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Baseball has been consuming much of my time recently, but I haven’t totally ignored my interest in the movies. We’ve seen two films this fall in our Cinema Club, one worth putting on your list, the other one, not so much.

Force.MV5BMjQ4NzY0ODg0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjY3OTc2MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Force Majeure ***

A story about a family on a ski vacation in the French Alps. When a ‘controlled” avalanche occurs, there is a serious disruption in the family, which plays out over the balance of this two-hour film.

I’m not sure I can put my finger on what it was about Force Majerue that I found lacking, but this story about a marriage and a family never quite seemed real to me, tho parts of it were both funny and insightful.

Our movie club audience gave it a 70% rating (good or excellent) and 78% would recommend it for others to see. I’m not in that 78%.

Too many better films are either in the theaters or soon will be.

Rudderless.MV5BMjQwNTI2MTA0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc1NzkzMjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Rudderless ****

Here is one that is worthy of your attention.

It’s the story of a father whose life has been suddenly shattered by the death of his son.

Unable to come to terms with what has happened, Sam (wonderfully played by Billy Crudup) checks out of his life as an advertising executive and lives a largely isolated existence until he discovers songs that had been written by his son.

Good acting and good music combine to make Rudderless an engaging film about a subject that most of us, fortunately, don’t have to face.

Rudderless opens nationwide next week.

DC Short Film Festival

I made it to two 90 minute showings of short films, ranging from six minutes to about 20 minutes each. At least a third of the 18 ones I saw were good or excellent (to use the categories from our Cinema Club).

However, I have lost the program booklet where I made a few notes, and as I even have trouble remembering longer films, I cannot remember those titles.

But I will mark my calendar for this DC Film Festival for next year and plan to attend the two final showings of the best of the shorts. I will try not to lose my notes.

Philadelphia Film Festival

With encouragement from a childhood friend who lives in Philadelphia and loves films, Ellen and I will attend the first weekend of the 23rd Philadelphia Film Festival (Oct. 16-26).

Although I did attend the Miami Film Festival last year, I only saw four films there in 26 hours (A Fantasy Partially Fulfilled). Now, my intention is to see three or four a day for three days. Judging from the catalog, there are many good choices.

Any suggestions from those of you who have attended film festivals about the best way to approach a film festival?