SLIFF Picks: 5 Films to See When You Don't Know What to See

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

With 447 films this year, the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival can be a little overwhelming. We’ve rounded up a few curated lists this week, but in case these don’t quite fit the bill—well, we’re gonna get a little more specific with this one.

Courtesy Cinema St. Louis

Courtesy Cinema St. Louis


1/ For cinemaphiles and burgeoning filmmakers
If you’re one of those kinds of people who took European Film Studies in Europe (*guilty*) or are basically living at this festival this week, get in to see “Double Bill: Hitchcock/Truffaut and ‘Notorious‘” tonight (!!!) at 7pm at Webster. The film follows the story of when French master Francois Truffaut got Alfred Hitchcock to sit with him for a week-long interview. Take notes, aspiring filmmakers. Following that screening is Truffaut’s favorite Hitchcock movie, “Notorious.” $15

PS Also check out “Eisenstein in Guanajuato,” Nov. 11 at 2:35pm and Nov. 13 at 9:20 at Plaza Frontenac, which brings to life 10 days in the life of Sergein Eisenstein, one of the foundational fathers of film. It’s described as “outrageously unconventional and deliriously profane” and it might take “decades to be appreciated.” Such fun! Hipsters, this is your call. $12

2/ For those who are kind of intrigued by film festivals but are a little nervous to go to one because it’s just so overwhelming and it might be a little pretentious and I just don’t know a whole lot about film, not like No. 1 does anyway, and my parents said film studies wasn’t a viable major so I didn’t do it, and I did business instead because that’s practical—I mean you can make a living off of that anyway—and now I work at a bank and the last thing I saw was a Nicholas Sparks adaptation out in the ‘burbs and oh god—

You can’t go wrong with a lot of Oscars. In “Youth,” showing Nov. 14 at 6:30pm at Plaza Frontenac, you’ve got Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino with Oscar-winning Michael Caine (aka Batman’s butler in the Nolan era), as well as Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda. It follows a writer working on his last screenplay in a hotel with his daughter and best friend, which is a pretty chill setting for a film. It’s also described as an “accessible international art film,” but it also looks and sounds pretty with a great score and cinematography.

Or, grab tickets to “Remember,” showing Nov. 13 at 7pm at Plaza Frontenac. It stars Chrisopher Plummer (aka “Sound of Music’s” Captain von Trapp) as a nursing home resident who decides to exact revenge on the man who killed his family—70 years earlier. It’s not terribly exotic (it takes place in Canada), so no subtitles here. If you want to strut your stuff at the next dinner party, refer to the film using the phrases “Hitchcockian” and “black humor.” You got this. $12

3/ For those who love anything STL
Your film? “Cronies,” showing Nov. 14, 7:30pm, at Wash U. A friendship between two STL boys is challenged when a third—of a different race and background—shows up. Gritty-indie films will love the low-budget, black-and-white filming; everyone else will love that it was filmed right here in the city. Plus, it’s got Spike Lee backing the film as executive producer. (PS—We did a little something on this a few years ago when filming began). Free

4/ For those who are really missing Anthro 101
We all know Margaret Mead was kickass, and “The Anthropologist,” Nov. 14 at 7pm at the Missouri History Museum, intertwines her legacy with that of a mother-daughter duo traveling the world as the mom investigates the effects of climate change on a few vastly different communities. Free

5/ For those who pine for the early (good) days of “True Detective”
Coming in hot from Spain’s Goya awards is “Marshland,” a film set in the country’s unstable transition to democracy. Mismatched detectives head south to figure out what happened to two missing teenage sisters, eventually uncovering other unsolved cases that share a connection to the same man—although the DNA doesn’t add up. It’s them vs the killer (whoever he is)—can they catch him before he strikes again? Da da dummmm. $12


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