A-E | F-MI | MO-S | T-Z *recommended THE ADVENTURES OF FELIX France, 2000. Directors: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau Sat., June 2, 6:30 p.m., Harvard


The Films: A-E

A-E | F-MI | MO-S | T-Z *recommended THE ADVENTURES OF FELIX France, 2000. Directors: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau Sat., June 2, 6:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Mon., June 11, 7:15 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ From the makers of Jeanne and the Perfect Guy comes the droll story of a gay man who decides to walk the length of France from Dieppe, in the north, to Marseilles, where he hopes to meet the father he never knew. During a series of strange and comic yet poignant vignettes, Felix creates an imaginary family from a host of colorful characters. *ALI ZAOUA Morocco, 2000. Director: Nabil Ayouch Cast: Sa鸞Taghmaoui Sun., May 27, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Mon., May 28, 4:00 p.m., Harvard Exit This is why we have film festivals. You take an unheralded little movie from Morocco, cast it with real street kids out of Los Olvidados, kill the most sympathetic character five minutes in, add some whimsical animation sequences, and you've got what may prove to be the best picture at SIFF this year. Among the filthy, feral, glue-sniffing waifs near Casablanca's harbor, three children try to give their deceased pal a decent funeral. "We won't let him be buried like shit!" they resolve, yet they lack the money. Worse, the freaky deaf-mute leader of their old gang could beat and sodomize them at any moment. Then they have to tell their dead friend's mother the bad news—but she's a hooker in a disapproving Islamic society. Too much pathos, you ask? Maybe, but you might be a preteen glue-sniffer, too, facing the real-life poverty that inspired Ali's script. Not to be missed. Brian Miller ALL OVER THE GUY U.S.A., 2001. Director: Julie Davis Fri., May 25, 7:15 p.m., Egyptian Sun., May 27, 1:45 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ A contemporary romantic comedy, All Over explores the universal saga of searching for the love of one's life. When two gay 20-somethings are thrown together in an unlikely pairing by their straight friends, they do everything NOT to fall in love. Can these endearing guys overcome all obstacles and surrender to their hearts? (See Amy's Orgasm.) AMERICAN ASTRONAUT U.S.A., 2001. Director: Cory McAbee Thurs., June 7, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Fri., June 1, 10:00 p.m.,Valley Drive-In We're so desperate to stamp out the derivative that too many points are given for pushing envelopes—not for actually tearing them open. Maverick visions are rarely regarded as both original AND entirely awful. This film unabashedly is. Astronaut delivers an onslaught of surreal images and ideas that momentarily ensnares the senses, only to flitter away seconds later, forever lost. The title character (director McAbee) is a mutton-chopped smuggler who trades phone sex tapes bound for Mars—populated entirely by male virgins—but has compunctions about delivering a naive Adonis to a legion of sex-starved, man-eating babes on Venus. This could be done with levity and irony, considering the intentional C-movie/Ed Wood vibe, but McAbee's yen for incessant repetition and inability to invent a single funny or unique setting make this a low-budget catastrophe proportional to Hollywood's most inept dreck. Andrew Bonazelli AMY'S ORGASM U.S.A., 2000. Director: Julie Davis Sat., May 26, 6:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sun., May 27, 4:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF SEZ A smart, funny romp through the perils of modern relationships, Amy's Orgasm follows a 29-year-old, Ivy League-educated, self-help author as she grudgingly falls for a sexy shock-jock radio host with a reputation for hitting on his bimbo guests. This second feature film from director, writer, producer, editor, and actor Julie Davis deservedly won the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Audience Choice Award.(See All Over the Guy.) *ANGELS OF THE UNIVERSE Iceland, 2000. Director: Fridrik Th�ridriksson Sat., June 2, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Mon., June 4, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place How much depression can you stand? Think you're tough? Think you can take 97 unrelenting minutes of one man's irrevocable descent into schizophrenia? C'mon—you like Bergman, dontcha? An unrelenting study of mental illness, Angels is like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest without Jack Nicholson or Girl, Interrupted without Angelina Jolie. Rendered in stark primary colors from what looks like the '70s onward, the film simply follows poor Paul's downward trajectory as he frightens his well-meaning family and makes a few friends in the asylum to which he's periodically committed. He narrates his sad tale in the past tense (how far past we ultimately learn), blaming "the merciless onslaught of reality" for his condition. Still, Cold Fever director Fridriksson refuses to sensationalize or overdramatize the demons behind Paul's perpetually furrowed brow. It's a bummer, but Angel is also fascinating to watch. B.R.M. *ANIMAL Argentina, 2000. Director: Sergio Bizzio Wed., June 13, 7:15 p.m., Pacific Place Thurs., June 14, 2:30 p.m., Pacific Place Not to be confused with the forthcoming Rob Schneider vehicle, Animal actually shares a theme with that summer comedy—bestiality, not implied but realized. Idle, rich, middle-aged ranch owner Alberto isn't obviously dissatisfied with his wife and life until he spies Fanny (as he comes to call her), who is one good-looking ewe! Don't fear that their affair is graphic—it isn't—or that Animal is really about sex. Instead, it's a black comedy about doomed passion with lots of little Bu� touches, grace notes of droll depravity set against an inanely sunny, cheerful backdrop. "I feel great, full of energy!" Alberto exults after consummation, although he's soon required to defend his forbidden love by murderous means. In essence, Animal is a retelling of Lolita, not so polished or literary, but pretty damn funny for all its wooly imperfections. World premiere. B.R.M. ANITA TAKES A CHANCE Spain, 2000. Director: Ventura Pons Fri., June 1, 7:15 p.m., Harvard Exit Mon., June 4, 5:00 p.m., Harvard Exit A woman of a certain age who's spent 34 very contented years as a ticket taker at a local movie house is devastated when she is fired and her workplace demolished—both the victim of younger, fresher faces. By force of habit, as well as lack of anything better to do, Anita returns daily to the old site where a new theater is being constructed, and her ritualistic visits become increasingly more involved—eventually leading to an affair with one of the workers. Whether or not you enjoy this movie depends heavily on how you feel about Rosa Maria Sardଠwho seems to subscribe to the old silent-era acting school of pantomiming the majority of her lines. Anita also indulges in that particular kind of willful quirkiness most successfully used by Almod�. That, too, is an acquired taste. Leah Greenblatt THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY U.S.A., 2001. Directors: Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh Cast: Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, Parker Posey, Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline Thurs., May 24, 7:30 p.m., 5th Avenue Theatre Those shelling out the big bucks for SIFF's opening night gala will certainly get their money's worth where acting talent is concerned. The ensemble cast provides plenty of laughs, groans, and moments of recognition, with the showbiz fete for a fragile couple (Cumming and Leigh) serving as a pretext for the melodramatics. Elements of both The Big Chill and soap operas—bad marriages, career pressures, unwanted children, secret abortions, near-fatal accidents, adulterous longings, lost dogs—receive a millennial twist: Everyone takes ecstasy about 90 minutes into Party (just when you're looking at your watch). Full of capital-T thespianism, it's a flick that will resonate with Gen-Xers uneasily assuming—or shirking—adult responsibilities. Party feels improvised, like an acting workshop, which provides several nice scenes. Leigh's her usual glum self; Cumming does his fey-volatile shtick; Posey's underutilized (although briefly topless); Kline's fine; but the big surprise is Cates, who's the best thing about the movie. U.S. premiere. B.R.M. THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS U.S.A., 2000. Director: Jeremy Kasten Cast: Stephen Donovan, Seth Green Thurs., June 14, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Sat., June 16, 4:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF SEZ A talented cast rocks in this twisted psychological thriller. Awakening from a coma, poor Trevor is haunted by images of an occult tome and a dark ritual. As he convalesces in a weird halfway house for recovering psychotics, his fellow residents start turning up dead and Trevor becomes the prime suspect. The question is: What's real and what's hallucination in this life-or-death, sane-or-crazy puzzle? U.S. premiere. BAISE-MOI (RAPE ME) France, 2000. Director: Virginie Despentes Coralie Wed., June 13, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Sat., June 16, 12:00 a.m., Egyptian A more existential Thelma & Louise made as cruddy-looking hardcore, Baise-Moi has its two porn-star heroines, Manu and Nadine, engage in a mad rondo of senseless fucking and sucking and robbing and killing—all the while criticizing their own lack of imagination. Scarcely the worst film at last fall's Toronto film fest, Baise-Moi at least reproaches the coyness of most contemporary movies dealing with women's angry sexuality. Shot on digital video, the film was actually banned in free-lovin' France, where the two lead actresses work in the adult film industry. J. Hoberman BANG RAJAN Thailand, 2001. Director: Thanit Jiynukul Sat., June 9, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Mon., June 11, 12:00 p.m., Cinerama SIFF SEZ The epic recounting of a famous Thai battle against Burmese invaders, analogous to our Remember the Alamo, with vastly outnumbered villagers standing up again and again to repeated assaults. Winner of more than half of the Tukkata Thong awards (the Thai Oscar equivalent) and one of Thailand's highest-grossing films, Bang Rajan combines visual grandeur and exhilarating scenes of heroism. U.S. premiere. BANGKOK: DANGEROUS Thailand, 2000. Directors: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang Sat., June 16, 4:00 p.m., Egyptian Wed., June 13, 9:30 p.m., Cinerama SIFF SEZ Honor, love, and redemption are the themes that fire up this Hong Kong-inspired gangster movie. A hit man who has been mute since childhood, Kong roams the gritty streets of Bangkok carrying out assassinations with cool efficiency. Then he meets a beautiful pharmacy assistant, whose promise of decency and hope inspires him to quit the business, making him a marked man. Pulsing with gorgeous visual bravado, Bangkok honors yet transcends the conventions of the gangster genre. U.S. premiere. A BANQUET AT TETLAPAYAC Mexico, 1999-2000. Director: Olivier Debroise Wed., May 30, 5:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Que Viva Mexico! is one of those lost, butchered, half-completed classics of the silent era. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein (Potemkin) during a 1931-32 sojourn through Mexico—then enjoying a postrevolutionary vogue with the U.S.S.R.—the anthology film was restored in '79 to show his typically fabulous black-and-white compositions and love for strong, evocative peasant faces. Not strictly a documentary about Eisenstein's activities in the hacienda town of Tetlapayac, Banquet also reenacts scenes from the film and invites a bunch of intellectuals to discourse upon the movie, the director, and the stereotypical images of Mexico. Snippets of original footage will only make you want to see the original Que Viva; time spent with contemporary commentators will mostly have you tearing your hair with boredom. Interestingly, Katherine Anne Porter based her short story "Hacienda" on incidents—including a murder—during Eisenstein's visit; Upton Sinclair, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and other '30s notables also figure in the fray. U.S. premiere. B.R.M. *BARAKA U.S.A., 1992. Director: Ron Fricke Sun., June 3, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian No words, no plot, just crisp, brilliant footage in wide-screen 70mm glory that conveys the grand sweep of man on the earth. In his "guided meditation," Koyaanisqatsi cinematographer Ron Fricke jumps dizzily among 24 countries, grouping scenes by theme. Its title derived from a Sufi word meaning essence or breath, Baraka makes us breathless as when—in a segment on worship—we visit Buddhist monks in Nepal, Jerusalem's wailing wall, the Ganges river, Hagia Sophia, and Angkor Wat—sometimes within the same minute. Kayapo Indian children in ceremonial pigment stare back; who's watching whom? The 97-minute game of "where is that?" is glorious yet troubling; ripping sacred rituals from context reduces them to eye-candy. Fricke's technical achievements with his custom-built, computer-controlled camera astound. (Check out that time-lapse pan through Grand Central Station!) This rich confection is worth seeing, and Philip Glass' original score worth hearing, even if Baraka leaves us hungry for a hearty meal. Gianni Truzzi BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE South Korea, 2000. Director: Bong Joon-Hu Sun., May 27, 6:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Mon., May 28, 11:30 a.m., Egyptian Like Amores Perros, this not-so-black comedy includes a disclaimer that no dogs were harmed in its filming. Things begin innocuously enough in a giant, anonymous apartment complex where a bored, frustrated grad student becomes irritated by a yapping pooch. His solution? Dognapping and rooftop disposal. (Those curs that slip through his fingers fall to a different fate; dog meat is, after all, a delicacy in South Korea.) No less unhappy in her life is a secretary at the same complex; she takes it upon herself to find the missing dogs—hoping for some daring and bravado in her dull existence. Pursuer and pursued are then bound together more by whimsy and accident than suspense. Dogs' eccentric little details and observations sometimes recall Jacques Tati. At the same time, it's a veiled social satire. "Nobody in this country keeps the rules," complains the student, who needs to pay a bribe for a professorship—if he can first change his dog-thievin' ways. B.R.M. *BARTLEBY U.S.A., 2001. Director: Jonathan Parker Cast: David Paymer, Crispin Glover, Glenne Headly, Joe Piscopo, Seymour Cassel Thurs., May 31, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Sun., June 3, 1:45 p.m., Harvard Exit Crispin Glover fans rejoice! He's baaack! And perfectly cast, too. Here, the real star of Back to the Future uncannily embodies Melville's passive-aggressive 1853 scrivener, now a file clerk in contemporary L.A. He's hired to work in a sitcomlike office, all pastels and fluorescent lights, staffed by various freaks—but Bartleby, of course, is the freakiest of the bunch, eventually refusing to do any work. "I would prefer not to," goes his mantra, exasperating his boss (State & Main's Paymer). Such refusal amounts to an act of will and rebellion in the absurdist anomie Bartleby paints like one of those old FedEx commercials. The deadpan comic tone is perfectly maintained, even if the movie—already short at 83 minutes—reaches and begins to repeat its crux dilemma less than halfway home. No matter. No matter how slight, Bartleby nicely achieves its modest aims, refusing to overreach, refusing to explain its oddly tragic hero. B.R.M. *BATTLE ROYALE Japan, 2000. Director: Kinji Fukasaku Tues., June 12, 7:15 p.m., Cinerama Fri., June 15, 12:00 a.m., Egyptian If there's one must-see, blood-soaked, carnage-ridden spectacular at SIFF, this is it. Veteran director Fukasaku is kind of like the Japanese Peckinpah, only here we have 9th-graders, not cowboys, battling to the death. The nutty premise that has these sweet-faced, uniformed schoolkids confined to an island until one survivor's alive naturally recalls Survivor and Lord of the Flies, but entertainment isn't the point. There are no cameras to relay the allegiances, betrayals, and gore to an imaginary viewing audience; instead, the blood sport is meant as a cautionary, punitive example for disobedient youngsters. On hand as a gruff teacher is "Beat" Takeshi Kitano (see Brother), who jeers, "So today's lesson is—you kill each other off!" Even if it lacks a coherent ending, the black comedic Battle brilliantly escalates the hair-trigger volatility of adolescent emotion to its illogical conclusion. B.R.M. BEFORE THE STORM Sweden, 2000. Director: Reza Parsa Tues., May 29, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Thurs., May 31, 5:00 p.m., Pacific Place What would you do for someone you loved? This debut feature by an Iranian-born director asks that familiar question in both Swedish and Arabic. But, refreshingly, it's not just another romantic love story. Instead, Storm concerns the love of parents for children, of children for parents, of man for country, and of boy for crush. One plot follows an Arab immigrant cab driver, Ali, with an adoring Swedish wife and two beloved daughters. Then a woman from his radical past shows up to blackmail him back into the old violent cause. A parallel plot involves a young boy, in love with one of Ali's daughters, who faces up to his school bully with tragic consequences. While Storm's effort to mesh the two stories is a little forced, such life-and-death decisions make for wrenching drama. Audrey Van Buskirk BETTER THAN SEX Australia/France, 2000. Director: Jonathan Teplitzky Cast: David Wenham, Susie Porter Sun., June 10, 6:30 p.m., Pacific Place Wed., June 13, 5:00 p.m., Pacific Place A more claustrophobic, yet far more charming Aussie About Last Night. Cin and Josh are two typical young Sydney singles whose drunken post-party roll in the hay becomes an epic four-day ascent into something decidedly uncasual. As the two play out a physically and emotionally intense mating dance almost entirely within the confines of Cin's apartment, scenes are intercut with the pair's respective friends ruminating on everything from true love to blow job etiquette. While not strictly a comedy, Better has plenty of endearing and humorous moments; overall, though, it's a po-mo love story, where the usual chronology of love and sex is disarmingly out of order. A slight but pleasing film, this should appeal to the many singletons who didn't quite see themselves in the caricature of Bridget Jones. L.G. BETTY BLUE U.S.A., 1986. Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix Fri., June 8, 4 p.m., Harvard Exit Part of SIFF's Jean-Jacques Beineix retrospective, his 1986 second feature certainly gets your attention with its audacious opening shot: Five minutes of pure, unrepentant, blue-lit fucking. Considered merely as a character study or portrait of a relationship-gone-bad, Betty has some considerable gaps and inconsistencies, but also some outstanding scenes. The theme of the tragic muse who inspires a male artist is hackneyed at best, yet Beineix gives it his all. This is purportedly the three-hour director's cut—the curse of the DVD age!--so brace yourself for a marathon of obsessive, doomed love. Free! B.R.M. *THE BIG ANIMAL Poland, 2000. Director: Jerzy Stuhr Sat., May 26, 1:45 p.m., Harvard Exit Working from a script by the late, great Krzysztof Kieslowski (Blue, White, Red), this fleet Polish feature tells the story of Sawicki, a simple village clerk (Stuhr himself) whose life is revitalized by his love for a deserted circus camel. "They can do us no harm because we're together," he promises the creature, yet the envious community becomes fearful and suspicious. (The town council even demands he sully his happiness through merchandizing.) Kieslowski's sentiments get a trifle obvious—the local orchestra's conductor accuses Sawicki of "playing different notes"—but Stuhr, both as actor and director, keeps the piece in place, steadfastly moving his hump-backed metaphor along until the little man's emancipation feels as important as it is unusual. Steve Wiecking BLINK U.S.A., 1999. Director: Elizabeth Thompson Fri., June 8, 5:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sun., June 10, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall You can see why a documentary-maker would gravitate to Greg Withrow, an affable, red-haired Californian who just happened to be a Nazi—then renounced his racist beliefs. Everyone loves a conversion narrative, even a stale one. In this case, Withrow joined the Aryan Nations organization in the early '80s, gaining notoriety with Donahue show appearances. Neo-Nazis gave the troubled Sacramento kid a sense of family until his friendship with an older Jewish woman—never clearly defined—caused a breach. Withrow's obviously an attention hound, having returned to the talk-show circuit after his 1986 rejection of and subsequent beating by former Aryan Nations colleagues. Parts of his story appear questionable, although his present-day liberalism seems genuine ("I'm still poor and white," he says humbly). Blink embraces his recovery platitudes too readily and lacks the craft of even second-rate television (with experts to suit), but usefully depicts the social conditions dramatized in American History X. B.R.M. *THE BLUE DINER U.S.A., 2000. Director: Jan Egleson Wed., May 30, 7:15 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Fri., June 1, 5:00 p.m., Pacific Place Something a lot stranger than a cat has got Elena's tongue. She's the lovely Puerto Rican casket saleswoman (really) at the center of this bilingual romantic comedy. She feels pulled by two thriving cultures in Latino Boston. On the one hand, she's got a successful Anglo boyfriend of whom her demanding Spanish-speaking mother approves. On the other, she maintains a soft spot for her sort-of ex, Tito, an aspiring—read starving—artist without a green card. During an especially grueling fight with her long-suffering, museum janitor mom, she loses her ability to speak and understand Spanish. Humorous misunderstandings ensue; love conquers all. A.V.B. BODY AND SOUL U.S.A., 1925. Director: Oscar Micheaux Sun., May 27, 1:45 p.m., Egyptian SIFF SEZ Produced in Harlem, this classic silent film is considered one of the best works produced by pioneering African-American director Micheaux. The magnificent Paul Robeson debuted in dual roles as a corrupt reverend and his virtuous twin brother. Noted for having an entirely African-American cast (except for one white in a minor role), the film was originally distributed only in segregated black communities. BORN IN ABSURDISTAN Austria, 1999. Director: Houchang Allahyari Mon., May 28, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Tues., May 29, 5:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF SEZ A sly satire of Austrian immigration policy and cultural mores, Absurdistan follows the fortunes of two families, initially at xenophobic odds, brought together through a twist of fate (or the machinations of an angelic nun!). Turkish immigrants Emre and Emine's newborn is accidentally switched with that of Austrians Marion and Stefan. When the switch is discovered, the Austrian couple must pursue the Turkish parents, now deported, back to Turkey, where all manner of mad and wonderful adventures occur. BORN ROMANTIC Great Britain, 2000. Director: David Kane Cast: Ian Hart, Adrian Lester, Catherine McCormack, Olivia Williams, Jane Horrocks Sun., June 3, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian Wed., June 6, 5:00 p.m., Harvard Exit SIFF SEZ Three men, three women, and a salsa club provide the grist for this lighthearted comedy about London thirtysomethings on the prowl for love. Two minicab drivers (Ian Hart and John Thompson) provide tasty philosophical commentary on sex and romance while shuttling six endearing oddballs about town. Featuring a super cast of young comers, with Olivia Williams' (The Sixth Sense) grandly chilly performance a particular standout. BORSTAL BOY Ireland/Great Britain, 2001. Director: Peter Sheridan Cast: Shawn Hatosy, Danny Dyer, Michael York Sat., June 2, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian Sun., June 3, 4:00 p.m., Egyptian Inspired by (a.k.a. "loosely based" upon) Brendan Behan's eponymous autobiography, Borstal delivers fairly typical coming-of-age fare. That the film is so unremarkable is especially disappointing given the possibilities offered by its plot: Sixteen-year-old Brendan—a loyal Irish republican—is arrested carrying explosives in WWII-era England and sentenced to a reform school (or "borstal"). There he encounters a diverse assortment of delinquents, his own sexuality, death, and the power of the arts. Aside from the poignant handling of Brendan's friendship with a closeted homosexual friend, none of his other relationships—particularly a superfluous romance with the headmaster's daughter—are given the chance to sufficiently develop. The ripe political overtones are also left begging for more than the cursory attention they're accorded. In the end, Brendan learns that love is more powerful than hate; the closing speech that bludgeons this point home typifies the awkward shortcuts that Borstal applies to its rich, raw material. U.S. premiere. Paul Fontana BRAVE NEW LAND Brazil, 2000. Director: Lcia Murat Mon., June 11, 7:15 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Tues., June 12, 12:00 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ In 1778, Diogo, astronomer, cartographer, and naturalist, is mapping the border between Spanish and Portuguese territory in the Brazilian jungle. After a massacre of indigenous people, Diogo falls in love with a beautiful female survivor and finds himself embroiled in a hotbed of cultural animosity at remote Fort Coimbra. Filmed in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Brazil's discovery, Brave New Land imagines the colonial experience that overshadows all of Brazilian history from the point of view of the colonized. BREAD AND TULIPS Italy/Switzerland, 2000. Director: Silvio Soldini Fri., May 25, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Sat., May 26, 11:30 a.m., Harvard Exit SIFF SEZ After her absent-minded family literally forgets her at a roadside cafe, Rosalba decides to set out for Venice and a new life. Moving in with a suicidal Icelandic waiter (the magnificent Bruno Ganz), she hires on with an anarchic florist. When her husband sends a good-hearted plumber, a private-eye-wanna-be, to reclaim her, he's unprepared for the new, vibrant Rosalba. This touching mix of farce and self-discovery won the Italian Best Picture award. BREAKING THE SILENCE China, 2000. Director: Zhou Sun Thurs., June 7, 7:15 p.m., Egyptian Sun., June 10, 1:45 p.m., Cinerama SIFF SEZ Luminous Chinese superstar Gong Li plays a struggling single mother who will do anything to provide for her hearing-impaired son. After his hearing aid is smashed by classmates, she must raise the money to buy a replacement. To do so, she takes on a raft of different jobs, reflecting one mother's experience of harsh economic realities in modern-day China. (Official Chinese Oscar Submission: Best Foreign Film.) BRONX-BARBES France, 2000. Director: Eliane de Latour Mon., June 11, 7:15 p.m., Harvard Exit Wed., June 13, 2:30 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ Respected docu-maker and anthropologist Eliane de Latour serves up a pungent version of a Black Lower Depths: An accidental murder forces Toussaint and Nixon to flee their African shantytown and seek refuge among gang members in a big-city ghetto. Toussaint, the eldest, adapts to the new environment, honoring the "old guns" in return for protection and finding love with a local shopgirl. Jealous, Nixon unsuccessfully rebels against gang hierarchy, obliging Toussaint to betray his new life to save an old friend. U.S.premiere. *BROTHER Japan/U.S.A., 2000. Director: Takeshi Kitano Cast: Beat Takeshi, Claude Maki, Omar Epps Fri., May 25, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Sat., May 26, 4:00 p.m., Egyptian Takeshi "Beat" Kitano's films always have a finite edge. His 1997 Fireworks reinvigorated the yakuza genre with new style, technique, and coolness. Brother, his first project filmed (primarily) in the U.S., deepens his hybrid comedy-meets-violence sensibility while retaining his trademark aloofness. Here Kitano plays a yakuza boss who travels to L.A. to get his younger brother out of trouble. On the surface it's a fish-out-of-water story, but Brother resists our expectations. Refusing to simply use violence as an easy marquee attraction, Kitano drains the extra sound and music out of bloody encounters—you simply hear the underlying act itself, followed by a coda of dead silence. The effect is breathtaking because it's real. When we do hear Joe Hisaishi's score, it's dreamy and lucid, evoking both '70s crime flicks and contemporary minimalism. Rarely does music so effortlessly augment a screen persona. Brother proves that Kitano can still keep his cool—unlike so much of overheated Hollywood. Michael Duffy BURNT MONEY Argentina, 2000. Director: Marcelo Pi�o Fri., June 15, 7:15 p.m., Egyptian Sun., June 17, 1:45 p.m., Harvard Exit SIFF SEZ A sexy and skillful thriller, this gay Bonnie and Clyde features the exploits of Angel and El Nene, sweethearts and bank robbers. When an armored-car heist turns bloody and Angel is wounded, these natural-born lovers are forced to flee to Uruguay. Across the border, they go into hiding, trying to secure forged passports to further their escape. The wait, however, proves arduous, and the boys tempt fate by plunging into the pleasures of carnival. (See Wild Horses.) THE BUSINESS OF STRANGERS U.S.A., 2001. Director: Patrick Stettner Fri., June 8, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Sun., June 10, 11:30 a.m., Pacific Place Here, corporate ballbuster Stockard Channing (from TV's The West Wing) and her petulant assistant, Julia Stiles, spend a night in an airport hotel playing mind games. This chic exercise in claustrophobia sacrifices psychological coherence for teasing ambiguity. At Sundance this winter, quick to pick up on its hypothermic LaBute-like qualities, festival wags rechristened it In the Company of Women. Those who remember Stiles as the star-fucking teen in David Mamet's State and Main should also look for her in Tim Blake Nelson's O (see below). Dennis Lim CAMP SCOTT LADIES U.S.A., 2001. Directors: Jeff Werner, Susan Koch Thurs., June 7, 5:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sun., June 10, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall MTV's The Real World goes to the slammer. For all the immediacy afforded by DV, new technology means squat if you don't know how to edit what you shoot. Produced by MTV News, Camp Scott begins with some promise in an L.A. County boot camp-style prison for female offenders age 12 to 18. Some are pregnant; many have gang tattoos; all appear to have been raised in very flawed families. Four talkative teens are selected for our scrutiny, offering Real World-style confessions interspersed with a spartan routine of yelling, marching, and room inspections. "I hate it here. You can't go to the bathroom when you want," complains one youngster. We sympathize, and Camp Scott at least has the merit of showing the obstacles—both self- and society-imposed—to the presumed path to reform. Problem is, there's absolutely no context provided, a glaring omission when these programs have been roundly debunked by experts. B.R.M. CANONE INVERSO (MAKING LOVE) Italy, 2000. Director: Ricky Tognazzi Cast: Hans Matheson, M鬡nie Thierry, Gabriel Byrne Fri., June 8, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Sun., June 10, 1:45 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ Beginning in the '60s, then slipping back into pre-WWII Prague, this haunting historical drama follows the path of Jeno, a violinist who unlocks his Jewish past with the only clues left by the father who abandoned him: a rare violin and the inverse canon, a melody that can be played forward or backward. A fascinating intersection of personal saga and world-changing events, backed by a memorable Ennio Morricone score. (See Strangled Lives.) THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER Russia/France, 2000. Director: Alexander Proshkin Tues., June 12, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Sun., June 10, 4:00 p.m., Cinerama Based on an 1836 Pushkin novel, Daughter tells a rather traditional tale of love-against-the-odds, projected across the sweeping, bloody backdrop of Cossack rebellions in 19th-century Russia. As soon as our two dewy-skinned lovelies fall hopelessly for each another, events conspire, inevitably, to keep them apart. Despite the unflinching portrayal of the violence and inhumanity of war—not to ment

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