Fresh Twist

A Faithful Man directed by and staring Louis Garrel (France) 2018 isn’t a typical romantic comedy.


The somewhat dark opening scene undermines familiar expectations. Of course, starting from the lowest point of a romantic situation, circumstances can only improve. The question is how and when.

The journey includes many obstacles and unexpected complications. The unconventional nature of the relationship is disturbing at times but overall adds to the emotional and intellectual resolution of the conclusion.

A Faithful Man reminded me of film classics such as François Truffaut’s Jules And Jim and Eric Rohmer’s My Night At Maud’s.

The film played twice during the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival. For mere info and tickets contact San Francisco Film Institute.

copyright © 2019 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Greek Film 14

The 14th Annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival takes place 14 – 22 October 2017 at Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco.

Many of this year’s films contain violence. Perhaps it’s indicative of the social tensions related to the current economic crises and the humanitarian disaster driving people to flee the ongoing wars in the adjoining region.

My picks for the most appealing features are Afterlov, a comedy directed by Stergios Paschos (2016) Greece, screening Wednesday 18 October 2017 and Roza Of Smyrna, a drama directed by George Kordellas (2016) Greece, screening Friday 20 October 2017. All programs begin 7:30 PM.

For a complete schedule see Greek Film Festival.

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

Dog Walker

Mr. Predictable directed by Rose Florentin (Israel) 2016 is about transformation.

The main character of this romantic comedy lives a meaningless, boring, middle-class life. Invisible and irrelevant to those outside his immediate circle.

An accident propels him toward a new direction, both unexpected and intriguing, offering not only passion but also genuine affection.

The film screens two more times in early August 2017 during San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 37. Contact Jewish Film Institute for more information and tickets.

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

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 for more information, including additional venues and dates.

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

Village Laughs

Counting Happiness directed by Venetia Evripiotou (Greece/India) 2012 was the first of three short works on the opening night of the San Francisco Greek Film Festival. Most of it was shot outdoors somewhere in urban India. It follows a young child who spends most days trying to sell wind-up chicks on the street.

Rosmarinus Officinalis directed by Andreas Siadimas (Greece) 2008 is about an unexpected encounter between a couple lost on their way to a scientific conference in Chania and a mythic Cretan well-versed in the medicinal properties of plants. It set the comic tone for the films that followed.


The Foreigner directed by Alethea Avramis (US/Greece) 2011, unlisted in the festival program, was a wonderful surprise and definitely a highlight of the evening. After the mayor of a remote Greek village receives notice that government services are to be cut at the end of the month because the population fell below 35, he seizes the opportunity to rectify the situation by encouraging a British tourist who stumbles on the village to settle there. During the Q & A that followed, the director revealed that a feature-length narrative with a Swedish producer is now in development.

Small Crime directed by Christos Georgiou (Greece) 2009 is a full-length feature about a young ambitious policemen stranded on a backwater island who tries his best to distinguish himself so he’ll receive a promotion and transfer to a more interesting post. When he recovers the body of a man at the bottom of a cliff, he launches a full investigation despite the hostility of nearly everyone around him.

The San Francisco Greek Film Festival continues nightly at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero (near Brannan Street) through Sunday 19 May 2013. For more information and tickets see

copyright © 2013 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved