Still from Alamar (Pedro González-Rubio, 2009)
This Friday marks the start of the 10-day Philadelphia Film Festival. This year marks a transition year for the Festival, after a change in management, a divorce from TLA, and a shift to October rather than April. And the changes are not merely behind the scenes reshuffling, but a renewed and changed focus. First, there is more dovetailing with the fare of international film festivals like Toronto. Second, there is the inclusion of crowd-pleasing events like the Stieg Larsson film adaptations. Either of these could elicit cries of commercialization of the film festival, but frankly, I'm impressed with the range and quantity of offerings in this year's festival. It's an embarrassment of riches, since I know I will only be able to scratch the surface.
I'll not be able to do justice to the full line up, but some highlights for me are the auteur showings from Denis, Weerasethakul, and Assayas; the retrospective of a 1960 Korean film The Housemaid; the documentaries Garbo and Boxing Gym; and the recent films from various Latin American new waves.
I have created an iCal version of the festival (download) so you can add to your computer or online calendar. I've kept the festival separate from the regular blog calendar (here), in order to signal the event status and advanced ticketing. If the past is prologue, you may want to get your tickets in advance.