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 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.
San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle: 11:14 is an inventive, black comedy, the debut feature from Greg Marcks -- with an ensemble cast including Hilary Swank, Patrick Swayze and Barbara Hershey. It’s a meticulous piece of plot construction, entertaining, full of incidents, and infused throughout with a mischievous and bleak sense of humor.
Why would famous actors take small parts in an independent film with no guarantee of its ever being released? It had to be the script. Marcks came up with something fresh: A man (Henry Thomas) is driving down the road, somewhat drunk, when he hits somebody at 11:14 p.m. We see that situation unfold, and then we go back in time on a number of occasions to meet other characters, all of them related in unexpected ways to that accident. By the end of the movie, all the loose ends are tied up, and we have a full understanding of what really took place at 11:14 in this suburban town.
If 11:14 were merely a puzzle-like construction it would be of limited appeal. What makes it so successful is that Marcks doesn't just have a novel way of telling his story; he has a really good story to tell. Most of the characters operate according to secret motives and their lives become entwined, not by mere chance, but as a direct consequence of the actions they take.
Amazon.com, Mike Leonard: The way the lives of the several different characters intersect on a fateful night in the town of Middleton is the highlight of the strangely titled 11:14, a small, independent film that is sort of "film schoolish," but ultimately quite enjoyable. Like a less glitzy, small-town version of Go or even Memento, the film follows several story threads that all converge in a single moment, involving a traffic accident.
The tone of the movie is part dramatic, part dark comic, but mostly totally absurd, and the offbeat sensibilities are effectively maintained throughout. There's just enough ambiguity with the story and the characters to hold our attention, and also enough information for audiences to have fun piecing all the disparate clues together.
Amazon.com, Lawrence M. Bernabo: It is important you know that this is a black comedy because cars hitting people, or people hitting cars, are not usually topics of humor. Besides, there are arguably worse things that happen to people in this movie (depending on your point of view, which very well may be gender specific).
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 Robert Altman'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!
At Film Space Saturday, January 30: See How They Run / Embrassez qui vous voudrez (2002) by Michel Blanc – 103 mins – France/ UK/ Italy, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance. Generally favorable reviews: 74 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Michel Blanc's adaptation of JosephConnolly's novel Summer Things/ Vacances Anglaises romps through scene after scene of riotous romantic upheaval and treachery. The story follows two eccentric families on vacation together in Touquet, France. One family, however, is privately bankrupt and can only afford a trailer on the outskirts of town. Casual infidelity and small deceits are the norm, as almost each character, young and old, becomes involved in a summer tryst. Class issues figure widely throughout the film, pressurizing relationships to their breaking point, and even driving one of the characters to suicide. Poignant moments of real loneliness complement the silly madness of sex and love, and become the motivation for utter debauchery. Unexpected attractions between disparate characters reinvent the bourgeoisie, or bringing true desire to the surface. As the vacation comes to a close, everyone either seems more resolved about their lives and loves, or driven to new extremes of psychosis, long past help. An incredible ensemble cast makes this well-written film memorable, including director Michel Blanc as Jean-Pierre, a deluded husband, and Charlotte Rampling as Elisabeth, the wise but vulnerable matriarch. Although the film flip-flops between earnest and comedic problems of money, monogamy, and longing, there is clearly only one way to escape from these pressures, and that is to fool around.