At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
January is “The Month of Coincidence” at Film Space.
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. A contribution is requested in the donation box at the entrance – you should leave 20 baht. Well worth supporting.
At Film Space Saturday, January 9: A Stranger of Mine / Unmei janai hito / 運命じゃない人 (2005) by Kenji Uchida – 98 mins – Japan, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance. A multi-award-winning film.
TBS Movies: It all started one Friday night when broken hearted and lackluster businessman Miyata returned home after losing the love of his life, only to be called out again by his private investigator friend. The two meet at a restaurant, where Miyata runs into a woman and falls in love, but in the shadows something unbelievable awaits them all... Three episodes as seen from the viewpoints of five people - a devastated Miyata, a detective who is tired of his job, a yakuza boss having trouble running his organization, a woman thrown into despair by a two-timing fiancé, and a con woman who twists men around her finger - are sandwiched between a short prologue and epilogue. The relationships between seemingly simple and isolated episodes begin to surface one after the other as the story progresses, bringing friendships to light and exposing the complicated nature of human beings.
Japan Times, Mark Schilling: Interestingly, this is not a festival film, in the high-brow, deep-think sense. Instead it is a circularly plotted, slickly made relationship comedy that abounds with witty lines and twists, but has about much weight as a "Seinfeld" episode (which is not meant as a slam).
Uchida sees himself as a mainstream entertainer – Billy Wilder is one of his idols – whose talents lie more in casting the right actors and giving them funny things to say than in the nitty-gritty of lighting, shooting and cutting (for that he relies heavily on his staff, beginning with cinematographer Keiichiro Inoue).
Born in 1972. An aspiring director since his high school years, Uchida enrolled in the undergraduate program in cinema at San Francisco State University in 1992, affording him the opportunity to learn script writing and film production techniques in everything from 8mm to 35mm. After graduating in 1998 Uchida returned to Japan and completed his independent film "WEEKEND BLUES" -recipient of both the TBS "Planning Award" and the Nikkatsu "Brilliant Award"at the 24th annual Pia Film Festival. Uchida then went on to receive the 14th PFF Scholarship in 2004 to create his first feature A Stranger of Mine.
At Film Space Saturday, January 16: 11:14 (2003) by Greg Marcks – 86 mins – US/ Canada, Comedy/ Crime/ Thriller. Starring: Hilary Swank, Patrick Swayze, Rachael Leigh Cook, Barbara Hershey. Rated R in the US for violence, sexuality, and pervasive language. Generally favorable reviews: 65/68 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: At 11:14 PM on one fatal evening, previously unconnected lives connect for the first time, with fatal consequences for some. This is the premise behind director Greg Marcks's inventive drama, 11:14, which draws on an impressive cast that includes Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry), Patrick Swayze (Donnie Darko), and Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That). Marcks slowly unveils five separate tales as the characters unwittingly careen towards each other. The movie is reminiscent of Paul Haggis's Crash, although 11:14 precedes Haggis's film by two years.
At Film Space Saturday, January 23: Magnolia (1999) by Paul Thomas Anderson – 188 mins – US, Drama. Starring: John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Melora Walters, William H. Macy, Jeremy Blackman, Michael Bowen, Melinda Dillon, April Grace, Luis Guzmán, Alfred Molina, Michael Murphy, Felicity Huffman, Henry Gibson. Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 35 nominations. Rated R in the US for strong language, drug use, sexuality, and some violence. Generally favorable reviews: 77/75 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics say Magnolia is an ambitious, lengthy work that ultimately succeeds due to the interesting stories and excellent ensemble performances.
In a single day in Los Angeles, a number of interconnected lives are changed forever. A lonely police officer (John C. Reilly) falls in love with a disturbed cocaine addict (Melora Walters). Her father (Philip Baker Hall), the host of the game show "What Do Kids Know?" has terminal cancer and tries to make amends for his past mistakes. A former champion of the show (William H. Macy) struggles to find love while the current champion (Jeremy Blackman) suffocates under the pressures of being a boy genius. An elderly man (Jason Robards) lies on his deathbed, tended by nurse Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while his trophy wife (Julianne Moore) wrestles with grief and guilt, and his estranged son (Tom Cruise), an infomercial host, teaches workshops on how to trick women into having sex. Throughout all of this, past deeds are lamented and strange forces loom in the air. Director Paul Thomas Anderson's follow-up to Boogie Nights is an extravagant, emotional epic inspired by such films as RobertAltman'sNashville and Short Cuts, with a sprawling cast of characters searching for love and meaning in a chaotic world. The cast delivers uniformly excellent performances, most notably TomCruise's Oscar-nominated role as the sleazy Frank T. J. Mackey.
Chiang Mai Mail, Mark Whitman: Paul Thomas Anderson is certainly one of the finest directors working in the USA today. Magnolia is a complex film which boasts a magnificent ensemble cast, a clever music score – and it confirms a talent which was compounded by last year’s film There Will Be Blood, a magnificent version of Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil!