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Tuesday, 30 October 2012 00:00

St. Louis International Film Fest, Part 2, presents diverse programs

"An Apartment in Athens" "An Apartment in Athens" blogs.montrealgazette.com
Written by Diane Carson
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The 21st annual Whitaker Saint Louis International Film Festival continues through Sunday, November 18th‘s closing night awards party begins at 8 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum. Between now and then, there are dozens of short and feature, fiction and nonfiction, animated and live action films from which to choose.

For those keen on discovering emerging talent, there’s the New Filmmakers Forum from Friday, November 16th, through Sunday, November 18th at the Tivoli. A jury will choose the top film from among the five competitors, but all five of the directors will speak about their films at a New Filmmakers Coffee at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 17th.

I have time only to mention the compelling Greek film “Apartment in Athens,” profiling the Nazi occupation and its impact on one Greek family. I’m also partial to French writer/director Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre," a slyly and gently subversive social critique. Droll humor and theatrical staging complement the story's fairy tale qualities. Middle-aged shoeshine man Marcel Marx lives a pleasant, resigned life with devoted wife Arletta. When an African teenager escapes the police after a watchman discovers a misdirected shipping container, Marcel's modest community responds to the boy's plight. Moral and political content, though never preached, adds relevance and resonance to an entertaining film.

Showing twice, an intriguing, engaging German film, “Barbara,” follows the title doctor who’s sent to a small town because she had the audacity to attempt to emigrate from East Germany. She strategizes an escape while enduring repeated searches of her apartment and her colleagues reporting on her actions. It’s a chilling profile of political oppression. “Rust and Bone” stars Marin Cotillard as an Orca trainer who receives life-changing injuries in an accident. She pairs up with a bare-knuckler boxer fighting his own way back to psychological health.

For those who love musical accompaniment, there’s a live performance by animator and composer Alexis Gideon for “Floating Oceans” at Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium on Wednesday, November 14th, at 7 p.m. And there’s so much more.

For the complete schedule and more information on all the films, sidebars, workshops and events, you may go to cinemastlouis.org

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