Greek Passage

The Two Faces Of January directed by Hossein Aminia (UK/USA/France) 2014 was the opening night film of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.


The noir Sixties thriller predominantly takes place in Athens, with scenes on Crete, and a climactic sequence in Istanbul. It’s based on the Patricia Highsmith novel by the same name.

It screened to a packed crowd at the Castro Theatre and was followed by a brief conversation with the director.

The festival continues with 167 films to be shown over the next two weeks in three Bay Area venues: the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, New People Cinema, and Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

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

copyright © 2014 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Life Adrift

Alex is a handsome young Parisian who seems lost in the city. While he manages to support himself through illegal means, he’s constantly the target of his unscrupulous, older brother. His former girlfriend is about to marry another man. His mother is dead and he’s estranged from his father.


When his cousin Nathan, who’s visiting from Israel, offers him a partnership in a restaurant he plans to open in Tel Aviv, Alex jumps at the opportunity to escape his present predicament. Aliyah directed by Ellie Wajman (France) 2012 captures a grittier part of the French capital.

Overcoming alienation is a prerequisite for survival. Some people resort to drugs and alcohol. Others chose the conventional path of marriage and domesticity to assuage their loneliness.  Alex is suspended between the two extremes. His decision to emigrate is dispassionate. Israel for him is not the promised land but a place of last resort.

Aiyah screens again at Cinearts in Palo Alto Wednesday 7 August 2013 and the California Theater in Berkeley Thurssday 8 August 2013 during San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 33.

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