Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2023 starts this week

Beginning February 8 and running until the 18th the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is going to be flooding Southern California with cinematic goodness. If you are near by you need to make the time and go.

Over the past few years I covered a few films here and there. This year I'm wading in as much as a guy can from the East Coast can. Actually I'm coming into the festival with a good number of films already under my belt and based on those and the bunch of films I've been  able to screen in advance I can tell you the slate this year rocks. There are a seemingly endless supply of films that are going to delight you.

Please excuse the lack of a long winded curtain raiser but I got lost in my film watching and I haven't had a chance to come up with a proper discussion. This year the films are doing the talking. I would however like to say a couple of quick things.

Normally I do a list of links of films we've covered before, however this time I'm going to repost the reviews of 22 films in 17 pieces over the next four days. I'm doing this because the festival is showing so many good films you need to be made aware of them, and because putting them in links doesn't seem to get people to take the notice they should. Full reviews get films noticed and since the fest has so many good films I'm reposting.

While the festival doesn't have an embargo on coverage a lot of the films do so with the reviews of any film that I didn't see previously I'm erring and posting coverage after the first screening.

As always there is a list  of must sees and this is the one for Santa Barbara:

GO ON BE BRAVE- excellent film about a woman trying to do one marathon in every state before MS takes her. You will be moved.
THE RIGHT TO READ-Vitally important, and damn good film about the right for people to learn to read and the battle for the correct way to teach it.
CATEGORY WOMAN-This story of how sports are penalizing women with high testosterone lev will piss you off.
RETURN TO SEOUL- awesome about a young woman tying to deal with where she comes from
OUR FATHER THE DEVIL-I saw this thriller back at Tribeca last year and it's haunted me ever since.
BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY -Glorious film about Reading Rainbow and how it changed the world.
SOUL OF THE OCEAN-Must be seen big look at life in the ocean.
VIKING-barely science fiction tale about a group of astronauts stationed on earth and paralleling a trip to Mars. Like the best science fiction films it says great deal about life.
DESPERATE SOULS, DARK CITY AND THE LEGEND OF URBAN COWBOY is one of the best film on film docs I've seen. Not only does it tell us about the film but also the times it erupted from.
KILLING ME SOFTLY WITH HIS SONGS is a portrait of Charles Fox. You may not know his name but if I sang  one his songs you'd sing right along 
AMERICAN OUTLAWS true life crime drama about three siblings on the run is a gritty film with a cynical edge
KNOW YOUR PLACE 15 year old young man is tasked with getting suitcase across Seattle. This film premiered last year and has been quietly going through festivals...and I'm wondering how this is not on anyone's radar? This is a film of quiet understated power.

And with that back to the darkened theater and back to writing. Reviews start tomorrow and run through the festival.

FOr tickets and more information go here

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