At the Movies: SLIFF

The 22nd St. Louis International Film Festival opens today and runs through Nov. 24. It’s like Comic-Con but without all the cosplay. And the nerds. Well, without all the comic nerds. There will be plenty of film nerds, I’m sure.

The fest opens tonight with a screening of “We Always Lie to Strangers,” a documentary on Branson by AJ Schnack and David Wilson. One can only hope it offers up some real dirt on Ray Stevens, Yakov Smirnoff and the Baldnobbers.

Among the many special events on tap will be a screening of the director’s cut of “JFK” with the director himself, Oliver Stone. Stone will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and discuss his career on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Tivoli.

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Films will be screened at four theaters across town. This year’s festival includes 330 films. That breaks down to 75 narrative features, 63 documentary features and 192 shorts. I have not seen all 330 films so I cannot advise you on what to see.

I have watched eight of the documentary features as part of my duties serving as a juror in the documentary category of the St. Louis Film Critics’ Joe Pollack Awards. It was the most entertaining case of jury duty I have ever served on.

My favorite was Blood Brother, the moving story of a young man who goes to India and finds a home and a meaningful life working with children in an AIDS hostel. Directed by Steve Hoover.

For more information visit http://www.cinemastlouis.org/ because I don’t have the time or strength to cover 329 more films.

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