Monday, November 9, 2009

More than 30 films pack Windsor fest

The Windsor International Film (WIFF) Festival gets underway in earnest Thursday with its strongest program in the fest's five year history. Check out these titles: Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces with Penelope Cruz, Tom Hooper's The Damned United with Michael Sheen and Colm Meaney, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel with Audrey Tautou, and Jane Campion's Bright Star...... There are 34 pictures in the four day event, all of which are being screened in downtown Windsor at the Capitol Theatre. (Yanks had a sneak preview with screenings of Canadian films from the WIFF in East Lansing and at the Detroit Film Theatre over the past week or so. Festrival director Peter Coady admits organizers want to boost attendance, after a decline last year, and bringing in more popular films is a way to do it. "It's going to appeal to a wide range of peoiple," he said. The festival is also selling passes for an almost ridiculously low $40 (an even better bargain for Americans since the USA buck goes further in Canada). One problem, however, is that films are being treated to one screening utilizing three rooms at the Capitol. If you want to see France's A Prophet, Jacques Audiard's story of a North African Muslim caught up in prison gang warfare, you'll have to miss Broken Embraces. Of course you can skip these more popular titles which will probably be available on DVD sooner or later or are otherwise playing at the local art house Bijou. If so check out films like the Romanian Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumbolu), about a police officer's refusal to crack down on low level crime, or A Touch of Grey, a Canadian film from Windsor-area director Sandra Wong Feldman about female mid-life crisis, or from Italy Mid-August Lunch (Gianni di Gregorio), an hilarious comedy about a middle aged mama's boy. If you missed it in September at the DFT you'll get a second chance to see, from Belgium, Lorna's Silence (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne), about a young Albanian woman's crisis of conscience. The Japanese film Departures (last year's Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film) by Yojiro Takita, will be screened Sunday...... The documentary program is also strong. The titles include Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam, Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould and It Might Get Loud, David Guggenheim's portrait of three masters of rock music's icon, the electric guitar - Jack White, Jimmy Page and The Edge. The Cove examines the brutal killing of dolphins off Japan's coast. Men for Sale is an uncompromising look at Montreal's sex trade.....Gala opening Thursday night at Caesars Windsor features Dilip Mehta's Cooking with Stella, a food-themed comedy set in India and co-written with sister Deepa Mehta (Water, Heaven on Earth).....For those interested in what's going on in the emerging world of Windsor filmmaking there will be a panel discussion Saturday at 11 am. And of course there will be the products of this year's edition of the 48 Hour Flickfest Finalists - local filmmakers who were given 48 hours to make a film....For more programming and ticket sales (including advance tikcets) go to For those wishing to do film and meal packages you can check Flick and a Feast packages for $40. See

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