Our 7 Favorite [And Not-So-Favorite] Films At AFI FEST
The excitement has finally settled over our Hollywood streets as the 27th annual AFI FEST came to an end Thursday night. The eight-day film festival honored highly-anticipated films such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Inside Llewyn Davis, and covered beloved arthouse and foreign language picks that have been hitting the festival circuit. Plus, there were enough star-studded parties to keep the energy going. Nothing Bad Can Happen Here snagged the Grand Jury prize for the New Auteurs section, and The Selfish Giant proved to be a hit among jurors and audience members as it took home the Audience Award. We bring to you a list of some of our favorites and a couple of ones that took us by surprise—from a film Quentin Tarantino has heralded as the best of the year to gorey Korean castrations.
Charlie Victor Romeo | Directors: Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Karlyn Michelson
Intense is probably the best single world to describe this gripping film. Using nearly verbatim transcripts from the cockpit voice recorders (the title uses the aviation slang for the “black boxes”), Charlie Victor Romeo captures the theatricality of the stage production on which it’s based—minimal sets, a few actors, the use of a slideshow—and somehow doesn’t seem to lose anything in translation from stage to screen. There is no blood, no horrific crashes or screaming, but Charlie Victor Romeo is chilling enough. If anything, audiences gain a greater respect for the pilots and crew staying cool, calm and collected—which is something that we’d probably not be able to do. The film uses 3D technology and screens in 3D in theaters, but we only saw the 2D version, and that was plenty harrowing enough. -Christine Ziemba