Monday, May 31, 2010

SHRINK

USA
2009
104 minutes

A burned-out shrink to the Hollywood power elite finds himself in a spiral that seems to be reflected in his own clients' lives. Mosaic melodrama of interwoven Los Angeles lives, whose solid ensemble performances and stylish, moody handling and production values fail to make up for a progressively less interesting script.

Roadside Attractions present an Ignite Entertainment/Ithaka Films/Trigger Street Productions production.
Starring Kevin Spacey, Mark Webber, Keke Palmer, Saffron Burrows, Jack Huston, Pell James, Dallas Roberts, Laura Ramsey, Jesse Plemons, Robert Loggia (and, uncredited, Robin Williams).
Directed by Jonas Pate; produced by Michael Burns, Braxton Pope, Dana Brunetti; screenplay by Thomas Moffett, from a story by Henry Reardon; music by Brian Reitzell and Ken Andrews; director of photography (Technicolor, Panavision), Lukas Ettlin; production designer, Mark Hutman; costume designer, Johanna Arger; film editor, Luis Carballar.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Amoreiras VIP 1 (Lisbon), May 20th 2010.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME

USA
2010
115 minutes

In mythical Persia, a young prince is framed for the murder of his father the king so his scheming uncle can lay his hands on the all-powerful Dagger of Time. Entertaining but flyweight Hollywoodised Arabian Nights hokum via a successful video-game, professionally done.

A Walt Disney Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films presentation/production, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal; Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina.
Directed by Mike Newell; produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; screenplay by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, from a story by Jordan Mechner, based on the computer game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time created and developed by Mr. Mechner; music by Harry Gregson-Williams; director of photography (Technicolor, Panavision), John Seale; production designer, Wolf Kroeger; costume designer, Penny Rose; film editors, Michael Kahn, Mick Audsley, Martin Walsh; visual effects supervisor, Tom Wood.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 10 (Lisbon), May 17th 2010.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

BAM GUA NAT

Night and Day


South Korea
2008
145 minutes

Afraid he'll be imprisoned for having smoked marijuana, a married Seoul artist runs away to Paris where he wanders the city and seduces a haughty art student. Conversational, existential melodrama in the French vein that would be a lot more interesting at half its pointlessly protracted length.

KTB Network, the Korean Film Council and Cheongeoram present a Bom Film Productions production.
Starring Kim Young-ho, Park Eun-hye, Hwang Su-jung, Kee Joo-bong, Kim You-jin, Seo Min-jeong, Lee Sun-kyun, Jung Ji-hye.
Directed and written by Hong Sang-soo; produced by Oh Jung-wan; music by Jeong Yong-jin; director of photography (colour), Kim Hoon-kwang; film editor, Hahm Sung-won.
Screened: Berlin Film Festival advance press screening, Berlinale Palast (Berlin), February 12th 2008; distributor DVD screener, Lisbon, May 8th 2010. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

COLD SOULS

USA/France
2008
101 minutes

A New York actor having problems with his rehearsals for Chekhov's Uncle Vanya decides to try out a new medical procedure that extracts your soul; but when the results aren't quite what he expected and he wants his soul back, he finds it's been stolen by a Russian soul-trafficking gang. Slyly absurdist, melancholy comedy of modern emotions, smoothly handled and performed.

Two Lane Pictures and Winner Arts present a Journeyman Pictures/Touchy Feely Films production, in co-production with Memento Films Productions and ARTE France Cinéma.
Starring Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, Dina Korzun, Katheryn Winnick, Lauren Ambrose; and Emily Watson.
Directed and written by Sophie Barthes; produced by Dan Carey, Elizabeth Giamatti, Paul Mezey, Andrij Parekh, Jeremy Walker; music by Dickon Hinchcliffe; director of photography (Technicolor), Mr. Parekh; production designer, Elizabeth Mickle; costume designer, Erin Benach; film editor, Andrew Mondshein.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), May 6th 2010.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

VINCERE

Italy/France
2009
121 minutes

In 1914, a young Milanese shopkeeper falls in love with revolutionary leader Benito Mussolini, bearing his son and funding his newspaper only to find herself shunned and denounced as mad once he rises to power. Sweeping historical melodrama based on a little-known true story and artfullly presented as a stylized, operatic throwback to the golden era of women's picture.

An Ad Vitam (in France)/01 Distribution (in Italy)/Celluloid Dreams (int'l) release.
Offside and RAI Cinema present a RAI Cinema/Offside/Celluloid Dreams production, with the support of Eurimages, Istituto Luce, Sofica Soficinéma 4.
Starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michela Gescon, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Corrado Invernizzi, Paolo Pierobon; and introducing Fabrizio Costella.
Directed by Marco Bellocchio; produced by Mario Gianani; screenplay by Mr. Bellocchio, Daniela Ceselli, from a story by Mr. Bellocchio, inspired by the book The Secret Son of Il Duce by Alfredo Pieroni; music by Carlo Crivelli; director of photography (Cinecittà), Daniele Cipri; production designer, Marco Dentici; costume designer, Sergio Ballo; film editor, Francesca Calvelli.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Medeia King 1 (Lisbon), May 5th 2010.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DIECI INVERNI

Italy/Russia
2009
96 minutes

The paths of two students in Venice cross over ten years during which they fall in and out of love with each other. Well-made but run-of-the-mill romance.

A RAI Trade (int'l) release of a Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia Production/RAI Cinema/United Film Company production.
Starring Isabella Ragonese, Michele Riondino, Glen Blackhall, Sergei Zhigunov; with the friendly participation of Roberto Nobile, Luis Molteni; with the special participation of Vinicio Capossela.
Directed by Valerio Mieli; co-producers, Uliana Kovaleva, Igor Porshnev, Rezo Sharabidze, Roberto Bessi; screenplay by Isabella Aguilar, Davide Lantieri, Mr. Mieli, from a story by Mr. Mieli; music by Francesco de Luca, Alessandro Forti; director of photography (Technicolor, widescreen), Marco Onorato; production designer, Mauro Vanzati; costume designer, Andrea Cavalletto; film editor, Luigi Mearelli.
Screened: 8 1/2 Italian Film Festival advance DVD screener, Lisbon, May 16th 2010. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DER RÄUBER

The Robber


Austria/Germany
2009
101 minutes

In 1980s Austria, an ex-con breaks the national record for marathon running, while at the same time doing a series of bank heists on the side. Intriguing combination of kinetic thriller and cerebral drama, inspired by a real life case, with an outstanding lead performance.

A Films Distribution (international)/Thimfilm (in Austria)/Zorro Film (in Germany) release.
A Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion/Peter Heilrath Filmproduktion production; with support from Österreichisches Filminstitut, Filmfonds Wien, Filmfernsehfonds Bayern, Land Niederösterreich, Filmforderungsanstalt; in collaboration with ORF Film-Fernseh-Abkommen; in co-production with ZDF das kleine Fernsehspiel; in collaboration with ARTE.
Starring Andreas Lust, Franziska Weisz.
Directed by Benjamin Heisenberg; produced by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michael Kitzberger, Wolfgang Widerhofer, Peter Heilrath; screenplay by Mr. Heisenberg and Martin Prinz, based on the novel by Mr. Prinz, Der Räuber; music by Lorenz Dangel; director of photography (colour, widescreen), Reinhold Vorschneider; production designer, Renate Schmaderer; costume designer, Stephanie Riess; film editors, Andrea Wagner, Mr. Heisenberg. 
Screened: Berlin Film Festival advance press screening, Berlinale Palast (Berlin), February 15th 2010.

Monday, May 24, 2010

GUERRA CIVIL

Portugal
2010
94 minutes

During the Summer of 1982, a shy, introspective teenager is unable to communicate with anyone other than the young girl next door. Dour but well-observed period coming of age story making good use of period pop songs.

A Blackmaria presentation/production; financially supported by Ministério da Cultura-Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual and RTP.
Starring Francisco Belard, Catarina Wall; Maria Leite, Nuno Romano and Pedro M. Ruivo.
Directed by Pedro Caldas; produced by João Figueiras; written by Mr. Caldas and João Gusmão; director of photography (Tobis), Leonardo Simões; art director, Miguel Inácio; costume designer, Nádia Henriques; film editor, Nelly Quettier.
Screened: IndieLisboa Lisbon Screenings trade screening, São Jorge 3 (Lisbon), April 24th 2010.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

USA
2010
93 minutes

A group of high school kids find out they're having similar nightmares with a disfigured man with knives for fingers – and start dying in their sleep. Glossy, generally pointless remake of a fondly-remembered horror classic that remains pretty faithful to the original, with a fleshed out script making up for its rather more anonymous handling.

New Line Cinema presents a Platinum Dunes production.
Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz; and Clancy Brown.
Directed by Samuel Bayer; produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller; screenplay by Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer, based on a story by Mr. Strick and on characters created by Wes Craven; music by Steve Jablonsky; director of photography (DeLuxe, Panavision), Jeff Cutter; production designer, Patrick Lumb; costume designer, Mari-An Ceo; film editor, Glen Scantlebury; prosthetic effects supervisor, Andrew Clement; visual effects supervisor, Marc Kolbe.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), May 13th 2010.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

IO SONO L'AMORE

I Am Love


Italy
2009
120 minutes

The mother of a rigid, wealthy Milanese industrial family falls madly in love with a chef just as the family company is being sold for profit. Sweepingly romantic, wilfully operatic melodrama-cum-woman's picture, an updated throwback to the genres' great classics of the 1940s and 1950s.

First Sun and Mikado Film present a Mikado Film/First Sun production, in collaboration with RAI Cinema, in association with La Dolce Vita Productions and Pixel DNA.
Starring Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Pippo Delbono, Maria Paiato, Diane Fleri, Waris Ahluwalia, Mattia Zaccaro; and with Gabriele Ferzetti and Marisa Berenson.
Directed by Luca Guadagnino; produced by Mr. Guadagnino, Ms. Swinton, Alessandro Usai, Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Marco Morabito, Massimiliano Violante; screenplay by Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo, Walter Fasano, Mr. Guadagnino, from a story by Mr. Guadagnino; music by John Adams; director of photography (Technicolor), Yorick le Saux; production designer, Francesca di Mottola; costume designer, Antonella Cannarozzi; film editor, Mr. Fasano.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), May 7th 2010.

Friday, May 21, 2010

THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS

USA
2009
120 minutes

A drug-addicted New Orleans detective investigating the drug-related murder of an immigrant family finds himself getting deeper and deeper into trouble and addiction. Not so much a remake of Abel Ferrara's 1992 cult classic Bad Lieutenant as a totally different story that shares a thematic resemblance but nothing else, this eccentric police procedural fits right into its director's filmography but also in a long line of Hollywood left-of-centre potboilers, with a star performance from a lead whose work had become far too mainstream for his own good.

Millennium Films presents an Edward R. Pressman Film Productions/Saturn Films production, in association with Polsky Films and Osiris Productions.
Starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner, Fairuza Balk, Shawn Hatosy, Jennifer Coolidge, Tom Bower, Vondie Curtis Hall, Brad Dourif.
Directed by Werner Herzog; produced by Stephen Belafonte, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, John Thompson, Randall Emmett, Edward R. Pressman; written by William Finkelstein; music by Mark Isham; director of photography (Foto-kem), Peter Zeitlinger; production designer, Toby Corbett; costume designer, Jill Newell; film editor, Joe Bini.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon auditorium (Lisbon), April 23rd 2010.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS

The Secret in Her Eyes


Argentina/Spain
2009
129 minutes

A newly retired investigator decides to write a novel to exorcise a case he worked in 25 years earlier. Handsome mystery melodrama that introduces elements of film noir and police procedural into a smartly mounted tale of unrequited love; the sort of solid, clever adult entertainment that Hollywood used to know how to do so well.

Gerardo Herrero presents a Tornasol Films/Haddock Films/100 Bares Producciones/El Secreto de Sus Ojos production; with the participation of Telefe, TVE, Canal Plus España; with support from the Spanish Ministry of Culture-ICAA, INCAA; with financing from Instituto de Crédito Oficial.
Starring Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino; and special guest Guillermo Francella.
Director and film editor, Juan José Campanella; produced by Mariela Besuievsky, Mr. Campanella; screenplay by Eduardo Sacheri, Mr. Campanella, from the novel by Mr. Sacheri, La Pregunta de Sus Ojos; music by Federico Jusid; director of photography (Fotofilm Deluxe, widescreen), Félix Monti; art director, Marcelo Pont; costume designer, Cecilia Monti.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), May 6th 2010.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LA MUJER SIN PIANO

Spain/France
2009
93 minutes

A Madrid housewife decides to run away one night and, waiting for her bus to leave, sees a whole new side of the city. Wry, melancholy, stylized comedy of modern loneliness.

An Avalon PC/Lolita Films presentation/production, in co-production with Noodles Production; with associate production from Mateo & Co; with the participation of TVE, Cinécinéma; with the collaboration of Ministerio de Cultura, ICAA, Castilla-La Mancha; with financing from ICO. 
Starring Carmen Machi, Jan Budar.
Directed by Javier Rebollo; written by Lola Mayo and mr. Rebollo; director of photography (Technicolor, Fotofilm Deluxe), Santiago Racaj; art director, Miguel Ángel Rebollo; costume designer, Lena Mossum; film editor, Ángel Hernández Zoído.
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, Lisbon, April 20th 2010.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

C'EST DÉJÁ L'ÉTÉ

Netherlands/Belgium
2010
83 minutes

A working-class family in the Belgian town of Seraing struggles to make ends meet. Self-consciously arty attempt at miserablist social melodrama in the vein of the Dardenne brothers, but without anything new to add or the brothers' narrative talent.

A De Productie presentation/production, in co-production with Tarantula, with support from the Netherlands Film Fund, Mondriaan Foundation, Rotterdam Media Fund.
Starring Benjamin Willem, Julie Anson, Patrick Descamps, Arthur Egle, Besnik Limani, Alain Bellot, Thibault Remacle, Aurélie Henceval, Sam Rushton, Simon Drahonnet, Damien Trapletti, Christine Argenton, Eddie Roth, Jean-Marie Barbier.
Directed by Martijn Maria Smits; produced by René Goossens, Annemiek van Gort; written by Mr. Smits, Bastiaan Kroeger; music by Ernst Reijseger; director of photography (colour), Benito Strangio; art director, Laurie Colson; costume designer, Claudine Tychon; film editors, Mr. Smits, Axel Skovdal Roelofs.
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, Lisbon, April 26th 2010.

Monday, May 17, 2010

11 'E 10 KALA

10 to 11


Turkey/France/Germany
2009
111 minutes

An Istanbul curmudgeon whose apartment has been completely taken over by his collections and the building's doorman find themselves forced to rethink their lives when the apartment building is scheduled for demolition. Lively, melancholy comedy-drama of people forced to accomodate to a city in constant change, loosely inspired by real people and situations and shot in documentary style.

A Sinefilm presentation/production, in co-production with Stromboli Films, ARTE France Cinéma, Bredok Filmproduction; produced with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, Hubert Bals Fund, Global Film Initiative.
Starring Mithat Esmer, Nejat Isler; Tayanç Ayaydin, Laçin Ceylan, Savas Akova, Sinan Dügmeci.
Directed and written by Pelin Esmer; produced by Ms. Esmer, Nida Karabol Akdeniz, Tolga Esmer; director of photography (Imaj/Sinefekt), Özgür Eken; art director, Naz Erayda; film editors, Ayhan Ergürsel, Ms. Esmer, Cem Yeldirim.
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, Lisbon, April 25th 2010.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ROBIN HOOD

USA/Japan
2010
141 minutes

After the death of Richard the Lionheart in France in 1199, an archer in his army delivers his crown back to England by passing as a dead knight, but ends up standing up for his country when one of king John's advisors turns out to be in league with the French. “Revisionist” retelling of an old chestnut as a dourly realistic, brisk “origin story” that manages to work in successfully most of the tale's characters but, despite smart storytelling and solid performances, never soars as it should.

Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment present, in association with Relativity Media, a Brian Grazer production in association with Scott Free Productions; in association with Dentsu.
Starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Matthew MacFadyen, Eileen Atkins, Simon McBurney; and Max von Sydow.
Directed by Ridley Scott; produced by Brian Grazer, Mr. Scott and Mr. Crowe; screenplay by Brian Helgeland, based on a story by Mr. Helgeland, Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris; music by Marc Streitenfeld; director of photography (colour, Panavision), John Mathieson; production designer, Arthur Max; costume designer, Janty Yates; film editor, Pietro Scalia; visual effects supervisor, Richard Stammers.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 1 (Lisbon), May 11th 2010.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MADEO

Mother


South Korea
2009
129 minutes

An overbearing small-town mother is ferociously determined to prove at any cost her retarded son did not kill a local schoolgirl. Updated woman's picture that does double duty as dark mystery thriller and overwrought melodrama, its clever plot unraveled at a masterful pace through stylish, superbly controlled handling and a powerful female lead.

A CJ Entertainment/Barunson Company presentation of a Barunson Film Division production, distributed by CJ Entertainment.
Starring Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin; Yoon Jae-moon, Jun Mi-sun, Sung Sar-beauk, Kim Young-siin, Chun Woo-hee, Kim Gin-goo, Yum Du-kyung, Lee Young-suck, Moon Hee-ra, Lee Mi-do, Jung Young-ki, Ku Kyu-phill.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho; produced by Moon Yang-kwon, Seo Woo-shik and Park Tae-joon; screenplay by Park Eun-kyo, Mr. Bong, based on a story by Mr. Bong; music by Lee Byeong-woo; director of photography (colour, widescreen), Hong Kyung-pyo; production designer, Ryu Seong-hie; costume designer, Choi Se-yeon; film editor, Moon Sae-kyoung.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Medeia Monumental 2 (Lisbon), May 4th 2010. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

AMINTIRI DIN EPOCA DE AUR

Tales from the Golden Age
Romania
2009
varying lengths (full six-episode length 155 minutes)

Absurdist tales of life in Romania under the Ceaucescu regime. Darkly satirical compendium that encapsulates the strengths and weaknesses of the “new wave” of Romanian cinema in a series of smart, bittersweet shorts that fit well together. The full, 155-minute version comprises six episodes, but at the film's premiere at Cannes 2009 the various screenings included a rotating selection of five of the six episodes, and many countries released the film in varying sequences of episodes; also, by design there are no individual credits for each episode, with all crew being credited grouped together.

A Mobra Films presentation/production; with the support of Centrul Nacional al Cinematografiei; sponsored by BV McCann Erickson Romania, SRTV, Zenith Media, Unilever, Ziva, GMP Advertising; with the participation of SEE Cinema Network, Why Not Productions.
With Alexandru Potocean, Teo Corban, Emanuel Pirvu; Avram Birau, Paul Dunca, Viorel Comanici; Calin Chirila, Romeo Tudor; Ion Sapdaru, Virginia Mirea, Gabriel Spahiu; Diana Cavalioti, Radu Iacoban; Vlad Ivanov, Tania Popa, Liliana Mocanu.
Directed by Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Höfer, Razvan Marculescu, Constantin Popescu, Cristian Mungiu; produced by Oleg Mutu, Mr. Mungiu; written by Mr. Mungiu; music by Mr. Höfer, Laco Jimi; directors of photography (Kodak Cinelabs Romania), Mr. Mutu, Alex Sterian, Liviu Marghidan; production designers, Cezara Armasu, Mihaela Poenaru, Dana Istrate, Simona Paduretu; costume designers, Ms. Istrate, Brandusa Ioan, Luminita Mihai, Ana Ioneci; film editors, Dana Bunescu, Theodora Penciu, Ms. Uricaru. 
Screened (Portuguese five-episode, 116-minute theatrical release): distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), May 3rd 2010.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ESTÔMAGO

Brazil/Italy
2007
113 minutes

A penniless immigrant arrives in the big city with no work or money and discovers he is a talented cook, but still ends up in prison as he realises everybody seems to be out to exploit him. Lively, crowdpleasing black comedy whose grand-guignolesque ending and predictable storyline aren't enough to offset its clever handling and writing and good performances.

A Zencrane Filmes/Indiana Production presentation/production. 
Starring João Miguel, Fabiula Nascimento, Babu Santana, Carlo Briani, Zeca Cenovicz, Alexander Sil; special guest, Paulo Miklos; special guest, Jean-Pierre Noher.
Directed by Marcos Jorge; produced by Cláudia da Natividade, Fabrizio Donvito, Marco Cohen; screenplay by Lusa Silvestre, Mr. Jorge, Ms. da Natividade, Mr. Donvito, from a story by Mr. Silvestre, Mr. Jorge, inspired by the short story by Mr. Silvestre, "Presos pelo Estômago"; music by Giovanni Venosta; director of photography (Teleimage), Toca Seabra; art director, Jussara Perussolo; costume designer, Marisol Grossi; film editor, Luca Alverdi.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), April 28th 2010.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A RELIGIOSA PORTUGUESA

The Portuguese Nun


Portugal/France
2009
127 minutes

A French actress shooting a movie in Lisbon about a 17th century nun's torrid love affair becomes fascinated by a real nun she sees praying in a chapel next to her hotel. Inept melodrama whose intriguing ideas and occasional sly humour get lost in stilted, ponderous tableaux amateurishly filmed.

An O Som e a Fúria/MACT Productions presentation/production, with the support of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture/Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, Fundo de Investimento para o Cinema e o Audiovisual; with the participation of Centre National de la Cinématographie, RTP. (Portuguese distributor, O Som e a Fúria.)
Starring Leonor Baldaque, Ana Moreira, Adrien Michaux, Beatriz Batarda, Diogo Dória, Carloto Cotta, Francisco Mozos, Eugène Green; with the special participation of Camané, Aldina Duarte.
Directed and written by Eugène Green; produced by Luís Urbano, Sandro Aguilar; director of photography (Tóbis), Raphaël O'Byrne; art director and costume designer, Zé Branco; film editor, Valérie Loiseleux.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), April 30th 2010.

Monday, May 10, 2010

COMO DESENHAR UM CÍRCULO PERFEITO

How to Draw a Perfect Circle


Portugal
2009
95 minutes (cut from festival premiere length of 122 minutes)

The teenage son of separated parents feels desperately attracted towards his twin sister. Oblique, elliptical coming-of-age story that is so stylishly handled as to be utterly lifeless, its plot lost somewhere in between the textured visuals.

António da Cunha Telles and Pandora da Cunha Telles present a Filmes Fundo/Ukbar Filmes production, with financial support from Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual/Portuguese Culture Ministry, RTP and Fundo de Investimento no Cinema e Audiovisual.
Starring Rafael Morais, Joana de Verona, Daniel Duval, Beatriz Batarda.
Directed by Marco Martins; produced by António da Cunha Telles, Pandora da Cunha Telles; wreitten by Mr. Martins, Gonçalo M. Tavares; music by Bernardo Sassetti; director of photography (Tobis), Carlos Lopes; art director, Artur Pinheiro; costume designer, Sílvia Grabowsky; film editors, João Braz, Richard Marizy.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon auditorium (Lisbon), April 27th 2010.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

9

USA/Luxembourg
2009
78 minutes

In a post-apocalyptic world where humanity was wiped out, a sentient rag doll wakes up to find himself and eight other companions the last hope to defeat a diabolical electronic brain. Dystopian animated sci-fi for adults whose inspired retro-futuristic visuals and brisk rhythm make up for a rather derivative plot.

A Focus Features International release. Focus Features presents, in association with Relativity Media, a Jim Lemley/Tim Burton/Timur Bekmambetov production; produced in association with Twins Financing; in association with Lux Animation; with the support of Film Fund Luxembourg.
With the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, Fred Tatasciore.
Directed by Shane Acker; produced by Jim Lemley, Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov, Dana Ginsburg; screenplay by Pamela Pettler, based on a story by Mr. Acker; music by Deborah Lurie, based on themes by Danny Elfman; director of photography (color), Kevin R. Adams; character designer, James Feeley; production designers, Robert J. St. Pierre, Fred Warter; film editor, Nick Kenway; visual effects supervisor, Jeff Bell.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon auditorium (Lisbon), April 23rd 2010.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

LEBANON

Israel/Germany/France
2009
89 minutes

In June 1982, as Israel invades Lebanon, an inexperienced tank crew is sent into the line of fire to provide cover for a paratrooper squad. Harrowing, tense, anti-war war movie based on its writer-director's own experiences in the Israeli army; a formally risky enterprise that takes place entirely within one battle tank over 24 hours and only gets out in the bookend shots, extraordinarily pulled off by a first-timer. Winner of the 2009 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion.

United King Films presents a Metro Communications/Paralite Productions/Arsam International/Ariel Films/ARTE France Cinéma production, with the participation of United King Holdings, Keshet Broadcasting, Hot, Canal Plus; supported by ARTE France Cinéma, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Starring Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen, Michael Moshonov.
Directed and written by Samuel Maoz; produced by Leon Edery, Moshe Edery, Anat Bikel, Uri Sabag, David Silber, Benjamina Mirnik, Ilann Girard; music by Nicolas Becker; director of photography (Cine Postproduction), Giora Bejach; production designer, Ariel Roshko; costume designer, Hila Bargiel; film editor, Arik Lahav-Leibovich. 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Cinema City Classic Alvalade 4 (Lisbon), April 21st 2010.

Friday, May 07, 2010

FISH TANK

United Kingdom
2009
121 minutes

A problem teenager living in a housing estate dreams of dancing for a living and develops a crush on her mother's new boyfriend. British kitchen-sink realism updated for the 21st century with extraordinary performances and a surprisingly non-judgmental approach that goes a long way to making it an enticing, harrowing experience.

A BBC Films/The UK Film Council presentation/production, in association with Limelight.
Starring Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, Harry Treadaway, Sydney Mary Nash.
Directed and written by Andrea Arnold; produced by Kees Kasander and Nick Laws; director of photography (Soho Film Lab), Robbie Ryan; production designer, Helen Scott; costume designer, Jane Petrie; film editor, Nicolas Chaudeurge.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo auditorium (Lisbon), April 20th 2010.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

HUMPDAY

USA
2009
94 minutes

Two former college buddies, one a happily married professional and the other a freeweheeling wanderer, dare each other to appear in a gay porn movie as two straight men having sex, but the dare reveals more about themselves than they bargained for. Surprisingly thoughtful comedy of modern friendship and relationships that smartly subverts buddy-movie conventions.

A Magnolia Pictures release. A Seashel Pictures presentation/production.
Starring Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore.
Directed, produced and written by Lynn Shelton; music by Vinny Smith; director of photography (colour), Benjamin Kasulke; production designer, Jasminka Vukcevic; film editor, Nat Sanders.
Screened: IndieLisboa film festival advance DVD screener, April 17th 2010. 

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

LA PIVELLINA

Italy
2009
101 minutes

A husband-and-wife couple of circus artists take up a two-year old child they found abandoned by her mother. Pleasant neo-realist melodrama with a documentary feel, loosely improvised by non-professional actors basically playing themselves.

A Films Distribution (int'l) release of a Vento Film production.
Starring Patrizia Gerardi, Tairo Caroli, Walter Saabel, Asia Crippa.
Directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel; written and edited by Ms. Covi; director of photography (Eurolab Italia), Mr. Frimmel.
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, April 24th 2010.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

CASTRO

Argentina
2009
88 minutes

A man runs away to Buenos Aires with his girlfriend, chased for unknown reasons by his ex-wife and three other men. Bizarre but very endearing nonsensical comedy that looks like an updated Keystone Kops chase short magnified into Beckettian absurdism. Not to everyone's taste, but very original.

A Costa Films/El Pampero Cine presentation/production, with the support of Universidad del Cine.
Starring Edgardo Castro, Julia Martínez Rubio, Alberto Suárez, Carla Crespo, Esteban Lamothe, Gerardo Naumann.
Directed by Alejo Moguillansky; produced by Mariano Llinás, Laura Citarella; screenplay by mr. Moguillansky, inspired by the novel Murphy by Samuel Beckett; music by Ulises Conti; director of photography (Cinecolor), Gustavo Biazzi; art director and costume designer, Ana Cambre; choreographical direction, Luciana Acuña; film editors, mr. Moguillansky, mr. Llinás.
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, Lisbon, April 20th 2010.

Monday, May 03, 2010

GO GET SOME ROSEMARY

Released in the US as Daddy Long Legs

USA/France
2009
96 minutes

A divorced projectionist's life is seriously derailed by his innate irresponsability just when he's having the two weeks of yearly custody with his kids. Infuriating, improvised comedy-drama of New York eccentricities that takes a leaf from John Cassavetes' book but fails to people its handheld visuals with interesting characters. Winner of the 2010 IndieLisboa Festival Grand Prize.

A Sophie Dulac Distribution (in France) release. Neistat Scott and Associates present, in co-production with Sophie Dulac Productions, a Red Bucket Films production. 
With Ronald Bronstein, Sean Williams, Eléonore Hendricks, Dakota Goldhor, Aren Topdjian, Leah Singer; introducing Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo.
Directed by Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie; produced by Casey Neistat and Tom Scott; written by Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie with Ronald Bronstein; directors of photography (colour), Brett Jutkiewicz and Josh Safdie; production designer, Sam Lisenco; film editors, Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie and Mr. Jutkiewicz with Mr. Bronstein.
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, Lisbon, April 19th 2010. 

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Have the studios come to their senses?

While it's certainly true that Paramount have tried to steer clear from the Soccer World Cup, it has to be said that this is a prime example of the reliance of the US majors on foreign box-office at a time when the US domestic market isn't enough and home video no longer cuts it.

I haven't seen 2 but didn't care much for 1, despite Mr Downey.

'Iron Man 2' blasts off with $100 million overseas | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

FUK SAU

Vengeance


Hong Kong/France
2009
107 minutes

A retired French gangster travels to Macao and hires three local contract killers to hunt down the men who massacred his daughter's family. Stylized, old-fashioned action thriller with melancholy overtones, dazzlingly handled by a genre expert.

An ARP Séléction (in France)/Media Asia Group (in Asia) release. Michèle and Laurent Pétin present an ARP/Media Asia Films/Milkyway Image (HK) production. 
Starring Johnny Hallyday; Anthony Wong, Simon Yam, Lam Suet, Lam Ka Tung, Sylvie Testud.
Directed by Johnnie To; produced by Mr. To, Wai Ka Fai, Michèle Pétin, Laurent Pétin, Peter Lam, John Chong; written by Mr. Wai; music by Lo Tayu; director of photography (Shaw Brothers Film Laboratory, widescreen), Cheng Siu Keung; art director, Silver Cheung; costume designer, Stanley Cheung; film editor, David Richardson.
Screened: IndieLisboa advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo auditorium, Lisbon, April 19th 2010.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

RWANDA - LE JOUR OÙ DIEU EST PARTI EN VOYAGE

France/Belgium
2009
94 minutes

In 1994, as the Rwandan genocide is underway, a young nanny is left to her own devices and tries to survive after finding her children dead. Brave but failed attempt at addressing the Rwandan genocide within the confines of a first-person drama; the general bleakness and worthiness remain unleavened by a naturalistic approach and an outstanding lead performance.

A Les Films du Mogho/Artémis Productions presentation/production, in co-production with Liaison Cinématographique, Minds Meet, RTBF; with the participation of Centre National de la Cinématographie; with the support of Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Communauté Française de Belgique, Télédistributeurs Wallons, Het Vlaams Audiovisuel Fonds; with the participation of Canal Plus and Cinécinéma; with the support of La Fondation Groupama Gan pour le Cinéma, the Media Programme of the European Community, Tax Shelter ING Invest and Taxshelter.be.
Starring Ruth Nirere, Afazali Dewaele.
Directed and written by Philippe van Leeuw; produced by Toussaint Tiendrebeogo and Patrick Quinet; director of photography (GTC, Panavision), Marc Koninckx; production designer, Kathy Lebrun; costume designer, Laurence Maréchal; film editor, Andrée Davanture. 
Screened: IndieLisboa festival advance DVD screener, April 18th 2010.