June 17, 2013 |
Even at 80, Costa-Gavras is fighting the good fight. The Greek-born, naturalized French writer-director best known for his politically charged films such as 1969's Oscar-winning "Z" and 1982's "Missing," found himself in the middle of police action in April in Istanbul. Costa-Gavras and fellow directors Mike Newell and Jan Ole Gerster were part of a protest condemning the demolition of the historical Emek Cinema. CHEAT SHEET: L.A. Film Festival "It was very peaceful," Costa-Gavras said Friday over a coffee at a West Hollywood hotel.
June 9, 2013 |
California-made and -set films often turn up at LAFF. Among this year's standouts: "Fruitvale Station" This feature debut from writer-director Ryan Coogler is a gripping drama drawn from the real-life incident in which a 22-year-old man was killed by transit police in an Oakland train station on New Year's Day 2009. Starring Michael B. Jordan in a stirring turn, the film finds dramatic tension in the struggles of the everyday and builds to the tragedy of a life cut short. Having won major prizes at Sundance this year and with the Weinstein Co. now behind it, "Fruitvale Station" should remain in the conversation for months to come.
June 22, 2010 |
Carlos Reygadas admits that when he first heard the concept behind the new movie "Revolución" — a compilation of 10 short films by 10 different Mexican directors — he felt "a little reluctant" to join in. Omnibus movies, he knew, often add up to less than the sum of their parts. And the theme of this particular film came spring-loaded with significance: the legacy of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. Furthermore, the movie's release would be timed to coincide with this year's heavily hyped centennial celebrations taking place on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
June 19, 2010 |
If the late John Hughes is considered the filmmaker who captured the dreams and angst of 1980s teenagers, then it's director Susan Seidelman who best caught the punk, free-wheeling vibe of the decade. The Los Angeles Film Festival is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Seidelman's best-known film, the delightful 1985 romantic comedy "Desperately Seeking Susan," which marked Madonna's first starring role in a studio feature film, Saturday evening at a free screening at the Ernst & Young Plaza at 7+ Fig in downtown L.A. In a recent interview, Seidelman recalled that when she received Leora Barish's script for "Desperately Seeking Susan" from producers Sarah Pillsbury and Midge Sanford, actress Rosanna Arquette was already attached to the project.
June 17, 2010 |
It makes perfect sense that "The Kids Are All Right" is opening the Los Angeles Film Festival. Director Lisa Cholodenko's movie, premiering at LAFF on Thursday night, unfolds around Venice and Echo Park. Its characters include a community gardener who runs a restaurant focused on locally grown organic ingredients, and Joni Mitchell's music figures prominently in the narrative. The film's central plot — a lesbian couple's interloping sperm donor upends their yuppie family life — could hardly be more Left Coast.
April 3, 1997 |
The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival opens tonight at 7:30 at the Directors Guild with Roberto Benabib's "Little City," a tale of romantic entanglements set in San Francisco. Among the other films available for preview are a pair of terrific, quintessentially New York movies--intimate, passionate, bristling with intelligence and vitality--screening Friday at Raleigh Studios. The first of them, Heather Johnston and Gordon Ericson's "Lena's Dreams" (at 7:30 p.m.