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IFFBoston

IIFBoston 2017 Pre-fest: It Stays With You

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The tag line for Independent Film Festival Boston 2017 is “It Stays With You”.  In my case, that is certainly true.  You’ll see what I mean in a bit.  First, some back story. A year ago Sunday, I was in the latter stages of moving.  My then-landlord was… not the best at maintenance, to be charitable.  The house was near the beach, which meant you had to keep an eye on the wood weathering from the salt air.  The front door threshold had been...

IFFBoston: Lucky 13

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IFFBoston is more than just a spring festival.  For more than 13 years, it has grown into the best way to experience independent film in, around, and about Boston. It starts with the main hosting venues.  The Somerville, Brattle, and Coolidge Corner Theatres are the premier independent cinemas in the area, each with their own niche of iconic offerings that make them destination moviehouses throughout the year.  These range from retrospective series at the Brattle, to the Science ...

IFFBoston 2014: Boxcars

IFFBoston 2015, the 13th edition, begins this coming week, running April 22-29.  Make the trip and I’ll see you there. The Independent Film Festival Boston 2014 was memorable, but not for the usual reasons. Sure, there were the wonderful documentaries you might expect to see elsewhere (The Case Against 8, Rich Hill) and those you may see nowhere else (The Search for General Tso, and the locally nostalgic Life on the V: The Story of V66) – at least outside of a...

IFFBoston 2011: Narrative Sampler

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For a sampling of the narrative features not already mentioned, I offer the following: While the premise of Another Earth suggests that it is a science-fiction film, it is really more of a character study with a sci-fi MacGuffin.  Lead actress/writer Brit Marling, as Rhoda, is in virtually every shot, and yet is silent for roughly the first twenty minutes.  Her ability to keep the audience engaged through facial expression and body language sets the tone for the gently unfolding plot.  Alo...

IFFBoston 2011: The Doc Block

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Page One: Inside the New York Times looks at the inner workings of one of the world’s most influential news organizations in an age of technological transition.  The one-time “New York Times Effect”, where second-tier media outlets follow the NYT by a day, is dependent on a daily print distribution cycle.  Today, as noted by NYT’s Bill Keller, “WikiLeaks doesn’t need us.  Daniel Ellsberg did.”  Page One investigates how “The Grey Lady” adapts to the landscape of 24/7 inform...

IFFBoston 2011: Nightfall

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IFFB ’11 also screened a trio of films about what happens after the sun goes down. The two designees for this year’s festival-within-a-festival IFFBoston After Dark were The Catechism Cataclysm and Stake Land.  The former is a quirky comedy that gradually turns dark and surreal. Starting with a peppy, lonely priest using a misremembered friendship to emotionally coerce his childhood idol onto a canoe trip, we meander to a finish that includes campfire stories with two giggling panda-head...

IFFBoston 2011: Rock On!

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The next few nights screened a number of documentaries about musicians and the impact of their music.  Scheduling conflicts meant you couldn’t see all of them, so I chose the three below. Color Me Obsessed is the rarest of rockumentaries in that it doesn’t play a single note of music from the band being featured, Minnesota’s own, The Replacements.  Somehow, for this iconoclastic group, it fits.  Instead, the band’s history and antics are revealed through interviews laced with humor...

IFFBoston 2011: Here comes Elmo

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IFFBoston 2011 began, as has become custom, with a Theremin player on stage in front of a boisterously filling auditorium in the Somerville Theater.  This time, there was just that little extra hint of nervous energy, coming from the uncharacteristic attendance of the littlest members of the crowd.  This Opening Night crowd included more children than most.  The kids are here to see, and anxiously anticipating the arrival of, their favorite Muppet, Elmo. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey...

IFFBoston 2010: Weekend

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A sampling of the films on IFFBoston's chock-full weekend slate includes: Cell 211, Anne Perry: Interiors, 9500 Liberty, and The Killer Inside Me. Eight-time Goya Award-winning Cell 211 is a taut prison thriller whose central characters are a new guard trapped on the inmate side of a nascent prison riot and the brutal rebellion’s emergent leader.  This excellent Spanish export leaves no breaks in the pacing or in the lives of the characters.  Each battle is hard fought, hard won, and hard...

IFFBoston 2010: Wednesday (Opening), Thursday, Friday

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The Independent Film Festival Boston kicked off their 2010 festivities by honoring Kevin Kline with the IFFBoston 2010 Career Achievement Award and screening his new film, The Extra Man.  This unusual comedy pairs Kline with Paul Dano in an unlikely mentor/mentee relationship.  Supported by Katie Homes, John C. Reilly, and Patti D’Arbanville, these seemingly unlikable characters navigate New York City, the written word, and women in a way that turns out to be completely charming.  The Q&...

IFFBoston 2009 - Closing Night & The World’s Greatest Dad

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Bobcat Goldthwait is funny. As with any entertainer, people may differ on their assessment of his comedic persona. In person, however - whether one-on-one or in front of a Q&A crowd - he has this natural, relaxed comedic pattern to his speech that can make even what should be a sad, dark story draw random chuckles and occasional outright laughter. This is a laughter born not from watching a clown perform, but from an appreciation for an experience shared with another human being. ...

IFFBoston 2009 – Day Six – Arts and Crafts

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Tonight, fittingly, the screenings are at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art auditorium.  It is a great space with a striking view overlooking downtown Boston and the night-lit waterfront. It is a great space to see two films about two fields not always thought of as art, but that are certainly contemporary. The first, For the Love of Movies, chronicles the craft of film critique.  Breaking that history out into distinct eras and styles and sometimes dominant personalities, direct...

IFFBoston 2009 – Day Five – The World You Make with Forbidden: 3 of 3

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Marco Bechis’ Birdwatchers could have gone horribly awry.  Surficially an extinction survival story, pitting a dwindling indigenous people against the encroachment of the outside world that encircles and threatens to strangle, it could have been a treacly morality tale espousing the nobility of the native against the evils of modernity and our collective lost way.  But it is not. What it is, is a take on competing interests making a place for themselves that has echoes of Israel and ...

IFFBoston 2009 – Day Four – Involuntary Travelers with Forbidden: 2 of 3

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Geralyn Pezanoski’s Mine begins with a simple premise: What happened to the pets displaced by Hurricane Katrina? Once you begin there, however, every question answered gives rise to another unanswered.  Where are they displaced to?  Where will they go once they are delivered to safety?  Who will feed them, house them, give them medical care?  Does anyone remember where this pet came from?  Or that one? Can you find the original owners?  Should you? Or are the pets better off in ne...

IFFBoston 2009 – Day Three – Reality Cracked

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500 Days of Summer takes an unusual approach to a love story in that it isn’t one – and it tells you so up front.  What it is instead is an honest look at the course of a relationship when only seen from one person’s point of view, however skewed that might be.  From heart-warmingly fun and flirty, to heart-crushingly panicked and confused, anyone who has been half of a couple will relive the emotions of first dates and first fights and much of what lies between the two - and perhaps w...

IFFBoston 2009 – Day Two – Lost Loved Ones with Forbidden: 1 of 3

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Hunger.  Fear.  Deprivation.  Death. These are the realities that seep into your pores while watching Kimjongilia – which is also the first in our Forbidden trilogy, spotlighting three documentaries that explore the places that we cannot go.  Today’s topic - North Korea: See No Evil. Through the eyes of witnesses, and perhaps mercifully not through our own, director NC Heiken shows us a glimpse of a world most of us will never see behind the veil of secrecy that has become ...

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night & The Brothers Bloom

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The seventh annual Independent Film Festival Boston kicked off on Wednesday night with Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, a romance tucked inside a comedy couched within a confidence scheme (a rom-com-con?).  The romance, predictably, grows between a mark and one of the con men.  The comedy is unexpected and liberally sprinkled throughout.  While not integral to the plot, the humor is always welcome, never off mark and adds appreciably to the appeal of the film.  The cons begin when the ...

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night Q&A - Blowing Up Prague

Director Rian Johnson explains how he incorporated the destruction of some very nice buildings in Prague on a limited budget for his film, The Brothers Bloom - the Opening Night feature for IFFBoston 2009 - thereby "completely ruining the magic".

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night Q&A - Ricky Jay

During Q&A on Opening Night at IFFBoston 2009, director Rian Johnson gives some background on Ricky Jay and his involvement in the evening's film, The Brothers Bloom.

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night Q&A - Costume and Production Design

After screening his newest feature, The Brothers Bloom, on Opening Night at IFFBoston 2009, director Rian Johnson discusses costume and production design during Q&A.

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night Q&A - Intro

Following the IFFBoston 2009 Opening Night feature, The Brothers Bloom, Program Director Adam Roffman introduces the film's director, Rian Johnson, to an appreciative crowd.

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night Staff Intro

Before the Opening Night feature for IFFBoston 2009, Program director Adam Roffman introduces Manging Directors Brian Tamm, Christine Harbaugh, Nancy Campbell and Dan McCallum and Volunteer Director Tania Lemos Eskin.

IFFBoston 2009 - Opening Night Welcome

For IFFBoston's 2009 Opening Night, Program Director Adam Roffman welcomes the crowd.

IFFB 2009 - Opening Night

IFFBoston's Opening Night at the Somerville Theater.  The festival runs from April 22-28, but Somerville is done as of Sunday.

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