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FLIFF 2017: Films to see, parties to do

The 32nd edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival opens on Friday, Nov. 3, with its usual red-carpet hoopla at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood and continues with dozens of screenings through Nov. 19. Here are some films and events that should be on your radar.

“Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World”

5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood

The first of FLIFF’s two opening-night features is a compelling history lesson — with a killer soundtrack — that traces the critical role American Indian musicians and traditions played in the evolution of rock ’n’ roll. In the documentary, produced by veteran rock guitarist Stevie Salas (an Apache), the Indian lineage and influence of musicians and singers such as Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson and Link Wray are cast in a new light by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Taj Mahal, George Clinton, Steven Tyler, Slash and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Salas and executive producer Christina Fon will attend, along with veteran Canadian actor Graham Greene, a member of the Oneida tribe and an Oscar nominee for “Dances With Wolves,” who will receive a FLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Dog Years”

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood

Florida film legend Burt Reynolds stars in this bittersweet comedy about an aging movie icon that is set in motion by a humiliating trip to a film festival to accept a lifetime achievement award. Before the screening of “Dog Years,” the witty Reynolds will receive a FLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award, a bookend to the same award he received from the festival in 1991.

“The Upside”

7:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Cinema Paradiso, 2008 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman star in this remake of the 2011 French comedy-drama “The Intouchables” (the highest grossing non-English-language film ever), with Cranston playing a cranky quadriplegic billionaire and Hart the impatient parolee who takes the job as his caretaker. There have been Oscar murmurs about Hart in this role.

“Kings of Pastry”

6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, at Savor Cinema Fort Lauderdale, 503 SE Sixth St, Fort Lauderdale

Acclaimed documentarian D.A. Pennebaker (“Dont Look Back,” “The War Room”) and filmmaker wife Chris Hegedus set their sights on an unlikely subject, the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, where 16 chefs conjure eye-popping, gravity-defying confections in competitions of “spellbinding brilliance, high drama and humor” (Chicago Tribune). This screening of the 2010 documentary comes with a treat of its own: Dianne Boate, the “Cake Lady” of San Francisco, will introduce the film and talk souffles and such after the screening, while also unveiling the creations of Broward’s best bakers for you to consume.

“The Spy and the Poet”

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Cinema Paradiso, 2008 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

A socially inept Secret Service agent crosses paths with a beautiful Russian spy and an insufferable Estonian poet in this stylized black comedy/thriller that FLIFF organizers are calling “one of the funniest films of the festival.”

“Pinsky

8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Savor Cinema, 503 SE Sixth St, Fort Lauderdale; 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, 2008 Hollywood Blvd.

Former Fort Lauderdale resident Amanda Lundquist directs this indie comedy about a young woman who loses her beloved grandfather and is dumped by her girlfriend on the same day, forcing her to move back to the claustrophobic gloom of her domineering Russian grandmother’s home. Lundquist will attend both screenings with “Pinsky” stars Rebecca Karpovsky and Ara Woland.

“Cries From Syria”

6:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Cinema Paradiso, 2008 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

Oscar-nominated, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky’s methodical and harrowing look at the genesis of the Syrian refugee crisis puts a special focus on the children who manage to survive the bloody brutality of President Bashar al-Assad, ISIS and Russian bombing campaigns with an extraordinary sense of hope intact. This is a hard film to watch, but it must be seen. Afineevsky will attend the screening.

“Serious Laundry”

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Sunrise Civic Center Theater, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd.

FLIFF’s centerpiece film is a madcap heist comedy with aspirations to both Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock that follows 20-something Michael as he juggles the mystery of a dead body, his ex-girlfriend and a beautiful stranger, with a fortune at stake. Attending will be director Ken Webb and several members of the cast.

Veterans Day

Noon Saturday, Nov. 11, at Sunrise Civic Center Theater, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd.

The festival’s annual salute to military sacrifice goes light this time around with “Kelly’s Heroes,” the World War II comedy starring Clint Eastwood, Don Rickles, Telly Savalas, Carroll O’Connor, Donald Sutherland and Harry Dean Stanton as a group of U.S. soldiers who cross enemy lines in search of a secret stash of gold bars held by the Nazis. The free screening will be preceded by a free Veterans Day snack and drink at 11:30 a.m.

Caribbean Day

3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Sunrise Civic Center Theater, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd.

Three films with Caribbean themes will be shown with $1 from each ticket donated to hurricane relief and an 8:45 p.m. closing party featuring cuisine from the islands. The screenings include “Cargo” (3 p.m.), a film from the Bahamas about a father who smuggles migrants to the U.S. to raise money for his son’s education; “Jeffery” (5 p.m.), from the Dominican Republic, about an aspiring reggaeton singer from the rough streets of Santo Domingo; and “I Am Bolt” (7 p.m.), a biopic about Jamaica’s charismatic sprinter Usain Bolt. Film-and-party tickets cost $20.

“The Thin Yellow Line”

8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Savor Cinema, 503 SE Sixth St, Fort Lauderdale

Five down-on-their-luck men are hired to paint the center stripe on 120 miles of Mexican state highway in less than 15 days in this poignant, beautifully shot comic drama that Variety calls an undeniable “crowd pleaser.”

“Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait”

2 and 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd.

This laudatory look at the life and career of the provocative artist and filmmaker, with comments from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino, Bono and Laurie Anderson, will screen at the museum that hosted a major exhibit of his work in 2014. His friend of more than 30 years, Bonnie Clearwater, is the museum’s director and chief curator.

“A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.”

6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Savor Cinema, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

A FLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award will go to actress Karen Allen (“Animal House,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Scrooged”) at this screening of her directorial debut, a short based on the story by writer Carson McCullers.

Toga Party

8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, Villa De Palma, Fort Lauderdale

FLIFF’s signature late-night soiree at Steve Savor’s swank Villa De Palma this year will be a toga-mandatory party themed to honoree Karen Allen’s role in “Animal House.” Not one to leave it at that, Savor will enlist the help of the one and only Otis Day and the Knights, who also achieved breakout fame in “Animal House.” Tickets to the party, a FLIFF fundraiser, cost $150 in advance at FLIFF.com.

“After You’re Gone”

4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, in Bailey Hall at Broward College, 3501 SW Davie Road, Davie

FLIFF will complete its 2017 run with the North American premiere of this critically praised satire of the world of ballet, starring popular Russian actor Sergey Bezrukov as a renowned and arrogant Russian ballet genius. Bezrukov and director Anna Matison will attend the screening and the post-film closing-night party in Bailey Hall.

TICKETS

​​​​​​​Advance tickets to most films cost $12, $10 seniors, $9 military and students; all tickets purchased at the door will cost $15. Special screenings cost $15-$30, with many including pre- and post-film receptions. Other special rates include the opening-night party ($100), Chairman’s Cruise ($75), Centerpiece Party ($25), Toga Party ($150) and the closing-night party ($30). FLIFF members enjoy discounts on all tickets.

THEATERS

​​​​​​​Screenings will take place at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood), Bailey Hall on the Broward College Campus (3501 SW Davie Road, Davie), Cinema Paradiso (2008 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood), NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale (1 E. Las Olas Blvd.), Savor Cinema (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale) and Sunrise Civic Center (10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise).

INFORMATION​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​For more information, call 954-525-3456 or go to FLIFF.com.

bcrandell@sun-sentinel.com

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