Richard Lorber
Richard Lorber

At Locarno recently, of all places, I sat down with NYC buddy and one of my favorite film people and US distributor Kino Lorber's head honcho Richard Lorber.

As always he has an amazing lineup. Richard likes art films and intelligent subject matters. He also distributes many documentaries and non English language films. Very good taste I might add.

He bought the controversial Chinese film shown at Cannes this year, A Touch Of Sin.

It begins shockingly as it opens with a punchy bout of bloodshed as three kids brandishing hatchets hold up passing motorcyclist Zhou San (Wang Baoqiang) on a stretch of lonely road. But they are foiled when he calmly pulls out a gun and dispatches them. That drifter, with his taste for firearms and robbery, resurfaces later in one of the film’s four narrative strands.

Jia Zhangke's "A Touch of Sin."
Jia Zhangke's "A Touch of Sin."

At Cannes it won Best Screenplay. Kino Lorber will open this in 50 US cities and in New York at the prestigious IFC Center, in Greenwich Village on 6th Avenue.

Richard will soon open theatrically in 40 cities the amazing documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

The film covers Ali's toughest bout: his battle to overturn a five-year prison sentence for refusing US military service in Vietnam.

Prior to becoming the most recognizable face on earth, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent. 'Trials' zeroes in on the most controversial years of Ali's life, when an emerging sports superhero chooses faith and conscience over fame and fortune.

La Maison de la Radio is a French documentary Richard bought from the company Films de Losange.

The story covers twenty-four hours in the life of Radio France, called the 'BBC of France' and the film goes from one dawn to another.

Bill Siegel's 'The Trials of Muhammad Ali'
Bill Siegel's 'The Trials of Muhammad Ali'

The film trails along its corridors, inside its recording studios, with its producers, presenters, journalists and various guests.

And outside on a motorbike with a microphone it follows in the wake of the Tour de France or in the company of an adventurous thunderstorm photographer.

It appears this week at the prestigious New York City theater The Film Forum.

Camille Claudel 1915 stars the great Juliette Binoche.

Set in winter, 1915.

The artist is confined by her family to an asylum in the South of France - where she will never sculpt again - the chronicle of Camille Claudel's tragic reclusive life, as she waits for a visit from her brother, Paul Claudel.

In October this film screens at New York's The Film Forum.

 Andrés Wood's 'Violeta Went to Heaven'
Andrés Wood's 'Violeta Went to Heaven'

Violeta Went to Heaven is just now out on DVD.

It was a New York Times Critic's Pick and in Sundance 2012 it won the World Cinema Dramatic Jury Prize.

A portrait of famed Chilean singer and folklorist Violeta Parra filled with her musical work, her memories, her loves and her hopes. She began as an impoverished child and went on to become Chile's national heroine.