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Elisabeth Bartlett is blogging the festival scene from Cannes to Los Angeles.
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'Age of Stupid' Finally, BOLDLY Shows Fate of Earth

Last night 'Age of Stupid' had its North American premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and after watching I feel more called to action than I have in my 23 years on earth. "I hope you enjoy the film- well not enjoy exactly- it's not a feel good movie but a feel inspired movie," director Franny Armstrong said before the show. This is not your average documentary. Age of Stupid starts in the future- the year 2055 at a [computer generated] "digi...

Coppola, American Zoetrope Founders Thrill San Franciscans

Forty years ago Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Carroll Ballard, and Walter Murch moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles, and founded the film company American Zoetrope.  Three years later Coppola made ‘The Godfather.’ Accompanied by their wives, last night the men sat around on stage at the world-renowned Castro Theatre, telling the story of how it all began.   Zoetrope was $30,000 in dept before Coppola did ‘The Godfather.’  Worried about the debt and knowing that C...

Everything Strange and New in San Francisco

Last night I watched 'Everything Strange and New' - showing one last time tomorrow- Saturday, May 2nd at the Kabuki cinema for the San Francisco International Film Festival.  Two minutes in I wanted to skip back to the beginning because I was stopped in my tracks by the style of film making.   I wanted to watch it over so as to catch every detail.  This is a BLEAK movie.  And man, the filmmaking is incredible at illustrating bleakness.  Eerily slow zooms and dolly shots ...

Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola to be Honored Live at SFIFF

  Robert Redford will be honored in San Francisco tomorrow night as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival.   Redford will be receiving the Peter J. Owens award, named for the longtime San Francisco benefactor of arts and charitable organizations Peter J. Owens (1936-91), this award honors an actor whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence and integrity. The San Francisco Film Society notes about Redford... Such intention of purpose and unwave...

SFIFF52 Lineup Announced

The full schedule for the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival, April 23-May 7, is now available at Keep an eye out for new films by masters like Claire Denis (35 Shots of Rum), John Boorman (The Tiger's Tail) and Hirokazu Kore-eda (Still Walking); brilliant documentaries by Heddy Honigmann (Oblivion), Joe Berlinger (Crude) and Anne Aghion (My Neighbor, My Killer); and remarkable feature debuts from Benjamin Gilmour (Son of a Lion), Aida Begic (Snow) an...

Cartoonist Gene Deitch in San Francisco

Last Sunday morning I ended my tour of the San Francisco International Animation Film Festival with a retrospective of animator Gene Deitch's work for children. Deitch and his wife Zdenka who reside in Prague, were in attendance for the screening. The showing included Oscar Winning Monroe, The Three Robbers, TomTerrific, Maurice Sendak's In the Knight Kitchen, and Where the Wild Things Are, Sylvester and the magic Pebble, Why Mosquitos Buzz in Peoples' Ears, and Tom and Jerry. Seein...

Encyclopedia Pictura at SFIAFF

This weekend at the San Francisco International Animation Film Festival, my eyes were opened to a new world! It is that of Encyclopedia Pictura. EP is an animating collective of three young men from Santa Cruz who are currently enjoying a lot of attention since their animation and production for Bjork's 'Wanderlust.' View here. -Darren Rabinovitch, Sean Hellfritsch, and Isaiah Saxon of EP, and Sean Uyehara, Programmer of SFIAFF Encyclopedia Pictura are definitely on top of their ...

Sita (and Nina) Sing the Blues, but not for Long

Sita opened the San Francisco International Animation Film Festival this weekend, where I got to see it, and where director Nina Paley (check her blog) and Sound Designer Greg Sextro were in attendance for some q & a. IFC Film Center, New York, Sunday Nov. 9, 2008. Photo by Ken Levis. Paley introduced her movie, and having lived in the Bay Area before, she was awe-struck to be back introducing a movie she made. "It's really weird to be in this position. I've been to s...

San Francisco International Animation Festival!

Today is the Final Day of the SFIAFF, and the weekend has been exciting!  After seeing Sita Sings the Blues and getting the chance to talk with Nina Paley, seeing a series of Encylclopedia Pictura's work including their Bjork music video Wanderlust and hearing from the three young men about the ideas by which they operate, and seeing Waltz with Bashir, my mind is boggled and thoughts provoked, and I can only think about the endless possibility, magic and wonder of animation.   ...

Interview with Sean Uyehara Founder of the San Francisco International Animation Festival

I had the chance to talk to Mr. Sean Uyehara, founder and programmer of the San Francisco International Animation Festival, about film, animation, and this year's fest. What's the mission of the Animation Festival? The idea is to present films that give a good overview of the state of the field.  We try to bring the best films in the field to San Francisco, and also try to shine a light on the practice of animation in general. Any major challenges with this year's festi...

The 3rd Annual San Francisco International Animation Festival!

One week from today is opening night... THIRD ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 13–16, This year the festival includes: Opening Night Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues, Cannes Highlight Waltz with Bashir, Bill Plympton’s Idiots and Angels, Retrospective of Gene Deitch’s Films for Children and Award-Winning Shorts from Around the World The San Francisco Film Society presents the third annual San Francisco International Animation Festival (SFIA...

Many Thanks given to Sandrine Bonnaire

Although the main purpose of the press conferences that take place next to the Noga Hilton in the Quinzaine des Realisators tent is so that the general public can ask questions to the directors, Sandrine Bonnaire wasn't the one who did most of the talking Thursday after the first showing fo her film "Elle S'appelle Sabine." The film is a documentary concerning autism in which Bonnaire follows around and paints a portrait of the life of her sister, who has autism.  The film i...

the 'Suquet' is Canne's Loveliest Street

If you weren’t trying to explore a little, it might be hard for you to find the "Suquet," Cannes’ oldest and loveliest street.   The little cobblestone street, for pedestrians only, winds up from right near the “Piazza” restaurant on the beginning of Rue D’Antibes and leads to the auto route on the other side of Cannes.  During the off months, the street is sweet and peaceful, one or two bars sometimes open; one souvenir shop selling Provencial goods like linens and lav...

Future of Marketing for Cinema Conference a Success

The third and final conference on the future of cinema was held this morning at Baron Beach across from the Carlton Hotel, and it proved to be another success for and CFC Media Lab, the companies that together put on the three panels.This panel on the future of online marketing for films was especially interesting, since we are currently at a time when online marketing is exploding and no one really knows how to handle it. The panelists included: Malo Girod de L'Ain, founde...

Cultural Differences in Disliking Films

   While viewing the first red carpet screening last night of "The Man from London" a film by Hungarian director Béla Tarr, a man with a following, my date and I were shocked.But besides the 15 minute long shots, it wasn't the film that shocked my American date and I. It was the fact that, during the whole film, there were mass exoduses of people, and also random clapping-to be- funny periods! All going on with the Director and his crew and the actors in the same room! Eve...

Albiston's "Run" is well done

"Run," a 15 minute short by Mark Albiston from New Zealand, is perfectly done for the idea it achieves. The film, playing in the short films corner, one of 11 short films of this year's official short film competition, feels like a dream.I think it is the use of sound that achieves this dreamlike quality. The sounds are all simple but bold and deliberate, with not much background sound: a juxtaposition of the first piano notes of the classic Für Elise by Bethoveen against a bold o...

Unfortunately "Spegelbarn" by Erik Rosenlund Might be Too Frightening for the Little Ones

"Spegelbarn" or "The Looking Glass" in english, a 5 minute film playing at the short films corner, might be too frightening for the little tiny ones. But that's only because the film takes place during a thunder storm at night and is in black and white, so the whole feeling comes off very creepy.Really it's too bad that kids might be too scared to watch, because the film, by Erik Rosenlund, conveys a sweet message: don't be afraid. The film is an animation in ...

The Future of Cinema is Here. Or is it?

 Professionals from all over the world got together this morning in the shade under a tent on Baron Beach to discuss the future of cinema, from creation to distribution, involving 3D cinema. Held by in corporation with CFC Media Labs, panelists included: Bruno Chatelin, former Managing Director of UGC Fox and Columbia Tristar and COO of; Ana Serrano, Director of CFC Media Lab, a think-tank environment for emerging new media artistscontent developers and p...

Michael Moore's "Sicko" Reactions

Michael Moore's new documentary "Sicko" opened Saturday in Cannes and reactions are mixed, often based on the viewer's home country. The film adresses how the United States' health care system works, and why this world power of a country has such a bad one.  It shows the birth of the sytem starting with President Nixon, and a large part of the film is devoted to describing how the US Congress passed a law that essentially makes it so this system- one that makes it impossib...

Ischia, Italy Global Film and Music Fest 2007

Italian film hot shots mingled on the balcony of a Hilton Hotel conference room Friday afternoon in Cannes, discussing the latest in Ischia Island's Film and Music Global Festival. The summertime festival, which takes place on Ischia Island, Italy will have its fifth run this year from July 9th to 15th.The event, a conference to promote Italian film and to present Ischia's festival in shining lights, took place over looking the Mediterranean, a slight breeze coming in from open glass doo...

Leonardo DiCaprio and Conners Sisters talk about new global warming documentary "The 11th Hour"

All discussion was centered on the environment this evening at the press conference for "The 11th Hour," just hours before the film would have its world premiere. The documentary, about global warming and humanity, was co-written by DiCaprio and sisters Nadia and Leila Conners, the third time all three have worked together on a film. The panel, which also included David Orr, a specialist who was in the film, and Kenny Ausubel and Henir Behar, environmental specialists, was centered aro...

Edinburgh International Film Festival Announces New Initiatives

From August 15th to 26th the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will run for the 61st time, and this year with new ventures.  EIFF, the longest continually running film festival in the world,  announced two new aspects to their festival.  The first will be a UK Talent Show, entitled "Trailblazers."  The talent show will be comprised of 20 people, half will be graduating students from the UK's screen academies of Skillset (A UK company funded by industry and governm...

Melbourne International Film festival Announces New Programs

Richard Moore, executive Director of the Melbourne Internation Film Festival, just announced new programs to be added to this years 19 day festival, which will be held from July 25th to August 12th.  New programs will include: "Africa! Africa!" which will show films from the last two years from all over the continent of Africa, "Stars of David" which will include Israeli cinema and documentaries, "Next Gen" comprised of films from all over the world geared for ...

Samira Makhmalbaf and father Mohsen Speak about Continuation of "Two- Legged Horse"

Previous Palme d'Or winner, director Samira Makmalbaf and her father Mohsen gave a Press Conference in Cannes late Friday afternoon to discuss the future of their next film, "Two -Legged Horse." Production for the film, Samira's first in five years, was stopped suddenly after March 28 of this year when a deliberate bomb attack occurred on set in Afghanistan.Fifteen percent of the footage is done, but it is unknown when the shooting will recommence, one reason being that peopl...

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Bartlett Elisabeth
Blogging about the festival scene from Los Angeles

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