Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Violent Years/Dance Hall Racket

Don't have time to blog much; I'm too embroiled in my research and writing on Yasujiro Ozu for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival for the moment; the festival has announced its full slate, is showing I Was Born, But... and I'm finishing up work on an essay and slideshow to be presented along with the July 15 screening. So, following her first dispatch, here's another piece from Miriam Goldwyn Montag on the current series running at the Roxie:

You can't please everyone and just about every "Noir"-labeled event always elicits cries of, "That was a whodunnit (or a police procedural, or a gangster flick or what-have-you)!" somewhere along its varied run. "Not Noir!" "It had ballet in it! How could it be Noir?"

The two local (rival?) Noir impresarios do, in fact, stray from Noir quite a bit. Partly to stretch the meaning of the label beyond the fedora-and-femme-fatale trappings, of course. The roles both Elliot Lavine and Eddie Muller play in giving San Francisco back a little taste of rep programming should discount any misgivings about drawing from outside the sometimes narrow definition of Noir. The Christmas double bill Noir City presented to publicize the January fest was a prime example. I Wake up Dreaming's opening night smash Dementia deserved an outing on an SF screen, as did the not-quite-Noir of C Man.

One of the films in the advance screenings which most dazzled me was an appealing J.D. saga, The Violent Years. It's chock-a-block with bottom of the bill audacity, yet one fellow film-goer seemed almost proud to be staying in on Monday to wash his hair. "Not noir!" The promise of a Edward Wood, Jr., script with its proto-John Waters sensibility did not move this maven of Noir.

Well-constructed and coherent, The Violent Years won't leave anyone feeling cheated out of Wood touches. The more durable ones are here: Wiggy plot twists, ham-fisted "message" speechifying and mild cross dressing all take a bow. There`s even a scene stealing sweater.

One might wonder if this was a repurposed script originally about a boy gang. The gender issues here are so off track with what we expect from girls, even bad ones, in this genre. Gang leader Paula Parkin has her own crazed issues with the fellas in her life. Man attack indeed!

Played by Jean Moorhead, Paula has a sassy yet patrician edge and plays Wood's dialogue straight as can be. Both the spoiled, neglected teen and her junior gang leader spring from the same wounded base. When she's spitting out orders to her gang, she's in charge, but in Junior Leaguer on a tear kind of way. It's a tone anyone who has ever sold upscale housewares for a living knows well. Playmate of the Month for October 1955, Moorhead gives a true B movie performance, certainly, but it is one of the great J.D. portrayals.

Want to see what sort of film you could have made for 47 cents back in 1952? Shabbiness alone might be a draw for Dance Hall Racket, but for its curio cabinet of a cast. Lenny Bruce wrote and starred in this empty Kleenex box of a movie. Completing the set: Honey Bruce (billed as Honey Harlow here) and mom Sally Marr making this a must-see for fans of 1974 bio-pic Lenny. Series organizers note this film as a curiosity, and even if most of the film going public knows Bruce from the Bob Fosse's stark drama, it is an amazing souvenir. The fact that this comes to us in a 35mm print is sort of miracle, Mr. Lavine pointed out rather proudly.

One cannot keep one's eyes of of Bruce. His twitchy greasiness might owe some of its magnetism to the legend, but what the hell. It would be heartwarming to think that among Bruce's motivations for making this film was as a way to immortalize his Vaudeville veteran mother. Marr, a steadfast supporter of her son, has three set pieces here, all fun.

A generous portion is given over to black-out sketch style interludes, all the performers seemingly in different films. There's peek-a-boobie tease, Swedish dialect comedy and oddly staged action. It's not as Noir as the real story of the people behind it, but do you really care?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Miriam Goldwyn Montag Still Wakes Up Dreaming

Has it really been over a week since the San Francisco International Film Festival ended? It still reverberates in my cinephiliac bones, and I'm still reading the articles being posted about it. A handful: Adam Nayman, Ryland Walker Knight, Kimbery Lindbergs, Alejandro Adams, and Fernando F. Croce all wrote excellent, often provocative wrap-ups of their festival experiences. Will I have time to write one of my own? Who knows; I'm already getting caught up in post-festival activities. On that note I'll unbury this pre-festival piece, which is growing quickly outdated but still provides a sense of the current screening scene. On the other hand, I've got a bit of the "burden" relieved by my friend Miriam Goldwyn Montag, who has been catching films playing the Roxie's current series of noir delights. Here's the first of her previews, covering films playing this weekend:

The Spiritualist has an alternate title, The Amazing Mr. X. A third title would be even more apt: Mr. Alton Goes to Town. Cinematographer John Alton was said to have been given free rein here and the results range from beyond sublime to just this side of ridiculous. The moonlight beach scene which opens the film is stunning enough to linger in the memory longer than some of the plot's hairpin twists. None of the performers in this film have ever been so luscious before or since; Turhan Bey's turbaned smoothie is almost alluring. When the reliable Cathy O'Donnell finds herself newly and intoxicatingly in love, Alton puts an actual twinkle in her eye and bathes her in a silvery glow. Try not to swoon, that's a dare! The Spiritualist is the perfect meeting of artist and material. The strange worlds of the spiritual con artist and the cinematographer both rely on tricks of shadow and light in a darkened room full of dreamers.

Sunday`s co-feature is The Night has a Thousand Eyes, a spooky tale of strange powers and dark motives. You can prime your pump for the supernatural with Saturday`s Ministry of Fear, Fritz Lang`s tense gem based on the Graham Greene novel. Ray Milland, freshly sprung from the laughing academy, enters a web of treachery over a crystal ball at a garden fete. These fortune telling phonies aren't fleecing widows, they're playing the longest con of them all. Personally, I never trust anyone who picks at dessert.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SFIFF54 Day 15: Sync

The 54nd San Francisco International Film Festival ends today. Each day during the festival I've been posting a recommendation and capsule review of a film in the festival.

Sync (UK: Max Hattler, 2010)

playing: at 5:00 PM at the Viz/New People as part of the Get With The Program animated shorts collection, which has no further screenings during the festival.
distribution: No commercial distribution is currently anticipated for this 10-minute long film.

The Golden Gate Awards for SFIFF documentaries and shorts were announced yesterday evening. As usual, I've seen only a few of the winners (listed at Indiewire). The only category in which I've watched all the contenders is the Animated Short category. I have trouble arguing against the shorts jury's choice in this case: The External World by Irish-born, Berlin-based animator David O'Reilly is conceptually the most expansive and ambitious of the six nominated shorts. It plays something like an entire program of Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation condensed into fifteen minutes, and amped up with a hypodermic full of cinematic self-reflexivity and paranoia about our increasingly digital-mediated society. Though two of the Golden Gate Award winners, Into the Middle of Nowhere and Young Dracula, can be viewed today on the festival's website, and the Fipresci prize-winner The Salesman plays today at 2PM, The External World is the only GGA winner that screens at a festival venue today.

The other animated short nominees all have their own merits, but perhaps a few shortcomings as well. Pixels takes on some of the same thematic concerns as The External World in a more directly entertaining way, but there are limits to the depth of exploration that can be achieved in an essentially one-joke film such as this. It also seems less necessarily suited to a theatre; its pleasures can be pretty much just as easily obtained as an shared video on the internet (and in fact it made a big splash in this manner over a year ago.) Dromosphere by Thorstein Fleisch, and Once It Started It Could Not Be Otherwise by Kelly Sears, are strong works, but probably not as strong as other pieces by their respective filmmakers (I'm partial to Energy and The Voice on the Line myself). In A Purpleman, a clay animation from South Korea, images provide illustration for a documentary audio interview of a North Korean refugee recounting his experiences as an in-between outsider in his new home. Surely the most obviously sincere of the nominees, some may find it the most sincerely obvious as well.

All of these (except for the Sears piece) play on today's program Get With The Program, but the short in this set I feel most powerfully demands being seen on the big screen is Max Hattler's Sync, which was not in competition for an award at all. Hattler's had a piece in each of the past five SFIFF editions now, starting with Collision in 2007. Sync is much less overtly political than that piece, and in fact might be argued to be an example of animation completely free of representational attributes. But it's even more beautiful, and in fact hypnotizing in its constantly spiraling, expanding complexity.

SFIFF54 Day 15
Another option: On Tour (FRANCE: Matthieu Amalric, 2010) Actor Amalric is known to some as the actor fetiche of Arnaud Desplechin, to others as the star of the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and to still others as the Bond Villain™ in Quantum of Solace. Lesser-known is the fact that he's directed a few films as well. His latest directorial feature in fact won him the Best Director prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival for this film about American burlesque performers touring in France. I can't wait to see it tonight, especially since it may be the last theatrical screening the film has locally; rumor has it that there are music rights complications to a theatrical release in the United States, limiting it to festival showings only. Good thing there are a lot of seats in the Castro Theatre for all the people who might want to see this possibly-once-in-a-lifetime screening.

Non-SFIFF-option for today: The Strange Case of Angelica at the Yerba Buena Center For the Arts. Like many SFIFF films, this has traveled the festival circuit, from Cannes to Toronto to New York and elsewhere. Instead of landing at SFIFF, the Yerba Buena Center has decided to book it for two nights and an afternoon in their intimate screening room. In my view it's better than any of the SFIFF films I've seen that are playing this evening, but then again I haven't seen them all, and mileage for a Manoel de Oliveira film may vary. If you feel like sticking with the festival tonight then it plays again Saturday evening and as a Sunday matinee.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SFIFF54 Day 14: Let The Wind Carry Me

The 54nd San Francisco International Film Festival is in its penultimate day, ending tomorrow, May 5th. Each day during the festival I've been posting a recommendation and capsule review of a film in the festival.

Let The Wind Carry Me (TAIWAN: Chiang Hsiu-chiung & Kwan Pun-leung, 2010)

playing: at 3:45 PM at the Kabuki, with no further screenings during the festival.
distribution: no U.S. distribution is currently planned.

A documentary portrait of the cinematographer behind the lens of nearly all the famous films of great Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien? Sign me up. The film begins with a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of The Electric Princess House, Hou's 3-minute contribution to the 2007 omnibus Chacun Son Cinéma, which has still never played theatrically here on Frisco Bay (though the DVD is available to rent at Le Video). Getting a glimpse of any part of Hou's process is priceless for a fan like me, and we are also treated to peeks at on-set footage from the filming of Hou masterpieces like Flowers of Shanghai and Flight of the Red Balloon.

But I get ahead of myself. this is not a film about Hou, but a tribute to Mark Lee Ping-bin, a slightly bohemian-looking cinematographer who, in addition to working with Hou, has also shot films for dozens of other auteurs from across Asia and Europe. I'd seen a surprisingly high percentage of them, most often at previous SFIFF editions, and got enough pleasure out of realizing, "oh, Lee shot that film as well?" from the clips excerpted in this documentary, that I'll leave a listing out of this review, but link to his imdb page for a full recounting. The image quality of these clips has been taken to task by a few reviewers, inlcuding Michael Hawley. For my part, watching on 35mm, the only clips that seemed particularly degraded were those from Flowers of Shanghai. I appreciated that in the clips, when dialogue is spoken, it's left unsubtitled, alllowing English readers fewer distractions from Lee's compositions. The impression one gets from watching Let The Wind Carry Me is that Lee will accept any job that he feels will allow him to continue to elevate the art of cinematography; we viewers may rarely appreciate that many of the greatest contributions to cinema as an artform come from the kind of devotion to craft and work that involves a good deal of personal sacrifice.

The arc of Lee's relationship to his mother is the film's main illustration of this; though he lives and usually works abroad, while she has remained in Taipei, he makes efforts to visit her whenever he can, and to credit her in his acceptance speeches for awards he receives around the globe. I was surprised to verge on tearing up at one particularly emotional reunion moment between mother and son. Others may find the moments we're taken away from Lee's artistic process to be extraneous, but I found the tension between the subject's crossed desires to be a dutiful son as well as a prolific filmmaker to save the film from becoming a pure hagiography; it veers close enough as it is. It also seems to fumble around for a dramatically satisfying ending. Indeed, Let The Wind Carry Us is not a masterpiece. But it's a film about masterpieces, that helps enrich the relationships we can have with them.

At the screening I attended, one of the film's two co-directors, Kwan Pun-leung, was on hand to answer questions from the audience. During the q-and-a, it was announced that Mark Lee Ping-bin himself is expected to join Kwan for the post-screening q-and-a this afternoon!

SFIFF54 Day 14
Another option: Detroit Wild City (FRANCE/USA: Florent Tillon, 2010) Local archivist Rick Prelinger did an excellent job interviewing Serge Bromberg before last Sunday's Mel Novikoff Award screening, but he also wrote a piece for SFMOMA Open Space blog on Detroit, and has an interesting take on French director Florent Tillon's documentary on the unique city. Tonight's Berkeley screening is the last for this film in the festival.

Non-SFIFF-option for today: Strangers On A Train and They Live By Night at the Castro, a double-bill in memory of Farley Granger, who died just over a month ago. These are certainly two of his greatest film roles; no wonder when you work with Alfred Hitchcock and Nicholas Ray. The pair screened as part of Noir City five years ago, and I was lucky to be able to attend. Granger appeared in person at the event; a blogger's recap has been preserved here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SFIFF54 Day 13: Tabloid

The 54nd San Francisco International Film Festival is in its last few days. It runs through May 5th. Each day during the festival I'll be posting a recommendation and capsule review of a film in the festival.

Tabloid (USA: Errol Morris, 2010)

playing: at 9:30 PM tonight at the Kabuki, with another, final screening on Thursday afternoon.
distribution: IFC Sundance Selects is releasing it this summer, and as of now, the Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley is scheduled to open it July 15th, with the Embarcadero following suit July 22nd. It's almost unheard of for a new release to play commercially in Berkeley before San Francisco, which leaves me wondering why this film is getting such treatment.

Stop. Back up. Go ahead and literally press the "←" button on your browser's toolbar, even. If you're already hoping to see Errol Morris's latest documentary, perhaps because you're a loyalist to the director, or perhaps because you've already heard something about the subject matter and are intrigued, you really must not read another word about this film. Don't click the link to the festival program description I placed under the photo above. Don't go to the imdb page or read any reviews (the Bay Guardian has made this extra easy, leaving Dennis Harvey's capsule in last week's paper out of the online edition for some reason- which I will refrain from speculating on in this space).

Whatever you do, DON'T google "Joyce McKinney", the name of the subject of Tabloid. If you've done any of this already, try to forget what you may have learned, because the less you know of McKinney's story, and of the many surprises this film has in store for you, the more likely you are to be able to appreciate it on at least two levels. 1) It's extremely entertaining. 2) The methods Morris uses to investigate the different sides to this story, and to challenge the audience's understanding of objectivity, puts into relief the similar methods Morris uses to retell an extremely (some would say very much overly) well-known story in his documentary about Abu Ghraib, Standard Operating Procedure.

You've probably already read too much. I've probably already written too much. I hope you haven't gotten this far in this article because, even though I'm trying to say nothing of substance about Tabloid's content, my vagueness might just be making you more tempted to learn the tale through some other means than Morris's cinematic techniques. If so, resist temptation until you can get yourself to a screening. Stand in the rush line wearing earplugs. And if you can't make it into the festival showings, continue wearing them until July, because people are going to be talking about this film, and you really don't want to inadvertently overhear any of its twists and turns.

SFIFF54 Day 13
Another option: My Joy (UKRAINE/GERMANY/NETHERLANDS: Sergei Loznitsa, 2011) I'm sure that Kevin Lee (no fan of Tabloid, according to his twitter feed) would recommend you see this reportedly bleaker-than-bleak film by a first-time filmmaker instead of the Morris doc. As Lee notes in a recent article speculating on the SFIFF New Directors prize (and Golden Gate Award) contenders, My Joy played on the main competition slate at last year's Cannes Film Festival. This is a rare occurrence for a first feature, which makes Loznitsa automatically a name to watch, I plan to do so tonight.

Non-SFIFF-option for today: Eadweard Muybridge: Zoopraxographer at SFMOMA. Thom Andersen's hour-long documentary on the proto-cinema pioneer is screening (on video) daily at 3PM, every day SFMOMA is open. Today, however, is the monthly "free day" at the museum, which makes today's showing of special interest to movie lovers on a limited budget. It's the last "free day" to see the Andersen piece before his latest film, Get Out Of The Car, plays with work by Paul Clipson, Gary Beydler, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and others on a program at the SF Cinematheque's Crossroads festival May 14th.

Monday, May 2, 2011

SFIFF54 Day 12: Claire Denis Film Scores

The 54nd San Francisco International Film Festival is in its final week. It runs through May 5th. Each day during the festival I'll be posting a recommendation and capsule review of a film in the festival.

Tindersticks: Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009

playing: at 8:30 PM at the Castro, with no further screenings during the festival.
distribution: not applicable; this is a live event.

For each of my other daily festival previews this year, I've been singling out a single film to focus my writing, even if it's part of a shorts program. Yesterday, the film I wrote on didn't actually show- though its 1935 remake did (what an evening it was!). Today, instead of focusing on a single film, I'm going to talk about a program as a whole. That's because tonight's Tindersticks event won't involve the screening of any film in its entirety; instead, clips from ix films for which the British ensemble has provided musical scores, will be shown at the Castro in versions with music stripped out but dialogue remaining, but accompanied musically by the composers live on the stage.

Dennis Lim has aptly investigated the working relationship between the great French auteur Claire Denis, and Tindersticks, who have provided the score for all of her feature films since 1996's Nenette And Boni (pictured above), save for two: Vers Mathilde, her only documentary in this period, and 1999's Beau Travail which understandably took a different approach to music than Tindersticks might have been able to provide, at least not so early in the collaboration. I'm interested in tonight's event for a number of reasons. Foremostly, because I love most every Denis film I've seen (and thanks to the recent PFA retro that's nearly all of them), have always thought the aural contributions from Tindersticks played a large role in this affection, and want to hear them perform the music live. I'm also curious about the technical side of the event: how is this going to work to have dialogue and image at a music event, or should I say a louder-than-usual musical score at a film event? Will there be improvisation, or will the music be just as heard in the films? Finally, I'm hoping that foregrounding the musical aspect of some of Denis's films for an evening, might help me understand a bit better just what is working in the Tindersticks scores, that makes them seem so unique, and what is their precise contribution to making her films so unique. I'm expecting an evening that will be much-discussed by local cinephiles for many months to come.

SFIFF54 Day 12
Another option: The Journals of Musan (SOUTH KOREA: Park Jung-bum, 2010) I haven't seen this first feature by an assistant director to Lee Chang-dong on the recent Poetry, but Adam Hartzell has called it "poignantly pessimistic", and other reports from festgoers who attended prior screenings have me intrigued.

Non-SFIFF-option for today: Moulin Rouge at the Red Vic. I don't even like this movie, but the fact that it's playing on 35mm at the Red Vic makes it of interest. What else was I going to pick on a Monday? The digital screening of Top Gun playing in every single AMC Theatre across America tonight? (Which might be more popular than expected, after last night's news.) I could mention the double-bill at the Stanford but I already mentioned it on Friday.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

SFIFF54 Day 11: Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat

The 54nd San Francisco International Film Festival is in its final week. It runs through May 5th. Each day during the festival I'll be posting a recommendation and capsule review of a film in the festival.

Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (FRANCE: August & Louis Lumière, 1896)

playing: at 5:00 PM at the Castro as part of the Retour De Flamme: Rare And Restored Films in 3-D program, which has only this single screening during the festival.
distribution: Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat has been released on several different DVDs, including this one by Image Entertainment. But not in 3-D. In fact, though many of the works showing tonight have been released on video by different companies, 3-D systems for home viewing are still notoriously subpar, not to mention expensive. It seems fair to guess that this particular collection of films might never be screened together in a San Francisco theatre again.

It's one of the most-often repeated founding myths of the cinema. When a Paris audience at one of the first public exhibitions of films by the pioneering Lumière Brothers saw on the screen an indistinct object near the vanishing point become a locomotive charging towards them, the crowd mistook the illusion of the image for a real train and panicked, screamed, and even fled their seats to get out of the vehicle's path. It's hard to imagine people being so naive about the cinema, even in its earliest days, to react so drastically. It's been a while since I last read Martin Loiperdinger and Bernd Elzer's article on the film from a 2004 edition of the journal The Moving Image, but I recall it being a convincing, if not quite conclusive, debunking of this tale. As I recall, the next issue of the journal included a reader letter theorizing that the October 1895 Montparnasse Station accident might have made the January 1896 Lumière screening audience more jittery about the possibility of an indoor locomotive crash. Myths always contain elements of truth within their falseness, and if we sense that this early audience didn't react quite as dramatically as we often hear to seeing Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat for the first time, some of the assembled members might have had a much more spirited response than we'd expect from our seat-neighbors nowadays.

Can a cinematic effect come closer to replicating the kind of physical response we imagine for this nineteenth-century Paris audience than 3-D? I'd sometimes turn my head away from the screen to watch my fellow audience members bob and sway in reaction to certain "comin' right at ya" 3-D effects, when the Castro Theatre used to regularly host classic-era 3-D film series. The last one was spontaneously turned into a classic-era 2-D film series due to a projector breakdown, and I've heard no rumor of another stereoscopic series on the horizon. This evening's screening will be in digital 3-D, just as the program was presented in Telluride and elsewhere.

Curated and presented (and, in the case of silent-films, accompanied on piano) by French archivist, filmmaker and impresario Serge Bromberg, this set includes films made in 3-D from all eras, and each person who attends will receive two different pairs of 3-D glasses to keep up with the different kinds of processes used over the decades. The best-known era of classic 3-D is the 1950s, which provides several program titles including the only 3-D Chuck Jones cartoon Lumber-Jack Rabbit. But the evening reaches back to the early silent era to filmmakers like Georges Méliès (who only inadvertently worked in 3-D, as I'm sure Mr. Bromberg will explain) and forward to more modern 3-D animations from institutions like Pixar and the National Film Board of Canada. In addition to the screenings, Bromberg will be interviewed on stage in conjunction with his receipt of the Mel Novikoff Award for "work which has enhanced the filmgoing public's knowledge and appreciation of world cinema." Previous recipients include critics like Donald Richie, Andrew Sarris, and Roger Ebert, and archivists like Paolo Cherchi Usai, Kevin Brownlow and David Shepard, who has written an excellent article on Bromberg for the program guide.

But what does this program have to do with Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat? More than just the fact that the Lumière film might be the genesis of that "comin' right at ya" philosophy of 3-D filmmaking that I'm sure some, but not all, of this evening's films will exhibit. Apparently a 3-D version of some Lumière Brothers films, including this one, was prepared and presented in the mid-1930s. I haven't be able to determine whether this 1930s 3-D version was a remake/reshooting of the 1896 film, or if it was some kind of primordial back-conversion akin to that of The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D. I can't wait to see it and find out tonight.

SFIFF54 Day 11
Another option: The Autobiohgraphy of Nicoale Ceausescu (ROMANIA: Andrei Ujica, 2010) Over the past six or seven years or so, Romania as been put on the international cinematic map in a very high-profile way, with filmmakers like Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu emerging with award-winning films liike the Death of Mr. Lazarescu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Frequently this "new wave" has been characterized as a signal of a new drive for self-expression, a delayed flowering after the decades of artistic repression under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaucescu, who was overthrown (and executed) by his people twenty years ago. So what was Romanian cinema like under Ceaucescu? Few outside that country know very much, but this three-hour compilation of footage shot by the cameramen officially assigned to cover the man's addresses, official state visits with foreign leaders, and even his vacations, is providing festival audiences with a hard look at one particular strain of filmmaking sanctioned under the regime. There is no commentary (besides a few select musical cues overlaid upon some of the images) to contextualize what we are seeing, yet a narrative of history emerges through curation and editing, even if the viewer has only the slimmest knowledge of Cold War-era Romania. The final hour of the piece is wall-to-wall packed with astonishing documentary footage, and built upon the previous two hours it makes a ferocious impact.

Non-SFIFF-option for today: ...But Film Is My Mistress and Images From the Playground at the Rafael Film Center in Marin County. These are a pair of documentaries on Ingmar Bergman, made since the Swedish director's death a few years ago. that are screening only on this day. Director Stig Björkman, a film critic who has also written books and/or made documentaries on Lars Von Trier and Woody Allen, will be in attendance for the screenings.