Captures Angst of Family Drama
Aching, disturbing, sometimes frightening in its authenticity, the Danish drama “Brothers” is an unforgettable portrait of an average little family with average little troubles torn apart by the bigger, harsher realities of life. The film flits seamlessly from sweet, quiet domestic scenes in Denmark to stark moments of brutality among U.N. forces in Afghanistan, eventually presenting greater horrors that erupt on the home front. David Germain reports for AP… [posted to indieWIRE Insider]
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Garcia Bernal Takes On Garcia Lorca In London
Gael Garcia Bernal is starring on stage in Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Blood Wedding.” In The Observer in London, Kate Kellaway talks with the actor: Gael plays Lorenzo, who is more an emotion than a character, driven by a sexual obsession that will – when he steals away with his former sweetheart on her wedding day to another man – prove fatal. Gael identifies with this: ‘Passion is inflammable, it can spark out into impetuous actions that lead to disaster in most…
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The Inspiration Behind “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” (by Jason Guerrasio, May 2, 2005)
The early 1970s in America marked the end of innocence with the battle for civil rights causing many deaths in the south, the Vietnam War becoming an obvious losing effort and Watergate not too far behind. Using this chaotic time as the backdrop for his chilling debut, Niels Mueller’s “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” explores one man’s tormented soul and his insane actions on a February morning.
In the film Sean Penn plays Sam Bicke, who from the outside looks like a regular working class guy fighting for the American dream. But when his wife (played by Naomi Watts) divorces him and his aspirations to start his own business falls apart, Bicke is suddenly at the end of his rope. Overwhelmed by the uneasiness of the country and his shattered life, Bicke comes to the conclusion that there’s one man responsible for his downfall: The President of the United States.
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Gregg Araki’s “Mysterious Skin” (by Erik Syngle, with Suzanne Scott and Kristi Mitsuda, May 3, 2005)
Full of assaultive punk attitude and armed with an arsenal of hip music and film references that could be momentarily arresting yet didn’t always add up to much, Gregg Araki’s string of sensationalist low-budget New Queer Cinema features in the Nineties aren’t very fondly remembered outside of Film Studies classes — and perhaps they weren’t meant to be. Araki’s aggressive, militantly queer, often violent and violently stylized movies were an inspiration to some, and purposefully alienating to others. Then he made a warm and funny little romantic comedy about a live-in MFM threesome called “Splendor” (1999) that might have been more subversive, honest, and optimistic in its treatment of “alternative lifestyles” than his overtly political work. Was it just a fluke?
It’s taken a long time to find out the answer (and in the meantime I may have forgotten why I wanted to know), but “Mysterious Skin” proves that, contrary to any reasonable expectations, Araki has matured. Based on a 1995 novel by Scott Heim, it’s Araki’s first film to come from a source other than his own original script, which suggests that perhaps all he ever needed was someone else’s material to help give shape to his real but undisciplined talent. At the same time, it manages to incorporate most of his familiar trademarks: aliens, teenage angst, jailbait TV stars, and loads of sex. What it adds, most notably, are the twin excellent lead performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet and an authentic sense of place (Hutchinson, Kansas) as opposed to his usual shoestring L.A. “nowhere.”
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