LA Film Festival 2014 (June, 11-19)

Opening film, Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’, eventually arrives in the US after the South Korean auteur’s well publicised dispute with Harvey ‘Scissorhands’ Weinstein over non-director cuts.


Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of Broadway’s Four Season’s musical ‘Jersey Boys’, starring Christopher Walken and John Lloyd Young, receives a North American premiere as the closing film, a day before starting its theatrical run.


There are further festival outings for Justin Simien’s ‘Dear White People’ and Hossein Amini’s ‘The Two Faces of January’ ahead of their limited North American theatrical releases this coming October.


The narrative competition has seven world premieres, including the final part of Mike Ott’s desert trilogy, ‘Lake Los Angeles’.


And the documentary counterpart boasts the first public screening of  ‘Stray Dog’, Debra Granik’s keenly awaited follow up to her Oscar nominated ‘Winter’s Bone’.


Narrative competition:


10 Minutes

Lee Yong-Seung

North American Premiere


Lee Yong-Seung’s debut feature, ’10 Minutes’, receives its North American premiere after enjoying festival success in Asia.  Baek Jong-hwan and Lee See-won star in this contemporary drama that explores professional competition in the workplace and family pressures at home.  It picked up the FIPRESCI Prize at Pusan and Hong Kong and the Golden Wheel at Vesoul Asian.




Sam Esmail

World Premiere


Sam Esmail launches his idiosyncratic comedy, ‘Comet’, starring the Golden Globe nominated Emmy Rossum (‘The Phantom of the Opera’) alongside Justin Long.  It’s a non-chronological telling of a six-year romance between an unlikely couple and should comfortably fit into the indie romCom sub-genre.  Esmail’s only previous directorial experience was with the short, ‘Deep Down in Florida’, which debuted at the AFI Fest ten years ago.



Lake Los Angeles

Mike Ott

World Premiere


Mike Ott launches a feature at LAFF for the first time since his debut film, ‘Analog Days’, eight years ago.  And the film’s location is at the nearby Lake Los Angeles, a Sixties artificial paradise resort gone wrong and now a waste land for society’s outsiders with nowhere else to go.  Otto looks at it from the perspective of two illegal immigrants; one a Cuban exile working at a holding house and the other a 10 year old Mexican girl who has lost contact with her family.  Both came to the US searching for a promised land and discovered the ghost of an artificial American Dream instead, a tragic but familiar irony.  It seems to have the same spirit as Alma Har’el’s outstanding ‘Bombay Beach’, a fitting conclusion to Ott’s desert trilogy after ‘Littlerock’ and ‘Pearblossom Hwy’.  Strictly speaking, Ott gives us a narrative drama and Har’el a documentary, but they are likely to meet at the half way point with a fusion of the two disciplines.  There are high expectations for this one.



Man From Reno

Dave Boyle

World Premiere


Dave Boyle changes direction from his trademark comedy dramas to the thriller genre but continues to explore bilingual Japanese/English story-lines.  Ayako Fujitani plays a Japanese novelist in America who becomes involved with a real life mystery case of the kind that would normally find its way into her novels.  It will be interesting to see whether Boyle can give a twist of his own to this familiar concept.



Recommended By Enrique

Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia

World Premiere


Loosely based on a true story, Rania Attieh’s and Daniel Garcia’s latest collaboration, ‘Recommended By Enrique’, is set in the border town of Del Rio, Texas.  The film features two strangers; a hopeful actress coming to terms with a no-show film director and an ageing cowboy whose associate has had to pack his bags in a hurry.  It offers an obvious ready made opportunity for exploring celebrity, social constructs, other filmic myths and an array of different ‘borders’ that extend beyond the geographical.  The filmmakers previously made the Lebanese drama, ‘Ok, Enough, Goodbye’.




Kimberly Levin

World Premiere


Kimberly Levin makes her feature debut with ‘Runoff’ (formerly known as ‘Land of Tomorrow’), a tough rural drama in the American indie tradition.  It looks at the desperate reality of a rundown economy in America’s backwater and Joanne Kelly stars as a mother who commits a serious crime to keep her family farm solvent when her husband falls ill.  Emerging cinematographer, Hermes Marco, shot the film.



Someone You Love

Pernille Fischer Christensen

North American Premiere


Pernille Fischer Christensen’s fourth feature, ‘Someone You Love’ receives its North American premiere after debuting at Berlin earlier this year with a special gala screening.  This followed Christensen’s previous successes in Berlin’s main competition with ‘A Soap’ and ‘The Family’, which picked up the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear and international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize respectively.  In the latest, Mikael Persbrandt, best known for starring in Susanne Bier’s Oscar winner, ‘In a Better World’, plays a world renowned singer-songwriter, who discovers new family ties and perspectives after returning from L.A. to Denmark when cutting a new album.



Uncertain Terms

Nathan Silver

World Premiere


Brooklyn filmmaker, Nathan Silver, is a familiar figure on the festival circuit but yet to reach a wider indie audience.  Silver has approached filmmaking as an organic collaboration, encouraging his actors to improvise on set and we can expect more of the same with his fourth feature, ‘Uncertain Terms’.  It’s a romantic comedy set in a boarding house for pregnant teens where the owner’s nephew is caught in a complex love triangle.



The Young Kieslowski

Kerem Sanga

World Premiere


Kerem Sanga’s low budget second feature, ‘The Young Kieslowski’, is a rites of passage comedy drama starring Ryan Malgarini and Haley Lu Richardson.  It seems to tread some familiar ground – almost inevitably – but a quirky twist on the sub-genre’s usual conventional plotting gives the film a chance of standing out from the crowd.  Two awkward youngsters unprepared for adult responsibilities discover that they are having twins.generic cialis tabs buy cialis ebaybuy generic cialis online australia cialis daily cost canada
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June 20th, 2014 - admin

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