Wednesday, November 3, 2010
AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi will be heating up Hollywood theaters this week, officially kicking off Nov. 4 and running through Nov. 11.
The film festival, mixing indie edge ("Black Swan") with a few mainstream contenders ("Love & Other Drugs"), has chosen director David Lynch as its first guest artistic director -- a clever choice given Lynch's matriculation from the AFI Conservatory.
While there aren't really "kid-friendly" films, per se, on tap this year, there are plenty of compelling choices for parents who might like a night out away from the little ones. In addition to a strong World Cinema selection, Lynch's own program mixes classic Hitchcock with his own full-length debut, "Eraserhead." Plus, it's always fun to visit a couple of the theaters that will be hosting screenings: Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre. Mann's Chinese 6 Theatres will also be showing films.
Also on the lineup are conversations with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, actress Halle Berry, as well as a Young Hollywood roundtable with actors Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield (both from "The Social Network") and Carey Mulligan ("Never Let Me Go").
As an added bonus, AFI Fest is offering free tickets to all of the screenings. Click here for more info.
So, here are a few films that are particularly interesting for me -- most because I am a parent:
"Precious Life": Director Shlomi Eldar's documentary (pictured right) shows all of the emotions in play when Israeli doctors are the only people who might save a Palestinian baby who was born with a compromised immune system. (Full review to come.)
"Certified Copy": In this film (pictured left) by Abbas Kiarostami, Juliette Binoche plays a woman who meets an English writer (played by William Shimell) in Tuscany and spends the day exploring the city with him. But what exactly is their relationship? Is this a first encounter or have they met before? (Full review to come.)
"Boy": When a young Maori boy's father returns from jail, his lack of parenting know-how teaches the child to trust in himself. Directed by Taika Waititi.
"The Myth of the American Sleepover": This coming-of-age film by David Robert Mitchell chronicles the last night of summer, when a group of kids move through town and experience crushes and "poolside secrets."
While these are only a sampling, there are a lot more funny, sad, touching and endearing films on the roster. Click here for a complete film guide.
Photos courtesy of AFI FEST 2010.