• Sundance

Tag: Sundance

The Staircase–A Fall to the Bottom

  The Staircase, about a cold case murder that is resurrected again and again, is a crime thriller rivaling James Patterson. Filmed by Academy Award-winning French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, we see a gripping courtroom drama, offering an intimate look at a high-profile murder trial and the family of the accused. Reminiscent of the groundbreaking “reality” series, An American Family, from the seventies, author Michael Peterson is arraigned for the 2001 murder of his second wife, Kathleen, whose body was discovered lying in a pool of blood on the stairway of their Durham,...

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“Shake Hands with the Devil”–The Backstory to “Hotel Rwanda”

A Sundance award-winning documentary, this film  takes the viewer to the  hell experienced by General Romeo Dallaire, who was assigned to lead UN peace-keeping forces in Rwanda in the spring of 1994. In 100 days approximately  800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered, most of them Tutsis at the hands of the Hutus.  The images of heaps of dead bodies, and rooms filled with  skulls, are more harrowing than anything I’ve seen in cinema. General Dallaire returns to Rwanda ten years after the massacres in  2004, with his wife protectively guiding him through the landscape of his traumatic past like treacherous...

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Napa Valley Film Festival–Is this the next Sundance?

Last week (November 9-13) I attended the inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) with a friend who lives in Calistoga and has volunteered in the festival’s planning.  Over 100 films were presented, many for the first time at any film festival, in 12 screening locations from Napa to Calistoga.  Along with viewing films we had the  pleasure of tasting fine wines from local wineries and delicious food at the welcome party (for holders of Pass Plus and patrons).  In the next two or three posts, I will be reviewing several of my favorite movies from NVFF. While this year marks the 30th anniversary...

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