Philadelphia Film Festival, here we come

Last night was the official kick-off to the 17th Philadelphia Film Festival. I know, it crept up on you. You forgot all about it. What’s going on? What should I see? There are so many movies I’ve never heard of…. Well, I’m here to help. Truth be told, it crept up on me, too. But, I have the scoop on a couple of flicks and I’m gonna hit the first screening of as many as I can. Most of films have two screenings, so you can hopefully catch the second if it interests you.

First, I caught I.O.U.S.A at Sundance and can’t recommend it enough. From the makers of the thriller/doc Wordplay about crossword puzzler Will Shortz comes a glaringly hard look at the national debt as you never thought you would have to see it. We’re in it deep people and you need to know why. Auteurs Patrick Creadon and Christine O’Malley make the depressing news that this country is going down the shitter surprisingly entertaining with easily digestible graphics and the most charismatic economists to ever hit the big screen.

Monday April 7, 7:15 pm @ Ritz East

Wednesday April 9, 5 pm @ International House

Second, though I have not seen it myself, the documentary In a Dream, about local mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar and his family as they traverse a crisis comes highly recommended to me by another documentarian who saw it at South by Southwest. Whether you love or hate the man’s broken glass wall coverings, it has been assured me that you will be endeared by his personal story.

Friday April 4, 7:30 pm @ International House

Saturday April 5, 3 pm @ Ritz East.

Without seeming like a sycophant, I must insist that you all see New Year Parade by Temple grad student Tom Quinn, who, as it seems, is weirdly and substantially connected to my world. This is a delicate family portrait book ended by two New Year’s parades and prominently features real live Mummers.

Saturday April 12, 9:30 pm @ International House

Monday April 14, 4:45 pm @ Prince Music Theatre.

Finally, if you want to hang with me, you should check out some of the innovative horror films in this year’s Festival hailing from Korea, Hong Kong, Italy, and yes, Canada. Catch them in their original rated weird condition, before Hollywood remakes them with Sarah Michelle Gellar in after-school-special fashion.

For more info and movie times, check out http://www.phillyfests.com/pff/home.cfm

Look for Kristine Kennedy’s column on the Ritz Filmbill website, “Only in the Movies”, coming soon to http://www.filmbillmag.com.

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