A-E | F-MI | MO-S | T-Z *recommended FAAT-KINE Senegal, 2000. Director: Ousmane Sembene Thurs., June 7, 7:15 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sat., June 9,


The Films: F-MI

A-E | F-MI | MO-S | T-Z *recommended FAAT-KINE Senegal, 2000. Director: Ousmane Sembene Thurs., June 7, 7:15 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sat., June 9, 4:00 p.m., Harvard Exit SIFF SEZ Faat-Kine is a 40-year-old single mother with two kids about to graduate from high school, two ex-husbands, and one respectable job as manager of a gas station. She is a woman who carved her own way in a society shaped mostly by tribal customs and male prejudices. This upbeat celebration of an African Everywoman is the second film in the 78-year-old director's Everyday Heroes trilogy. FAMILY PACK Belgium/France/Canada/Switzerland, 2000. Director: Chris Vander Stappen Wed., June 6, 7:15 p.m., Harvard Exit Sat., June 9, 1:45 p.m., Egyptian If Hollywood remade Long Day's Journey Into Night with a few extra twists, it might look something like this French comic bauble about family secrets and lives of denial. Lovely Sacha returns to her family home in 1969 Brussels from Montreal, where, contrary to what her family believes, she has not been studying to be a doctor nor been conducting herself as a heterosexual. Sacha's girlfriend, for no evident reason, has demanded that she come clean with her family. Once home, however, Sacha finds that her parents, grandmother, and sister are too caught up in their own mundane routines—and their own secrets—to take notice of her revelations. For its first hour or so, Pack delivers some touchingly amusing insights on the way family members gently suffocate one another, but the comedy and the tragedy are both overplayed, and the latter portion of the film is dragged down by trite resolutions and unnecessary epiphanies. M.D.F. FAMOUS U.S.A., 2000. Director: Griffin Dunne Mon., June 11 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Wed., June 13 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ A raucous, in-your-face mockumentary featuring cameos by a delicious assortment of screen luminaries, Famous follows a budding young actress poised on the edge of her 15 minutes of fame. Young Lisa *ard (Laura Kirk) has a modicum of talent and looks. Best known for her work in a surprisingly racy Wheat Chex commercial, Lisa anticipates her big break as her new made-for-television movie, featuring Mira Sorvino and Charlie Sheen, is readied for airing. As she makes the rounds with her best friend Tate (Nat DeWolf)—a gay activist actor/writer who is currently prepping a one-man show about homophobia and his coming-out traumas—Lisa crosses paths in a series of seemingly random incidents with the likes of Sandra Bullock, Spike Lee, Buck Henry, Carrie Fisher, and Penelope Ann Miller. Director/actor Dunne, whose Addicted to Love opened SIFF '98, here returns to the screen with an amusingly provocative exploration of the thespian lifestyle as seen from an actor's point of view. U.S. premiere. FAREWELL TO HARRY Seattle, 2000. Director: Garrett Bennett Sun., May 27, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian Fri., June 15, 5:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF SEZ A last-chance writer meets a boozing ex-hatmaker in this moving, visually inventive film about one man's struggle to change and another man's eagerness to believe once again in the dreams he left behind. The men ignite a rich and complex friendship. Preceded by Strange Ships, a brief meditation on uncertainty, anxiety, and busy hallways, directed by Mark O'Connell (U.S.A., 3 minutes). World premieres. FILM NOIR Japan, 2000. Director: Masahiro Kobayashi Wed., June 6, 7:15 p.m., Egyptian Fri., June 8, 2:30 p.m., Cinerama SIFF SEZ This lustrous, comically absurd homage to film noir follows Yuhi Hamazaki, a "typical salaried man" living in Japan's snowy north. After losing his job, Yuhi spends his days at a pachinko parlor to avoid telling his wife what has happened. One day a stranger offers him 5 million yen to kill a man. Using noir master Jean-Pierre Melville's movies for instruction, Yuhi takes to murder with giddy resolve. FILMMAKERS FORUM Is Digital the Death of Cinema? Sat., May 26, 10 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIS: From the Trenches Mon., June 1, 11:30 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Coded Language: Deconstructing Music Videos (with a discussion for high school students) Fri., June 1, 5 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall The Black Experience on Film Sat., June 2, 10 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall What's a Documentary For? Sat., June 9, 10 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Dragons on the Doorstep: New Asian Cinema Sat., June 9, 1 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Whatever Happened to Talking Pictures? Fri., June 15, 10 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall What's a Film Critic For? Fri., June 15, 1 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall FINAL U.S.A., 2001. Director: Campbell Scott Cast: Hope Davis, Denis Leary, Guy Davis Fri., June 8, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sun., June 10, 2:45 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF SEZ In Final, Bill (Leary) wakes up in a barely furnished hospital room. Believing he is being prepared for his "final injection" by the government (it's 2399), he refuses to surrender to Ann (Hope Davis), his doctor, as she tries to reassure him and get at the root of his madness. In this psychological game of cat-and-mouse, Bill agonizes over whether Ann means to help him find his sanity or plans to wield the needle that will do him in. Featuring a soundtrack by blues guitarist Guy Davis, who also appears in the film. World premiere. FINDER'S FEE U.S.A., 2001. Director: Jeff Probst Cast: Erik Palladino, James Earl Jones, Robert Forster, Matthew Lillard Sat., June 16, 6:30 p.m., Pacific Place Sun., June 17, 1:45 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ How far would you go to get hold of millions? ER's Erik Palladino plays a struggling artist who finds a wallet and makes arrangements to return it—and then discovers a winning lottery ticket inside. The rightful owner (James Earl Jones) arrives during a poker game attended by a trio of Adam's friends. Who knows what about the ticket's whereabouts is complicated when the cops come searching for a fugitive. Funny and revealing, Fee strips character down to the bone and then turns the screw in one final wrenching twist. World premiere. FLEEING BY NIGHT Taiwan, 2000. Directors: Li-kung Hsu, Chi Yin Thurs., June 7, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Mon., June 11, 5:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Take a gay love triangle, Chinese opera, and World War II, and you've got some drama—right? Well, let's just say that Farewell My Concubine now looks a lot better by comparison to this uneventful, overlong melodrama. There are actually two love triangles at work in Night's '30s milieu: first the girl, cellist, and opera singer; second, the cellist, opera singer, and the latter's long-haired opium fiend boyfriend (the handsomest and most interesting character in the picture). For all the homoerotic longing, there's hardly a glimpse of sex—much less smooching—in the movie; don't go expecting to be rewarded with any smut after enduring long passages of opera. Somewhere, buried deep within Night, there's the faint influence of Jules and Jim, since the cellist and girl eventually reach a kind of wistful romantic understanding. "Is life just full of sorrow?" the cellist asks. For Night's viewers, the answer will be "Yes." B.R.M. *FLY FILMMAKING Sat, Jun 16, 5:30 p.m., Moore Theatre Three movies for the price of one! All are shot within a week on a low, low budget by fearless guest artists, then screened with discussion afterward. THE FOUL KING South Korea, 2000. Director: Ji-woon Kim Wed., June 6, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Sat., June 9, 11:30 a.m., Cinerama Maybe the WWF has world culture in a headlock, or maybe professional wrestling enjoys more global, indigenous appeal than suspected. Whichever the case, this whimsical comedy has a timid bank clerk approach a wrasslin' sensei to teach him a few moves and restore his self-confidence. He's being bullied by his boss, gets no respect from his father, and can't even ask a girl on a date. Naturally, then, our meek underdog must undergo some sort of Karate Kid-style transformation, although King surprisingly resists giving him obvious glories or rewards. Instead he learns to be a cheating ring villain (hence "foul king"), making for some amusing sequences on the canvass. Funny intertitles like "The Back Drop of Sadness" introduce King's episodes, which certainly don't build to the expected conclusion. (However, folding metal chairs are deployed in their accustomed manner.) "Life's a show," our hero's told, allowing him to finally accept his role as a comic supporting player. B.R.M. FUGITIVES Spain, 2000. Director: Miguel Hermoso Thurs., June 14, 7:15 p.m., Harvard Exit Sun., June 17, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian Following a bank robbery gone haywire, Tonya tough but vulnerable 25-year-old beautyfinds herself on the lam from her former cohorts with 7-year-old Laura in tow. Predictably, the two castoffs sort through their abandonment issues together and learn to love and share and all that good stuff during their road trip adventure. Because this central conceit is so obvious, though, director Hermoso overcompensates in his attempt to make Fugitivas less mundane. The added plot contrivances and surprising brutality, however, only serve to make the film a rather schizophrenic affair: the Afterschool Special meets Thelma and Louise meets Tarantino-style crime flick formula is far from cohesive. The films blemishes are partially obscured by some strong performancesparticularly Laia Marull as Tonyand funny moments. (Jean-Claude Van Damme T-shirts are comedy gold!) Still, its not enough to warrant more than a lukewarm recommendation. P.F. GAUDI AFTERNOON U.S.A./Spain, 2000. Director: Susan Seidelman Cast: Judy Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor, Juliette Lewis Fri., June 1, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Sat., June 2, 1:45 p.m., Egyptian Sixteen years after Desperately Seeking Susan, Susan Seidelmans faith in magic, coincidence, and screwball comedy is undiminished. Maybe it should be. Here, Davis frumpy, cynical book translator gets embroiled in a child custody mess in scenic Barcelona. Gaudi works best as a travelogue, with lots of fabulous architecture and color before the lens; the stridently madcap private detective stuff pales by contrast. Its Raymond Chandler meets Heather Has Two Mommies as Davis must sort out gender-bending parents and her own maternal conflicts. Harden vamps madly while Lewis has fun with a rare comic role, but everythings played too broadly, with too much capital-C color. Gaudi stops too frequently for exposition and to baldly tell us what happened in an off-camera scene (instead of showing us, as movies are meant to do). Still, since its impossible to thoroughly dislike any picture with Judy Davis, Gaudi will make an acceptable rental after some big Catalan dinner. B.R.M. GEN-X COPS Hong Kong, 2000. Director: Benny Chan Cast: Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung Tues., May 29, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Thurs., May 31, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit SIFF SEZ When Japanese crime lord Akatura makes off with a cache of rocket fuel, a maverick Hong Kong detective recruits three police academy students to infiltrate the villain's gang. The Gen-X cops botch the bust and are mistaken for traitors by the law. Assisted by a comely electronics expert, they use full-body stunts and plenty of humor to stop Akatura and clear their names. GHOST WORLD U.S.A., 2001. Director: Terry Zwigoff Cast: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlet Johansson, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas Sat., June 16, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian Sun., June 17, 1:45 p.m., Egyptian Comic books that inspire good movies are generally in the mold of Batman or X-Men, full of action, sex, and color. The challenge for Crumb director Zwigoff is to make his first non-documentary feature out of a comic book essentially about the inner lives of cynical, discontented teenage girls. Its a goal imperfectly realized, one that respects its caustic but fragile characters (American Beautys Birch and Johansson) but comes off wan and episodic. Absent a strong narrative, a graphic novel allows readers to dwell over the drawings; here, we chuckle with the teens about the freaks they encounter on L.A.s ugly streetscape without ever feeling engaged with their wanderings. Tacky convenience stores, porn shops, and flea marketswhats the point to ragging on such squalor? No matter how their soulless environment reflects their anomie, the girls dont make us care. Not even Birchs crush on sweetly pathetic Buscemi can save this World. B.R.M. GINGER SNAPS Canada, 2000. Director: John Fawcett Sat., June 2, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Tues., June 5, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian SIFF SEZ Ginger and Brigitte, teenage sisters bored with life in the burbs, are obsessed with death and the macabre. One night, after she has her first period, Ginger is attacked by a mysterious wild animal. As a result, she slowly starts to turn into a bloodthirsty and sexually aggressive werewolf. The film is a mix of horror and wit reminiscent of David Cronenberg's work and I Was a Teenage Werewolf. GLAMOUR Hungary/Germany/Switzerland, 2000. Director: Frigyes G�s Mon., May 28, 4:00 p.m., Egyptian Sat., May 26, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian Got a bottle of Tylenol that you want to get rid of? Glamour juxtaposes half-baked images and confusing timelines with a ho-hum plot, and the result is fiercely messy and befuddling. It's like what might happen if Woody Allen and Terry Gilliam absconded to Budapest to collaborate on the world's most maddening homage to Fiddler on the Roof. Underneath the chaos, the story is about a Jewish man in postwar Germany taking a "brave" step toward securing the future of his bloodline. Had that basic tale been given room to tell itself straightforwardly, the film would perhaps be watchable. As it is, so unflatteringly adorned with ambiguous voice-overs, forced metaphors, and unconnected flashes of history, Glamour does little more than summon a headache. Laura Learmonth GO TIGERS! U.S.A., 2001. Director: Kenneth A. Carlson Sat., June 9, 1:45 p.m., Pacific Place Mon., June 11, 2:30 p.m., Pacific Place "It's a cult, a religion, a civic enterprise—a pigskin paradise!" So gushes an amusing newsreel included in this Sundance favorite documentary about high school football in Massillon, Ohio. Insane boosters and parents pour money into team facilities that would rival some college programs—despite being a depressed rust-belt town numbering only 33,000 in population. Clearly these people are way too obsessed with football, but Tigers never takes any cheap shots at such innocent devotion. Instead, it mainly profiles three seniors during the course of the Tigers' remarkable 1999 season. It's an uncritical film, too uncritical, with only a few dissenting voices heard (particularly when the town's asked for yet another school levy increase). No Hoop Dreams, this flick won't make anyone nostalgic for high school. Reiterating its few points over and over doesn't help matters, but Tigers ably conveys the emotional intensity and paradoxical vulnerability to jock culture. In this town, when losing at halftime, boys do cry. B.R.M. *HAIKU TUNNEL U.S.A., 2001. Directors: Jacob Kornbluth, Josh Kornbluth Sun., June 10, 6:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Tues., June 12, 12:00 p.m., Cinerama Temps of the world (past, present, and future), this movie is for you. Expanded from his original 1996 monologue, Josh Kornbluths debut feature often betrays its stage origins, but you dont mind the direct-address interruptions or no-frills filmmaking style. Our lumpy, balding, sad-sack hero inspires laughs simply by walking down the halls of the San Fran law firm where hes temping; its like hes got the weight of the world in his pockets. His fellow secretaries and office travails do feel sitcom-familiar at times, but the riffing on lawyers, ballpoint pens, and his ex-girlfriend get you through the thin spots. Anyone whos ever suffered the inanities and indignities of office life will instantly respond to this flick. Kornbluth is no Spalding Gray, yet, since his anxieties and observations arent fully crafted into precise language. Still, after his acclaimed 1992 monologue Red Diaper Baby, the raggedly engaging Haiku confirms hes found his permanent, successful profession. B.R.M. HAMLET U.S.A., 2000. Directors: Campbell Scott, Eric Simonson Cast: Campbell Scott, Jamey Sheridan, Blair Brown, Roscoe Lee Browne, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Sam Robards, Michael Imperioli, Byron Jennings Sun., June 10, 11:00 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Fri., June 8, 10:00 a.m., Egyptian Every young actor dreams of playing Hamlet. Not all young actors should. Campbell Scott, son of George C., got his shot before he was 30, in a 1990 staging at San Diego's Old Globe. He should not have pushed his luck. Last year he repeated the role in Boston and got Hallmark to film the result and let him co-direct it. It is not a success. Scott plays the Dane as a rebellious but sensitive teen, and makes sure co-stars Blair Brown (Gertrude), Roscoe Lee Browne (Polonius), and Jamey Sheridan (Claudius) stay out of his way. Unfortunately, he cast veteran Shakespearean Byron Jennings to double as Ghost and Player King, and Jennings can't help making the boss look amateurish—amateurish, too, as filmmaker. The turn-of-the-century Long Island mansion setting is attractive, but beyond that, a couple of groovy slasher-flick special effects aren't enough to energize 178 long minutes. Roger Downey *HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH U.S.A., 2001. Director: John Cameron Mitchell Cast: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Michael Pitt, Andrea Martin Sat., June 9, 9:30 p.m., Cinerama Mon., June 11, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian The danger of bringing a successful musical to the big screen is that its onstage magic won't transfer to celluloid. Not to worry with Hedwig, which under the tutelage of writer/director/star John Cameron Mitchell and composer/lyricist Stephen Trask has not only made the jump, but done so with ravenous style, sass, and the perfect amount of camp. Mitchell is utterly appealing as Hedwig, a German boy whose botched sex-change surgery left him with an "angry inch of flesh"—plus a burning desire to set the world on fire with rock 'n' roll! His band's U.S. tour of pseudo-Long John Silver restaurants is the backdrop for Hedwig's preening, primping, and narrating his story of unrequited love for goth-rock superstar Tommy Gnosis (once his youthful charge and lover). Sprinkled lushly throughout are Trask's epic songs, allowing Hedwig and band to rock their collective asses off. A double prize-winner at Sundance. Andrew Strickman HOTOKE Japan, 2001. Director: Tsuji Jinsei Thurs., June 7, 7:15 p.m., Harvard Exit Thurs., June 14, 12:00 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ Director and cult author Tsuji Jinsei portrays two brothers trying to stay alive (spiritually and economically) in an ugly harbor town. Gentle Rai (nicknamed Hotoke, meaning Buddha) collects scrap metal to create a monstrous idol of Buddha, while brutal Shiba runs a gang of vicious criminals. The brothers' lives converge in their love for the blind Yuma, who hides a dark secret. This visually striking piece evokes spaces and faces marred by the urban diseases of amorality and despair. U.S. premiere. *HYBRID U.S.A., 2001. Director: Monteith McCollum Sun., May 27, 11:30 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Mon., May 28, 4:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall It's David Lynch goes to Iowa—but it's more the spirit of The Straight Story than Blue Velvet that informs this admittedly derivative but undeniably affecting portrait of director McCollum's nonagenarian grandfather, Milford Beeghly. With a cantankerous voice like William S. Burroughs', the old geezer recalls his career as a corn agronomist while his adult children remember a cold, distant father. Everything's shot in black-and-white, including several Walker Evans-like rural montages and corn animation sequences (!) indebted to the Brothers Quay. McCollum himself supplies the score, lending to Hybrid's hybrid home-movie quality. "It looks almost like a sea," says Milford of the strong, improved corn stalks he developed during the '30s. And darned if you don't also begin to appreciate the plant's odd beauty during the course of this over-aestheticized documentary. "I like to see growing things," Milford declares, his long strange life reminding us how growth can continue even past one's ninth decade. B.R.M. *IF . . . Great Britain, 1968. Director: Lindsay Anderson Tues., May 29, 7:15 p.m., Harvard Exit To appreciate Lindsay Anderson's 1968 allegory set in a stifling British boarding school, forget what you know today. This is deliciously vintage '60s rage, in which Malcolm McDowell chafes at repression by his elders and nurses a fetish for war. The gothic halls where boys train to uphold the empire symbolize England's corrupt class system; there, the elite "whips" enforce conformity with beatings and compare the erotic beauty of their younger schoolmates. Anderson builds his case for revolution with rising bizarreness and brutality to a cathartic, violent climax. Ignore the cuts to black-and-white; Anderson ran out of money. Forget McDowell's post-Clockwork Orange descent into sitcoms; slurp up the lizard charm of his youth. Forget, too, that the revolution would come—but from Margaret Thatcher. Toughest of all, forget the stranger-than-fiction events in Jonestown and Columbine that unfairly, retrospectively taint the ending to this renegade film. G.T. IF I COULD U.S.A., 200. Director: Patti Obrow White Fri., June 15, 5 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ If I Could tells the story of a courageous young woman who confronts her troubled past to keep her son from falling prey to the same demons that nearly destroyed her. Covering a 20-year time span, the film introduces us to 14-year-old Tracy, who was the focus of a CBS documentary when she was in an alternative program for troubled kids. Now 35, Tracy is a single mother struggling to help her own family. She calls upon the same man who she credits for helping her as a teen to help her save her 12-year-old son. Clips from the original 1979 CBS film are interwoven with new footage of their battle to triumph over intergenerational cycles of abuse, abandonment, drugs, and rage. Narrated by Sally Field. World premiere. IGNORANT FAIRIES Italy/France, 2001. Director: Ferzan Ozpetek Sun., May 27, 6:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Mon., May 28, 4:00 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ A serious comedy about "those people we meet who change our lives forever without our even realizing it." After her husband's death in a car accident, Antonia (Margherita Buy) discovers a number of shocking realities about his secret life that propel her into an exotic world where she finds a brand-new identity and values. Moving from upper-class Rome into a less luxe district where affections transcend sexual, economic, and physical liabilities, Fairies celebrates the politics of eccentricity. U.S. premiere. I LOVE BEIJING China, 2001. Director: Ning Ying Sat., June 16, 6:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Sun., June 17, 9:30 p.m. Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF SEZ The final chapter in Ning Ying's trilogy about the positive and negative effects of fast-breaking cultural changes in her hometown: In this loosely structured narrative, we cruise Beijing streets with a taxi driver searching for love, drifting from woman to woman against the backdrop of a city in flux. A sequence in a park, for example, shows how brash entrepreneurs and their junk have replaced the traditional activities of tai chi and massage. Long, seductive sequences reminiscent of Chantal Ackerman's style create a mesmerizing urban meditation, pointedly backed by Western-influenced music. U.S. premiere. INNOCENCE Australia, 2000. Director: Paul Cox Fri., June 8, 7:15 p.m., Pacific Place Mon., June 11, 5:00 p.m., Egyptian Andreas and Claire are the quintessential young lovers; they kiss beside bridges, bicycle into the woods, then throw their clothes off and entangle themselves with abandon. But that was long ago, in post-WWII Belgium, when strict families prevented people from simply following their hearts, and the two went their separate ways. Until Andreas, a widower for 30 years, realizes that Claire lives nearby in Melbourne, Australia. He writes to her, they meet, and Claire—whose marriage is as much of a ho-hum habit as putting on socks—reaches out for the love she felt decades before. It's romantic, and almost comic—two older people sneaking around, having extramarital sex, arranging secret trysts. But Charles Tingwell and Julia Blake bring honesty and humility to their roles—plus a sweetness and youthful exuberance that makes you wonder if Viagra had anything to do with such rediscovered ardor. E.B.R. INUGAMI Japan, 2000. Director: Masato Harada Fri., June 15, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Sun., June 17, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian SIFF SEZ In a remote mountain village on the island of Shikoku, the Bonomiya women are duty-bound to watch over the Inugami (wild dog) gods. When Miki Bonomiya, a lonely woman in her 40s, falls for a young stranger, the village is soon cloaked in an eerie fog, suspicions arise, and strange events disturb the community, awakening the spirits. This dark drama comes from the creator of Spellbound (SIFF 2000). U.S. premiere. INVESTIGATING SEX U.S.A., 2001. Director: Alan Rudolph Cast: Neve Campbell, Jeremy Davies, Julie Delpy, Terrence Dashon Howard, Dermot Mulroney, Nick Nolte, Robin Tunney, Tuesday Weld Sun., June 17, 6:30 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ SIFF favorite Alan Rudolph (The Moderns, Choose Me, Afterglow) returns triumphantly to the festival with this wry comic delight set in the libertine bohemian circles of New England at the end of the 1920s. As the film opens, wealthy mentor Faldo (Nolte) assembles a circle of young men intent upon a curious goal: Purely academically, they intend to discuss sex, openly and without taboos. Two young stenographers, Alice (Campbell) and Zoe (Tunney), are enlisted to record these frank and sexually charged discussions, but as the sessions progress and the group decides to allow other women into their tightly knit circle, the lines between professional and personal interests soon blur. What ensues is a series of amusing romantic entanglements far beyond the scope of the original group's intentions. Writer/director Rudolph, always at his best when traversing the battle lines and boudoirs of his characters' romantic dilemmas, has enlisted a dream cast to flesh out the wit and irony inherent in this deliciously wicked endeavor. World premiere. IP5 France, 1992. Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix Cast: Yves Montand, Olivier Martinez,

Sekkou Sall Fri., May 25, 5 p.m., Harvard Exit SIFF SEZ This haunting, enigmatic story of three outcasts who come together in a lush forest of fantasies is perhaps Beineix's most misunderstood film, though filmgoers at SIFF 1992 liked it so well they voted it Best Film. IP5 opens by introducing us to two unlikely soulmates: one, a young, world-weary graffiti artist who roams the streets of Paris creating exquisite temporal artworks on decaying urban buildings; the other an antisocial black teenager who tags along with the young artist. Each of these lost souls is an outcast, though on one foray the young artist encounters a beautiful young woman in whom he senses the possibility of love. This budding romance is abruptly interrupted by a gang of street thugs who steal a photo album of the artist's works, leading him and his delinquent young friend to pursue them into the deep forest and to an encounter with an aging eccentric (the magnificent Montand, in his final screen role) who seems to possess magical powers. Gloriously idiosyncratic, IP5 finds Beineix exploring the clash between urban chaos and the ordered world of nature. Free! I PREFER THE SOUND OF THE SEA Italy/France, 2000. Director: Mimmo Calopresti Sat., June 9, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Wed., June 13, 12:00 p.m., Cinerama SIFF SEZ The relationship between two teenage boys from vastly different backgrounds is explored with understated sensitivity in this subtle coming-of-age drama. Calabrian Rosario is a self-reliant product of mob life; northerner Matteo comes from a world of wealth. Matteo's father, a businessman who lives in the north but has deep roots in the south, faces unforeseen moral consequences when he takes in bad boy Rosario, who becomes fast friends with his disaffected son. IRON LADIES Thailand, 2000. Director: Yongyooth

Thongkongtoon Thurs., June 7, 7:15 p.m., Pacific Place Sun., June 10, 4:00 p.m., Egyptian SIFF SEZ Based on a true story, this warm-hearted comedy follows a "Khatuey" (ladyboys) team to the 1996 Thai male national volleyball championships. When a lovelorn transvestite and a raucous drag queen make the team in open tryouts, all the team members resign. Friends are recruited and the one teammate who stays on, resolutely straight Chai, learns tolerance, while the new "ladyboy" members learn to sacrifice vanity for team spirit. JACK THE DOG U.S.A., 2001. Director: Bobby Roth Cast: Peter Coyote, Thomas Gibson, Anthony

LaPaglia, Jrgen Prochnow Sat., June 9, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Mon., June 11, 12:00 p.m., Pacific Place SIFF SEZ In the '80s, Roth directed the superb Heartbreakers, a sexy, uncompromising look at men fleeing and searching for commitment. Continuing that exploration, Jack the Dog depicts a womanizer's struggle to grow up emotionally, adeptly avoiding the cliche of celebrating or condemning Jack's Peter Pan charm. In painfully honest terms, Roth follows his artist hero through the arc of easy sex, first marriage, fatherhood, and divorce, to finally arrive at the surprising catalyst for Jack's hard-won maturity. JACKPOT U.S.A., 2001. Director: Michael Polish Cast: Jon Gries, Daryl Hannah, Garrett Morris, Kool Moe Dee, Peggy Lipton Sat., June 16, 6:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Sun., June 17, 11:30 a.m., Harvard Exit Bomb. Whatever the virtues of their 99 Twin Falls Idaho, the Polish Brothers here deliver a sheer dud of an aimless, purposeless road movie. Dim-witted, no-talent singer Sunny (The Pretenders Gries) hits the low-rent karaoke contest circuit with his ineffectual manager (SNL Whatever happened to? trivia question Morris). Jackpot relishes the ambiance of tacky diner and truck-stop kitsch along the way, but completely fails to develop a story to support all the rhinestones and sequins. Theres a laugh or two as Sunny is forced to belt out Eyes Without a Face (in place of his beloved George Jones perennial Grand Tour), then the sickening realization sets in that this flick is taking up 92 minutes of your life that can never be reclaimed. Its like a PG-13-rated David Lynch movie where the fun, sick, and twisted stuff never arrives. Lipton, Edwards, and Hannah merely lend curiosity value to this future dust-gatherer at Blockbuster. World premiere. B.R.M. *JALLA! JALLA! Sweden, 2000. Director: Josef Fares Sat., June 16, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Sun., June 17, 6:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Though this movie—a huge hit in its native country—is certainly not without flaws, its still remarkable that a work of such sweet, silly humor and sympathy was made by a 23-year-old. Fares here explores the twisty, bramble-covered roads of romantic love, family loyalty, and the clash of cultures—throwing in plenty of naughty sex bits for good measure—told primarily through the eyes of his scrappy hero Roro (played by Fares own brother) and his friend Mans. Roro is a 20-year-old Lebanese immigrant madly in love with his blond Swedish girlfriend; his family, however, has other, more traditional romantic plans in mind for him. Aryan giant Mans, meanwhile, has his own problems of the, ahem, personal plumbing variety. The two plot lines soon intertwine with occasionally hilarious, sometimes ridiculous, but consistently engaging results. U.S. premiere. L.G. JIN-ROH: THE WOLF BRIGADE Japan, 1999. Director: Hiroyuki Okiura Tues., May

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