Five films to watch at this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival
Out of more than 1,500 submissions, only about 350 films show at the annual St. Louis International Film Festival (Nov. 8-18), and it’s up to Cinema St. Louis’ three full-time staffers—Cliff Froehlich, Chris Clark and Brian Spath—to decide which ones make the cut. We asked these film-savvy gentlemen which five films we should be sure to catch this year.
BETWEEN TWO RIVERS
Experience a vivid portrait of the historic Heartland town of Cairo, IL, where the North meets the South at the convergence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This documentary casts light on the present of a small town with a dark and distressed past. Stace England and The Salt Kings, will be at the SLIFF screening to perform their latest album, “Welcome to Cairo, IL,” live to accompany the film.
Screening: Friday, Nov. 9, 7pm, Wildey Theatre
Rich drama and comedy radiate from the seasoned cast of Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut about three aging opera singers named Cissy (Pauline Collins), Reginald (Tom Courtenay) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly) who live together in a retirement home for musicians. Every year the trio puts on a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday—but it’s all thrown for a loop when Reg’s ex-wife, Jean (Maggie Smith), appears on the scene and ignites old rivalries.
Screening: Sunday, Nov. 18, 6:30pm, Tivoli Theatre
From a brutal assassination to the war in Vietnam, 1968 was a year of
tragedy for many. But, the year meant something different for four young Aboriginal sisters from a remote mission in Australia. This film, based on a true story, follows the girls as they are discovered by a talent scout (Chris O’Dowd from “Bridesmaids”), who hails their voices as Australia’s answer to The Supremes, and embark on their first true gig to Vietnam to perform for American troops.
Screening: Saturday, Nov. 17, 7pm, Hi-Pointe Theatre
Pitchers are known for speed, accuracy and numerical accountability. But, a few pitchers throughout history, known as knuckleballers, pitch so slow and unpredictably that no one wants anything to do with them. Award-winning documentary filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg bring the story of Major League Baseball’s two 2011 knuckleballers, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey.
Screenings: Saturday, Nov. 10, at 4pm, Wildey Theatre
Friday, Nov. 16, 7pm, Tivoli Theatre
SIREN OF THE TROPICS
A vintage film from 1927 makes its way back onto the silver screen in a unique way. This classic film, starring Josephine Baker, is about a rich, lazy Parisian who wishes to divorce his wife so he can marry his own goddaughter—a drama filled with jealousy and controversy. At SLIFF, “Siren” screens in concert with a documentary produced for German television about the leading lady, called “The Other Josephine.”
Screening: Friday, Nov. 16, 8:30pm, Webster U./Moore
Check out cinemastlouis.org for more details on these films, the full festival schedule and tickets.
Film still from Quartet