Heads up everybody! It's almost time for the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival which runs Thursday 10/20 through Thurday 11/3. That's 15 days, and over 150 feature length and short films playing on up to 6 screens simultaneously. Are you as excited as I am?
I believe this will be my 10th consecutive year attending the festival. Some of the highlights from last year included '127 Hours' followed by a Q&A with director Danny Boyle, 'Black Swan' followed by a Q&A with director Darren Aronofsky, and a retrospective screening of 'Unbreakable' followed by a lengthy Q&A with M. Night Shyamalan. Really great stuff.
And from the looks of it this year is going to be great. I've already seen some of the movies at Toronto and TriBeCa, so I can honestly say you won't want to miss the following:
- 'The Descendants', a dramedy starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne ('Sideways', 'Election', 'About Schmidt'). This one is likely to be an Oscar nominee this year.
- 'The Artist', a black and white silent film about silent films. That might not sound appealing, but it's great and is also likely to be an Oscar nominee.
- 'Martha Marcy May Marlene', a tense drama about a woman who returns home after becoming part of a cult. Also, an Oscar possibility.
- 'Melancholia', an atmospheric, apocalyptic drama starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland, and directed by the infamous and controversial Danish director Lars von Trier.
- 'Jeff, Who Lives at Home' - an indie comedy starring Jason Segal, Ed Helms, and Judy Greer.
- 'The Good Doctor' - a tense thriller starring Orlando Bloom, Rob Morrow, and J.K Simmons
- 'The Swell Season' - A documentary for everyone who loved 'Once' and wanted to see what happens next.
- 'Butter' - A comedy starring Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Alicia Silverstone, and Olivia Wilde
- 'Barton Fink' - A quirky Coen Brothers classic from 1991 starring John Turturro and John Goodman which is easily my favorite Coen film.
And other films I'm excited to see include :
- a retrospective screening of 'Friday Night Lights' with director Peter Berg in attendance for a Q&A
- 'A Dangerous Method', a drama directed by David Cronenberg, starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, and Viggo Mortensen
- 'Shame', a drama starring Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender,
- 'My Week with Marilyn', a drama starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe
- 'The Woman in the Fifth', a thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas
- 'Perfect Sense', a romance drama starring Ewan McGregor
- 'Thin Ice', a drama starring Greg Kinnear, Lea Thompson, and Billy Crudup
- 'Anonymous' - a political thriller about Shakespeare's plays
- 'Coriolanus' - a Shakespearean tale directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes
- 'Being Elmo' - a documentary about the puppeteer who voices Elmo
- 'Live at Preservation Hall' - A documentary about the legendary New Orleans jazz band.
So don't delay, you can still buy all access badges, 20-passes, and 6-passes at very reasonable prices. (Trust me, the price of the all access badge would barely get you in the door at a festival like Toronto. And here it gets you unlimited access to films for 15 days and a special line for VIP admittance.) Or better yet, become a member of the Philadelphia Film Society and get passes and tickets to the festival plus year round benefits. It's the best deal in town for a cinephile. No joke. I don't promote things lightly on this site.
Alrighty, I'll see you at the festival!