See review this issue.
Farewell Em Gee Film Library
Murray Glass has a library of over 6,000 films. Tonight, 5 of the shorter ones will be shown. No theme connects them aside from shortness and experimentation.
See review this issue.
A transplant from India tries to get a job in acting, and while he lands one, soon finds out it's in a porno film with Heather Graham.
Mercury Prozac Series Mystery Film
See My What a Busy Week
A film about the middle leg of the triangular trade route that trafficked (11 million) Africans for slaves in Europe and America. Told as a "poetic rumination," Middle Passage follows a slave ship from Senegal to the American coast.
Sia: The Myth of the Python
A king who plans to sacrifice Sia (the hot virgin) to a snake god so water will be restored to the town. But even though the king is backed by the wealthy and powerful, the townfolks aren't down with giving up the virgin.
Absolut Warhola (Germany)
Here are people in a Ukranian village, only remotely connected to Andy Warhol, yet consider him their own son and their village's claim to fame. Told with gentle compassion, the film has won a bunch of impressive awards.
Atletico San Pancho (Mexico)
Two boys in a small Mexican town assemble a rag tag soccer team with an old custodian for a coach.
Bank Ban (Hungary)
A story of greed, jealousy, power-struggles. With the king away, the queen heaps privileges on her brethren. That really pisses off the have-nots who rebel.
Chihwaseon (South Korea)
Considered the masterpiece of director Im Kwon-Taek, this film profiles a wildly indulgent 19th-Century Korean painter.
Dark Cities (Mexico)
We see a down on her luck hooker, sexually experimental teens, drug addicts, a bartender, a dirty cop, a pedophile drug store owner, and more, whose lives intertwine on the gritty streets of Mexico City.
This is the most expensive film ever made in India! Spectacular sets recreate the 1920s Calcutta in this boy-meets-girl, boy-ripped-away-from-girl story of love and heartbreak.
Doing Time (Japan)
Based on cult manga author Hanawa Kazuichi, the film chronicles the author's experiences in prison.
The screenwriter of the original Insomnia takes another murky look at the evil that men do, and then helplessly obsess over. A generation-gapped couple's idyllic farmlife gets torn asunder with the chance arrival of a figure from the past (the seriously disturbing Mikael Persbrandt). (Andrew Wright)
A Polish fairy tale about two scrap-metal pickers who are forced to tutor the sister of a pair of ruthless brothers-in-crime.
It is 1987, and a young Viennese journalist convinces a composer and Holocaust survivor to testify against a concentration camp guard.
Grill Point (Germany)
A tragi-comedy involving two couples, both caught in relationship ruts. When one of the guys starts humping his best friend's girl, the boring relationships are shaken up.
A five-year-old Kurdish runaway escapes certain doom with the help of an aging judge.
Laurel Canyon (USA)
See review this issue.
A 16-year-old is abandoned by her mother and tries to survive in a malevolent former USSR. There's no denying the almost absurd bleakness of director Lukas Moodysson vision, lightened only by dreamy nuggets of hard to swallow surrealism. Brilliantly acted (lead Oksana Askinsjina is a real find) with a soundtrack that quickdraws from bubblegum to Rammstein. (Andrew Wright)
The Magdalene Sisters
Serious as a heart attack, this unabashedly enraged lapel-grabber focuses on a trio of young women unjustly confined to an Irish convent/slave labor camp. Based on true events, and condemned by the Vatican.
All that really matters about this film is that it's written and directed by Fernando Meirelles, creator of City of God, one of the coolest filmmakers alive.
Man on the Train (France)
Director Patrice Leconte brings us this oft-told tale of two aging men from vastly different backgrounds coming to understand and--yes--even like each other. One is a retired poetry teacher, the other a bank robber preparing for his last heist. Despite the unbelievable premise, the acting is fine, and the story is sweet. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)
Man Without a Past (Finland)
See review this issue.
Monday Morning (France)
A Frenchman, Vincent, wanders from the impersonal routines of his family and factory work to Venice, where he runs with several flamboyant characters. The film's examination of the everyman and the dynamics between family members, generations, and even smoking laws is clever and affectionate. (Marjorie Skinner)
Monrak Transistor (Thailand)
The director of the Tarantinoesque 69 is back with another film about hopelessness, desperation, and broken dreams. His new film involves a singer who has tried hard to become something, but has achieved nothing. (Charles Mudede)
A film about a 10-year-old girl who discovers that she can hypnotize people with her singing. Together with her sidekick, who can effortlessly find words that rhyme, these peas-in-a-pod turn the world into their happy slaves.
The Reunion (Sweden)
This film flip flops between past and present, showing the members of a class 20 years ago and in the present. One of the students, Magnus, thinks he has it all-- car, house, kids, naggy wife--but when he is invited to a reunion he becomes curious to see his love from the age of 15.
Soft Shell Man (Canada)
Everyone wants a piece of Alex, an underwater photographer who is far too nice to say "no" and far too indulgent of other people's wants. Alex ends up under the power of a couple of women, each who think they're his girlfriend.
Director Steve James returns to his home town to reconnect with Stevie, a boy he had been a "big brother" to. Stevie, now a man, is as emotionally troubled as he was in his youth. Filmed over a number of years, the director wrestles with his own feelings of having abandoned Stevie.
The Lover (Russia)
Tragedy begets tragedy as a woman's sudden death sends her husband into a spiral of cuckolded jealousy and self-absorption, hastened by the appearance of a lurking outsider with equal reason to grieve. Stunning, cerebral, and darkly funny, with a resolution that's perhaps a little too classically Russian for its own good. (Andrew Wright)
The War (Russia)
An Englishman and woman are taken captive in Russia by a guerrilla leader, Aslan Gugaev. Gugaev demands a ransom for the release of the woman, sending the man back to England to raise the money. A social critique of Putin's Russia, as well as a commentary on the nature of war.
The Warrior (Britain)
Based on a Japanese folk tale, this is the story of a warrior ordered by his evil lord to kill the inhabitants of villages that do not pay their taxes. When the warrior, Lafcadia, has a mystical encounter with a young girl, he decides to forsake violence, but his lord will not let him off so easy.
The Wild Bees
While making the difficult transition from communism to capitalism, a small village somewhere in the Czech Republic scrounges for food, supplies, and vodka. The depressing but beautifully shot film, more like a documentary really, centers on a group of twentysomething dreamers bored with life, but too poor and drunk to get out of town. (Pat Kearny)