A Thousand Months, the first full-length feature from Moroccan writer-director Faouzi Bensaïdi, sets out as if to offer us a winsome child’s-eye view of life in an Atlas mountains village in the early 1980s, as seven-year-old Mehdi (Fouad Labied) wonderingly observes the new moon that marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan. But the film soon develops into something more complex – more like a vivid North African reworking of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts. Of the various interlocking characters and events that make up the plot, several impinge only marginally on Mehdi. This tactic is a deliberate attempt to subvert our expectations. “I like to lure the audience along a path that seems to be marked out and reassuring,” Bensaïdi says, “only to make them lose it instantly. The centre keeps shifting and what seems to be the margin becomes the magnet that attracts all the rest to it, only to disappear and be replaced by other peripheral elements.” Continue reading
After winning top awards in Montreux, Utrecht, and St. Petersburg for THE WAITING ROOM, followed by the Grand Prix at the Mediawave festival in Györ (Hungary) for THE GAS STATION, Jos Stelling completed his Erotic Tales trilogy with THE GALLERY. Stylistically they’re all connected: each is narrated visually without dialogue, each makes merry fun of an embarrassing erotic fantasy in a public place, and each features the same likeable fall-guy – Belgian actor Gene Bervoets – as the hero always ready and willing to strut his manhood like a peacock in heat. In THE GALLERY Gene finds himself the sensual object of a beautiful woman’s desire. So when, suddenly and unexpectedly, she begins to strip for his pleasure … one good turn deserves another … (IMDb) Continue reading
Plot: Comedy-mystery finds Detectives Kelly and Dempsey trapped in a deserted lighthouse with a group of strangers who are being terrorized by a killer octopus AND a mysterious crime figure named after the title sea creature. Written by Marty McKee Continue reading
Unlike Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky probably won’t pick up many awards. It’s not a film with a ‘big statement’ and it signals a return to Leigh’s low-key films in the Nineties, such as Life Is Sweet and, in particular, Career Girls. But whereas those two films were only intermittingly successful, Happy-Go-Lucky’s vivid, absorbing and truthful portrayal of thirtysomething London life shows how far Leigh has developed his craft over the past decade.
There’s also a sense that Leigh’s brand of compassionate realism has become more engaging as cinema and drama becomes overly negative about the human condition. A refusal to rise above the banal and mundane was always Leigh’s glaring weakness as a film maker. But when ordinary people’s everyday life and behaviour has become politicised and problematised, Leigh’s ringing endorsement of free individuals enjoying the good life in twenty-first century Britain has never been more welcome. Continue reading
During a traffic jam, a man flirts with another driver.
Jos Stelling (1945) made his debut as a director with Mariken van Nieumeghen in 1974. The film was selected for Cannes in 1975. Since then he has been writing and directing eight feature films. For his short film The Waiting Room (1996) Stelling was awarded a Golden Rose (Press Award) in Montreux, a Golden Gryphon in St. Petersburg as well as his fourth Gouden Kalf (GoldenCalf, the Dutch film award). Continue reading
A romanian old man goes downtown to call his son in US from a public phone but….
Synopsis (University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive)
Within the framework of a thriller, Hermosillo presents in Matinee a film that is rich in the dreams and ambiguities of childhood. Two precocious provincial boys, enamored of the movies, head out for Mexico City in search of some real-life adventure. They are kidnapped by a gang of gunmen who adopt them as mascots, but also involve them in their cutthroat activities. The criminal escapades are a dream-come-true for the boys, until the police come into the picture and they are forced to betray their kidnappers. The boys are returned to the provinces as hometown heroes–returned to the quiet streets and the dubious thrill of the Saturday matinee. Hermosillo recalls the black humor of Buñuel and the boyhood adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain; and like them, he rejects the innocence of childhood for something more complex, which, though it is never defined, is the subject of Matinee. Continue reading