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FILM

FFF: Monday, April 11

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FFF 2011
  • FFF: 20th Florida Film Festival Onscreen outcasts and misfits dominate the 10-day fest | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Friday, April 8 7 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Project Nim (4 Stars) A story both infuriating and complex as revealed by director James Marsh, who won an Oscar for his last film, the brilliant Man On Wire, employs real footage and reenactments to tell the story of Nim Chi | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Saturday, April 9 | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Sunday, April 10 Noon at Regal Winter Park - Chekhov for Children (3 Stars) There is no knowledge of Anton Chekhov required for this touching documentary about a group of New York City junior high schoolers putting on Uncle Vanya in the late 1970s. The play, which should | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Monday, April 11 6:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater - La Pivellina (2 Stars) A middle-aged carny with candy-apple hair (Patrizia Gerardi) finds a baby abandoned in sketchy suburban Rome. Rather than call the cops, she takes the toddler to her caravan, home of Europe's least-chee | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Tuesday, April 12 | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Wednesday, April 13 1:15 at Enzian Theater - Dog Sweat (4 Stars) The Western media generally fails to paint a human portrait of young Middle Easterners living under Islamist regimes. Usually, they're portrayed only in terms of conflict. The beauty of this movie, filmed secre | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Thursday, April 14 6:45 p.m. at Enzian Theater - Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja (4 Stars) Finally, a documentary that's supposed to be better when you're high. (As opposed to the accidental brilliance of toking during Spellbound.) Jumping off of the premise that So | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Friday, April 15 3:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - 
Red Chapel (3 Stars) The most interesting part of Red Chapel is the fact that it fails. It fails in interesting ways, but it still fails. Its stated mission was to undermine the North Korean state with a (tremendously unf | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Saturday, April 16 12:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater - Ruby in Paradise A showing of the 1993 film set in Florida starring Ashley Judd. Following the screening, director Victor Nunez will do a Q&A with the audience, moderated by "Florida Films" program curator Scott Foundas. | 4/7/2011
  • FFF: Sunday, April 17 Noon at Regal Winter Park - 
Bots High (4 Stars) I'd forgotten about Battle Bots until seeing this absorbing documentary about a group of high schoolers from Miami designing and eventually pitting their bots against one another. The film follows three set | 4/7/2011

6:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater - La Pivellina (2 Stars) A middle-aged carny with candy-apple hair (Patrizia Gerardi) finds a baby abandoned in sketchy suburban Rome. Rather than call the cops, she takes the toddler to her caravan, home of Europe's least-cheerful circus, insisting to her extended family that the girl's mother will return soon. Flatly naturalistic performances from the cast of non-actors and inconsistently exposed shakycam cinematography impart a "Dogme 95" meets Lifetime Movie feel. The titular "little one" is molto cute, and domestic vignettes - like Patti's goat-wrangler husband (Walter Saabel) teaching their teen neighbor (Tairo Caroli) to box - have charm. But it's hard to empathize with a heroine who pimp-slaps her puppy. -SK

6:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Holy Wars (3 Stars) As a portrait of a man (Irish muslim Khalid Kelly) driven to the outer fringes of religion by a desire to have his worldview validated, Stephen Marshall's Holy Wars is terrific. Kelly's marginalization by his British homeland and even by Islamic Pakistan, eats at his soul. Marshall follows him into Al-Qaeda territory where he seeks likeminded radicals. It's only Marshall's framing of Kelly's story against that of a Christian evangelical whose own worldview is drastically changed that the film loses steam. Individually, the two men's journeys are gripping. Together, they're square pegs. -JS

7 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Silver Tongues (3 Stars) Filmmaker Simon Arthur's debut feature makes us all the victims of Gerry and Joan (Lee Tergesen and Enid Graham), a sadistic, manipulative couple who travel the countryside, inflicting intensely cruel mind games on complete strangers. The movie is engaging but more than faintly preposterous: Gerry and Joan's marks react in ways that serve Arthur's aims better than their own. Still, it's well-framed visually and rarely dull. -SS

8:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Made In India (3 Stars) An American couple, unable to conceive, turn to an Indian woman for surrogacy, which has become a means of making a lot of money for poor Indian families. That's interesting. Also interesting and endlessly amusing: watching the American couple from Texas, plus-sized sweethearts who would be just as uncomfortable in Brooklyn as they are in Mumbai, barrel through South Asian culture like it's a theme park. Here's what's never interesting, and it's becoming a lazy trend: reading aloud mean comments from some website. That's not drama! And neither are clips of your documentary's subject on Oprah or sitting down with Matt Lauer. If we wanted to see that, we'd turn on the TV at any point during the day. If you're making a movie, show us a movie. -JS

9 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - This Narrow Place (2 Stars) What do a meth head from Detroit and a suicide bomber from Gaza have in common? Probably not as much as director Sooney Kadouh would have you believe in this can't-we-all-get-along drama. The film's main thesis seems to be that if we understood each other, we'd get over fighting with each other. It's an admirable position, but the film doesn't have the chops to pull it off. It's filled with easy friendships, forced resolutions and false poignancy, all of which ultimately cause the premise to cave in around itself. -RB

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