Thursday, March 17, 2011

Whats On starting March 17

Big push to make SuckSeed succeed! It's everywhere!

Chiang Mai movies beginning Thursday, March 17, 2011

… through Wednesday, March 23

by Thomas Ohlson


Best Bets:  Rango.  Rapunzel.  Solitary Man. 

To Avoid like the Plague: Just Go with It.

One of the best in town!


This newssheet is also online! Go to:


This is Issue Number 20 of Volume 6 of these listings, in our sixth year!


The current festivals lineup:

9th World Film Festival of Bangkok: Nov 4 to 13, 2011.

2nd Luang Prabang Film Festival in Luang Prabang: Dec 3 to 10, 2011.

[No Doi Saket Film Festival this year, but planned for 2012.]  


Now playing in Chiang Mai    * = new this week

* SuckSeed / ห่วยขั้นเทพ: Thai, Comedy/ Musical Inspired by the rhythm of rock 'n roll, the film tells a story of teenage boys who set up their rock band called SuckSeed just to impress the girls. Directed by Chayanop Boonprakob. It’s just about saturating the available screens today, so obviously they have reasons to believe they have a hit on their hands.

Wise Kwai: Given the success of teen-oriented romances at the Thai box office right now, the new GTH romantic comedy SuckSeed Huay Khan Thep (SuckSeed ห่วยขั้นเทพ) looks poised to be one of this year's blockbusters.

Opening on Thursday, it's the story of schoolboys who form a band to impress girls, but things get complicated when a girl joins up on guitar.

Chayanop Boonprakob directs. The indie filmmaker made at least a couple of SuckSeed shorts about struggling young rock bands that were shown at the Thai Short Film & Video Festival in recent years. Chayanop subsequently took a job as a flight attendant for Thai Airways International, but returned to filmmaking when producer Jira Maligool came calling and wanting to develop a SuckSeed feature.

The original SuckSeed shorts were already pretty clever and amusing. GTH polishes up the concept with its slick formula, which brings in appealing young stars and, thanks to parent company GMM Grammy Entertainment's showbiz clout, appearances by actual Thai rock musicians. Of course there's a huge marketing campaign for the film, ensuring that just about anyone who lives in Thailand has heard or seen something about it.

The three buddies are portrayed by Jirayu La-ongmanee (Phobia 2, Love Julinsee), Patchara Jirathiwat and Thawat Pornrattanaprasert. And they all play their own instruments.

The girl guitarist who joins the band is Natcha Nualjam. She's the daughter of veteran Thai rock guitarist Laem Morrison, so axe-shredding comes naturally for her.

Well-known Thai musicians making cameos include singer Pod from Moderndog, Pui Blackhead, Dak from Big Ass (and the Pepsi commercials), as well as members of Paradox and So Cool.

* Gantz / ガンツ: Japan, Action/ Crime – 2 hrsThe posters for this make it look interesting, but apparently outside of Japan it is a disappointment to fans of the manga by what is universally decried as abominable English dubbing on nearly all copies of the film distributed outside of Japan. Here though there is a different problem, as it is supposedly dubbed into Thai, and apparently has no English subtitles. You should check at the box office after they’ve had a chance to see what version they actually received. It’s at Vista only.

Gantz is the first part of a two-film, big budget, live action adaptation of the popular Japanese anime and manga Gantz. It’s the latest in a line of Japanese attempts at Hollywood-style blockbuster films that have emerged in the last few years, with movies like K-20, 20th Century Boys, and the recent Space Battleship Yamato (just shown here at Vista) featuring better effects and higher production values than your typical Japanese film.  Based on a best-selling manga and split into two parts, Gantz is one of the most ambitious movies in Japanese cinema history, with a reported budget of 4 billion yen, more than $45 million USD (depending on exchange rates of course). 

Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: After trying to rescue a man on the subway tracks, two teens wake up in a room dominated by a mysterious black sphere that sends them to hunt down and kill aliens hiding on Earth.

IMDb viewer: Gantz begins with the tragic deaths of childhood friends Kurono Kei (played by JPop boyband "Arashi" member Ninomiya Kazunari) and Kato Masaru (played by Death Notes star Matsuyama Kenichi) who die trying to save a passenger who had fallen onto some subway rail tracks.

Although they get hit by an express subway train, they find themselves miraculously alive in a mysterious Tokyo apartment room amidst other strangers who had befallen similar tragic and accidental deaths. In the center of the room is a gigantic metallic sphere with a digital screen display and various compartments which house an assortment of advanced and hi-tech weaponry.

The metallic sphere (who calls itself Gantz) informs the assembled contestants that they need to hunt down various alien invaders (disguised either as humans or other objects) in order to earn points. Once 100 points are accumulated and won by any individual contestant, they may choose to either (1) erase their memory and return to normal life or (2) resurrect any of the other contestants who had previously died in a "mission".

Thus begins the epic adventure of these individuals as they play the game to win their freedom and to resurrect their fallen comrades in arms.

* Beastly: (Scheduled for today, but pushed aside by the juggernaught of SuckSeed. I’m thinking it will probably show up at Airport Plaza in a day or two, after the frenzy of SuckSeed has died down.) US, Drama/ Fantasy/ Romance – 1 hr 26 mins – A modern-day take on the "Beauty and the Beast" tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love. Starring Alex Pettyfer, late of I Am Number Four, as the Robert Pattinson-look-similar (to appeal to the young girls again who like the Twilight series). Mixed or average reviews: 40/40 out of 100. (The scores, on a basis of 100, are from two web sources. The first, in bold, is from, and the other is from Movies released in the US only.)

It’s amazing that a film can get such wildly divergent views:

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Fundamentally misguided, poorly written, and badly acted, Beastly adds little to the legacy of its timeless source material.

Miami Herald, Howard Cohen: Beastly, for all its potential pitfalls, works better than it has any right to. Credit Barnz, who keeps his young characters contemporary in a world of text messaging and status updates and yet also gives them depth.

Orlando Sentinel, Roger Moore: Witty, warm, well-cast, and often wickedly funny.

Entertainment Weekly, Adam Markovitz: Stunningly bad.

A.V. Club, Tasha Robinson In every aspect, from story to tone to characterization to visual aesthetic, it’s laughably perfunctory, as though everyone involved were too embarrassed to give it more than a half-ironic token effort. The whole film is choppy, rushed, and confused, except in the one muddled action scene, where it becomes downright incompetent. Beastly has no idea what human emotion even looks like.

Rango: US, Animation/ Action/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family/ Western 1 hr 47 mins – It’s a delight! Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. Directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp, it’s the first full-length work of animation created by the special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic. Generally favorable reviews: 75/76 out of 100. At Airport Plaza only. Not in 3D!

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment.

Morrow McLaughlin: It’s hard to describe how well Depp does Rango. It’s so good, it’s a bit scary – like this may be the most talented individual on the planet.

Roger Ebert: Rango is some kind of a miracle: An animated comedy for smart moviegoers, wonderfully made, great to look at, wickedly satirical, and (gasp!) filmed in glorious 2-D.

Solitary Man: US, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance – 1 hr 30 mins – A car magnate watches his personal and professional life hit the skids because of his business and romantic indiscretions. Brilliant character study by Michael Douglas. Rated R in the US for language and some sexual content; 18+ in Thailand. Generally favorable reviews: 69/69 out of 100. At Vista only.

In the cast is Jesse Eisenberg, in a portrayal earlier than his outstanding depiction of the Facebook founder in The Social Network.

The story: Ben Kalman is aging: he has heart problems, his marriage is over, he's lost a fortune after being caught cutting corners in his East Coast car business, and he's sleeping with as many women as possible - the younger the better. He's chosen his current girlfriend, Jordan, because her father can help him get a new auto dealership; she's asked him to escort her daughter, Allyson, 18, on a visit to a Boston college campus. He behaves badly, and there are consequences to his love life, his finances, and his relationship with his daughter and grandson. Is there anywhere he can turn?

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Built around a singularly unpleasant main character, Solitary Man needed a flawless central performance to succeed -- and Michael Douglas delivers.

Roger Ebert: Reading in the gossip sheets that Douglas in years past was led astray by lust, we suspect that some of his performance is based on experience. Why is a man a serial seducer? To prove to himself that he can, which to a woman is not a compelling reason to be seduced.

This is a smart, effective film, a comedy in many ways even though it's bookended with reasons for Ben to see it as a potential tragedy. It's a serious comedy, perceptive, nuanced, with every supporting performance well-calibrated to demonstrate to Ben that he can run but he can no longer hide. Here is one of Michael Douglas' finest performances.

The New York Times, A. O. Scott: Mr. Douglas is a charming and slippery actor who specializes, naturally enough, in impersonating charming and slippery men. After Wall Street and Wonder Boys, he could have played Ben Kalmen in his sleep, but instead he is fully alive, as engaged with the complexities of actorly portraiture as he has ever been. Ben, for all his manifold flaws, is never dishonest — his mistake is to place a higher value on candor than he does on decency — and Mr. Douglas never hits a false note. It may not be easy to like this solitary man. It may be impossible. But by the end of this trim and satisfying movie, you know him.

Time Out New York, David Fear: A truly impressive portrait of self-destructive, smooth-talking alpha males, and a testament to an actor who waltzes across that Peter Pan–syndrome tightrope with the greatest of sleaze.

Red Riding Hood: US/ Canada, Fantasy/ Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller 1 hr 40 mins – Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (the first Twilight, and Thirteen), starring Amanda Seyfried, Julie Christie, and Gary Oldman. Generally unfavorable reviews: 29/30 out of 100. At Airport Plaza only.

Brian Orndorf: Truly dreadful...Hardwicke hasn't offered a competent directorial effort to date, with Hood a new low for the filmmaker. Not only is the feature a total eyesore, but one perfectly content to pilfer from a fad.

Emanuel Levy: Hardwicke's blatantly Twilight-esque revamping of the popular fable succeeds only as a nonsensical and offensive grab for more teen dollars.

Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy: A film of grimm banality, Red Riding Hood puts a bloodthirsty Twilight spin on a fairy tale already possessed of an unusually macabre climax. As it thuds along from one wolf attack to the next, Catherine Hardwicke's first film since taking leave of Bella and her toothy friends adamantly refuses to provide any wit, humor or fun, concerning itself mostly with the heroine's taxing dilemma of picking between the rural village's two best looking boys.

Red Riding Hood is in the vanguard of what appears to be an onslaught of live-action fairy tale-derived studio features over the next year or so. What triggered this trend remains unclear, but one can only hope that the level of cleverness and invention improves, as things hardly get off to an inspired start here.

Hug Na Sarakam / ฮักนะ สารคาม: Thai, Comedy/ Romance Transvestite indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, director of the banned social drama Insects in the Backyard, goes commercial with her latest effort. It's a sunny comedy and countryside ode about the love lives of youngsters in Maha Sarakham, the predominantly rural province in the culturally distinct region of Thailand's northeast, Isaan. They engage in romantic shenanigans that have nothing to do with Isaan’s usual sorry image of pitiable farmers. At Airport Plaza only, and in Thai only.

The Unborn Child/ Sop Dek / ศพเด็ก 2002: Thai, Horror/ Mystery – Actually 2,002 unborn children, since this opportunistic horror film is based on last November’s scandal when 2,002 aborted fetuses were discovered at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok after the temple’s crematorium broke down, and the resultant smell had neighbors complaining. Directed by Poj Arnon (Bangkok Love Story). If you’d care for the background on what the scandal was all about, click here.

Just Go with It: US, Comedy/ Romance1 hr 57 mins – On a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon convinces his loyal assistant to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend. Generally unfavorable reviews: 33/37 out of 100. If you enjoy Adam Sandler’s movies, you might like this one. At Airport Plaza only.

Rolling Stone, Dennis Dugan: A romcom with little rom and even less com, Just Go with It returns Adam Sandler to his fascination with kids, poop, and mammary glands. ...Don't even think of going with it.

Rapunzel / Tangled (3D): US, Animation/ Comedy/ Family1 hr 40 mins – For some reason, this film is known as Tangled in the US and Rapunzel here. It’s terrific old-fashioned Disney magic. The beautiful princess Rapunzel has been in a tower her entire life, and she is now curious about the outside world. One day, a bandit scales the tower and is taken captive by Rapunzel. She strikes a deal with the charming thief to act as her guide to the outside world. In Disney Digital 3D at Airport Plaza, 2D at Vista. Generally favorable reviews: 71/75 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: While far from Disney's greatest film, Tangled is a visually stunning, thoroughly entertaining addition to the studio's classic animated canon.

Globe and Mail, Jennie Punter: Tangled, Disney’s 50th animated feature, is glorious-looking, action-packed, and laugh-rippled, with a few fine story-advancing musical numbers. It’s a lively rendition of Rapunzel that swaps the social status of the two romantic protagonists, turns the old evil hag into a svelte passive-aggressive mother-type and adds two new animal characters (a cute chameleon who perches like so many twittering birds in cartoons of yore, and a fearless cop horse with the tenacity of a sniffer dog) that only Disney animators could so memorably portray.

The painterly look of hand-drawn animation from Disney’s first golden era and the physicality of the best swashbuckling adventure films of that same time are delivered with the latest techniques in camera positioning, editing, special effects and 3-D to enhance the action to heart-pounding effect, underline gag,s and create romance.

Love Julinsee Rak Man Yai Mak / เลิฟ จุลินทรีย์ รักมันใหญ่ มา: Thai, Drama/ Romance Squeaky-clean teen love during a music festival. Now at Vista only.

May show up any time

127 Hours: (Scheduled for today, but didn’t show; I have a feeling and am hopeful that it will show up any day now – tomorrow, Saturday, who knows?) US/ UK, Drama – You do want to see this, believe me! It’s fantastic! Sounds grim, but actually not that bloody; the major action is performed with a modicum of taste, in my opinion. And the musical score is a marvel, doing all sorts of things to help you keep things in perspective. It was nominated for the following Oscars: best picture, best actor (James Franco), best adapted screenplay, film editing, original score (the marvelous A.R. Rahman, composer for Slumdog Millionaire), and best original song. This Danny Boyle film, based on true events, features James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston, who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah, in the United States. 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, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever meets? Rated R in the US for language and some disturbing violent content/ bloody images. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 82/82 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: As gut-wrenching as it is inspirational, 127 Hours unites one of Danny Boyle's most beautifully exuberant directorial efforts with a terrific performance from James Franco.

The King’s Speech: (Now playing, but not here. May show up here unannounced) UK/ Australia, Drama/ History – In my view a beautiful motion picture, with everything you could hope for. Oscar nominations for best picture, best director (Tom Hooper), best actor (Colin Firth), best supporting actor (Geoffrey Rush), best supporting actress (Helena Bonham Carter), original screenplay, art direction, cinematography, costume design, editing, original score (Alexandre Desplat), and sound mixing. Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country into war. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 88/86 out of 100.

The multi-award-winning cast includes Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall, and Michael Gambon.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Colin Firth gives a masterful performance in The King's, a predictable but stylishly produced and rousing period drama..

True Grit: (Playing in Thailand now and may show up here any time) Drama, Western – I thought Jeff Bridges was a hoot in this; truly enjoyable! Nominated for these Oscars (but didn’t win a one): best picture, direction (Joel and Ethan Coen), actor (Jeff Bridges), supporting actress (Hailee Steinfeld), adapted screenplay, art direction, cinematography, costume design, sound editing, and sound mixing. The story is as in the original: Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross's (Hailee Steinfeld) determines to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him - over his objections - to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man.  Generally favorable reviews: 80/83 out of 100.


... and looking forward

Apr 13 (Wed): Mars Needs Moms!: US, Animation/ Action/ Adventure/ Comedy/ Family/ Sci-Fi – 1 hr 28 mins – Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she's nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Just opened in the US and England, and it seems no one went to see it. Shaping up as one of the biggest flops ever (see below). Mixed or average reviews: 51/52 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: The cast is solid and it's visually well-crafted, but Mars Needs Moms suffers from a lack of imagination and heart.

New York Times, Brooks Barnes: In the movie business, sometimes a flop is just a flop. Then there are misses so disastrous that they send signals to broad swaths of Hollywood. Mars Needs Moms is shaping up as the second type.

Walt Disney Studios spent an estimated $175 million to make and market Mars Needs Moms, which sold $6.9 million in tickets at North American theaters in its opening weekend. That grim result puts the 3-D animated adventure on track to become one of the biggest box-office bombs in movie history, on par with such washouts as The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Cutthroat Island and The Alamo

* = Coming soon (hopefully)

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.

On Friday, March 18, 8 pm:  Pierrot le fou / Pierrot Goes Wild / Crazy Pete (1965) by Jean-Luc Godard – 110 mins – France/ Italy, Crime/ Drama. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 73 out of 100.

With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Dirk Sanders, Graziella Galvani, Raymond Devos.  

Ferdinand meets an old love, Marianne. But at her place, they fall upon a cumbersome corpse. They then decide to flee the killers through France to an island where they might be safe… One of Jean-Paul Belmondo’s best roles in this “Nouvelle Vague” film.

– Alliance description

Pierrot (Jean-Paul Belmondo) escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run. 


TV Guide: Pierrot le fou was Godard's tenth film in six years (not including four sketches that he contributed to compilation films) and perhaps the first to contain all the elements that have been called "Godardian." He combined everything that came before--the romanticism of Breathless, the inner monologue externalized in Le Petit soldat, the structural division of My Life to Live, and the epic odyssey of Contempt--with the linguistic diary format that would overpower some of his later films.


Working from the outline provided by Lionel White's novel Obsession, Godard was able to proceed without a script and create what he called "a completely spontaneous film." Spontaneous or not, Pierrot le fou is arguably one of the few Godard pictures to have the desired balance of romance, adventure, violence, and humor on one side, and philosophy, literary and cinematic allusion, and Brechtian distancing on the other.


The film was lensed quickly in May, June, and July 1965 and then edited even more rapidly for a showing at the Venice Film Festival at the end of August.


On Friday, March 25, 8 pm:  À tout de suite / Right Now (2004) by Benoît Jacquot – 95 mins – France, Crime/ Romance/ Drama. In black and white. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 63/66 out of 100.

With Isild Le Besco, Ouassini Embarek, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Laurence Cordier.

When she hangs up the phone after hearing her lover say, “We’re coming right now,” she knows in her heart of hearts what she hadn’t faced up to before: that this man she loves, this “prince” from nowhere, is a hoodlum. He has just robbed a bank and a man got killed. It’s the mid-1970s. She’s nineteen years old. Right now, as if in a waking dream, she falls headlong from the tight, narrow space of her father’s uptown apartment into a weaving world of escape — Spain, Morocco, Greece — and from being an almost well-behaved girl into the life she’s always wanted, for better or worse.

– Alliance description

A school girl falls for a charming young man. After news about a botched bank robbery in which a guard is killed, she learns that her boyfriend was one of the robbers. She decides to hide him and his friends and then they all sneak out of the country. After hiding out and spending all the money, tempers rise and the group splits up. This forces the girl to work her own way back home and deal with her actions and her separation from her boyfriend.  A stylish, erotically charged thriller, and visually stunning.

At Film Space on Saturdays at 7 pm

March is “The Month of True Story” at Film Space.


Film Space is to the right and in the back of the Chiang Mai University (CMU) Art Museum (at 239 Nimmanhemin Road, corner of Suthep Road), 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, March 19, 7 pm:  The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) by Walter Salles 2 hrs 8 mins US/ UK/ Argentina/ Chile/ Peru/ Brazil/ Germany/ France, Adventure/ Biography/ Drama. The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling. Won BAFTA best non-English film 2005. Rated R in the US for language. In Spanish, Quechua, and Mapudungun, with English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 76/76 out of 100.

Rotten Tomatoes consensus: The Motorcycle Diaries is heartfelt and profound in its rendering of the formative experiences that turn Ernesto "Che" Guerva into a famous revolutionary.

Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: In 1952, two young Argentines, Ernesto Guevara, and Alberto Granado, set out on a road trip to discover the real Latin America. Ernesto is a 23-year-old medical student specializing in leprology, and Alberto, 29, is a biochemist. The tale follows their journey as they unveil the rich and complex human and social topography of the Latin American continent.

Christian Science Monitor, David Sterritt: One thing few will disagree on is the quality of the film's acting, especially by Gael García Bernal as Guevara and Rodrigo de la Serna as his friend. Both effortlessly embody the footloose, sometimes feckless quality of this "On the Road"-style adventure.

New York Post, Lou Lumenick: A gorgeous, poetic and stirring epic.

Portland Oregonian, Shawn Levy: The result is a rare and precious work. The Motorcycle Diaries is an epic road movie with everything you'd want from such a film: laughs, kicks, adventures, pathos, poetry, natural beauty, strange encounters and friendship tested and strengthened., Andrew O'Hehir: There is a balancing act at work here that sometimes makes the film seem too careful, but I found it a lovely and supremely moving experience, a haunting symphony in a minor key if not a knock-your-socks-off masterpiece.

At Film Space Saturday, March 26, 7 pm:  The Sea Inside / Mar adentro (2004) by Alejandro Amenábar 2 hrs 5 mins Spain/ France/ Italy, Biography/ Drama. The life story of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. The film explores Ramón's relationships with two women: Julia, a lawyer who supports his cause, and Rosa, a local woman who wants to convince him that life is worth living. Through the gift of his love, these two women are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wish to die, Ramón taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value, and preciousness of life. Though he could not move himself, he had an uncanny ability to move others. Generally favorable reviews: 74/75 out of 100. In Spanish, Catalan, and Galician, with English subtitles.

Won the 2004 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the 2004 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Rotten Tomatoes consensus: Held aloft by a transfixing performance from Javier Bardem as a terminally ill man who chooses to die, The Sea Inside transcends its melodramatic story with tenderness and grace.

At the Gay Film Series

Next showing March 27, at 7 pm: Transamerica (2005), last presentation of the season until June 19th, 2011. Directed by Duncan Tucker, the film tells the story of Bree, a transsexual woman (Felicity Huffman), who goes on a road trip with her long-lost son Toby (Kevin Zegers). The film is marked by an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance by Huffman. Rated R in the US for sexual content, nudity, language and drug use. Generally favorable reviews: 66/68 out of 100.

Films with a gay theme shown generally every two weeks, with very limited seating, in a private home. Reservations a must to attend films in this series. To reserve: send email to: mark in subject area “reserve” with the number in your party. To be placed on the mailing list for advance notice of movies just put in the subject line: “mailing list.” 

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