SLIFF 2012: The St. Louis International Film Festival Begins November 8th
The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (better known to local movie buffs as SLIFF) is presented by Cinema St. Louis and opens Thursday, November 8th. The fest looks like another exciting event for film buffs. Now in its 21st year, SLIFF is one of the largest international film festivals in the Midwest. This year’s event will be held Nov. 8-18. SLIFF’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, IL. SLIFF showcases the best in cutting-edge features and shorts from around the globe. The majority of the more than 400 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 entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found HERE.
This year’s fest kicks off Thu, Nov 8th at 7:30pm at the Tivoli Theatre with Silver Linings Playbook, an Oscar contender starring Jennifer Lawrence that has been raking in the awards at other fests (it also screens Sat, Nov 10th at 6:30pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema). Another possible Oscar hopeful screening is Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray as FDR. It plays Sat, Nov 17th at 4:30pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema. The fest wraps up with Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut QUARTET about aging British opera stars. It plays Sun, Nov 18th at 6:30pm at the Tivoli Theatre
SLIFF will present legendary director Joe Dante (The Howling,Gremlins,Explorers) with a Lifetime Achievement Award and screen his first foray into 3D, the family thriller The Hole Sat, Nov 10th at 6:30pm at the Hi-Pointe Theatre. The program features a clip reel of the director’s career highlights, the presentation of the award, and an interview with Dante conducted by Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas. Later that night SLIFF will offer a double dose of late-night comic mayhem from Joe Dante with Gremlins at 10pm and Gremlins 2 at midnight. Audiences can delight again as an army of miniature green monsters gleefully tear through the small town of Kingston Falls, wreaking outlandishly entertaining destruction. Come back to the Hi-Pointe Sunday morning Nov 11th at 11am for The Movie Orgy. Before Dante established his Hollywood career, he traipsed around the country with producer Jon Davison, toting the endless number of reels that made up The Movie Orgy, an epic seven-hour compilation film that the pair screened at colleges and rep houses in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Scavenging the detritus of pop culture, The Movie Orgy, smartly juxtaposed trailers, B-movie excerpts, old commercials, sex-hygiene films, newscasts, and music clips to create a sly narrative full of wit, humor, and unexpected new meanings. Largely unseen since its original tour, The Movie Orgy entered the realm of film legend. Recently, however, Dante transferred his decaying 16mm original to a digital format, and a slimmed-down version – now a mere 270 minutes, will be playing SLIFF
This will be a great chance for St. Louisans to see some locally-produced product on the big screen. Casualties of the State, a tense political thriller shot here will play Sat, Nov 17th at 10:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre with director Jeremey Cropf in attendance. Fatal Call is another local thriller starring Kevin Sorbo that will screen Sun, Nov 11th at 9:30pm at the Tivoli with director Jack Snyder along for a Q&A. Joplin, Missouri: A Tornado Story by Chip Gubera will play Tue, Nov 13th at 5:00pm also at the Tivoli.
SLIFF always digs into the past to help audiences rediscover old films. This year there are two silent films. This year they pay tribute to native St. Louisan Josephine Baker with a pair of films: the Baker silent Siren of the Tropics, which features live musical accompaniment by the Poor People of Paris and a new French documentary, The Other Josephine, co-written by her son Brian Bouillon-Baker. Also, the amazing George Melies program that played at Cinema St. Louis Classic French Film Festival over the summer will making two encore appearances. The program includes the restored A Trip to the Moon and a docudrama on the filmmaker, but the highlight of the event is a generous sampling of Melie’s shorts with original musical accompaniment by St. Louis’ Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra. This program plays Friday Nov 9th at 7:30pm at Webster U./Moore Auditorium and Sat, Nov 10th at 7:30pm at the Wildey Theatre. Also SLIFF offers a free screening of The Ides of March and hosts native St. Louisan and New Filmmakers Forum jury head Beau Willimon, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay based on his play Farragut North. Willimon receives the Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award.
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 Nazi drama Apartment in Athens won Best First Feature Award at 2012 Italian Golden Globes. Fri, Nov 16th at 4:45pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema and Sat, Nov 17th at 2:00pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema. The German drama Barbara was the official German submission for the 2013 Academy Awards. It plays Fri, Nov 16th at 9:30pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema and Sun, Nov 18th at 6:15pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinema. The acclaimed Czech romantic comedy Love Is Love plays Mon, Nov 12th at 2:15pm at Plaza Frontenac Cinemacand Wed, Nov 14th at 4:00pm also at Plaza Frontenac Cinema.
And of course, SLIFF features dozens of documentaries. There’s a free screening Sat, Nov 17th at 12:00pm at Sheldon Concert Hall of the Oscar-nominated The Line King,which tells the story of native St. Louisan Al Hirschfeld, creator of thousands of drawings of stars and celebrities for more than 60 years. The film accompanies the Sheldon Art Galleries’ Al Hirschfeld’ss Jazz and Broadway Scrapbook, the first major retrospective of the artist to be mounted in his hometown. Beware of Mr. Baker about rock drummer Ginger Baker plays Sat, Nov 10th at 9:00pm and at Webster U./Moore and Sat, Nov 17th at 8:00pm at Wildey Theatre. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope about Comic-Con San Diego from Morgan Spurlock will screen Sat, Nov 17th at 4:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre
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