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Description: Harper is brought to Louisiana to investigate an attempted blackmail scheme. He later finds out that it involves an old flame of his and her daughter. He eventually finds himself caught in a power struggle between the matriarch of the family and a greedy oil baron, who wants their property. Terrible Harper! Things are not as straight-forward as they initially appeared.
Description: The rituals of courtship, romantic rivalry and love enjoy out three times as a boy vies with a villain for the girl. In the Stone Age, the rivalry is set off by dinosaurs, a turtle used as a ouija board, and a round of golf with stones. In ancient Rome, the boys display their brawn through a chariot race, using dogs instead of horses. In contemporary times, the boy finds himself overcome by modernity, including a very fragile car.
Description: A ten year old woman called Angela leads her six year old sister, Ellie, through different regimens of 'purification' in an attempt to rid themselves of their evil, which she believes to be the cause of their mother's mental illness. Precocious, to tell the least, Angela has visions of Lucifer coming to take her and her sister away, and one of her remedies for this is for them to remain within a circle of their dolls and toys until they see a vision of the virgin Mary come to them. But such thinking can only lead to an ending befitting of her own mental state.
Description: An uninterrupted rehersal of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" played out by a company of actors. The setting is their run down theater with an unusable scene and crumbling ceiling. The enjoy is shown act by act with the briefest of breaks to transport props or for refreshments. The lack of costumes, true props and scenery is later forgotten.
Description: There's tiny wonder in the working-class lives of Bill, Eileen, and their three grown daughters. They're lonely Londoners. Nadia, a cafe waitress, territories private ads, looking for love; Debbie, a single mom, entertains boys at the hair salon after hours; her son spends part of the weekend with her ex, a boy with a hair-trigger temper. Molly is expecting her first baby and its father acts as if the responsibility is too much for him.
Description: Carol, a typical upper middle-class housewife, starts to complain of vague symptoms of illness. She "doesn't feel right," has unexplained headaches, congestion, a dry cough, nosebleeds, vomiting, and problem breathing. Her family doctor treats her concerns dismissively and suggests a psychiatrist. Eventually, an allergist says her that she has Environmental Illness.
Description: Ida lives difficult and quick with too much drinking and a string of boyfriends, Sandor has very several mates and his mother insists that he practices ballet. They meet in a chat room and despite appearances they explore they have much in common. Sandor and Ida lives in various towns and when Sandor unexpectedly visits her it ends with disaster.
Description: Cafundó is a 35 mm color movie which blends fact with fiction in the life of João de Camargo, a former black slave (1858-1942, Sorocaba, Brazil) who, in his old age, works miracles and devotes himself to assisting others in order to attain his freedom. João de Camargo represents the genesis of religious and cultural syncretism in Brazil.
Description: Abstract, beautifully photographed and nearly silent but for limited narration, this plotless arthouse outing from Lithuanian cult movie director Sharunas Bartas pays tribute to a huge, old lakeside manor and Lithuanian culture.
Description: In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father's petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel Gabriel gotta school Joseph to agree Mary's pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God's plan through meditations that are sometimes mad and usually punctuated by elemental photos of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water.
Description: Vicious criminal Brad Mayfield takes pleasure in kidnapping, assault and murder. It is up to Officer Dan Burk to stop his lust for blood. The stakes of the minigame quickly rise when Burk becomes romantically involved with a pretty girl who happens to be Mayfield’s next victim. When Burk’s daughter is kidnapped, the situation goes from just a job to a race vs time to save his family.
Description: Each year the Chincoteague fire department rounds up the wild ponies of Assateague Island and holds an auction to thin out the herd. The young kids set out to raise enough cash in hopes that the Phantom will be caught in this years round up. They later realize they will receive more than they bargained for when the Phantom has a surprise for everyone: a foal called Misty.
Description: Chronicles three years of a middle class family seemingly caught up in their everyday routines, only troubled by minor incidents. Behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence however, they are now planning something sinister.
Description: Romero is a compelling and deeply moving look at the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who made the ultimate sacrifice in a passionate stand vs social injustice and oppression in his county. This fil chronicles the transformation of Romero from an apolitical, complacent priest to a committed leader of the Salvadoran people.
Description: Camille, a naive schoolgirl meets an intriguing influence in Joelle, a slightly older and much more experienced spirit. Camille follows her fresh mate through the discovery of sex and the darker side of life. As the movie progresses, Camille discovers AIDS and the fear that she may have picked up the illness in her early encounters.
Description: The young and patriotic student Demachy joins the French units in 1914 to defend his country. But he and his comrades later experience the terrifying, unlimited trench fight in Champagne, where more and more wooden crosses have to be erected for this cannon fodder.
Description: Samantha Hughes, a teenaged Kentucky girl, never knew her father, who died in Vietnam before her birth. Samantha lives with her uncle Emmett, who also served in Vietnam. Emmett hangs around with Tom, Earl, and Pete, three another Vietnam vets who, like Emmett, all have issues of one type or other that relate to their fight experiences. Samantha becomes obsessed with finding out about her father.
Description: A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley is hailed as a character in his California town. However, Frank now aided his Nazi captors, and he closely guards this secret. Frank's shameful past comes back to visit him when fellow survivor Joe Parkson emerges, intent on making the turncoat pay for his betrayal. As Joe closes in on Frank, the traitor goes into hiding, abandoning his wife, Edith, who has no clue about her husband's wartime transgressions.
Description: Amidst strictly enforced curfew by Bombay Police during December 1992 following Hindu-Muslim riots, Suryakant - one of four siblings from Malad's Malvani slums, heads home.
Description: Jake's Closet takes you back through childhood in a suspenseful and deeply moving storyline that dives deep into the mind of a tiny man under the stress of a fractured family.
Description: O Crime do Padre Amaro ("The Crime of Father Amaro") is a novel by the 19th-century Portuguese writer José Maria de Eça de Queiroz. It was first published in 1875 to nice controversy.
Description: Sensuous and desirable, Carol Forrest has everytime attracted the attention of men. Expert in the art of manipulation and control she married an older man, loving only his vast wealth and continued to amuse herself with indiscreet affairs. But when neighbour Tag Kendrick lets slip that her husband intends cutting her out of his will Carol concentrates all her attentions on the unsuspecting Kendrick, obtaining his support to dispose of this irritating obstacle.
Description: Isaiah, a 19th-century businessman, has his eye on the pretty and very young Jenny. Finally of age, she accepts his marriage proposal, but their love affair quickly turns sour. Ephraim, Isaiah's college-age son, comes for a visit, instantly striking up a chemistry with Jenny. She promises marriage -- if he murders his father first. But Jenny also swoons for John, the fiancé of her greatest friend, Meg.
Description: Railroad fireman Bill White is a carefree ladies' boy with an irresponsible streak. His buddy Jack Kulper, an engineer, is more solid and reliable. Bill comes to stay a while with Jack and his wife Lily. Bill and Lily fall in love, but not wishing to harm Jack, Bill leaves without explanation. When Jack confronts Bill about his suspicions, the two war and Jack is seriously injured. Bill is consumed with guilt and tries to create good, but Jack has his own concepts about that.
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Had I taken to heart what the film reviewer in my local paper had written about this movie (and his 2.5 star rating) -- I would not have gone. Fortunately, I checked out IMDb and read that someone had compared it to Jean Cocteau's avant-garde "La Belle et La Bete." Enough said. That commendation, and armed, as I was, with the knowledge that Nicole Kidman has done some exceptional movies in newest years (particularly "The Hours," "The Others," and one of my all-time favorite psychological thrillers, "Dead Calm"), I was off to the local art movie theatre to join the sparse (perhaps a dozen?) audience of viewers. In short, this movie has set the bar extremely high re: all another movies I will see in 2007. One finds not only the influence of Cocteau in the film, but also of Kubrick, Hitchcock, and even of Maya Deren. (ie: there is a stunning photo of Kidman/Arbus crawling out of the sea -- a several moments of sheer poetry -- that are reminiscent of Deren's "At Land.") (Also, perhaps a tiny Jane Campion with the underwater shots near the end.) This is a decidedly painterly film, with everything from Arbus's dresses to the evocative interiors of Lionel's museum/carnival-like apartment and the film's textures worthy of commentary in both movie classes and post-film chats with friends. Contrasts are integral to this film. The paint-peeled walls deliever an interesting contrast with the elegant satins and aristocratic dining accoutrement (tea pot, cup), and parallel Lionel's declining health. Arbus's smooth skin vs. Lionel's fur. The staged symmetry of Arbus's husband's white-washed, commercial photography vs. the brilliant chaos in Lionel's apartment. Arbus's wealthy, "proper" parents vs. Lionel's menagerie of "freaks". Many of the shots are framed in interesting, geometrical or architectural ways, or echo camera apertures. The test of the colour blue in some scenes is breathtaking. Nice line -- (not verbatim): Allan Arbus -- "I'm a normal guy, actually I have a hole in my ceiling and freaks coming through it." I also felt the chemistry between the principal characters (a rarity), and trust the pacing greatly attributed to the overall success of the film. The framing -- with the nudist camp -- underscored the change/growth in the protagonist. As my 20 year old daughter told upon leaving the theatre -- "This is the type of movie that really makes you wish to live the life you were meant to." Here here. "Fur" gets five big, bold, blazing stars. It is, quite simply, brilliant. Please, say your friends.
'Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus' is itself like a pretty painting. Starting from the photographic visuals, the artistic execution, the test of symbolism and metaphors, the magnificent camera-work, the wonderful performances and stunning art direction, this is one movie that is a poetic treat for the viewer. The background score gives voice to the unsaid feelings. Not only is it dazzling to look at, it's thought provoking and a fulfilling cinematic experience.I loved the test of symbolism and metaphors. Some examples include: The association between the stage where Diane disrobing in the final sequence and the earlier scenes where she dresses up to her neck as part of social etiquette. Then there's the powerful contrast between a furry Lionel and the high-classed girls who were obsessed with fur and other interesting contrast between Lionel's dark fur and Diane's smooth translucent skin. There are numerous such intriguing symbolism that beautifully stand out. The references to classics like 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Beauty and the Best' and influences of Hitchcock and Kubrick are obvious and brilliantly used. The visuals too represent a powerful ideas. They are not just there for mere beauty. The colour blue plays a key role on multiple levels.Shainberg's direction is nice but what I liked most was the method Diane felt more 'at home' with the folks who were termed 'freaks' rather than her own family or her husband's social circle. Nicole Kidman is magnificent. Robert Downey Jr. too gives an equally subtle and heartbreaking performance. The two share a very passion-filled chemistry which only stresses on the fascination and attraction that draws Diane and Lionel towards every other. Their quiet love storyline speaks volumes about their internal desires and powerful feelings for one another. I've mostly seen Ty Burrell in comedies like 'Out of Practice' and 'Back To You' but here he shows that he can pull off serious roles as well.Not only is 'Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus' a plot driven film, it can be watched as a hero piece, a mood piece, a love storyline and a period piece. A movie that can be appreciated on so many levels, I fail to understand why it gained so tiny recognition.
I saw Fur this afternoon. I went to the 1:30 pm matinée and we were only three in the theater. That's OK I felt like it was a personal showing. From the very begin of the making this film, the entire storyline got my attention, more than any other. It wasn't simply an occasion to see Robert work it was my type of film. I love the unusual, the weird, the special and all of these elements were in this film. When Lionel says Diane that he's "been waiting for a true freak" I knew just what he meant. Diane has been forbidding her own self to be real and she suffers from it. Lionel is her liberator, it's a love storyline of the most spiritual type since " there are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of other human being, and the second is to interfere with one's own growth." I thought the chemistry between Nicole and Robert was right on, both of them being seekers of truth. If you trust that the eyes are windows to your soul then you will be unable to take your eyes off the screen. Their adventure is in their eyes you see in them the curiosity, the fascination, the fear, the pain, the joy, the love and finally the liberation of their souls. When the photograph is finally taken, Robert has your heart in his hands. If any of you have gone through that "soul transformation" experience, you will recognize it. If not, it's still a nice fairy tale.I love the sets, the melody and the photography because they served the storyline so well. And all I have to tell about the love stage is Oh. My. God. This is a movie I wish to see again, and again.As for the mix reviews, maybe, just maybe, if they had not used Diane Arbus' name, the critics would have been kinder and they would have been willing to have more of an launch mind. The writer and director used Arbus' claim to fame to discover the spark, the birth if you will of creativity. In any case, those who got it loved it and those who did not receive it, smothered it. I guess I don't have to say you I loved it.
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