Saturday, August 28, 2010

IRÈNE

France
2009
81 minutes

Film director Alain Cavalier remembers his first wife, Irène, who died in a car accident in 1972, by visiting their old haunts and rereading his diaries of the time. Autobiographical essay that defines the idea of “first person filmmaking” to perfection, but its admirable nakedness, handheld visuals and freeform construction make it a tad too personal to make sense to wider audiences.

Michel Seydoux presents a Caméra One/Pyramide Productions production, in co-production with ARTE France Cinéma; with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma.
A film by Alain Cavalier, with the collaboration of Françoise Widhoff.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Medeia King 3 (Lisbon), August 19th 2010.

Friday, August 27, 2010

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE

USA
2010
109 minutes

A New York physics student finds that he is in fact descended from Merlin the sorcerer and holds the fate of mankind in his hand. Inoffensive but disposable fantasy inspired (but not much) by the old Mickey cartoon, busy enough to be acceptable as a forgettable timepasser.

Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films present a Saturn Films/Broken Road production; distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Starring Nicolas Cage; Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Monica Bellucci, Omar Benson Miller, Toby Kebbell, Alice Krige, Jake Cherry.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub; produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; screenplay by Matt Lopez, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, from a story by Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal and Mr. Lopez, suggested by the Walt Disney animated short "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"; music by Trevor Rabin; director of photography (Technicolor, widescreen), Bojan Bazelli; production designer, Naomi Shohan; costume designer, Michael Kaplan; film editor, William Goldenberg; visual effects supervisor, John Nelson.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 10 (Lisbon), August 18th 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

THE BOX

USA
2009
114 minutes

In 1976 Virginia, a struggling suburban couple are faced with a mysterious box left at their door: press the button inside and they'll receive one million dollars, but someone they don't know will die. Moody, disquieting horror mystery straight out of The Twilight Zone; occasionally trips on the sense of its own importance but is so expertly staged and cleverly put together as to be clearly the work of a true talent.

Media Rights Capital presents a Darko Entertainment production; produced in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (US distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures.)
Starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella; James Rebhorn, Holmes Osborne, Sam Oz Stone, Gillian Jacobs, Celia Weston, Deborah Rush.
Directed by Richard Kelly; produced by Sean McKittrick, Mr. Kelly, Dan Lin; screenplay by Mr. Kelly, based on the short story by Richard Matheson, Button, Button; music by Win Butler, Régine Chassagne and Owen Pallett; director of photography (Technicolor, Panavision Digital), Steven Poster; production designer, Alexander Hammond; costume designer, April Ferry; film editor, Sam Bauer; visual effects supervisor, Thomas Tannenberger.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room (Lisbon), August 17th 2010.

Friday, August 20, 2010

LE MARIAGE À TROIS

France
2010
104 minutes

A playwright receives his actress ex-wife and her co-star, who also happens to be her new lover, to discuss his new play, but the meeting turns into a game of seduction for all the parties involved. Exquisitely handled and performed sexual roundelay whose flimsy scripting leads it to overstay its welcome after 30 minutes; worth a look just for the performances and the masterful handling.

Paulo Branco presents an Alfama Films Production/France 3 Cinéma production; with the participation of Centre National de la Cinématographie, France Télévisions, Canal Plus, Cinécinéma; with the support of Département de la Charente, Région Poitou-Charentes in partnership with Centre National de la Cinématographie, Procirep and Cofinova Développement.
Starring Pascal Greggory, Julie Depardieu, Louis Garrel, Agathe Bonitzer, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing.
Directed and written by Jacques Doillon; produced by Paulo Branco; music by Philippe Sarde; director of photography (Eclair), Caroline Champetier; production designer, Zé Branco; film editor, Frédéric Fichefet.
Screened: distributor advance press screener DVD, Lisbon, August 14th 2010. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SALT

USA
2010
97 minutes

A Russian defector identifies a high-ranking CIA operative as one of a group of deep-cover Russian agents trained since childhood to do covert work in the US; she runs away to prove her innocence... or her guilt? Brisk, breathless star spy actioner with a nicely old-fashioned approach to its plotting and handling.

Columbia Pictures presents, in association with Relativity Media, a Di Bonaventura Pictures production.
Starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, Andre Braugher.
Directed by Phillip Noyce; produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Sanil Perkash; written by Kurt Wimmer; music by James Newton Howard; director of photography (DeLuxe, Panavision), Robert Elswit; production designer, Scott Chambliss; costume designer, Sarah Edwards; film editors, Stuart Baird, John Gilroy.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), August 9th 2010.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

THE EXPENDABLES

USA
2010
102 minutes

A group of hard-bitten mercenaries rids a Latin American drug-producing island of its greedy dictator and his CIA overlord. Lively, enjoyable mercenary hokum designed as a throwback to 1980s hard actioners, getting a lot of mileage out of its all-star cast of over-the-hill action stars, purposefully basic script and tongue-in-cheek repartee; everyone involved had a hoot doing it and it translates so well that you overlook the flaws.

Lionsgate and Millennium Films present a Nu Image production. 
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Jet Li; Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itié; with Terry Crews; and Mickey Rourke.
Directed by Mr. Stallone; produced by Avi Lerner, John Thompson and Kevin King-Templeton; screenplay by David Callaham and Mr. Stallone, from a story by Mr. Callaham; music by Brian Tyler; director of photography (DeLuxe, widescreen), Jeffrey Kimball; production designer, Franco-Giacomo Carbone; costume designer, Lizz Wolf; film editors, Ken Blackwell and Paul Harb; visual effects supervisor, Wes C. Caefer. 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room (Lisbon), August 10th 2010.

Friday, August 13, 2010

LA DANSE - LE BALLET DE L'OPÉRA DE PARIS

France/USA/Japan/Finland
2009
159 minutes

A season in the life of the Paris Opera Ballet, taking in rehearsals, administrative discussions and opening nights. Engrossing slice-of-life documentary elegantly polished by a master of the form, though the specialised subject matter and leisurely length might put off the casual viewer.

An Idéale Audience/Zipporah Films in co-production with L'Opéra National de Paris; in association with Public Broadcast Service; production assistance provided by Florence Gould Foundation, Pershing Square Foundation, and TPS Star, Showgate, Planète, YLE Co-Productions; with the assistance of Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains; with the support of Centre National de la Cinématographie.
Directed by Frederick Wiseman; produced by Françoise Gazio, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Mr. Wiseman; director of photography (LTC, Scanlab), John Davey; sound by Mr. Wiseman; film editors, Mr. Wiseman, Valérie Pico.
Screened: distributor advance press DVD screener, Lisbon, August 8th 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

THE LAST AIRBENDER

USA
2010
103 minutes

In a world at war, a young boy predicted to master all four primeval elements attemps to reunite the nations against the villainous tyrants who rule over fire. Ill-advised attempt at spinning a live-action martial arts fantasy from a popular TV animation, undone by laughably bad scripting and a bloated sense of its own importance.

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present a Blinding Edge Pictures/Kennedy-Marshall Company production; produced with the support of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Film Office.
Starring Noah Ringer, Dev Patel, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan; produced by Mr. Shyamalan, Sam Mercer, Frank Marshall; screenplay by Mr. Shyamalan, based on the television series created by Michael Dante di Martino and Bryan Konietzko, Avatar: The Last Airbender; music by James Newton Howard; director of photography (Deluxe, widescreen, Stereo-D 3D conversion), Andrew Lesnie; production designer, Philip Messina; costume designer, Judianna Makovsky; film editor, Conrad Buff; visual effects supervisor, Pablo Helman.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 10 (Lisbon), August 3rd 2010.

Monday, August 09, 2010

NAKED

Great Britain
1993
130 minutes

A Manchester nihilist comes to London and has a series of encounters that confront him with his own darker self. Relentelessly dour and hopelessly bleak but desperately funny and stunningly performed comedy-drama with something to say about contemporary society.

Film Four International with the participation of British Screen presents a Thin Man Films production.
Starring David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge; Greg Cruttwell, Peter Wight, Claire Skinner, Deborah MacLaren, Gina McKee.
Directed and written by Mike Leigh; produced by Simon Channing-Williams; music by Andrew Dickson; director of photography (Metrocolor), Dick Pope; production designer, Alison Chitty; costume designer, Lindy Hemming; film editor, Jon Gregory.
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, August 1st 2010.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

LIFE IS SWEET

Great Britain
1990
102 minutes

A suburban London family struggles to make ends meet but seem to do so with a can-do cheerfulness. Quietly devastating yet very funny and impeccably presented and performed comedy-drama of modern working-class life that gives a good dusting to British kitchen-sink realism.

Film Four International and British Screen present a Thin Man Films production.
Starring Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall; Claire Skinner, Jane Horrocks, David Thewlis, Moya Brady; and Stephen Rea.
Directed and written by Mike Leigh; produced by Simon Channing-Williams; music by Rachel Portman; director of photography (Metrocolor), Dick Pope; production designer, Alison Chitty; costume designer, Lindy Hemming; film editor, Jon Gregory.
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, August 1st 2010. 

Saturday, August 07, 2010

DER ROTE BARON

international title, The Red Baron


Germany
2008
106 minutes

The WWI career of German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron” for his bright red triplane. Handsomely mounted but utterly flat biopic that would seem more appropriate in the small screen.

A Niama-Film presentation/production. (German distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures; world sales, Arclight Films.)
Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Lena Headey, Til Schweiger, Volker Bruch; and Joseph Fiennes.
Directed and written by Nikolai Muellerschoen; produced by Dan Maag, Thomas Reisser, Mr. Muellerschoen; music by Dirk Reichardt, Stefan Hansen; director of photography (Barrandov Laboratories, Arri Munich, widescreen), Klaus Merkel; production designer, Yvonne von Wallenberger; costume designer, Gudrun Schretzmeier; film editors, Olivia Retzer, Emmelie Mansee, Adam P. Scott; visual effects supervisor, Rainer Gumbos.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 4 (Lisbon), July 30th 2010.

Friday, August 06, 2010

O INIMIGO SEM ROSTO

Portugal
2007
85 minutes

A powerful executive fronting a smuggling ring confides far too much in the lover he jilted once too often. Forgettable white-collar crime drama that never rises above quickie TV movie level, wasting a good cast in underwritten characters and rushed scripting.

A Take 2000/José Mazeda presentation/production, with the support of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual, Rádio e Televisão de Portugal. (Portuguese distributor, Bosque Secreto.)
Starring José Wallenstein, São José Correia, Paulo Nery, Maria João Bastos, António Melo.
Directed by José Farinha; produced by José Mazeda; screenplay by Vicente Alves do Ó, inspired by the book by Maria José Morgado and José Vegar, O Inimigo sem Rosto; music by Nuno Pires; director of photography (Tobis), José António Loureiro; production designer, Fernando Areal; costume designer, Rita Lopes Alves; film editor, Gonçalo Soromenho.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Cinema City Classic Alvalade 3 (Lisbon), July 26th 2010.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

L'AFFAIRE FAREWELL

Farewell


France
2009
113 minutes

In 1981 Moscow, a disgruntled senior official at the Soviet secret services starts passing highly confidential information to the West through a French engineer who has no idea what he's getting himself into. Smart, solidly old-fashioned spy thriller based on an actual but little-known real-life case.

A Nord-Ouest/Le Bureau presentation/production, in co-production with Pathé, France 2 Cinéma, Blackfeet Pictures, Une Hirondelle Productions; with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma, France 2; with the support of Région Île-de-France; in association with Cofinova 5. (French distributor, Pathé.)
Starring Emir Kusturica, Guillaume Canet, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Alexei Gorbunov, Dina Korzun, Philippe Magnan, Niels Arestrup; with David Soul, Fred Ward; and Willem Dafoe.
Directed by Christian Carion; produced by Christophe Rossignon, Bertrand Favre, Philip Boëffard; screenplay by Éric Raynaud, based on the book by Sergei Kostine, Bonjour Farewell; adaptation and dialogues, Mr. Carion; music by Clint Mansell; director of photography (LTC, Scanlab, Duboi), Walther vanden Ende; production designer, Jean-Michel Simonet; costume designer, Corinne Jorry; film editor, Andréa Sedlackova. 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), July 20th 2010. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

CAREER GIRLS

Great Britain
1997
86 minutes

Two former college roommates who haven’t seen each other in six years meet up for a weekend in London, and find themselves bumping into people from their past. Quirky comedy drama which bears all the trademarks of its author yet somehow fails to live up to his usual standard; it gets better in the second half.

Channel Four Films presents a Thin Man production in association with Matrix Films and Television Partnership (Number 1).
Starring Katrin Cartlidge, Lynda Steadman; Mark Benton, Kate Byers, Andy Serkis, Joe Tucker.
Directed and written by Mike Leigh; produced by Simon Channing-Williams; music by Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Tony Remy; director of photography (Metrocolor), Dick Pope; production designer, Eve Stewart; film editor, Robin Sales.
Screened: DVD, July 30th 2010. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

INDIGÉNE D'EURASIE

international title, Eastern Drift


France/Lithuania/Russia
2009
107 minutes

A Russian hoodlum's attempts at extricating himself from a deal gone sour lead him all over Europe. Distended arthouse take on classic underworld thrillers, well enough made and presented but not engaging enough to rise above the pack.

A Lazennec et Associés/Studio Kinema presentation/production, in co-production with Kino Bez Granic; with the support of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma, Cinémage 2. 
Starring Elisa Sednaoui, Klavdia Korshunova, Sharunas Bartas, Erwan Ribard.
Directed and photographed (LTC) by Mr. Bartas; produced by Jurga Dikciuviené, Grégoire Debailly; written by Mr. Bartas, Catherine Paillé; music by Alexander Zekke; art director, Audrius Dumikas; costume designer, Guire-Genovaité Zhaliené; film editor, Danielus Kokanauskis. 
Screened: Curtas Vila do Conde 2010 Da Curta à Longa sidebar screening, Teatro Municipal de Vila do Conde, screen 1, July 5th 2010.

Monday, August 02, 2010

LA TERRE DE LA FOLIE

France
2009
90 minutes

Director Luc Moullet travels to the Southern Alps region from which his family comes to try and understand why the area is home to so many violent crimes. Eccentric, whimsical documentary that gives new meaning to the words “stranger than fiction”.

Les Films d'Ici present a Les Films d'Ici/Richard Copans production; produced with the participation of Cinécinéma, Centre National de la Cinématographie; with the support of Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. (International sales, Alternative Films.)
Directed by Luc Moullet; director of photography (Arane Gulliver), Pierre Stoeber; film editor, Anthony Verpoort.
Screened: Curtas Vila do Conde 2010 Da Curta à Longa sidebar screening, Teatro Municipal de Vila do Conde, screen 1, July 4th 2010.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

UN POISON VIOLENT

France
2010
85 minutes

The teenage daughter of a divorcing couple begins to feel the first pangs of love just as she is about to undergo her religious confirmation. Sensitive coming-of-age tale as seen through the eyes of people struggling with issues of identity and faith, sensibly performed and directed.

A Les Films du Bélier presentation/production, in co-production with ARTE France Cinéma; with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma; with the support of Région Bretagne, Région Pays de la Loire, Conseil Général de Finistère, Centre Images—Région Centre, La Fondation Groupama Gan pour le Cinéma, Procirep, ANCOA-AGICOA, La Banque Postale Image 3, Cinemage 4. (French distributor, Sophie Dulac Distribution; world sales, Films Distribution.)
Starring Clara Augarde, Lio, Michel Galabru, Stefano Cassetti, Thierry Neuvic, Youen Leboulanger-Gourvil.
Directed by Katell Quilléveré; produced by Justin Taurand; written by Ms. Quilléveré, with the collaboration of Mariette Désert; music by Olivier Mellano; director of photography (Arane Gulliver), Tom Harari; production designer, Anna Falguères; costume designer, Mahemiti Deregnaucourt; film editor, Thomas Marchand.
Screened: Curtas Vila do Conde 2010 Da Curta à Longa sidebar screening, Teatro Municipal de Vila do Conde, screen 1, July 4th 2010.