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VFF 2013—Day 3: 'The Gettysburg Story,' 'Philomena,' 'The Pervert's Guide to Ideology,' and 'A Single Shot'
Slavoj Žižek in 'The Pervert's Guide to Ideology'

Editor's Note: Most moviegoers don't get to attend many film festivals, but festivals are important nonetheless. What happens at a festival can influence how, when, and even whether a film will get out to audiences.

Two of our regular critics are at the Virginia Film Festival this weekend, and will be sending us daily updates, capsule reviews, and reflections on what they see. (Here's Ken Morefield's report on day one and Nick Olson's report on day two.)

The Gettysburg Story (directed by Jake Boritt)
Philomena (directed by Steven Frears)
The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (directed by Sophie Fiennes)
A Single Shot (directed by David M. Rosenthal)

Day 3 of the Virginia Film Festival began with the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War and ended with a single bullet leading to a spiral of violence. In between, there was Dame Judi Dench in a performance that has to be the biggest stone cold lock in Academy Award history, and Slavoj Žižek giving what has to be the most entertaining 135 minutes in the history of Marxist-Lacanian cultural criticism. Yes, a good film festival can make your head spin a little (before it explodes).

And that's not evening counting the meals with colleagues Claudia Mundy and Courtney Schultz who, fresh from screening Alex Gibney's probing take documentary The Armstrong Lie, quizzed me on whether or not "moral relativism" was an intentional meta-theme of the festival or just the zeitgeist of modern age.

Jake Boritt, who chatted with Christianity Today briefly after his film The Gettysburg Story screened, told the audience several times that he wanted to do Gettysburg "in a new way." One wouldn't think that was possible given the plethora of ...

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