Sarasota Film Festival

I am pleased to announce that I will be in attendance for five films at the annual Sarasota Film Festival. On the HBO TV series Entourage, Vinnie and the boys got to attend festivals in Sundance and Cannes. This one is in Sarasota, Florida, so there will be no need for a private jet or a lengthy flight. I’m just minutes away by car.

Watch for my reviews, and check out the festival’s website.

My scheduled films:

Sunday, April 10th – Brother and Sister (2010) . From Argentina. Directed by Daniel Burman, this is a story about two middle aged people, who need each other, yet they despise each other.   The Spanish language title of this film is Dos Hermanos.

The leads are Antonio Gasalla (as Marcos) and Graciela Borges (as Susana).  They are brother and sister and they’ve battled plenty over the years.

When their mother dies, Susana  sells the family home where Marcos had cared for the mother his whole life. Now he is forced to take up a new life in Uruguay.

He will face the challenges of living his own life for himself.

Wednesday April 13th – The Princess of Montpensier (2010). From France. Directed by noted director Bertrand Tavernier, the film is set in 16th century France at the height of the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that tore France apart.

The story is about  Marie who is in love with her dashing cousin Henri. Their romance is thwarted by her father who is driven by political ambition so he marries her off to  Philippe Montpensier. Soon he is called away to fight in the war, so Marie is left in the care of an aging nobleman, Count Chabannes, who disdains warfare.

This is when Marie will be exposed to the sexual and political intrigues of the court. The film stars Melanie Thierry as Marie, and Lambert Wilson as Count Chabannes.

Thursday April 14th – The Piano in a Factory (2010). From China. This is the story of a Chinese couple who are in the throes of a divorce. Their daughter announces that she will live with whoever can provide her with a piano. 

When Cheng cannot beg or borrow enough money to buy a piano, and after an attempt to steal a piano fails, he decides to build a piano from scratch.

Working with his own gang in a derelict factory, and using spare steel, wood, and wire, contruction begins. Will they succeed, and will this homemade piano make it to its first performance by Cheng’s daughter?

Friday, April 15th – Summer (1986). From France. Directed by Eric Rohmer, this film is twenty five years old. It is the story of Delphine, played by Marie Riviere, a young Parisian woman who has just broken up with her boyfriend. It is August and Paris will empty out, as the locals all take off to the beaches or the mountains to avoid the hot city.

When her girl friend bails out on her a scant few weeks before the departure date, Marie is left to vacation on her own. Marie tries Cherbourg, then the Alps, and then Biarritz. She abandons each location quicky, she’s unsatisfied.  It is at the train station in Biarritz  that she and a young man make eye contact. Is he the right one?

We don’t know but we will find out. Delphine has not had much luck. In fact she describes herself as someone who is “Not very operational in life.” She’s also said, “I’m not stubborn. It is life that is stubborn towards me.”

Sunday April 17th – Beginners (2011). This is a brand new film which is scheduled to open on June 3rd. Directed and written by Mike Mills, this is the story of a young man, Oliver, played by Ewan McGregor, who receives two startling announcements from his elderly father Hal, played by Christopher Plummer.

The older man tells his son that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. Of course the son is shocked by the news. What should he do?

After the father passes away, Oliver meets an intriguing, irreverent, and unpredictable woman called Anna. Anna is played by Melanie Laurent. Will Oliver use the lessons he has learned from his father about honesty, humor, and hope, and will Anna be the right match for Oliver?

Yes. The Sarasota Film Festival (April 8 – April 17).

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