Wednesday, May 30, 2012

News and Notes for the End of May

The Great Celestial Orchestra gains another extraordinary talent: Doc Watson Passes at 89










Did you have a favorite local band in the 60's or 70's that never quite made it?
Chances are you can find them at www.garagehangover.com












News and Notes for the End of May

The Great Celestial Orchestra gains another extraordinary talent: Doc Watson Passes at 89










Did you have a favorite local band in the 60's or 70's that never quite made it?
Chances are you can find them at www.garagehangover.com












Friday, May 25, 2012

Signs and Wonders: Take Shelter (2011) ****1/2



Darkening clouds, vicious dogs and swarming blackbirds all serve as apocalyptic signs and wonders in Take Shelter, a superb psychological thriller written and directed by Jeff Nichols. Set in the lush rural plains of Ohio, the film journals an emotionally troubled summer of in the life of a laconic drilling crew manager named Curtis (Michael Shannon) who finds his grip on reality slowly slipping. For Curtis, the thunderheads that form in the late afternoon sky are not mere meteorological phenomena, but harbingers of a new and powerful malevolence; their golden slimy raindrops a dire warning to a distracted world.


As Curtis heads to work each morning in a rattling Chevy pickup, he must wipe the sleep from his eyes, for deep slumber has become impossible. Every night, he is visited by horrific dreams filled with terrifying scenarios, and these nightmares have begun to invade his waking life as well. But Curtis must bravely venture on, for depending on him are his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and special needs daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart), who has finally been approved for an expensive surgery that may restore her hearing. Curtis' breakdown could not happen at a worse time, as his daugther's future is dependent on his employer's insurance benefits. And as he trys mightily to emit a brave front, the pressure on his psyche builds to a dangerous tipping point.


 Michael Shannon has always excelled at characters with dark personal issues - his extraordinary turn as a schizophrenic in Revolutionary Road allowed him to steal a movie from Kathy Bates, a first in cinema history - and here he fleshes out the heavily burdened Curtis through techniques that range from stark to subtle. Nichols is careful to dole out his story in measured, highly charged morsels, and our deepening acquaintance with Curtis grows in ways that feel organic and fresh, despite the film’s increasingly surreal atmosphere. Eventually, a full portrait of Curtis' past emerges, giving his hallucinations a new and deeply troubling consequence. When he seeks professional help, Shannon begins to lead a double life, withholding his tormented secrets from family and friends. But his ambitious effort to renovate an old storm cellar is both a manifestation of his fantasies and a cry for help, rendering his struggles too big to ignore.


Shannon's creepy, off balance effects are intensified by Nichols' superb evocation of the new middle America, a tense and insecure land where steady employment is the only barrier between penury and hope. Presented without a hint of condecension, Take Shelter's bucholic Buckeyes are defined by responsibilty to family and community. In an unforgettable scene, a Lion's Club supper serves as a climactic backdrop for Curtis' public humiliation as Chastain and Stewart close ranks around their beleagured breadwinner. Chastain adds another excelllent performance to her portfolio; her protective bear mother reminscent of her role in The Tree of Life, but this time her Earth Goddess mysticism is replaced by the strength of clarity and resolve. Her husband may be a deranged lunatic or an impassioned prophet, but neither possibility can alter her bounds of love.


Take Shelter is a film that skillfully combines the mundane with the metaphorical, and is not afraid to address unanswerable questions. The increasingly deadly weather that affects our planet serves as a staging area for one man's personal demons, yet the contrast in scale only enhances the lonliness of Curtis' journey and its chilling ramifications for all mankind. But the film's thematic tentacles extend far beyond the perils of howling winds. Take Shelter evokes the foreboding sense that civilization has entered its last days, pursueing its own destruction with a momentum that has become unstoppable. And the well intentioned efforts of one deeply flawed man - efforts that may cost him everything - ultimately amount to spit in the wind.




Signs and Wonders: Take Shelter (2011) ****1/2



Darkening clouds, vicious dogs and swarming blackbirds all serve as apocalyptic signs and wonders in Take Shelter, a superb psychological thriller written and directed by Jeff Nichols. Set in the lush rural plains of Ohio, the film journals an emotionally troubled summer of in the life of a laconic drilling crew manager named Curtis (Michael Shannon) who finds his grip on reality slowly slipping. For Curtis, the thunderheads that form in the late afternoon sky are not mere meteorological phenomena, but harbingers of a new and powerful malevolence; their golden slimy raindrops a dire warning to a distracted world.


As Curtis heads to work each morning in a rattling Chevy pickup, he must wipe the sleep from his eyes, for deep slumber has become impossible. Every night, he is visited by horrific dreams filled with terrifying scenarios, and these nightmares have begun to invade his waking life as well. But Curtis must bravely venture on, for depending on him are his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and special needs daughter Hannah (Tova Stewart), who has finally been approved for an expensive surgery that may restore her hearing. Curtis' breakdown could not happen at a worse time, as his daugther's future is dependent on his employer's insurance benefits. And as he trys mightily to emit a brave front, the pressure on his psyche builds to a dangerous tipping point.


 Michael Shannon has always excelled at characters with dark personal issues - his extraordinary turn as a schizophrenic in Revolutionary Road allowed him to steal a movie from Kathy Bates, a first in cinema history - and here he fleshes out the heavily burdened Curtis through techniques that range from stark to subtle. Nichols is careful to dole out his story in measured, highly charged morsels, and our deepening acquaintance with Curtis grows in ways that feel organic and fresh, despite the film’s increasingly surreal atmosphere. Eventually, a full portrait of Curtis' past emerges, giving his hallucinations a new and deeply troubling consequence. When he seeks professional help, Shannon begins to lead a double life, withholding his tormented secrets from family and friends. But his ambitious effort to renovate an old storm cellar is both a manifestation of his fantasies and a cry for help, rendering his struggles too big to ignore.


Shannon's creepy, off balance effects are intensified by Nichols' superb evocation of the new middle America, a tense and insecure land where steady employment is the only barrier between penury and hope. Presented without a hint of condecension, Take Shelter's bucholic Buckeyes are defined by responsibilty to family and community. In an unforgettable scene, a Lion's Club supper serves as a climactic backdrop for Curtis' public humiliation as Chastain and Stewart close ranks around their beleagured breadwinner. Chastain adds another excelllent performance to her portfolio; her protective bear mother reminscent of her role in The Tree of Life, but this time her Earth Goddess mysticism is replaced by the strength of clarity and resolve. Her husband may be a deranged lunatic or an impassioned prophet, but neither possibility can alter her bounds of love.


Take Shelter is a film that skillfully combines the mundane with the metaphorical, and is not afraid to address unanswerable questions. The increasingly deadly weather that affects our planet serves as a staging area for one man's personal demons, yet the contrast in scale only enhances the lonliness of Curtis' journey and its chilling ramifications for all mankind. But the film's thematic tentacles extend far beyond the perils of howling winds. Take Shelter evokes the foreboding sense that civilization has entered its last days, pursueing its own destruction with a momentum that has become unstoppable. And the well intentioned efforts of one deeply flawed man - efforts that may cost him everything - ultimately amount to spit in the wind.




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dull Shadows: The Sandpiper (1965)**1/2




As part of Hollywood’s embrace of adult themed romantic dramas in the 1960s, The Sandpiper was promoted with a breathless marketing campaign that promised no shortage of steamy debauchery. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, fresh from their headline grabbing antics on the set of Cleopatra, were cast as a hapless couple in the grip of uncorralled illicit passions. Upping the ante was a hinted Christian/Atheist smackdown, with Burton’s Episcopal minister representing all that is good and moral versus Taylor’s liberated, free love watercolorist, set in the dreamy ocean mists of Big Sur. Like politicians, movies rarely deliver on all their promises, but The Sandpiper took welching to new heights, replacing the property’s inherent sexual and philosophical tensions with soapy bland porridge. The film is notable today mainly for its mournful Oscar winning song The Shadow of Your Smile by Johnny Mandel. It’s a great tune that’s gone on to become a jazz standard, although the movie nearly beats it into the Monterrey County surf from overuse.


Single mother Taylor lives a bohemian existence with her home schooled son (Morgan Mason) in an off-the-grid A Frame constructed literally on the beach. When he shoots a deer out of season, Taylor’s son is ordered to attend a Christian school run by Dr. Hewitt (Burton), a harried headmaster obliged to spend more time glad-handing rich donors than actually teaching. Job pressures have clearly taken their toll on Hewitt, as he glumly drives to fundraisers in the most unhip Ford station wagon ever photographed. But Taylor’s wild child is far advanced in his home-brewed studies and is allowed to skip a grade, arousing Burton’s professional curiosity. He soon visits Liz at her funky utopia beneath the cliffs, and certain other parts of Burton are eventually aroused as well.


Vincente Minnelli was a superb director of musicals, but his background and aesthetics are too Old Hollywood for what should have been a small story of personal crisis. Every effort is made to enlarge the canvas, including several supporting characters that serve mainly as distractions. Charles Bronson’s hunky sculptor is used as a sort of chief debater for the sinful free-spirits, but Burton’s impressive oratory makes short work of the argument. Eva Marie Saint, as Burton’s wife and school administrator, seems more like an old college pal than a soulmate, and is thoroughly wasted in this role. But most problematic is Taylor, who the script has no idea how to handle. For a character brimming with sympathy, the film offers plenty of opportunities to pass judgement. She ultimately comes off as a party girl with a string of rich boyfriends from Indiana to Carmel; her path strewn with broken, but well-heeled, hearts.

 

And there we have The Sandpiper’s downfall, as Minnelli and company refuse to commit to the story’s true cultural conflicts and instead settle for socially coded comforts. Standard American morals are tepidly challenged, but at great cost to the questioners, and apparently it’s OK to engage in unconventional lifestyles as long as your background includes a significant number of landed gentry. But this was 1965 - still a few years away from the zenith of filthy hippiedom - yet The Sandpiper does precious little to pave the way.

Dull Shadows: The Sandpiper (1965)**1/2




As part of Hollywood’s embrace of adult themed romantic dramas in the 1960s, The Sandpiper was promoted with a breathless marketing campaign that promised no shortage of steamy debauchery. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, fresh from their headline grabbing antics on the set of Cleopatra, were cast as a hapless couple in the grip of uncorralled illicit passions. Upping the ante was a hinted Christian/Atheist smackdown, with Burton’s Episcopal minister representing all that is good and moral versus Taylor’s liberated, free love watercolorist, set in the dreamy ocean mists of Big Sur. Like politicians, movies rarely deliver on all their promises, but The Sandpiper took welching to new heights, replacing the property’s inherent sexual and philosophical tensions with soapy bland porridge. The film is notable today mainly for its mournful Oscar winning song The Shadow of Your Smile by Johnny Mandel. It’s a great tune that’s gone on to become a jazz standard, although the movie nearly beats it into the Monterrey County surf from overuse.


Single mother Taylor lives a bohemian existence with her home schooled son (Morgan Mason) in an off-the-grid A Frame constructed literally on the beach. When he shoots a deer out of season, Taylor’s son is ordered to attend a Christian school run by Dr. Hewitt (Burton), a harried headmaster obliged to spend more time glad-handing rich donors than actually teaching. Job pressures have clearly taken their toll on Hewitt, as he glumly drives to fundraisers in the most unhip Ford station wagon ever photographed. But Taylor’s wild child is far advanced in his home-brewed studies and is allowed to skip a grade, arousing Burton’s professional curiosity. He soon visits Liz at her funky utopia beneath the cliffs, and certain other parts of Burton are eventually aroused as well.


Vincente Minnelli was a superb director of musicals, but his background and aesthetics are too Old Hollywood for what should have been a small story of personal crisis. Every effort is made to enlarge the canvas, including several supporting characters that serve mainly as distractions. Charles Bronson’s hunky sculptor is used as a sort of chief debater for the sinful free-spirits, but Burton’s impressive oratory makes short work of the argument. Eva Marie Saint, as Burton’s wife and school administrator, seems more like an old college pal than a soulmate, and is thoroughly wasted in this role. But most problematic is Taylor, who the script has no idea how to handle. For a character brimming with sympathy, the film offers plenty of opportunities to pass judgement. She ultimately comes off as a party girl with a string of rich boyfriends from Indiana to Carmel; her path strewn with broken, but well-heeled, hearts.

 

And there we have The Sandpiper’s downfall, as Minnelli and company refuse to commit to the story’s true cultural conflicts and instead settle for socially coded comforts. Standard American morals are tepidly challenged, but at great cost to the questioners, and apparently it’s OK to engage in unconventional lifestyles as long as your background includes a significant number of landed gentry. But this was 1965 - still a few years away from the zenith of filthy hippiedom - yet The Sandpiper does precious little to pave the way.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

News From Cannes



Most Critics Agree: Moonrise Kingdom is a Wes Anderson Film

Tepid Reaction to Hillcoat's Bootlegger Epic Lawless

23 Year Old Canadian Director Xavier Dolan, who is 23 and from Canada, Shows Remarkable Ambition for a 23 Year Old Canadian Director at age 23.

Ouch!  After The Battle Gets an Aggregate Score of 1.6 Stars From the Critics...

News From Cannes



Most Critics Agree: Moonrise Kingdom is a Wes Anderson Film

Tepid Reaction to Hillcoat's Bootlegger Epic Lawless

23 Year Old Canadian Director Xavier Dolan, who is 23 and from Canada, Shows Remarkable Ambition for a 23 Year Old Canadian Director at age 23.

Ouch!  After The Battle Gets an Aggregate Score of 1.6 Stars From the Critics...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eat, Pray, Crack-Up: The Island Inside (2009) ****



A family's dark legacy of mental illness is explored in The Island Inside, a Spanish production from 2009 now rotating on HBO Signature. Set in the freaking gorgeous Canary Islands, the film tells the story of three adult siblings emotionally damaged by their father (Celso Bugallo) and his long struggle with schizophrenia. But not only is this younger generation burdened by excruciating memories, they also live in constant fear that their father’s illness is buried deep in their genetic construction and may one day prove to be a most unwelcome inheritance.


The Island Inside features some superb acting and through the mournful moods of co-directors Dunia Ayaso and Felix Sabroso each scene weaves a mesmerizing, and completely believable, ensemble structure. Alberto San Juan, as college professor Martin, appears to be a poster child for buttoned-up responsibility, but his life is controlled by strangely obsessive tendencies. Meanwhile sister Gracia (Cristina Marcos), a struggling actress hoping for success on a Madrid soap opera, occasionally seems unable to separate fact from fiction. But the heavy lifting is left to Candela Pena - last seen in Fernando León de Aranoa’s excellent Princesas from 2005 - as Coral, the innocent victim of her father’s most egregious transgressions; whose personality is now a troubling mixture of fiery aggression and abject subjugation.


Geraldine Chaplin makes a surprising appearance as the family matriarch; a bitter woman whose decades of denial of her husband’s illness has extracted a high emotional price from her children. Chaplin glides through this difficult character with a chilly grace. With her children, she perfectly strikes the cold, harsh tones of an enabler of monstrosities, with clearly no intention of accepting responsibility.


Shot on digital video, The Island Inside has the bright, crisp look Spanish cinematographers favor these days and combined with the tropical beauty of Las Palmas, the film is simply beautiful to look at. Yet underneath its postcard veneer churns a powerful and affecting tale of deeply flawed souls thrust into spiritual confusion and torment due to no fault of their own. The Island Inside remains a poignant and sobering document, and by its somber conclusion you may find yourself a bit more inclined to charity, and a little more tolerant of the folks that drive you - for lack of a better word - crazy.


Eat, Pray, Crack-Up: The Island Inside (2009) ****



A family's dark legacy of mental illness is explored in The Island Inside, a Spanish production from 2009 now rotating on HBO Signature. Set in the freaking gorgeous Canary Islands, the film tells the story of three adult siblings emotionally damaged by their father (Celso Bugallo) and his long struggle with schizophrenia. But not only is this younger generation burdened by excruciating memories, they also live in constant fear that their father’s illness is buried deep in their genetic construction and may one day prove to be a most unwelcome inheritance.


The Island Inside features some superb acting and through the mournful moods of co-directors Dunia Ayaso and Felix Sabroso each scene weaves a mesmerizing, and completely believable, ensemble structure. Alberto San Juan, as college professor Martin, appears to be a poster child for buttoned-up responsibility, but his life is controlled by strangely obsessive tendencies. Meanwhile sister Gracia (Cristina Marcos), a struggling actress hoping for success on a Madrid soap opera, occasionally seems unable to separate fact from fiction. But the heavy lifting is left to Candela Pena - last seen in Fernando León de Aranoa’s excellent Princesas from 2005 - as Coral, the innocent victim of her father’s most egregious transgressions; whose personality is now a troubling mixture of fiery aggression and abject subjugation.


Geraldine Chaplin makes a surprising appearance as the family matriarch; a bitter woman whose decades of denial of her husband’s illness has extracted a high emotional price from her children. Chaplin glides through this difficult character with a chilly grace. With her children, she perfectly strikes the cold, harsh tones of an enabler of monstrosities, with clearly no intention of accepting responsibility.


Shot on digital video, The Island Inside has the bright, crisp look Spanish cinematographers favor these days and combined with the tropical beauty of Las Palmas, the film is simply beautiful to look at. Yet underneath its postcard veneer churns a powerful and affecting tale of deeply flawed souls thrust into spiritual confusion and torment due to no fault of their own. The Island Inside remains a poignant and sobering document, and by its somber conclusion you may find yourself a bit more inclined to charity, and a little more tolerant of the folks that drive you - for lack of a better word - crazy.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Films in Competition at Cannes: M-Z

The Cannes Film Festival gets underway this week with 22 films in competition. Here's a look at each one. All info and pictures courtesy: http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en.html


MOONRISE KINGDOM 



Directed by : Wes ANDERSON

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 93.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.

CREDITS

Wes ANDERSON - Director

Wes ANDERSON - Screenplay

Roman COPPOLA - Screenplay

Robert YEOMAN ASC - Cinematography

Adam STOCKHAUSEN - Set Designer

Alexandre DESPLAT - Music

ACTORS

Bruce WILLIS - CAPTAIN SHARP

Edward NORTON - SCOUT MASTER WARD

Bill MURRAY - MR. BISHOP

Frances MCDORMAND - MRS. BISHOP

Tilda SWINTON - SOCIAL SERVICES

Jason SCHWARTZMAN - COUSIN BEN

Bob BALABAN - The narrator

Jared GILMAN - SAM

Kara HAYWARD - SUZY



MUD 



Directed by : Jeff NICHOLS

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 130.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Mud is an adventure about two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud describes fantastic scenarios - he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow.

CREDITS

Jeff NICHOLS - Director

Jeff NICHOLS - Screenplay

Adam STONES - Cinematography

David WINGO - Music

Julie MONROE - Film Editor

Ethan ANDRUS - Sound

ACTORS

Matthew MCCONAUGHEY - MUD

Reese WHITHERSPOON - JUNIPER

Tye SHERIDAN - ELLIS

Jacob LOFLAND - NECKBONE

Sam SHEPARD - TOM BLANKENSHIP

Ray MCKINNON - SENIOR

Sarah PAULSON - MARY LEE

Michael SHANNON - GALEN





ON THE ROAD 



Directed by : Walter SALLES

Country: FRANCE, BRAZIL

Year: 2012

Duration: 137.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Just after his father’s death, Sal Paradise, an aspiring New York writer, meets Dean Moriarty, a devastatingly charming ex-con, married to the very liberated and seductive Marylou. Sal and Dean bond instantly. Determined not to get locked in to a constricted life, the two friends cut their ties and take to the road with Marylou. Thirsting for freedom, the three young people head off in search of the world, of other encounters, and of themselves.

CREDITS

Walter SALLES - Director

Jose RIVERA - Screenplay

Eric GAUTIER - AFC - Cinematography

Carlos CONTI - Set Designer

Gustavo SANTAOLALLA - Music

François GEDIGIER - Film Editor

ACTORS

Garrett HEDLUND - Dean Moriarty

Sam RILEY - Sal Paradise

Kristen STEWART - Marylou

Amy ADAMS - Jane Lee

Tom STURRIDGE - Carlo Marx

Elisabeth MOSS - Galatea Dunkel

Kirsten DUNST - Camille

Viggo MORTENSEN - Old Bull Lee




PARADIES: LIEBE  



Directed by : Ulrich SEIDL

Country: AUSTRIA, GERMANY, FRANCE

Year: 2012

Duration: 120.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

On Kenya’s beaches they are known as "sugar mamas": European women who seek out African boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian woman, travels to this vacation paradise. "PARADISE: Love" tells of older women and young men, of Europe and Africa, and of the exploited, who end up exploiting others. Ulrich Seidl’s film is the first in his PARADISE-Trilogy about three women, three vacations and three stories of the longing to find happiness today.

CREDITS

Ulrich SEIDL - Director

Veronika FRANZ - Screenplay

Ulrich SEIDL - Screenplay

Ed LACHMAN - Cinematography

Wolfgang THALER - Cinematography

Andreas DONHAUSER - Set Designer

Maribel MARTIN - Set Designer

Christof SCHERTENLEIB - Film Editor

Ekkehart BAUMUNG - Sound

ACTORS

Margarethe TIESEL - Teresa

Peter KAZUNGU - Munga

Inge MAUX - Teresa's friend




POST TENEBRAS LUX 



Directed by : Carlos REYGADAS

Country: MEXICO, FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS

Year: 2012

Duration: 120.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. And nobody knows if these two worlds are complementary or if they strive to eliminate one another.

CREDITS

Carlos REYGADAS - Director

Carlos REYGADAS - Screenplay

Alexis ZABE - Cinematography

Nohemi GONZALEZ - Set Designer

Natalia LOPEZ - Film Editor

Gilles LAURENT - Sound

ACTORS

Adolfo JIMENEZ CASTRO

Nathalia ACEVEDO

Willebaldo TORRES

Rut REYGADAS

Eleazar REYGADAS




REALITY 



Directed by : Matteo GARRONE

Country: ITALY, FRANCE

Year: 2012

Duration: 115.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Luciano is a Neapolitan fishmonger who supplements his modest income by pulling off little scams together with his wife Maria. A likeable, entertaining guy, Luciano never misses an opportunity to perform for his customers and countless relatives. One day his family urge him to try out for Big Brother. In chasing this dream his perception of reality begins to change.

CREDITS

Matteo GARRONE - Director

Maurizio BRAUCCI - Screenplay

Ugo CHITI - Screenplay

Matteo GARRONE - Screenplay

Massimo GAUDIOSO - Screenplay

Marco ONORATO - Cinematography

Paolo BONFINI - Set Designer

Alexandre DESPLAT - Music

Marco SPOLETINI - Film Editor

ACTORS

Aniello ARENA - Luciano

Loredana SIMIOLI - Maria

Nando PAONE - Michele

Raffele FERRANTE - Enzo




THE ANGELS' SHARE 



Directed by : Ken LOACH

Country: UNITED KINGDOM, FRANCE, BELGIUM, ITALY

Year: 2012

Duration: 106.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

A bittersweet comedy about a Glasgow boy locked in a family feud who just wants a way out. When Robbie sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time, he is overwhelmed. He swears that Luke will not lead the same stricken life he has led.

On community service Robbie meets Rhino, Albert and Mo for whom, like him, work is little more than a distant dream. Little did Robbie imagine that turning to drink might change their lives - not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. What will it be for Robbie? More violence and vendettas or a new future with 'Uisge Beatha,' the 'Water of Life'? Only the angels know...

CREDITS

Ken LOACH - Director

Paul LAVERTY - Screenplay

Robbie RYAN - Cinematography

Fergus CLEGG - Set Designer

George FENTON - Music

Jonathan MORRIS - Film Editor

Ray BECKETT - Sound

ACTORS

Paul BANNIGAN - Robbie

John HENSHAW - Harry

Gary MAITLAND - Albert

Jasmin RIGGINS - Mo

William RUANE - Rhino

Roger ALLAM - Thaddeus

Siobhan REILLY - Leonie




THE PAPERBOY

 
Directed by : Lee DANIELS

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 107.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

The story of a young man who returns to his small Florida home town to help his reporter brother uncover the truth about a man on death row, who might have been wrongly convicted. In the process, he falls for the convict’s lover. Conflict, danger, deceit, seduction and betrayal ensue.

CREDITS

Lee DANIELS - Director

Lee DANIELS - Screenplay

Pete DEXTER - Screenplay

Pete DEXTER - Based on the novel by

Roberto SCHAEFER ASC - Cinematography

Daniel T. DORRANCE - Set Designer

Mario GRIGOROV - Music

Joe KLOTZ - Film Editor

ACTORS

Matthew MCCONAUGHEY - Ward Jansen

Zac EFRON - Jack Jansen

David OYELOWO - Yardley Acheman

Macy GRAY - Anita

John CUSACK - Hillary Van Wetter

Nicole KIDMAN - Charlotte Bless



V TUMANE (IN THE FOG) 



Directed by : Sergei LOZNITSA

Country: GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, LATVIA, RUSSIA

Year: 2012

Duration: 127.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Western frontiers of the USSR, 1942. The region is under German occupation, and local partisans are fighting a brutal resistance campaign.

A train is derailed not far from the village, where Sushenya, a rail worker, lives with his family. Innocent Sushenya is arrested with a group of saboteurs, but the German officer makes a decision not to hang him with the others and sets him free. Rumours of Sushenya’s treason spread quickly, and partisans Burov and Voitik arrive from the forest to get revenge.

As the partisans lead their victim through the forest, they are ambushed, and Sushenya finds himself one-to-one with his wounded enemy.

Deep in an ancient forest, where there are neither friends nor enemies, and where the line between treason and heroism disappears, Sushenya is forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances.

CREDITS

Sergei LOZNITSA - Director

Sergei LOZNITSA - Screenplay

Oleg MUTU - Cinematography

Kirill SHUVALOV - Set Designer

Danielius KOKANAUSKIS - Film Editor

Vladimir GOLOVNITSKI - Sound

ACTORS

Vladimir SVIRSKI - Souchénia

Vlad ABASHIN - Bourov

Sergeï KOLESOV - Voïtik

Vlad IVANOV - Le Commandant en chef

Julia PERESILD - Anelia

Nikita PERETOMOVS - Gricha

Nadezhda MARKINA - La mère de Bourov



                 VOUS N'AVEZ ENCORE RIEN VU (YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET!) 



Directed by : Alain RESNAIS

Country: FRANCE, GERMANY

Year: 2012

Duration: 115.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

From beyond the grave, celebrated playwright Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play "Eurydice". These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. Do love, life, death and love after death still have any place on a theater stage? It’s up to them to decide. And the surprises have only just begun...

CREDITS

Alain RESNAIS - Director

Laurent HERBIET - Screenplay

Alex RÉVAL - Screenplay

Eric GAUTIER - Cinematography

Jacques SAULNIER - Set Designer

Mark SNOW - Music

Hervé DE LUZE - Film Editor

Jean-Pierre DURET - Sound

Gérard HARDY - Sound

Gérard LAMPS - Sound

ACTORS

Sabine AZÉMA

Pierre ARDITI

Anne CONSIGNY

Lambert WILSON

Films in Competition at Cannes: M-Z

The Cannes Film Festival gets underway this week with 22 films in competition. Here's a look at each one. All info and pictures courtesy: http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en.html


MOONRISE KINGDOM 



Directed by : Wes ANDERSON

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 93.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.

CREDITS

Wes ANDERSON - Director

Wes ANDERSON - Screenplay

Roman COPPOLA - Screenplay

Robert YEOMAN ASC - Cinematography

Adam STOCKHAUSEN - Set Designer

Alexandre DESPLAT - Music

ACTORS

Bruce WILLIS - CAPTAIN SHARP

Edward NORTON - SCOUT MASTER WARD

Bill MURRAY - MR. BISHOP

Frances MCDORMAND - MRS. BISHOP

Tilda SWINTON - SOCIAL SERVICES

Jason SCHWARTZMAN - COUSIN BEN

Bob BALABAN - The narrator

Jared GILMAN - SAM

Kara HAYWARD - SUZY



MUD 



Directed by : Jeff NICHOLS

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 130.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Mud is an adventure about two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud describes fantastic scenarios - he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow.

CREDITS

Jeff NICHOLS - Director

Jeff NICHOLS - Screenplay

Adam STONES - Cinematography

David WINGO - Music

Julie MONROE - Film Editor

Ethan ANDRUS - Sound

ACTORS

Matthew MCCONAUGHEY - MUD

Reese WHITHERSPOON - JUNIPER

Tye SHERIDAN - ELLIS

Jacob LOFLAND - NECKBONE

Sam SHEPARD - TOM BLANKENSHIP

Ray MCKINNON - SENIOR

Sarah PAULSON - MARY LEE

Michael SHANNON - GALEN





ON THE ROAD 



Directed by : Walter SALLES

Country: FRANCE, BRAZIL

Year: 2012

Duration: 137.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Just after his father’s death, Sal Paradise, an aspiring New York writer, meets Dean Moriarty, a devastatingly charming ex-con, married to the very liberated and seductive Marylou. Sal and Dean bond instantly. Determined not to get locked in to a constricted life, the two friends cut their ties and take to the road with Marylou. Thirsting for freedom, the three young people head off in search of the world, of other encounters, and of themselves.

CREDITS

Walter SALLES - Director

Jose RIVERA - Screenplay

Eric GAUTIER - AFC - Cinematography

Carlos CONTI - Set Designer

Gustavo SANTAOLALLA - Music

François GEDIGIER - Film Editor

ACTORS

Garrett HEDLUND - Dean Moriarty

Sam RILEY - Sal Paradise

Kristen STEWART - Marylou

Amy ADAMS - Jane Lee

Tom STURRIDGE - Carlo Marx

Elisabeth MOSS - Galatea Dunkel

Kirsten DUNST - Camille

Viggo MORTENSEN - Old Bull Lee




PARADIES: LIEBE  



Directed by : Ulrich SEIDL

Country: AUSTRIA, GERMANY, FRANCE

Year: 2012

Duration: 120.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

On Kenya’s beaches they are known as "sugar mamas": European women who seek out African boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian woman, travels to this vacation paradise. "PARADISE: Love" tells of older women and young men, of Europe and Africa, and of the exploited, who end up exploiting others. Ulrich Seidl’s film is the first in his PARADISE-Trilogy about three women, three vacations and three stories of the longing to find happiness today.

CREDITS

Ulrich SEIDL - Director

Veronika FRANZ - Screenplay

Ulrich SEIDL - Screenplay

Ed LACHMAN - Cinematography

Wolfgang THALER - Cinematography

Andreas DONHAUSER - Set Designer

Maribel MARTIN - Set Designer

Christof SCHERTENLEIB - Film Editor

Ekkehart BAUMUNG - Sound

ACTORS

Margarethe TIESEL - Teresa

Peter KAZUNGU - Munga

Inge MAUX - Teresa's friend




POST TENEBRAS LUX 



Directed by : Carlos REYGADAS

Country: MEXICO, FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS

Year: 2012

Duration: 120.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. And nobody knows if these two worlds are complementary or if they strive to eliminate one another.

CREDITS

Carlos REYGADAS - Director

Carlos REYGADAS - Screenplay

Alexis ZABE - Cinematography

Nohemi GONZALEZ - Set Designer

Natalia LOPEZ - Film Editor

Gilles LAURENT - Sound

ACTORS

Adolfo JIMENEZ CASTRO

Nathalia ACEVEDO

Willebaldo TORRES

Rut REYGADAS

Eleazar REYGADAS




REALITY 



Directed by : Matteo GARRONE

Country: ITALY, FRANCE

Year: 2012

Duration: 115.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Luciano is a Neapolitan fishmonger who supplements his modest income by pulling off little scams together with his wife Maria. A likeable, entertaining guy, Luciano never misses an opportunity to perform for his customers and countless relatives. One day his family urge him to try out for Big Brother. In chasing this dream his perception of reality begins to change.

CREDITS

Matteo GARRONE - Director

Maurizio BRAUCCI - Screenplay

Ugo CHITI - Screenplay

Matteo GARRONE - Screenplay

Massimo GAUDIOSO - Screenplay

Marco ONORATO - Cinematography

Paolo BONFINI - Set Designer

Alexandre DESPLAT - Music

Marco SPOLETINI - Film Editor

ACTORS

Aniello ARENA - Luciano

Loredana SIMIOLI - Maria

Nando PAONE - Michele

Raffele FERRANTE - Enzo




THE ANGELS' SHARE 



Directed by : Ken LOACH

Country: UNITED KINGDOM, FRANCE, BELGIUM, ITALY

Year: 2012

Duration: 106.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

A bittersweet comedy about a Glasgow boy locked in a family feud who just wants a way out. When Robbie sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time, he is overwhelmed. He swears that Luke will not lead the same stricken life he has led.

On community service Robbie meets Rhino, Albert and Mo for whom, like him, work is little more than a distant dream. Little did Robbie imagine that turning to drink might change their lives - not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. What will it be for Robbie? More violence and vendettas or a new future with 'Uisge Beatha,' the 'Water of Life'? Only the angels know...

CREDITS

Ken LOACH - Director

Paul LAVERTY - Screenplay

Robbie RYAN - Cinematography

Fergus CLEGG - Set Designer

George FENTON - Music

Jonathan MORRIS - Film Editor

Ray BECKETT - Sound

ACTORS

Paul BANNIGAN - Robbie

John HENSHAW - Harry

Gary MAITLAND - Albert

Jasmin RIGGINS - Mo

William RUANE - Rhino

Roger ALLAM - Thaddeus

Siobhan REILLY - Leonie




THE PAPERBOY

 
Directed by : Lee DANIELS

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 107.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

The story of a young man who returns to his small Florida home town to help his reporter brother uncover the truth about a man on death row, who might have been wrongly convicted. In the process, he falls for the convict’s lover. Conflict, danger, deceit, seduction and betrayal ensue.

CREDITS

Lee DANIELS - Director

Lee DANIELS - Screenplay

Pete DEXTER - Screenplay

Pete DEXTER - Based on the novel by

Roberto SCHAEFER ASC - Cinematography

Daniel T. DORRANCE - Set Designer

Mario GRIGOROV - Music

Joe KLOTZ - Film Editor

ACTORS

Matthew MCCONAUGHEY - Ward Jansen

Zac EFRON - Jack Jansen

David OYELOWO - Yardley Acheman

Macy GRAY - Anita

John CUSACK - Hillary Van Wetter

Nicole KIDMAN - Charlotte Bless



V TUMANE (IN THE FOG) 



Directed by : Sergei LOZNITSA

Country: GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, LATVIA, RUSSIA

Year: 2012

Duration: 127.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Western frontiers of the USSR, 1942. The region is under German occupation, and local partisans are fighting a brutal resistance campaign.

A train is derailed not far from the village, where Sushenya, a rail worker, lives with his family. Innocent Sushenya is arrested with a group of saboteurs, but the German officer makes a decision not to hang him with the others and sets him free. Rumours of Sushenya’s treason spread quickly, and partisans Burov and Voitik arrive from the forest to get revenge.

As the partisans lead their victim through the forest, they are ambushed, and Sushenya finds himself one-to-one with his wounded enemy.

Deep in an ancient forest, where there are neither friends nor enemies, and where the line between treason and heroism disappears, Sushenya is forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances.

CREDITS

Sergei LOZNITSA - Director

Sergei LOZNITSA - Screenplay

Oleg MUTU - Cinematography

Kirill SHUVALOV - Set Designer

Danielius KOKANAUSKIS - Film Editor

Vladimir GOLOVNITSKI - Sound

ACTORS

Vladimir SVIRSKI - Souchénia

Vlad ABASHIN - Bourov

Sergeï KOLESOV - Voïtik

Vlad IVANOV - Le Commandant en chef

Julia PERESILD - Anelia

Nikita PERETOMOVS - Gricha

Nadezhda MARKINA - La mère de Bourov



                 VOUS N'AVEZ ENCORE RIEN VU (YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET!) 



Directed by : Alain RESNAIS

Country: FRANCE, GERMANY

Year: 2012

Duration: 115.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

From beyond the grave, celebrated playwright Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play "Eurydice". These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. Do love, life, death and love after death still have any place on a theater stage? It’s up to them to decide. And the surprises have only just begun...

CREDITS

Alain RESNAIS - Director

Laurent HERBIET - Screenplay

Alex RÉVAL - Screenplay

Eric GAUTIER - Cinematography

Jacques SAULNIER - Set Designer

Mark SNOW - Music

Hervé DE LUZE - Film Editor

Jean-Pierre DURET - Sound

Gérard HARDY - Sound

Gérard LAMPS - Sound

ACTORS

Sabine AZÉMA

Pierre ARDITI

Anne CONSIGNY

Lambert WILSON

80 Years at the Races

Most Marx Brothers aficionados agree that 1937’s A Day at the Races was the last truly great film featuring the zany siblings. Produced by ...