Enigmas and heartaches at Miami Film Festival GEMS 2018

Several of the most acclaimed festival screeners arrive on our shores this weekend for Miami Film Festival GEMS, an autumnal amuse-bouche for cineastes who can’t wait until March for the full MFF experience.

Among the items airing at the Tower Theater: actor Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife and Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski’s followup to his Oscar-winning 2014 Ida. Capernaum and El Angel, Cannes Jury Prize winner and Un Certain Regard favorite, respectively, will get airings too. Thursday’s opening night film was Birds of Passage, Columbia’s entry for the 2019 Foreign Language Academy Award. Given that GEMS has screened Call Me By Your Name and Certain Women in previous years, this prequel to MFF isn’t a mere addendum; its programming has equaled and sometimes surpassed the spring festival’s.

Below are reviews of two films I screened. I’ll join critics Juan Barquin, Hans Morgenstern, and Rubén Rosario for a panel discussion on Lee Chang-dong’s Burning moderated by Lauren Cohen. Hope to see you there.

Click here for Rubén Rosario and Juan Barquin and Hans Morgenstern’s coverage and reviews.

Click here for full schedule. Continue reading