The 23 Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival kicks off Thursday, November 13 and continues through Sunday, November 23. The 389 films offered in 239 programs include 89 narrative and 76 documentary features, plus 224 short films. I'm most impressed that 69 countries are represented in the fiction and nonfiction, live action and animation selections.
The best news about the film adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama, "August: Osage County," occurs very early. The opening monologue has been trimmed to a mere sliver. Indeed, 40 minutes have been sliced out of the play; the cuts are hardly detectable -- and that's good.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Theatre of Great Britain has prepared a film nummy smorgasbord. On the screen of the Tivoli Theatre, playing only on Sunday December 8 at noon, you can join in the celebration.
The violence in "12 Years a Slave" is hard to take. It cannot be dismissed as cartoonish or video game-ish, for it is too close to the bone, the baddest bone of American history. For the South to thrive with rice or cotton as king, the region needed hands to work the land.
First the title: the fifth estate refers to a class of society beyond the clergy, the nobility, the commoners and the press. In this relatively stodgy film, the fifth estate is personified by Julian Assange accompanied by Wikileaks.
Far too often, IMAX technology is used for films that could just as easily fit on a disc in a laptop, but "Jerusalem," the latest film in the OMNIMAX theater of the Saint Louis Science Center, exploits the technology into a stunning and inspirational exploration of that sacred site.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy returns to the Cold War days of early 1970s and the knowledge by the head of Britain's Secret Service, Mi6 that a mole has infiltrated to the highest level of the headquarters called "The Circus." The second sentence spoken by the chief officer, called Control, is, "Trust no one"—good advice for a surreptitious, dangerous investigation.