Escape Reality for Film

Be grateful your life is too bland for a biography.

An artist’s hymen is truly broken when he or she does time in New York City’s infamous Chelsea Hotel. Documenting the time served by artistic inmates including everyone from Thomas Wolfe to Janis Joplin, director Abel Ferrara’s Chelsea on the Rocks is one of several films liquefying reality into stirring poetic revelations during the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF). This Friday through March 15, MIFF will showcase a mélange of stories that range from war in Ethiopia to overcoming acne in Spain.

A new addition to the festival, the Cutting the Edge series, integrates video with photography. “They’re like musical paintings,” says Juan Carlos Zaldívar, the project’s coordinator. “We want people to start thinking out of the box when it comes to films. Films aren’t just narratives; they can be videos, a photograph, or a painting.” This category includes director Antoine d'Agata’s Aka Ana — a tawdry visual diary that takes place in Japan. And there’s director Lina Bertucci’s 18 Beautiful Women — a piece that explores the inner jousts experienced by flagrantly tattooed women. Films can be seen at several local theaters. Call 305-237-FILM, or visit miamifilmfestival.com.
March 6-15, 2009

 
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