Bye-bye CIFF 38

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Standing in line at the 38th Cleveland International Film Festival, waiting for the theater to clear so the passholders could enter and take up the precious aisle seats, I began talking with the smartly dressed, middle-aged woman next to me. She was, at that moment, a total stranger, but we obviously had something in common—a […]

Winding Up and Shutting Down

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The film festival ended last Sunday, and after a few days of rest, I’m ready to wrap-up the experience. I began winding down (preferable to going cold turkey) on Saturday, scheduling only two films on each of the last two days. They were all good! Good Ol’ Freda was one classy lady. An early Beatles […]

CIFF 37: Movie about Movies

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Oh boy, do I love movies about making movies! Casting By, a documentary about the unsung heroes—casting directors—who suggest and promote actors to directors, was an absolute treat. Marion Dougherty, the star of this documentary, began her career casting talent for Kraft Television Theatre. Around the same time, “method” acting was gaining popularity while the […]

CIFF 37: Mixed Bag on Thursday

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Following the failed Hungarian uprising in 1956, the secret police become obsessed with monitoring the actions of ordinary folk as well as their own colleagues. With agents, double agents, and double-triple agents . . . and so on, it’s a challenge to follow who’s doing what to whom. But with an excellent script, fine acting, […]

CIFF 37: Another “A” Day

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Is the film festival getting better, have I become a easy grader, or am I serendipitously picking the best movies? Whichever, or a combination of the above, I’ve had another superlative day! I began the day with Underdogs, the based-on-real-events tale of a small-town American high school football team and the inventor father of the […]

CIFF: Two-Day Recap

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Tuesday morning and I’m taking the day off to give my eyes the opportunity to readjust to daylight. Although the festival began slowly, for me, it certainly picked up in the last few days. Started Sunday with Bonus Round of short films. And my favorites are A Knock on My Door, Choreography for Plastic Army […]

CIFF 37: Triple “A” Day

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Bone-chilling is what came to mind as I watched The Last White Knight. Racism is alive and well, but it is still stunning to see three KKK members dressed in full regalia—giving their names, but not showing their faces—talking about the Invisible Empire of police officers, local officials and others who continue to believe that […]

CIFF 37: The Lebanese Connection

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Lord Edward Montagu inherited his lordship at age 2½, when his father died and left him with the responsibility of a 10,000-acre estate. One of England’s great homes, the property was virtually insolvent following WWII. Montagu, then 25, opened his home to the public, personally guiding the tours of his ancestral home. Disaster struck when […]

CIFF 37: Two “B” Days

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The Kings of Summer, filmed in various Northeast Ohio locales, is a light comedy typical of opening night selections. Its main characters are appealing and funny, each in his own way. The plot also has its moments—both funny and touching. Altogether, though, I spent more time trying to identify the shooting locales than engaging with […]