SLIFF 2011: The St. Louis International Film Festival Begins This Week
The 20th Annual Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival (better known to local movie buffs as SLIFF) is presented by Cinema St. Louis and begins this Thursday, November 10th. The fest looks like another exciting event for film buffs. Now in its 20th year, SLIFF is one of the largest international film festivals in the Midwest. This year’s event will be held Nov. 10-20. SLIFF’s main venues are the Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, and Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium with additional screenings at the Wildey Theater in Edwardsville, IL, and Brown Hall on the campus of Washington University. SLIFF showcases the best in cutting-edge features and shorts from around the globe. The majority of the more than 300 films screened – many of them critically lauded award-winners will receive their only St. Louis exposure at the festival. We Are Movie Geeks.com will be posting reviews of many of the films in advance of their screenings so keep checking back here for updates.
The festivities kick off Thursday, November 10th with a screening of the B&W silent film THE ARTIST which has been wowing them at other fests and ends Sunday November 20th with a screening of William Castle’s HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL in ‘Emergo’ (!). In between is the usual mix of foreign films, independent features, mainstream Oscar bait, shorts, older films, documentaries, and locally-produced films. Some of the most anticipated films (besides HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL of course) are David Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD about the kinky relationship between Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) playing Friday, Nov 11th at 7:00pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Cult Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s newest, OUTRAGE which plays Friday, Nov 11th at 9:00pm and Saturday, Nov 12th at 8:30pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema and German director Tom Twyker’s (RUN LOLA RUN) newest 3 (DREI) playing Friday, Nov 11th at 2:00pm and Saturday, Nov 12th at 9:45pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema. This may be your only chance to see John Landis’ BURKE AND HARE starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis on the big screen. It plays Friday , Nov 11th at 7:15pm and Sun, Nov 13th at 12:30pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema. Perhaps the anticipated film is THE DESCENDANTS starring George Clooney. It’s Alexander Payne’s first film since SIDEWAYS and plays Sunday November 20th at 6pm at the Tivoli.
Some of the best locally produced features that impressed at the recent St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase are returning to the big screen. Matt Glasson and Bowls MacLean’s LOVE STALKER (read the WAMG review HERE) plays Tuesday, Nov 15th at 9:00pm at Webster University’s Moore auditorium and Bill Streeter’s acclaimed documentary BRICK BY CHANCE AND FORTUNE: A ST. LOUIS STORY (read our review HERE) plays Sunday, Nov 20th at 4:00pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema.
SLIFF always digs into the past to help audiences rediscover old films. This year there are two silent films: Ernst Lubitsch’s 1921 comedy THE WILDCAT plays Saturday, Nov 12th at 8:00pm at Webster U. with live musical accompaniment by St. Louis’ Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra, which debuts an original score for the film and CLASH OF THE WOLVES (1925) stars Rin Tin Tin and will be screened Friday, Nov 18th at 7:00pm New Yorker writer Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) will be present and will read from and sign her new book,Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Also at Webster U. is Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 3 ½ -Hour WORLD ON A WIRE (originally a two-part German TV miniseries from 1973) which plays Sunday, Nov 13th at 6:30pm Webster U. Vincentennial continues with two films starring St. Louis’ own Vincent Price. THE BARON OF ARIZONA (1950) was directed by Sam Fuller and plays Friday, Nov 11th at 7:00pm at Washington University’s Brown Hall and HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL plays Sunday, Nov 20th at 8:30pm on the big screen at Tivoli Theatre. HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL will not only incorporate the classic William Castle gimmick ‘Emergo’ but will be introduced by We Are Movie Geek’s own Tom Stockman. WENT THE DAY WELL? Is a 1942 forgotten wartime thriller dapted from a Graham Greene short story. It plays Tue, Nov 15th at 7:00pm at Webster U./Moore Auditorium.
It wouldn’t be an international film festival without films from all over the world so 29 countries are represented at this year’s St. Louis international Film Festival. The acclaimed Chinese film EMPIRE OF SILVER (BAIYIN DIGOU) plays Sun, Nov 13th at 8:30pm and Tue, Nov 15th at 9:00pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema.Germany is represented with BEFORE YOUR EYES which won Best Director and Best Actress at the 2010 Istanbul Film Festival. It plays Wed, Nov 16th at 9:15pm and Thu, Nov 17th at 9:15pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema. Director Agnieszka Holland (EUROPA, EUROPA) has made a new Holocaust drama IN DARKNESS which plays Sun, Nov 13th at 5:30pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema. From Russia comes THE UGLY DUCKLING, a stop-motion animated film about farm animals which plays Sat, Nov 12th at 12:00pm and Sun, Nov 20th at 12:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre. CHICO AND RITA, from Spain is an animated film aimed at an adult audience set in pre-revolution Cuba, circa 1948. It play Fri, Nov 11th at 9:00pm at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville and Fri, Nov 18th at 9:30pm at the Tivoli Theatre.
And of course, SLIFF features dozens of documentaries. ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR follows the acclaimed singer/songwriter for a fascinating concert documentary. It plays Saturday, Nov 19th at 8:30pm at Webster U.’s Moore Auditorium. CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE documents the 90-year-old icon both on and off the stage and plays Saturday Nov 19th at 1:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre. DYING TO DO LETTERMAN chronicles a cancer patient’s dream to appear on the David Letterman show as a stand-up comic. It plays Sat, Nov 12th at 2:15pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema
Cinema St. Louis always brings in filmmakers and guests of honor and this year is no different. Writer/director Jay Duplass (THE PUFFY CHAIR, BAGHEAD, CYRUS), SLIFF’s Contemporary Cinema Award winner, will offer an instructive seminar on independent filmmaking Saturday, Nov 19 at 1:00 pm at Webster University/Sverdrup and his new film JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME will screen Fri, Nov 18th at 7:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre. Legendary animator Bill Plympton will be teaching a class on animation Saturday, Nov 12 1:00 pm at Webster U./Moore (to register for this, go HERE ). Oscar-nominated documentarian Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) will be honored with SLIFF’s Maysles Brothers Lifetime Achievement Award in Documentary. Two of his films will be screened: THE INTERRUPTERS Sunday, Nov 13 at 1 p.m. at the Wildey theater in Edwardsville and STEVIE Sun, Nov 13th at 6:00pm at Washington U. ‘s Brown Hall
The entire schedule for The the 20th Annual Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival can be found HERE. Congratulations to Cinema St. Louis for what looks like another great St. Louis International Film Festival and watch for reviews of many of the films in the days ahead here at We Are Movie Geeks.com