Ed Rampell: The 12th annual South East European Film Festival kicked off with a gala screening at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills of writer/ director Rajko Grlić’s The Constitution, a stellar must-see movie full of humor and humanity that set the tone for this filmfest.
Ed Rampell: Some may disdain opera as old fashioned, but with its themes of political prisoners, republicanism (the Danton/Marat, not GOP kind) and sexual harassment, Puccini’s masterpiece remains, alas, all too familiar to and relevant for 21st century audiences.
Editing together archival footage, Esther Shub chronicles the czarist doomed dynasty from 1913 until 1917 in this 1927 nonfiction work. Historical figures including Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, Aleksandr Kerensky and V.I. Lenin are shown.
Ed Rampell: The Locarno Film Festival “is marked by bold, eclectic programming that doesn’t make its way elsewhere as reliably as selections from the likes of Cannes and Sundance.”
Ed Rampell: Despite stardom, the happiness Roger sought evaded him, although he could turn on the charm, his million-dollar smile and folksy persona at the drop of a cowboy hat.