SIFF 2014: Quincy Jones, Part 2/3–An Evening with Quincy Jones

Wednesday, June 4 Introduction The next Jones event was the tribute to him, where he received the Lifetime Achievement Award.  I was there in the morning when they brought in a piano, though it wasn't for Jones, but for Justin Kauflin, a young blind pianist who was discovered by Clark Terry (or "CT," as Kauflin refers to him), … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Quincy Jones, Part 2/3–An Evening with Quincy Jones

SIFF 2014: Quincy Jones, Part 1/3–The Pawnbroker

Tuesday, June 3 The Pawnbroker (Sidney Lumet, 116 mins, USA 1964--released 1965) As part of the Quincy Jones tribute at SIFF, the festival showed the first film he ever scored.  Carl Spence introduced the film by saying it was picked in 2008 by the Library of Congress as a significant film.  When Spence said it … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Quincy Jones, Part 1/3–The Pawnbroker

The Fault In Our Stars (Josh Boone, 107 mins, USA 2014)

The flaws in The Fault of Our Stars happen early, in the first half of the film.  Augustus "Gus" Waters (Ansel Elgort) seems too upbeat, while Peter Van Houten (Willem Dafoe), the author of The Imperial Affliction, seems too cruel, his reason for being cruel too cliched.  And yet, despite that awkward scene with Van Houten … Continue reading The Fault In Our Stars (Josh Boone, 107 mins, USA 2014)

SIFF 2014: Centerpiece Film, Q & A, and Gala–Saturday, May 31

The film Boyhood may be Richard Linklater's best film.  It's certainly his most ambitious.  Shot over a 12-year period using the same principle actors, the film follows Mason, Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from 1st through 12th grades.  A full review will have to wait until it's released in July.  For now, I will focus on the Q & … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Centerpiece Film, Q & A, and Gala–Saturday, May 31

SIFF 2014: Week Two Wrap-Up

I've already written about the silents I saw on Sunday, and I'll be writing a separate post for the Centerpiece Gala and Film Q & A (I previously saw and commented on a press screening of Boyhood).  For the rest, see below: Monday, May 26 The Japanese Dog (Tudor Cristian Jurgiu, 85 mins, Romania 2013) The Romanian Cultural … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Week Two Wrap-Up

SIFF 2014: Silent Movie Sunday (with Sosin)–May 23

Though not planned, my Sunday consisted entirely of silent films, accompanied by Donald Sosin and introduced by SIFF board member (and silent movie scholar) Richie Meyer, who was himself introduced by artistic director Carl Spence.  To add a little silent film zaniness to my morning, the bus I was on blew out one of its … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Silent Movie Sunday (with Sosin)–May 23

SIFF 2014: Week One Wrap-Up

So many movies, so little time (and time to write about them).  I've already written about the films I saw on Sunday and An Evening with Chiwetel Ejiofor on Monday.  Here's the rest of what I was up to during the first full week of Festival:  Tuesday, May 20 Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Week One Wrap-Up

SIFF 2014: An Evening with Chiwetel Ejiofor–Monday, May 19

Usually at SIFF, there are two tribute events.  One of them tends to sell rather quickly; the other one not so fast.  I was hoping that, since the Laura Dern Tribute sold quickly, the Chiwetel Ejiofor Tribute would not, and staff would be invited to the latter event.  This is what happened, and so, with … Continue reading SIFF 2014: An Evening with Chiwetel Ejiofor–Monday, May 19

SIFF 2014: Opening Weekend Wrap-Up

I've already written about The Fault in Our Stars (and Laura Dern Q & A) and The Case Against 8, but I have not written about the other movies I saw over Opening Weekend of SIFF.  So, here they are: Saturday, May 17 Hard to Be a God (Aleksei German, 170 mins, Russia 2013) This film … Continue reading SIFF 2014: Opening Weekend Wrap-Up

SIFF 2014: A Great Documentary About the Legal Challenge to Proposition 8

The Case Against 8 (Ben Cotner, Ryan White, 112 mins, USA 2014) This tear-jerking documentary follows the challenge to Proposition 8, from the day Prop 8 passed in 2008 to its journey through the California Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, and finally, the U.S. Supreme Court -- a process that took six years.  What makes it … Continue reading SIFF 2014: A Great Documentary About the Legal Challenge to Proposition 8