A Film Junky's Dream

. February 21, 2014.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival – America’s oldest for independent film – continues to shine a light on odd, obscure and innovative films that would most likely never be seen on the big screen otherwise.

The festival, now in its 49th incarnation,presents 40 programs of 188 films, videos and live performances, all happening from March 22 – 27. Those six days include more than 20 premieres of new works from across the globe and will see Ann Arbor play host to international filmmakers and other special guests who will be in attendance to participate in the cinematic festivities.

With so many varied films screening— music videos, animation, shorts, featurelength, documentaries, experimental,movies and more —plus a smorgasbord of panels and discussions,
after-parties and fundraisers, this event is a film lover’s dream. 

In the midnight movie program, now a staple of most film festivals across the world, the State Theatre will screen two peculiar films: on March 25 look for the 2006 film, “Daft Punk’s Electroma,” a 74-odyssey starring the band members (who made a splash last year with their memorable score for the otherwise forgettable “Tron: Legacy”) as robots trying to become human. The next night you’ll h

ave a chance to see Johnny Depp before he lost his way in bloated Tim Burton films and endless “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels, in the violent, black and white 1995 post-modern western “Dead Man.” The family-friendly and animation programs should be worth your time as well. Animated shorts are typically a lot of fun to watch. They carry a sense  originality and ingenuity not found in mainstream works.

The most impressive film showing at this year’s festival, though, is the beautiful and haunting documentary “Nostalgia for the Light.” Directed by Patricio Guzman, this festival favorite brilliantly weaves together astronomy, archaeology and the devastating effects of Pinochet’s regime. It screens March 26, 7 pm at the Michigan Theater. For all information and to purchase tickets for the festival, go to https://aafilmfest.org

For more film events, check online at toledocitypaper.com