A moviegoer's feast

800 Bullets

Our town’s annual celluloid celebration, which begins today, has a new name—the Philadelphia Film Festival—and a bigger-than-ever schedule of cinematic treats from around the world, with a healthy serving of partying on the side.

The largest film festival on the East Coast will feature nearly 300 feature, animated, documentary and short films from 38 countries over the next two weeks. And with the addition of The Bridge as a festival venue, University City joins Old City as a festival hot spot.

Among the festival highlights in U-City are the Philadelphia premieres of “Mutant Action” and “800 Bullets” (photo), two films by this year’s Phantasmagoria Award winner, Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia. Both films showcase the director’s anarchic, satirical sensibilities. “Mutant Action” (1992), showing April 7 and 9 at The Bridge, is about a group of physically disabled terrorists who kidnap the rich and beautiful; “800 Bullets” (2002), showing at The Bridge April 8, is de la Iglesia’s homage to the spaghetti Western.

—S.S.

PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL: April 3-17 at The Bridge: cinema de lux, 40th and Walnut streets; International House, 3701 Chestnut St., and four other venues in Center City Philadelphia. For complete information about films, show times and ticket prices, visit the festival Web site at www.phillyfests.com or call 215-733-0608.

Originally published on April 3, 2003