Paradise: Love

Kicking off this week with its Opening Night Gala for Hitchcock, Hollywood’s own AFI FEST effectively wraps up the year’s film festival-going season (a season that lasts approximately eleven months). Such calendar placement means that AFI FEST comes late enough in the year to serve as a last hurrah for titles that have been playing the festival circuit as far back as January (at Sundance) or as far away as France, Berlin, and Venice, and is the perfect opportunity for Southern California-based film geeks (or those willing to put some miles on their passport) to catch up on films they’ve been anticipating for months. Of course, of the 136 films playing at this year’s festival, we’ve managed to catch nearly a fifth of them at other fests, and we’re quite pleased to use this opportunity to remind you as such. Confused over what to see at the festival? Be confused no more! After the break, jog your memories of our always-extensive festival coverage with reviews for twenty-eight films set to play at this week’s AFI FEST that we’ve already seen (and, you know, reviewed). It’s like getting your festival coverage whole days early!


Those of you who read my review of Sleeping Beauty at last year’s festival might remember that I said the film was probably the least sexual film I had ever seen, despite its boob count. I would hereby like to categorically and unreservedly retract that statement in full. Because I have just seen Ulrich Seidl‘s Paradise: Love, a two-hour-long spectacle of supposedly renewed self-discovery through sex tourism that spends all together too much time fascinated with its exotic subjects (both European and African) and too little time asking any of the pressing questions it brings up. The film follows Anna Maria (Margarethe Tiesel), an Austrian single mother, the wrong side of fifty and in a miserable floundering rut that she uses as her excuse to take a solo trip to Kenya in search of good times – a concept those familiar with Seidl would be forgiven for thinking he wouldn’t have any concept of.

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published: 12.23.2014
published: 12.22.2014
published: 12.19.2014

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