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ALEX FARBA


 

Alex Farba Deleon is a filmfestivals.com ambassador

MY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS


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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 buffs, is also in passing something of a treasure chest of film lore, film commentary, film history, and alternate criticism. 

The author has been attending film festival, almost as a way of life, since 1975, and now wishes to share some of his festival and travel experiences with people who like movies, travel to farrout places, and adventure stories, for above all the following is a series of tales of adventure in the esoteric world of film festivals. 

 

Author's Introduction
 I have always been a film buff ever since childhood when I never missed a Saturday kiddies matinee at my neighborhood theater (The Wynne  in Philadelphia) but I wandered into the world of film festivals much later almost by accident. At some point in the early seventies when I had become an avid reader of film reviews and was living in Berkeley, California, it dawned on me that I could write as good or better copy than some of the BS I had been reading so I submitted a long preview of an upcoming Retrospective of the films of Japanese director Akita Kurosawa at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley on speculation to the San Francisco Chronicle.  To my pleasant surprise it was published as a full page article on the front page of the Chronicle's pink entertainment section. This first publication success quickly led to many more.                                                                                            I had just returned to California from a long stay in Japan and Japanese films were a hot item in the Bay Area at the time so I soon started writing regular film reviews for the English language section of the Bi-lingual Northern California daily newspaper known as the Hokubei Mainichini -- an overseas affiliate of the prestigious Tokyo Mainichi Shinbun.   When I brought some of these articles to the attention of a coffee house friend, Albert Johnson, a prominent black film critic who was teaching film history at UCB Berkeley and had recently retired as the director of the San Francisco Film Festival, Albert was impressed and used his influence to get me a pass to the next festival which was about to start. So that is how my film festival career got started over coffee at the fabulous Mediterraneum Coffee shop on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

Just for the record --

my three favorite movies are, Casablanca, Godard's Breathless, and Pink Flamingos.  I also like Citizen Kane but I've seen it so many times I don't know if I could handle still another viewing. The actor I think is most watchable in a variety of roles is Alain Delon followed closely by Toshiro Mifune.  I have many favorite actresses, but a quick sampling would include, Julianne Moore, Lizabeth Scott, Isabelle Huppert, Golshifte Farahani, Hanna Schygulla, and Wakao Ayako of Japan. 

If I had to name my three favorite directors it would be hard to exclude Hitchcock, Michael Curtiz (Casablanca,,and countless other movies of nearly every genre) and Billy Wilder, (Sunset Boulevard, Some like it Hot) -- but let's not forget Mizoguchi, Wajda, Fellini, Fassbinder, Jancsó, Kaurismäki, and a few dozen others. Among extremely overrated directors some names that come readily to mind are Scorcese, Schloendorfer, and Terence Malick. Some unconditional adherents of the forgoing trio might disagree vehemently but that's one of the nice things about the Seventh Art -- there is ample room for differences of opinion without having to resort to physical violence -- while secure in the belief that ones own opinions are the most valid. Mirror, Mirror, on the wall ...

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