Thursday, September 16, 2010

Whats On starting September 16

Wasteland continues at the Cineplex!  Brilliance at Alliance Française!

Chiang Mai movies beginning Thursday, September 16, 2010

 



… through Wednesday, September 22

 

by Thomas Ohlson

 

Best Bets: Three Colors [at AF].   

 

“No lull here at the Alliance!”

-Krzysztof Kieslowski

 

This is Issue Number 46 of Volume 5 of these listings.

 

EU Film Festival in Bangkok: Oct 21 to 31.

1st Doi Saket International Film Festival: Oct 23 to 30. Film list now available: http://dsiff.tumblr.com/films   

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.

Luang Prabang Film Festival in Luang Prabang: Dec 4 to 11. Open air, free, 30 films. www.lpfilmfest.org

 

We certainly don’t have a wasteland at either Film Space or the Alliance Française! Week after week we have French classics at the Alliance, and a wide variety of cutting-edge films of all genres at Film Space.

 

 

Now playing in Chiang Mai    * = new this week


* Eternity / Chua Fah Din Salai / ชั่วฟ้าดินสลาย: Thai, Drama/ Romance – One of the most interesting Thai movies to come along in some time, for a number of reasons. Based on a revered and classic Thai novel of 1943, the film depicts a forbidden love story in which adulterous lovers are physically chained together for all eternity. It’s also gotten some controversy because of lots of nudity of the couple, perhaps especially the many views of Ananda’s rear end. But for me, I’m mostly interested in what the director will do. His name is ML Pandevanop Devakul, better known as Mom Noi, and he’s an interesting guy. He’s an acting teacher, arguably the best acting teacher in Thailand, the mentor of Ananda Everingham among others. He comes from a classical theatrical background. As a director he has presented some of the most severe examples of Western drama in Thai adaptations over the years, including Greek drama, Shakespeare, Chekhov, and modern American drama. Starring Ananda Everingham and Chermal Boonyasak. Rated 18+ in Thailand.

The Bangkok Post’s Kong Rithdee puts it like this: “Both Chermal and Ananda have attended Mom Noi's acting classes for over a decade. They're among a few dozen young actors who've been put through Mom Noi's supervision, by all accounts an obligatory step before newcomers can make a leap into the drama business. Mom Noi – who directed his first play, an adaptation of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, in 1974 – has taught acting for 30 years and actually put Ananda on the star map when he directed the actor's debut feature Anda Kab Fahsai in 1997.

* The Back-up Plan: US, Comedy, Romance – 1 hr 46 mins – Basically those who are expectant mothers should love it, as well as those who expect to be expectant some day. Or who were expectant mothers at one time. I found it pretty unrealistic, but I think that’s a part of what charm it has. See it if you’re desperate for a middling rom-com. The plot: After years of dating, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) has decided waiting for the right man is taking too long. Determined to become a mother, she decides to go it alone, commits to a plan, and makes the necessary appointment. On the day of her artificial insemination, she meets a man with real possibilities of being her dream man come true, wouldn’t you know it! Generally unfavorable reviews: 34/36 out of 100.

USA Today, Claudia Puig: When it comes to comedies about pregnancy, Knocked Up and Baby Mama delivered more. This sitcom style exercise in planned parenthood is blandly predictable. If it were a cheese, it would be Velveeta.

Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert: Some movies are no better than second-rate sitcoms. Other movies are no better than third-rate sitcoms. The Back-up Plan doesn't deserve comparison with sitcoms. It plays like an unendurable TV commercial about beautiful people with great lifestyles and not a thought in their empty little heads. So timid is this film that when it finally arrives at its inevitable childbirth scene, it bails out after two "pushes"!

Jennifer Lopez has never looked better. That's about all she does here, is look better. She is talented and deserves more than this bird-brained plot about characters who have no relationship to life as it is lived by, you know, actual people. The movie deals with artificial insemination, romance, sex and organic goat cheese. ...

Obviously, the only way to make this movie reach a feature length is for the two lead actors to break up and get back together again, which they do, I think, three times. Their break-ups tend toward communications difficulties, as one or the other idiotically misunderstands dialogue that is crystal clear for everyone in the audience.

Reel Views, James Berardinelli: Hollywood seems largely incapable of making an interesting, funny movie about pregnancy. The Back-Up Plan is soft and squishy - the kind of thing that would be comfortably at home on post-Prime Time cable or as a seat-back choice on a transcontinental flight. It's dramatically vanilla, suffers from sit-com humor tendencies, lacks a compelling romance, and struggles to find a convincing performance. It's tough to actively hate the movie because something this carefully pre-packaged is designed to deflect anger.

Resident Evil: Afterlife: UK/ Germany/ US, Action/ Horror/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – 1 hr 37 mins – The series continues. This time, in a world ravaged by a virus infection turning its victims into the Undead (in other words, Zombies), 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 a new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes which takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive they find the city is overrun by thousands of Undead. Rated R in the US for sequences of strong violence and language. Shown in both 3D and 2D versions at Airport Plaza (and the 3D version is for a change real 3D); in 2D and Thai-dubbed only at Vista.

In regards to the 3D process used, I want to emphasize that this is real 3D, in fact using Pace Fusion 3-D cameras, the same cameras James Cameron created with Vince Pace for a number of Cameron’s documentaries, as well as his feature Avatar. These systems and cameras remain at the cutting edge of 3D technology. Now, why they would want to use all this marvelous technology for a zombie flic is another question entirely. But I want to do my bit to clear up the confusion as to what kind of 3D is actually being used under the generic and often misleading label of “3D” by places like Major Cineplex. They charge the same price for genuine 3D like this film as for rip-off cheapie post-production 3D, which takes a 2D film and adds some 3D feel to it. And they never let on. Shame!

Guardian.co.uk, Phelim O'Neill: The fourth Resident Evil movie has 3D as its main selling point, and without doubt the 3D is of a very high quality. There are plenty of visually impressive scenes, with planes skimming over glaciers or examining the inside of huge, expansive white hangars. But as we have come to expect from this series, and this director, the films always look good and have well-staged action, but they don't have one iota of originality or imagination – to the extent of virtually recreating key scenes from The Matrix, Die Hard and The Descent. It matters not, though; if you've seen the previous three RE films, you'll know not to expect any surprises. Milla Jovovich is relaxed and at ease in her role; another dozen or so Resident Evil films and she might even be quite good.

BrianOrndorf.com, Brian Orndorf: It’s a polished effort, but astoundingly joyless and deathly dull, which seems par for the course when it comes to the “Resident Evil” movies.

Hello Stranger / Kuan Muen Ho / กวน มึน โฮ: Thai, Comedy/ Romance2 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, and a huge hit; it’s been the top film by a considerable margin since August 19. 

From Pakse with Love / Sabaidee 2: Mai Me Kamtob Jak Pakse / สะบายดี 2: ไม่มีคำตอบจากปากเซ: Thai, Comedy/ Romance – 1 hr 40 mins – A follow-up sweet picture postcard from Laos following the first sweet picture postcard from Laos, 2008’s Sabaidee Luang Prabang. That movie starred Ananda Everingham, and was the first feature film made in Laos in 20 years. This one, the second of a planned trilogy, stars Ray Macdonald and Laotian beauty queen Khamly Philavong, reprising her role from the first film as a charming tour guide. At Vista only.

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. Now at Airport Plaza only.      

 

Scheduled for September 23


Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps: US, Drama – 2 hrs 13 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: 83/71 out of 100. 

Note: Major Cineplex is offering group rates for this film starting next Thursday – 100 baht a seat. For info, contact Salilla Hongnakorn [สลิลลา หงษ์นคร], Local Area Marketing, Up Country North Zone, Major Cineplex Group PLC., Mobile : 08 4438 5924, E-mail : salilla.hon@majorcineplex.com

 

And looking forward

Nov 5 (US): 127 Hours: US/ UK, Drama – Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours is an early Oscar contender. A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive. Rated R in the US for language and some disturbing violent content/bloody images. Studio synopsis: 127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall, and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers (Clemence Poesy), family, and the two hikers (Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara) he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet?

And this just in:

Cinematical: On Saturday night, one moviegoer was taken out of a screening on a gurney and just a little later, another viewer suffered a panic attack during a subsequent showing. Here's Fox Searchlight's Michelle Hooper's summary of the events:

From what I understand, an older gentleman was light-headed at the first screening and the medics helped him calm down. Second screening was a young woman (maybe 19 or 20) who had a panic attack. Paramedics attended to both people. I didn't even know about the second incident until after the screening was over and someone told me (I was sitting in the first half of the theater).

...Without knowing the details, it's difficult to blame 127 Hours for the occurrences. There are tons of instances where viewers suffer health issues while watching particularly intense events unfold on screen. indieWIRE recalls the reaction to Pulp Fiction when it was screened at the 2004 New York Film Festival, and vomiting during The Exorcist. There's also the woman who suffered a heart attack during The Passion of the Christ. I'm sure that list can go on and on, especially now that 3D movies are running rampant and are legitimately making people sick, but I'm also inclined to believe that people must pass away or fall ill during movies all the time; we're just hearing about these because of the nature of the material. Yes, The Hollywood Reporter may call 127 Hours "excruciating to watch," but there are tons of productions out there that garner the same description.

We hope both people are feeling better, but don't let their conditions deter you from catching James Franco's performance as Ralston. According to the early reviews, this is one not to miss. Our own Eugene Novikov cites some weak spots, but says it's "extremely effective as a thriller, and moderately so as a minor character study."

And here’s more:

IMDb: Aron Ralston filmed a daily video diary whilst he was stuck in the canyon; the footage has only been shown to close friends and family and is kept in a bank vault for safety. Before shooting began both Boyle and Franco were allowed to view the footage in order to accurately portray the events in the movie.

Jan 13, 2011 (Singapore): Black Swan: US, Drama/ Thriller1 hr 48 mins – A psychological thriller set in the world of the New York City Ballet, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a featured dancer who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company (Mila Kunis). A film by visionary director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, which I thought was one terrific movie), Black Swan takes a thrilling and at times terrifying journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect. Shot at one of my favorite haunts, Lincoln Center in New York City. For a fascinating preview, check out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaI1XOB-bs.

I don’t suppose we should get our hopes up, as it’s not as of now scheduled for the cineplexes of Thailand, but it’s early yet. If it doesn’t show, maybe we could arrange some private viewing when the DVD comes out. Rated R in the US for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language, and some drug use. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 88 out of 100.

Vincent Cassel has compared his character in the film to George Balanchine, who co-founded New York City Ballet. The actor said Balanchine was "a control freak, a true artist using sexuality to direct his dancers".

Just played at the Venice Film Festival on Sep 1 and the Toronto Festival three days ago, will play the London Festival Oct 22, and then open for regular runs in the US Dec 1 and the UK Feb 11; not scheduled for Asia at this time, except for Singapore on Jan 13.

The Hollywood Reporter: Kirk Honeycutt: First there was the Phantom of the Opera. Now, in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, you get the Terror of the Ballet. The movie combines horror-movie tropes with The Red Shoes, All About Eve, and every movie about show business that insists you don't have to be crazy to become a star but it doesn't hurt either. The movie is so damn out-there in every way that you can't help admiring Aronofsky for daring to be so very, very absurd.

Swan is an instant guilty pleasure.

CinemaBlend.com, Katey Rich: Audaciously weird and scary and go-nuts psychotic, Black Swan is, by any measure, a tour de force.

 

 

 




* = 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.

The Alliance presentation of the three extraordinary films that make up the “Colors” trilogy of Krzysztof Kieslowski is a major film event in Chiang Mai, and should merit your consideration. They are scheduled for three successive Fridays at the Alliance Française this month, on September 10, 17, and 24. These are quite amazing films, and you owe it to yourself to start an acquaintance with them. I am sure you will want to return to them again and again to savor their richness, as the films’ secrets are not discovered easily.

On Friday, September 17, 8 pm:  Trois Couleurs: Blanc / Three Colors: White (1994) by Krzysztof Kieslowski – 91 mins – France, Drama. In Polish and French with English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 76 out of 100.

With Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Stuhr, Aleksander Bardini, Grzegorz Warchol.

“This is the second of the "Three Colors" trilogy Red, White, and Blue: the colors symbolizing liberty, equality, and fraternity. White, therefore, was written around the destructive dynamics of a relationship based upon great inequality. Karol is a Polish hairdresser working in France. He has a beautiful wife, Dominique, whom he loves to obsession, and who is in the process of divorcing him for his inability to "consummate the marriage.” Karol loses all of his earthly possessions and is literally driven out of France by his estranged wife. Karol decides to fight back...”

– Alliance description



White is perhaps the craziest of the three: Kieslowski moves quickly and fluidly through a careening narrative that encompasses love lost and regained, death and rebirth, France and Poland, abject poverty and capitalist triumph. All in 90 vivid minutes. It’s actually a comedy, though it might take a second viewing to convince you of that. A black comedy. Which I suppose is why it’s called White, Kieslowski being Kieslowski!

There’s an interesting film clip of an interview with Julie Delpy discussing and dissecting the ending of White, where her character uses sign language to communicate with her ex-husband. There seems to have been some disagreement about what her signs were meant to convey, and here she explains it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gqYoVAErLQ. Interestingly enough, this whole scene seems to have been an afterthought, and she was called back to film this additional scene in the middle of the shooting final film in the series, Red.



Doug Cummings, Senses of Cinema: White is a return to the dark humor and irony reminiscent of Decalogue: Ten with its story of Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), an impotent Polish man whose French wife, Dominique (Julie Delpy), divorces him. This sets in motion Karol's elaborate plot to regain equality in their relationship, though the scheme he hatches verges on revenge and thus ensures a tragic combination of love and separation. (Quoting a Polish proverb, Kieslowski remarked, “There are those who are equal and those who are more equal,” suggesting equality is a fleeting and imperfect ideal.) However, the film suffers in comparison to Blue and Red—the cool machinations of its protagonist (as well as its storytelling) often seem manipulative and superficial, but Kieslowski's pessimistic wit shines throughout.

Cinemathequeontario: A continuing testament to the Polish director’s poetic mastery. . . . articulates a whole language of sensations, images, ironies, and mystery” (Desson Howe, The Washington Post). In this somewhat anomalous second film in the Trois Couleurs trilogy, an impotent, penniless hairdresser claws his way back to the top after rejection by his wife (Julie Delpy) leaves him shattered. Blanc shies away from the explicit treatment of existential themes found in Rouge, and the introductory collapse of its whimsically pathetic protagonist is a far cry from Bleu’s majestically grieving Binoche. But with oddly compelling, sometimes comical verve, Blanc offers a haunting tale of love and possession in which the hairdresser’s elaborately planned vengeance is depicted as an ambiguous triumph. Winner of the Silver Bear at the 1994 Berlin film festival.

 

On Friday, September 24, 8 pm:  Trois Couleurs: Rouge / Three Colors: Red (1994) by Krzysztof Kieslowski – 99 mins – France, Drama. English subtitles. My favorite of the great Three Colors Trilogy of Kieslowski, bringing to a close this film event for Chiang Mai for this cycle. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 84 out of 100.



With Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frédérique Feder, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Samuel Le Bihan, Marion Stalens.

Third and last part of Kieslowski's trilogy, Rouge refers to "Egualité". Valentine is a young model living in Geneva. Because of a dog she ran over, she meets a retired judge who spies his neighbors’ phone calls, not for money but to feed his cynicism…

– Alliance Française description

This is my favorite of the three Color films. The craftsmanship astounds me, and I am deeply moved by the story. Sometimes it seems very strange to me how films end up in their final shape, much of it due not to artistic design, but as a result of accident and coincidence, and things that have very little to do with the original impetus of the film. The ending of White, for example, was an afterthought, and while filming this film, Red, Kieslowski called back the actors of White to hurriedly film what seems to me an essential closure scene that I find amazing wasn’t a part of the original plan.



And in Red, much of the background of the protagonist played by Irène Jacob – the ever-absent boyfriend who only talks on the telephone, continually berating her, bossing her about, demanding she performs certain actions, and in general being thoroughly disagreeable; the mother in England she doesn’t talk to; the brother she can’t connect with, his picture in a newspaper after a drug bust – all unreal relationships – all of this was not even in the script when it was first given to Ms. Jacob, according to what she said in an interview on the DVD disk of the film. She says she complained to Kieslowski that in the part of the old judge he seemed to pour a great deal of himself and he was thus a vital complete character, while her character was unformed. She said Kieslowski listened to her, and then went off and rewrote her part. I find it hard to believe all that wasn’t a part of the original conception, but apparently not.

However it happened, it did turn out to be a masterpiece in my view, and nicely rounds off and completes the trilogy. I’m amazed at how powerful the work is and how much we care about the character of the judge after having been thoroughly put off by him when we first encounter him. We think he is a despicable human being, and really don’t want to have anything to do with him. Yet, in the end we care very much.

James Berardinelli, Reel Views: Red, the final chapter of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, is a subtle masterpiece. With its satisfying exploration of such complex and diverse themes as destiny and platonic love, Red is not only a self-contained motion picture, but a fitting conclusion to the series. Through one brief-but-important scene, this movie adds closure to both Blue and White, tying both to each other and to Red, and thereby reinforcing the commonality of ideas threaded through all three.

DVDLaser, Douglas Pratt:  The narrative seems delicate but precise, and it is difficult to say why the story and the images are so captivating, except that the film’s modulation of revelation, beauty and anticipation is exquisite.



At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm

 

September is “The Month of Sleepwalker” 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 at least 20 baht. Well worth supporting. All films not in English are shown with English subtitles.

At Film Space Saturday, September 18, 7 pm:  Insomnia (1997) directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg – 1 hr 36 mins – Norway, Crime/ Drama/ Mystery/ Thriller– In Norwegian and Swedish, with English subtitles. Two criminal investigators arrive in a town in the north of Norway to help the local police solve the murder of a young girl. Generally favorable reviews: 78 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: Sent to a Norwegian town to help with a homicide investigation, tenacious detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) and his partner set a trap for the suspect. But the fog-shrouded stakeout goes awry: Engström mistakenly shoots his partner, then covers his tracks -- forgetting that the suspect witnessed the killing. Soon, Engström's guilty conscience and insomnia in the land of the midnight sun lead to a downward spiral into chaos.

Reel Views, James Berardinelli: Most murder mysteries take place in the dark. Insomnia, a compelling thriller from first- time Scandinavian director Erik Skjoldbjaerg, occurs in a state of perpetual light. The setting is north of the Arctic circle in the middle of summer. At that time and place, we have entered the land of the midnight sun, a strange world where daylight holds court twenty-four hours a day. Yet, even in such bright circumstances, the darkest impulses of the human soul can not always be held at bay.

Insomnia starts out like a relatively traditional murder mystery - the kind of thing that might play on any episode of the PBS TV series, Mystery. However, by the time the final reel has concluded, Skjoldbjaerg's film has revealed itself as something both interesting and unusual. The murder investigation has become almost secondary to a fascinating game of wits as the main character, Jonas Engstrom (Stellan Skarsgard), fights a multi-front psychological war against a killer and his own dark impulses.

Engstrom and his partner, Erik Vik (Sverre Anker Ousdal), are cops from Oslo brought in to a small town to help with a murder investigation. A 17-year old girl, Tanja (Maria Mathiesen), has been found naked and dead, and the killer has carefully removed all traces of his presence by washing her hair and scrubbing under her fingernails. Engstrom and Vik, who have a reputation as Scandinavia's most effective and tenacious investigators, are on the case immediately, and an early break allows them to set a trap for the suspect. But things go wrong, and, in the confusion of a shoot-out, Engstrom kills Vik. He is about to confess this career-damaging act to the local police chief when the man gives him an unexpected way out. From that point onward, Engstrom finds himself trapped in an increasingly-complex web of deceit as he attempts to solve the crime while covering up his own misdeed. And, as his guilty conscience and the never-ending light keep him awake at night, the lack of sleep makes him increasingly desperate and prone to error.

Although Insomnia is not without its share of surprises and unexpected plot twists, it does not offer the red herrings of a whodunit. Instead, it's a dissection of moral decay - of a once-decent man whose circumstances cause him to contemplate actions that place him in an increasingly- indefensible situation. Along the way, he engages in the sexual molestation of a teenager and mistakes the flirtatious advances of a pretty hotel receptionist for something more serious. Engstrom is the kind of darkly complex, morally ambiguous character that American movies rarely highlight.

Stellan Skarsgard, the internationally-known actor who portrayed the paralyzed husband in Breaking the Waves and the math professor in Good Will Hunting, is strikingly effective as Engstrom. At the beginning of the film, he is calm, cool, and a little arrogant - the perfect picture of a cop who believes in his infallibility. By the end, he is a mess, both physically and psychologically. The role is challenging because it demands so many shifts in personality (some gradual, some sudden), but Skarsgard pulls it off with seeming ease. And, although we may not always identify with Engstrom (some of the things he does are difficult to sympathize with), he remains a magnet for our attention.

Insomnia works as a noir thriller of a different sort, where circumstances gradually warp a hero into a villain. Mysteries typically focus so intently on plot that there's little room for a detailed character arc, but Insomnia manages to balance both aspects. And, at a relatively short 97 minutes, it tells the story quickly and cleanly, then starts the end credits before we have a chance to tire of anything that Skjoldbjaerg has placed on the screen. For those in search of an intense noir thriller that challenges many of the basic tenants of the genre but still fits nicely within it, Insomnia is a superior choice.

At Film Space Saturday, September 25, 7 pm:  The Science of Sleep / La science des rêves (2006) written and directed by Michel Gondry 1 hr 45 mins – France/ Italy, Comedy/ Drama/ Fantasy/ Romance – In English, French, and Spanish with English subtitles as needed. A man whose dreams constantly invade his waking life is lovestruck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world. Rated R in the US for language, some sexual content, and nudity. Generally favorable reviews: 70/66 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes: Consensus: Lovely and diffuse, Sleep isn't as immediately absorbing as Gondry's previous work, but its messy beauty is its own reward.

Austin Chronicle, Marc Savlov: I think it's a mess, but - and this is a major caveat - an endearing, beautiful, hopelessly honest mess that's supported by a pair of performances so unnaturally natural that they draw you in and clutch you, struggling, to their flipping, flopping hearts.

Rolling Stone, Peter Travers: Fusing animation and live action with a series of outrageous props, Gondry veers dangerously close to being precious. But make no mistake: Gondry's hallucinatory brilliance holds you in thrall.

1 comment:

Alexandre FABBRI said...

Feel free to post any question you might have on a film of Krzysztof Kieslowski on the Forum of my website Kieslowski's World. Filming locations for many of Krzysztof Kieslowski's films are also on my site which is regularly updated. Please don't hesitate to sign the Guestbook and add the details of the festival in Chiang Mai and of your fine film blog highlighting the films of Kieslowski. Now a question of mine to the keen film enthusiast over in Chiang Mai:

How did Wong Kar-Wai pay hommage to Krzysztof Kieslowski in his film 2046?