Archives for October 2010

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127 Hours

Every second counts
James Franco, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara
Directed by Danny Boyle

In movies nothing good ever happens on a mountain unless you’re Julie Andrews and then good things happen to you everywhere. There’s Kevin MacDonald’s documentary “Touching the Void” about a mountain-climbing expedition shot to hell. And what was that mountain disaster movie that at first advertised its cannibalism but later changed to a triumph of the human spirit angle? I‘m not sure if ... more >

Fair game

Wife. Mother. Spy.
Naomi Watts, Sean Penn and Sonya Davison
Directed by Doug Liman

Just when the recession was starting to make the Iraq war feel like a blip director Doug Liman’s (he previously directed "Bourne Ultimatum") “Fair Game” brings us more fresh outrage, this time going through the details of how the government dragged a CIA agent and her do-gooder husband through the mud. They are, of course, Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) and Joe Wilson (Sean Penn). Beginning shortly ... more >

The Tillman story

A cover up. One family will risk everything for the truth
Pat Tillman, Josh Brolin and Mary Tillman
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev

In a Boston Phoenix interview with director Amir Bar-Lev Peter Keough asks “I was reading that you had your own Pat Tillman for a while there. That he was sort of this subversive lefty.” The director replies, “Oh yeah, I said that on one occasion. . . . It’s the way that everybody who admires Pat Tillman also kind of wants to own him for themselves.” It may seem ungrateful to complain about “The ... more >

Hipsters

New film from Russia strikes a different tone
Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina and Maksim Matveev
Directed by Valéri Todorovski

Colors, rock’n’roll, Chet Baker and electric-loud suits and skinny ties. Must be Arthur Laurents country. In fact it’s the Soviet Union circa halfway through the Cold War and it’s a Valéri Todorovski movie called "Hipsters" (it was released in France under the name Les Zazous) which will hopefully come to a theatre near you, though likely under a different name (official release date in Russia ... more >

The time that remains

1948, creation of the state of Israel
Ali Suliman, Saleh Bakri and Elia Suleiman
Directed by Elia Suleiman

Subtitled “Chronicle of a Present Absentee” and the final installment in a trilogy that previously gave us "Chronicle of a disappearance” and “Divine intervention,” “The time that remains” is a new film by Elia Suleiman set among the Israelo-Arab community and shot largely in homes and places in which Suleiman’s family once lived. Inspired by his father’s diaries, letters his mother sent to family ... more >

2,501 Migrants: A Journey

Honoring the lives of the forgotten

In this contemplative documentary, director Yolanda Cruz follows indigenous Oaxacan artist Alejandro Santiago as he creates 2,501 life-size statues—one for every person who’s left his native town of Teococuilco in search of a better life. Though it’s slow to get going, the film eventually becomes an inspiring story of the hope that art can instill in marginalized, disadvantaged ... more >

Two Escobars

Zimbalist Bros strike again
María Ester Escobar and Francisco Maturana
Directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist

In “The Two Escobars” brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist ("Favela rising") have taken three rather straightforward storylines—the rise and fall of a Messianic athlete, the rise and fall of a Robin Hood-like drug kingpin, and, most broadly, the rise and fall of a country—and interwined them into one of the most intensely complex documentaries ever made. You don't walk out of “The Two Escobars” ... more >