Here it is, your program for the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival taking place June 17-26. Among the highlights are screenings of “Hero”, “Dig!”, “Garden State”, “The Grudge” and “Haute Tension.” Screenings will take place at the Director’s Guild of America, the Laemmle Sunset 5, the John Anson Ford Theatre, Wadsworth Theater, Laemmle Town Center 5 and at the Arclight.
Stay tuned here in June for full festival coverage. Until then, check out the 2004 program:
Garden State ^ Directed by: Zack Braff ^ Zach Braff, star of the TV comedy “Scrubs,” writes, directs, and stars in Garden State, a coming-of-age story that is alternately funny, moving, and sweetly romantic. With Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard.
Before Sunset ^ Directed by: Richard Linklater Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke, Before Sunset picks up the characters of Before Sunrise nine years later. This time, however, instead of having all night to walk, talk, and fall in love, they’ve only got 90 minutes.
The Clearing ^ Directed by: Pieter Jan Brugge ^ With quiet, confident performances from Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, and Willem Dafoe, The Clearing is a riveting thriller of rare intelligence, directed by veteran film producer Pieter Jan Brugge.
Invisible Light ^ Directed by: Gina Kim ^ Korean-born filmmaker Gina Kim’s narrative debut is an intense and hypnotic examination of female depression, anxiety, and cultural identity that breaks new ground in the portrayal of Korean women on film.
Robbing Peter ^ Directed by: Mario de la Vega ^ With a refreshingly original style, writer/director Mario F. De La Vega reinvents the crime genre, bringing a deadpan sense of humor and absurdity to this tale of smugglers, crime bosses, and second-rate thugs.
Unknown Soldier ^ Directed by: Ferenc Toth ^
Ferenc Toth’s powerful debut follows Ellison, an ordinary 18-year-old fighting for his life in a war no one notices. Alone on the streets of Harlem, his options dwindle, but he refuses to give up on himself.
Other Narrative Competition screenings:
After the Apocalypse ^ Yasuaki Nakajima
Bad Meat ^ Scott Dikkers
Fighting Tommy Riley ^ Eddie O’Flaherty
Men Without Jobs ^ Mad Matthewz
Pizza ^ Mark Christopher
Sexual Life ^ Ken Kwapis
Wilderness Survival for Girls ^ Kim Roberts and Eli Despres
Imelda ^ Directed by: Ramona S. Diaz ^ Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos has spent her entire life in the glare of spotlights and political scrutiny. Granted unprecedented access, filmmaker Ramona Diaz forges a provocative look at this deeply controversial figure.
The Last of the First ^ Directed by: Anja Baron ^ Featuring the hardworking Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, whose legendary members include Fats Waller’s guitarist, Louie Armstrong’s pianist, and Frank Sinatra’s drummer, this captivating documentary is a reverent and emotional look at jazz’s living history.
Up For Grabs ^ Directed by: Michael Wranovics ^ A humorous tale of greed, baseball, and videotape, Up for Grabs documents the bizarre journey of Barry Bonds’ record-setting 73rd home run ball from the field, to the courtroom, and beyond.
Other Documentary Competition screenings: ^ Another Road Home ^ Danae Elon
Crazy Legs Conti ^ Chris Kenneally
A Hard Straight ^ Goro Toshima
Monster Road ^ Brett Ingram
Monumental ^ Kelly Duane
Negroes With Guns ^ Sandra Dickson and Churchill Roberts
Rock School ^ Don Argott
Tarnation ^ Jonathan Caouette
XV in Zaachila ^ Directed by: Rigoberto Perezcano ^
Lyrical and sweetly comic, this documentary chronicles the extensive preparations, events, and emotions involved when a young Mexican woman’s family throws her a traditional fifteenth birthday party.
Dame La Mano ^ Directed by: Heddy Honigmann ^ After a week of day jobs driving cabs and working in kitchens, a group of Cuban expatriates gather every weekend in a tiny diner in New York City to celebrate their passion for life and the scintillating rhythms of the rumba.
Michael Blanco ^ Directed by: Stephan Streker ^ Belgian transplant Michael Blanco is burdened with movie star ambitions, but is short of stature, hair, and talent. Stephan Streker’s mesmerizing film follows the alien actor as he shuttles between menial jobs, failed auditions, and dreams of superstardom.
Other International Showcase screenings:
Al’Lèèssi . . . An African Actress ^ Rahmatou Keita – Niger/France
As Life Goes By ^ Jean-Henri Meunier – France
B-Happy ^ Gonzalo Justiniano – Chile
The Center ^ Stanislaw Mucha – Germany
Free Radicals ^ Barbara Albert – Austria
Goodbye Dragon Inn ^ Tsai Ming-Liang – Taiwan
The Island ^ Costanza Quatriglio – Italy
The Magic Gloves ^ Martin Rejtman – Argentina
Nina ^ Heitor Dhalia – Brazil
Red Lights ^ Cedric Khan – France
Roads to Koktebel ^ Boris Khlebnikov and Alexi Popogrebsky – Russia
Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus ^ Andrew Douglas – Great Britain
South of the Clouds ^ Zhu Wen – China
A Taste of Murder ^ Raoul Ruiz – France
A Thousand Months ^ Faouzi Bensaidi – Morocco/France/Belgium
Untold Scandal ^ J-Yong E – South Korea
Vibrator ^ Ryuichi Hiroki – Japan
FORD AMPHITHEATRE EVENTS
Hero ^ Directed by: Zhang Yimou ^ Ravishing, astounding, spectacular, unbelievable — these words can only begin to convey the experience of Hero, a wuxia-style martial arts picture starring Jet Li, Tony Leung, and Maggie Cheung. The film is a sumptuously shot, breathtakingly choreographed, eye-popping delight.
Man with a Movie Camera – With a live score by Oranger ^ Directed by: Dziga Vertov ^ Russia’s greatest experimental film meets California’s finest purveyors of modern psychedelic pop in a dynamic combination of cameras and guitars when San Francisco’s noise pop pioneers Oranger performs an original score for the 1929 classic The Man with a Movie Camera.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster ^ Directed by: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky ^ A moving and hilarious documentary that you don’t need to love the music to enjoy, the latest film from the directors of Paradise Lost and Brother’s Keeper follows the world’s most successful heavy metal band through midlife crisis, group therapy, and the creation of a new album.
Dig! ^ Directed by: Ondi Timoner ^ Seven years in the making, this portrait of two rock bands — the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre — offers up a heady brew of mad musical geniuses, triumphant world tours, disingenuous death threats, disastrous gigs, and elusive record contracts.
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead ^ Directed by: Mike Hodges ^ From legendary director Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Croupier) comes a daring reworking of the British gangster genre, told with a jazz musician’s sense of time and structure. Starring Clive Owen, Charlotte Rampling, and Malcolm McDowell.
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession ^ Directed by: Xan Cassavetes ^ Z Channel was a pioneering Los Angeles cable channel that possibly changed the course of Hollywood itself, thanks to the tireless efforts of one man, Jerry Harvey, whose personal story ended as many of his favorite films did: tragically.
Other Special Screenings:
Another State of Mind ^ Adam Small and Peter Stewart
Cowards Bend the Knee ^ Guy Maddin
Dear Frankie ^ Shona Auerbach
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle ^ Danny Leiner
Intimate Strangers ^ Patrice Leconte
La Otra ^ Roberto Gavaldón
Maria Full of Grace ^ Joshua Marston
Overnight ^ Mark Brian Smith
The Spook Who Sat By The Door ^ Ivan Dixon
We Don’t Live Here Anymore ^ John Curran
Woman Thou Art Loosed ^ Michael Schultz
The Grudge ^ Directed by: Shimizu Takashi ^ In a quiet Tokyo neighborhood, there lies a house that may be the most terrifying place on Earth and anyone who enters it is marked with a ghostly curse in this Japanese horror sensation.
Haute Tension ^ Directed by: Alexandre Aja ^ An ominous gray van arrives at the summer home of Alex and Marie and soon the nighttime calm is pierced by screams of terror. This relentlessly violent, astoundingly bloody nerve shredder may test the resolve of even the most ardent horror fan.
Mojave ^ Directed by: David Kebo and Rudi Liden ^ Four friends drive out into the California desert in search of a rave. Nothing could prepare them for what follows, as a night of abandon turns into a day of violence in this thrilling update of Deliverance for a new generation.
SPOTLIGHT: TUNDE KELANI
Agogo Eewo ^ Directed by: Tunde Kelani ^ The new king of Jogbo wants to institute reforms, but the corrupt elders who selected him have other plans in Agogo Eewo, Tunde Kelani’s humorous allegory of Nigerian politics.
Campus Queen ^ Directed by: Tunde Kelani ^ A playfully inspired mix of musical, thriller, and campus caper in the vein of Spike Lee’s School Daze, Campus Queen tells a story of two rival student organizations embroiled in political intrigue.
Thunderbolt ^ Directed by: Tunde Kelani ^ Ngosi has been cursed with magun, fatal to her and any man who shares her bed. Is her jealous husband responsible? Tunde Kelani’s melodrama is an introduction to the dynamic Nigerian straight-to-video market, which mixes soap opera-style plots with modern-day parables.
For more info, visit the Los Angeles Film Festival website.