Philadelphia Film Festival & CineFest 09: It’s Happening?

March 25, 2009 at 11:56 am Leave a comment


Jai Ho! Welcome to PW’s bloggy coverage of the PFF/CF. We were going to do this on that newfangled form of internet communication called, I believe, “Twitter.” (And to an extent, we have.) Instead we figured we’d go all retro and do it on that Ancient Roman invention, the humble “blog.” That’s short for “weblog.” Ask your grandma to explain.

Anyway, as you may already know, this here festival almost didn’t happen. Not two months ago TLA Entertainment and the Philadelphia Film Society decided to up and splinter – free to usher forth two film festivals, just one or none at all. For a couple seconds there it actually did look like none at all. Luckily those two crazy kids suddenly (and at least temporarily) made up, and here we are, with nothing different except a cumbersome new name. As for next year…

But for now we have upwards of 120 features, upwards of 60 shorts and a whole heaping pile of parties, plus plenty of chances for festival fatigue. Funny I should mention that, as I’m already suffering from that disease, and the festival doesn’t even kick off till tomorrow night. You see, I’ve spent the last three weeks doing very little but sitting on a couch or bed, peeping one screener after another, usually in quick succession. For breaks I would sit there in silence, sobbing into my hands. I’d rather not reveal how many I’ve watched so far; let’s just say that I feel funny when I’m doing something that doesn’t involve staring at a flickering screen. And it doesn’t even end till April 6.

We’ll start doing regular coverage tomorrow, although you can check the reportage in today’s print edition both here and here. Here’s what you can expect on a daily (or near-) basis from this blog:

  • Recommendations and such of each day’s offerings
  • Tossed-off reviews of each film I see as I run around with my trusty press badge
  • Random observations on whatever I may happen upon that turns out to be fairly relevant or mildly interesting
  • Semi-coherent, disjointed splutterings, which will become increasingly frequent as the burden of seeing four or five (or six!) films a day begins to truly wear on me
  • And, for no particular reason at all, copious references to hobo-dressing flautist Ian Anderson

I leave you with a clip from my favorite festival film (for now), Sita Sings the Blues – Nina Paley’s infectious blending of Indian myth, computer animation and ‘20s jazz crooning. (Skip to the :49 mark, past the endless expository intertitles, which were added by this particular YouTubist and are not part of the film. Paley is much more clever when it comes to storytelling, contextualization, et al.)

Screening: Fri., Apr. 3, 7pm @ Prince and Sun., Apr. 5, 5pm, Ritz East. Go!


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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