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FILM

FFF: Saturday, April 9

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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

12 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Snowmen (2 Stars) This hammy, amateurish production co-stars Ray Liotta and Christopher Lloyd, but mostly focuses on a group of kids, one of whom is dying of cancer (natch), and their effort to make their lives matter by getting in the Guinness Book of World Records for constructing the most snowmen. Or something. Snowmen gets more tolerable as it reaches its life-and-death conclusion, but getting there is like watching a school play when none of your kids are in it. -JS

12:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Louder Than a Bomb (4 Stars) What 2002's hit Spellbound did for spelling bees, this inspiring documentary does doubly well for high school spoken-word poetry slams. The filmmakers follow four socioeconomically diverse teams as they prepare for Chicago's 2008 "Louder than a Bomb" competition, the nation's largest such event. Standout subjects include Nova Venerable, who writes bracingly about her disabled brother, and the students of inner city Steinmetz, 2007's surprise champions who nearly implode en route to the rematch. The ending isn't as neatly uplifting as you might expect, but you'll be riveted until the final explosive verse. -Seth Kubersky

3 p.m. at Enzian Theater - A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt (4 Stars) Since cable TV has cornered the market on food drama in the last decade or so, heightening suspense and ratcheting up the drama behind every cracked egg, it can be forgiven that filmmaker Sally Rowe's 10-years-in-the-making chronicle of perfectionist chef Paul Liebrandt moves at a more leisurely pace than what we're now accustomed to. Following the arrogant-yet-devoted Liebrandt through the biggest transition period of his career - from coming hot off the heels of his three-star New York Times rating for his previous employer, Atlas (he was the youngest chef ever to merit the rating) to being degraded to flipping burgers to his climb back to the top - Rowe casts a loving, often indulgent gaze upon Liebrandt's quirky persona and quirkier palette. It's no Top Chef, and I mean that as a compliment. Instead, it's curious, classy and organic. -JS

3 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Kinyarwanda (4 Stars) Alrick Brown's Kinyarwanda is hot off a win at Sundance, and I can't blame the festival. It's a sober, complex labyrinthine story of the Rwandan genocide that occasionally suffers from film-schoolish flaws, but more often than not floors you with its sincerity and humanity. -Rob Boylan

5:15 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Wuss (3 Stars) Mitch (Nate Rubin) is getting 
bullied at school. The problem is, Mitch is now in his 20s, a teacher at his old high school and a target for both his students and peers to pick on. Clay Liford's first feature manages a darkly comic tone throughout the first hour's confrontations, for which Rubin is an ideal wimp, but that uneasy tone prevents later consequences for his character's retaliation from carrying any necessary weight. 
-William Goss

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