Dallas IFF Artistic Director James Faust Offers Up 10 Picks For Twitch Readers

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer
The Dallas International Film Festival is mere days away, and I've been slacking in my duty to inform you all of the great films playing here in my city.  Several of the films I've had the opportunity to see either at other film festivals or via festival screeners, and I'll be telling you about my picks tomorrow. However, first, I asked Dallas IFF artistic director and all-around super guy James Faust for a few selection that he thought would appeal to the Twitch crowd.  At first he avoided the question with the classic, "I love them all" excuse, but after a wee bit of badgering, I was able to get a small list of must-see films out of him, and here they are:

Bindlestiffs
bindlestiffs.jpg
Three underage, virgin, prep-school misfits, suspended on a bogus graffiti charge, flee to the inner city in an attempt to live the plot of The Catcher in the Rye - a book they have neither read, much less understand. This motion picture graphically portrays their noble quest to surrender their virginities (as well as shed their sobriety and sanity) to the encountered gatekeepers of "real experience": vagrants, prostitutes, and crack fiends. Hot on their tail is Charlie, a paranoid, deranged security guard, who, convinced that they plan to stage a school shooting, aims to shut them down and save his piece of America.







SomebodyUpThereLikesMe_image.jpgSomebody Up There Likes Me
"The film follows Max (Keith Paulson), his best friend Sal (Nick Offerman) and a woman they both adore, Lyla (Jess Weixler) through 35 years of mandatory but apparently unfulfilling entanglements at weddings, funerals, hospitals, eateries, divorce courts...and the tool shed." - James Faust













comicon.jpgComic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope
"The film follows a few specific fans chasing their Comic-Con dreams: aspiring illustrator Eric hopes to impress publishers and land a job; costume designer Holly hopes to win the event's costume contest; comic book store owner Chuck hopes to sell the rarest comic of all time; James hopes (and plans) to propose to his girlfriend in front of more than 6,000 people. Testimonies from Comic-Con veterans like Kevin Smith, Todd McFarlane, Frank Miller and Stan Lee add validity to what has become an energizing and religious pilgrimage for mobs of geeks for more than 40 years." - James Faust

Click here for Ryland's review






myway.jpgMy Way

In colonial-era Seoul in 1938, two young men knew each other as rivals, both in terms of country and in terms of personal competitiveness. Joon-sik (Jang Dong-gun) is a Korean man who dreams of following in the footsteps of Olympic marathon gold medal winner Sohn Kee-chung. Tatsuo (Joe Odagiri) is a top Japanese marathon runner who knew Joon-sik when his family worked for Tatsuo's as servants.

One day, Joon-sik falls into trouble and is conscripted into the Japanese army. One year later, Joon-sik again serves Tatsuo, now a captain for the Japanese Imperial Army, during World War II. The men endure countless battles in Nomonhan, China, Germany and the Soviet Union, inspiring hope for survival in each other despite their ethnic and nationalist feelings.



stilllife.jpg

Still Life

When a young man named Bernhard finds a set of instructions in a letter to a prostitute--instructions written by his father--the life of his family is turned upside down.

STILL LIFE is the disturbing story of a family that doesn't talk much, but who all feel the need to act in very expressive and destructive ways. The father is also an alcoholic, but he has a secret that he knows he should discuss with others but can't. And once that secret is revealed to the family--including daughter Lydia, the unknowing catalyst of the family's discord--actions are taken to affect repentance, forge a more natural familial trust...and, yes, to repress reality.




policeman.jpgPoliceman
A compelling drama, Policeman deftly presents disparate stories, juxtaposing two very different factions of devoted warriors. The first half exhibits the day-by-day behavior and vitality of an elite Israeli counter-terrorist unit led by Yaron, a macho and charismatic young man. He and his comrades are ardently devoted to protecting Israel and its people. The film switches gears by shifting to a radical group of young revolutionaries bent on kidnapping wealthy Israeli businessmen in order to expose the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. Shira, a young and naive poetess obsessed with her manifesto on social injustice, brandishes guns and words in equal measure.

When the anti-terrorist unit encounters the violent young radicals, they learn that a new threat to the security of their country may not emanate from the usual suspects. The two stories collide with an alarming confrontation between the policeman and the small faction of political activists.


extraterrestrialsmall.jpgExtraterrestrial
"Nacsho Vigalando, 1912.

Sucks an awsome movie, shiut. so good. ten out of ten. ITs an alien film with NO ALIESNS!!! HOW COOL IS THATTT???!!! SUX a god idea!!!### The UFOS dont give a shit, mama, just like IN real life >>>>>  Vigggalondon is a GENIUXX.

THE BSEST:  EVERYFING FUCK YEAH

THE WOST: Viggalond### dont apear thix time on scecreen, shit, such a looos, hes so sexIIIIIII. " - Nacho Vigalondo






brooklyn_castle_poster.jpgBrooklyn Castle
Brooklyn Castle follows five of the school's chess team members for one year, and documents their challenges and triumphs both on and off the chessboard. Justus is a prodigiously talented 10-year-old trying to navigate the unfamiliar pressures that come with newfound success and adulation. Eleven year old Patrick struggles with ADHD, and uses chess to improve his concentration. Alexis, 12, already views chess as a means to attain a higher education and support his immigrant family. Rochelle - an ambitious 13-year-old - strives to become the first African-American female to reach the level of chess master. And the team's emotional and outspoken leader, 12-year-old Pobo, rallies his fellow students against school budget cuts while running for school president. In each of these young teens, we witness the profound ways that learning and playing the beautiful and complex game of chess has imbued the lives of these equally beautiful and complex students at an underfunded urban public school.

maya.jpg
Maya
After years living abroad, Samiu (Genti Kame) returns to his Albanian village to bury his father's remains. Although he is well-received at first, things start to go awry when Samiu evicts the family living on his land and begins an affair with Maya(Rovena Lule Kuka) - his cousin's wife. Deciding to stay in the village and open up a hair salon, Samiu must face not only the mistrust and gossip of the villagers but the danger of the Police Chief (Myzafer Zifla), who is also besotted with Maya. As the situation begins to get out of hand and despite the high pressure and the tension he is coping with, Sami makes no way back. It is the daughter of Maya, 14 years old Halisa (Eva Hasula) that will turn upside down the unthinkable and who tries to set things right again...



cinemasix.jpgCinema Six
Working at a movie theater is fun, and that's why Mason, Dennis, and Gabe have done it for years. But, those years of neglecting the world outside the theater are finally catching up to them. Now, they have to make a decision: start on the long, hard path to maturity or stay at the theater, where they can avoid customers, screw with customers, and eat as much popcorn as they desire.











James couldn't help himself and threw on a couple of bonus picks as well..

Father's Chair
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Theo is living the good life in an upscale Brazilian neighborhood. He's a hardworking doctor, husband, and father. However, Theo has chosen his career over his family, and little by little he discovers that his world is crumbling around him. His beloved mentor and surrogate father is dying, and his wife announces that she wants a divorce. Yet nothing prepares him for the day when he comes home to discover that his 15-year-old son, Pedro, has disappeared. Theo takes to the road in search of his son. In a journey that leads him throughout Brazil, Theo discovers what really matters to him. Searching for his missing son, Theo finds himself.







werenotbroke.jpgWe're Not Broke
America is in the grip of a societal economic panic. Lawmakers cry "We're Broke!" as they slash budgets, lay off schoolteachers, police, and firefighters, crumbling our country's social fabric and leaving many Americans scrambling to survive. Meanwhile, multibillion-dollar American corporations like Exxon, Google and Bank of America are making record profits. And while the deficit climbs and the cuts go deeper, these corporations--with intimate ties to our political leaders--are concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax.

WE'RE NOT BROKE is the story of how U.S. corporations have been able to hide over a trillion dollars from Uncle Sam, and how seven fed-up Americans from across the country, take their frustration to the streets . . . and vow to make the corporations pay their fair share.

For more information about screening times and pass & ticket information, click through the link below to the Dallas IFF's main page.
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