LAFF, part 2

The last two features I’ve screened at the LAFF are exemplary thrillers, both immersed in existentialist dread, both diverging in tone: CÈdric Kahn’s brooding and suggestive mood piece, Red Lights (Feux rouges, 2004), and Raoul Ruiz’s comedic and flamboyant neo-noir, A Taste of Murder (known at other festivals as A Place Among the Living from the French title, Une place parmi les vivants, 2004.) Both are filmmakers I know little about, although Ruiz’s film is the fourt of his works that I’ve seen, and the more I see, the more I want to see. (Fortunately, the filmmaker …

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Los Angeles Film Fest Diary

It’s always great to see a film festival establish its groove, and the Los Angeles Film Festival is doing just that in its fourth incarnation since its merger of two film organizations. Evolving from a festival that specialized in independent American fare, it is now more international in scope and offers several high-profile screenings this year, even if much of the program seems directly lifted from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (But who’s complaining?)

Last weekend, I managed to catch four rewarding films, with more screenings planned later in the week.

South of the Clouds (Zhu Wen, China, 2004)

Novelist …

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