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MOVIES | Alternate Screen

The Last of the Indies

The best of the rest at the fourth Newport Beach International Film Festival.

April 01, 1999|MARK CHALON SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

There are three movie days left before the Newport Beach International Film Festival slips into hibernation until next year. Slackers, studs and sad cases, among others, are some of the characters who will be on hand for the remaining films by new filmmakers.

Here are a few of the offerings that look interesting as the festival winds down:

* Edwards Island Cinemas in Newport Beach has a pair of films todaythat read like a wry Gen-Xer double bill.

First up, at noon, is Dean Ishida's "My Lazy White Friends," which is said to examine a group of young people as they "ineptly" try to make their way in the world. If Ishida's approach proves inept, at least the documentary is only 60 minutes long. "Get a Job" (4 p.m.) by Gregg Cannizzaro is a full-length feature with an intriguing concept: An unemployed slacker must find a job if he wants an inheritance; so he creates an imaginary one at a rugby bar populated with his pals.

* The Fiesta del Cine series continues tonight at Teatro Fiesta in Santa Ana with "Take It or Leave It" (8:30 p.m.), Carlos Garcia Agraz's film about seniors facing old age in sometimes assertive ways. At the center is Amelia, who decides the best way not to go gently into that good night is by becoming a contestant on a popular TV game show.

* On Friday, a peculiar man and an even more peculiar woman are the focus for two pictures at Captain Blood's Village Theater in Orange. Christopher Kublan's "Casanova Falling" (6 p.m.) is all about the kind of guy women love to love--and hate. He's a smooth player with career and sexual ambitions, but he's not alone. Some of the women in his world are also predatory, in and out of bed.

Eric DelaBarre's "Kate's Addiction" (8 p.m.), which makes its world premiere at the festival, is described as a psychological thriller about a woman fixated on her college roommate. Murder and betrayal figure into the movie, which was made for $74,000.

* Saturday is the last day for festival flicks, and there are a pair at Captain Blood's that have a worldly flavor.

Thai director Somching Srisupap's "Fear/Faith/Revenge" (6 p.m.), which is part of the Asian Cinema Kaleidoscope series, hinges on the suicide of a talented student at a boys' boarding school. A group of new students try to unravel the mystery of his death and the rumors surrounding it.

"Espresso" (8 p.m.) comes from Hungary and was directed by Tamas Sas. His film revolves around three women who spend time in a Budapest bar called Espresso. They tell each other just about everything and soon have a great topic to share--a young man who comes into the bar and ultimately has affairs with each of them.

* Film locations: Edwards Island Cinemas, 999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, (949) 640-1780. Teatro Fiesta, 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana, (741) 541-4351. Captain Blood's Village Theater, 1140 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 538-3545.

A French Knockout

"Dry Cleaning," a new French import by director Anne Fontaine, continues its exclusive Orange County engagement at Edwards Town Center in Costa Mesa.

Miou-Miou and Charles Berling star as Nicole and Jean-Marie, a couple who run a dry-cleaning business in a provincial town. They're hard-working and a little dull. But after they visit a gay nightclub on a whim and begin a relationship with a drag queen and his sister, the two head down a more complicated and curious path.

Times critic Kenneth Turan liked it. "As an intimate examination of the consequences of first exposing and then attempting to gratify longings that have remained well-hidden, this film is a knockout," he wrote in a recent review.

* Edwards Town Center, 3199 Park Center Drive, Costa Mesa, (714) 751-4184. Unrated. Times guidelines: explicit scenes of heterosexual and homosexual lovemaking.

Looking Ahead

The UC Irvine Film Society has for years presented one of the more unusual series in Orange County. It's latest, Pleasures in the Dark, continues the trend.

The program begins with Satyajit Ray's "The Music Room" (April 9), which explores Indian culture in the 1930s through the eyes of an aristocrat facing financial ruin.

Also offered are Brigitte Rouan's "Post Coitum" (April 16); Takeshi Kitano's "Fireworks" (April 23); Chris Marker's "Sans Soleil" (April 30); Andrew Birkin's "Cement Garden" (May 7); Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight" (May 14); Carlos Diegues' "Bye Bye Brazil" (May 21); Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's "La Promesse" (May 28); John Cassavetes' "Killing of a Chinese Bookie" (June 4); and Ingmar Bergman's "Autumn Sonata" (June 11).

* All films will screen at the UC Irvine Student Center, Crystal Cove Auditorium, near Pereira Drive and West Peltason Road, at 7 and 9 p.m.. $2.50 (students), $3.50 (faculty, seniors and non-UCI students) and $4.50. (949) 824-5588.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Newport Beach Film Festival

Today's Schedule

Edwards Lido

5459 Via Lido, Newport Beach

(949) 673-8350

7: Awards ceremony

Captain Blood's Village Theater

1140 N. Tustin St., Orange

(714) 538-3545

4: The Last Call

6: The Waiting Game

Teatro Fiesta

305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana

(714) 541-4351

6:30: The Scent of Vengeance

8:30: Take It or Leave It

Edwards Island Cinemas

999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

(949) 640-1780

Noon: My Lazy White Friends

2: Frozen

4: Get a Job

6: The Poet

9: The Money Shot

Four Star Cinema

12111 Valley View St., Garden Grove

(714) 934-6377

5: Falling Up Waking Down

7: Be There or Be Square

9: In the Navel of the Sea

Festival information: (949) 851-6555.

Los Angeles Times

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