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APRIL 2, 2011

CIFF 2011

A quick look at my 2011 visit
to the Cleveland International Film Festival


I Am
A successful, wealthy young man suffers a traumatic brain injury, recovers, and seeks the Meaning of Life. Interesting conversations ensue with Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, and others about what's wrong with the world and how we might fix it. A tad bit long and self-indulgent, but good.


A look at how—for better or for worse—digital media lets us all be filmmakers and musicians. Seth Godin and others think it's great but not everyone agrees. A snarky British critic predicts the collapse of culture. A must-see if you're into media and art, probably kind of boring if you're not.

There Once Was An Island
A sad cautionary look at an island culture that is literally drowning as the ocean rises due to global climate change. People living a simple traditional life are being forced to leave their home with little help from their government in Papua New Guinea. Many more will follow as the effects of climate change increase.

Dying to Do Letterman
True story of stand-up comic Steve Mazan's five-year campaign to win a spot on the Letterman show. The fact that he was moved to do this by a diagnosis of inoperable liver cancer is the backdrop, but he eventually succeeds due to his talent and unbelievable effort, not his illness. Inspiring and funny.


Into Eternity
We started the day at 9:50 a.m. with this movie about a nuclear waste storage facility under construction in Finland. It sounded interesting, and friends raved about it. Well worth seeing whether you are for or against nuclear power. Storing the waste is a tremendous problem that no one wants to talk about. The Finns are doing something, and this movie makes the practical, philosophical and political problems all too clear.

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APRIL 2011