32nd Moscow International Film Festival Award Winners

With what seems like a complete and eclectic program the 2010 Moscow fest absolutely has something for everyone with films from all over the world, including a Chabrol retrospective, Sergio Leone homage, Asian Extreme program and a documentary series by none other than Alexander Sokurov just to mention a few. The fest runs from June 17 to 26.

The Opening Film is the 2010 Claude Lelouche's Une Femme et des Hommes (What Love May Bring) and the Closing Film is one that I have been following since Cannes (no, it wasn't in the fest) Les Aventures Extraordinaires d'Adele Blanc-Sec by Luc Besson, 2010. These two films are obviously must be seen for me.

These are the films in the Main Competition.

A la Deriva (Drifting), Ventura Pons, Spain, 2010
Besa, Srdjan Karanović, Serbia, Slovenia, France, Hungary and Croatia, 2010
Boxhagener Platz, Matti Geschonneck, Germany, 2010
Ça commence par la fin (It Begins with the End), Michael Cohen, France, 2010 (Yep, is the one left out of Cannes... with Emmanuelle Beart)
Cole, Carl Bessai, Canada, 2009
Denizden Gelen (Brought by the Sea), Nesli Çölgeçen, Turkey, 2010
Der Albaner (The Albanian), Johannes Naber, Germany and Albania, 2009 Winner of the Jury Prize Silver George
Der Kameramörder (The Cameramurderer), Robert Adrian Pejo, Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland, 2010
Despre alte mame (Different Mothers), Mihai Ionesku and Tiberiu Iordan, Romania, 2010 (yes must be seen for me)
För kärleken (Dear Alice), Othman Karim, Sweden, 2010 (Danny Glover in a Swedish film... hmm)
Gye-mong Young-hwa (Enlightment Film), Park Dong-hoon, South Korea, 2009 (seems interesting)
Hermano (Brother), Marcel Rasquin, Venezuela, 2010 Winner of the Golden George
Rózyczka (Little Rose), Jan Kidawa-Blonski, Poland, 2010
Stŭpki v pyasŭka (Footsteps In The Sand), Ivaylo Hristov, Bulgaria, 2010
Utolsó jelentés Annáról (The Last Report on Anna), Márta Mészáros, Hungary, 2009
Vorobey (Sparrow), Yuri Shiller, Russia, 2010
Zemský ráj to na pohled (An Earthy Paradise for the Eyes), Irena Pavlásková, Czech Republic, 2009

To check info about the above films as well as all films in the fest -including the ones in competition at the Perspectives section- go here.

To check all award winners go here.

Frameline 34

With many shorts and three new to the blog movies the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival will run from June 17 to 27 and here are the 'new' lesbian interest films.

A Marine Story, Ned Farr, USA, 2010 (with The Gymnast Dreya Weber a story of lesbians in uniform)
Elena Undone, Nicole Conn, USA, 2010 (Heavy drama)
We Have To Stop Now, Robyn Dettman, USA, 2009 (Another comedy with Jill Bennett and Cathy De Buono)

To check the list of all movies, shorts and documentaries (101 in total) with lesbian interest go here. To check the same but with gay interest go here (120 titles).

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

Rules have always exceptions and for me the exception in the world of made-for-TV films are British productions. No matter the genre they are excellent and complete-experience productions. But up-to-date the best made-for-TV productions in the lesbian interest genre absolutely are from the BBC and with their latest production based on real people and recently decoded diaries just makes it more evident, if possible. The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister not only is an excellent production but has a compelling story that looks and feels absolutely real, like real life -against fiction or a romanticized version of real events.

Real is the key word for this story that is not really a happy story as you'll see the suffering Miss Lister lives and maybe many will know -or guess- the outcome to similar painful situations and well, that's exactly what happens here! So you can say the story will be predictable for many, but the ride is simply magnificent with excellent performances, so much caring for period details and good production values.

The story is set in nineteenth century Yorkshire were wealthy orphan Anne Lister lives with her unmarried aunt and uncle who are anxious for her to marry well; but Anne is in love with her lover Mariana Belcombe. Love is real between them but Marianna doesn't approve the "public" displays more liberated Anne does among the close provincial society of those days and makes a marriage of convenience to a rich old man hoping that their relationship will continue as always, as they are considered best friends to everyone. But Anne feels betrayed and asks Mariana to stop writing and visiting her. What follows you have to see it, but let me just finish by saying that Anne Lister was really open about her sexuality, well open in closed doors; still, my impression is that many knew she was lesbian as she was the object of gossip behind her back.

Not only the story is about the romantic life of Miss Lister but also is about what probably was the first woman in the region to become an industrialist which to me is like the icing on the cake, as definitively is not another biopic about a lesbian in older times, is about a woman that had to take hard life decisions to fight (and win) men who thought she could not handle the hard coal exploitation business.

Yes I find the story fascinating as a woman story but also as a real-life lesbian interest story. Not often we have the opportunity to learn about interesting women struggles in the past and much less in this genre.

I strongly recommend this film to women and to those that enjoy excellent productions in the lesbian interest genre. This is one film that goes to my collection along excellent productions like Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet and more.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

If you want to learn more about Anne Lister I suggest you go to From History to Her Story site that's here.

And Then Came Lola

A nice comedy for those that like American dryish humor. Me I don't. So, no surprise, I didn't enjoyed much this Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler film that was inspired in one film that definitively I liked a lot Run Lola Run.

Tells about photographer Lola and a series of fortuitous incidents that doesn't allow her to reach her destination on time to give her girlfriend some photos. The story is told several times changing the situations in the fortuitous incidents, until the last one that has a happy ending.

I had no expectations for this film and even when I knew was inspired in excellent Run Lola Run, I was not expecting the film to be alike and well, it's not. I watched the film for two known to me actresses and well they did perform as always, meaning I saw Jill Bennett and Cathy DeBuono and not their characters.

But, I know that many liked and will like the film as an escape moment with a nice American dryish humor comedy, unfortunately I'm not one of them. Can't recommend the film but I know that many will watch as is a comedy with a well-known cast in the lesbian interest genre.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion


Many times having expectations is not really wise as it's almost impossible than a movie made-for-TV could satisfied them, much less if is a miniseries in three installments not shown one day after another but one week after another. Still, I really appreciate and are grateful to my friends from France for allowing me to watch my first Cannes 2010 film. No, Carlos was not what I expected, as a very long biopic I find it acceptable and definitively has its moments but they are not many.

The story smartly skips his youth and the first part has Carlos in Paris starting to be active in his maybe then revolutionary quest and goes up to days before the OPEC incident. Starts slowly and not very interesting to follow, but suddenly it becomes really intense! I got so excited with the first part that got my expectations even higher.

Part two, starts with OPEC incident which was not that exciting especially after the buildup of part one. Continues with him being kicked-out of the PFLP and forming his own group. By now he's a media icon and a well-known -I should say- 'mercenary' that will work for many that opposes imperialism. Perhaps the last part of the story of this second installment was lesser known to me, so I got interested in learning how and why he ended up working for Syria.

Part three is his slow decline up to his arrest in Sudan which as a story is less interesting, but has its moments when the group goes violent in Paris trying to liberate their imprisoned colleagues.

My take away from what I saw in the story is that Carlos became a 'mercenary', but truth or not, what impresses is how he was able to do everything he did -most of which today is impossible- and who backed up him in the different decades. As a movie has top notch production values, good slow pace at times and fast action pace at the adequate moments; performances are above average for main characters and the many other actors with secondary roles. No complaining at all with the film tech specs that are well above for a film made for television.

So what exactly was missing for me? A more compelling and engaging storytelling, both visually as well as narrative. But definitively has its moments when is intense, compelling and engages you with whatever is happening.

When I finished watching the last installment my honest thought was that the two Mesrine films were a lot more compelling and engaging. Surely Mesrine does not have all the important characters Carlos has, but the style was more exciting to watch with a roller-coaster of contradictory emotions felt for the main character and everything they show. Except for the last half of the first part, Carlos was flat and didn't engage me with feeling any kind of emotions for the main character, other characters, situations or the story in general. It was like watching a impassive factual series of -real- events film.

I strongly suggest to see this film with no expectations and if you are lucky enough not to know Carlos story I imagine you will enjoy more this vision by Olivier Assayas. Right now I do not think I'll watch the shorter 2 1/2 version, but maybe I will when it comes to cable. By the way I saw the French dubbed version, which maybe it didn't help much to engage me as dubbing is always bad; consequently I strongly suggest you to watch Carlos in the original languages with subtitles in the language of your choice, perhaps this way will be a little bit more engaging.

My 2010 Cannes experience does not start well, but I hope two or three films will change my experience for the more positive.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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