AFI Film Festival 2013 showered Hollywood film lovers with fantastic new movies



AFI Film Festival 2013 showered Hollywood film lovers with fantastic new movies

November 23, 2013 9:13 PM MST


Photo: Emma Thompson on the red carpet for Saving Mr Banks premiereNovember 14, 2013, was the closing night of the “AFI Film Festival”. Hosted by Audi at the famous Hollywood TLC Chinese and Chinese 6 Theaters, this years lineup featured many great new works from filmmakers world wide as well as classical features from yesteryear.

The “AFI Fest” is truly for the die-heart film lover. This donated gift from AFI and their sponsors is presented annually from November 7-14. Approximately 150 films and shorts in several categories are featured. All screening venues rapidly fill to capacity. Many attendees have very little idea of a films content or wether the film will be to their liking. Viewers trust the programmers to make excellent choices from the hundreds of films entered. Armed with a short synopsis of information found in the official guide or on social media, the crowded audience sit excitedly in anticipation of great filmmaking and storytelling. AFI Film Festival 2013 did not disappoint us. The festival tickets are free to the general public. To acquire tickets, all one need do is be thorough in planning and swift in getting ticketed; all shows reach capacity very quickly.

The dedicated staff of volunteers and festival workers are always polite. They’re very understanding of the few less than polite patrons who often display aggressive intense urgency in wanting to see a particular film, even when it is “sold out”. However, those attendees who prove patient while swift, are more likely to see the film they desire as more tickets are released. AFI does not release all of the tickets at once. Tickets to all events are released in blocks daily to insure everyone has a fair chance. Be kind to the volunteers. If you do not get a ticket, remember, a film highly in demand will most likely be available to view in the very near future.

AFI Gala events are held in the TLC Chinese IMAX Theater. AFI Festival attendees have a chance to get first glance of not-yet-released major films. These films often have Oscar buzz. AFI 2012 Festival included previews of, “Life of Pi” and “Lincoln”. The AFI 2013 gala list also had a few strong Oscar contenders, see photo list.

If you are a film enthusiast you might consider becoming a member of AFI. As a member you will be invited to several film previews throughout the year. You will also have the opportunity to apply for an early spot online to acquire free tickets for “AFI Film Festival 2014”. To become a member log onto: To view winners of AFI Film Festival 2013 go to:


Saving Mr Banks

Director John Lee Hancock and Screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith have crafted a delightful Bio-narritive inspired by the story of Walt Disney’s acquiring and creating the film version of PL Travers’ Mary Poppins.

The cast, lead masterfully by Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, feature endearing performances from Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell.

“Saving Mr Banks,” is an often funny and always informing narrative. While not quite a “bio-pic”, “Saving Mr Banks” beautifully reveals how cathartic writing a book, creating art out of real pain, can be.

Photo: Saving Mr Banks

Tom Hanks literally transforms into a creative mogul as Walt
Disney. Emma Thompson, a clear oscar contender, compassionately exposes a determined yet fragile Travers. Thompson gives us a beautiflly defined understanding of an artists journey to self understanding having lived a life of all too familiar human conditions.


Lone Survivor

“Lone Survivor,” based on true events as experienced in United States Marine, Marcus Luttrells’ best selling book, is writhed and directed for the screen by Peter Berg. “Lone Survivor” is a visceral jaw-dropping theatrical account of a secret mission four navy seals embarked on in Afghanistan confronting Al-Qaeda and the Talaban.

Photo: Lone Survivor

The cast led by Mark Walberg (Luttrell), also star: Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig, Jerry Ferrara, Scott Elrod, Dan Bilzerian, Rohan Chand, Ali Suliman, Yousuf Azami, and Josh Berry. All of the above turn in amazing performances.

“Lone Suvivor” shows us the unpresidented sacrafice our armed forces make to protect the nations freedom. Even though the title, ” Lone Survivor,” addresses the fate to be witnessed, it is the degree of dedication that will move you to understand war; the price for piece.

This is by far one of Walbergs best performances. The audience applauded continuosly for at least five minutes during the credits, until the real-life names of every fallen soldier had been acknowledged.


August: Osage county

Playwright Tracy Letts won both a Pulitzer Prize a Tony Award for “August: Osage County”. Letts now stands to win the Oscar for the brilliantly crafted screen play. “August: Osage County” is a black comedy about disfunction among a family of battling women and devoted husbands.

Photo: August: Osage county

Beautifully directed by John Wells, “August…” sports an all-star, A-list cast; Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, Misty Upham.

Streep, as Violet, is a revelation. Violet is a complicated mother with cancer, an addiction to prescription drugs and the strong/weak link that all but breaks this families spirit. Streep Triumphs in what may be, not only the most fun she has had in a role, but a clear contender for her best performance of all time.

Julia Roberts as her eldest daughter, Barbara, is also triumphant, standing toe to toe with her mother going father than perhaps any child should go, but has to in order to save lives.

Every performance in this piece is masterfully written and beautifully tragically executed, while somehow empowering to the human spirit.

At this premiere Letts was asked how he came upon the story. Once again, as so many great stories are born, he drew from his family experiences. In-so-doing, turning misfortune and sadness into humor and hopefully useful life lessons.

Warning: This film is Rated R for violence, language, sexual and substance abuse.


The Green Inferno

Screenwriter-Director Eli Roth and Co-writer, Guillermo Amoedo thrilled the “Midnight Series” with this science fiction- horror entry. ”

The Green Inferno” is about a team of college environmental protesters who travel to South American to effect change by demonstrating against corporate developers who will distroy the natural ecco-sytem for profit.

Photo: The Green Inferno

The cast, Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira, Magda Apanowicz, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Magdalena Apanowicz, give bone-chilling performances as conspiracy, jealousies and bullying turn the mission into a nightmare. Everything goes terribly wrong when an accident occurs and the indigenous people take it from there.

In the fashion of Eli Roth, “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever”, this film is not for the weak of heart. “The Green Inferno” will give you the serious willies.

Rated R for graphic gore, violence, extreme bloodshed and worse.



Writer-Director: Spike Jonze brings us a fresh glimpse of futuristic evolution in the subject of companionship and what real existance means.

This beautifully playful narrative explores the possibilities of creation, companionship, imagination and human love. Testing

the limits between humans and technology, ” Her”, asks questions. Can love between two people exist non- corporally?

Jonze has a great deal of fun with his subjects, just as he did with Oscar nominated, “Being John Malkovich”.

“Her”, Samantha, (Scarlett Johansson), is the woman in the ether purchased by Theodore, ( Joaquin Phoenix). Samantha is the programed intelligence connected to the new computer program.

This new program is a personal secretary that learns to assist you as you use it. Theadore, recently divorced, works in futuristic Los Angeles as a computer love-letter writer.

All becomes complicated when Theadore and Samantha becomes inseparable and fall for each other. Rated R for Adult content.


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