Athina Rachel Tsangari

New Greek cinema is a bit of a personal favorite of mine, what with my deep love of Dogtooth and my near-terrifying excitement for Alps, but I’ve somehow managed to miss yet another entry into the new wave – Attenberg. I have no excuse for missing the film – it’s shown at a number of film festivals over the past two years, including Venice, Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, London, SXSW, and AFI FEST, and I’ve tried to make screenings at at least three of those festivals. But now that Strand Releasing is giving the film a limited release, I can finally catch it and presumably add it to my little pocket of Greek darlings. Written and directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, the film has a solid pedigree for anyone interested in emerging Greek cinema. The film features a performance by none other than Yorgos Lanthimos, who also produced the project. You might know Lanthimos as the the writer and director of two of Greece’s most talked-about films in recent years – those would be Dogtooth and Alps. Tsangari also produced both Dogtooth and Alps, along with the American indie Lovers of Hate. The film is described as an “offbeat coming-of-age film” that centers on 23-year-old Marina. Stuck in a boring factory town, Marina is at the mercy of both her father’s impending death and her distaste for other human beings. And if you’re at all familiar with Lanthimos’ work, you’ll know that such a plotline is perhaps keeping things quite simple. […]

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As this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi winds to a close with this evening’s Closing Night Gala of The Adventures of Tintin, it’s time to start celebrating the films and talents that made this year’s festival such a massive success. The festival announced their full listing of award winners and prize recipients at their annual awards brunch, held this morning. There are a number of winners here that have already racked up some wins and notice throughout the festival season, including Michael R. Roskam‘s Bullhead, Athina Rachel Tsangari‘s Attenberg, and Clay Liford‘s Wuss, but the festival also paid special notice to Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts, along with their selections of shorts. The festival ends this evening with that very special Tintin screening, which both Ms. Loring and I will be attending, with animated bells on. Look for Allison’s review of the film tomorrow, one she is excited to write because “this film is about pirates – my people!” Nothing but professionalism here, folks. Check out the full listing of AFI FEST’s award winners after the break.

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With AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi rapidly approaching, the festival has just announced their first slate of film selections, including the full line-up for three of the festival’s most unique and important sections – Young Americans (which features film from up-and-coming American filmmakers), New Auteurs (which gives a platform for first and second features from around the world), and Spotlight (which picks one filmmaker for special recognition and screenings of their work). This year’s AFI FEST is already shaping up to be a fine festival for the fall season (alliteration is so choice), and the announcement of these selections only highlights that. Today’s announced films include a bevy of already buzzed-about titles from the festival circuit, including Sophia Takal’s Green, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg, Michaël R. Roskam’s Bullhead, Markus Schleinzer’s Michael, Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown, Clay Liford’s Wuss, Alison Bagnall’s The Dish & The Spoon, and many more. This year’s Spotlight will also shine on filmmaker Joe Swanberg, who will show all three films of his Full Moon Trilogy, including the World Premiere of the final chapter, The Zone. AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. The best part? Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting October 27). After the break, check out the full list and descriptions of the films to be featured in AFI FEST’s New Auteurs, Young Americans, and Spotlight sections.

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