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Film Festivals

Women Directors at Cannes Shine Out of Competition

Sofia Coppola

Although the main competition at Cannes features only one film by a woman director, the section Un Certain Regard is loaded with them, so their presence is being felt.

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (yes, she is the sister of Carla Bruni, former First Lady of France) has moved easily between Italian and French films as an actress and in her competition film A Castle in Italy, she moves between the two locations in a story of lives ending and new beginnings. Bruni Tedeschi directs but also plays Louise, whose wealthy family is coping with changing times. She meets Nathan (played by Louis Garrel, her real-life partner) and together they struggle with the demands of a contemporary relationship. While Louise and her mother attempt to divest themselves of the family chateau, they also have to deal with doctors as their HIV positive son and brother, Ludovic, fights for his life. The film attempts to portray the end of one era and the beginning of a new one, in terms of family dynamics.

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First Time Fest Makes Auspicious Debut

You never forget your first. The First Time Fest, which launched March 1 to 4, 2013 in New York City, no doubt took this maxim to heart in slating debut features that are also memorable finds.FirstTimeFest

A dozen films from first-time directors contended for a grand prize that entails theatrical distribution by Cinema Libre Studio. Diego Rougier's Southern Cone Western Sal beat out the competition, while road movie Headfirst earned kudos both for the directorial efforts of Amélie Van Elmbt and for the performance of star Alice de Lencquesaing. Summertime also caught the jury's attention, honoring director/writer Max Weissberg for his screenplay set in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

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Dubai Film Fest: The Celluloid Oasis

burj al arabDubai has to be one of the strangest places in the world.  The world’s tallest building, probably some of the world’s largest shopping malls – including one with an indoor (of course…) ski slope – and every possible business concern can be found here.

Seeing a Starbucks on every corner is no surprise, and neither are the amount of high, high end stores in the malls – YSL, Chopard, Jimmy Choo – but I was amazed to see a Tim Horton’s (well, they do make good donuts), a GNC vitamin shop, and a Tony Roma’s family restaurant on the way in from the airport. So, high end and low end cohabit in this corner of the Arabian Gulf.

Read more: Dubai Film Fest: The Celluloid...

In Flight -- NYFF’s Closing Night Film -- Denzel's An Addicted Pilot Who Saves A Full Plane & Himself

bruce-greenwood-and-denzel-washingtonNobody swaggers like actor Denzel Washington -- especially as he does in Flight, Robert Zemeckis’ latest film.

Washington does his famous swaggering as Whip Whitaker, a veteran airline pilot who’s just had an all-nighter of booze, sex and drugs in an Orlando hotel room. But he pulls it together, kind of, and in shades and uniform he’s off to captain a passenger jet. Though cocky and arrogant, we know that his attitude’s all façade, fueled by cocaine and alcohol. 

Read more: In Flight -- NYFF’s Closing...

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