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












Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cannes Update



Post Tenebrus Lux Flops






Holy Motors a Surprise Hit






Lots of Love for Amour





Cosmopolis Reactions Mixed





Annual Obligatory Cannes Meltdown


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.




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.

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...

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.


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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Films in Competition at Cannes: A-L


The Cannes Film Festival gets underway next 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




AMOUR




Directed by : Michael HANEKE

Country: FRANCE, GERMANY, AUSTRIA

Year: 2012

Duration: 127.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers.

Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family.

One day, Anne has an attack.

The couple's bond of love is severely tested.


CREDITS
Michael HANEKE - Director
Michael HANEKE - Screenplay
Darius KHONDJI - Cinematography
Jean-Vincent PUZOS - Set Designer
Nadine MUSE - Film Editor
Monika WILLI - Film Editor
Jean-Pierre LAFORCE - Sound
Guillaume SCIAMA - Sound

ACTORS
Jean-Louis TRINTIGNANT - Georges
Emmanuelle RIVA - Anne
Isabelle HUPPERT - Eva
Alexandre THARAUD - Alexandre






BAAD EL MAWKEAA (AFTER THE BATTLE) 



Directed by : Yousry NASRALLAH

Country: EGYPT, FRANCE

Year: 2012

Duration: 122.00 minutes



SYNOPSIS

Mahmoud was one of the horsemen coerced by lowly henchmen for Mubarak's regime into carrying out attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square on February 2, 2011.

He has since lost his job. Humiliated and ostracized, he lives near the Pyramids with his wife and sons.

His family is on the brink of despair when he meets Reem, a secular Egyptian divorcee who works in advertising. She is a fervent revolutionary who lives in a wealthy Cairo neighbourhood. Theirs is the encounter of two people, but also of two different worlds.



CREDITS
Yousry NASRALLAH - Director
Yousry NASRALLAH - Screenplay
Omar SHAMA - Screenplay
Samir BAHSAN - Cinematography
Mohammed ATTEYA - Set Designer
Tamer KARAWAN - Music
Mona RABI' - Film Editor
Ibrahim DESSOUKY - Sound

ACTORS
Mena SHALABY - Reem
Bassem SAMRA - Mahmoud
Nahed EL SEBAÏ - Fatma
Salah ABDALLAH - Haj Abdallah






COSMOPOLIS




Directed by : David CRONENBERG

Country: FRANCE, CANADA

Year: 2012

Duration: 108.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

New York is in turmoil, the age of capitalism is drawing to a close end. Eric Packer, a high finance golden boy, dives into a white limousine. While a visit from the President of the United States paralyses Manhattan, Eric Packer has one obsession: getting a haircut at his barber’s at the other end of the city. As the day goes by, chaos sets in, and he watches helplessly as his empire collapses. Also he is sure that someone is going to assassinate him. When? Where? He is about to live the most decisive 24 hours of his life.



CREDITS

David CRONENBERG - Director

David CRONENBERG - Screenplay

Peter SUSCHITZKY - Cinematography

Arv GREYWAL - Set Designer

Howard SHORE - Music

Ronald SANDERS - Film Editor

ACTORS

Robert PATTINSON - Eric Packer

Sarah GADON - Elise Shifrin

Paul GIAMATTI - Benno Levin

Juliette BINOCHE - Didi Fancher

Mathieu AMALRIC - André Petrescu

Samantha MORTON - Vija Kinski




DA-REUN NA-RA-E-SUH (IN ANOTHER COUNTRY) 

 

Directed by : HONG Sangsoo

Country: KOREA (South)

Year: 2012

Duration: 89.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

A young film student and her mother run away seaside town of Mohang to escape their mounting debt. The young woman begins writing a script for a short film in order to calm her nerves:

Three women named Anne appear, and each woman consecutively visits the seaside town of Mohang. The first Anne is a successful film director. The second Anne is a married woman secretly in an affair with a Korean man. The third Anne is a divorcée whose husband left her for a Korean woman.

A young woman tends to the small hotel by the Mohang foreshore owned by her parents. A certain lifeguard can always be seen wandering up and down the beach that lies nearby. Each Anne stays at this small hotel, receives some assistance from the owner’s daughter, and ventures onto the beach where they meet the lifeguard.

CREDITS

HONG Sangsoo - Director

HONG Sangsoo - Screenplay

JEE Yunejeong - Cinematography

PARK Hongyeol - Cinematography

JEONG Yongjin - Music

HAHM Sungwon - Film Editor

KIM Mir - Sound

ACTORS

Isabelle HUPPERT - Anne

YU Junsang - Lifeguard

JUNG Yumi - Wonju





DE ROUILLE ET D'OS (RUST AND BONE) 



Directed by : Jacques AUDIARD

Country: FRANCE, BELGIUM

Year: 2012

Duration: 120.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Ali suddenly finds himself in charge of Sam, his 5 years old son that he barely knows. Penniless and without friends, he leaves the north of France to seek shelter at his sister’s in Antibes. Even though she and her husband do not have much money, they make a room for them in their garage and take care of Sam.
Ali finds work as a bouncer at a local nightclub. After diffusing a fight one evening, he meets Stephanie a beautiful, self-confident woman. He takes her home and leaves her his number. But she is a princess and he is a poor fellow.
Stephanie is a killer whale trainer at the local Marineland. After a terrible accident one day, Ali gets an unexpected phone call from Stephanie.

When he sees her again she is crammed into a wheelchair. She has lost both her legs and her dreams.

Ali will share genuine moments with her, without pity, and help her to live again...


CREDITS

Jacques AUDIARD - Director

Jacques AUDIARD - Screenplay

Thomas BIDEGAIN - Screenplay

Craig DAVIDSON - Based on "De rouille et d'os" by

Stéphane FONTAINE - Cinematography

Michel BARTHELEMY - Set Designer

Alexandre DESPLAT - Music

Juliette WELFLING - Film Editor

Brigitte TAILLANDIER - Sound

ACTORS

Marion COTILLARD - Stéphanie

Matthias SCHOENAERTS - Ali

Armand VERDURE - Sam

Céline SALLETTE - Louise

Corinne MASIERO - Anna

Bouli LANNERS - Martial

Jean-Michel CORREIA - Richard





DO-NUI MAT (THE TASTE OF MONEY) 





Directed by : IM Sang-Soo

Country: KOREA (South)

Year: 2012

Duration: 114.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Young-jak who is a private secretary of madam Baek, the center power of Korean conglomerate, deals with immoral private issues of her wealthy family.

He reports to madam Baek that her husband, Mr. Yoon is having an affair with a Filipino nanny, Eva. Madam Baek is now despaired, then greedily seducing Young-jak for her sexual desire.

On the other hand, he begins to feel conflicted by madam Baek’s daughter, the only family member who approaches him with the true heart.

Lost between his morality and shortcut to successful life, he has to make the biggest decision he’s ever made to choose whom he will hang on to, in order to survive in this harsh world.

CREDITS

IM Sang-Soo - Director

IM Sang-Soo - Screenplay

KIM Woo-Hyung - Cinematography

KIM June - Set Designer

KIM Young-Hee - Set Designer

KIM Hong-Jip - Music

LEE Eun-Soo - Film Editor

ACTORS

KIM Kang-Woo - Youngjak, le secrétaire privé

BAEK Yoon-Sik - Kyungsun, le père

YOUN Yuh-Jung - Keumok, la mère

KIM Hyo-Jin - Nami, la fille

Maui TAYLOR - Eva, la bonne

ON Ju-Wan - Chul, le fils 




DUPA DEALURI (BEYOND THE HILLS) 




Directed by : Cristian MUNGIU

Country: ROMANIA, FRANCE, BELGIUM

Year: 2012

Duration: 150.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

Alina returns to Romania from Germany, hoping to bring Voichita - the only person in the world she loves and was loved by - back to her. But Voichita has found God - and God is the hardest lover of all to be jealous of.

CREDITS
Cristian MUNGIU - Director
Cristian MUNGIU - Screenplay
Oleg MUTU - Cinematography
Calin PAPURA - Set Designer
Mihaela POENARU - Set Designer
Mircea OLTEANU - Film Editor
Cristian TARNOVETCHI - Sound

ACTORS
Cosmina STRATAN - Voichita
Cristina FLUTUR - Alina
Valeriu ANDRIUTA - Prêtre
Dana TAPALAGA - Mère Supérieure






HOLY MOTORS 


Directed by : Leos CARAX

Country: FRANCE, GERMANY

Year: 2012

Duration: 115.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man...

He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part - but where are the cameras?

Monsieur Oscar is alone, accompanied only by Céline, the slender blonde woman behind the wheel of the vast engine that transports him through and around Paris. He’s like a conscientious assassin moving from hit to hit.
In pursuit of the beautiful gesture, the mysterious driving force, the women and the ghosts of past lives. 

But where is his true home, his family, his rest? 

CREDITS

Leos CARAX - Director

Leos CARAX - Screenplay

Caroline CHAMPETIER - Cinematography

Florian SANSON - Set Designer

Neil HANNON - Music

Nelly QUETTIER - Film Editor

Erwan KERZANET - Sound



JAGTEN (THE HUNT) 





Directed by : Thomas VINTERBERG

Country: DENMARK

Year: 2012

Duration: 111.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

Following a tough divorce, 40-year-old Lucas has a new girlfriend, a new job and is in the process of reestablishing his relationship with his teenage son, Marcus. But things go awry. Not a lot. Just a passing remark. A random lie. And as the snow falls and the Christmas lights are lit, the lie spreads like an invisible virus. The shock and mistrust gets out of hand, and the small community suddenly finds itself in a collective state of hysteria, while Lucas fights a lonely fight for his life and dignity.

CREDITS

Thomas VINTERBERG - Director

Tobias LINDHOLM - Screenplay

Thomas VINTERBERG - Screenplay

Charlotte BRUUS CHRISTENSEN - Cinematography

Torben STIG NIELSEN - Set Designer

Nikolaj EGELUND - Music

Janus BILLESKOV JANSEN - Film Editor

Anne ØSTERUD - Film Editor

Kristian SELIN EIDNES ANDERSEN - Sound

ACTORS

Mads MIKKELSEN - Lucas

Thomas Bo LARSEN - Theo

Annika WEDDERKOPP - Klara

Lasse FOGELSTRØM - Marcus

Susse WOLD - Grethe




KILLING THEM SOFTLY




Directed by : Andrew DOMINIK

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 104.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

When their poker game is knocked off by petty thieves, the Mob calls in their best enforcer, Jackie Cogan, to make things right. Under the eye of a mysterious driver, Jackie must track down and punish those responsible for the heist. His assignment is complicated by those he comes up against along the way - an aging, drunken hit man, some bumbling local gangsters, and the ladies’ man who ran the ill-fated game.


CREDITS

Andrew DOMINIK - Director

Andrew DOMINIK - Screenplay

Greig FRASER - Cinematography

Patricia NORRIS - Set Designer

Curtiss CLAYTON - Film Editor

Kirk FRANCIS - Sound

ACTORS

Brad PITT - Jackie

Scoot MCNAIRY - Frankie

Ben MENDELSOHN - Russell

James GANDOLFINI - Mickey

Richard JENKINS - Driver

Vincent CURATOLA - Johnny Amato

Ray LIOTTA - Markie Trattman




LAWLESS 



Directed by: John HILLCOAT

Country: USA

Year: 2012

Duration: 115.00 minutes

SYNOPSIS

LAWLESS is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel "The Wettest County In The World", the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave.

CREDITS

John HILLCOAT - Director

Nick CAVE - Screenplay

Benoit DELHOMME - Cinematography

Chris KENNEDY - Set Designer

Nick CAVE - Music

Warren ELLIS - Music

Dylan TICHENOR - Film Editor

Lisa PINERO - Sound

ACTORS

Shia LABEOUF - Jack

Tom HARDY - Forrest

Jason CLARKE - Howard

Guy PEARCE - Charley Rakes

Jessica CHASTAIN - Maggie

Mia WASIKOWSKA - Bertha






LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE 


Directed by : Abbas KIAROSTAMI

Country: FRANCE, JAPAN

Year: 2012

Duration: 109.00 minutes


SYNOPSIS

An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo. She knows nothing about him, he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of twenty four hours bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter.


CREDITS

Abbas KIAROSTAMI - Director

Abbas KIAROSTAMI - Screenplay

Katsumi YANAGIJIMA - Cinematography

Bahman KIAROSTAMI - Film Editor

Mohamadreza DELPAK - Sound

Nobuyuki KIKUCHI - Sound

ACTORS

Tadashi OKUNO

Rin TAKANASHI

Ryo KASE

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Politician and the Prostitute


Capitalizing on the French presidential election, TV5 has been running 2007’s The Candidate, an introspective political thriller written and directed by veteran actor Niels Arestrup. The film reduces a national campaign to a series of intimately scaled set pieces, designed to allow actors room to shine and audiences to focus on the shadowy machinations of king-making. There are no massive rallies, cheering crowds or lines of babies waiting to be kissed. Instead, we are immersed in the minutia of political messaging in a visual age; the agony of choosing between gray or blue suits, the controlled staging of candid photographs and the rapid fire memorization of arcane facts and figures. 



Inside the empty suit is Yvan Attal as Michel Dedieu, a lackadaisical product of inherited wealth, recruited at the last minute to stand for the presidency when the established candidate is suddenly and mysteriously stricken with cancer. Attal has made a career out of likable, but deeply flawed, characters and here he achieves an everyman empathy despite his gilded mansion and remuda of Jaguar sedans. Arestrup saves a plum role for himself as Georges, a jaded, bloated political string puller who thrives on cognac, cigars and access to the inner workings of government...warts and all. The film centers around Attal’s preparation for a high stakes televised debate, and the toll his candidacy extracts from his family and psyche. 



With a new war looming in the Middle East, Attal realizes there are other, more effective ways to serve his country, and begins a subtle rebellion against the political machine. Arestrup constructs a clever and impressive canard to give his film a satisfying conclusion, then nearly blows it by carrying that conclusion to a melodramatic extreme. Still, The Candidate is a smart and entertaining dissertation on corruption and cynicism, and richly deserves a home video release. 4.5 Stars.




2010’s Special Treatment, now available from Netflix, deals with more deeply personal issues and fans of Isabelle Huppert will find the film worthwhile, if a bit spotty. Filled with whores and psychiatrists, Special Treatment draws several parallels between the two professions, but ultimately concludes that psychiatrists have life a whole lot easier. Huppert plays a classy call girl on the run from a wacko John who’s a little too fond of the rough stuff. She becomes involved with a chubby, newly separated shrink named Xavier (Bouli Lanners), providing a clear canvas for the film’s comparisons and equations. 



There’s some affecting moments here, but director Jeanne Labrune surrounds them with a lot of clutter and at times the film loses its way. A subplot involving a bizarre rural sex club - where naked women dangle from crosses and cavort with livestock - serves no purpose and seems like something Ken Russell rejected. Labrune has an unfortunate fondness for thematic non sequiturs; her Beware of My Love from 1998 took an intriguing premise and promptly buried it in a field of baffling cinematic geegaws. 



But her absurdist tendencies can’t quite ruin Special Treatment, thanks mainly to Huppert’s subtle control of dramatic tempos.  At one point, the film moves away from Isabelle for an extended period in favor of all that other junk Labrune wants to deal with. When we return to Huppert, it is with a wordless scene in which she’s trying to cross a busy Parisian street. We see her mental calculations, her false starts and finally a mad dash to safety. It’s a common, everyday occurrence, but Huppert somehow makes the moment come alive with meaning. 



Special Treatment was not a success with moviegoers or critics; the most common complaint concerned Ms. Huppert’s age for this role. Yes, she probably is a little too old to be playing a sought-after strumpet, but if one accepts the premise then the film’s professional analogies have a stronger resonance. Just as she will be replaced by younger, flashier models, the highly trained and highly paid practitioners of “talking cures” also face extinction from new, highly effective psychotropic drugs. The main difference between psychoanalysts and prostitutes? There will always be a demand for the latter. 3.5 Stars.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

News and Notes: TOO MUCH COFFEE EDITION!!

  • When it comes to new releases, I'm much more excited about THIS than The Avengers!!



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  • Is all this exciting or what????


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