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Blue Valentine


USA Director: Derek Cianfrance


Executive Producers: Doug Dey, Jack Lechner Producers: Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky


Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis, Cami Delavigne Cinematographer: Andrij Parekh Editors: Jim Helton, Ron Patane


Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, Reila Aphrodite 2010/color/120 min


DEREK CIANFRANCE


Colorado native Derek Cianfrance gradu- ated from the University of Colorado, where he studied under the influential avant-garde filmmakers Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. With a strong background in photography, Cianfrance was awarded Best Cinematographer at Sundance in 2003 for Quattro Noza (2003). His first film, Brother Tied (SDFF21), enjoyed great critical acclaim and played in over 30 international film festivals. Blue Valentine is his second feature film.


Filmography Brother Tied (1998)


Director Derek Cianfrance (Brother Tied, SDFF21) recently told an interviewer that his two deepest childhood fears were that there would be a nuclear war and that his parents would get divorced. He indirectly addresses the latter in Blue Valentine, an emotionally charged drama about a couple’s futile attempts to save their rocky marriage.


The embattled, working-class pair are a boozy furniture mover named Dean (Ryan Gosling) and a discontented nurse, Cindy (Michelle Williams), who’s convinced that her husband never fulfilled his potential. Married young, they now find themselves bewildered by the ups and downs of conjugal life, complicated by the presence of their young daughter. When Dean and Cindy check into a theme hotel in an attempt to patch things up, their relationship undergoes thorough examination—past and present, happy and embittered— through flashbacks and in-the-moment tableaux. We suspect from the start that things will not end well, and Cianfrance never pulls his punches as he moves the story back and forth in time.


A University of Colorado graduate who studied film with experimental cinema icons Phil Solomon and Stan Brakhage (for whom the festival’s Vision Award is named), Cianfrance took 12 years to get his second feature to the screen—but this beautifully observed piece, which has been compared to the work of the late great John Cassavetes, is worth the wait. The two stars, both Academy Award nominees, are at their very best as lovers attempting to rekindle their lost passion. These searing scenes from a marriage go straight to the heart.


—BILL GALLO Sponsored by


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SPECIAL PRESENTATION


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