Blood in the lake!
Chiang Mai movies beginning Thursday, August 26, 2010
… through Wednesday, September 1
by Thomas Ohlson
Best Bets: Toy Story 3. Salt.
Not Expendable: Mickey Rourke
This is Issue Number 43 of Volume 5 of these listings.
EU Film Festival in Bangkok: Oct 21 to 31.
World Film Festival in Bangkok: Nov 5 to 14.
Bangkok International Film Festival: Nov 19 to 29.
EU Film Festival in Chiang Mai: Early November (current proposal).
Luang Phrabang Film Festival in Luang Prabang: Dec 4 to 11. Open air, free, 30 films. www.lpfilmfest.org
Special Note on the EU Film Festival in Chiang Mai
It seems the folks behind the festival are rethinking the whole concept this year, perhaps making it a more encompassing festival, including music and food, with an idea, or so I would imagine, to more fully promote the member nations as attractive places to visit and study in, and to give us a chance to enjoy a greater variety of the EU’s cultural offerings and country products. This year the Bangkok version will be basically free, and will be held together with a food and music festival from 21-31 October.
They are considering making the Chiang Mai version also a free event, and at present are considering what venues would be appropriate. They couldn’t hold a free event at the Vista complex, site of the previous festivals. They are looking for a venue accessible to all who might be interested, and they are interested in suggestions. It seems like they are thinking of holding the entire event outdoors, including the film showings, which would certainly be a drastic change from the past.
If you have any suggestions or comments about this plan, please let me know and I will pass them along. A couple of people have already suggested the Think Park, across from the Amari Rincome, as an outdoor location that might work.
Now playing in Chiang Mai * = new this week
* Piranha 3-D: US, Action/ Horror/ Thriller – Terror on the lake. “Boobs and blood,” that’s what Director Alexandre Aja promised and that’s what he delivered in spades. Don’t even think about trying to count the kills, or the boobies. Rated R in the US for sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language, and some drug use; 18+ in Thailand. Mixed or average reviews: 53/44 out of 100. (Bold scores are from Metacritic / light scores from Rotten Tomatoes.)
Shown in 3D, but it’s not real 3D; 3D effects were added in post production. Only at Airport Plaza.
The sort-of plot: After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of prehistoric man-eating fish, a group of strangers band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents. With Richard Dreyfuss in the cast – you remember him, the original battler of things in the water that bite
St. Petersburg Times, Steve Persall: Hands down and body parts floating, the most irresistibly sick movie in years is Piranha 3D, which should be retitled Piranha 3D, Double-D and C for all the topless cuties director Alexandre Aja feeds the fish and audience.
Empire, Kim Newman: Remember the film you hoped Snakes on a Plane would be – this is it! By any sane cinematic standards, meretricious trash … but thrown at you with such good-humored glee that it's hard to resist. It's a bumper-sticker of a movie: honk if you love tits and gore! Honk honk honk.
Boxoffice Magazine, Amy Nicholson: The script is ridiculous, the bodies are great and the film skates so long on the line between knowingly bad and bad that by the time the body count hits 100 and the booby count hits 1000, we've lost track of the difference.
Christopher Lloyd, perturbed ... and an actor in makeup
Cinematic horror archive, Dave J. Wilson: One of my biggest gripes is the 3D. For an extra $3 I expect to be blown away. Sure it doesn’t sound like much, but it almost doubles the ticket price. There were a few instances of noticeable 3D effects, but mostly I was scratching my head and squinting trying to figure out what I was missing, and why I was wearing the glasses. Although having a $24 million budget, they could not afford to film in 3D, so they took the typical short-cut of doing it in post-production. I’ve heard director’s saying post-conversion 3D is just as effective as filming it in 3D, but I don’t buy that at all. I’ve seen enough of it now to be able to tell the difference between the two. I’m fairly certain there will be an enormous difference between this movie and Resident Evil: Afterlife, which was filmed with James Cameron’s 3D cameras, and were operated by his crew. Post-production 3D is a gimmick used to jack up ticket prices. Cameron’s idea of 3D is actually worth the money. In this case I felt completely ripped off, and would have liked the option of seeing it in 2D, which basically the film is anyway.
* Brown Sugar / Namthan Daeng / น้ำตาลแดง: Thai, Drama/ Erotic – 2 hrs 5 mins – This Thai film is Part 1 of 6 short erotic stories of love, greed, wrath, and obsession presented in several genres: thriller, action, drama, romance, and comedy. Already infamous for an extended, unbroken scene of female masturbation that lasts ten minutes. Rated 18+ in Thailand; in Thai only at Vista, no English subtitles.
Bangkok Post: “It's a female masturbation scene that we just had to have,” says producer Pracha Pinkaew, talking about the Thai erotic movie, Namthan Daeng, out this week.
Mr. Pracha, who acted as an adviser on the project for Sahamongkol Films, insists Namthan Daeng – which contains a 10-minute scene of a woman masturbating – is not indecent. In fact, it's a clean movie – the subject just happens to be sex, he told the Manager/ASTV newspaper.
Actress Lakana "Oom" Wathanawongsiri, above, playing a masseuse who falls for a tattoo artist, performs the masturbation scene in a segment called Desire, directed by Kittiyapon Klangsurin. The segment is one of six sex stories in the film, which showcases the work of new directors.
"The rest of the world has erotic films, but not us," said Mr. Pracha. "Previously, we have been constrained by cultural norms and censorship laws. But now that the laws are more open, it's time we made one ourselves," he said, adding the movie looks at sex from an artistic perspective. It contains messages which reflect on society, and the way we are.
"Sex is part of life, and everyone has sexual desires. But Thailand keeps the lid on such things; hardly anyone is willing to talk about it. This is the first film which dares to do so," he said.
A brief scene of Oom's character playing with herself is included in the teaser. Mr. Pracha said he decided to let the masturbation scene run for the full 10 minutes, as to cut it back would be to ruin the effect.
"When we were in the editing room, even the director herself was unsure. So we made two versions, one with editing, and the other where we let it run.
"The director said that when she saw the 10-minute version, she didn't know where to cut. When I saw it, I agreed. Oom does such a good job that we decided to keep in the full 10 minutes."
Director Pracha Pinkaew
Mr. Pracha said the film was screened before a test audience of film students at university: "Women and Katoey students liked the 10-minute version. They also applauded our courage in making it."
* The Expendables: US, Action/ Adventure/ Thriller – 1 hr 43 mins – Directed by Sylvester Stallone. A team of mercenaries head to South America on a mission to overthrow a dictator. Rated R in the US for strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language; 18+ in Thailand. Mixed or average reviews: 45/51 out of 100. Thai-dubbed at Vista.
Rotten Tomatoes: Consensus: It makes good on the old-school action it promises, but given all the talent on display, The Expendables should hit harder.
Richard Roeper: Also the Predictables, the Forgettables and they kinda look like the Anabolic Steroidables...
Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips: At one point Mickey Rourke delivers a monologue about his time in Bosnia, and the conviction the actor brings to the occasion throws the movie completely out of whack. What's actual acting doing in a movie like this?
Sylvester Stallone looks roughly the same as he did in the late 20th century, only the hair is blacker, the muscles are more … something, and the audience good will he generates, even in a disposable film such as this, remains sort of sweet.
Time, Richard Corliss: What you will find is both familiar in its contours and unique in its casting: the definitive alterkocker action picture. Call it "The Old Dogs of War," or "Incontinent Basterds."
USA Today, Claudia Puig: This is truly a movie that nobody needs -- gratuitously savage, implausible, and sometimes incoherent.
The Onion A.V. Club, Nathan Rabin: Delivers pretty much exactly what its audience wants and expects: big, dumb, campy fun so deliriously, comically macho, it's remarkable that no one in the cast died of testosterone poisoning.
Boston Globe, Ty Burr: Expendables is the closest thing to movie Viagra yet invented. It's reprehensible. It's stoopid violent. It's a lot of unholy fun.
NPR, Mark Jenkins: Next to the hopelessly inexpressive Stallone and the English-impaired Li, Statham emerges as the movie's principal wit. But the script furnishes him with only a few deadpan quips. Besides, it's no great accomplishment to be the funniest guy in a Sylvester Stallone flick.
The New York Times, A.O. Scott: ... it's better-than-average Stallone. I can't quite say that it's not bad: it is bad! But not entirely in a bad way.
USA Today, Claudia Puig: Sadistic mess of a movie.
Splice: (Canada/ France/ US, Horror/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – 1 hr 44 mins – Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, and Delphine Chaneac; Directed by: Vincenzo Natali. Elsa and Clive, two young, rebellious, and to me repulsive scientists defy legal and ethical boundaries to forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named "Dren,” the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators - only to have that bond turn deadly. If your wife has sex with a creature that was 50% her daughter but is now 50% her son, is that incest or bestiality? Is this a serious moral quandary? If questions like that keep you awake nights, this movie is for you. I found the two leads disgusting human beings and their relationship with each other a dismaying demonstration of the worst in human behavior. And the female is sick, sick, sick! Rated R in the US for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence, and language. My views are in the minority. Generally favorable reviews: 66/66 out of 100. At Airport Plaza only.
The original, before her motion
was captured, Delphine Chanéac
The female in the movie, Sarah Polley, did not read one of her lines of dialogue believably. Among those which could be understood, that is; most of the dialogue is very sloppily delivered, and not really understandable. And she was way too noisy when she was screaming, which she did a lot of. A very awful person to watch carry on. She and her husband, Adrien Brody, kept noisily chomping on junk foods in a disgusting manner. I think they were supposed to be developing their characters by their bad eating manners. Maybe they can explain their repulsive behavior as caused by fast foods – the old “junk food” defense. Anyway, the food they are forever chomping on is definitely unhealthy, and so are they.
Perhaps it’s for the best that so much of the dialogue is not understood, because it’s an idiotic script. Not only the words but the actions. At one point, out of the blue, never explained, the woman/wife has an epileptic fit. Just thrown in. Just one idiotic sequence among many. They are unbelievable scientists who have idiotic, unbelievable conversations and do idiotic and unbelievable things. She is a noisy screaming female and he a spineless, stupid male.
Technically, a lot of the photography at the beginning looks like a bad street-copy DVD. I really hate calling it photography, much less cinematography; that would be an insult to photography. Let’s call it picture-taking. Bad picture-taking throughout.
I finally realized that I was taking it all too seriously, as though it were meant to make sense. In reality, it’s just a schlock horror gore fest, and not deserving of any attention. Maybe I was making too much of it because the creature, from birth to childhood to adolescence, is really well done, using the motion-capture process. The creature was quite believable, more so than any human in the film.
Altogether a most unpleasant movie.
Rotten Tomatoes: Consensus: It doesn't take its terrific premise quite as far as it should, but Splice is a smart, well-acted treat for horror fans.
“Finger down the throat”
CinemaBlend.com, Joshua Tyler: It's hard to care about what's happening, when you don't care about the people it's happening to.
New York Observer. Rex Reed: The movie doesn't work, but the sets and CGI effects are fascinating, and the actors carry on like they're in some kind of meaningful futuristic experience of lasting value.
Arizona Republic, Bill Goodykoontz: Morphing as often as the character central to its story, Splice is an unruly mix of science, morality, family dysfunction, horror, and finger-down-the-throat gross-out ridiculousness.
Hello Stranger / Kuan Muen Ho / กวน มึน โฮ: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – 2 hrs 15 mins – Riding the local wave of fascination in all things Korean (but especially the teen and tiny boy-band, pop-star craze), another director tries his hand at a rom-com about Thais in that mesmerizing country that seems to breed only cute muppets. In Thai only at Vista, with English subtitles at Airport Plaza. The number one film in Thailand currently.
It’s the first of the rom-com genre for the director, Banjong Pisanthanakun, who is well-appreciated for his really excellent work in Thai horror films. He co-directed with Parkpoom Wongpoom one of the world’s biggest horror hits in 2004’s Shutter, and then the two went on to direct Alone in 2006, which I personally enjoyed even more. Then on his own he directed what I found to be among the more interesting segments in two horror collections, 4bia and Phobia 2. Now he is branching out into areas outside of horror.
Wise Kwai: It's the solo bow by Banjong Pisanthanakun, who says that the movie is meant to be a satire of the Thai fascination with Korean music, movies, TV shows, fashion, and hairstyles.
Woochi / Jeon Woo Chi: The Taoist Wizard / Woochi - The Tao Fighter / 전우치: South Korea, Action/ Adventure/ Comedy/ History – 2 hrs 16 mins – Popular record-breaking Korean film from last December, with many Korean stars. It’s a big-budget, special effects-filled action romp based on a Korean folktale. Woochi or Jeon Woo Chi stars Gang Dong-won, who has quickly become one of Korea’s biggest stars, as the title character, a mischievous magician in the Joseon era of Korea. Framed as his master's murderer, Jeon and his dog are imprisoned inside a scroll by three wizards until 2009, when he is freed by the wizards to battle evil goblins in the big city of Seoul. The trouble is that Jeon is more enthusiastic about womanizing in his new home than his appointed assignment. Has sold over 6 million tickets in Korea, an impressive feat. At Vista only, and with only Thai subtitles to the original Korean soundtrack.
Asian media wiki: Woochi begins in the Chosun Dynasty in 1509 and involves a trio of Taoist wizards, a magician named Jeon Woo Chi (Kang Dong-Won) and his dog turned man, a corrupt king, evil goblins, and a prophetic pipe everyone is after. Eventually Jeon Woo Chi becomes sealed inside an ancient scroll for a crime he did not commit.
Jumping ahead to the year 2009, the wizards are called out of peaceful retirement as goblins start appearing in modern Korea to wreak havoc all around. The trio calls on Jeon Woo Chi, who is released from his ancient scroll entrapment, to save the day.
Cinema Online: Spinning off some classic Korean epics, director Choi Dong-hoon brings forth two tales ("The Life of Jeon Woochi" and "The Life of Hong Gil-dong") and mashes them together to make a fantasy action-comedy that is both eccentric and interesting. It’s a curio with great special effects that hold its own against those we're used to from Hollywood. There's enough comedy and decent action scenes throughout, plus it finishes strong with a good ending!
Toy Story 3: US, Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family/ Fantasy – 1 hr 43 mins – Do see this! It’s truly entertainment! And the 3D makes it even better. This 3D is real 3D, designed for 3D from the very beginning. In 3D at Airport Plaza, 2D and Thai-dubbed only at Vista. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 92/88 out of 100.
Don’t miss it. It’s inspired, and I loved every minute of it.
The story: Andy, the boy who owns the toys, is now 17 and ready to head off to colleg
e, leaving the toy-box gang to ponder their uncertain futures. When the toys are accidentally donated to the Sunnyside Daycare center they're initially overjoyed to once again be played with, but their enthusiasm quickly gives way to horror as they discover the true nature of the establishment under the rule of the deceptively welcoming "Lotso" Bear.
Starring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, and many other very talented actors; there are 302 characters in the film!
Toy Story 3 has the same Pixar genius as WALL•E, and at times the heart of 2009’s Up. If you enjoyed those, give this one a try. Don’t be put off by the opening minutes, which are so loud and action-filled you might think you’re at the wrong movie. The sequence is supposed to be showing what goes on in a child’s mind as he plays with his toys, and as such is really brilliant.
Rotten Tomatoes: Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Sun Online, Alex Zane: This is an almost flawless example of a movie that will keep pretty much any person of any age enthralled and entertained.
The Holy Man 3 / Luang Pee Teng 3 / หลวงพี่เท่ง 3: Thai, Comedy/ Drama – 1 hr 55 mins – The continuing misadventures of a young, self-confident, and stubborn monk (once a rock star) who, in trying to escape from a world of confusion, only finds more confusion. Lots of temple humor based on monks who can rap, with star turns by well-known rappers, bands, and singers, such as Carabao, Krissada Sukosol Clapp, and the band Buddha Bless. In Thai only at Vista, English subtitles at Airport Plaza.
First Love / Little Thing Called Love / Sing Lek Lek / สิ่งเล็กๆ: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – 2 hrs – A young and ordinary high school girl has a big crush on a heartthrob senior at school, played by for-real heartthrob Mario Maurer. To make him see that she exists in his world, the girl tries to improve her physical looks and tries to become the star at school, without getting the results she wants. In Thai only at Vista, English subtitles at Airport Plaza.
Salt: US, Action/ Thriller – 1 hr 40 mins – I found this engrossing, quite entertaining, and skillfully done. Just fun. And Angelina Jolie is magnetic, a true wonder, a star in the real sense of the word. I have one demure: The film requires us to root for the success of an assassin setting about to kill the Russian president, and then the US president. I don’t like to be forced to cheer on people like that, and actions like that, even in a fiction. Makes me feel very uncomfortable. And, I can’t swear to it, but it looks like there were some cuts made of sexy scenes by the Thai censors; maybe not, but there are a couple of shots in the trailer that are not in the film I saw. That sort of thing is not supposed to happen under the new rating system. Generally favorable reviews: 65/61 out of 100. Now at Vista only.
Roger Ebert: It's exhilarating to see a genre picture done really well.
Step Up 3-D / Step Up 3: US, Drama/ Music/ Romance – 1 hr 47 mins – A tight-knit group of street dancers team up with NYU freshmen to find themselves pitted against the world's best breakdancers in a high-stakes dance showdown that will change their lives forever. Third installment of the Step Up series, popular with fans of dance and pop music films. Despite the title, it’s not yet shown in 3D here, now in 2D and only at Airport Plaza. Mixed or average reviews: 45/51 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Consensus: It may not contain believable acting or a memorable plot, but Step Up 3-D delivers solid choreography and stunning visuals.
And looking forward
Sep 9: Resident Evil: Afterlife: UK/ Germany/ US, Action/ Horror/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – The series continues. This time, in a world ravaged by a virus infection turning its victims into the Undead, Alice (Milla Jovovich), continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead - and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap. Rated R in the US for sequences of strong violence and language.
Sep 16: The Back-up Plan: US, Comedy/ Romance – 1 hr 46 mins – The Back-Up Plan is a comedy that explores courtship, love, marriage, and family “in reverse.” After years of dating, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) has decided waiting for the right one is taking too long. Determined to become a mother, she commits to a plan, makes an appointment, and decides to do it alone. Generally unfavorable reviews: 34/36 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes: Consensus: Jennifer Lopez is as appealing as ever, but The Back-up Plan smothers its star with unrelatable characters and a predictable plot.
Slate, Dana Stevens: I wouldn't go so far as to recommend this movie, but if you were tied down and forced to watch it, you wouldn't necessarily have to chew off your own leg to get away.
Sep 23: Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps: US, Drama – 2 hrs 7 mins – Oliver Stone directs Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Frank Langella, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, Eli Wallach, Charlie Sheen, and Vanessa Ferlito in this scathing follow-up to the acclaimed 1987 film – 23 years later. Here the disgraced Wall Street corporate raider imprisoned in the first movie is released, and as the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster he partners with a young Wall Street trader on a two-part mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader's mentor. Early reviews: Generally favorable: 72 out of 100.
Oct 14: Fair Game: US, Action/ Biography/ Drama/ Thriller – 1 hr 44 mins – Director Doug Liman’s fact-based drama of former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson; his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson; and the events of 2003, when her identity as a CIA operative was leaked after her husband wrote an op-ed criticizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq. While making Fair Game, Liman said, he was acutely aware of how his father, Arthur -- who served as chief counsel for the Senate committee formed to investigate the Iran-contra scandal -- felt about politically inspired stories, especially Oliver Stone's JFK.
Naomi Watts and Sean Penn as
Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson
In that 1991 film, Stone mixed archival material, reenactment, conspiratorial speculation, and outright fantasy to cast doubt on the Warren Commission's conclusions about President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Nearly two decades later, as Fair Game was about to make its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Liman vividly recalled his father's reaction to JFK as "an abdication of Oliver Stone's responsibility as a filmmaker." In dramatizing recent, politically charged events in Fair Game, Liman said, "I definitely felt the pressure of my father every step of the way."
Fair Game stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn as Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. It deals with the events leading up to the Iraq war and the 2003 leak of Plame's identity as a CIA agent. Director Doug Liman said that the film "is much more about the characters than about the politics. But there are politics in the movie and there are facts in the movie, and it was really important to me that we get that right." For example, Liman added, "While it would have been easy to conjecture what was going on inside the White House, and I have plenty of theories about who did what, we stuck to the transcripts from the Scooter Libby trial" to write those scenes.
* = Coming soon
AF = Alliance Française; FS = Film Space
At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm
The Alliance Française shows its series of French films in a small room in their building at 138 Charoen Prathet Road. The building is directly opposite Wat Chaimongkhon, near the Chedi Hotel. Tell your taxi "Samakhom Frangset" and/or "Wat Chaimongkhon." A contribution of 30 baht is requested; you pay outside at the information desk of the Alliance Française proper.
Friday, August 27, 8 pm: Serko (2006) by Joël Farges – 1 hr 20 mins – France, Drama. English subtitles.
With Jacques Gamblin, Alexei Chadov, Marina Kim.
At the beginning of winter in 1889, mounted on Serko, his small, grey horse, Dimitri leaves the Amour River, situated on the eastern borders of the Russian Empire, and sets out on a journey. After extraordinary adventures, they both arrive in Saint Petersburg, at the Tsar’s court. Having covered 5,600 miles in less than 200 days, this young horseman and his horse have thus achieved the most amazing equestrian feat of all time...
– Alliance Description
A captivating, exquisitely lensed widescreen tale inspired by a true incident, Serko follows a young Cossack as he rides his pony-sized horse 4,000 miles from southern Siberia to St. Petersburg, ca. 1889, to give the czar a polite piece of his mind. Veteran director Joel Farges imbues this tale with effortless visual sweep and salutary emotion. A genuine charmer for kids on up.
The year is 1889, and the local bad guys, malevolent followers of a corrupt governor, offer a handful of guns and a few sacks of flour to the indigenous Evenk tribe of Siberia for their herd of special horses. They believe the horses will come in handy as grub for the workers on the Trans-Siberian railway. When our hero, a teenage Cossack, Dimitri, sees a murderous henchman gun down his Evenk friend in cold blood, he soon makes it his mission to ensure that no further harm comes to the peaceful tribe. Despite the fact that the teenager has never ventured beyond the borders of the small village in which he was born, Dimitri’s drive to earn the respect of his distant father prompts the brave youngster to rechristen his fallen friend's horse “Serko” and bring the matter to the czar's attention, who has made a promise to protect the indigenous population of Siberia. Over the course of the next 193 days, Dimitri finds his noble quest growing increasingly arduous as the fearful governor sets out to insure that his message never reaches the powerful monarch.
Dimitri has adventures along the way, living off the land – be it tundra, ice or snow – and, in his headlong innocence, making exceptional time. (Although the real historical journey was prompted by religious faith rather than social ecology, his feat – riding from Blagovechtchensk to St. Petersburg in 193 days using a single mount – has never been equaled.)
On Friday, September 3, 8 pm: Un homme et une femme / A Man and a Woman (1966) by Claude Lelouch – 2 hrs 5 mins – France, Drama/ Romance. In French with English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 63 out of 100.
With Jean-Louis Trintignant, Anouk Aimée, Pierre Barouh, Valérie Lagrange, Simone Paris, Paul Le Person, Henri Chemin.
Jean-Louis Duroc and Anne Gauthier meet incidentally at the boarding school where they visit their children each weekend. He visits his son, she her daughter. She misses her train and he offers her a ride back to Paris in his car. Slowly and cautiously we learn about them as they learn about one another. We learn about their jobs, their former spouses, and other details of their lives that have the movie viewer hoping this man and woman can become a couple.
– Alliance description
Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com: French writer/director Claude Lelouch remains a prolific artist (he even made a 9/11 movie), but it's one of his first films, made almost 40 years ago, for which he remains best known.
A Man and a Woman was France's definitive love story for a decade, the Love Story of its generation and a thoroughly French example of its take on romance. Laconic, wandering, and bordering on hopeless, it's easy to see why the film has more fans among the heartbroken than the lovey-dovey.
Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant play the titular characters, both young widows with complicated lives: He's a race car driver, she's got kids. Okay, they're complicated for French lives, anyway.
What follows their chance meeting is a series of abortive dates, daydreams, and endless car races. Lelouch jumps between color and black & white willy-nilly. He flashes back, even to a musical number. In the end, he won a Best Foreign Film Oscar.
At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm
August is “The Month of Telltale” at Film Space. September, “The Month of Sleepwalker.”
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 at least 20 baht. Well worth supporting. All films not in English are shown with English subtitles.
At Film Space Saturday, August 28, 7 pm: The Fall (2008) directed by Tarsem Singh – 1 hr 57 mins – US/ India, Adventure/ Drama/ Fantasy – In English (and some Romanian and Latin). In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastical story about 5 mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality starts to blur as the tale advances. Rated R in the US for some violent images. Generally favorable reviews: 64/64 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: Languishing in a hospital, Roy Walker is a broken man in more ways than one: Unable to walk after a fall from a horse in a movie stunt gone wrong, his heart is also broken after his girlfriend ran off with the movie's leading man. Ready to end his life, Roy befriends five-year-old fellow patient Alexandria, with the goal of persuading her into stealing a fatal dose of morphine pills for him. Roy launches into a story that fuses patients, staff, and others at the hospital with imagined personas and exotic lands. What he describes as "an epic tale of love and revenge" is so riveting to Alexandria that she will do whatever Roy asks in order to hear the next installment. The tale loosely mirrors the ill-fated love triangle that has left him heartsick and features Alexandria's favorite nurse Evelyn, as the beautiful Princess Evelyn; Sinclair, the movie star who stole Roy's girlfriend, as the detested Governor Odious; and Roy himself as the avenging Black Bandit who leads the attack on the governor with the help of a colorful posse that includes Alexandria as the Black Bandit's daughter. But as the story takes a darker turn, Alexandria begins to realize there is far more at stake than the fate of a handful of imaginary characters. It's up to Roy whether the Black Bandit--and Roy himself--will survive the climactic final scene.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Steven Rea: Dazzling and delirious, The Fall is a celebration of cinema, of old-fashioned storytelling and globe-hopping spectacle.
September is “The Month of Sleepwalker” at Film Space.
At Film Space Saturday, September 4, 7 pm: Cashback / Frozen Time (2006) directed by Sean Ellis – 1 hrs 42 mins – UK, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance – In English. After a painful breakup, Ben develops insomnia. To kill time, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket, where his artistic imagination runs wild. Rated R in the US for graphic nudity, sexual content, and language. Generally favorable reviews: 67/68 out of 100.
Rotten Tomatoes consensus: An unlikable protagonist, messy editing, and gratuitous nudity might make audiences ask for their cash back.
Los Angeles Times, Kevin Crust: Writer-director Sean Ellis more-or-less successfully expands his Academy Award-nominated 18-minute short to full length, showcasing his talented young cast to good effect.
Variety, Justin Chang: Slickly charming, genteelly erotic, and directed with supreme polish, Cashback is a conventional romantic comedy that plays unconventional games with time and memory.
Roger Ebert: The movie is lightweight, as it should be.