That's a Wrap on LA Film Fest 2012

Festivals Editor; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
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That's a Wrap on LA Film Fest 2012

The Los Angeles Film Festival has wrapped up after another fantastic year downtown. 11 great days of movies and schmoozing are in the books but there is plenty to reflect back on. Please check out our full review of coverage and then some thoughts from each member of the ScreenAnarchy festival team. What were your favorites? What would you like to see more of? Let us know in the comments below!

Previews & Features
LA Film Fest 2012 Preview by Ryland Aldrich
Twitch Team Picks Our 9 Most Anticipated Titles by Ryland Aldrich, Lainna Fader, & Alex Koehne
Exclusive: First Character Posters for Alex Karpovsky's RED FLAG by Chase Whale
ALL IS WELL, DROUGHT Take Top Jury Awards by Ryland Aldrich

TO ROME WITH LOVE Review by Alex Koehne
RUBY SPARKS Sings of Honest Chemistry by Ryland Aldrich
BRAVE Review by Alex Koehne
GIMME THE LOOT is Criminally Charming by Ryland Aldrich
THE KING OF PIGS Has Rage to Spare by Brian Clark
BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS Will Leave You Hungry For More by Ryland Aldrich
THE IRAN JOB Review by Alex Koehne
A BAND CALLED DEATH Review by Lainna Fader
IT'S A DISASTER Review by Alex Koehne
RED FLAG Review by Lainna Fader

RED FLAG's Alex Karpovsky by Lainna Fader
PINCUS's David Fenster by Chase Whale
THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK's J. Anderson Mitchell & Jeremy Kipp Walker by Lainna Fader
BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING's Wayne White & Neil Berkeley by Chase Whale
A BAND CALLED DEATH's Jeff Howlett & Mark Covino by Lainna Fader
IT'S A DISASTER's Todd Berger & David Cross by Alex Koehne
SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE's Spencer Parsons, Jonny Mars, Ashley Spillers, & Josephine Decker by Lainna Fader

Lainna Fader

What was your favorite film you saw at the fest?
I've never seen anything like BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Beautiful and heartbreaking, it's the best film I've seen in a long time. I was really blown away by director Benh Zeitlin's unique vision.

What was the biggest surprise or discovery you made?
I was pleasantly surprised by how strong documentary programming was this year. LAFF did an amazing job with docs about wildly talented, though often overlooked artists (A BAND CALLED DEATH, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING). I also loved THE IRAN JOB, a great film about a black basketball player from St. Croix who played in Iran.

Was there a particular disappointment this year?
It seems like there were far fewer screenings this year. It was hard to see everything I wanted to see when some films only has one or two screenings. But I'm glad LAFF added additional screenings for some of the most popular films.

Any non-film events or fun anecdotes you'll remember from LAFF 2012?
It was great to meet directors, actors, and other writers in the filmmakers lounge--definitely appreciated that Stella/Jameson open bar this year!

Alex Koehne

What was your favorite film you saw at the fest?
For my favorite film of the festival it would be a toss up between GIMME THE LOOT and THE IRAN JOB. Both are fairly light hearted looks at subject matter that could be very dark. Since this tends to be my outlook on life, it was easy for me to connect with these films. Both are very low budget, but very accomplished for what they had to work with.

What was the biggest surprise or discovery you made?
It would be hard to call BRAVE a discovery by any means, but I was blown away by how much I loved it. I was skeptical and certainly fed into the media hype about the end of Pixar's reign. The trailer didn't do much for me but in the end, while not one of Pixar's top films, it still fits solidly in their pantheon of amazing movies.

Was there a particular disappointment this year?
I was really disappointed by THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK. The description gave it so much promise. While comparing it to Flight of the Conchords is setting it up for a challenging competition, I chose to be excited about the possibility. Instead, I found the film to have major tonal issues that took the funny out of the comedy and heart out of the serious - and it really did take itself way too seriously in my opinion.

Any non-film events or fun anecdotes you'll remember from LAFF 2012?
I guess my favorite story of the fest outside of watching some great films was adding Rob Corddry to my list of celebrities I've peed next to. Also interviewing David Cross was pretty amazing. There was no peeing next to him, though.

Ryland Aldrich

What was your favorite film you saw at the fest?
Another festival, another favorite film honor to BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Upon a second viewing, I have no problem with it still sitting squarely on the throne for best film of 2012... so far. Go see it when it comes out near you. I also really enjoyed the secret screening RUBY SPARKS as well as...

What was the biggest surprise or discovery you made?
...BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS was absolutely the biggest discovery for me. I go into far more detail in my review, but this is just such a darn enjoyable experience. I was also very pleasantly surprised by both Alex Karpovsky's RED FLAG and Todd Berger's IT'S A DISASTER.

Was there a particular disappointment this year?
I was pretty "meh" on Woody Allen's festival opener TO ROME WITH LOVE which was nothing but fluff and narrative confusion. It made me reminiscent for the insight of Matteo Garrone's REALITY, a far more interesting look at Italian life.

Any non-film events or fun anecdotes you'll remember from LAFF 2012?
It was another super fun festival in Downtown LA and much praise needs to go to the entire staff of programmers, crew, and volunteers who made it possible. The best event(s) of the fest can be spelled with four letters: RVIP. This mobile karaoke bash parked itself at the fest a number of nights and provided long hours of hits singing fun. One of the coolest moments was when songwriter Dennis Lambert came on board and performed his own song "Nightshift," (he happens to be the father of PEOPLE LIKE US screenwriter Jody Lambert, whose film screened that evening). To answer the question on everyone's mind, yes he still read the lyrics off the screen. Another extremely fun event was the Walter Robot versus Daniels music video/shorts competition dubbed THUNDERDOME. This felt a lot like a Fantastic Fest style event with plenty of tom-foolery to go around, especially for those us lucky enough to be in the SPLASH ZONE!! I look forward to more of these type of events coming up at LA Film Fest 2013!

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Joe YoungJune 27, 2012 8:02 PM

Thanks, boys&girls....will be looking for some of these films.