MIFF’ed: 12 films to watch in week one

By | February 28th, 2012 | 1 Comment

The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) starts this week and, with 105 films in the program, deciding what to watch can be overwhelming. To help you find your way, here are 11 worthy films screening in the first week of the festival. The guide was compiled by Denise Castillon and the synopsis blurbs were adapted from MIFF’s own film descriptions.

Title: ‘‘The Porcelain Horse’ (Ecuador, drama, 100 minutes)

Synopsis: Paco and his brother Luis, a singer/guitarist in an up-and-coming punk-rock band, make a dangerous and costly decision to steal a valuable porcelain horse from their parent’s house to pay for their next crack hit. Directed by Javier Andrade, The Porcelain Horse (Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas) is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Where: Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtimes: Sunday, March 4 @ 6:30pm; Wednesday, March 7 @ 9:45pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘The Sex of the Angels’ (Spain/Brazil, drama/romance, 84 minutes)

Synopsis: Bruno is violently attacked on the street in Barcelona, but Rai, a karate-instructor, comes to his rescue. Meanwhile, Bruno’s girlfriend Carla (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) is frantically trying to call him on his broken cell phone. When they are finally united, Rai and Bruno have formed a bond of their own, creating an unusual love triangle. Directed by Xavier Villaverde, The Sex of the Angels is in Spanish with English subtitles. There will be a Q&A with actress Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Villaverde following the screening.

Where: Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtimes: Sunday, March 4 @ 9pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘Oslo, August 31st’ (Norweigan, drama, 95 minutes)

Synopsis: Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie), a recovering drug addict, has just left the recovery clinic. He goes back to Oslo to meet with his family and friends. He also has scored an interview for a respectable job. The day stretches on, growing longer by the minute. The stresses of an empty life and no hope in sight has blinded Anders from all of the opportunities he has in front of him. He cannot fathom the idea of a new life. It seems like he is destined for failure. Will he be able to make it through the night?

Director Joachim Trier’s second feature film illuminates the thought process of a sick mind lost at the mercy of excess. The film focuses on the power of addiction and the consequences of severe depression and their effect on a careless generation used to partying all night.

Where: Coral Gables Art Cinema and Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtimes at CGAC: Friday, March 2 @ 9:30pm
Showtimes at Regal South Beach: Saturday, March 3 @ 3:15pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘Vaquero’ (Argentina, comedy/drama, 87 minutes)

Synopsis: The emperor truly has no clothes in Juan Minujín’s devastatingly funny drama/satire of a young Buenos Aires actor, mildly successful on a local level, who becomes obsessed with getting a role in a big-budget Hollywood movie shooting on location in his home country. Julian (played by Minujín) is working in an avant-garde theater piece and shooting a low-budget independent film — neither part is particularly rewarding. But when he finds out a Hollywood studio is coming to shoot a western in the Argentinian hinterlands, Julian’s long fantasy of playing the lead — in this case, the cowboy, or “vaquero” — becomes the raison d’etre of his existence.

Where: Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtimes: Tuesday, March 6 @ 6:15pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘Ben Lee: Catch My Disease’ (Australian, music documentary, 83 minutes)

Synopsis: In the Knight Documentary Competition, Ben Lee: Catch My Disease is a unique and intimate look at Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee and his life in the midst of 1990s pop culture. A gifted musician since childhood, Ben Lee started playing guitar and other instruments at an early age, and he swiftly made a name for himself and his band Noise Addict. Lee’s music soon came to the attention of the bands Sonic Youth and the Beastie Boys, and the latter signed the band to their label Grand Royal Records. Ben’s relationship with Claire Danes at the peak of both of their young careers made them one of America’s cutest celebrity couples, as fondly recollected in the film by Winona Ryder, Michelle Williams, and Jason Schwartzman, among others. (Ben later married actress Ione Skye.)

Nearly a decade in the making, Ben Lee: Catch My Disease traces the life of a teen pop star and his personal life in an unconventional spotlight, one that shows the hardships of fame, the sincerity of love, and the significance of religion in an artist’s life. There will be a Q&A session with director Amiel Courtin-Wilson following the screenings.

Where: Regal South Beach Cinemas and Coral Gables Art Cinema
Showtimes at Regal South Beach: Saturday, March 3 @ 7:30pm
Showtimes at CGAC: Monday, March 5 @ 7pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘Lemon’ (USA, documentary, 82 minutes)

Synopsis: Three-time felon, one-time Tony Award winner Lemon Andersen is an acclaimed poet who broke out on Broadway in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. But Lemon has landed back in the projects, living with 13 family members and desperate for a way out. He turns to the only things he has left: his pen and his story. This beautifully crafted film follows his efforts to stage a comeback at New York’s Public Theater as he battles demons from his past.

While crossing paths with Spike Lee and other tastemakers, Lemon’s life personalizes the anguish of men clinging to the margins of society but fighting for something more. The film features music by hip-hop phenoms Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Aloe Blacc. There will be a Q&A with Lemon Andersen and co-director Laura Brownson following the screenings.

Where: Coral Gables Art Cinema and Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtimes at CGAC: Saturday, March 3 @ 9:30pm
Showtimes at Regal South Beach: Sunday, March 4 @ 3:15pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

Keep going! There are more films on the next page

One Comment on “MIFF’ed: 12 films to watch in week one”

  1. 1 J.J. said at 1:30 pm on March 1st, 2012:

    Isn’t 9.30 p.m. on a Sunday night a bit late to start a movie ? What about work for some the following day ??


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