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ALEX FARBA


 

Alex Farba Deleon is a filmfestivals.com ambassador

MY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS


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RIP Michael Cimino, Oleva sholem...

ODD that the back-to-back obituaries in all the Italian papers yesterday were Elie Wiesel and Michael Cimino, the auteur of "Deerhunter" ... Followed by the débâcle of "Gates of Hell" that brought both his career and that of the studio United Artists down to bankruptcy and ignominous ruin. (Check it out in the Inkwire )--- I vaguely remember seeing "Heaven's Gate" when it came out and not thinking much of it except for the appearance in an A...

Cinema Ritrovato a Bologna- by Alex Deleon

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CINEMA RITROVATO A BOLOGNA News background By Deleon-Pevner   Against the background of this fabulous week of cinema rediscoveries in Bologna, the following major NEWS Items: The big news, of course, BREXIT, the spectacular British exit from the E.U. overshadows all other current news stories. The Passing of the famous Italian star with the English name, Bud Spencer, big news in all Italian papers. No news elsewhere Islamic attack in Dacca, Bangladesh  -- seven italians among ...

Jones on Truffaut on Hitchcock

JONES ON TRUFFAUT ON HITCHCOCK  Another Marvelous Documentary in a Tent in the North Woods  ~~ By Alex Deleon  <film festivals.com>    The Greatest Story Hitchcock Ever Told    HITCHCOCK/Truffaut; Document, UK. 2015. director Kent Jones. 78 minutes. Viewed on Saturday afternoon in the little tent.  Chilly with mosquitoes biting. Makes you want to read and devour  the book ASAP.  Fantastic film. Great shots of Hitchcock film p...

Kaisa's Enchanted Forest" (Kuun Metsän Kaisa) Opens Midnight Sun Festival in far north Finland

Kaisa's Enchanted Forest" (Kuun Metsän Kaisa) Opens Midnight Sun Festival in far north Finland with a Magical Mystery Tour through Lappish folklore         Alex Deleon <filmfestivals.com       "Kaisa's Enchanted Forest" 2016, Finnish Biographical documentary, consisting of crisp b/w archival footage mixed with contemporary color footage and magical special effects.  RT 84 minutes that seem eternal in th...

Two Towering Bio Docs, Von Bagh and Brando Scintillate under the Midnight Sun

By Alex Deleon The Midnight Sun Film Festival w (known in Finland as Sodankylän elokuvajuhlat) as founded in 1986 by Finnish filmmakers, e.g. the Kaurismäki brothers, and the Municipality of Sodankylä. The village of Sodankylä is located in the heart of Finnish Lapland, some 120 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, where the sun doesn´t set at all in the summertime. The Lappish nature and the nightless night provide the Midnight Sun Film Festival a setting no other fe...

BERGAMO, Day Five, Three Jancso's and one Plisetskaya

By Alex Deleon, <filmfestivals.com>   25 films so far ... Not counting. Shorts! Bergamo, Wed. day 5: Five films. Three Jancsos. one dismal Anna Karina, and one magnificent doc on Soviet Ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. 9:30 Jancsó,  Magyar Rapszódia. Part I of Trilogy.   1978, RT. 103' Parabola Liturgica surrealista, rievoca eventi della secondo decennio del XX secolo.Transformo spirituale di istvan Zsadani. Inspirata alla figura storico di Endre B...

Storm of protest over casting for new Nina Simone film labeled "reverse racism" by actress Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana -vs- Nina Simone By Alex Delon <filmfestivals.com> Actress Zoe Saldana  who will be interpreting the late Jazz legend Nina Simone on screen in a new biopic to be released in April has been attacked by members of the black community as "being too light skinned" for the role. Her basic response is "see the film before you start judging me". The 36 year old star of "Avatar" and "Star Trek" plays pianist, singer and activist...

Direct Contact with film personalities are a Hallmark of the Bergamo Film Meetings.

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Alex Deleon, <filmfestivals.com> Downtown Bergamo, a city with heart   One if the really good things about Bergamo, which justifies calling it a Film MEETING rather than a film festival, is the fact that many directors or historic film personalities are invited to meet the public unpretentiously in  a tent set up for this purpose just outside of the main projection auditorium. This is carried out in a kind of press conference format with festival moderators and interpreters a...

Two meetings with Anna Karina festival Trophy Guest on tap.

Alex Deleon, <filmfestivals.com>   The main event of the day was a  champagne fueled Press conference with iconic Nouvelle Vague actress Anna Karina. Her once mellifluous voice now has a slight senior citizen tinge to it but her Danish flair is still there. Maybe the early freshness is History but she is still a Legend in her own time and has fascinating tales to tell -- and not only about Godard. Asked why her marriage to him floundered she said that he was hard to live with...

Jancso reassessed at Bergamo

The 34th Bergamo Film Meeting closed out an eleven day run on a rainy Sunday, March 13, with two Jancsò classics, "The Roundup" and "Red and White" to wind up a nearly full retrosoective of the great Hungarian director's fearure films and many of his shorter works as well. Miklos Jancsó passed away in Budapest on January 31, 2014 at the age of 92.   JANCSO at his peak could  have played Olivier's Hamlet ...   The Round-Up, 196...

Bergamo Meeting, Day Six

Four Jancsós today: two winners, two losers. And a rousing conference with his widow and long term editor, Zsuzsa Csákány. 1. 9:30AM Fényes Szélek (Venti Lucenti, or The Confrontation, 1968. Color, 78" Loser, with modern day setting. 1947. The Communist party has just come to power. Young people in shirtsleeves. Okay, kids -- lets all hold hands, line up, and recite the catechism. Lots of repetitious political declamation.  Some horses. S...

BERGAMO Meetings, 2016, Day Four.

Alex Deleon, <filmfestivals.com> This is an all European film festival with no American junkfood and surprizes every day.    Chantal Akerman, 1950 ~ 2015   Tuesday, day 4 was an unbroken streak of Six features. 1. "Sirokkó", Early Jancsó, 1961. His "French film" with Marina Vlady and Jacques Charrier. By no means the best of Jancsó, but has all of  the usual suspects; naked woman, horses flashing by and people co...

Bergamo Film Meeting 34, March 2026

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By Alex Deleon, Bergamo, Italy Beautiful small town. No frills festival. No red carpets, no hullabaloo. Just terrific films all day long at two xlnt venues. Everything centralized within short walking distance. Mainly a public festival for a town full of film buffs. In focus, retros of four film directors, Full retrospective, Jancsò. focus on Meadows, Zbanić, Zelenka, and  Star festival guest, Anna Karina, princess of the French Nouvelle Vague. Seen so far on first three d...

20th Festival of Nordic Cinema in Rouen, 2007

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The 20th edition of this specialized festival in north-western France (March 21-- April 01, 2007) was a bit of a disappointment this year in terms of competition films and visiting personalities, at least compared to the four previous times I have made it my business to be here. In the past there have always been unusual films in the competition section and visitations by major figures, actors and/or directors, from the countries covered here, which includes, incidentally, Belgium, Holland an...

Hungary Celebrates Oscar Triumph of Son of Saul

  Sándor Deleon, Budapest Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes with Oscar on Magyar TV   The big news on Magyar TV all day long on Monday, February 29 -- leap year day -- was Endless repetitions every hour of young Hungarian director, Laszlo Nemes Jeles, accepting his Oscar in Hollywood for the Best Foreign Language film of the year. The other Oscar prizes were barely alluded to.   Another Oscar for Hungary has been a long time coming. The one and only previous Hungarian...

BERGAMO Film Meeting 2016 to Honor Anna Karina.

By Alex Deleon ~ filmfestivals.com                The 34th edition of the Bergamo film festival in Northern Italy (officially known as The BERGAMO FILM MEETING) running this year from March 5 - 13, will be featuring one of the most interesting personal actor tributes of the as yet early 2016 festival season.  The hommage and retro in question is to the iconic goddess of the early French Nouvelle Vague, Danish-French actress (and vocalist) Anna...

Jennifer shines in Joy

By Alex Deleon "JOY" Starring Jennifer Lawrence and misdirected by David O. Russell Jennifer Lawrence shines in one of the dullest pictures of the year, another pretentious all-star miscarriage by D. O.Russell. The poster indicates that the co-star is Bradley Cooper, but he doesn't even show up until the halfway wark, and then he doesn't even get the girl. De Niro is in it, but in such a wooden walk through that he might as well not be in it. There is also a side ro...

"The Hateful Eight"' Quarantino No. 8

<< In the dead of a Wyoming winter a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection if nefarious characters>> Tedious Bloody Bullshit with nice Winter Scenery This was my first film of 2016, viewed on January  14th in Budapest at the Művész Art Cinema with Hungarian subtitles. It opens with a big yellow caption announcing that this is Quentin's EIGHTH film --Presented with their Customary enormous Bad Taste by the...

Review with Director's feed back on THE LOST MOROCCAN JEWS

  "They Were Promised the Sea", 2013, (original French title, "Pour Une Nouvelle Seville"), color, RT. 74 minutes: Canada a film by Kathy Wazana  Despite the misleading titles this is a penerating documentary about the lost Jews of Morocco, lost on two accounts: lost to Morocco when the left en masse  in 1965 emmigrating to Israel, and then, Lost in Israel, the "Promised Land...

The Danish Girl review

The Danish Girl -- features Versatile British actor Eddie Redmayne's followup to last years Best Actor Oscar as wheelcheer bound Cambridge genius Stephen Hawking -- could a second consecutive Oscar be in the offing?   A competition entry at Venice 2015 "The Danish Girl" is co-directed by 46 year old Englishman Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, 2010) and Swedish veteran Lasse Hallström, 69 (My Life as a Dog) --  British actor Eddie Redmayne's follow-up ...

Fifteenth Marrakech Film Festival

By Alex Deleon   The Marrakech Film Festival has slowly been gathering steam ever since the its inception  in 2001.  With the fifteenth edition running from Dec. 4 ~ 12 this is not just an exotic place to visit with  nice mild winter weather but a major new station on the European and international festival trail. The most obvious indication that this festival has now come of age is that fact that  no less a figure than  American Godfather director Franc...

Alex 's Best Ten of 2015

Note: Some of these films were viewed at festivals featuring unusual films with little hope of ever getting any commercial release. Hopefully most can now be downloaded from the internet if one finds an off beat title interesting.  The films here are listed in roughly the chronological order in which they were viewed during the course of the year.   1. "The Theory of Everything" British, Dir. James Marsh, with Oscar winning actor Eddie Redmayne as wheelchair bound Englis...

STEVE JOBS, Review by Alex

JOBS BY BOYLE, viewed at Sony Center, BERLIN, FRI 13th Nov. 2015 —.  (The Night of the Allah Akbar attacks on Paris!) -- by Alex Deleon Steve Jobs, the movie is not a film you like or dislike — it’s more of a draining dramatic experience that leaves you wondering: “How close was this to the real Jobs and his entourage?” ~ should I despise him or feel sorry for him … Was he really a visionary or just a compulsive self-promoting monomaniac who need...

Victoria Seamless Review of a Seamless Film

VICTORIA, Seamlessly shot in one long take, was Viewed parially at Berlin 2015 then fully at Miskolc seven months later. As the film was shot in one take with no cuts, this review will be written in one sentence with no breaks.  "Victoria" directed by hotshot German director Sebastian Schipper was first viewed in Berlin back in february at which time i was not in the mood to watch a German film about small time hoods in the worst part of town Neukölln and ga...

SHOLAY, THE "CURRY WESTERN" DECONSTRUCTED --

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Sholay (Embers)                          PHILIPJI --I watched the complete Sholay last night, and can easily see why it is such a landmark film in India,but --if you are not familiar with the iconic personalties of Amitji, Dharamji, Sanjeev Kumar, and Hema Malini -- it would just be a long Spaghetti Western with Masala sauce, fairly primitive in parts (Like the unerring accuracy of the shots by the dynamic Duo --every single shot drops ...
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