Our Top Picks For The Dallas International Film Fest.

They're showing other movies at the Dallas International Film Festival besides Robocop?


But, actually, it turns out that there are some definite gems in the lineup to check out — and, no, we don't mean the re-screenings of L.A. Confidential, E.T., Precious and Aladdin.

So, to help prepare you for the festival, which kicks off today and runs through Sunday, April 22, we dug through the listings and picked out 10 films we think are worth a shot.

To see when and where these films are playing, follow the link through their name.

Watch the trailer.
Alps is the lastest film from Yorgos Lanthimos, director of the absurdist film Dogtooth, and it follows a group of loosely connected people who create a support group for those grieving the loss of a loved one. They stand in for the departed and allow you to process your grief and treat them like their dead friend. It's pretty rare to hear a move described as both hilarious and bleak, but Lanthimos is pretty good at that sort of thing, so it should be worth checking out.

My Way
Watch the trailer.
During the invasion of Normandy, two Asian men in Nazi uniforms were taken prisoner. This movie tells the story of how those two ended up there. My Way also happens to be the most expensive movie ever made in Korea. This bad boy cost $28 million. And there's some interesting backstory: Director Kang Je-Kyu almost gave up film-making in the '90s, but has now become the Steven Spielberg of Korea. His meteoric rise has changed the film scene there and grown its reputation internationally. His 2004 war film, Tae Guk Gi, was an incredibly well done period piece with a fantastic story about the effects of the Korean War on two brothers. He handles the emotional piece of the story as well as he does the gritty reality of war. Kang Je-Kyu looks to continue his streak of fantastic epic films with My Way.

Hello I Must Be Going
Watch the trailer.
You might remember director Todd Louiso as Dick from the movie High Fidelity. What you might not know is he's made a couple solid movies, working with stars like Kathy Bates, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman and Ben Stiller. Hello I Must Be Going follows the story of a recently divorced 35-year-old woman moving home to live with her parents. She stumbles into a relationship with a teenager who is home visiting his parents. Described as equally funny and insightful, it will be interesting to see how Louiso rides the line between creepy and intelligent.

Watch the trailer.
Reading like the jacket description of a Cortazar short, Bonsai follows Julio as he writes a fake novel to his current girlfriend while telling the story of his past college romance. The movie bounces back and forth between the two stories, and the flashbacks are muddled by Julio's literary tendencies and general melancholy. Bonsai sounds like it could be puzzling, but the trailer makes it look like a pretty nice little story to tease out.

Watch the trailer.
Heleno is a biopic piece about the forgotten history of Argentinian football star Heleno de Freitas. Shot in gorgeous black and white, and looking like a Vogue photoshoot, the film tells the story of Heleno's rise and fall. Heleno was eventually lost to time with the rise of the next generation of football players, but he has a story worth telling that weaves in the inherent tragedy of sport and fame. It will be interesting to see how director Fonseca manages the drama and action into a story.

Watch the trailer.
One of my favorite story premises of the festival: A man and woman wake up in the morning after a debaucherous night, not remembering each other's names and finding themselves in a deserted city with spaceships hovering above. Director Vigalando was nominated for an Academy Award for his short film 7:35, and this full-length feature looks to combine the great comedic relationship bits of Shaun of the Dead with some Independence Day invasion stuff thrown in. Europeans have been doing some great stuff with alien invasion movies lately, especially the fantastic UK film, Attack the Block, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what the Spaniards can do with the genre.

The Salt of Life
Watch the trailer.
The Salt of Life centers around Gianni as he spends his time doing favors around the village for others. He's weighed down by his overbearing hypochondriac mother, and may be considering jumping back into dating. The film follows Gianni as he struggles to find a direction and his place in life. Director Gianni de Gregorio co-wrote the brutal, but incredibly well done, Gomorrah about the choking deadly control of the mob in Italy. This is a total 180 from that movie, but this is a subject matter he has found success with in the 2008 film Mid-August Lunch.

I Wish
Watch the trailer.
I Wish is the story of 12 year old Koichi. His parents are divorced, and his younger brother lives with his father in a different town. When a new train line is built between the two cities, Koichi and his brother hatch a plot to mend their broken family. They make a wish when the first two trains on the new lines meet. It's a whimsical look at the joy and adventure of childhood when it meets the reality of life and the melancholy of growing up. Director Koreeda made a great period piece, Hana, about a reluctant samurai who has to decide between his duties as a warrior and a father. Koreeda covers a lot of similar themes, and if this it's handled as well, expect a great little film.

No Ashes No Phoenix
Watch the trailer.
No Ashes No Phoenix is a documentary following the Phoenix Hagen basketball team. They've just been promoted to the big leagues of German basketball, but need to win in order to stay there. They bring in a big star to help them win, but it has unintended consequences. The documentary is directed by Jens Pfeifer, a former player. One hopes that being a former player will give the film a unique perspective on the idea of being a team, dealing with the realities of sport and making a movie that will interest sports fans and non-sports fans alike.

5 Broken Cameras
Watch the trailer.
This documentary follows the story of Emad Burnat, a farmer from a Palestinian village who takes up a camera to document the effects of Jewish settlements on the lives of himself and his fellow villagers. His journey into documentarian follows an escalation in violence in the region and ultimately the building of a wall to segregate the clashing communities. Just watching the trailer itself is powerful, as you watch Burnat witnessing his life and homeland forever changed. Bring kleenex and prepare yourself for a pretty raw look at a conflict that we are often not given much insight into.


















































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