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Kansas International Film Festival (Kiff) 2010
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Reviewed on 2010-09-24
Your chance to see premieres of 51 full-length films and 15 animated shorts from Oct. 1-7 exclusively at the Glenwood Arts Theatre. KIFF celebrates 10 years of bringing to the Heartland a wide assortment of independent and international cinematic delicacies.

Movie Maker Magazine recently lauded it as “one of the top 25 film festivals worthy of its entry fee.” KIFF’s motto is “It’s OK to think while watching movies.”

Some of the standout titles in this year’s lineup include: “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” the final installment of the “Millennium Trilogy” written by Stieg Larsson that has become a worldwide phenomenon. This opening night film picks up right where “The Girl Who Played with Fire” left off with Lisbeth Salander being flown by helicopter to a hospital. She is under close supervision in intensive care and is charged with three murders. Mikael Blomkvist has a new article ready for publication that will prove her innocence. Salander is plotting her own revenge against the secret group of people who put her in this perilous situation. All the questions raised by the earlier movies are resolved in this thrilling conclusion.

“Mesrine: Killer Instinct” is the first part of the epic outlaw adventures of the legendary French gangster of the 1960s and 1970s who came to be known as Public Enemy No. 1. Vincent Cassel plays the title character. He is magnificent in this instant classic. This enticing movie has sex, violence, action, beautiful women and scenic locations.

“Conviction” is the inspirational true story of a sister’s unwavering devotion to her brother. Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell play the two siblings.

“Jack Goes Boating” is the feature directorial debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman stars as the title character in this tale of love, friendship and betrayal set against the backdrop of working-class life in the Big Apple.

“Nowhere Boy” recalls the teenage years of John Lennon growing up in Liverpool. He is torn between two sisters who love him. Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) is the formidable aunt who raised him from the age of 5. Julia (Ann-Marie Duff) is the free-spirited mother who gave him up.

“Black Swan” is a psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman as a featured ballet dancer locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the dance company. This movie was hailed at the Toronto International Film Festival and looks to be a lock for a Best Picture nomination.

“Made in Dagenham” is based on a true story. The fight for equal rights and pay was led by ordinary working-class women with one foot in the kitchen and the other on the factory floor. Their ears were glued to the pop tunes coming over the radio and television. These female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination in 1968 at a Ford assembly plant located 19 kilometers from London. The strong ensemble British cast includes Bob Hoskins, Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson and Rosamund Pike.

The closing night film, “127 Hours,” is another strong candidate to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It stars James Franco as mountain climber Aron Ralston, who finds the courage to survive after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon near Moab, Utah. This remarkable true story takes place over five days.

If you plan to see more than seven films, your best bet is to buy a festival pass that includes priority seating. For the complete schedule and more information, call 642-4404 or visit .

By: Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"

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