There is no greater rush at the beginning of November than picking up my AFI Fest press badge and hitting the theater. I have unfortunately been unable to attend the West Coast’s best film festival for two years, so it’s especially sweet to be back. While my schedule prevents me from taking on the rigorous viewing regimen I did back in 2007 and 2008, when I saw 25+ films over the course of the festival, I hope to catch my fair share of great movies… [Read more]
Los Angeles’ annual AFI Fest officially kicked off yesterday evening with the red carpet premiere of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but the festival begins in earnest tonight. Normally, with this type of event, I write a preview detailing all of the films that I am most looking forward to, but the lineup here is simply too expansive and too strong across-the-board to follow that routine. [Read more]
Day One. Films reviewed: The Chaser and Gogol Bordello Nonstop.
Day Two – Part 1. Film reviewed: A Christmas Tale.
Day Two – Part 2. Films reviewed: O’Horton, Summer Hours, and Che.
Day Three. Films reviewed: The Class and Hunger.
Day Four - Part 1. Film reviewed: The Brother’s Bloom.
Day Four – Part 2. Film reviewed: Skin.
Day Five. [No coverage due to Presidential Election.]
Day Six. Film reviewed: A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy.
Day Seven. Films reviewed: The Good, The Bad, The Weird and Two Lovers.
Day Eight. Films reviewed: Sugar and Slumdog Millionaire.
Days Nine & Ten. Films reviewed: Adam Resurrected, Kassim the Dream, Last Chance Harvey, Niloofar, Playing Columbine, Tulpan, and Worlds Apart.
With AFI Fest 2008 officially over, I’ve reviewed all of the important tent-poles of the festival. I’ll conclude my coverage with capsules of the smaller films I saw on Days Nine and Ten, presented in alphabetical order. (Some will find their ways into theaters in 2009–look out for full reviews then.) [Read more]
As you’ve probably noticed, it’s been three weeks since AFI Fest 2008 wrapped up and I haven’t posted my coverage of the final weekend. The reason is simple: after the festival, there’s not much incentive for me to publish reviews of the selections right away. The films I saw, with a few exceptions, aren’t coming to theaters for a couple of months. Given that the reasons to post festival coverage in real-time are to give readers tips and hints about what to see at the festival and to promote the fest, I haven’t seen much of a point in putting up formal coverage rather than simply reviewing the films when they are released. [Read more]
I approached Day Seven of AFI Fest feeling fresh and ready to go after having skipped two days to watch the election unfold. What a fitting way, I thought, to see two films that received solid reputations and strong buzz out of other festivals. The result, once again, was that one fell short of expectations and one lived up to them. [Read more]
I’m almost caught up on festival coverage–only Days Seven and Eight to go–but before I do that, I’d like to highlight yet another film I saw in advance of the festival that has its premiere tonight. What makes this one different from the pack? It’s free to attend. [Read more]
Day Five of AFI Fest 2008 represented a new opportunity at the festival for me: the ability to see films on weekdays. Last year, I was still going to school full-time in San Diego, so I was only able to catch weekend programming. While I would not take advantage of Tuesday or Wednesday’s line-ups due to my fixation on the presidential election, it was nice to be able to see a few selections on Monday and Thursday. [Read more]
After enduring a pretty mediocre session of movie-going for Day Two of this year’s AFI Fest, I hoped the festival would redeem itself on Day Three. After the first of two movies I saw, I thought it would. After the second, I was not as enthusiastic about the notion. [Read more]
I’m zoomin’ back and forth in time on these festival-posts to a near-incomprehensible extent, aren’t I? Such is the problem I face in trying to cover current programming that I saw early before I fully catch up with past reviews.
So for those of you who haven’t done the math: I’ve posted all of Day One and Day Two, none of Day Three, some of Day Four, and now Day Six. (I didn’t attend Day Five because my eyes were fixed on the election and because only a few low-profile features were scheduled because programmers knew there would be quite a few in my position.) [Read more]