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Friday, November 13, 2009

'Untitled' Soars and Jewish Film Festival Explores

I became a fan of Adam Goldberg a couple years ago when I interviewed Julie Delpy here in DC. She was in town promoting Two Days in Paris, the movie she wrote, directed, starred and cast her parents and cat in. She spoke highly of Goldberg as a person and performer. I had seen him before - in Deja Vu and The Hebrew Hammer - and he reminded me of Adam Arkin in Northern Exposure with a brooding but likeable presence. Arkin, by the way, does a great job as the lawyer in A Serious Man.
Goldberg finally gets his starring role in Untitled and I recommend it highly. It's still playing twice a day at Landmark E Street, which probably means it will be gone in another week. It's the perfect melding of film and art galleries, so it should probably become the new symbol of my blog. Goldberg plays a brooding musician and composer of serious "melodies" involving buckets, reids of a clarinet, chanting and other crazy sounds. A talented piano player, he refuses to compromise from his vision. The movie refuses to compromise as well; there's a nice, cliffhanging moment towards the end. In a breakout performance, intelligent and sexy Marley Shelton plays the gallery owner and love interest of Goldberg and his commercially successful artist brother.  Vinnie Jones of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fame plays the featured artist. Why do these good movies play for so short a time?

Coming Attractions
The 20th Jewish Film Festival schedule came out yesterday and it looks wonderful! The opening film, A Matter of Size, will take place at the French Embassy with a dessert reception to follow. Other films will take place at the Embassy of Switzerland, AFI Silver Theatre, Avalon Theatre, Embassy of Ethiopia, and the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre in Tenley. Subjects range from a documentary about the worst company in the world to the Orthodox Jewish social scene to a short starring the great Derek Jacobi to a young Argentine heroine with Down Syndrome.
This festival does everything that the DC Film Festival in April does not. It encourages conversations and community and spreads out through the city. There are panel discussions, different types of receptions and very reasonable prices. Tickets will go on sale in about a week. Their track record on showing excellent movies is very good. Kudos to the festival's leader Susan Barocas.


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