August 10, 2012
'The Green Wave' No MPAA rating; in English and Farsi with English subtitles Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Playing: At Laemmle's Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills; Laemmle's Town Center 5, Encino
January 13, 2013
FRIDAY 56 Up The latest installment of a decades-long documentary series chronicling the lives of 14 people from all over England who have participated in interviews every seven years since 1964. Directed by Michael Apted and Paul Almond. First Run Features Brief Reunion A successful entrepreneur has his comfortable life in rural New England turned upside down by the unexpected appearance of a former classmate. With Joel de la Fuente, Alexie Gilmore and Scott Shepherd.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2012 |
Alma, the 15-year-old heroine of the Nordic import "Turn Me On, Dammit!," is introduced pleasuring herself on the floor of her kitchen to the chatter of a phone sex operator. Instead of setting up a single-minded comedy about teenage desire, however, this gently amusing film from writer-director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen delicately renders more than a few shades of a turbulent female adolescence. Soft-eyed, hangdog Alma (a wonderful Helene Bergsholm) is racked with horny/romantic fantasies and hates the backwater mountain village where she lives.
November 4, 2011 |
'Silenced' is harrowing A recent hit in Korea, "Silenced" (" Dogani ") is based on a true story in which administrators at a school for deaf children received extremely light penalties for sexually abusing their young charges. In the film, a teacher (Gong Yoo) uncovers the awful goings-on and enlists a local human rights worker (Jung Yu-mi) to seek justice. They come to realize that officials are more concerned with sweeping the problem under the rug than bringing vicious predators to justice.
May 25, 2012 |
Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, whose 2003 feature debut, "The Return," was a masterpiece of cinematic allegory, turns to noirish territory, by way of Dostoevsky, in his third film, the spellbinding and impeccably crafted"Elena. " Set in contemporary, well-to-do Moscow and its seedy, Soviet-leftover suburbs, the drama lays bare the moral dilemma - and class divide - between a 60ish couple. Elena (Nadezhda Markina) and Vladimir (Andrey Smirnov) share an orderly life in the ocean-blue expanse of their apartment, but their relationship feels more like an arrangement than a marriage.
August 23, 2012 |
At any other time, the storyline of a film like "R2B: Return to Base" - a reckless young fighter pilot (Korean superstar Rain) is taken down a few pegs by a more experienced and disciplined rival (Yu Jun-sang) and learns the value of teamwork - would likely earn references to "Top Gun. " With the film by chance seeing release so closely after the recent death of "Top Gun" director Tony Scott, one almost feels sorry for "R2B" director Kim Dong-won for how inescapable the comparisons will be. They are not unfounded, of course, as Kim's film looks to get premium mileage from the thrill of a slo-mo formation walk across a tarmac or the whooshing rush of the horizon line slipping by the cockpit.
May 16, 2013 |
There may be potential juice in the story of "The Second Meeting," which involves two wartime enemies who later forge a peaceful trans-Atlantic friendship. But writer-producer-director Zeljko Mirkovic's clunker of a documentary demands a full narrative and editorial rethink. In 1999, an American F-117A stealth bomber piloted by Lt. Col. Dale Zelko, was shot down over Serbia by Yugoslav missile officer Zoltan Dani. Zelko parachuted to safety and Dani became a national hero. Twelve years later, family men Zelko and Dani visit each other in their home countries (how this came about goes unexplained)
February 8, 2008 |
The decline of the art-house theater has severely curtailed America's exposure to foreign films -- now limited largely to the occasional picture so prize-laden or distinctive that it breaks through. Romania's current critical darling, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," is a prime example.