Wide world of movies

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

One of the best things about film festivals is the opportunity to go all over the world without the cost or jet lag of globetrotting travel.

For years, the Cleveland International Film Festival has made embarking on a mind trip as physically convenient as possible, thanks to its international selection of 300 features and shorts and a location that's got affordable food and available parking in close proximity.

If you're too strapped to venture far from home, consider the places you can go with just a tank of gas for a round trip to Cleveland and the price of some movie tickets and a cheap hotel room off I-71 North. Here are five promising films to check out while you're there.


Screening March 21-22

Directors Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind), Bong Joon-ho (The Host) and Leos Carax (Pola X) unite for a triptych of short features that offer the strange side of life in Japan's capital city, from a man who rises from his subterranean lair to terrorize citizens, to a complicated couple seen from both of their points of view, to a shut-in who falls for his pizza delivery girl.

"The Chaser"

Screening March 26 & 28

Newbie South Korean director Hong-jin Na has generated much heat on the festival circuit with this thriller about an ex-cop-turned-pimp who stumbles onto the trail of a serial killer. Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly pushing to star in an American remake.

"Art & Copy"

Screening March 27-28

For Mad Men fans and anyone who's ever wondered who thought up Apple's iPod campaign and the phrase "Just Do It" comes this look at some of the leading lights in the advertising industry, from critically acclaimed documentarian Doug Pray (Scratch, Surfwise).


Screening March 27-28

It's been 15 years since Jennifer Lynch, David Lynch's daughter, unleashed the twisted amputee romance Boxing Helena on the world. It was a failure, but fascinatingly so, making her long-coming sophomore effort about two FBI agents (Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond) working a murder investigation in Santa Fe seem worthy just for the curiosity factor.

"The Brothers Bloom"

Screening March 29

The festival's closing-night selection is the second film by Brick writer-director Rian Johnson. And it's another uniquely quirky and creatively successful effort with a love of offbeat language, which follows grifters Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo and multi-talented mark Rachel Weisz through a world-spanning, big-payoff, last-chance swindle.

What: Cleveland International Film Festival

When: March 19-29

Where: Tower City Cinemas, Downtown Cleveland

Web: clevelandfilm.org