The 25th Annual Philadelphia Film Festival Coverage (October 20 - 30, 2016)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tinsel & Tine's Look at the 11 Days of #PFF25

 By Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

POST UPDATE: 10/30/2016 

Click HERE for my Interview with Oscar Nominated Writer/Director DAMIEN CHAZELLE


10/20 Opening Night -  I'm not going write about La La Land here because I was fortunate enough to have a sit down interview with the writer/director Damien Chazelle so that will be a separate post I'll publish shortly before the movie musical hits theaters December 2nd.

10/21 Day 2 - I saw Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s first English language film JACKIE starring Natalie Portman the film is not a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, rather it goes back and forth in time from her TV tour of the White House to the infamous car ride where she’s seen gathering up Jack’s brains from the back of the convertible, to her planning the funeral and her interview with a journalist played sardonically by Billy Crudup based loosely on the LIFE magazine interview she did with Theodore H. White, who penned the famous “Camelot” story after a four-hour interview. Peter Sarsgaard plays Bobbie Kennedy. I just love him because his expressions are always teetering between devil and angel, moment to moment. Technically “Jackie” is well done, costumes, sets, accents, each scene is perfectly executed. However, both the movie and Portman’s portrayal feels too careful and studied to me, as if the importance of getting everything right, in terms of history and trying to reveal both the public perception of Jackie Kennedy and who she may have been beyond that, seems to weigh it down.

10/21 - (World Narrative Iceland) THE OATH starring the writer/director Baltasar Kormákur (director of US movie Everest) A doctor wants to protect his daughter from her scummy drug dealing boyfriend and goes to great lengths to making sure to break them up.You can't help rooting for the good doctor who must set aside his Hippocratic oath in order to protect his family. However, on the other hand, his daughter was old enough to make her own decisions and never seemed to feel threatened by the boyfriend, it's the doctor/father who makes the preemptive strike.

Kormákur said he'd never act in anything he was directing again after his first film 101 Reykjavik, but here's why he changed his mind: I felt this was the right time to do it. Actually, partly because it’s so much from the perspective of this character, it’s not like I’m playing something totally opposite. The whole film goes through the perspective of this man. So it is my perspective, as a director and this character. READ MORE Alex Ritman THR

10/22 Day 3 (Masters of Cinema Belgium/USA) A QUIET PASSION dir. Terence Davies 2016 Why is Emily Dickinson so popular? Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet much acclaimed worldwide for her unique poems. Known for her seclusion from outer world and introvert nature, she was one of the major figures in American literature. This prolific poet wrote over seventeen hundred poems in her lifetime.

Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon plays the beloved poet who was not so beloved in her lifetime, due to the mere fact of being a woman in a then male dominated art form. Lucky for Emily, and for those who posthumously revere her poetry, her father had no trouble with her staying up half the night writing her heart out, nor did he object when one or two of her poems were actually published. But on the whole, she lived a very small life, which became isolated as she grew older; apart from the close ties with her siblings (brother and sister) and parents.  It's unclear why neither Dickinson sister married. Emily's sister was actually quite attractive and exuberant as a youngster, yet both remained at home to eventually care for their aging parents and then for each other.  And so, therefore, other than some pretty, but most often pretentiously witty dialogue, the movie is a complete snore.

10/22 Day 3 (Masters of Cinema France) PERSONAL SHOPPER dir Olivier Assayas 2016

10/22 Day 3 (Feast) Documentary Filmmaker Brett A. Schwartz was in attendance.

This foodie doc INSATIABLE: THE HOMARO CANTU STORY was really good! So much more story than I would have imagined. I was just expecting to see some cool gastronomy, but it turned out to be more a moving biopic. Cantu had a rough, really rough childhood, but survived it to become one of Chicago's top Celebrity Chefs, always striving to be an innovator, and a humanitarian, working towards providing healthy sustainable food for the low income and disadvantaged. He also dreamed of bringing a truly healthy, natural sugar substitute to the public in the Miracle Berry, which taste exactly like sugar... And then your heart is broken by a tragic turn of events.

Although there’s plenty of interview footage with Cantu and an abundance of clips from his many media appearances, the documentary includes scant footage of him actually cooking his signature dishes or explaining his methods of menu development and ingredient pairing. READ MORE Review from SXSW

10/23 Day 4 (Feast) TAMPOPO filmmaker Juzo Itami 1985

Slurping 101: Savor the aroma. Poke the pork. Noodles first. Slurp three times. These are just some of the life lessons the affable Gun (Ken Watanabe) recounts to his cowboy hat-wearing co-worker Gorō (Tsutomu Yamazaki) about his legendary encounter with an ancient noodle connoisseur. When the two men happen to stop at a dilapidated roadside noodle joint, they not only get into a barroom scuffle with the locals, but befriend the widowed owner, Tampopo (Noboku Miyamoto). Their singular obsession about everything ramen blossoms into friendship and aspirations to become the best ramen noodle restaurant in the country.  Click HERE for my facebook album comments on the film

10/23 Day 4 (Masters of Cinema Iran) THE SALESMAN filmmaker Asghar Farhadi 

An apartment building starts to collapse and everyone must evacuate and find new places to live, including thespian husband, Emad and wife, Rana who are a part of a community theater doing Arthur Miller's "Death of a Saleman" one of the other actors in the play offers them an apartment in his building, but neglects to mention the apartment used to belong to a woman with paid gentlemen callers. One night after their performance Rana goes home without Emad who needs to stay late at the theater. An hour or so later when their apt buzzer rings, Rana assumes it's Emad, buzzes him in, leaves the front door ajar, while she jumps into the shower. Turns out it was not Emad and she lets in a stranger who assumes she's like the former tenant and assaults her.

From here it could turn into a story that unravels a marriage which appeared solid from the outside, only the trauma brings up things never before discussed between the couple, causing friction. Or it could turn into a revenge film. It tries to do a little of each, and goes no where, very slowly, with neither scenario finding ground. Not to mention, when the assailant is revealed, you feel anger at Rana for not mentioning an obvious fact, that doesn't change the reality that she's been violated, but it does change the severity and how her husband may have handled things if he'd known.

10/24 Day 5
(The Graveyard Shift) THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE Dir. André Øvredal

 10/26 Day 7 (State of the Union) SOLITARY

Located 300 miles from any urban center, Red Onion is one of more than forty supermax prisons in the country. From a site that previously barred journalists and cameras, Solitary takes us into the facility in which more than two-thirds of its population are living in solitary confinement, focusing on the experiences of a number of its inmates to try and gain insight and understand the experience of prisoners who spend 23 hours a day alone, isolated in eight-by-ten-foot cells. Hearing from both inmates and correctional officers over the course of a year, the film allows us to hear about both the severe psychological and emotional harm caused by solitary confinement, and the experience of working in this environment. POST-SCREENING DISCUSSION WITH DIRECTOR KRISTI JACOBSON and guest Johnny Perez, Safe Reentry Advocate (Urban Justice Center).

10/28 Day 9 (Centerpiece Screening) ARRIVAL Director Dennis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners) has directed a thoughtful and thought provoking science fiction Alien film, adapted from “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. It’s reminiscent of Close Encounters or Gravity, yet completely original. Arrival stars Amy Adams as a prestigious linguist, Jeremy Renner as a theoretical scientist and Forest Whitaker as an Army Colonel who are forced to the front lines when 12 UFO pods suddenly hover over the earth in 12 different locations around the world. When we eventually get to see the creatures dubbed heptapods they resemble a cross between an octopus and a very large spider, yet they evoke grace and a strange majesty. Like Her and Ex Machina, Arrival is not interested in the shoot ‘em up, destruction side of sci-fi. And as much as it deals with the tenets of communication and deciphering language, it’s when we learn the heptapods perceive time all at once, rather than a linear series of events, that we’re really brought into the focus of the movie which leaves you confused, comforted, challenged and cheering.
T & T's LAMB (movie bloggers association) Score:4.5 outta 5

POST UPDATE 10/29/2016

Archie Award Competition for Best First Feature PERSONAL AFFAIRS
Documentary Feature Competition I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO
Special Jury Award for Cinematic Vision PETER AND THE FARM
Narrative Feature Competition AFTER LOVE
Honorable Mention ILLEGITIMATE
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance LAYLA M. (Nora El Koussour)
Sharon Pinkenson Award for Best Local Feature I CALLED HIM MORGAN
Short Film Competition CHEKHOV
Honorable Mentions DEER FLOWER
Student Choice Award JUNCTION 48

25 years! That makes this the silver anniversary or better yet, silver screen anniversary for The Philadelphia Film Festival produced by The Philadelphia Film Society, Executive Director, J. Andrew Greenblatt & Artistic Director, Michael Lerman.

I'm so excited that La La Land has been chosen for this year's opening night film (Thursday, October 20th Prince Theater 8pm). I've read so many good things about this musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone; it's been on T&T's Can't Wait Coming Attractions page for months. Best of all, the writer/director Damien Chazelle, recipient of the Academy Award nomination for best writing and adapted screenplay for Whiplash will be in attendance opening night!

The closing night film is another one right up my alley, starring Amy Adams making Alien contact on earth in Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve (Friday, October 28th Prince Theater 8pm)

All toll you've got Over 110 films from 23 countries to choose from: 

Another Centerpiece Screening I wanna see is Natalie Portman in Jackie Director Pablo Larraín 2016 - Jackie is a powerful, innovative biopic depicting the events leading up to and following the shocking assassination of beloved President John F. Kennedy through the eyes of his wife, first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

Some oldies, but goodies From The Vault - actually I've never seen Night on Earth, Auteur Jarmusch exploits the peculiar intimacy between taxi drivers and their patrons to hilarious and poignant effect, depicting quirky cab rides unfolding simultaneously in disparate cities. In Los Angeles, a jaded Hollywood bigwig (Gena Rowlands) finds herself enthralled by her streetwise, chain-smoking cabby (Winona Ryder).


$2 Off Regular Priced Tickets 

When you Subscribe to Tinsel & Tine's Newsletter 

After subscribing Code will be emailed to be used at checkout 
(Opening Night, Closing Night and Centerpiece films cannot be discounted)

Enjoy some neighborhood hospitality across the city with these excellent restaurants, bars, and coffee shops offering specials to all festival goers. Simply present your physical ticket, digital ticket, or your festival badge when ordering:  
  • OLDE CREAMERY (105 S. 2nd St. Phila. PA 19106) 20% off your bill 
  • LA COLOMBE COFFEE ROASTERS (100 S. Independence Mall W #110 corner of 6th and Market St.) Enjoy 10% off all purchases  
  • MISSION TAQUERIA (1516 Sansom St. Phila, PA 19102) Enjoy $6 Margarita, $6 Sangria, $3 Corona
  • BOURBON & BRANCH (705 N. 2nd St. Phila. PA 19123) $5 Old Fashioneds & Whiskey Sours 
  • MARTHA (Fishtown / Kensington 2113 E. York St.Philadelphia, PA 19125) Enjoy your first drink at 1/2 price 
  • BRIDGET FOY’S (200 South St. Phila. PA 19147)  Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or sangria with purchase of an entree 
Discounts are listed on Festival Website under Events 

Spotlights, Presented by Philly Style: Highly–anticipated movies from some of the biggest names in the industry, these films shine a spotlight on top talent from around the world. · Christine, Director Antonio Campos. 2016, USA. · King Cobra, Director Justin Kelly. 2016, USA. · Wolves, Director Bart Freundlich. 2016, USA.

From World Narratives this looks like a winner - The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Finland director Juho Kuosmanen) The Un Certain Regard winner at this year’s Cannes, this sweetly melancholic biopic features Finnish boxing amateur turned hero Olli Mäki as he competes for the international featherweight championship title.

Of course, Tinsel & Tine (reel & dine) has to catch a foodie film or two. Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story from the FEAST category looks good - In Insatiable, director Brett A. Schwartz tracks the story of world-renowned molecular gastronomist Homaro Cantu, from a troubled youth marred by poverty and abuse to international renown as the head chef at Moto, one of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants. Cantu belonged to a scene of young, Chicago-based chefs innovating the field of molecular gastronomy, which introduced new, sometimes cerebral, techniques to fine dining.

American Independents, Presented by Comcast Xfinity: Featuring powerful new voices in American cinema, these fresh, gritty films explore a variety of subjects through the filmmaker’s uncompromising vision. All films in this series are a part of the “PFF On Us” free ticketing program. 


Greater Filmadelphia, Presented by Philadelphia Gas Works
Featuring work from some of our finest homegrown filmmakers, this category brings our city and its talent to the big screen. I saw Sarah Paulson on Jimmy Fallon talking about this movie Blue Jay (dir. Alexandre Lehmann) but I didn't know he was a Philly filmmaker! - Former high school sweethearts are reunited by chance as adults and spend the day reminiscing about their past and what might have been in this moving drama starring Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson.

There's also some informative and entertaining docs under Documentary Showcase, movies with music under Sight & Soundtrack, Animated Shorts, Late night The Graveyard Shift flicks and more...

The PFF25 PROGRAM GUIDE PDF can be downloaded

However, I recommend you use the FESTIVAL GENIUS to book all your movies and purchase tickets. The calendar can export to your Outlook or Google Calendar and it will cross reference and let you know if you're booking movies too close together or at the same time.

Then follow me on Instagram @tinsel_tine & Facebook, Twitter  @tinseltine during the festival. Film Picks have also been listed on Tinsel & Tine's #PhillyCalendar

Throw back to last year - T&T's Look at #PFF24

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Tinsel & Tine Winners for Preview Screening Contest Guest on The LAMB Podcast Lambcast #470: CAPTAIN MARVEL w/ Rich Kirkh...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST


The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold

By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST


With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST


I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
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15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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