The Cleveland International Film Festival, Films I Recommend ...

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 16:06.

HERB AND DOROTHY directed by Megumi Sasaki
SCHOOL PLAY directed by Eddie Rosenstein

I saw both films last week as screeners and very soon, Wednesday afternoon, they will be playing at the Cleveland International Film Festival. If you are not free in the afternoon, don't frett, both will be shown again Friday evening and Sunday afternoon respectively.


Screens Wednesday March 25, 2:30 pm & Friday March 7:15 pm

This was probably my favorite documentary ever!

The story of art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel is like a fairy tale. The documentary film HERB AND DOROTHY, directed by Megumi Sasaki is all the more inspiring because Herb and Dorothy Vogel are real people. Though not wealthy or highly educated, their love for each other and their life long passion for art led them to create one of the largest and most important private collections of contemporary art even amassed in the United States. Recently they donated their collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D C and it took more than five trucks to move it! It was their honeymoon trip to the National Gallery that first inspired Herb and Dorothy to make art and then becgin collecting art. This film is like a tour of a great art museum – though it is mostly footage of the thousands of objects in Herb and Dorothy's one bedroom New York apartment.
Naturally I loved this film because I am an art historian, but you need not know anything about art to enjoy HERB AND DOROTHY and be inspired by this film on many levels.

The film HERB AND DOROTHY at the Cleveland International Film Festival is sponsored by Toby Devan Lewis and community partner MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.


Screens Wednesday, March 25 4:30 pm and Sunday, March 29 11:15 am

It is easy to forget how difficult it is being a kid! In SCHOOL PLAY, a film from the Family Films category and the Nesnadny + Schwartz Documentary Film Competition, a diverse group of classmates, and not necessarily friends come together to produce The Wizard of Oz. Director Eddie Rosenstein's documentary captures not just the challenges a group of fifth graders face in staging their school play but also the complexities of being a kid in America. I was impressed by how natural and at ease Rosenstein's subjects seemed in front of the camera. This film is a very enjoyable trip down memory lane for anyone who participated in their school's theater department. I would highly recommend this film, particularly to parents, teachers, school administrator and anyone who works in education.   SCHOOL PLAY really brings to light the value of theater arts education in schools. Staging a play offers children so many opportunities to learn and develop intellectually and socially. As this young cast of The Wizard Oz demonstrates, theater can bring kids together in a way that no other extracurricular activity can.

Although SCHOOL PLAY is one of the “Family Films” at the Cleveland International Film Festival, I think adults will be the ones who find it most interesting, for kids, its probably a little too close to home to be really exciting.  Then again, the Sunday March 29 11:15 am screening is the perfect time for a family outing to the Film Festival.