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ALEX FARBA


 

Alex Farba Deleon is a filmfestivals.com ambassador

MY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS


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Budapest Classic Marathon "To Be or Not to Be " Lubitsch, 1942

"To Be or Not To Be", Lubitsch, 1942. by Alex Deleon This film came out at the height of German conquest in Europe when it looked like Germany under Hitler was well on the way to winning the war and conquering the world. It was a very dark comedy designed to buck up people's spirits at a very dark time by poking fun at the Hitler regime and showing that they were not as invincible as they seemed to be. (In a far different vein than Chaplin's Great Dictator tw...

Moszkva Tér 2001 ~ Hungarian rebels without a cause

Highlights of Films seen at Festival of Restored Classics, Budapest  by Alex Deleon   Moszkva Tér 2001 ~ Hungarian rebels without a cause Moszkva Tér, (Moscow Square) is the busiest transportation hub on the Buda side of the Danube. Since the fall of Communism it has been renamed Széll Kálmán tér but the Communist era name by which it is still referred to by many people is a kind of latent symbol of the forty years of Coldwar Com...

Filmarchivum 60, The Budapest Classics Marathon A Fully Packed Long Weekend

        By Alex Delon-Oroszlányi   Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian Film Archive an important part of whose work is the restoration of classic films, forty two digitally restored films from here and abroad were screened in a three day marathon from Friday Nov. 4 through Sunday Nov. 6, at the stately old Corvina Mozi, itself a landmark of cinema architecture. Among the...

Weinsteingate

The Weinstein Revelations: I'm shocked -- shocked -- to find that sexual harassment has been going on around there  ...   ...

Film reviews from Budapest Bollywood Film Week 2017

By Alex Deleon Deepika Padukone as Mastani in "Bijirao-Mastani" This was the prestige opening film of the Budapest Bollywood Film Week.   Sanjay Leela Bhansali, known as the author of grand-scale, epic motion pictures, has adapted the love story of two historical figures to make Bajirao Mastani, his biggest film yet. The story is set in the early 1700s in Rajasthan and the hero, Bajirao, the Peshwa (Governor) of the Maratha Empire, is regarded as one of the most prominent w...

MY Venice Festival Highlights

MY VENICE 74 HIGHLIGHTS         Alex Deleon  Annette Bening jury president was regal at the closing ceremony In a sense everybody sees a different festival depending on choices made and the vicissitudes of the daily agenda. My festival started out slowly but picked up steam toward the end.  Arriving late I missed a number of films I wanted to see and didn't see any of the eventual winners, however I did ...

Hollywood has Dominated Venice 74

  by Alex Deleon   The 2017 Venice Film Festival was so overwhelmingly dominated by Hollywood films and personalities that it was to all intents and purposes an American festival that happened to be taking place in Italy.  First of all the career awards.  Tandem career Lions were presented to senior Hollywood icons, Robert Redford (81) and one time First Lady of Protest Jane Fonda (79) on the second night of the fest. Both still looking good in spite of their de...

My Venice Highlights

Venice Highlights by Alex Deleon MY VENICE HIGHLIGHTS         Alex Deleon      Annette Bening jury president was regal at the closing ceremony In a sense everybody sees a different festival depending on choices made and the fallout of the daily agenda. My festival started out slowly but picked up steam tooward the end.  Arriving late I missed many the films I wanted to see and didn't s...

George Clooney has outdone himself with SUBURBICON

George Clooney has outdone himself with SUBURBICON, a superb satire of middle American suburbia in 1959. Actor Matt Damon and director George Clooney are all smiles at Venice 74   George Clooney has outdone himself with a superb satire of middle American suburbia in 1959.  But there are résonances of relevance to the America of today as well. Matt Damon, all but unrecognizable except for the nose, disappears into the skin of a pudgy middle class middle Amer...

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...
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