Wednesday, March 25, 2009

There's Movies in the Air (The Independent Film Festival of Boston Announces 2009's Line-Up)

It's movie season in Boston. When the thaw begins and the long-johns are peeled off, our two most treasured film festivals warm the hearts of our fair city's film geeks. The Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF) is underway as I write this and look here for some coverage tonight and tomorrow. But this morning RFC received the announcement for the Independent Film Festival of Boston's (IFFBoston) 2009 line-up and it is indeed an impressive one.

The IFFBoston has been growing exponentially for years now and looking at this year's line-up has given me the biggest smile since I've been following the fest. Most notably we have Robert Siegel’s debut as writer and director, Big Fan starring Patton Oswalt and Kevin Corrigan (who is everywhere these days). Siegel's writing debut, The Wrestler divided Padraic and myself a bit but I think we're both eager to take a look at Big Fan -- a downward spiral movie about an obsessed sports fan. I'm a huge Patton Oswalt nerd but was quite surprised with his role on last week's Dollhouse. The guy's growing some serious acting chops. So yeah, Big Fan is at the top of my list.

Also up there is the long awaited follow up to Brick, Rian Johnson's The Brother's Bloom. Another highly-stylized movie -- this one about grifter brothers attempting a long con and it stars Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, and RFC darling Rachel Weisz. It's the fest's opening night movie and it has seen a lot of attention and probably undergone too much scrutiny already on the festival circuit. Reactions have been all over the place, which only gets me more excited to check it out.

Other notables narrative features include new films from the always reliably nuts Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours) and RFC favorites Andrew Bujalski (Beeswax) and Bruce McDonald (Pontypool). Also, two films that come to IFFBoston with some attention are Nicolas Winding Refn's bloody Bronson and Bobcat Goldwaith's World's Greatest Dad starring an against-type Robin Williams in what looks like another great dark comedy from Goldwaith (who will be in attendance -- so hopefully I'll get my chance to ask him if my dream for Shake's the Clown 2 will ever come to fruition).

Taking a look at the documentaries we have a new feature from one of the heroes behind the Paradise Lost series, Joe Berlinger (Crude) and the attention grabbing For The Love Of Movies: The Story Of American Film Criticism from Gerald Perry. And, as is usually the case, the shorts are a bit of a mystery but one of them is from the painfully funny Don Hertzfeldt (I Am So Pround of You) so I'll do my best to track it down.

But don't take my word for it, here's the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON ANNOUNCES 2009 PROGRAM LINE-UP
Festival expands to the ICA and adds new presenting sponsor; “THE BROTHERS BLOOM” directed by Rian Johnson to open seventh annual festival;

BOSTON (March 22, 2009)—The Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFFBoston) today announced the films that will be featured at the 2009 Independent Film Festival of Boston. The seventh annual festival will be held April 22-April 28, 2009. In the continuing expansion of the festival, the Institute of Contemporary Art – Boston has been added as a screening venue. A new Presenting Sponsor, The Liberty Hotel, has joined the festival and the official hotel of the Independent Film Festival of Boston. The liberty Hotel joins returning presenting sponsors Ford and JetBlue Airways. B-Side, a leading technology partner for film festivals, has also joined as a Premier Sponsor for the Independent Film Festival of Boston in 2009. B-Side will manage all ticketing pages of the festival website and provide interactive features for audience members. The festival, complete with film screenings, filmmaker Q&A sessions, panel discussions, visiting filmmakers, parties and events will showcase the works of filmmakers who seek to create films that are life changing, thought provoking and expose aspects of life in new and revealing manners.

“THE BROTHERS BLOOM” directed by Rian Johnson and starring Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, and Rachel Weisz will open the festival on Wednesday, April 22nd at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. Rian Johnson and selected cast will be in attendance for the Opening Night screening.

Some highlights of the 2009 festival include Ondi Timoner’s (“Dig!”) Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, Guillermo Arriaga’s ( writer of “Babel”, “21 Grams”) directorial debut THE BURNING PLAIN starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, LA MISSION starring Benjamin Bratt, IN THE LOOP starring James Gandolfini, Hirokazu Koreeda’s STILL WALKING, Robert Siegel’s (writer of “The Wrestler”) BIG FAN starring Patton Oswalt and Kevin Corrigan, Olivier Assayas’ SUMMER HOURS starring Juliette Binoche, and WORLD’S GREATEST DAD directed by Bobcat Goldthwait.

Numerous films with strong Boston ties will make their New England premieres at the festival this April including Jonathan Hock’s THE LOST SON OF HAVANA, Bestor Cram’s JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON, Aron Gaudet’s THE WAY WE GET BY, Laura Longsworth’s LUCKEY, Gerald Peary’s FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM, Amy Grill’s SPEAKING IN CODE, Andrew Bujalski’s BEESWAX, Alex Karpovsky’s TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, Ian McFarland’s CHIP ON MY SHOULDER, George Kachadorian’s SHOOTING BEAUTY, Al Ward’s BLOOD, SWEAT & CHEERS, and Tze Chun’s CHILDREN OF INVENTION.

Special guests attending the festival include Chris Cooper, Bobcat Goldthwait, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, Kevin Corrigan, Luis Tiant, and many more to be announced in the coming weeks.

INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON 2009 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:

Narrative Features
500 DAYS OF SUMMER, directed by Marc Webb
THE ANSWER MAN, directed by John Hindman
BEESWAX, directed by Andrew Bujalski
BIG FAN, directed by Robert Seigel
BIRDWATCHERS, directed by Marco Bechis
BREAKING UPWARDS, directed by Daryl Wein
BRONSON, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
THE BROTHERS BLOOM, directed by Rian Johnson
THE BURNING PLAIN, directed by Guillermo Arriaga
CHILDREN OF INVENTION, directed by Tze Chun
THE ESCAPIST, directed by Rupert Wyatt
FROM INSIDE, directed by John Bergin
GRACE, directed by Paul Solet
HELEN, directed by Joe Lawlor & Christine Malloy
THE HIGHER FORCE, directed by Olaf De Fleur
IN THE LOOP, directed by Armando Iannucci
MAKE-OUT WITH VIOLENCE, directed by The Deagol Brothers
THE MISSING PERSON, directed by Noah Buschel
LA MISSION, directed by Peter Bratt
PONTYPOOL, directed by Bruce McDonald
STILL WALKING, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
STINGRAY SAM, directed by Cory McAbee
SUMMER HOURS, directed by Olivier Assayas
THAT EVENING SUN, directed by Scott Teems
THE VICIOUS KIND, directed by Lee Toland Kreiger
THE WORLD’S GREATEST DAD, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
Documentary Features
ART & COPY, directed by Doug Pray
AUTOMORPHISIS, directed by Harrod Blank
BEST WORST MOVIE, directed by Michael Stephenson
BLOOD, SWEAT & CHEERS, directed by Al Ward
CHIP ON MY SHOULDER, directed by Ian McFarland
CRUDE, directed by Joe Berlinger
FOOD, INC., directed by Robert Kenner
FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES, directed by Gerald Peary
HERB AND DOROTHY, directed by Megumi Sasaki
I NEED THAT RECORD!, directed by Brendan Toller
INVISIBLE GIRLFRIEND, directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin
JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON, directed by Bestor Cram
KIMJONGILIA, directed by NC Heikin
THE LOST SON OF HAVANA, directed by Jonathan Hock
LUCKEY, directed by Laura Longsworth
MINE, directed by Geralyn Pezanoski
MONSTERS FROM THE ID, directed by David Gargani
NOLLYWOOD BABYLON, directed by Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal
OF ALL THE THINGS, directed by Jody Lambert
PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI, directed by Paul Saltzman
SHOOTING BEAUTY, directed by George Kachadorian
SHOUTING FIRE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE OF FREE SPEECH, directed by Liz Garbus
SPEAKING IN CODE, directed by Amy Grill
THE SWEET LADY WITH THE NASTY VOICE, directed by Joanne Fish and Vincent Kralyevich
TRIMPIN: THE SOUND OF INVENTION, directed by Peter Esmonde
TRINIDAD, directed by PJ Raval
TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, directed by Alex Karpovksy
UNMISTAKEN CHILD, directed by Nati Baratz
UPSTREAM BATTLE, directed by Ben Kampas
THE WAY WE GET BY, directed by Aron Gaudet
WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, directed by Ondi Timoner
WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE, directed by Sarah and Emily Kunstler
WINNEBAGO MAN, directed by Ben Steinbauer
Short Films
THE ARCHIVE, directed by Sean Dunne
BEAN, directed by Giovanna Federico
THE BLINDNESS IN THE WOODS, directed by Martin Jalfen and Javier Lourenco
BOOB, directed by William Murnion and Jon Milott
FUNNY GUY, directed by Frank Rinaldi
GAINING GROUND, directed by Marc Brummund
HA’ AGAM (THE LAKE), directed by Boaz Lavie
THE HORRIBLY SLOW MURDERER WITH THE EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT WEAPON, directed by Richard Gale
I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, directed by Don Hertzfeldt
I KNEW IT WAS YOU, directed by Richard Shepard
THE INCIDENT AT TOWER 37, directed by Chris Perry
INSTEAD OF ABRACADABRA, directed by Patrik Eklund
JULIE, JULIE, directed by Liam Creighton
KANISZA HILL, directed by Evelyn Lee
KNIFE POINT, directed by Carlo Mirabella=Davis
I LIVE IN THE WOODS, directed by Max Winston
LOLLIPOP MAN, directed by Michael Axelgaard
MELANCHOLY BABY, directed by Sean Hood
NEXT FLOOR, directed by Denis Villeneuve
NO WIND, NO WAVES, directed by Julian Higgins
O.W. HOUTS AND SONS, INC., directed by Aaron Matthews and Richard Sherman
PRINCESS MARGARET BLVD., directed by Kazik Radwanski
SHIKZIEN, directed by Jeremey Clapin
SHOCKWAVES, directed by Serge Ou
SHORT TERM 12, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
THE SLEUTH INCIDENT, directed by Jason Kupfer
SMALL COLLECTION, directed by Jeremiah Crowell
THE SNAKE MOUNTAIN COLADA, directed by Calvin Reeder
TENDER AS HELLFIRE, directed by Jason Stone
THEO, directed by Georgi Banks-Davies
UNDONE, directed by Hayley Morris
WESTERN SPAGHETTI, directed by PES
WHAT IS SHE TO YOU?, directed by Aiden Burgess

The Independent Film Festival of Boston will reach a diverse audience by incorporating a number of venues in the greater Boston community including:
· Somerville Theatre in Davis Square
· Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square
· Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline
· Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston

All festival venues are easily accessible by MBTA public transportation and are all located near area parking.

Passes will be available online at http://www.iffboston.org/ on March 22, 2009.
Individual tickets will be available online at http://www.iffboston.org/ on April 1st, 2009.

If you plan to attend the festival and would like press credentials, please register for them at http://www.iffboston.org/global/press.php by April 13th.

About the Independent Film Festival of BostonThe Independent Film Society of Boston, a 501(c)3 non-profit, produces the annual Independent Film Festival of Boston. Our mission is to showcase emerging filmmakers, musicians and visual artists and provide attendees direct access in interactive environments to these artists. Additional information about the Independent Film Festival of Boston is available at http://www.iffboston.org/ or email info@iffboston.org.

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