At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
April is “The Month of Animation” at Film Space, May “The Month of Funny Little Things.”
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. Showings are in a classroom on the second floor or on the roof, weather permitting. For the roof, you might want to bring something to sit on or lie on. And, if on the roof, the start might be delayed while everyone waits for it to get darker. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, April 25: La Vieille dame et les pigeons/ The Old Lady and the Pigeons (1998) Sylvain Chomet – 25 mins – France/ UK/ Canada, Animation/ Comedy/ Short. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 90/82 out of 100.
Nominated for an Oscar; BAFTA Award for best animated short.
A cranky gendarme sees an old woman feeding pigeons in the park and schemes to get his own grand repast. Except for tourist comments at the start and end, Sylvain Chomet's animation is a dialogue-free surreal delight. Other works: The Triplets of Belleville.
IMDb viewer: The Old Lady and the Pigeons is the epitome of bad taste cartoons, a darkly fun half-hour in the company of skewed figures and warped minds.
IMDb synopsis: A starving gendarme, wasting away from hunger, is reduced to grabbing castoff snacks from fat American tourists. When he sees as old woman feeding pigeons, in desperation he hits on the bizarre idea of dressing up as one, replete with grotesque, oversized head, and passing himself off as one of them! She seems not to notice that he's a bit larger than her other birds - and it gets odder when he invites himself into her flat and gestures for her to make a meal for him. As the weeks pass, he gets fatter and fatter, and as he slips into his delusion, he starts believing he IS a pigeon. One day, he follows her to the kitchen, where he is shocked to discover that her real pet is another woman - dressed up as a cat! Then he realizes she's just been fattening him up as a treat for the cat.
Animation World Network: La Vieile Dame et les Pigeons, released early in 1997, has spent the past year collecting awards at animation and film festivals around the world, including the grand prize at Annecy, The World Animation Celebration, and the prestigious Cartoon D'Or Best European Animated Film Award. The 23-minute, cel-animated film tells the story of a hungry French policeman who spots an old woman in the park, feeding rich pastries to a thankful flock of overweight pigeons. Disguising himself as a giant pigeon, the man visits and is generously fed by the old woman, only to discover her true intentions are more foul than fowl.
You can catch a taste of what the film is like by clicking here.
May is “The Month of Funny Little Things” at Film Space.
At Film Space Saturday, May 2: Be Kind Rewind (2008) Michel Gondry – 102 mins – US, Comedy/ Drama/ Sci-Fi. Reviews: Mixed or average reviews: 52/60 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Music-video-director-turned-auteur Michel Gondry continues to charm with his low-tech offering, Be Kind Rewind. Set in dreary Passaic, New Jersey, the comedy centers on two of the town's residents: trouble-making Jerry (Jack Black) and well-meaning Mike (Mos Def). Mike works in a video store in an age where the VHS is long dead, but the store's owner, Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover), doesn't seem to be in any hurry to change. When Mr. Fletcher leaves town for a trip, he entrusts his store to Mike with one piece of advice: don't let Jerry in the store. But after some mischief, Jerry returns to the store in a strange state. Not only is he weirder than usual, but he's also magnetized, which causes the entire store's stock to be erased. In order to keep the struggling business afloat, Mike and Jerry begin remaking the films in the store one by one. Their hilariously low-budget versions of films such as Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2 soon begin to draw attention and business to the store, but that creates a whole new set of problems for the pair. Though Gondry's three previous fiction films – Human Nature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Science of Sleep – were all essentially love stories, Be Kind Rewind captures another kind of romance. Both the writer-director and his characters are in love with the cinematic medium itself, and their devotion shows. Be Kind Rewind doesn't reach the heights of Eternal Sunshine, but it doesn't seem to be aiming for that genius. This is simply a hilarious comedy, fun for film fans of all stripes, which celebrates the sheer joy of watching and making films.
At Film Space Saturday, May 9: Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris – 101 mins – US, Comedy/ Drama. Generally favorable reviews: 80/77 out of 100. Rated R in the US for language, some sex and drug content.
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. Won two Oscars: best supporting actor (Alan Arkin); and best original screenplay, Michael Arndt. Nominated for two more.
Reel Views, James Berardinelli: It takes a deft hand to fashion a feel-good movie with plenty of laughs and an upbeat ending out of a story that includes drug addiction, a suicide attempt, a death, Nietzsche, and Proust. Despite treading through a minefield of tone shifts, co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and writer Michael Arndt reach the other side unscathed. Little Miss Sunshine is a small gem - or, considering the inclusion of hot star Steve Carell and the $10 million price tag paid by Fox Searchlight to acquire the distribution rights, perhaps not so "small." Smiles will be in evidence on the faces of audience members exiting a showing of this movie.
Rotten Tomatoes: What happens when you stuff a failed motivation speaker, his wife, the nation's number one Proust scholar, an elderly potty-mouthed heroin addict, a teen who’s mute by choice, and a bespectacled little pageant hopeful into a mini VW bus for a three day road trip? You get this hilarious but moving satire about a dysfunctional family obsessed with winning. Credit must go to the ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin and the delightfully funny script by Michael Arndt, which first-time directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris handled perfectly.