SLIFF Picks: 4 Domestic Dispatches for Cinephiles Who Like Staying Local

 In Culture

We’ve covered some foreign ground already this week with SLIFF coverage, but now it’s time to check out what’s going on with the ol’ the home turf—at least in cinemaland. Here’s our picks for some of the top films this week that have ties to STL or the US of A at large:

1/ “Krisha,” Nov. 14, 7pm, at Plaza Frontenac
A black sheep returns to the family she abandoned a decade ago, turning Thanksgiving into an “emotional bloodletting.” Your Thanksgiving will be better than this, we promise. Intense and powerful, the film won the Grand Jury and Audience awards at SXSW (aka everyone loved it) before heading to Cannes’ Critics Week, and it’s directed by a protoge of Terrance Malik. $12

Photo courtesy Cinema St. Louis

Photo courtesy Cinema St. Louis

2/ “The Whole World Was Watching,” Nov. 13, 7pm at the Missouri History Museum
We’ve mentioned it before, but I feel like this should be pretty much required screening for any STL resident: The Post-Dispatch talks through the Pulitzer Prize-winning photos and videos from last year’s protests following Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson and adds in recently shot material, too. This is important. Free

3/ “It Had to Be You,” Nov. 13 at 7pm at the Tivoli
I can’t say for sure because I haven’t seen it (yet), but this sounds like a way messier and probably more realistic version of “Eat, Pray, Love,” like if Julia Roberts was trying to eat spaghetti with a brie knife. It stars Cristin Mioloti (you might know her from “Once,” for which she was nominated for a Tony), who, at that age when all your friends are married, is trapped writing jingles when she dreams of more. Her boyfriend surprises her with a proposal (one that seems to be attached with an “or else we’re done”), but she’s like “No, I’m going to go be awesome,” and heads to Rome. The synopsis hints at “harsh reality” kicking in, and apparently she starts to reconsider. What?? Pasta > men, obvs. I’m going to go see this just to find out why anyone would ever leave that city—and then discuss intelligently with my married and non-married friends how it “satirizes the cultural expectations of gender and romance.” $12

4/ “Takin’ Place,” Nov. 14, 8pm, at Saint Louis University
Docs that take a peek at others’ ways of life have to be careful: They have to walk the lines between revealing and voyeuristic, calls-to-action and condescending. Enter in “Takin’ Place,” which gives the audience a slice of life on Chicago’s notorious South Side, wipes its hands of the (somewhat tired) “things are bad here” plot and focuses instead on the community that shapes the lives of the area’s residents, zooming in on the everyday instead of the headline-makers. Nuance? Spades of it. Free


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