In this often very funny enquiry into crankiness, Toronto filmmaker Alan Zweig interviews notable curmudgeons like Fran Lebowitz, Harvey Pekar and Bruce LaBruce. Zweig wants to know what their frickin’ problem is and, more importantly, whether it’s the same as his. As in Vinyl, his equally irascible doc on record collectors, the endearingly dour filmmaker spends much of I, Curmudgeon spilling his guts directly to his camera and torturing himself with big questions that he can never answer satisfactorily. Zweig then confronts his subjects with the same questions, thereby making them even grouchier. (How grouchy? Andy Rooney is moved to kick Zweig out of his office.) Though I, Curmudgeon’s meandering structure and incessant jump-cuts are irritants, they’re also appropriate to the movie’s abrasive, anti-social personality. Consider this a testament to the power of negative thinking. – Eye Weekly Read More »
“Daniel Kasman” wrote:
Dedicate a movie to one thing, respect the singular attention of the camera, and a film should be rich enough to overcome just about anything. Brillante Mendoza gives almost half of his film Kinatay to the nocturnal drive of a group of policemen out of Manila to its suburbs, and another half hour of night awaits them at their destination, a police black site. This rich vision of so much gloom, dim suspension, no action, no spectacle, no drama is a beautiful thing, something out of an avant-garde film dedicated to textures, subtle shifts in color, and spatial uncertainty of a sunless world. Read More »
A pair of American security operatives (Zach Cohen and Iftach Ofir) are on patrol in Afghanistan when they stumble upon a Taliban fighter (Vincent Gallo), who kills them despite his terror and nervousness. While trying to escape, the Afghan is captured by American forces; he’s tortured during interrogation, but doesn’t tell the Americans anything, in part because an explosion has made it difficult for him to hear what they’re saying. The Americans ship the Afghan off to a detention facility with a number of other Taliban soldiers, but upon arrival he’s able to escape. However, the Afghan finds himself in a forbidding snowbound climate, and with no provisions or warm clothing he struggles to simply survive as he avoids his pursuers and struggles to find some way to get home. Read More »
Eun Sik is 28 years old and has recently started school at the university. He is a member of the Cha Ryu group and practices with them daily, through painful endurance training. He meets the much younger and gorgeous Eun Hyo, for whom he holds a completely one-sided attraction. Eun Sik’s amazingly unlucky, and a host of embarrassing situations happen to him. Through all of this, him and his insanely horny group of friends help make one of the most memorable sex comedies, complete with both hilarious and somewhat dramatic moments. Read More »
“Simultaneously developed by its writer-director Simon Pummell as a film, a website, and a gallery installation, Bodysong is not a work lacking in ambition. It sets itself the task of providing an overview of the human condition with Pummell and his researchers trawling through film, video, and television archives, as well as drawing on home movies.
All together the footage forms a panoramic mosaic underpinned by a haunting score from Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. It doesn’t come with any guiding voiceover, although the diverse material is carefully structured into different passages: birth, growth, adolescence, sex, violence, death, and ultimately renewal and transcendence. Read More »
Social class, prideful martyrdom, and a dollop of beautifully expansive landscape weave a tale of operatic proportions, both by plot and physically exhaustive standards, in veteran Manoel de Oliveira’s latest exploration of motivation. Marrying for money instead of childhood love, Camila (Leonor Baldaque) naïvely assumes the supposed epic and selfless attributes of Joan of Arc to deal with her husband’s infidelity and the consistent treatment of being irrelevant to the very people that encouraged the doomed match. Read More »
Plot / Synopsis
The fantasy musical film “Passerby #3? by Korean director Shin Su-won won the Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival.
Ji-Wan is a middle-aged mother with a case of malaise and hardly any backbone to speak of. She abruptly quits her job to follow her dream of becoming a film director; she’s been working on a script for five years. Her husband thinks she’s wasting her time; her son Si-Young is ashamed of her and lets her know it at every possible moment; and the producer she’s supposed to be working with, Choi, keeps trying to make the film into a commercial blockbuster. Read More »