Monday, October 27, 2014

23rd Philadelphia Film Festival - Closing Thoughts and Grades



Well, another Philadelphia Film Festival has come and gone (which makes at least 12 in a row for me as an attendee) and once again it's been a lot of fun.  I want to take the opportunity to thank Andy Greenblatt, Pari Patel, Michael Lerman, Mariah Weiler, Alyssa Kaminski, Alex Gibson, Rebecca Cain, Scott Hudson, and anyone else I don't know as well and may be inadvertantly leaving out, for putting on a hell of a festival with an extremely limited staff and budget.  Aside from being one of my personal favorite film festivals based on how much I always enjoy myself, it also remains the best value film festival of any I've attended.  Most tickets are only $12 each and are super easy to acquire compared to other film festivals.  And an all access badge is only $300 - $400, and if you have the energy it allowed you to see up to 54 films with priority admission, attend two parties, and enjoy the VIP Lounge with free snacks and drinks over the entire festival.

Over the last 11 days, I caught 41 films and attended the opening and closing night parties. The vast majority of the movies I saw ranged from good to excellent.  There really were only around three that I regret attending, and that's pretty good for any festival.  Below is a summary of my grades for what I saw at this festival, as well as some films that played here that I had seen earlier this year at other festivals.  As always, this is just one man's opinion and I welcome yours, whether you agree or strongly disagree on any of them.
  1. Gabriel      Grade: A+
  2. It Follows      Grade: A
  3. Wild      Grade: A
  4. Faults      Grade: A
  5. The Imitation Game      Grade: A
  6. Escobar: Paradise Lost      Grade: A
  7. In Order of Disappearance      Grade: A
  8. The Overnighters      Grade: A
  9. Force Majeure      Grade: A
  10. Happy Valley      Grade: A
  11. St. Vincent        Grade: A
  12. The Mule      Grade: A
  13. Human Capital      Grade: A
  14. Birdman      Grade: A-
  15. Life Partners      Grade: A-
  16. '71     Grade: B+
  17. Beyond the Lights      Grade: B+
  18. Hippocrates      Grade: B+
  19. The Good Lie      Grade: B+
  20. Wild Canaries      Grade: B+
  21. Revenge of the Green Dragons      Grade: B+
  22. Art & Craft      Grade: B+
  23. Love and Terror ...      Grade: B+
  24. Laggies      Grade: B+
  25. Kumiko the Treasure Hunter      Grade: B
  26. Breathe      Grade: B
  27. 10,000 Km      Grade: B
  28. A Hard Day      Grade: B
  29. Creep      Grade: B
  30. Two Days, One Night      Grade: B
  31. The Duke of Burgundy      Grade: B-
  32. Clouds of Sils Maria      Grade: B-
  33. Mommy      Grade: B-
  34. The Last Five Years      Grade: B-
  35. This Time Next Year      Grade: B-
  36. The Infinite Man      Grade: C+
  37. Love at First Fight      Grade: C+
  38. Mudbloods      Grade: C+
  39. Listen Up Philip      Grade: C
  40. Housebound      Grade: C
  41. V/H/S Viral        Grade: C
  42. Point and Shoot      Grade: C-
  43. Tomorrow We Disappear      Grade: D
  44. Xenia      Grade: F

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