(March 21st - April 1st, 2007)
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7 Years- Directed by Jean-Pascal Hattu. In French with subtitles. Maďté (Valérie Donzelli) gets intimate with Jean (Cyril Troley), a guard at the prison where her husband (Bruno Todeschini) is incarcerated for 7 years. With an unimaginative, tedious plot and dull, unlikable characters, there’s not enough going on to hold your attention. A few scenes feel pointless and drag. What helps to add a morsel of liveliness, though, is the decent performance by Valérie Donzell. Everything else just falls flat and fades from memory right after the end credits roll. Entertainment Value: Low. Spiritual Value: Very Low. Screens March 24th 6:15 PM at MoMa and March 26th, 8:45 PM at Walter Reade Theater. No distributor, yet.
The Art of Crying- Directed by Peter Schonau Fog. In Danish with subtitles. 11-year-old Allan (Jannik Lorenzen) gradually discovers a dark secret about his father (Jesper Anholt) and tries to intervene. What begins as a darkly comedic film involving a dysfunctional family turns into a surprisingly compelling drama—mostly through the perspective of an 11-year-old. Some might initially feel a bit disturbed by how dark the plot gets, but, fortunately director Peter Schonau Fog handles it quite nicely without going overboard. A few scenes with Allan manage to be quite poignant. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Screens March 25th 3:00 PM at Walter Reade Theater and March 26th, 8:45 at MoMa. No distributor, yet.
Cowboy Angels- Directed by Kim Massee. In French with subtitles. Louis (Thierry Levaret) takes Pablo (Diego Mestanza), an 11-year-old abandoned boy, on a road trip to search for the man who might be his father. Despite an interesting premise, writer/director Kim Massee simply doesn’t take it far enough to make it engaging or absorbing enough. Louis and Pablo form an unlikely friendship throughout their adventure on the road, but the script doesn’t provide them with very much character development, so they come across as rather one dimensional. The plot gets a bit contrived and convoluted, especially in the third act when feels too rushed. Entertainment Value: Moderate. Spiritual Value: Low. Screens March 23rd, 9:00 PM at Walter Reade Theater and March 25th, 3:45 at MoMa. No distributor, yet.
Day Night Day Night- Directed by Julia Loktev. Luisa Williams gives a remarkably believable performance as an unnamed 19-year-old of unknown nationality who prepares to be a suicide bomber in Time Square. Shot in digital, this intense little movie packs a wallop given how writer/director Julia Loktev makes it look so much like a documentary with meticulously realistic detail. She includes plenty of recognizable locations throughout Times Square which will make it hit home even more and frighten anyone who has every walked in or around that area before. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Screens March 30th, 9:00 PM at Walter Reade Theater and March 31st, 6:30 PM at MoMa. Released by IFC First Take. Opens May 9th, 2007 at the IFC Center.
Glue- Directed by Alexis Dos Santos. Three young, glue-sniffing adolescents, Lucas (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), Nacho (Nahuel Viale), and Andrea (Inés Efron) come of age in a small Argentinean town. This tedious coming-of-age film says nothing new about adolescents nor does it have any interesting or poignant moments. Too many scenes feel either exploitative and pretentious or simply pointless. Moreover, writer/director Alexis Dos Santos includes nauseating cinematography using digital or Super 8 as a medium with many shaky camera movements. His unimaginative script with minimal character development makes for an excruciatingly dull experience, especially at an excessive running time of 110 minutes. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: High. Screens March 21st, 9:00 PM at MoMa and March 23rd, 6:00 PM at Walter Reade Theater. Released by Picture This! Entertainment. No release date, yet.
The Great World of Sound- Directed by Craig Zobel. Martin (Pat Healey) and Clarence (Kene Holliday) work as record producers for a production company that sends them out together to the Midwest to audition aspiring musicians. Pat Healey and Kene Holliday play off of each other quite well and both have impeccable comic timing and charm, especially Kene. Most importantly, co-writer/director Craig Zobel has written a witty, smart and hilarious script which only briefly looses its pizzazz in the middle of the second act. At once a satire of the record industry and as well as the show “American Idol”, this indie gem is refreshing from start to finish. Entertainment Value: Very High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Screens March 30th, 8:30 PM at MoMa, March 31st, 12:30 PM at Walter Reade Theater and April 1st, 5:15 PM at Walter Reade Theater. Released by Magnolia Pictures. No release date, yet.
Red Road- Directed by Andrea Arnold. Jackie (Kate Dickie), a camera surveillance operator, follows a mysterious man who recently got out of prison. This smart intense thriller gradually builds up tension through its meticulous attention to detail. Unlike in the predictable, over-the-top thriller, Disturbia, it’s not immediately clear what the intentions are of the guy under surveillance and why Jackie feels the need to fixate on him. This is writer/director Andrea Arnold’s feature film directorial debut and she certainly shows a knack for keeping you at the edge of your seat and surprising without going over-the-top. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: High. Screens March 25th, 6:30 PM at MoMa and March 27th, 9:00 PM at Walter Reade Theater. Released by Tartan Films. Opens April 13th, 2007 at the Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.