The schedule has been released for the 2012 St. Louis International Film Festival, and as in years past, the menu of movies includes several with musical subjects or themes.
This year's SLIFF will take place from Thursday, November 8 to Sunday, November 18, with films screening at venues including the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University's Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville.
Among the programs that may be of particular interest to StLJN readers:
* The 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics, which was the feature film debut of singer, dancer and St. Louis native Josephine Baker (pictured). It will be shown at 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 16 at Webster University with live musical accompaniment by the Poor People of Paris.
* The Entertainers, a documentary about ragtime pianists competing for the title of "World’s Greatest Old-Time Piano Player." It will play at 3:00 p.m., Saturday November 15 at Webster University, with live performances from pianists Faye Ballard, Ethan Uslan, and former St. Louisan Donald "Four Arrows" Jacobs following the film.
* A program of films by Georges Méliès, including a restored version of his most famous movie, A Trip to the Moon (1902); a docudrama on the filmmaker; and a sampling of Méliès shorts with original musical accompaniment by the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra. The Méliès program will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 9 at Webster University and at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 10 at the Wildey Theatre
* Beware of Mr. Baker, about the innovative yet often irascible drummer Ginger Baker, who's played jazz at various stages of his career but is best known for incorporating African rhythms into rock music with bands including Cream, Blind Faith, and Air Force. The documentary, which features interviews with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Charlie Watts, Carlos Santana, Alex Van Halen, Jack Bruce, and others, will be shown at 9:00 p.m. Saturday, November 10 at Webster University and at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, November 17 at the Wildey Theatre.
Other films incorporating music as a subject or theme will include the biographical documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America, as well as features such as A Late Quartet, the story of a fictional string quartet about to celebrate its 25th anniversary, starring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener; Wagner & Me, in which British actor and writer Stephen Fry examines his enthusiasm for Richard Wagner's music and confronts the composer's associations with anti-Semitism and Hitler; Floating Oceans, the third installment in a surrealistic multimedia opera from musician, composer and animator Alexis Gideon; and Mariachi Gringo, which stars X-Men's Shawn Ashmore as a Nebraskan who moves to Mexico to become a mariachi singer.
In all, more than 400 features, documentaries and short films will be screened during the festival. For a complete schedule, plus ticket and venue information, visit the SLIFF Web site.