Sunday, November 15, 2009

Updates: 18th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival Nov.12th-22nd

This Thursday marked the beginning of the 18th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (or SLIFF if you're into shortcuts), which I am lucky enough to both work at for the behind the scenes intrigues and visit as a spectator. I'll be posting reviews here and there, and updates if I hear anything good.

Already the turn out has been impressive, and the organization and general feel of the festival has been superior to my most recent visit to the Chicago International Film Festival. That festival not only seemed to have some major organizational problems, perhaps due to the size and layout of the venue, but also had issues with digital projection. The short films and marketing promotions that opened each film were highly pixelated and unprofessional in appearance, while the SLIFF marketing team (with their technical staff) has insured that their work fits seamlessly with the art on screen that follows. Did I mention I love that image on the promo poster? It hits all my film, sci-fi, and design nerd buttons simultaneously.

I've had the chance to see An Education, Edgar Allen Poe's Ligeia, and Precious, and will be checking out Youth In Revolt and Yella in the coming days. Thursday, the festival opened with a sold out An Education, unfortunately sans Metro St. Louis native Peter Sarsgaard who canceled due to the filming of a new Tom Cruise movie. Tonight, Precious sold out the entire Hi Pointe Theater for one showing (485 seats), with requests for it making the phone ring every 20 seconds for 13 hours and an interesting and passionate forum afterward with CASA regarding child abuse. Competing against it at the Tivoli was the equally crowded St. Louis filmed Up In the Air with special guest director Jason Reitman.

Download the program and pick out your favorites for the next few days. See you there!

P.S. If you have tickets to the screening of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and would like to give them away to an eager Terry Gilliam lover, I will give them a good home (the person in front of me bought the last ones!).

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