Film Critiques with Kathie Moon


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imageApril 8,12,15, 2019


Cost: $70 or $25 at the door per session

A three day seminar discussing a selection of the films that are presented by the Sarasota Film Festival in April 2019.  List of movies to be discussed and other festival information will be listed here.


Here is the seminar's status and what we learned about SFF so far:

1.  Happily tickets are still available for most SFF Seminar movies. Only two are Stand By—The Third Wife and Honeyland. But Red Joan is SOLD OUT but happily will be coming to Burns Court Cinemas on May 3.


2. Ticketing: There are no service fees if you want to buy your tickets by Telephone, BUT fees apply Online,  for SFF members or SFF non-members . If you just want your tickets, you can call the Box Office at 941-366-6200 and order them OR order online at


3. Sorry no Educational Discount this year. If you are an SFF Member you get a discount on tickets and merchandise.


4. Movie Time for WE ARE THANKFUL in Program Guide WRONG; correct time is: Sunday, April 7 at 12:45pm.


5. Three late movie additions to the SFF look good—The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, an African Netflix drama, shown for free; Olympic Dreams and Before You Know It. Check the SFF schedule online for movie times and dates.


If you are a Sarasota Film Festival Member, you get a discount on tickets and Ticket packages. Members movie tickets are $11 for regular and $19 for Spotlight/Centerpiece films.

If you are not a Sarasota Film Festival Member, individual tickets are $15 and $22 for Centerpiece/Spotlight Films.  Except for discounted tickets for weekday Matinee shows before 5pm, $9 members and $11 for Non-Members


Here is the SFF Seminar information. This year's 21th Sarasota Film Festival starts Friday, April 5, 2019 and goes through Sunday April 14. Kathie has selected 7 films for you to view at the SFF; you buy your own tickets, and come to 3 discussion sessions (two films at each discussion) at Art Center Sarasota (707 N. Tamiami Trail)  from 10am till noon. The discussion dates are Monday April 8, Friday April 12, and Monday April 15. I provide decaffeinated coffee and snacks as usual. 

If you have questions or need help getting your tickets, please email me or call me on my cell phone at 941-725-0177.


Sarasota Film Festival Seminar Schedule


“Tel Aviv on Fire”     Sa 4/6, 1:15pm, at Hollywood 11

“We Are Thankful”    Sun 4/7, 12:45pm, at Hollywood 11


Class Discussion of “We Are Thankful” and "Tel Aviv On Fire”;  Mon. April 8, 10am-12pm at Sarasota Art Center


“The Third Wife”   Thurs. 4/11, 2:45pm,  at Hollywood 11

“Honeyland”, Thurs. 4/11, 4:45pm,  at Hollywood 11


Class Discussion of “The Third Wife” and “Honeyland” , Fri April 12, 10am-12pm at Art Center Sarasota


“Diamantino”  Fri.  4/12, 8:15pm OR Sat. 4/13 at 8:45pm at Hollywood 11

“Bolden”  Fri. 4/12 at 7:45pm or Sun. 4/14 at 2:45pm at Hollywood 11


BONUS MOVIE “Red Joan”, Sun. 4/14 at 6pm, at Hollywood 11


Class Discussion of “Diamantino“ and “Bolden“; Mon April 15, 10am-12pm at Art Center Sarasota



Salam, a Palestinian, is just starting out in his career as a writer. Given a life-changing opportunity to write for a wildly popular soap opera, everything gets a little more complicated after a chance encounter with an Israeli soldier. Now a shooting star in his own right, Salam's career is threatened by a disagreement with the show's financiers over how the show should end. How will he navigate this without burning vital bridges and torching his own integrity?


Director: Sameh Zoabi, In Arabic and Hebrew, 100 min.,

•       Sat, Apr 6, 2019 1:15 pm, at Regal Hollywood 11



Siyabonga Majola learns that a movie is about to be created in a nearby South African town and decides he will stop at nothing to be a part of the picture. This inventive docu-fiction film is based on a true-story and features those who saw it unfold re-enacting this life-affirming testament to the human spirit and profound power of the arts.

Director: Joshua Magor; Length: 93 minutes, In English (?)

Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 12:45 pm, at Regal Hollywood 11 Cinemas




Director Ash Mayfair has established herself as a force to be reckoned with her debut feature, THE THIRD WIFE, winner of the coveted NETPAC and Gold Hugo Awards at Toronto and Chicago, respectively (not to mention 2 additional wins and 9 nominations at festivals across the globe). This is the story of a 14-year-old in late 19th century rural Vietnam, who is given away to an arranged marriage and must choose between her safety and her freedom after discovering forbidden love.•

          Director: Ash Mayfair; Length: 96 minutes, In Vietnamese.

•         Thurs. , Apr 11, 2019, 2:45 pm  • Regal Hollywood 11 Cinemas



Macedonian documentarians Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska paint an intimate portrait in brilliant detail of Hatidze Muratova, perhaps the last remaining rural female beekeepers in Europe. Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in an off-grid Macedonian mountain settlement, embracing the graceful simplicity of her fulfilling life in nature alongside the bees, following a golden rule of always leaving half the honey for their nourishment. Her way of life is threatened, however, when modern farmers began to take over the landscape.

•     Director: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov; 86 minutes; In Turkish.

Thu, Apr 11, 2019,  4:45 pm Regal Hollywood 11 Cinemas



Meet Diamantino, the biggest soccer star in the world... until one day he loses his edge and ends his career in shame. Diamantino begins an odyssey to regain his groove, a dizzying journey through underwear modeling, cloning, contemporary European politics and more. A hit at Cannes, where its bracingly fresh style took the festival by storm.

Directors: Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt;  96 minutes, In Portuguese; Portugal/Brazil/France

Fri.  April 11, 2019 at 8:15pm  OR Sat. April 13, at 8:45pm at Hollywood 11 Theaters



BOLDEN imagines the life of one of the most important and least recognized originators of jazz, cornetist Buddy Bolden. While no recordings and little biographical information exist about this unsung hero of American music, writer-director Dan Pritzker brings this mythically influential first Cornet King of New Orleans to life immortal on the silver screen.

Director: Dan Pritzker  Length: 103 minutes, In English,  USA

Fri. Apr 12, 2019, 7:45pm  OR  Sun. April 14,  2:45pm  at Hollywood 11 Cinemas



RED JOAN tells the remarkable true story of the KGB's longest serving British spy, a civil servant named Melita Norwood was involved in Soviet espionage for four decades. Starring Oscar winner (and six-time nominee) Judi Dench (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, CHOCOLAT, NOTES ON A SCANDAL) as Norwood, who said to be even more valuable to the KGB than the "magnificent" Cambridge Five.

Director:  Trevor Nunn, 110 min. In English; UK

Sun. April 14, 6:00pm at the Hollywood 11




There are no bad films. If you want flashy movie stars, look to the Opening, Closing (Greg Kinnear)  Centerpiece, Spotlight and Competition Films. Some films are so new there is no info on them. The Blythe Danner movie The Tomorrow Man will be coming back for sure. I decided this year not to pay for expensive film screenings as an experiment to see what I can see later.

Documentaries are strong, as always—Meeting Gorbachev by Werner Herzog, American FactoryMidnight Family (Sundance winner),  New Homeland, One Child NationToni Morrison: The Pieces I amMiles Davis: Birth of Cool (Sundance winner). The art documentary THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING is already on HBO. Most great documentaries come back later TV and streaming on PBS’s INDEPENDENT VISION or POV series, CNN, HBO, SHOWTIME, and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

For most bizarre film, the documentary Well Groomed, is about extreme dog grooming. Yes, dog grooming.

Here are some films I am seeing (in order of Festival program):

Marceline: A Woman, A Century (doc on French woman filmmaker)

Upstream—a group of women go on a jungle voyage and get more than they counted on.

August at Akiko’s –Asian saxophonist returns home to Hawaii after being gone a long time

Belmonte—depressed middle-aged Uruguayan painter has mid-life crisis with ex-wife having a baby with someone else

A Bread Factory (two films back to back, 30-minute intermission, Monday 5pm-9:30pm) long time rural community arts center must deal with new celebrity couple artists from China who set up their own arts venue

An Elephant Sitting Still- (423 minutes long!) Tuesday, 2:30pm until . . . For cinephiles only, acclaimed Bo Hu, a Chinese novelist turned film director, his first and last film (swan song/suicide). The film follows four characters over one day in China. You will never be able to see this on the Big Screen again in SRQ.

Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool—Sundance winner, documentary.

Too Late to Die Young—Chilean woman coming of age after fall of Chilean dictatorship in 1990. Won Best Director at Locarno

Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes—Hmmm, musical comedy based on James Joyce story (two con artists on Texas road trip) with music by John Prine

Museum Town—documentary, Rural Massachusetts town creates modern art museum from closed factory, changes town.

Light from Light—American Widower hires single mom ghost hunter

Long Day’s Journey Into Night—Chinese man’s surrealist dreamscape of a memory of his long ago lover

Also--Late recommendations from the SFF Festival Programmer










About the Artist Instructor: 

Kathie Moon is a film aficionado and award winning film critic at Sarasota's Pelican Press, Kathie has been teaching film appreciation and film history for over 10 years at the Education Center on Longboat Key, Manatee Community College and Pierian Spring Academy. She has a master’s degree and has been involved with film studies through working at an historic theater, film programming, industry groups, film societies, film festivals, seminars and field trips. Longtime members may remember her as a marketing/public relations volunteer at Art Center Sarasota in the late 1990s.