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ALEX FARBA


 

Alex Farba Deleon is a filmfestivals.com ambassador

MY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS


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North by Northwest, Hitchcock, 1959

Action and suspense: A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies.   Asking which is the best Hitchcock is something like asking which is the best Beethoven symphony, but if pressed to the wall I would call  NBNW Hitchcock's Ninth (and Psycho, his Fifth). The coolest of Grant and the hottest of Marie Saint is simply the coolest film ever made from every angle you can think of. Few people would contend that Cary Grant...

Golden Apricot Awards, Yerevan 2017

by Alex Deleon   Winning film director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan expressing his surprise and gratitude as Jury president High Hudson looks on   The Awards accorded by the International jury at Yerevan 2017 proved once again that festival prizes like Hollywood Oscars are next to meaningless. A Gold plated jury consisting of emminent filmmakers  such as Hugh Hudson of England, Aniko Enyedi of Hungary, and Ciro Guerra of Columbia, named a piece of cinematic trash, the In...

"Intent to Destroy" Genocide Denial Opus closes Yerevan Festival

by  Alex Delonian,  <Filmfestivals.com> NOTE: Armenian Genocide denial is the act of denying the planned systematic genocide  of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I, conducted by the Ottoman government As a form of denialism, it can be compared to similar national historical revisionisms such as Holocaust denial and Nanking Massacre denial.  The 2017 Yerevan film festival closed appropriately with a brutally frank exposition of the outrageous ongoing Turkish de...

LE CERCLE ROUGE at Yerevan

By Alex Deleon      The peak film of the Yerevan week was without a doubt "Le Cercle Rouge", the 1970 all star masterpiece gangland thriller by Jean-Pierre Melville.  Less well know than his younger Nouvelle Vague disciples, Truffaut and Godard, but a much better filmmaker, Melville specialized in deliberately paced psychological thrillers in which top French stars gave some of their best performances. At the very beginning we are informed that the cryptic title...

Yerevan Film Festival, Day 2

by Alex Delonian With Artsine Balahyan, Yerevan TV Channel One Monday, the first Full Day of the fest, was quite remarkable. Balmy weather, not too hot, I hit a morning press conference for Armenian films at the Grand Tulip and met an interesting young lady, who turned out to be an interviewer for Yerevan TV and on the spot, shot a ten minute interview with me!  Aha ~ already notoriety strikes. I then saw my first real festival film, Melville's dissection of the French resistance ...

Golden Apricot (July 9 -16) kicked off in Yerevan

The 14 edition of the Golden Apricot (Vosge Dziran) International Film Festival GAIFF is off and running in Yerevan, the serenely beautiful capital of Armenia.       The Apricots have been duly blessed                   The Majestic old Moskva Cinema on Charles Aznavour, Plaza is the heart of the Golden Apricot Film Festival The opening night film On July 7 was a tribute to early Armenian cinema, an unsual 1927 silent di...

PART II ~ Festivals since 2004

 PART II ~ Festivals since 2004 A quantum leap forward occurred in my film critical career in 2004 when surfing the internet I discovered the website www.filmfestivals.com.  I submitted the following article to them and it was accepted at long last opening a permanent outlet for my film writing. Until then it had always been a problem to find a spot for the publication of my articles as I wandered about from pillar to post in Eastern Europe and was somehow unable to hook up with the...

Adventures on the Film Festival Circuit on and behind the Scenes by a roving film festivaleer

 Adventures on the Film Festival Circuit on and behind the Scenes by a roving film festivaleer      Alex Deleon (Herman Pevner) (filmfestivals.com) The very first film festival I ever attended was the San Francisco Festival of 1975. I had by then begun to publish articles about Japanese films in San Francisco and was invited by former festival director Albert Johnson, whom I knew from hanging out at the fabled Mediterraneum Caffe in Berkeley, and Albert used his infl...

Introduction to my Filmfestivals.com Book

BOOK INTRO to -- "Filmfestivals.com ~ Adventures in the Film Festival Trade by Alex Deleon (Herman Pevner)    Preface (Forward) "Everybody has heard of glamorous film festivals such as Cannes and Venice but not many people have actually been to one. This anecdotal survey of film festivals around the world which the author has attended over the years, major and minor, should help give readers some insight into what these events are all about, and, for dedicated fill ...

Morning Discussion with Carlos Saura at Sodankylä 32

  Saturday’s morning discussion at the Kitisenranta School featured Spanish director Carlos Saura who talked about his long and varied career with interviewer Timo Malmi. Saura often deals with themes of memory and past and said that his father used to entertain the children with a memory board where he collected news clippings, drawings and pictures. The family used to look at the board together and reminisce about the past. Saura spent his youth moving from city t...

Last reindeer meal and last movie coming up: Sidankyla, Day Five

Sunday night, 22::00  PM ~~ Getaway Day  The festival is finally winding down.  walked out of Bonello's NOCTURAMA - after a half hour of solid boredom and Finnish subtitles only.  couldn'really follow the mumbled banlieusard french and got tired of the Finnish subtitle lesson, Hunger prevailed and I went across the street to the Reindeer Stew and other goodies tent, loaded up on nourishment including  an extra piece of Reindeer Sausage a...

SAINTLAURENT AT SODANKYLÄ and Sô förth ßßß

Hyvä päiva good böddy --  Mais oui-- filmnüttöö certainly qualifies as a new Finnish neolojism -- redundancy intentiönnäl -- as long as you döbble dot every väwel in sight except I and E it can päss för finnisch -- Fünn länguägge --actually you don't needa dot the û because /y/ is already pronounced /ü/ but  this language is actually derived frôm Raindeer squawking...

WAJDA'S Swansong, POWIDOKI at Sodankylä 32

by Alexei Deleon   The first film I saw on day one of five at Sodankyla was Wajda's final film, made when he was ninety and released last year just before his death. It paints an incredibly bleak picture of artistic life in Poland under the Stalinist regime just after the war when the Communist ideal of "social realism" reigned supreme. Gracefully aging Polish superstar, Boguslaw Linda, 64, delivers a towering performance as the crippled avant garde master ...

32nd Midnight Sun Film Festival, Sodankylä, Finland

by Alex Deleon   The Midnight Sun Film Festival takes place  in the Lappland village of Sodankylä on the Arctic Circle in northern Finland during the longest days of the year in the Middle of June.  It is so named because at this time of the year at this elevated latitude the sun never sets. At midnight the light of day in Sodankylä looks like late afternoon down south in Helsinki  and around 3AM Old Sol does dip almost to the horizon but not quite, then...

The other YSL film of 2014 at Sodankylä 32

      The big film of Day 4, saturday here, was the Yves St Laurent film by French "auteur" directeur Bernard Bonello entitled SAINT LAUTENT.  My internal jury is still out on this heavily stylized G&LT opus in flagrante and on the director as well, but I must admit that it was infinitely more interesting than the other St Laurent movie by Galil Lespert with a no-name cast that came out the same year, 2014  -- which I made a point of ...

MOONLIGHT -- the Guilty Conscience Oscar Winner

Summary: Highly overrated minor film that won the guilty conscience Oscar of 2017 *** This review may contain spoilers *** I finally caught up with this year's Questionable Oscar winner, "Black Moonlight" last night. in Budapest. Like everyone else I was curious to see what all the noise around this picture was all about.  It turned out to be a fairly attention holding film, amateurishly made, but well acted with a good story, and certainly not quite as bad as that piece o...

New Magyar Film, "1945", is a Knockout

 Reviewed by Alex Deleon, Budapest 12 August 1945, 11 AM. Two mysterious strangers dressed in black appear at the railway station of a Hungarian village. Within a few hours, everything changes... The film 1945 was premiered at Berlin in February but only viewed here in Budapest on first commercial release in April. Last year a modestly made Hungarian film "Son of Saul" raised eyebrows when it took the grand Prix at Cannes and also the best foreign language film award at the 2...

Hollywood NOIR Festival Number 19

    by Alex Deleon Filmfestivals.com   Noir means Black in French, and Film Noir is the appelation invented by French film critics to describe the kinds of low budget dark but sprightly B crime melodramas churned out by the Hollywoid studios in the forties and early fifties. They were basically made to appeal to a lower middlebrow clientele as a kind of pulp fiction on celluloid. However, the craftsmen who worked on them were experts in their field and many of these...

LA LA LAND, perpetrated by Daniel Chazelle Reviewed by Alex Deleon

  Assessment ~Pa-thet-ic.   The new Hollywood musical with the intriguing title "La-La-Land one of the most talked about motion pictures  in recent years with two of Hollywood's most attractive and popular younger generation stars, Ryan Gosling  and Emma Stone, can best be summed up in a single three syllable word ~~.  PA-THET--IC! -- Gosling, in spite of a name that makes one think of chopped goose liver, is indeed quite handsome in the&nb...

BEST and WORST of 2016 by Alex Deleon

BEST and WORST of 2016 by Alex Deleon for <filmfestivals.com>   "Jackie" with Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy should get the best actress Oscar of 2017.   2016 was a banner year for outstanding films from around the world -- but let me point out that this is not a list of films that first appeared in this calendar year, but rather of films that I saw for the first time this year -- even if they were from previous years.  Such as festival rev...

Budapest Israeli Film Week wrap

BUDAPEST ISRAELI FILM WEEK, WRAP  By Alex Cousy Deleon   There were altogether some fourteen films programed in this overview of recent Israeli films, however due to overlapping scheduling at the Puskin Art Mozi it was not possible to get to them all. One or two that looked particularly enticing were missed. What films were seen indicate that the Israeli film industry is thriving, loaded with talent, entering into many co-productions to expand productivity, and forging full steam ...

Budapest Israeli Film Week "A Matter of Size" Another off-the-wall subject handled with care

By Alex Deleon <filmfestivals.com>  "A Matter of Size" (Hebrew title, "Sipur Gadol" = 'A BIG Story'), 2009, 90 min., color This is basically a feel-good love story about two people, Herzl and Zehava, who don't feel very good about themselves because they are exceptionally fat, but eventually find ways of coming to terms with their obesity.  This could be called a gimmick film --the gimmick being Jewish Sumo wrestlers in Israel -- a pretty wi...

War for the Planet of the Apes Official Trailer revealed by 20th Century FOX

I love the voice over in that Trailer !, looks strong. In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each...

The Congress Crazy "Israeli" film at Budapest Israeli film week

THE CONGRESS -- FINAL VERSION   by ALEX DE LEON <filmfestivals.com> Summary: Amazing! Will have special reverberations for Veteran Acid trippers   Nota bene This is an email review:  Dear Milgro, just saw an incredible half animation film at the Budapest Israeli film week that I need to tell a film savvy person like yourself, about -- while it is still fresh in my mind. Name of Film "...

Budapest Israeli Film Festival sleeper Peace after Marriage

 PEACE AFTER MARRIAGE, I saw this tonight and was blown away --totally unexpected fantastic film!   European title, "Only in New York" Directed and starring Ghazi Albuliwi Ghazi Albuliwi New York comedian director of Palestinian background   A sexually frustrated Palestinian-American, Arafat, still living with his traditional Muslim parents at age thirty and addicted to porno joins a Sex Addicts Anonymous therapy group and is befriended by a guy w...
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