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LAFilm Fest 2009

We Live in Public

Westwood’s LA Film Fest is upon us again – running this year from June 18 to 28. As normal, it is a rather svelte fest (at least compared to the bloated bastard still going on in Seattle). Most of the highlights seem to be Sundance hold overs but there are also quite a few interesting sounding int’l flicks that I’m hearing about for the first time. It would have been cool to see a few Cannes premiers make the quick turnaround debut but hey. Here are my highlights starting with a few I hope to catch. Lemme know if anything interests you.

We Live in Public
I mentioned this Ondi Timoner (Dig!) doc in my SIFF’09 write-up and now plan to check it out. This Sundance premiering story of a group of people living underground and in front of the cameras plays in the evenings on Sun. 6/21 and Weds. 6/24. Lemme know if you can make either one.

Mentioned way back in September, Hayao Miyazaki’s newest animated masterpiece is the closing night gala for this year’s LAFF. That means it costs $100 to go to. F-that! I’m just gonna have to do my best to finaggle my way in.

I’ve been fascinated by Brazil’s high rise upper class since watching Manda Bala a few years back. This film claims to focus on exactly that. It plays in the evening Sat. 6/20 and as a matinee Sun. 6/21.

It Might Get Loud
Davis Guggenheim’s latest doc gives the viewer an backstage pass for a jam session between Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. Sounds Awesome. It plays Fri. 6/19 evening and Mon. 6/22 afternoon.

Sex, Booze, and Copywriting: Behind the Scenes of Mad Men
This conversation with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and some of the cast is sure to sell out. It happens at 7pm on Weds. 6/24. Lemme know ASAP if any of you MMMs (Mad Men Maniacs) wanna go.

Sacred Places
Sacred Places
This documentary from Cameroon sounds fantastically interesting. It follows the organizers Africa’s premier film festival, FESPACO. From LAFF: “Tracing a lineage from the West African traditional djembe drum to makeshift cine-clubs in Ouagadougou where patrons pay a dime to watch Jackie Chan DVDs, this film celebrates community and cinema in equal measure.” See SilverDocs for more info. It plays Sun. 6/21 in the afternoon and at night on Tues. 6/23.

Cold Souls
As mentioned previously, this promiscuous festival fave stars Paul Giamatti as Paul Giamatti.

El General
I’ve been interested in this bio-doc since hearing about it on NPR. It is the story of controversial Mexican President (1924-28) General Calles as examined by his great-granddaughter.

This french dramadey about a young girl mature beyond her age piqued my interest in the SIFF catalog and is making its way to LA as well. It sounds enjoyable in a Son of Rambow kinda way.

Still Walking
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest makes its way to LAFF via SIFF via TIFF (and surely others).

Call If You Need Me
Call If You Need Me
There just aren’t that many Malaysian crime dramas that make it to this side of the Pacific. So it is only fair to give this film directed by James Lee a mention.

Carmen Meets Borat
This “stranger than fiction” documentary is the story of the small Romanian town that served as the Kazakh backdrop for the opening of Borat.

I Sell the Dead
This comedy-horror about grave robbers in 18th century England is the only film I’ve found on the site so far that is sold out. I guess that means something, right?

Our Beloved Month of August
This mix of docu and fiction is the interesting sounding story of a traveling pop band in rural Portugal.

A Week Alone
Argentinian coming of age in this story of privileged teens left to their own devices in a gated community.

AJ Schnack (Kurt Cobain About A Son) takes us behind the scenes of Denver’s historic 2008 Democratic Convention.

United Red Army
A docudrama about a 1972 Japanese student uprising by veteran filmmaker Koji Wakamatsu.

Unmade Beds
This slice of life drama about two 20-somethings in East London has garnered some good reviews.

This Brazilian-Italian co-production examines issues facing indigenous peoples of the Amazon.

Wah Do Dem (What They Do)
Maybe it is just my recent interest in the Caribbean, but something caught my eye about this debut feature from Sam Fleischner and Ben Chance. Wait a second… it co-stars Norah Jones. Nevermind, skip this one.

Posted by enderzero at 1:39pm on Jun. 5, 2009