The 2011 Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) is still going on, with the closing night on Sunday, April 17. Students can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $8 per ticket or $20 for four tickets to any of the films. All screenings are at the Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 theater. One hint from the SFF Film Guide — even if a film has “No tickets available,” one can “almost always” find tickets at the Rush line in the theater, as several people who purchased tickets are likely not to show up. Below is a description of only a handful of the films that remain to be screened. More information on the films and other events for the SFF can be found online at www.sarasotafilmfestival.com.
After his wife leaves him for a drug dealer, Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) begins a night job as a superhero, The Crimson Bolt, and seeks revenge. Along with his sidekick Boltie (Ellen Page), the cracked and unskilled hero goes after wrongdoers, giving in to extreme violence as his emotional turmoil gets the better of him. Directed by James Gunn, SFF describes the film as “not for the squeamish … ultra-violent [and] hilarious.”
Showings: Wednesday April 13 at 9:15pm and Friday April 15 at 9:30pm
The closing night film is directed by Mike Mills. Ewan McGregor stars as Oliver, a graphic artist in Los Angeles who is looking for inspiration and a human connection. He meets a French actress (Melanie Laurent) with a negative outlook on commitment which, coupled with Oliver’s own commitment issues, hints at a rocky “finding love” story. Meanwhile, Oliver’s father (Christopher Plummer) has a widow’s revelation.
Showings: Sunday, April 17 at 5pm and 7:30pm
How to Die in Oregon
This documentary, which won the 2011 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, explores a controversial subject—the right to die. Directed by Peter Richardson, the film focuses on Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act and personal accounts from patients and families.
Showings: Friday, April 15 at 5:15pm and Saturday, April 16 at 2:30pm
The SFF is featuring this film in support of its director Jafar Panahi, who was charged with creating anti-Islamic propaganda, sentenced to prison and banned from making films for two decades. The film explores Iranian social attitudes toward women, with a story about girls who dress as men to get into an Iranian soccer match. In Farsi with English subtitles.
Showing: Thursday, April 14 at 2:15pm
Salt of the Earth
Directed by Hervert J. Bieberman, Salt of the Earth was the only film ever banned in the U.S. for its political attitudes. The film tells the story of the 1951 strike by Mexican-Americans working at a zinc mine in New Mexico. It is part of the SFF Censorship & Cinema: The Personal Price of Politics program.
Showing: Wednesday, April 13 at 3pm
A woman (Lindsay Pulsipher) wakes up covered in blood and confused in this thriller directed by Calvin Lee Reeder. As she wanders into unknown territory and makes desperate attempts to survive, sanity falls behind. Described by the SFF as “beautiful but revolting, humorous and terrifying.”
Showings: Friday April 15 at 10pm and Saturday April 16 at 10:15pm.
The Price of Sex
Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova investigates sex trafficking in countries of the former Eastern Bloc. The documentary depicts the treatment of poor women in developed, powerful countries and the abuse, rape, enslavement and imprisonment of women who are part of the sex trafficking industry. In English, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian and Turkish with English subtitles.
Showing: Friday, April 15 at 7:15pm
Happy New Year
A wounded veteran back from Iraq tries to cope with depression by himself inside a mental health ward. The other patients, however, wont settle for his lone-wolf tendencies. Directed by K. Lorrel Manning, the film explores the emotional and psychological effects wars have on soldiers.
Showing: Wednesday, April 13 at 6pm
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Directed by Madeleine Olnek, this film pokes fun at modern romance and old sci-fi flicks. The citizens of another planet are responsible for depleting its ozone layer, not because of carbon dioxide emissions but because of too many “big feelings,” like love. To save their planet and reduce their big feeling output, they decide to travel to earth, have their hearts broken and so return home cynical about relationships.
Showings: Thursday, April 14 at 6pm and Saturday, April 16 at 9pm
This documentary by Tristan Patterson follows skateboarder Josh “Skreech” Sandoval as he skates around Fuller, California, swerves in and out of relationships and responsibility and lives on his own terms.
Showings: Saturday, April 16 at 7pm and Sunday, April 17 at 4:45pm.
The Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams
In this world, you can’t get to Dreamland without the Sandman’s sand, and neither can young Miko. When the evil Habumar steals the sand of dreams, the Sandman asks Miko to help him get back the sand to stop Habumar from turning all dreams into nightmares. This animated film is directed by Jesper Moller.
Showing: Sunday, April 17 at 12pm