There’s a plethora of cool flicks in all categories that remain to be screened at PSIFF.  As of this writing, tickets are available for many, if not all showings.  In some cases, there’s stand-by.  Check the website or box office for the “Best of Fest” on the last day.  By choosing the latter option to see audience favorites, you can’t go wrong for a memorable day at the movies.  Here are some of my random picks of engaging films that are definitely worth considering.




Director Jay Bulger captures the off-putting, near primal story of Ginger Baker the brilliant rock and jazz drummer. Baker’s a holy terror generating a wake of destruction that include not only broken drum kits, but bruised marriages, noses and friendships.  It’s a visceral portrait of an edgy guy whose crazed energy makes him a brilliant drummer.  Saturday, January 12 (Regal).


From Sweden, Mikael Marcimain directs this political thriller that was inspired by a shocking 1976 scandal that exposed a malignancy in the heart of the local government.  It’s been favorably compared to ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.  See the US premier Thursday, 4 pm, January 10, (Regal).



Big buzz on director Selton Mello’s Brazilian film about a lovable clown who quits the traveling circus his dad operates in search of an electric fan and stationary home.  We haven’t seen anyone running away from the circus.  Friday, January 11, 10:30 am (Regal).



When a 15-year-old Mormon girl finds a cassette of forbidden rock music on her birthday, she thinks it has caused her to immaculately conceive.  Director Rebecca Thomas toys with tantalizing tropes that resonate on many levels.  See this made in America movie Wednesday, January 9, at 1:30 (Regal) and probably at the Best of Fest last day screenings.



A trippy non-fiction meditation that examines the flow and nature of time as a possibly finite entity that envelopes us and taunts us with its paradox and enigma.  Are we the ones who flow through time that does not exist in any state other than the present?  Don’t miss this exceedingly cool movie from Peter Mettler that tingles the mind and teases the eye.  Look for it at the Best of Fest last day screenings.



This twisty, very dark comedy from Norway is about four dubious, defective types who are forced to share a big jackpot.  Lots of talk about this crazy ensemble piece of choreographed mayhem from writer-director Magnus Martens adapted from a story by noir master John Nesbo.  This one makes THE HANGOVER look like a nursery rhyme.  Showing Thursday, January 10, 7 pm at PS High School and likely at the Best of Fest.



A dozen name actresses (Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Viola Davis, Uma Thurman, Ellen Burstyn and Lindsay Lohan among others) read from recently revealed private journals and musings of the ultimate 20th Century sex symbol.  This beautiful word portrait directed by Liz Garbus exposes a surprisingly poetic, acerbic, funny and thoughtful Marilyn we only thought we knew.  Showing Thursday, January 10,10 am (Camelot).



I was riveted by this tough, raw, unsentimental but erotic romance starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schenaerts.  No punches are pulled in this love story between a bouncer turned bare-knuckle fighter and a woman dealt a horrific injury at a Sea World like park.  Director Jacques Audiard’s France/Belgium co-production has already won Best Film at the London Film Festival.  The last screening is Friday, January 11, 4:30 pm (Camelot).



This hard to define animated musical is from director Patrice Laconte.  Anyone who has seen his GIRL ON THE BRIDGE knows Laconte’s great skill at creating an electrifyingly intense awareness of living in the moment.  This unexpected life-affirming comedy is about a family in the assisted suicide business with a “wayward” son who is terminally up beat, optimistic and cheerful.  The US premiere was here at the PSIFF.  It’s a likely title that will be included in the Best of Fest.



Extraordinary cinematography enhances this mesmerizing and unsettling examination of the radical decline of the world’s honeybee population.  This is one you will talk about for a long time – assuming we are here to talk.  Markus Imhoof’s spectacular documentary is a joint production of Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is having its US premiere Wednesday, January 9, 11:30 am (Regal). The final screening is on Sunday, January 13, 7 pm (Regal).  If the environment is of any concern, or the mystery and beauty of nature is of special interest, this is an absolute must see.


ROOM #237

This mind-bending exploration of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 THE SHINING focuses on oddities, symbols, metaphors and visual paradoxes that seem to be present in the haunted Overlook Hotel’s Room 237. It’s a weird, funny, irrational and perhaps meaningless movie that’s in fact a great movie about the power of movies!  It may indeed be filled with madness and, who knows, great insights — intentional stuff from Kubrick or not — that range from the Holocaust to the Apollo moon landing.  You have not and will not see another film remotely like this one.  If you are fascinated – no, obsessed — by the power of filmic image to subliminally affect your mind with meaning, you will love ROOM 237.  But enter ROOM 237 at your own risk because you will not exit as same person.

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