MIFF’d: 15 films to watch in Week Two

By | March 5th, 2012 | No Comments

The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) wraps up this week and, with 105 films in the program, deciding what to watch can be overwhelming. To help you find your way, here are 15 worthy films screening before the festival ends on Sunday, March 11. The guide was compiled by Denise Castillon and the synopsis blurbs were adapted from MIFF’s own film descriptions.

Title: ‘Calvert’ (Spain/United Kingdom, documentary, 86 minutes)

Synopsis: Before he had any thought of being an artist, Little-known French painter Jean Marc Calvet was a bodyguard for the stars in Cannes. Living by impulse, he became disconnected from his family and young son, fell in with a Miami mobster, and wound up hiding out in Nicaragua in a drug-fueled haze. At the age of 38, he started to paint as a form of recovery. That was seven years ago. Now his intricate and colorful paintings sell for five figures. But he remains desperate to reconcile with the son he left behind. In this gripping and inventive film, Calvet retraces the missteps of his life as he builds up the courage to face his past and create a better future for himself. The documentary is in French with English subtitles. There will be a Q&A session with Jean Marc Calvet and director Dominic Allan following the screenings. (A special exhibition of Jean Marc Calvet’s work, called invasion, invasión, l’invasion, is on display at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower from March 9 to April 28.)

Where: Coral Gables Art Cinema and Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtime at CGAC: Wednesday, March 7 @ 9:30pm
Showtime at Regal South Beach: Saturday, March 9 @ 9:30pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘The Imposter’ (United Kingdom, documentary, 95 minutes)

Synopsis: Traveling from Spain to Texas, The Imposter leads us through one of most audacious acts of con artistry in recent memory. The French-Algerian trickster Frédéric Bourdin managed to outmaneuver Interpol and FBI agents by posing as an American who had gone missing years earlier at the age of 13. In this inventive film, bulging with thrilling twists and turns, director Bart Layton enables Bourdin to tell his own story with cinematic recreations in the tradition of Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line. There will be a Q&A session with director Bart Layton following the screening.

Where: Coral Gables Art Cinema and Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtime at CGAC: Tuesday, March 6 @ 7pm
Showtime at Regal South Beach: Thursday, March 8 @ 7pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: UM Shorts Competition Program (76 minutes total)

Synopsis: The UM Shorts Competition program features the made-in-Miami animated film The Beach Chronicles AGX (USA, 22 minutes), a pulp noir sci-fi saga set in a style reminiscent of the hard-boiled detective movies of the 1940s and ’50s. Main character Dirk Jenson (played by Don Johnson’s son, Jesse Johnson) is a private detective jaded by a life of duplicity and steeped in death and murder. He lives and works in Miami “South” Beach as a cog in the machinery with a long reputation for attracting and producing not only some of the wealthiest and most famous people, but also killers, whores, dealers and everything in between. In this series, Dirk faces a battle that tests his mind, body, and soul. The Beach Chronicles AGX will screen with three other competition shorts: Catharsis (France, 18 minutes), Immune (USA, 30 minutes), and Shift (USA, 5 minutes).

Where: Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtime: Thursday, March 8 @ 6:30pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘The Fifth Commandment’ (Mexico, thriller, 90 minutes)

Synopsis: In Mexico City, abused orphan Victor (Guillermo Ivan) has grown up to be a charismatic and hopelessly psychotic young artist. His handsome demeanor and ability to act relatively normal for sustained periods of time make it relatively easy for him to lure young women to his lair. Yet, one near-victim (Angélica Aragon) manages to fight him off as the police close in. When the walls start to close in on the schizophrenic Victor, old echoes of his moral Catholic upbringing begin creating a bridge across his deranged personalities. The Fifth Commandment (El Quinto Mandamiento) is in Spanish with English subtitles. There will be a Q&A session with director Rafa Lara following the screenings.

Where: Tower Theater
Showtimes: Friday, March 9 @11:30pm; Saturday, March 10 @ 9pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

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Title: ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ (United Kingdom, documentary, 97 minutes)

Synopsis: When American billionaire Donald Trump set out to build a golf resort on the coast of Scotland, not everyone was as thrilled as he was. The land he staked out occupies one of Europe’s most environmentally sensitive stretches of coast. Scottish director Anthony Baxter set out to document the resistance of locals and confront Trump. What plays out is alternately humorous and horrifying as Baxter depicts Trump pushing his agenda, buying up support, and manipulating the media. What begins as an often amusing clash of world views grows increasingly bitter and disturbing. For the tycoon, the golf course is just another deal. For the residents, it represents the destruction of a globally unique landscape that has been the backdrop for their lives. There will be a Q&A session with director Anthony Baxter following the screenings.

Where: Regal South Beach Cinemas
Showtimes: Friday, March 9 @ 9pm, Saturday, March 10 @ 6:30pm
Tickets: $12, $11 (seniors)

Keep going! There are more films on the next page


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