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Buffalo International Film Festival

"Waiting For Angela"

10 Days of Cinema You Won't See Anywhere Else

The second edition of the Buffalo International Film Festival unofficially began last week, with a screening of the newly complete restoration of Metropolis. But this week is when it kicks into gear, with 40 screenings and events scheduled over the next 10 days, along with the possibility of some last minute surprises. Here’s a guide to the first week; more reviews will be posted on line at as the screenings approach.

Screening Locations

Market Arcade Film and Arts Center, 639 Main St. (855-3022)

HD Video Café, 5445 Transit Rd, Williamsville (688-4933)

The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376)

North Park Theater, 1428 Hertel Ave (836-7411)

For more information and announcements of additions, visit

Friday, October 1

Temple Grandin—Buffalo is the only city that will have a theatrical screening of this HBO biopic that swept the recent Emmys with seven top awards, including one for Claire Danes’ performance as the autistic woman who became a scientist advocate for the humane treatment of farm animals. Proceeds will benefit the Western New York Autism Community. Directed by Mick Jackson. 7pm, Market Arcade

I Am Somebody—Veteran character actor Aki Aleong wrote and directed this movie (formerly known as Chinaman’s Chance) about the struggles of Chinese immigrants employed in the post-Civil War West to build the railroads. Asian-American actors Aleong and Reggie Lee are joined by an astonishing supporting cast of familiar Hollywood faces, including Timothy Bottoms, Theresa Russell, Danny Trejo, Ernest Borgnine, Coolio, Olivia Hussey, Tommy Chong, Jason Connery, Lorenzo Lamas, Christopher Atkins, Geoffrey Lewis, and the late Edward Albert and John Phillip Law. 7pm, HD Video Café

Saturday, October 2

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)—It’s Saturday matinee time with this rare screening of an Anaglyph 3D print of this monster classic. 2 pm, North Park

Action!!!—Buffalo native Hillary J. Walker will be present to introduce this “mockumentary” in which a pair of community college student filmmakers go behind the scenes on the set of a Hollywood movie. The cast features members of the Daytona Beach improv troupe Random Acts of Insanity, who find a lot of comic gold mining the various stresses and egos of their characters. 2:15 pm, Screening Room

Barack Obama: People’s President—Documentary by journalist Danny Schechter (whose Plunder screens October 6) focusing on the grassroots campaign and Internet strategy that successfully fueled Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. 3pm, HD Video Café

God’s Land—In this comedy of cultural dislocation based on a true story, a family from Taiwan moves to Texas and tries to blend in as they await a revelation from the Creator, whom they believe will announce the apocalypse on a pubic access cable broadcast. Director Preston Miller and members of the cast will be present for the world premiere of their film. 7pm, The Screening Room

Hard Four—Road trip comedy about a young man who has to get the body of his grandfather from Las Vegas to Manhattan in 24 hours in order to observe Jewish burial laws. Starring Ross Benjamin (Richard’s son—you can’t miss the resemblance), Samuel Gould, Edward Asner, Dabney Coleman, Bryan Cranston, John Getz, and Ross’ mom, Paula Prentiss. 7pm, HD Video Café

Edgar Allen Poe Series

In conjunction with the Buffalo Central Library’s participation in the national “The Big Read” celebration of Edgar Allen Poe, the BIFF will host a week-long series of films based on Poe stories. Consisting primarily of Roger Corman’s lusciously gaudy 1960s films with a pair of 1930s classics, these are for the most part loose adaptations. But they’re all fascinating on their own, and if they encourage kids to read (as they did me when I was that age), all the better. My top picks would be Edgar Ulmer’s perverse The Black Cat (1934), with its astonishing Bauhaus designs and the best-ever pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price in the opulent The Masque of the Red Death (1964), the best of the Corman series. All films will be screened at the Downtown Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, and are free and open to the public. (

Saturday, October 2, 2pm: The Raven (1963)

Sunday, October 3, 2pm: Tales of Terror (1962)

Monday, October 4, 3:30pm: House of Usher (1960)

Tuesday, October 5, 3:30pm: The Black Cat (1934)

Wednesday, October 6, 3:30pm: The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Thursday, October 7, 3:30pm: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

Friday, October 8, 3:30pm: Premature Burial (1962)

Sunday, October 3

Funny Business—If you’re one of those who read The New Yorker only for the cartoons, you’ll want to see this documentary about those staff cartoonists, including interviews with George Booth, Roz Chast, Ed Koren, David Sipress, Matt Diffee, and Sam Gross (but not my own favorite, Alex Gregory). Directed by Lyda Ely, whose family circle included legendary cartoonist Charles Addams. 4:30pm, The Screening Room

The Mystic Masseur—Presented in conjunction with the upcoming appearance of V. S. Naipaul at the Babel literary series, this film by Ismail Merchant adapts Naipaul’s novel about a Trinidadian writer and masseuse who becomes famous as a miracle worker. 7pm, HD Video Café

Monday, October 4

Race to Nowhere—Documentary about the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system and culture obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. There will be three screenings of the film: at 5pm, with half-price tickets; at 7pm, followed by a panel discussion; and at 9:15pm. HD Video Café

Waking Sleeping Beauty—Documentary about the rebirth of the Disney animation brand, from its low point in 1984 through the release of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, featuring interviews with Tim Burton, John Lasseter, Don Bluth, and others. 7:30pm, Market Arcade

Tuesday, October 5

Waiting for Angelina—True crime drama based on the 1911 trial of a woman accused of murdering her husband in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Buffalo native Frank Cannino, the film’s screenwriter, will be on hand for a discussion. 7pm, 9:15 pm HD Video Cafe

Wednesday, October 6

Plunder—Veteran documentarian Danny Schechter’s new film about the recent financial meltdown and how Wall Street may have caused the crisis. 7pm, HD Video Café

Thursday, October 7

TeknoLust—Tilda Swinton fans get to see her in four quite different playfully conceived roles as a “self-replicating” bio- geneticist in this science fiction film by Lynn Hershman-Leeson, director of the Steve Kurtz documentary Strange Culture. 7pm, The Screening Room

Jimmy & Johnny (Stewart & Carson)—World premier of a program of rare outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage of James Stewart and Johnny Carson presented by David Heeley, Emmy-winning producer of numerous documentaries about classic Hollywood stars like Fred Astaire, Spencer Tracey, and Katharine Hepburn. 7pm, HD Video Café

Bflo Pnk 1.0—Public premiere of former Buffalo News music critic Elmer Ploetz’s ongoing documentary about the history of punk rock in Western New York. Introduced by photographer Eric Jensen. 9:15pm, The Screening Room

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