Florida Film Festival 2010
April 9 — April 18 at
Enzian Theater, Regal
Winter Park Village 20
and Plaza Cinema Café
$10 (individual screenings),
$600 (Platinum Pass)
Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer once said, "Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring." This year's installment of Florida's vaunted collation of shorts and features, narratives and documentaries, is a testament to that philosophy. Featuring a marked improvement upon the previous year's crop of art-house cinema, the 19th Florida Film Festival explores human faces both old and new with an archeologist's eye, discovering and proudly announcing fresh voices and talents while bowing to artifacts of a time long passed.
To the former end, guests in attendance like Emma Stone, Kieran Culkin and Michele Mulroney (all supporting their work in opening film Paper Man) represent some of the most exciting young faces working today. On the other end of the spectrum, legends Seymour Cassel and Gena Rowlands are here with a rare 35mm print of John Cassavettes' seminal exploration of the human condition, Faces (7:30 p.m. April 16 at Enzian Theater), an evening that Dreyer himself might consider proof positive of his theory.
The main attraction, as always, are the films, and what a wide range of emotional dynamics they represent. Among the best are films from newbie talents, works like Homewrecker, My Suicide and Harry Brown. At the forefront of this year's standouts are films from the Far East, like the outstanding K-20 and The Warlords, as well as superior selections from Europe like the controversial The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the master Alain Resnais' newest film Wild Grass, the English charmer Bomber, and the spirited Irish Oscar nominee The Secret of Kells. Not to be outdone, locally connected works like Drones and Waking Sleeping Beauty remind us that great art can come from anywhere.
Great art can come from any time, as well, as evidenced by the classic films that hover over this year's fest, from Chinatown (6:30 p.m. April 10 at Regal Winter Park) to Billy Wilder's perfect The Apartment (8 p.m. April 13 at Central Park), in a special screening hosted by Orlando Weekly film editor Justin Strout on the 60th year of the film's release.
When it comes to these faces, nothing in the world can compare. — Justin Strout