A-J | K-Q | R-Z *recommended ABANDONED

Hungary, 2001. Director: Arpad Sopsits

Sat., June 1, 6:30 p.m., Harvard Exit

Sun., June 2, 9:30 p.m., Broadway


SIFF 2002 Films: A-J

A-J | K-Q | R-Z *recommended ABANDONED

Hungary, 2001. Director: Arpad Sopsits

Sat., June 1, 6:30 p.m., Harvard Exit

Sun., June 2, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall You've seen one bleak, depressing, Dickensian orphanage movie, you've seen them all. Even though Abandoned is a powerful, well-wrought, autobiographical tale of a miserable Cold War boyhood in 1960 Hungary, it's the same damn movie you've sat through countless times before. Our hero is beaten, abused, and victimized. He cowers, flees, and weeps. He makes friends and enemies, feels the faint inklings of sex, glimpses a naked woman, and steals his first kiss (with a boy, it should be noted). In short, despite his horrid circumstances, 9-year-old Aron gradually comes of age. Abandoned is so heavy-handed in its pathos that it begins with an inscription from Nietzsche—"Woe to those who have no home"—and gets even darker from there. Flashbacks to his mother (blind? dead?) periodically torment the young lad who, with his fellow orphan inmates, collectively symbolize a parentless nation suffering under brutal, illegitimate communist rule. Brian Miller ABC AFRICA

Iran, 2001. Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Fri., May 24, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Sun., May 26, 11:30 a.m., Pacific Place So green, so red, so fertile—how is it that Uganda has been the seat of so much suffering? What went wrong? Long after the exile of Idi Amin, master Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami takes a fact-finding visit to the unhappy equatorial African country and produces this impressionistic video diary. The resulting documentary is both characteristically cryptic and deeply compelling. By and large, Ugandans speak for themselves in lilting English (with subtitles), describing a horrific epidemic of AIDS-caused deaths and the resulting 1.6 million orphans among a population of 22 million. It's an incredibly powerful, disturbing film, although Kiarostami doesn't help his cause by resorting to CARE-level images of saucer-eyed children and essentialist sequences in which orphans dance and sing to inscrutably joyous rhythms. An altruistic Austrian couple's adoption of one adorable little girl provides a somewhat hopeful coda to Africa, but as Kiarostami himself dryly intones, "Our only good fortune is that we humans can adapt to anything." Some consolation. B.R.M. *AFGHAN ALPHABET

Iran, 2001. Director: Moshen Makhmalbaf

Sun., June 2, 6:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Wed., June 5, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall "A-B," the children repeat, again and again. These are the first two letters of the Afghan alphabet, and, not so coincidentally, they also sound out as the word for "water." In his new documentary, Makhmalbaf (Kandahar) elegantly points out the connection between the two: education and the source of life. Leaving Kandahar, Makhmalbaf journeys to the border of Iran and Afghanistan to examine the educational crisis of young Afghan refugees. Urgently shot on digital video during the U.S. campaign, this poetic film captures impromptu classes taking place out in the open—as well as those children eager to learn but left on the sidelines because they lack official identification papers. Makhmalbaf is most interested, however, in one nervous girl who refuses to remove her burqa in class for fear of retribution, even though she is out of Taliban hands. Although she cannot see the lesson through her head covering, it feels better to be blind than condemned. Anthony Kaufman AGITATOR

Japan, 2001. Director: Miike Takashi

Fri., June 7, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place

Sun., June 9, 4:00 p.m., Pacific Place Agitator may firmly belong to the Japanese yakuza genre, but it clearly took most of its cues from the Don of all organized crime films: The Godfather. Here we have rival crime families, violence begetting more violence, a kidnapping of a rival advisor, a similarly lengthy runtime, and even some tarantella music. Yet Miikes Corleone-like saga doesnt offer any surprises either thematically or visually, and Agitator loses steam long before its finish. If theres a significant difference in approach at work, its the recasting of the protagonist as action hero. Here, its not so much the family that you dont want to go against, but the squinting bad-ass who absolutely refuses to compromise his loyaltiesor to employ any of the buttons on his shirt. Those familiar with Miikes previous work may be a bit surprised by his restraint (excluding a very unsettling rape scene). Theres plenty of blood, but he skips the guts. U.S. premiere. Paul Fontana *ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU

Japan, 2001. Director: Shunji Iwai

Thurs., June 6, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place

Wed., June 12, 1:00 p.m., Cinerama Shot on film and DV and drenched in shimmering color, Lily plunges the audience into the excesses of contemporary Japanese pop culture—its state-of-the-art gadgetry, its obsession with money and status, its speed-of-lightning shifts in trends, its worship of celebrity—in order to guide us through the treacherous paths of modern adolescence. No other "youth culture" film in recent memory has been as harrowing, draining, or truthful. At the story's center is 14-year-old Yuichi, a sensitive boy with a crush on the most popular and talented girl at his school. To escape the pressure of both hormones and middle-school savagery, he retreats into worship of the vaguely goth pop singer Lily Chou-Chou. Lily's rabidly devoted fans commune via chat rooms, where they dissect the world, offer solace to their wounded brethren, and pay tribute to their tortured goddess. Scored to both Debussy and haunting Japanese pop, Lily's emotional undertow swells until it threatens to engulf the viewer. Ernest Hardy AMERICAN GUN

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Alan Jacobs

Cast: James Coburn, Virginia Madsen, Barbara Bain

Thurs., June 13, 9:30 p.m., Cinerama

Sat., June 15, 1:45 p.m., Egyptian The idea of tracing the disparate personal stories linked by successive ownership of a handgun isnt new, and Gun breaks little new ground. Aged WWII vet Martin (Coburn) and wife (Bain) suffer a family tragedy in their idyllic Vermont small town, prompting him to follow the .357 magnums fateful journey from the factory to his home. His black-and-white memories punctuate a mere two unrelated stories he discovers in Miami and L.A. Meanwhile, his troubled granddaughter goes missing and his wife frets about his obsession (Hes on a crusade!). Coburns grizzled face and arthritis-gnarled hands lend poignancy to this final quest, but his talents are poorly served by a flashback-dependent screenplay that annoyingly misleads the viewer. Insipid, twinkly piano music, routine videography, and slow pacing make Gun more suitable for PBS than theaters. B.R.M. THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Jordan Susman

Cast: John Savage

Fri., June 14, 7:00 p.m., Pacific Place

Sun., June 16, 1:45 p.m., Harvard Exit Heres a heartwarming coming-of-age tale about the Dallas, Texas adventures of Puck, an honor student-turned-anarchist who loses his comfortable lifestyle as part of an anarchist collective, finds love with a sadomasochistic sorority girl, and saves the world from mass destruction. If youre confused, youre on the right track. Joyously, Puck is played (and played well) by Devon Gummersall, a.k.a. Brian Krakow of mid-90s My So Called Life fame, making any confusion well worthwhile. The anarchist collective is a group of well-meaning, relatively peaceful radicals who live together in a dilapidated house. Enter the villain, Johnny Black, a darker breed of anarchist with an MIT education and a heart of evil. Things get messy when Johnny leads our heroes astray from their peaceful political protests and down a darker path of violence and cyber-terrorism. Puck fights back. And picks up a freaky Republican girlfriend. World premiere. Katie Millbauer ANGELUS

Poland, 2001. Director: Lech Majewski

Sun., June 9, 1:45 p.m., Egyptian

Tues., June 11, 7:00 p.m., Egyptian Thoroughly and rather inscrutably Polish, Angelus makes a fable of Poland's 20th-century history. In it, caricatures of Hitler and Stalin mix with angels, saints, and a kooky band of sun-worshipping cultists who believe a ray from Saturn will destroy the planet. In a world director Majewski renders in stylized, eccentric tableaus, this eschatology seems fairly reasonable—even if it means a naked, virginal teen boy must be sacrificed to absorb the ray and save the Earth. (Is he a Christ figure? Well, Angelus is fairly well suffused with religious symbolism, so you do the math.) This guileless chosen one narrates the decades-spanning tale, which often suggests a gentler kind of Emir Kustericia-style absurdist nationalism (see Underground) shorn of sex and violence. What lies next for Poland after the horrors of WWII and repression of the communist era? How will the world end? Judged by the movie (if not its prophecies), more with a whimper than a bang. B.R.M. ASOKA THE GREAT

India, 2001. Director: Santosh Sivan

Thurs., May 30, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian

Tues., June 11, 1:00 p.m., Cinerama A third-century emperor falls in love, is betrayed, and becomes a tyrant. BANG BANG YOU'RE DEAD

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Guy Ferland

Fri., June 7, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Sat., June 15, 6:30 p.m., Cinerama

Sun., June 16, 4:00 p.m., Cinerama What causes high-school violence? Find out. World premiere. BEIJING ROCKS

Hong Kong, 2001. Director: Mabel Cheung

Mon., June 10, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian

Wed., June 12, 7:00 p.m., Pacific Place A rock-and-roll fairy tale set in the context of China's takeover of Hong Kong. U.S. premiere. *BIGGIE AND TUPAC

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Nick Broomfield

Sun., June 2, 4:00 p.m., Pacific Place

Tues., June 4, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian At once a meditation on rap culture and an investigation of the exploitation of that culture, this extraordinary documentary traces the lives and violent deaths of former friends Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace (Biggie Smalls), an exploration that ranges from L.A. to N.Y.C., from the insistent calls for justice by Wallace's mother to the unnerving threats, veiled and unveiled, by Suge Knight. Unexpectedly moving and tough-minded, at times even wildly, carelessly brave, this is the film that Broomfield (Kurt and Courtney) has been working toward since he started down the documentary path. If the director makes it through the year alive—and given some of the revelations he secures, principally from friends of Wallace/Smalls who, out of love for the dead rapper and his mother, prove incredibly candid—Broomfield will have made not just the best film of his career but one of the gutsier documentaries in memory. Manohla Dargis BLACK PICKET FENCE

U.S.A., 2001. Director: Sergio Goes

Thurs., May 30, 7:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Fri., May 31, 4:30 p.m., Harvard Exit A young rapper gets to know his ghetto. BLUE GATE CROSSING

Taiwan/Hong Kong, 2001. Director: Yi Chih-yen

Fri., June 14, 7:00 p.m., Harvard Exit

Sun., June 16, 11:30 a.m., Harvard Exit Three Taipei high-school students explore their sexual desires, only to become more confused. U.S. premiere. BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

U.S.A., 1974. Director: Sam Peckinpah

Cast: Warren Oates, Gig Young

Fri., June 14, 4:30 p.m., Egyptian Mexico, 1974: where a million bucks goes a long way. One investment option involves hiring a gang to hunt down the guy who knocked up a wealthy landowner's daughter. The outraged father wants the offending cabeza delivered to him, pronto! Living the life of a scuzzy bartender catering to tourists, Bennie (Oates) jumps at the chance for a cut of the profits. He hits the road with his call girl sweetheart to find Alfredo, who's already dead—not a good sign of things to come. Violence and brutality are interspersed with moments of surprising beauty in the most unusual and demanding film of Peckinpah's career. Although Head starts off a bit shaky, watching Bennie transform himself from an alcoholic lowlife into an alcoholic avenger is never dull. Some consider the movie to be an allegory of Peckinpah's time in Hollywood—or a paraphrase of the Orpheus myth. Either way, it's a worthwhile investment. Rob Andrews BRITNEY BABY, ONE MORE TIME

U.S.A./Netherlands/France, 2001.

Director: Ludi Boeken

Sun., May 26, 1:45 p.m., Harvard Exit

Tues., May 28, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Ludi Boeken's deliciously titled comedy positions Mark Borchardt and Mike Schank, the subjects of the documentary American Movie (itself a kind of self-fulfilling fame game), as the "stars" of a road movie "based on a true story," playing documentarians who attempt to pass off a male Britney Spears impersonator (Robert Stephens playing himself) as the genuine article. The conceptual frisson sustains the movie briefly, but the writing and directing are so flat-footed you expect Jay and Silent Bob to show up any minute. (It doesn't help that Stephens looks more like Tina Yothers.) Dennis Lim BROTHER

Hong Kong, 2001. Director: Yan Yan Mak

Thurs., June 6, 7:00 p.m., Harvard Exit

Fri., June 7, 4:30 p.m., Harvard Exit A young man travels through the northern Chinese wilderness in search of his brother. U.S. premiere. BUNGALOW

Germany, 2002. Director: Ulrich Kohler

Fri., May 24, 4:30 p.m., Harvard Exit

Mon., May 27, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit A German soldier hitches a ride home, where things aren't exactly peaceful. BUTTERFLY SMILE

China, 2001. Director: He Jian Jun

Thurs., June 13, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit

Sat., June 15, 1:45 p.m., Harvard Exit Don't invoke Hitchcock unless you mean business. Playing with themes of voyeurism, photography, and the fetishizing power of the male gaze ࠬa Rear Window, Smile turns out to offer very little in the way of suspense or humor over the course of a very slow 90 minutes. An amateur photographer becomes smitten with a model-turned-designer, then is unwittingly hired by her jealous husband to spy on her. Adultery and blackmail must surely follow, right? Wrong. The designer nearly kills a cyclist in a late-night traffic accident observed only by the photographer, who neglects to report this incident to either the police or his client. He just keeps staring at her and taking pictures, occasionally calling her in her dress shop to pluck her guilty conscience. She feels bad, but not that bad. The movie never gets much more interesting than that, and our rather lumpy hero never emerges as a compellingly hard-boiled private eye. U.S. premiere. B.R.M. *A CAB FOR THREE

Chile, 2001. Director: Orlando Lbbert

Mon., May 27, 4:00 p.m., Harvard Exit

Wed., May 29, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit Think you've got problems? Taxi driver Ulises can barely make the payments on his unreliable Russian-made Lada, let alone scare up paying passengers. Worse, he's abducted by two hooligans who inquire, "Steer or trunk?" Forced to act as their chauffeur on an odyssey of bungling but lucrative robberies, our hero learns to enjoy having cash in his hands, altering the dynamic among the bickering trio. Ulises has a family and wife (Nelly, like Penelope, who also sews like the wife of Ulysses in Homeric myth), and he's totally unprepared for the two goons to ingratiate themselves at his home with gifts and charm. Soon raspy-voiced Chavelo and young, dim Coto are like members of his own family; then they talk about going straight! What about the money? And the cop on their trail? Although it lurches somewhat unsteadily between comedy and drama, Cab is—like the Lada—a surprisingly sturdy and effective vehicle. B.R.M. *THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

Germany, 1919. Director: Robert Wiene

Mon., June 10, 7:00 p.m., Egyptian The period we now call German Expressionism only lasted about 18 months, but few art fads have cast such long shadows. For most people, Robert Wiene's shocker is about all they know of the movement and, except for specialists, all they'll ever need to know. With a genuinely disturbing dreamlike storyline about a sleepwalker, a murderer, and a (possibly) mad doctor, plus a cast of the day's top film actors, Caligari has managed to creep viewers out for more than 80 years despite fuzzy, choppy prints and cheesy stock musical scores. This is mainly due to the queasy atmosphere created by the deliberately crude, out-of-kilter sets and costumes by Walter R�g, Walter Reimann, and Hermann Warm—like Chagall illustrations for a Kafka fable. Here Caligari will be accompanied by the Olympia band I.Q.U. Roger Downey CAMEL(S)

South Korea, 2001. Director: Park Ki-yong

Wed., June 12, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Sat., June 15, 6:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Dinner conversation becomes flirting and, eventually, love is made in a motel. U.S. premiere. CATCHING OUT

U.S.A. (Seattle), 2002. Director: Sarah George

Sun., May 26, 4:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Wed., May 29, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Remember those late-night infomercials for Boxcar Willie? His spirit lives on in this sloppy but genial documentary about modern-day hobos who continue to ride the rails. The focus here is on new-school, punk-influenced tramps with little regard for history. For them, hopping a train is all about vaguely understood notions of freedom. ("He helped me drop out of college," says one wastrel of her boyfriend.) All those profiled share a certain anarchist affinity for the Ted Kaczynski cabin-in-the-woods lifestyle. One guy publishes a zine, Hobos From Hell, and has some interesting things to say, but Catching does a terrible job of identifying its subjects and organizing their stories and significance. Yet we do come to appreciate how this scruffy lot enjoys what one hobo-lawyer-author (!) calls "an omniscient observer situation [enjoying] mile after mile of watching the American panorama pass by." World premiere. B.R.M. CHERISH

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Finn Taylor

Cast: Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Priestly, Liz Phair

Fri., May 24, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place

Sat., May 25, 4:00 p.m., Pacific Place This slow-building piffle of a romantic comedy/ thriller swings between careful character development and wild leaps of common sense—if not to say disbelief. Its gimmick is that a lovely San Francisco computer animator (Tunney) is so geeky-manic on first dates that she never gets any further. Naturally the one night she does turns disastrous: She's kidnapped and becomes the getaway driver of a car that kills a policeman. Then, under house arrest with an electronic bracelet monitor (in a loft with room enough for cute roller-skating scenes), she has weeks to kill before her trial. For company, she has only policeman Tim Blake Nelson to break the housebound tedium. (Pick up a book? Are you crazy?) You can write it from there. Tunney is charm itself; the movie seems to have been made for its '80s-heavy pop score, and the vacuousness is deafening. Sheila Benson CHICKEN RICE WAR

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Finn Taylor

Wed., May 29, 7:00 p.m., Egyptian

Sat., June 1, 11:30 a.m., Egyptian The Wongs and the Changs fight like Montagues and Capulets, so it's apt when their children are cast in a university production of Romeo and Juliet. *CHINATOWN

U.S.A., 1974. Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Sun., May 26, 4:00 p.m., Egyptian Though set in the '30s, it's no accident that this classic, melancholy study of power and corruption arrived in 1974. Polanski and his Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne were then both showbiz rebels chafing at the restrictions of stodgy, embattled, out-of-touch studios. Appropriately, Huston's evil water baron Noah Cross is a mogul scheming to preserve and profit from a system—like Hollywood itself—that's rotten to the core. Nicholson, too, was also part of the Easy Rider generation intent on topping the old regime, and with Chinatown they nearly achieved that feat. His gumshoe J.J. Gittes is at once amoral and principled, an heir to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but his mounting disgust heightens the traditional insider/outsider status of the private eye. The more he learns about the power structure of L.A., the less he wants to do with it. Chinatown is the first of six titles in SIFF's '70s sidebar. B.R.M. *CINEMANIA

U.S.A., 2001. Directors: Angela Christlieb,

Stephen Kijak

Thurs., May 30, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Fri., May 31, 7:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall SIFF full-series pass holders, look in the mirror. If, like this film critic, you more than occasionally wonder about your health and sanity, this documentary provides a frightening portrait of your obsessive habit. Profiling a half-dozen of N.Y.C.'s most avid film fans, Cinemania describes a pallid, insular, and proudly daylight-averse demographic of hard-core moviegoers. For such cinematic devotion, "You pay a price," says Jack, one of the most articulate, rueful, self-aware subjects—a man who claims to have once seen 1,000 pictures in a month. His less socially adept comrades display alarming signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, as shown in some scary home visits by the filmmakers. (But, hey, we've all had bad housekeeping days.) The more important fact here is that these people love movies! Everyone in Cinemania is such a recognizable New Yorker that ex-residents will share Jack's indignation at a parade that blocks his taxi's progress to yet another screening. "What day is today?" he snaps impatiently. We know the feeling. World premiere. B.R.M. *THE COCKETTES

U.S.A., 2002. Directors: Bill Weber, David Weissman

Wed., May 29, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian

Fri., May 31, 9:30 p.m., Harvard Exit This documentary profiles the titular late-'60s drag-performance troupe, an influential bunch of ragtag dropouts who started with scrappy musical entertainments at San Fran's Palace Theatre before bombing on Broadway in '71. Using terrific archival footage and engaging interviews, Cockettes relates not only the short, dizzying history of the group itself, but the courageous dreams of an entire generation. So much is here, in fact, that the exhaustive reach can wear you down, and you can also quibble that not a few of these adventurers would have made for very annoying company. Never mind, though—the journey traced here is an exhilarating celebration of androgyny, pansexuality, social liberation, and the potential for people to make their lives as colorful as their reveries. "It was complete sexual anarchy," says interviewee John Waters, whose films first took off at the Palace, "which is always a wonderful thing." Steve Wiecking CQ

U.S.A., 2001. Director: Roman Coppola

Cast: Jeremy Davies, Billy Zane

Sat., June 1, 6:30 p.m., Pacific Place

Sun., June 2, 1:45 p.m., Pacific Place In this directorial debut by Roman Coppola (yes, he's related), a young filmmaker prepares to make a Barbarella-type sex-in-space extravaganza. THE CUBAN GAME

Spain/Cuba, 2001. Director: Manuel Martin Cuenca

Mon., June 10, 9:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Sat., June 15, 4:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall A bit like Buena Vista Social Club (only with less music), this documentary achieves its best moments by simply letting old Cuban baseball players discuss their love of the game—both pre- and postrevolution. "Baseball was my life," says one aged pelotero; excellent newsreel clips and photos help communicate that enthusiasm. Fidel Castro's love of the diamond is also explored, and Game usefully recounts how the American-imported sport achieved political as well as popular significance in the mid-19th century. "There was something subversive about baseball," explains a Yale professor, "because it was opposed to the Spanish." Once that colonial power left, ours took over, and Game is considerably less successful in its anti-Yankee bias. Sure, our Cold War trade embargo is indefensible today, but the documentary spares Castro any blame for his misguided economic policies and brutal repression. As Yankees star Orlando "El Duque" Hernᮤez says of his former compatriots, "They should open their eyes." The filmmakers, too. U.S. premiere. B.R.M. *DADDY & PAPA

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Johnny Symons

Thurs., June 6, 7:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Sat., June 8, 4:00 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall If you're a gay man who's considering raising kids or a straight person who's curious about the queer parenting phenomenon, see this thorough, insightful documentary. Its subjects express how becoming a dad utterly transformed their lives. A former activist for whom kids were an "alien concept" realizes that "my most revolutionary act would be the most traditional thing in the world." A single dad tells of the loneliness of a life devoted solely to children. We also learn how white gay men most often adopt African-American kids. Yet Daddy spends surprisingly little time on the political struggle involved in being a queer parent. When it does, we see it's not only heteros who are oppressors. One of the saddest scenes is when two dads and their toddler learn that Gay Day at an amusement park means all the kids' rides are closed. (Shows with Hope Along the Wind.) David Massengill THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS

U.S.A., 2002. Director: Peter Care

Cast: Kieran Culkin, Jodie Foster, Vincent D'Onofrio

Sun., June 2, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place

Tues., June 4, 9:30 p.m., Pacific Place Every decade coughs up another small, heartfelt tale of coming-of-age while Catholic (recall 1985s Heaven Help Us), since puberty and sin are so necessarily bound together. Set in the mid-70s and based on the 1992 novel by Chris Fuhrman (who died in 91), Boys parochial school boys express hormones and hatred of their teachers (including Foster and DOnofrio) in a crude notebook-paper comic book that springs to animated life under the pen of Spawns Todd McFarlane. These symbolic, oversized adventures also contrast with troubled home lives that the boys regularly escape for brushy lairs and abandoned warehouses. Endlessly biking around town, furtively drinking and smoking, bragging about half-understood girls, and stealing religious icons, our two heroes (Emile Hirsch and Culkin) never stop being boyseven when confronted with the hypocrisy, cruelty, and sexuality of the adult world. Though fundamentally familiar, Boys captures the longings and frustrations of early adolescence with respectful restraint. B.R.M. *DARK WATER

Japan, 2002. Director: Hideo Nakata

Fri., June 14, 9:30 p.m., Egyptian

Sat., June 15, midnight, Egyptian Jaws tagged itself as the movie that kept people out of the ocean; Water may be the movie that keeps them away from household plumbing. Ring director Hideo Nakatas eerie thriller is the cinematic equivalent of Chinese water tortureall the dripping water is merely tedious at first; but as it continues, strange and frightening things start happening to your head. The story of a divorc饠and her young daughter who move into an aging apartment building, Water lifts the tone and plenty of its material from The Shining yet maintains an original vision throughout, then delivers a climax more chilling than Kubricks. Nakata lazily veers a bit too far into the paranormal with a sloppy ending, and some unfortunate scoring ultimately diminish Waters weight, but that doesnt ruin the final effect. Theres no gore on display here, although the disturbing images will keep you up at night. U.S. premiere. P.F. DAVID HOCKNEY, SECRET KNOWLEDGE

Great Britain, 2001. Director: Randall Wright

Sat., May 25, 11:30 a.m., Broadway Perf. Hall

Fri., May 31, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Perf. Hall Hockney's theory of how the old great painters faked it. *DAYS OF HEAVEN

U.S.A., 1978. Director: Terrence Malick

Cast: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz

Fri., May 31, 4:30 p.m., Egyptian They don't shoot them the way they used to—or perhaps not since Heaven's Oscar-winning cinematographer N鳴or Almendros died in 1992. Heaven was his first American picture, which he and Malick filmed mostly during the "golden hour" so beloved of directors of photography, when the light is low in the sky, early and late in the day. (To be fair, the great Haskell

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