The 10th annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival opened Thursday with a documentary called Liberty 9500 from filmmakers Eric Byler and Annabel Park. It focused on town meetings in Manassas concerning immigrants and the way the town was responding to them. I really enjoyed Byler's first feature, Charlotte Sometimes, but did not see his second one, Americanese. These are two talented filmmakers though this piece is kind of difficult to enjoy, unless you are really familiar with this situation. A couple at the after-party - on the roof of the Rosa Mexicano Building across from Verizon Center! - told me they had seen a previous that was more enjoyable, more personal.
The Festival will close next Saturday night (Oct. 10) with the showing of Children of Invention at the Goethe Institut. Screenings will be at 7:30 and 9:30 with receptions after each showing.
I highly recommend Amreeka, still playing at E Street Cinemas. It's the story of a Palestinian mother and son who immigrate to Illinois to join her sister and her family (a likeable husband and three daughters). The film moves slowly, documenting their hardships at home and their hardships coming to a new land. But the payoff comes later in the warmth of family and friends.
The film Paris by director Cedric Klapisch does show off the city in all its attractiveness from the Eiffel Tower to the Luxemborg Gardens to various neighborhoods. It also shows off Juliette Binoche who enjoyed a much finer turn in last year's Summer Hours (a good one to rent). This film's parts are better than its sum. There are some good scenes with a college professor, and Binoche's brother, Romain Duris (who fared better in Klapisch's L'auberge Epagnole and its sequel Russian Dolls, whose illness is the focus of the film. And as previously mentioned, rent Klapisch's best film, When the Cat's Away.
On the radar...
Tuesday, Oct. 6, The International Club hosts a free cello/accordion concert and wine reception at the Austrian Embassy.
Also on Tuesday, the two-woman folk group Sweater Set plays at the new Capitol Hill place, The Fridge.
The fun folker Erin McKeown comes to Jammin' Java on Oct. 19.
I've been told that The Phillips Collection's Thursday evening gatherings remain especially good, with music, free food and $5 drinks. That same night International Club hosts their last rooftop soiree.
The Culture Club, one of the best meetup groups out there, hosts a well-regarded movie at Goethe Institut next Thursday called Silent Country with the fillmmaker in attendance.
Put Nov. 6 and 13 on your calendars. There will likely be Single Volunteer guided gallery walks through Dupont and Bethesda, respectively.
Fotoweek, Nov. 7-14. Put it on your schedule!