At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
During February, Film Space presents “The Month of Iron Hoofter.” March is “The Month of Bad Luck Money.”
Film Space is to the right and in the back of the CMU Art Museum, in the Media Arts and Design building across from the ballet school. Now that the weather is cool, they are resuming their rooftop showings, weather permitting. You might want to bring something to sit on or lie on. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, February 28: Sommersturm / Summer Storm (2004) by Marco Kreuzpaintner – 98 mins – Germany, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance.
Fourth and last in the “Hoofter” series: gay love in Germany. Tobi and Achim have been best friends for years. As cox and oarsman, they have helped their team win several rowing cups in the past and are now looking forward to the big regatta in the countryside. But this trip is no summer camp anymore and the first problems soon arise. As Achim’s relationship with his girlfriend grows more serious, Tobi starts to realize that his feelings for Achim run deeper than he’s willing to admit to himself. He feels confused, unsure of himself and increasingly left out. When the much-anticipated Berlin girls’ team is replaced by a team of athletic, cliché-busting young gay men, Tobi and his teammates are suddenly forced to grapple with their prejudices, their fears, and, perhaps, their hidden longings. As the tension grows, Tobi, Achim and the others head towards a confrontation as fierce and ultimately as liberating as the summer storm gathering over the lake… Summer Storm highlights the emotional confusion of a young man at the threshold of adulthood. Bolstering the film’s authenticity is the dazzling characterization of Tobi by award-winning young Robert Stadlober (Best Leading Actor at the Montreal Film Festival, 2001). Rated R in the US for sexuality, language, and drug content. Mixed or average reviews: 51/55 out of 100.
Don Willmott, FilmCritic.com: It's a wet hot German summer when a co-ed high-school rowing team hops on its bus and heads off a regional meet/campout in Summer Storm. Issues of burgeoning sexuality abound, and one boy's struggle with his nascent homosexuality comes to the fore.
The center of attention is Tobi (Robert Stadlober), a somewhat dorky but popular team captain who has a dangerously serious crush on his life-long buddy and teammate Achim (Kostja Ullmann). Backslapping best friends, the two are totally comfortable indulging in, um, onanism contests and playing a little slap and tickle in the locker room, but when Tobi plants an impulsive little kiss on Achim's cheek, the freaked-out Achim draws a firm line. After all, he has a girlfriend, and so does Tobi for that matter.
Once the kids make it to the rowing meet campsite, they're amazed to find that one of the competing teams is comprised completely of dewy young gay men who have traveled from Berlin (oh, that explains it). The Queerstrokes, as they're called, are a friendly lot, but they suffer a bit of low-grade homophobia at the hands of Tobi's less worldly teammates.
As Achim and his girlfriend keep sneaking off into the woods for grope sessions, Tobi burns with jealousy. When he finally has his own erotic encounter with one of the Queerstrokes, he's more, rather than less, confused, and as word spreads of his orientation, minor chaos ensues, and the coach worries that they may not win the trophy.
Gaythemed-films.blogspot.com: Tobi and Achim have been best mates for years. As cox and oarsman, they have lead their rowing club to win several rowing cups in the past and are now looking forward to win a big regatta in the countryside of Germany. But this trip isn't your usual summer camp experience and problems soon arise. As Achim's relationship with his girlfriend Sandra, who's also on the team, grows more and more serious, Tobi starts to realize that his feelings for Achim run much deeper than he's willing to admit to himself. He feels confused, unsure of himself and increasingly left out by his friend Alex and the team. When Sandra's best friend Anke shows her interest in him, his anxiety starts to grow. When it turns out that the much-anticipated Berlin girls' team has been replaced by a team of athletic, cliché-bursting young gay men, Tobi and his teammates are suddenly forced to grapple with their prejudices, their fears, and, perhaps, their hidden longings. As the tension grows, Tobi, Achim and the others head towards a confrontation as fierce and liberating as the summer storm that's gathering over the lake. And Tobi realizes he has to start facing some facts about himself he didn't dare to face before.
Preview available at:
March is “The Month of Bad Luck Money” at Film Space.
At Film Space Saturday, March 7: 6ixtynin9 / Ruang talok 69 (1999) by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – 118 mins – Thai, Comedy/ Crime/ Thriller.
In this critically-acclaimed Thai comedy, a young woman named Tum finds a mysterious noodle box full of money on her doorstep, shortly after losing her job. The clever beauty attempts to hold on to the loot and soon finds herself at the center of a thrilling, high-stakes caper between Thai Boxing gangsters, corrupt executives, and the bungling authorities. Rated R in the US for violence, language, and brief sexual humor. Generally favorable reviews: 65/66 out of 100.
At Film Space Saturday, March 14: Millions (2004) by Danny Boyle – 98 mins – UK, Comedy/ Crime/ Drama/ Family/ Fantasy.
By the director of the currently acclaimed Oscar winner, Slumdog Millionaire, this is an earlier work also dealing with kids, a family film of limitless imagination and surprising joy, as it follows two brothers dealing with a windfall as a bag containing 265,000 British pounds bounces off a train and into their playhouse. Generally favorable reviews: 74/74 out of 100.
RottenTomatoes.com: It is rare that a family film is both visually sophisticated and emotionally nuanced. Millions, the fantastical tale of two British brothers and the large sack of cash literally dropped onto them... It is rare that a family film is both visually sophisticated and emotionally nuanced. Millions, the fantastical tale of two British brothers and the large sack of cash literally dropped onto them from the sky, is just that--a multi-layered, majestic feast for both the eyes and the mind. Young brothers Anthony and Damian Cunninham, whose initial response to their unexpected fortune is a Robin Hood-esque spree of charity, have only one week to spend their 265,000 British pounds before their nation switches over to the Euro. Though the premise may seem trite or predictable, unexpected details--including Damian's ability to see visions of saints and the recent death of the boys' beloved mother--add complexity to the story. As the 7- and 9-year-old Cunningham brothers, lead actors Alex Etel and Lewis McGibbon prove to be those exceptional child actors who are appealing without being precious and their understated, mature performances add gravity to a largely whimsical film. Danny Boyle, the director best known for stylishly violent films Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, might seem an odd man to helm this comparatively innocent movie. However, Boyle's visual and narrative gifts turn out to be perfectly suited to this modern day fable, adding much-needed flavor to a genre that is all too often ignored by cinematic talents.
Roger Ebert: Millions was directed by Danny Boyle, who made "Shallow Grave," "Trainspotting" and the zombie movie "28 Days Later." Yes, the Danny Boyle. And the original screenplay and novel are by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote "Hilary and Jackie" and "24 Hour Party People." What are these two doing making a sunny film about kids?
I don't require an answer for that, because their delight in the film is so manifest. But they are serious filmmakers who do not know how to talk down to an audience, and although "Millions" uses special effects and materializing saints, it's a film about real ideas, real issues, and real kids. It's not sanitized brainless eye candy. Like all great family movies, it plays equally well for adults -- maybe better, since we know how unusual it is.
One of its secrets is casting. In Alex Etel and Lewis McGibbon the film has found two of the most appealing child actors I've ever seen.