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Summer Sneaks

Only the strong survive

It just so happens to be the name of a new documentary, but it's also an apt description of the struggle for summer dominance.

May 04, 2003

May 9

Etoiles: Dancers of

the Paris Opera Ballet


First Run

The idea: Weaves together footage of the troupe, founded in 1713 by Louis XIV, on the road, in rehearsal and in scenes from classic ballets.

Director: Nils Tavernier.

So? Tavernier is son of French cineaste-turned-filmmaker Bertrand.

A Family Affair


For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday May 13, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Release date -- "Marooned in Iraq," a drama from Wellspring, will be released May 23. The May 4 Summer Sneaks issue of Sunday Calendar incorrectly listed the film as coming out May 9.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday May 16, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Iraq film -- "Marooned in Iraq," a drama from Wellspring, will be released May 23. The May 4 Summer Sneaks issue of Sunday Calendar incorrectly listed it as May 9.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday May 18, 2003 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part E Page 2 Calendar Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Release date -- "Marooned in Iraq," a drama from Wellspring, will be released May 23. The May 4 Summer Sneaks issue of Sunday Calendar incorrectly listed it as May 9.

Small Planet

With: Helen Lesnick, Arlene Golonka, Barbara Stuart, Michelle Greene.

The idea: Woman returns home to San Diego from New York, seeks new girlfriend.

Writer-director: Lesnick.

So? Sharp observations.




With: Don Cheadle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Bacall.

The idea: Psychologist tries to help an ensemble of troubled youngsters overcome their demons.

Writers: Bacall, Blayne Weaver.

Director: Jordan Melamed.

So? Dusty, as in on the shelf awhile.

The Man on the Train


Paramount Classics

With: Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday.

The idea: Unexpected encounter between a retired poetry teacher and a crook leads them both to contemplate the road not taken.

Writer: Claude Kotz.

Director: Patrice Leconte.

So? Fateful longing.

Marooned in Iraq



With: Shahab Ebrahimi, Faegh Mohammadi, Allah-Morad Rashtian.

The idea: Kurdish musician enlists his two sons in an effort to rescue his ex-wife from the chaos of Iraq after the Iranian war.

Writers: Bahman Ghobadi, Fairbor Kamkari.

Director: Ghobadi.

So? Coincidentally topical.

Only the Strong Survive



With: Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Rufus Thomas and others.

The idea: Catching up with soul singers of the '60s and '70s.

Directors: D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus.

So? The amazing legacy of a musical moment in time.

The Shape of Things


Focus Features

With: Rachel Weisz, Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol, Frederick Weller.

The idea: Tale of love and art in college setting focuses on two couples.

Writer-director: Neil LaBute, based on his play.

So? The sting of truth, delivered as only LaBute does it.

May 15

The Matrix Reloaded

Sci-fi action

Warner Bros.

With: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci.

The idea: Freedom fighters continue rebellion against the Machine Army.

Writer-directors: The Wachowski brothers.

So? Future tense.

May 16

L'Auberge Espagnole


Fox Searchlight

With: Romain Duris, Cecile de France, Audrey Tautou, Judith Godreche.

The idea: Young Parisian gets an education in life when he spends his senior year in Barcelona.

Writer-director: Cedric Klapisch.

So? The French loved it.


(Painted Fire)


Kino International

With: Choi Min-sik, Ahn Sung-ki.

The idea: Nineteenth century Korean painter Jang Seung-ub pursues art through hedonism.

Writers: Im Kwon-taek, Kim Yong-ok, Min Byung-sam.

Director: Im.

So? Im tied for best director with Paul Thomas Anderson last year at Cannes.

Cremaster 3



With: Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, Aimee Mullins.

The idea: Protagonist Barney's adversaries include the Order of the Rainbow for Girls and two New York rock bands.

Writer-director: Barney.

So? Arty films by art-world cult figure.

Down With Love



With: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Paulson, Tony Randall.

The idea: She's sworn it off, he doesn't need it.

Writers: Eve Ahlert & Dennis Drake.

Director: Peyton Reed.

So? Homage to Rock Hudson-Doris Day romps.

Friends and Family



With: Greg Lauren, Christopher Gartin, Tony Lo Bianco, Anna Maria Alberghetti.

The idea: Gay couple tries to conceal the truth (they're mob enforcers) from parents.

Writer: Joseph Triebwasser.

Director: Kristen Coury.

So? Friend or faux?

Pokemon Heroes

Animated adventure


With: Voices of Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachel Lillis, Maddie Blaustein.

The idea: A mysterious city on water and two new Pokemon figures.

Writers: Hideki Sonoda, Jim Malone.

Directors: Kunihiko Yuyama, Malone.

So? Fifth grade.




With: Harry Altman, Angela Arenivar, Ted Brigham, April DeGideo, Neil Kadakia, Nupur Lala, Emily Stagg and Ashley White.

The idea: Fourteen-year-olds compete in the National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeff Blitz.

So? F-a-s-c-i-n-a-t-i-n-g.

The Trip


TLA Releasing

With: Larry Sullivan, Steve Braun, Alexis Arquette, Jill St. John.

The idea: Politically mismatched gay couple navigates political and social changes of '70s and '80s America.

Writer-director: Miles Swain.

So? Patronizing and stale.

May 21



New Yorker

With: Vladimir Mashkov.

The idea: Idealistic academic makes a killing in post-Soviet business scheme, becomes richest man in Russia -- and a target for assassination.

Writers: Alexander Borodianski, Pavel Lounguine, Yuli Dubov, adapted from the novel by Dubov.

Director: Lounguine.

So? Ruthless, cynical, blunt.

May 23




With: Josh Hamilton, Harold Perrineau, Isabel Gillies, John Fleck.

The idea: An erotic Web site is the hub of activity in the streaming-video story of some peculiar Net denizens.

Writers: Andrew Osborne and Jed Weintrob.

Director: Weintrob.

So? Seems rather dial-up in a broadband world.



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