The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra will provide live, dramatic accompaniment as they did for a standing room only crowd several months ago at Webster University. An adaptation of Frank Norris' "McTeague," this silent classic stars Zasu Pitts and Gibson Gowland in heart-breaking performances. Shot with deep focus compositions, it remains striking today.
There's also Belgium's submission for Best Foreign Film consideration, "The Broken Circle Breakdown." It charts the romance, musical collaboration, and grief over a child's death for the appealing central couple. Cross cutting forward and back in time, the story carries a rare, naked emotional honesty.
Director and star Ralph Fiennes' "The Invisible Woman" dramatizes Charles Dickens' long-term love affair with Nelly Ternan and its devastating impact on both of them. And the New Filmmakers Forum on Friday and Saturday introduces emerging directors.
Of the nonfiction films I've had the chance to preview, "Let the Fire Burn," "Medora," and "Blood Brother" stand out. "Let the Fire Burn" examines the May 1985 conflagration that destroyed an entire block when the Philadelphia police dropped a bomb intended to destroy the MOVE headquarters. "Medora" offers a revealing snapshot of a contemporary, dying Indiana town and the members of its high school basketball team, the Hornets. And "Blood Brother" profiles Rocky Braat who lives in India caring for HIV children. It won the Grand Jury and Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
And there's so much more than I can begin to describe here. All foreign films are in the language of origin with English subtitles. At multiple venues in the St. Louis area. For more complete information, including descriptions, trailers, show times, and ticket links for all the films, you may visit the website at: cinemastlouis.org.