The 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival: Wrap-Up
The 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival concluded its 11-day run on Sunday, wrapping up a well-attended but slightly banal program that presented everything from big-budget spectacle to audacious independent visions.
The Audience Awards, presented on the final day of the fest, were given to Attack the Block (Narrative), Senna (International Feature), and Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (Documentary), representing a nice diversity in tone and spirit. The Official Festival Jury selected Familiar Ground as the Best Feature in the Narrative Competition while Wish Me Away won the Documentary Award.
Aside from the festival winners, many of which will receive local theatrical release in the next few months, several other worthy films deserve further critical consideration.
Of the Narrative features at LAFF, Raul Ruiz’s 257-minute behemoth, Mysteries of Lisbon, was the piece-de-resistance. Set within the hierarchical social structures of 19th century Portugal, Lisbon creates a textured mosaic of overlapping melodrama, memory, and delusion. The opening titles describe the story as “a diary of suffering”, highly prophetic when considering each character spends long sequences crippled by personal affliction and rigorous doubt.