Seen Any Good Movies Lately? ~ René Cousineau

Via elephant journal
on Feb 13, 2011
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BIFF’s complete program is available online, right here.

What to Watch at the Boulder International Film Festival

The Boulder International Film Festival launches this Thursday afternoon (February 17th), and will be giving us the cinematic goods all weekend long–straight through Sunday night. And although BIFF is only turning a modest seven years old (that means it’s a second grader in kid years), this festival has gained some pretty serious bragging rights. BIFF has quickly gained prominence even in its young age, and many of the films that have screened in years past have gone on to see major success and even some Oscar nods. Over 16,000 attendees made it out last year to celebrate international film, and to revel in the general good feelings that the festival atmosphere tends to incite. Because what’s more exciting for a film-buff than spending four days screening fresh, cutting-edge films along with 15,999 other excited enthusiasts? If you want to know why I personally am so enraptured, here’s why:

1. The Shorts

Having attended the Aspen Shortsfest in high school as a junior juror two years running (and after not viewing a single short film in probably three years now), I am more than ready to indulge in a few good quickies.

2. The Make Your Own Short Film Workshop (Saturday)

If watching movies isn’t enough for you, learn how to make your own! Making short films throughout my youth was one of my greatest joys, and most exhilarating extracurricular activities. But I’ve grown lazy, rusty, my camera is covered in dust. If you feel me, I’ll see you at this workshop for a dose of inspiration.

3. The Documentaries

So many topics to explore, so little time. From the critical state of our growing population (Mother: Caring Our Way Out of the Population Dilemma), to an exploration into the process of legendary filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot (Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno), to a tour of Chile’s Atacama Desert, a land inhabited by telescope domes and littered with mummified human remains (Nostalgia for the Light), we seem to have no shortage of fascinating non-fiction.

4. A Conversation with James Franco (Saturday)

He’s played Allen Ginsberg, he got busy with a pillow on 30 Rock (the only show that has been able to comfort me after the absurd and untimely cancellation of Arrested Development) and he wants to film an adaptation of a Charles Bukowski novel. The guy is just plain neat.

5. Russia

We’ve got The Edge, a love story that takes place in an a-typical Stalinist labor camp, and The Woman with the 5 Elephants, both screening on Saturday. And while The Woman isn’t a Russian film (it’s actually Swedish/German), it’s about Swetlana Geier–renowned translator of Russian literature who’s life’s work has been translating Dostoyevsky’s five great novels into German. ОТЛИЧНЫЙ!

And here are the films that we here at elephant journal are looking forward to in particular:

When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun (USA)
Waste Land (Brazil/United Kingdom)
Crazy Wisdom (USA/Tibet)
Into Eternity (Denmark)
The Last Lions (Bostwana)
An African Election (Switzerland/USA/Ghana)
Mamas and Papas (Czech Republic)
Bag It! (USA)
Freedom Riders (USA)

Check out the BIFF website for a complete schedule and trailer collection to learn about the other great films screening this weekend, and to create your own list of must-sees! See you there, and happy viewing.

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.


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