Sep 2009 at 03:46
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Possibly.

I'm committed to some attending other events, but I would like to be able to fit that one in as well. It's been several years since I last attended.

Continuing on with the incredibly busy fall schedule...

At the New York Film Festival is the new Todd Solondz film, a kind of update to Happiness.....

Life During Wartime  (USA)

Todd Solondz starts his latest and finest film to date by introducing us to Joy (Shirley Henderson), whose husband Allen (Michael Kenneth Williams) is not quite cured of his peculiar “affliction.” Joy’s sister Trish (Allison Janey) is hoping to stabilize her family life by marrying the recently divorced Harvey (Michael Lerner), but her soon-to-be bar-mitzvahed son Timmy (Dylan Riley Snyder) isn’t sure he wants another man in the house—especially as it seems his dead father, Bill (Ciarán Hinds) might not be dead after all. His portrait of these and several other major characters—beautifully rendered by Charlotte Rampling, Paul Rubens, Renee Taylor and Ally Sheedy—is tough, tender, at times startling but never mean or condescending. For Solondz “wartime” is not a historical period but a permanent condition: not only the constant battle between the sexes, but even more so the endless struggle between personal desires and the society set up to contain them.

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In Chicago there are four fests of interest coming up soon.

New from the Jewish fest,



Twelve-year-old (Yuval Shevach) Eli's world is turned upside down when his father Ben, the city architect of suburban Herzliya, is charged with taking bribes. Ben is taken into custody before his son's eyes, and the news makes its way to the school playground. Eli is convinced his father is innocent, and struggles to see his father released. Eli faces injustice, corruption and pretense among both adults and children. He has to shape and stick to his own principles. In the process, he rediscovers his father and tastes the bitter sting of first love.

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A comedy/drama told through the eyes and words of an 11-year-old boy. The charming Felix, is head of an Israeli family of four living in an inner-city Parisian suburb in the early 70s. As he gradually transforms into a small-time racketeer, he encounters the local godfather. Soon Felix is out of his league and wanted by the police. Although his wife attempts to shelter her children from their father's shame, the older son discovers the truth about the man he idolizes and attempts follow in his father's footsteps.

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Pinchas (Israel)

Pinchas & his mother are new immigrants from Russia His mother barely makes a living working night shifts, she devotes her spare time to the affair she has with a married man. On the third floor lives a religious family, Pinhas is drawn to the warmth and unity that characterize this family there he meets a girl his age, and her older brother, who slowly introduces him to religion.

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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #66 - 27. Sep 2009 at 22:46
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Veering south for a moment, this weekend is the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival of Birmingham, Alabama.

Among their offerings are these three shorts



For seven years Andrej and his family have lived in Germany illegally. Hoping for a better life, he left the Ukraine with his wife Lena. Both work hard and still can’t afford much. Moreover, their almost seven year old son becomes isolated. When the boy runs off and into the nearby school, Andrej realizes that he needs to offer his son a future. There seems to be only one way out: forged papers. But those are expensive. Andrej works twice as much as before and doesn’t shy away from dangerous jobs. He soon reaches his limit when, to make things worse, his father falls ill. Andrej has to send the hard earned money home. Matters within the family get worse: Andrej feels helpless, Mischa wants to break out and Lena can not cope with the situation any longer. She makes a suggestion: she could marry Winkelmann, their sub-lessor. On paper, he would accept responsibility for Mischa, the boy would receive residency and all problems would be solved. Andrej is devastated and afraid to lose what matters most: his family. With the courage of the desperate, he enters the school. He wants to plead with the school’s director to admit his son. Andrej’s courage finds respect. Mischa is allowed to go to school.

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Bennet's Urn (USA)

Bennet's Urn is a short fast moving dark comedy. Bennet is a 8 year old boy with one request for his quirky parents before he dies.


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Autistic Like: Graham's Story (USA)

The CDC says one out of every 150 children born in the US has autism. Maybe nor. Autistic-Like: Graham's Story is an intimate family portrait showing one dad's determined quest to find the right therapies, the right doctors, and even the right words to describe his son. This short subject documentary is a startling report from the edge of the autism epidemic, and illuminates the medical, social and public health issues faced by families whose autistic-like children have no clear diagnosis, and are offered no specific treatment.

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They are also featuring the world premiere of a new Jimmy Bennett film, Alabama Moon.



The World Premiere of Alabama Moon, directed by Tim McCanlies (Secondhand Lions), starring Jimmy Bennett (2009’s Star Trek, Evan Almighty, Firewall, Poseidon), Jon Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou, The Babe), Clint Howard (Frost/Nixon, Halloween, Cinderella Man), and Uriah Shelton (currently filming Lifted in Birmingham). Beyond the title, Alabama Moon has many connections to the state of Alabama as the film is based on the award winning book, Alabama Moon, by Alabama native and resident, Watt Key, and was produced by Lee Faulkner, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama Moon is a family friendly film, set in the early 80’s. Eleven-year-old Moon Blake (Jimmy Bennett) has spent most of his life hiding out in the forests of Alabama with his father, an anti-government radical who clings to conspiracy theories and trusts no one. Moon’s life suddenly changes when the land they live on is sold to a lawyer just as his father becomes ill and suddenly dies. He has never known any truth but his Pap’s and so he tries to follow his last instructions: make your way to Alaska where "people could still make a living off trapping." Moon quickly finds himself in the path of civilization, when the lawyer, Mr. Wellington (John Goodman), discovers him on his land. Thinking he is doing what is best for the boy, he calls the local authorities. Moon bolts, fearing the very thing he has been hiding from his entire life. Unfortunately, he is captured by the mean-spirited Constable Sanders (Clint Howard), who takes him to a boy’s reform school to become property of the State. Here, Moon meets other boys his age and learns what friendship is all about. However, Moon is determined on getting to Alaska and escapes from the school bringing two of his friends Kit (Uriah Shelton) and Hal (Gabriel Basso) back to the forest to live with him. Moon uses his wilderness survival skills to outwit Constable Sanders and provide food and shelter for him and his friends. Moon writes smoke letters to his Pap, letting him know he is ok. However, Moon begins to question his father's beliefs when Hal leaves and Kit gets gravely ill and is in need of medical attention. As Moon encounters other lifestyles, true friends and true enemies, he adapts and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there.

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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #67 - 28. Sep 2009 at 12:03
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Quite overwhelming...

What an amazing year for boy movies.
  
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #68 - 29. Sep 2009 at 04:28
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We're due for an uptick. I think the pickings have been slimmer than usual the last few years.

I'll be adding more to the list when I next have some time to devote to the project.
  
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Re: 2009 Festival Releases
Reply #69 - 08. Dec 2009 at 04:43
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London 2009



Tolly is sent to stay with his grandmother at Green Knowe, an old house which has been the subject of many mysteries over its long history. Initially, Tolly uncovers a number of these stories from talking to the long-serving staff, but is shocked when ghostly apparitions start visiting him, seemingly in order to help him piece together a number of clues that might, once and for all, solve the riddle of the missing jewels and the cause of the tragic fire that destoyed part of the house over a century before.

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Starring Alex Etel as Tolly

Forbidden Door   (Indonesia)

Joko Anwar's astounding new psycho-thriller works on more levels than you can count. The retro-styled credit sequence suggests the 1950s, which maybe explains some disorienting timewarp details in the present-day urban setting. Gambir is a fashionable sculptor who specialises in figures of pregnant women, but he's been impotent ever since his wife aborted their child before their wedding. Patronised by his mother, he finds himself haunted by plaintive cries for help, seemingly from a young boy. Behind the forbidden doors of a secretive members' club called Herosase (it's an anagram) he discovers a selection of CCTV channels, each a window on a horrifying reality; one channel shows a house in which a young boy suffers hideous abuse at the hands of his parents. Gambir determines to find the house and save the boy. But all is not as it seems… Anwar provides an orthodox ending, which patly explains the whole mystery – and then gives us the real ending, which changes everything. Like his The Secret (which also starred Fachri Albar), Forbidden Door evokes other filmmakers and genres while going its own unclassifiable way. There will, of course, be blood.

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Romka - 97 (Finland)

9-year old Romka and his best friend Dinka live in St Petersburg. Romka's father smuggles animals for a living. Romka gets paid for helping his father.

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