4 items from 2013
An estranged German father and son spar while gradually making their way toward reconciliation during a Morocco sojourn in Caroline Link’s “Exit Marrakech.” The exotic travelogue aspects only do so much to color an essentially familiar narrative arc, and journeying with these two prickly characters is unlikely to stir the same widespread enthusiasm that greeted the writer-director’s Oscar-winning “Nowhere in Africa.” In contrast to that sweeping expat epic, “Exit” is really a small-scale drama somewhat arbitrarily set against an expansive background, but one that ultimately satisfies on its own more modest, gracefully crafted terms. Sales should be hale in numerous territories.
About to turn 17, Ben (Samuel Schneider) is a talented aspiring writer of obvious intelligence, but also an apathetic student with an attitude problem, as his boarding-school principal (Josef Bierbichler) not unkindly tells him just before the place shutters for spring vacation. While most of his mates are »
- Dennis Harvey
Jonás and the wail
Alfonso Cuarón wrote the rapturously received opening-night film Gravity with his son, Jonás. There's a scene in the movie that involves Sandra Bullock desperately scanning her space radio to transmit a distress signal but only picking up a conversation with a stranger who identifies himself as Aningaaq. Gravity leaves this conversation dangling as a mystery, but at the opening-night party, Cuarón told me that this voice was in fact a real Inuit man whom his son had met while making a documentary in Greenland. The scene so intrigued that Jonas was inspired to make a short film about the other side of that conversation, shot from the Inuit's point of view, in Greenland. Bullock even provided her voiceover for it. The seven-minute short, called Aningaaq, »
- Jason Solomons
Starwood and Variety held their fifth annual pre-opening-day party on the rooftop terrace of the historic Hotel Danieli in Venice, where the theme this year was La Notte Dei Dreamers (Night of the Dreamers) in honor of Bernardo Bertolucci, jury president of the fest’s 70th edition.
Bertolucci, whose “The Dreamers” launched from the Lido in 2003, praised the highly creative party menu conceived by Starwood Venezia g.m. Antonello De’ Medici and his team, consisting of dishes dedicated, and inspired by, some of his films.
“It had never happened to me before to have my movies — their titles, their concepts — transformed into delicious different interpretations done by chefs,” he said.
The lavish spread included »
- Nick Vivarelli
Bernardo Bertolucci's first offering in a decade is a lightweight, disappointing affair
Between 1962, when he made his feature debut with The Grim Reaper, a Rashomon-style thriller scripted by Pasolini, up to 1990, when he directed an underrated adaptation of Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky, Bertolucci was responsible for some of the finest films of our time. The greatest perhaps was The Conformist, which brought together Marx and Freud in provocative and persuasive ways. Since then, however, his films have been woolly and lightweight, and Me and You, his first picture since illness confined him to a wheelchair 10 years ago, is equally disappointing.
His last movie, The Dreamers of 2003, was a reworking of Cocteau's Les enfants terribles in 1960s Paris. Me and You continues this hermetic, semi-incestuous theme with the 14-year-old Lorenzo living a clandestine life with his drug-addicted, 25-year-old half-sister, Olivia, in the basement of the Rome flat of his divorced mother. »
- Philip French
4 items from 2013
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