November 15, 2012 |
"Bel Borba Aqui" is a sunny vacation of a film, a documentary that's as jaunty and improvisational as its colorful subject, prolific Brazilian artist Bel Borba. Co-directors Burt Sun and André Costantini eschew the usual personal history, observer commentary and specific narrative structure for a grab-bag look at a man whose hometown of Salvador de Bahia is his canvas. For 35 years, Bel Borba has transformed Salvador's urban landscape with his eclectic explosion of average-sized to grand scale art, including sculptures, paintings, murals and mosaics.
September 17, 2012
"Barfi!" No MPAA rating Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes. In Hindi with English subtitles. Playing: In select theaters
September 13, 2012 |
Documentarians David Redmon and Ashley Sabin have pieced together an eye-opening account of a form of human trafficking: an industry that sends pubescent European girls to Asia as wannabe models, offering meaningless contracts and no accountability. As an indictment of 'an unscrupulous business, "Girl Model" is more impressionistic than investigative. The nonaggressive approach can be frustrating, but it nonetheless gets under the skin-deep promises of glamour and wealth that lure a seemingly endless stream of very young hopefuls.
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.
August 23, 2012
The concise documentary "Words of Witness" proves a vivid snapshot of the hectic, yet hopeful weeks in early 2011 following the end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-dictatorship, the start of the military's interim rule and the nation's rocky road toward democracy. Czech-Egyptian director Mai Iskander, who also produced and shot the film, tells this crucial story of modern revolution through the eyes of Heba Afify, a 22-year-old, newly hired journalist at the English edition of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt's chief independent newspaper.
August 16, 2012
As goofy and singular as its look-twice title, "Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same" is a weirdly ingratiating trifle lampooning dating, urban isolation, cut-rate sci-fi flicks and ecology. It's got midnight movie written all over it - and not in a bad way. This black-and-white comedy follows the romantic blossoming of self-conscious, lovelorn lesbian and stationery store clerk Jane (Lisa Haas) after she meets an honest-to-goodness alien named Zoinx (Susan Ziegler). Turns out the deadpan, bald-headed Zoinx, along with fellow space travelers Zylar (Jackie Monahan)
August 10, 2012
'Nuit #1' No MPAA rating; in French with English subtitles Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes Playing: At the Nuart, West Los Angeles
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
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2012 |
The new documentary from Jonathan Gruber and Ari Daniel Pinchot, "Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story," pays tribute to one ofIsrael'snational heroes. The biography of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's older brother bears a broad resemblance to that of Joseph Kennedy Jr.: firstborn, handsome and charismatic, a military hero and presumed political leader who died young. Yonatan Netanyahu was killed at Entebbe Airport, in Uganda, after leading the successful hostage-rescue mission there in July 1976.