Borscht 2014: Behind the Scenes of Stripper Wars at King Of Diamonds (Photos)

Categories: Film Festivals

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Getting naked for money is coming to a silver screen near you. Stripper Wars is a new Miami film that explores the world of poledancing at one of the world's premier gentlemen's clubs.

Directed by Giancarlo Loffredo, the short flick calls itself "the first art movie ever shot at King Of Diamonds," and it will debut this December at Borscht Film Festival 2014.

We stopped by the set to check out the action and caught up with real-life KOD dancer Kayoz as she talked about overcoming obstacles in her first starring role in a movie.

See also: Borscht Corporation Remaking Scarface, 15 Seconds at a Time


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Miami Fashion Film Festival: Three Must-See Shorts To Catch This Weekend

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Back for a second year at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, the Miami Fashion Film Festival (MIAFFF) is killing it on the big screen, delivering the kind of inventive styles that one would expect from the people who live here. Instead of just feature-length works, like the documentary Advanced Style which premieres in Miami this weekend, the fest also highlights the beauty of the short film. And getting hit with all kinds of fashion statements in short bursts is the kind of thing that makes for good viewing.

While you might have sadly missed the documentary shorts program last night, there's still a bundle of options available that might satisfy whatever you're looking for. Now, even though we haven't seen all of them, we can certainly say we're looking forward to quite a few. It's only a small taste of what's available, because there's so much to choose from over the weekend, but here's our top picks of what shorts to check out.

See also: Miami Fashion Film Festival's Advanced Style Presents Older Women at Their Most Stylish

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Venice Update: Ethan Hawke's Good Kill Is an Intimate War on Terror Drama

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Photo by Lorey Sebastian
Ethan Hawke in Good Kill
Friday was my last day in Venice, which always makes me blue.

Thursday morning, on the way to my final screening, a tourist with an Eastern European accent I couldn't quite identify stopped me a block or so from the sad and shuttered Hotel des Bains and asked me if it was open. "I have seen it in the Visconti film," he said, referring to the 1971 adaptation of Death in Venice, "and was hoping to go inside."

When I told him that the hotel had been closed for several years now, and that the proposed construction to turn this grand old building into luxury condominiums had stalled out, he looked as forlorn as the building itself does. "I had hoped they'd turned it into a museum," he said.

See also: Fall Movie Preview: Five Best Dramas

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Venice Film Festival: Michael Almereyda Makes Magic with Cymbeline

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Cymbeline is the misunderstood schoolchild of Shakespeare's plays, the misfit who speaks up at odd times and sometimes says the wrong thing, awkward in all kinds of obvious ways. It's a special-needs play, but the beauty of it is right there in its bones, not least because in it we can see the great playwright's life -- that is to say, his career -- flashing before his eyes. A scheming queen, a heroine who disguises herself as a boy, a pair of semi-star-crossed lovers, a potion that gives the illusion of sleep -- it's all there in Cymbeline, a kind of greatest-hits scrapbook, and the play that even those who claim to love Shakespeare are least likely to defend.

See also: Fall Movie Preview: Nine Best Comedies, Musicals, and Animated Flicks

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Venice Film Festival: Al Pacino Re-Discovers His Inside Voice

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Millennium Films
Al Pacino in The Humbling.
Most of us would agree that there's only one Al Pacino. But this year in Venice, there are actually two: Pacino appears in two films at the festival this year, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn, about a lonely Texas locksmith stuck in a romantic dream, and, playing out of competition, Barry Levinson's The Humbling, the story of an actor who, after being struck with crippling anxiety, gets his mojo restored -- some of it, anyway -- by a manipulative muse (played by Greta Gerwig). In some ways, they're two versions of the same character, grizzled romantics who reach out toward love just one more time. But in only one of these films does Pacino utter the line "I was thinking of going to the pancake jamboree down at the Legion."

See also: Venice Film Fest: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence Is More Honest Than The Act of Killing

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Miami International Film Festival To Announce MIFFecito Line-up, Offer Free Cafecito Today

Categories: Film Festivals

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For everyone patiently awaiting the next edition of the Miami International Film Festival like we are, there's finally a way to get a bit of a taste before the time comes around next March. That's right; this coming October 16 through 19, there's a mini-festival for audiences that will provide a "mid-season taste" of the festival's upcoming line-up. That taste comes in the form of MIFFecito, a "film festival fix" being held at Miami Dade College's Tower Theater.

See also: John Turturro Receives Career Tribute Award at Miami International Film Festival

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Venice Film Fest: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence Is More Honest Than The Act of Killing

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Fox Searchlight
In 2012, documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer made a splash with The Act of Killing, in which he sought out members of Indonesian killing squads, individuals who murdered thousands of innocent citizens accused of being communists after a military takeover in 1965, and invited them to re-enact their crimes in the style of Hollywood movies.

See also: Venice Film Fest: In Birdman, Michael Keaton Is Haunted by His Superhero Past

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Venice Film Fest: In Birdman, Michael Keaton Is Haunted by His Superhero Past

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Fox Searchlight
Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman
The gent at the Delta check-in counter back in New York sighed when he saw where I was headed. "Romantic Venezia!" he said, and the comment stopped me short, because film festivals located in the most beautiful settings in the world have a way of making you forget - almost - that you're in one of the most beautiful settings in the world.

The Venice Film Festival - this is the 71st edition - is held not in Venice proper, but on Lido, a summertime island where winter seems impossible, resplendent with dusty pink and ochre stucco villas. It is also the home of the formerly grand Hotel des Bains, where Thomas Mann wrote Death in Venice, and which, sadly, closed in 2010, destined to become a luxury apartment complex that has not yet materialized. I haven't yet walked by the Hotel des Bains on this trip, but I hope it's looking more cheerful than it did last year, when it sat dejected behind its majestic iron grillwork gate, a sad relic of past glory that even a Venetian Miss Havisham might find hard to love.

See also: Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Elena Is a Beautiful Reflection on Loss and Memory

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Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Naked Eye Documents Ney Matogrosso's Career

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Ambient sounds, a screeching monkey, and some out of focus imagery greet you when Olho Nu (Naked Eye) begins. It's arguably a jarring experience, and yet, the moment one sees Ney Matogrosso donning real goat horns, goatskin, bull tooth, and monkey hair, it makes perfect sense. This documentary is all about a performer's career and all the eccentricities that come with being a Brazilian glam rocker.

It's clear from the very beginning that Olho Nu wants to pride itself on being just as eccentric a documentary as the subject it's presenting, something I'd often praise in an informative work. The problem with the film, however, is that it doesn't actually do all that much to stand out from anything else.

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Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Elena Is a Beautiful Reflection on Loss and Memory

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"Elena, I had a dream about you last night," Petra Costa, the woman who created the ultra-personal tribute to her dead sister that is Elena, says in the first lines of her film. It's a perfectly apt way to introduce a film that's as dreamlike as the very memories we hold of those dearest to us that have passed on, but everything becomes more real as the minutes flow by.

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