Dallas IFF: Monday (4/12) – ‘My Queen Karo’

Following a winning weekend of films, DIFF charges ahead with new entries and second screenings of many seen in the last few days.  My goal will be to provide commentary on at least one outstanding film a day…I can’t promise just one, and I can’t promise outstanding either, actually, but we’re getting off to a great start:

My Queen Karo is about a young girl’s experiences living with squatters in 1974 Amsterdam.  Karo (Anna Franziska Jaeger) has been taught to believe in sharing everything, but as she settles into a new building with her free-love-espousing, revolutionary father Raven (Matthias Schoenaerts) and more compromising mother Dalia (Deborah Francois), she learns that the problem with anything free is that eventually you lose appreciation for it.  Karo appears to be 10 or 12 years old, and the film is told from her perspective as she observes all of the adult interactions – good and bad –  around her, and must decipher what they mean and who to follow, or emulate.

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Dallas IFF: Friday (4/9) – ‘City of Life and Death,’ ‘I Am Love,’ ‘Down Terrace,’ ‘The Loved Ones’

A terrific first full day of the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival is capped off with a colossal dud.

Lu Chuan’s City of Life and Death is such a powerful piece of cinema that it is almost unbearable, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Recounting the events of 1937 Nanjing, at the height of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the film portrays action scenes with an immediacy that is striking, atrocities with a detachment that can leave you shaken, and yet still handles heartbreaking intimate moments with a delicate touch.

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Dallas IFF: Thursday (4/8) – Opening Night, ‘A Town Called Panic’

The 2010 Dallas International Film Festival got off to a rousing start as the Angelika Dallas center was host to multiple showcases (and a few celebrities, too).  Some of the night’s screenings went off without a hitch (see below), while others hit technical snags:  apparently both screen and projection issues marred the presentation of Bill Cunningham New York.  But happy faces and free booze can wear down the hardest hearts, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

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