Sunday, October 31, 2010

A FALTA QUE VOCÊ FAZ

Brazil
2009
84 minutes

A documentary about a group of teenage girl friends living in the remote Brazilian countryside. Amiable, observational but lightweight documentary about growing up.

A Teia presentation/production; supported by ANCINE.
Directed by Marília Rocha; produced by Luana Melgaço; camera (Megacolor), Alexandre Baxter, Ivo Lopes Araújo; film editors, Francisco Moreira, Ms. Rocha.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 13th 2010.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

L'HOMME SANS NOM

Man with No Name

China/France
2009
98 minutes

A documentary on the daily life of a homeless person eking out a living in a deserted part of China. Arid, austere documentary that takes its director and genre stylings to a limit of endurance that will probably interest few but the most adventurous viewers.

A Wang Bing production, with the support of Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication and Galerie Chantal Crousel.
Directed and produced by Wang Bing; camera, Mr. Wang, Lu Songye.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 12th 2010.

Friday, October 29, 2010

LET ME IN

Great Britain/USA/Sweden
2010
114 minutes

In 1983 New Mexico, a lonely, bullied schoolboy finds comfort and friendship in his new teenage neighbour — a lonely girl who only comes out at night and turns out to be a vampire. Faithful American translation of a fondly remembered Swedish original, retaining both the well-observed portrait of adolescence with the stylish, subdued approach to horror movie conventions of the original; but, despite (or maybe because of) the obvious reverence and respect for the original, it's a somewhat pointless exercise.

Exclusive Media Group presents an Hammer Films production, in association with EFTI. (US distributor, Overture Films. World sales, Exclusive Media Group.)
Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Elias Koteas, Cara Buono, Sasha Barrese; and Richard Jenkins.
Directed by Matt Reeves; produced by Donna Gigliotti, Alex Brunner, Simon Oakes, Tobin Armbrust, Guy East, John Nordling, Carl Molinder; screenplay by Mr. Reeves, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindquist, Let the Right One In, and on Mr. Lindquist's screenplay for the film Let the Right One In directed by Tomas Alfredson; music by Michael Giacchino; director of photography (Technicolor prints, Panavision), Greig Fraser; production designer, Ford Wheeler; costume designer, Melissa Bruning; film editor, Stan Salfas; visual effects supervisor, Brad Parker.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), October 12th 2010.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

QU'ILS REPOSENT EN RÉVOLTE (DES FIGURES DE GUERRES)

France
2010
157 minutes

A documentary about the treatment French society gives to illegal immigrants passing through their territory. Well-meaning but rather muddled documentary whose strong social instincts can't make up for its shapeless form.

A Noir Production presentation/production; supported by Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l'Image Animée, Coopérative Pionnière Libre!, Fondation Abbé Pierre.
Directed, photographed and edited by Sylvain George.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 11th 2010. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PANDORUM

Germany/Great Britain
2009
108 minutes

An astronaut awakes from suspended animation to find himself in a gigantic spaceship carrying passengers to populate a distant planet, but slowly realises there is something very wrong going on. Derivative horror/sci-fi thriller whose genuinely unnerving control of mood and atmosphere and provocative premise slowly succumb to more predictable shock tactics; still, it's a cut above the usual second-rate genre fodder being presented these days.

Overture Films presents, in association with Constantin Film, a Constantin Film/Impact Pictures production; supported by Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmfernsehfonds Bayern, Filmförderungsanstalt, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. (US distribution, Overture Films. World sales, Summit Entertainment.)
Starring Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue, Cung Le, Eddie Rouse, Norman Reedus, André M. Hennicke.
Directed by Christian Alvart; produced by Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson, Robert Kulzer; screenplay by Travis Milloy, based on a story by Mr. Milloy and Mr. Alvart; music by Michl Britsch; director of photography (Arri Kopierwerk, widescreen), Wedigo von Schultzendorff; production designer, Richard Bridgland; costume designer, Ivana Milos; film editors, Philipp Stahl and Yvonne Valdez; creature effects created by Stan Winston Studio; visual effects by Studio Zitomirska. 
Screened on DVD (Lisbon), October 10th 2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DANSA ALS ESPERITS

Dance to the Spirits

Spain
2009
79 minutes

An investigation into the medical practices of the Evuzok tribe of South Cameroon, through the work of local practitioner Mwa Owana Pierre. Engrossing, atmospheric documentary about a world unknown to Western societies.

An Únicamente Severo Films/Films 59 presentation/production, co-produced by Televisió de Catalunya; developed with the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the collaboration of IDEC/Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Directed and photographed (Image Film) by Ricardo Íscar; produced by Daria Esteva, Pere Portabella; screenplay by Mr. Íscar, Ms. Esteva, inspired by the book by Lluis Mallart, El Sistema Médic d'una Societat Africana - Els Evuzok del Camerun; anthropology consultant, Mr. Mallart; sound, Sosthène Fokam Kamga; film editors, Núria Esquerra, Raúl Cuevas.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 competitive selection advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 9th 2010.

Monday, October 25, 2010

THE TEMPEST

USA/India
2010
109 minutes

The noble Prospera, exiled to a parched island from her dukedom in Milan because of the greed of her own brother, takes the opportunity of his passing by on a ship to exact her magical revenge on him. Interesting reimagining of Shakespeare's classic play that turns Prospero into a woman to intriguing but somewhat underwhelming effect; the abridging of the text hinders more than it helps, but the dazzling, outlandish visuals and strong performances maintain interest.

Icon Entertainment International presents a Miranda Films/Talkstory Productions/Artemis Films/Chartoff-Hendee Productions production, in association with Mumbai Mantra Media; in association with Prologue Films. (US distributor, Touchstone Pictures/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. World sales, Icon Entertainment International.)
Starring Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Reeve Carney, Tom Conti, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou, Felicity Jones, Alfred Molina, David Strathairn, Ben Whishaw.
Directed by Julie Taymor; produced by Ms. Taymor, Robert Chartoff, Lynn Hendee, Julia Taylor-Stanley, Jason K. Lau; screenplay by Ms. Taymor, adapted from the play by William Shakespeare, The Tempest; music by Elliot Goldenthal; director of photography (DeLuxe, widescreen), Stuart Dryburgh; production designer, Mark Friedberg; costume designer, Sandy Powell; film editor, Françoise Bonnot; visual effects supervisor, Kyle Cooper.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance press screening, Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Darsena (Venice), September 11th 2010.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

LUZ TEIMOSA

Portugal
2010
75 minutes

A documentary on Portuguese-born, Brazil-exiled surrealist artist Fernando Lemos. Elegant, enveloping documentary that provides an excellent primer on the life and work of an often underrated artist.

Real Ficção presents a Rui Simões production; financed by Ministério da Cultura-Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual, Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, Fundação EDP.
Directed by Luís Alves de Matos, from an idea by Mr. Alves de Matos and Pedro Aguilar; produced by Mr. Simões; directors of photography (Andec Filmtechnik), Rodrigo Ribeiro, Marta Pessoa; sound, Quintino Bastos, Mr. Aguilar; film editor, Hugo Santiago.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 9th 2010.

Friday, October 22, 2010

LA SOLITUDINE DEI NUMERI PRIMI

Italy/Germany/France
2010
118 minutes

Two emotionally damaged teenagers cross paths until they finally realise they are meant for each other. Glacial, disquieting melodrama of emotional dysfunction.

An Wildside/Offside/Bavaria Pictures/Les Films des Tournelles/Le Pacte production, in collaboration with Medusa Film; with the support of Eurimages; with the participation of ZDF Enterprised, MDM, Filmförderungsanstalt, Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l'Image Animée, Film Commission Torino Piemonte, Sky. (Italian distributor, Medusa Film. World sales, Le Pacte.)
Starring Alba Rohrwacher, Luca Marinelli; Martina Albano, Arianna Nastro, Tommaso Neri, Vittorio Lomartire, Aurora Ruffino, Giorgia Pizzo, Roberto Sbaratto, Giorgia Senesi; Filippo Timi; Maurizio Donadoni; and Isabella Rossellini.
Directed by Saverio Costanzo; produced by Mario Gianani; screenplay by Mr. Costanzo and Paolo Giordano, based on the novel by Mr. Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers; music by Mike Patton; director of photography (Cinecittà Digital Factory, widescreen), Fabio Cianchetti; production designers, Antonello Geleng, Marina Pinzuti Ansolini; costume designer, Antonella Cannarozzi; film editor, Francesca Calvelli.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance press screening, Palazzo del Casinò - Sala Perla (Venice), September 9th 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GAINSBOURG (VIE HÉROÏQUE)

France
2010
129 minutes

A cheeky young Jewish boy in Nazi-occupied France grows up to become legendary singer-songwriter and womanizer Serge Gainsbourg. Accomplished, playful “fake biopic” that is openly more interested in the legend than in the true story and follows conventions better to subvert them with many whimsical touches; production values and performances are alike extraordinary, but the film does lose its way in the final half hour.

One World Films presents a One World Films/Studio 37/Focus Features International/France 2 Cinéma/Xilam Films/Lilou Films co-production; with the participation of Canal Plus, France Télévisions, Orange Cinéma Séries; in association with Uni Étoile 6; with the support of La Région Île-de-France. (French distributor, Universal Pictures International France. World sales, Studio 37/Kinology.)
Starring Éric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones; with the participation of Anna Mouglalis, Sara Forestier, Mylène Jampanoï, Yolande Moreau, Kacey Mottet Klein.
Directed by Joann Sfar; produced by Marc du Pontavice, Didier Lupfer; written by Joann Sfar, with the collaboration of Sandrina Jardel; music by Olivier Daviaud; director of photography (Éclair, widescreen), Guillaume Schiffman; production designer, Christian Marti; costume designer, Pascaline Chavanne; film editor, Maryline Monthieux; special effects make-up, David Marti, Montse Ribé. 
Screened: Festa do Cinema Francês advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 6th 2010.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

GOD NO SAY SO

Switzerland
2009
88 minutes

A documentary about life in Sierra Leone after the civil war ended. Sincere but awkward documentary whose good intentions are undone by its episodic structure and uncertainty of tone and purpose.

A Magpie Dream Pictures presentation/production.
Directed, written, photographed and edited by Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 competition advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 8th 2010.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

PAYS DE COCAGNE

France
1970
73 minutes

Interviewed during the Summer of 1968, the French speak their minds about eroticism, art, violence, advertising, man's trip to the moon and other topical subjects. A bitter look at the state of late 1960s France where the interviews and statements are skillfully edited into a sort of unwittingly surrealist comedy; a ferociously violent critical reception and commercial disaster effectively killed its author's career as a film director.

Paul Claudon presents a CAPAC production. (Original French distributor, Parafrance; French restoration distributor, Carlotta Films. World sales, Studio 37/Carlotta Films.)
Directed and conceived by Pierre Étaix; camera (Eclair), Georges Lendi; film editor, Michel Lewin.
Screened: Festa do Cinema Francês advance DVD screener, Lisbon, September 27th 2010.

Monday, October 18, 2010

JUSAN-NIN NO SHIKAKU

13 Assassins

Japan
2010
126 minutes

A retired samurai is asked to bring together in secret a special team of assassins to dispose of an arrogant, sadistic rural lord. Solid, no-nonsense if unspectacular samurai movie remaking a 1960s genre classic, shot like a western but with little of its director's usual offbeat touches.

A Hanway Films/Toho Company/TV Asahi Movie/SEDIC International presentation of a 13 Assassins Film Partners production. (Japanese distributor, Toho. World sales, Hanway Films.)
Starring Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yusuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura, Arata Furuta, Sosuke Takaoka, Seiji Rokkaku, Kazuki Naimoka, Koen Kondo, Yuma Ishigaki, Kazue Fukiishi, Mitsuki Tanimura, Takumi Saito, Shinnosuke Abe, Masaaki Uchino, Ken Mitsuishi, Ittoku Kishibe, Mikijiro Hira, Koshiro Matsumoto, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura.
Directed by Takashi Miike; produced by Michihiko Umezawa, Minami Ichikawa, Toichiro Shiraishi, Takahiro Ohno, Hirotsuga Yoshida, Shigeji Maeda; screenplay by Daisuke Tengan, based on the film directed by Eiichi Kudo and written by Shoichiro Ikemiya, Jusan-nin no Shikaku; music by Koji Endo; director of photography (colour, widescreen), Nobuyasu Kita; art director, Yuji Hayashida; costume designer, Kazuhiro Sawataishi; film editor, Kenji Yamashita.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance press screening, Palazzo del Casinò - Sala Perla (Venice), September 8th 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

PUNK'S NOT DADDY

Portugal
2010
75 minutes

An assemblage of photographs and footage of the Portuguese 1980s, taken from the personal video diaries film director Edgar Pêra shot during that decade. Centred on, but not limited to, footage from live music concerts and music videos, this is a lively trip to a specific moment of Portuguese culture that will make little or no sense to anyone who hasn't lived through it or has no idea of the figures involved.

An Edgar Pêra production/presentation.
Directed, photographed (in several formats transferred onto digital video) and edited by Edgar Pêra.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance screening, Cinemateca Portuguesa - Sala Dr. Félix Ribeiro (Lisbon), October 8th 2010.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

YOYO

France
1964
93 minutes

After losing all his wealth and his mansion in the 1929 crash, a millionaire discovers his long-lost love is a circus artist that has raised their son alone and travels with them through France; after growing up, the son becomes a world-class clown who patiently restores the family fortunes. Sweeping, gently comic fantasy about happiness confirming the unique talent of its writer/director/star.

Paul Claudon presents a CAPAC production. (French original release distributor, Gaumont; French 2010 restoration distributor, Carlotta Films. World sales, Studio 37/Carlotta Films.)
Starring Pierre Étaix; Claudine Auger, Philippe Dionnet; and Luce Klein.
Directed by Mr. Étaix; written by Mr. Étaix, Jean-Claude Carrière; music by Jean Paillaud; director of photography (b&w), Jean Boffety; production designers, Raymond Tournon, Raymond Gabutti; costume designer, Jacqueline Guyot; film editor, Henri Lanoë.
Screened: Festa do Cinema Francês advance DVD screener, Lisbon, September 26th 2010.

Friday, October 15, 2010

THE TOWN

USA
2010
125 minutes

A Boston thief considers leaving crime behind, but finds himself chased by the FBI and locked in by the local crime boss. Efficient but unremarkable B-grade heist movie.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a GK Films/Thunder Road Film production.
Starring Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Slaine; with Pete Postlethwaite; and Chris Cooper.
Directed by Mr. Affleck; produced by Graham King, Basil Iwanyk; screenplay by Peter Craig, Mr. Affleck and Aaron Stockard, based on the novel by Chuck Hogan, Prince of Thieves; music by Harry Gregson-Williams and David Blakely; director of photography (Technicolor, Panavision), Robert Elswit; production designer, Sharon Seymour; costume designer, Susan Matheson; film editor, Dylan Tichenor.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), October 6th 2010.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LE PÈRE DE MES ENFANTS

The Father of My Children


France/Germany
2009
110 minutes

A Parisian film producer finds himself falling into bankruptcy and his response to it sends shock waves into his family. Sensitive drama neatly divided into two halves: a spot-on portrait of modern-day independent filmmaking and a somewhat underwhelming family melodrama. The leading character is openly inspired by the late French producer Humbert Balsan, who was in talks to produce Mia Hansen-Løve's first film before his company's bankruptcy led him to take his own life.

Les Films Pelléas presents a Les Films Pelléas/27 Films Production/ARTE France Cinéma production, with the participation of Filmforderungsanstalt, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Canal Plus, Cinécinéma; with the support of Centre Images-Région Centre; with the participation of Cinémage 3 and Cofimage 20. (French distributor and world sales, Les Films du Losange.)
Starring Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Chiara Caselli, Alice de Lencquesaing, Alice Gautier, Manelle Driss, Éric Elmosnino, Sandrine Dumas, Dominique Frot.
Directed and written by Mia Hansen-Løve; produced by Philippe Martin and David Thion; music by Christian Garcia; director of photography (GTC), Pascal Auffray; production designer, Mathieu Menut; costume designer, Bethsabée Dreyfus; film editor, Marion Monnier.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Institut Franco-Portugais - Auditorium Philippe Frydman (Lisbon), October 4th 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

VÉNUS NOIRE

Black Venus


France/Belgium
2009
166 minutes

In the early 19th century, European society has a hard time dealing with a black South African woman who is being paraded as a carnival attraction of her own accord. A forgotten true story is turned into an intense, often uncomfortable meditation on social and cultural mores in Western society, its bravura handling more than making up for the occasional overstep into an overwhelming earnestness.

An MK2 presentation/production, in co-production with France 2 Cinéma; with the participation of Canal Plus, France Télévisions, Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l'Image Animée, Cinécinéma; in association with Soficinéma 5, Artémis Productions; with the support of Région Île-de-France, ACSE, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique. (French distributor, MK2 Diffusion. World sales, MK2.)
Starring Yahima Torrès, Andre Jacobs, Olivier Gourmet, Elina Löwensohn, François Marthouret, Michel Gionti, Jean-Christophe Bouvet.
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche; produced by Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz, Charles Gillibert; written by Mr. Kechiche, Ghalya Lacroix; music by Slaheddine Kechiche; directors of photography (Eclair), Lubomir Bakchev, Sofian el Fani; production designers, Florian Sanson, Mathieu Menut; costume designer, Fabio Perrone; film editors, Camille Toubkis, Ms. Lacroix, Laurent Rouan, Albertine Lastera.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance press screening, Palazzo del Casinò - Sala Perla (Venice), September 7th 2010.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX

Of Gods and Men

France
2010
122 minutes

In the mid-1990s, a community of French Cistercian monks living in harmony in deepest Algeria comes under the sights of Islamist fundamentalist rebels. A true story of the Algerian civil war is turned into a superb and utterly engrossing ensemble drama, effortlessly combining character study and political allegory in an expertly performed and ravishingly handled whole.

Armada Films and Why Not Productions present an Why Not Productions/Armada Films/France 3 Cinéma co-production, with the participation of France Télévisions, Canal Plus, Cinécinéma, Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l'Image Animée; in association with Cofinova 6, Soficinéma 6, Cinémage 4. (French distributor, Mars Distribution. World sales, Wild Bunch.)
Starring Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin, Philippe Laudenbach, Jacques Herlin, Loïc Pichon, Xavier Maly, Jean-Marie Frin. 
Directed by Xavier Beauvois; written by Étienne Comar, Mr. Beauvois; director of photography (Éclair, widescreen), Caroline Champetier; production designer, Michel Barthélémy; costume designer, Marielle Robaut; film editor, Marie-Julie Maille.
Screened: Festa do Cinema Francês advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 1 (Lisbon), October 7th 2010.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ATTENBERG

Greece
2010
96 minutes

The introspective daughter of a terminally ill architect finds herself in love for the first time. Clever, offbeat coming-of-age melodrama.

A Haos Film production, in co-production with Greek Film Center, Faliro House Productions, Boo Productions, Stefi Productions; with the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union. (World sales, The Match Factory.)
Starring Ariane Labed, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou, Yorgos Lanthimos.
Directed and written by Athina Rachel Tsangari; produced by Maria Hatzakou, Mr. Lanthimos, Iraklis Mavroidis, Ms. Tsangari, Angelos Venetis; director of photography (colour), Thimios Bakatakis; production designer, Dafni Kalogianni; costume designers, Thanos Papastergiou, Vassilia Rozana; film editors, Sandrine Cheyrol, Matt Johnson.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance screening, Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Darsena (Venice), September 7th 2010.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

PROMISES WRITTEN IN WATER

USA
2010
72 minutes

A funeral attendant mourns a lover he never really knew. Bewilderingly vague, plotless drama that looks good but goes nowhere during its mercifully short length.

A Gray Daisy Films presentation/production.
Starring Vincent Gallo, Delfine Bafort; Sage Stallone, Lisa Love, Hope Tomaselli, Brenda Epperson, Livia Trevino, Patrick O'Connor.
Directed, produced, written and edited by Mr. Gallo; music by Mr. Gallo; director of photography (b&w), Masanobu Takayanagi.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance press screening, Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Darsena (Venice), September 6th 2010. 

Saturday, October 09, 2010

LE GRAND AMOUR

France
1968
87 minutes

A bright young man marries the woman he loves but feels stifled by her protective family and frustrated in his daily life. Gently melancholy comedy about the reality of love and marriage, full of ingenious narrative and visual finds.

CAPAC, Madeleine Films, Les Productions de la Gueville, Paul Claudon present a Paul Claudon production. (Original French distributor, Twentieth Century-Fox; French restoration distributor, Carlotta Films. World sales, Studio 37/Carlotta Films.)
Starring Pierre Étaix; Annie Fratellini, Nicole Calfan; and Alain Janey, Ketty France, Louis Maïss.
Directed by Mr. Étaix; produced by Mr. Claudon; written by Mr. Étaix and Jean-Claude Carrière; music by Claude Stieremans; director of photography (LTC), Jean Boffety; production and costume designer, Daniel Louradour; film editor, Henri Lanoë.
Screened: Festa do Cinema Francês advance DVD screener, Lisbon, September 27th 2010.

Friday, October 08, 2010

LE SOUPIRANT

The Suitor


France
1962
83 minutes

A young man has a series of romantic misadventures in search of his ideal wife, unaware the right girl for him is right under his nose. Gently melancholy farce revealing a purely visual comedy talent that followed in the footsteps of Jacques Tati but never received equal recognition.

Paul Claudon presents a CAPAC/Cocinor production. (French reissue distributor, Carlotta Films. World sales, Studio 37, Carlotta Films.)
Starring France Arnell, Pierre Étaix, Laurence Lignères, Claude Massot, Denise Peronne, Karin Vesely.
Directed by Mr. Étaix; written by Mr. Étaix and Jean-Claude Carrière; music by Jean Paillaud; director of photography (b&w), Pierre Levent; art director, Raymond Tournon; wardrobe, Yvonne Suné; film editor, Pierre Gillette.
Screened: Festa do Cinema Francês advance DVD screener, Lisbon, September 24th 2010.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

MINE VAGANTI

Italy
2010
113 minutes

The youngest son of an industrial family plans to reveal he is gay and has no interest in the family business, but ends up having to step in to make ends meet when his older brother comes out as gay as well and is thrown out by the father. Amiable, handsome comedy of family turmoil whose easy-going performances and lively jokes make up for seriously under-developed scripting and handling that is never quite sure where it wants to go.

Domenico Procacci presents a Fandango/Farus production, in collaboration with Rai Cinema; with the collaboration of Apulia Film Commission. (Italian distributor, 01 Distribution.)
Starring Riccardo Scamarcio, Nicole Grimaudo, Alessandro Preziosi, Ennio Fantastichini, Lunetta Savino, Ilaria Occhini, Bianca Nappi, Carmine Recano, Massimiliano Gallo, Paola Minaccioni, Gianluca de Marchi, Mauro Bonaffini, Giorgio Marchesi, Matteo Taranto, Gea Martire; with Daniele Pecci; with the special participation of Carolina Crescentini; and with Elena Sofia Ricci.
Directed by Ferzan Ozpetek; produced by Domenico Procacci; written by Ivan Cotroneo and Mr. Ozpetek; music by Pasquale Catalano; director of photography (Cinecittà Digital Factory, widescreen), Maurizio Calvesi; production designer, Andrea Crisanti; costume designer, Alessandro Lai; film editor, Patrizio Marone.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), September 16th 2010.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

JIABIANGOU

The Ditch


Hong Kong/France/Belgium
2010
113 minutes

Daily life at a Chinese forced labour camp in late 1960. Harrowingly bleak yet undeniably powerful look at a true episode of Chinese history that derives its strength from its quasi-documentary handling.

A Wil Productions/Les Films de l'Étranger presentation/production, in co-production with Entre Chien et Loup, with the participation of ARTE France, in collaboration with Wild Bunch; developed with the support of Aeternam Films, Fonds Sud Cinéma, Cinéfondation, Cinemart, Pusan Promotion Plan; with the support of Région Alsace, Communauté Urbaine de Strasbourg, Fondation Groupama Gan pour le Cinéma, Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Communauté Française de Belgique, Télédistributeurs Wallons, Hubert Bals Fund. (World sales, Wild Bunch.)
Starring Lu Ye, Xu Cenzi, Lian Renjun, Yang Haoyu, Cheng Zhengwu, Jing Niansong; special guest appearance, Li Xianguan.
Directed by Wang Bing; produced by K. Lihong, Mao Hui, Philippe Avril, Francisco Villa-Lobos, Sébastien Delloye, Diana Elbaum; screenplay by Mr. Wang, based on the novel by Yang Xianhui, Goodbye Jiabiangou; director of photography (colour), Lu Sheng; art directors, Bao Lige, Xiang Honghui; costume designer, Wang Fuzheng; film editor, Marie-Hélène Dozo.
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance press screening, Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Darsena (Venice), September 6th 2010. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

ESSENTIAL KILLING

Poland/Norway/Ireland/Hungary
2010
83 minutes

A man captured in Afghanistan by American soldiers escapes his jailers and goes on the run in Eastern Europe. Abstract, moody allegory, as technically and visually dazzling as it is narratively opaque.

Jeremy Thomas presents a Skopia Film/Cylinder Productions/Element Pictures/Mythberg Films production, in association with Canal Plus Poland, Syrena Films; co-financed by Task Films, Akson Studio; with support from the Polish Film Institute, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board, Norwegian Film Institute, MMKA, Eurimages. (World sales, Hanway Films.)
Starring Vincent Gallo, Emmanuelle Seigner.
Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski; produced and written by Ewa Piaskowska, Mr. Skolimowski; music by Pawel Mykietyn; director of photography (Hungarian Filmlab, widescreen), Adam Sikora; production designer, Joanna Kaczynska; costume designer, Anne Hamre; film editors, Réka Lemhényi, Maciej Pavlowski. 
Screened: Venice Film Festival advance screening, Palazzo del Cinema - Sala Darsena (Venice), September 5th 2010.

Monday, October 04, 2010

GEORGE A. ROMERO'S SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD

Canada
2009
90 minutes

In the middle of a zombie epidemic, a squad of deserters is pulled into a blood feud between Irish patriarchs on an island off Delaware. A disappointment after the previous Diary of the Dead, this sixth installment in George A. Romero's zombie franchise falls into devil-may-care pulp schlock with western references, cheerfully presented but mostly lacking the allegorical gravitas of previous movies.

Artfire Films and Romero-Grunwald Productions present a Devonshire production; with assistance of the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit; produced in association with Sudden Storm Entertainment. (World sales, Voltage Pictures.)
Starring Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Devon Bostick, Richard Fitzpatrick.
Directed and written by George A. Romero; produced by Paula Devonshire; music by Robert Carli; director of photography (Technicolor, widescreen), Adam Swica; production designer, Arv Greywal; costume designer, Alex Kavanagh; film editor, Michael Doherty; special make-up effects, François Dagenais; visual effects supervisor, Colin Davies.
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, September 29th 2010.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

DAYBREAKERS

Australia/USA
2008
98 minutes

In a future where a virus turned most of mankind into vampires, the human race is on the verge of extinction unless a hematologist can come up with a synthetic blood substitute, but he finds out there may be a cure for the virus. Smart, good-looking horror/sci-fi thriller.

Lionsgate and Film Finance Corporation Australia present a Lionsgate/Paradise production, in association with The Pacific Film and Television Commission and Furst Films; developed with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission. (World sales, Mandate International.)
Starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan, Michael Dorman; and Sam Neill.
Directed and written by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig; produced by Sean Furst, Bryan Furst, Chris Brown; music by Christopher Gordon; director of photography (Deluxe, Panavision), Ben Nott; production and costume designer, George Liddle; film editor, Matt Villa; special make-up effects created by Steve Boyle; visual effects by Postmodern Sydney, Kanuka Studio and Michael and Peter Spierig.
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, September 26th 2010. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

TAMARA DREWE

Great Britain
2010
111 minutes

A peaceful Dorset village is torn apart by the return of a native girl who made it big as a journalist in London. Amiably acid satire of British mores, loosely inspired by Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, that is impeccably presented and performed but never really takes off.

Westend Films, BBC Films and The UK Film Council present a Ruby Films production in association with Notting Hill Films; made with the assistance of Pepper Post. (UK distributor, Momentum Pictures; US distributor, Sony Pictures Classics; world sales, Westend Films.)
Starring Gemma Arterton; Roger Allam, Bill Camp, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans, Tamsin Greig, Jessica Barden, Charlotte Christie.
Directed by Stephen Frears; produced by Alison Owen, Paul Trijbits, Tracey Seaward; screenplay by Moira Buffini, based on the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, Tamara Drewe; music by Alexandre Desplat; director of photography (Deluxe, widescreen), Ben Davis; production designer, Alan Macdonald; costume designer, Consolata Boyle; film editor, Mick Audsley.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 9 (Lisbon), September 23rd 2010.

Friday, October 01, 2010

EAT PRAY LOVE

USA
2010
135 minutes

A New York writer, distraught and miserable after her divorce, takes a sabbatical to travel the world and discover who she really is. Charming travelogue with hints of old-fashioned woman's picture from a best-selling memoir, making for a nicely undemanding, expertly packaged vehicle for one of the few contemporary movie stars worth the epithet.

Columbia Pictures presents a Plan B Entertainment production. (World sales, Sony Pictures Entertainment.)
Starring Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup; and Javier Bardem.
Directed by Ryan Murphy; produced by Dede Gardner; screenplay by Mr. Murphy, Jennifer Salt, based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love; music by Dario Marianelli; director of photography (Deluxe), Robert Richardson; production designer, Bill Groom; costume designer, Michael Dennison; film editor, Bradley Buecker. 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), September 22nd 2010.