New Voice

The Women’s Balcony, written by Shlomit Nehama and directed by Emil Ben-Shimon (Israel) 2016, begins with a tragic incident.

An accident in a Jerusalem synagogue during a bar mitzvah seriously injures the rabbi’s wife and traumatizes the rabbi. Damage to the building interior and destruction of the holy scroll displaces the congregation.

An attempt to hold prayer in a temporary location nearly fails before the arrival of a young rabbi and his students. However, the small Orthodox community is challenged by the stricter demands of the charismatic new cleric.

The most serious problem develops along the gender line, dividing women from men. As the situation worsens, there’s a showdown in which the wives stand united.

This charming dramatic comedy is currently playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinema, East 86th Street Cinema, and Quad Cinema in New York.

It opens 9 June 2017 at Harkins Shea 14, Scottsdale; Cobble Hill Cinemas, Brooklyn; and ShowRoom Cinema, Asbury Park.

Additional runs begin 16 June 2017 at the Clay Theatre, San Francisco; Camera 3 Cinemas, San Jose; Palace 17 Theater, Hartford; Bethesda Row Cinema, Washington; Siskel Film Center, Chicago; The Charles, Baltimore; and Edina Cinema, Minneapolis.

See www.menemshafilms.com for more information, including additional venues and dates.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Second Chances

Worlds Apart written and directed by Christopher Papakaliatis (Greece) 2015 is both disturbing and hopeful.

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The film deals with issues that impact not only Greece and other European countries but also many nations around the world. Immigration, economic justice, austerity, racism, violence, and the power of love.

Three heterosexual couples, each pair made up of a Greek and a foreigner, overcome initial cultural barriers before finding common ground. A young college student and a Syrian refugee, two business professionals, a mature housewife and a retired German scholar.

The film had theatrical runs in New York and Los Angeles before it’s recent, one-night screening sponsored by the San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

More information including availability at www.worldsapartfilm.us

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Chocolate And Roses

Paris Can Wait written, produced, and directed by Eleanor Coppola (USA) 2016 is a Francophiles delight.

While this feature film is presented as narrative fiction, it’s based on an incident experienced by its creator a few years ago.

Anne is the wife of a successful American, film director who spends most of his waking hours in Cannes talking on his mobile phone about business. Their vacation is cut short by the necessity for him to visit the location of his next film.

Since Anne is still suffering from a painful ear infection, she’s advised not to fly with him. Her husband’s French producer offers to drive her to Paris, where she and her husband have an apartment.

The seven-hour drive becomes a two-day adventure.

Jacque is not a very good driver, but he takes every opportunity to indulge in some of the best food and wine of the regions he traverses.

Paris Can Wait screens Monday 10 April 2017 at the San Francisco International Film Festival before opening in theaters 12 May 2017 in New York and Los Angeles.

Contact the San Francisco Film Society for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Six Decades

The San Francisco International Film Festival celebrates its sixtieth anniversary 5 – 19 April 2017.

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I first attended half a century ago at the Masonic Auditorium on a student ticket I obtained with my ID from the Alliance Française in Paris. At thirty I wasn’t the oldest person in the balcony, where student ticketholders were seated. Presently I qualify for senior tickets.

The film festival changed venues over the years. I remember its long run at the Castro Theatre and subsequently the Palace Of Fine Arts Theater before moving to the Kabuki.

This year’s numerous San Francisco venues are: the Alamo Drafthouse, Castro Theatre, Dolby Cinema, Proxy, Roxie Theater, SFMOMA, Victoria Theatre, Walt Disney Family Museum, YBCA, and Vogue Theatre, as well as BAMPFA in Berkeley.

Mediterranean offerings include: Everything Else directed by Natalia Almada (Mexico/USA/France) 2016, Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge directed by Marie Noëlle (Germany/France/Poland) 2016, Mister Universo directed by Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel (Austria/Italy) 2016, Story of a 3-Day Pass directed by Melvin Van Peebles (France) 1967, The Death of Louis XIV directed by Albert Serra (France/Portugal/Spain) 2016, and The Wedding Plan directed by Rama Burshtein (Israel) 2016.

Contact San Francisco Film Society for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Meeting Again

Julieta directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain) 2016 is a departure from his recent comedies.

In the opening scenes of the film Julieta is packing her possessions in preparation to move from her apartment. She is about to begin a new life with her lover in a different European city.

However, a chance encounter with a woman she hasn’t seen for many years alters everything. She eventually admits her change of heart but refuses to tell her lover about the past.

After breaking up with him she struggles to deal with the painfully unresolved issues of her earlier life.

This beautifully produced work opens 6 January 2017 at the Landmark Clay in San Francisco.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

What Is Normal

Somewhere Amazing directed by Georgia Cecere (Italy) 2015 is about the gradual evolution of a woman.

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Lucia is a young wife and mother who lives a conventional life in an unnamed Italian city. She’s half owner of a flower shop where she works during the day.

However, a jarring incident, during an outing in the country, disrupts her orderly routine and little by little she manages to move beyond the limits of the familiar and venture toward a more satisfying future.

The film was one of a half dozen narrative features by new directors in New Italian Cinema 20.

This year’s festival recently concluded in New York and San Francisco but will screen at International House in Philadelphia 1 – 4 December 2016.

See http://www.nicefestival.org for more information.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

New Italian Cinema 20

New Italian Cinema Events (NICE) opens 16 November 2016 at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco.

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Fifteen feature films will screen during the five-day mini festival, many of them works by emerging directors. This is a joint project of the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco and NICE of Florence, Italy.

Second Spring directed by Francesco Calogero (Italy) 2016 is the opening night film and Like Crazy directed by Paolo Virzi (Italy/France) 2016 is the closing night film.

The Vogue Theatre is at 3290 Sacramento Street in San Francisco.

For more information and tickets see New Italian Cinema.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com