Year: 2020

Two Film Festival Wrap-ups on The Cinema Scribe

Two Film Festival Wrap-ups on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, today at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear it live, catch it later on demand ...
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Wrapping Up the 2020 St. Louis Film Festival 

Wrapping Up the 2020 St. Louis Film Festival 

The Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With the future of theatrical screenings in limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the Festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home. As has been the case with other such events this year, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future programs, even without the threat of a pandemic. It makes it possible to offer the Festival’s films to a wider audience and provides flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented exclusively in theatrical venues. Because of this new format, I was able to screen a great number of films. In total, I watched 20 feature offerings, which are summarized below. One of these films was featured in a previous review, and some of the other offerings will subsequently be featured in expanded reviews on this site in the near future. “Cured” (U.S.), (5/5) (*****) How do you cure millions of supposedly mentally ill people overnight? By publicly proclaiming that their “affliction” of homosexuality isn’t an affliction at ...
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‘Apples’ examines the selectivity of memory

‘Apples’ examines the selectivity of memory

“Apples” (“Mila”) (2020). Cast: Aris Servetalis, Sofia Georgovassilli, Anna Kalaitzidou, Argiris Bakirtzis, Kostas Laskos, Babis Makridis. Director: Christos Nikou. Screenplay: Christos Nikou and Stavros Raptis. Web site. Trailer. Memory is a funny thing. Some recollections are recalled with the greatest of ease, while others may become fuzzy or even seem to disappear completely. Then there’s the matter of total memory loss (i.e., amnesia), whose effects can be devastating and pervasive. So it is for a growing number of residents of a major city in the quirky new Greek comedy-drama, “Apples” (“Mila”). When a middle-aged Greek man (Aris Servetalis) wakes up on an Athens bus, he has no idea where he is or who he is. When questioned about where he was going, he has no idea. And, when he’s asked about his identity, he has no papers in his wallet. He’s a complete enigma. This is actually not the first time that viewers see him, though. Before boarding the bus, we see him in what is presumably his apartment, from which he departs, says hello to a neighbor and his dog, and goes to a flower shop to purchase a bouquet of long-stemmed blooms. But that’s as much as the ...
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Film Festival Wrap-ups on The Cinema Scribe

Film Festival Wrap-ups on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio today, Tuesday, November 10, at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear the show live, catch it later on demand.                                             ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “God of the Piano,” as well as a film festival wrap-up, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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‘God of the Piano’ tackles the perils of desperation

‘God of the Piano’ tackles the perils of desperation

“God of the Piano” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Naama Preis, Andi Lev, Ron Bitterman, Ze’ev Shimshoni, Alon Openhaim, Shimon Mimran, Leora Rivlin, Itay Zipor. Director: Itay Tal. Screenplay: Itay Tal. Web site. Trailer. Preserving a family legacy is certainly a noble goal. It provides a sense of continuity that links the generations and gives a family its character, reputation and even notoriety. But how far is one willing to go to keep up the tradition? At what point does a goal turn into an obsession? And what are the costs of going too far? Those are among the issues raised and addressed in the captivating new Israeli psychological thriller, “God of the Piano.” Anat Tal (Naama Preis) comes from a well-known musical family. Her father, Ariah (Ze’ev Shimshoni), has long been connected with the performance and composition program at a respected conservatory. Her brother, Dror (Alon Openhaim), is noted for his performance skills, even if he doesn’t pursue them as seriously as the family would like. And Anat is herself an accomplished pianist, even if her talents don’t quite rise to the standards of the rest of the family. She hopes to compensate for that, however, with the child ...
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