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Everyday poetry by Anne-Katrin Titze

Marc Turtletaub (with producer Wren Arthur) on Catholicism in Puzzle and an Alfonso Cuarón film: "I want it to be in the background, much like when you watch Y Tu Mamá También." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Puzzle, co-written by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann, stars Kelly Macdonald (Joe Wright's Anna Karenina), Irrfan Khan (Ang Lee's Life Of Pi), and David Denman with Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, and Liv Hewson. Based on an Argentinian film, Natalia Smirnoff's Rompecabezas, starring María Onetto (Damián Szifron's Wild Tales), first-time director and long-time producer Marc Turtletaub, sets up his protagonist's life with an elegant and surprising opening sequence that makes us understand in a flash the dynamics between Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) and her nearest and dearest and propels us into the personal riddles to be explored.

Puzzle co-screenwriter Oren Moverman with his The Dinner and Time Out of Mind star Richard Gere Photo:
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

"United Red Army" + Vampires, Sequels and More

Of course there'll be another roundup on The Tree of Life. But first, let's give a little breathing room to some of the other films opening this Memorial Day Weekend.

"The extreme leftists of the 1960s and 70s who sought to change the world one bomb at a time might have been unhappy to know that their revolutionary legacy is doing nice business at that bourgeois temple, the art house," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. "It's a legacy that in recent years and specifically since 9/11 has been romanticized and critiqued in movies like The Motorcycle Diaries (a prehistory involving the young Che Guevara); Che (about his campaigns in Cuba and Bolivia); The Baader Meinhof Complex (German leftists who embraced violence); Good Morning, Night (the kidnapping of the former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades); Carlos (the Venezuelan Marxist turned mercenary). United Red Army tells much the same story,
See full article at MUBI »

Film: Movie Review: Puzzle

The marvelous Argentinean actor María Onetto is adept at playing women whose facades are on the verge of crumbling in ways evident to the audience, even if the characters around them don’t notice. Puzzle, the feature debut of writer-director Natalia Smirnoff, isn’t as ambitious, confounding, or excellent as the last film in which Onetto appeared on U.S. screens, Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman. But it does offer another showcase for Onetto to have what’s essentially an unnoticed breakdown amid an affectionate but oblivious family. In the opening sequence, Onetto’s meek housewife is frantically ...
See full article at The AV Club »

This week's new cinema reviews

Crazy Heart (15)

(Scott Cooper, 2009, Us) Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall. 112 mins

Everyone loves Jeff Bridges, don't they? And everyone would like to see him win an Oscar this year, it seems, just like we did with Mickey Rourke last year. Ok, so that didn't work out, but here's this year's Wrestler: another tale of a weary, all-American icon in need of rehabilitation. Bridges's washed-up country singer is drowning his regrets with whisky and playing bowling alleys, until he finds the love of a good (young) woman and confronts his demons. It's not quite the same old story, if only because of Bridges. And the basic plot gives him plenty of room to stretch out and charm us all. How can the Academy resist?

The Lovely Bones (12A)

(Peter Jackson, 2009, Us/UK/Nz) Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Rachel Weisz. 135 mins

Jackson looks to have spent too long chewing over his next masterpiece here,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Sleepwalker Awakes

  • IFC
The Sleepwalker Awakes
Bearing the sulphurous odor of a film artist with very particular and often well-hated views on how much visual narrative should mean and how little it should actually show or "make" us feel a certain way, Lucrecia Martel has made only three features, but immediately, at 35 with "La Ciénaga" (2001), she had a unique vocabulary and a unique voice. (She's also become, for whatever difference it might make, arguably the world's greatest working woman filmmaker.)

Sure, she falls into the neo-minimalist catalogue -- an idiotic label, given how inhabited and rich and unsolvable so many of those films are, by Tsai or Reygadas or Weerasethakul or Costa or whomever. But Martel's movies are entirely hers, breathtakingly sustained essays in unease that lance the cyst of our pressurized anxieties better than any genre film, as well as being experiments in how to experience story -- as spectacle, which is how Hollywood has come to define cinema,
See full article at IFC »

The Best Films of 2009

  • IFC
The Best Films of 2009
Matt Singer: We entered 2009 with a new president who promised to bring our country hope. But looking back at the year in film, I don't see a lot of hope; I see a lot of grief and despair. Oh sure, the box office charts were dominated by your now-typical assortment of franchises, spin-offs, reboots and sequels -- a major cause of grief and despair for some -- but you also had enough apocalypse movies to fill a book on Biblical prophecy. Even some of the obligatory superheroes got dark: the world (spoiler alert!) doesn't end in "Watchmen," but it comes awfully close.

There was an air of doom in certain quarters of the film industry this year too, as the effects of the bad economy rippled through everything from festival attendance to the shriveling ranks of working film critics. Examining my own list of the year's best, I find that
See full article at IFC »

The Headless Woman

Release Date: Aug. 21

Director: Lucrecia Martel

Writer: Lucrecia Martel

Starring: María Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Inés Efron, Daniel Genoud

Cinematographer: Bárbara Álvarez

Studio/Run Time: Strand Releasing, 87 mins.

The story of a figuratively, mysteriously decapitated driver

I didn’t realize at first how closely I was supposed to be watching The Headless Woman, the third film by Lucrecia Martel. Boys are playing near a dusty road with their dog; somewhere else, women are chatting after a luncheon and corralling their kids into cars; then one of those women is driving along the largely deserted, rural road seen earlier. She’s alone. She reaches for her cell phone. She runs over something large. After coming to a stop, she stares at the interior of her car as if she’s afraid to consult the rearview mirror, as if she’s trying to swallow an incriminating document. It sticks in the throat. Are
See full article at PasteMagazine »

Lucrecia Martel, The Headless Woman

MARÍA Onetto In Director Lucrecia Martel'S The Headless Woman. Courtesy Strand Releasing. Over the course of the past decade, Lucrecia Martel has established herself as one of the most gifted and original filmmakers around. The Argentine auteur was born in Salta, a city in the northwest of Argentina, in 1966, and spent her teenage years capturing much of her family's daily life on film. In 1986, she studied Communication Science and had stints at two film schools, Avellaneda Experimental, studying animation, and the National Experimentation Filmmaking School in Buenos Aires. However because she never finished her film studies (one of those schools shut down due to lack of funds), she ultimately completed her cinematic education on her...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

A Head Without a Heart

  • IFC
When each successive film from a new, audacious talent seems richer and more rewarding than the one before, it can sometimes be hard to tell whether the director is steadily improving or it's simply taking you some time and effort to learn how to watch his/her movies. Argentina's Lucrecia Martel arrived on the international film scene eight years ago with her unique style already fully formed; as much as I admired "La Ciénaga"'s exactingly off-kilter compositions and oppressively incestuous tone, though, I couldn't find much of interest lurking beneath that surface mastery. It took two viewings for "The Holy Girl" (2004), Martel's sophomore effort, to win me over, and even then I didn't fully understand why certain oblique, uninflected shots were doing such a harrowing number on my nervous system. Now along comes her magnificently confounding "The Headless Woman," and I officially surrender. Maybe she's finally put it all together,
See full article at IFC »

Basterds, the Ira and the real Mad Men

  • IFC
Another monster release slate this week finds, amongst other things, interpretations of the Irish troubles, both real and imagined. Also, we meet the real life Mad Men, Qt's Basterds and the godfather of African-American indie film as a bearded ten-year-old boy.

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"Art & Copy"

Filmmaker Doug Pray ("Surfwise") goes inside the advertising industry to uncover the creative minds behind such iconic slogans as "Got Milk?" and "Just Do It," encountering a multitude of contrasting viewpoints, from those who feel they have whored themselves out in the name of commerce to those hopelessly addicted to the rush of satisfying the constantly changing needs of the modern world. Don Draper, eat your heart out.

Opens in New York.

"The Baader Meinhof Complex"

This year's German nominee for the best foreign-language film Oscar, Uli Edel's adaptation of
See full article at IFC »

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