Still Alice Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.
Greenery Will Bloom Again A group of soldiers face the difficulty of war during one night at the Italian Front.
Good for Nothing Gianni's hopes and plans for retirement are unexpectedly dashed when he is told that he will have to keep working for another three years.
The Mafia Kills Only in Summer Arturo is obsessed with politician Gulio Andreotti and infatuated with a girl named Flora.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel As The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy, which poses a predicament for two fresh arrivals, Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.
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Cinema Couch Film Fest Follower Extras Still Alice
EDITORIAL This, our 23rd issue of MbM, is a very special one because it addresses the core of what this magazine is about and about you the reader - so please take this personally. The cover feature celebrates the first outstanding film of 2015 - Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore, which deservedly won her the Oscar for Best Actress. Its subject matter is Alzheimers Disease, an early onset type which is quite rare and which Julianne's character is diagnosed as having. There is no cure, just a steady decline in one's mental powers which will eventually lead to not even recognising your nearest and dearest. It is not only an horrific assault on the sufferer's senses but also on her family who painfully watch her lose control of everything - like a mind which has been served notice to quit. The film was very personal to me because my own brother has Alzheimers but from the reaction of the audience at the screening which I attended where men and women alike were crying as they watched Julianne Moore totally capture all the symptoms that the dreadful disease displays, I wondered how many they knew, close or distant, that they were empathising with while praying for a cure. No other entertainment medium can get close to movies in the way that they can move us: story, characters, emotion - emotion pictures. If the filmmakers have got that combination right then it will open the door to your heart. The Oscars are the biggest film awards ceremony in the world. It is the night of nights in Hollywood where the stars and filmmakers gather in the magnificent Dolby Theatre to honour those in the industry which the members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences have nominated for an Academy Award. Though the Show is unquestionably too long, watching the award winners being announced by their peers and then their reaction and acceptance speeches is priceless - this year particularly. J.K.Simmons: Best Supporting Actor - Whiplash "Call your Mum, call your Dad. If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet. Call them. Don't text or email. Call them on the phone, tell them you love them and thank them and listen to them with love, as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you Mum and Dad." Patricia Arquette: Best Supporting Actress - Boyhood. "To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody's 4
else's equal rights, it's our time for equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America." Eddie Redmayne: Best Actor - The Theory of Everything. "I don't think I am capable of quite articulating how I feel right now. Please know this. I am a lucky lucky man. This Oscar....(looking at the statuette and getting really excited) Ooooh....This Oscar belongs to all those people around the world battling ALS." Julianne Moore: Best Actress - Still Alice. "I am thrilled that we were able to shine a light on Alzheimers Disease, so many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalised and one of the wonderful things about movies is that it makes us feel seen and not alone. And people with Alzheimers Disease deserve to be seen so that we can find a cure." Alejandro Gonzalez Inarratu: Best Film/Best Director Birdman "I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can find and build a government to which to serve and the ones that live in this country that are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation. Mat Kirky: Best Live Action Short - The Phone Call. Mat mentioned his local bakery, The Pump Street Bakery Cafe in Orford, Suffolk. "I am particularly happy because this now means I can get a free doughnut at my local bakery, The Pump Street Bakery. They do fantastic doughnuts, but we should keep to the script. Short films were made not with money but with tenacity and lots of favours. Thank you Sally Hawkins who donated her incredible talent to us for nothing - this is for you." If for one moment you were able to project yourself into the hearts of those winners and share their joy then you will understand just a little what it means to love movies and rejoice such magical moments. And perhaps...you may understand why this magazine is written with unbridled passion for the greatest entertainment in the world. If you feel just a tiny iota of that love for this magazine - then you will support us. So yes, please take this personally. 5
STILL ALICE Directed by Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland. Starring: Julianne Moore. Alec Baldwin. Kristen Stewart. I need to talk to you. I've got something wrong with me. If you go into this film knowing anyone who has or has had Alzheimer's Disease, then you will not only appreciate the film at a far deeper level than most other patrons but will also come out it with a full heart and recognize just how Julianne Moore, who plays Alice Howland, has completely captured the frustration and hopelessness in trying to fight off the debilitating disease that has taken over her life. You will need no further evidence as to why Julianne Moore has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress and why she will undoubtedly win it. Alice Howland is a renowned linguistics professor giving lectures to audiences eager to learn from her vast knowledge of words and dexterous use of the English language. She commands respect, which she gets, and as we see at the beginning of the film, celebrating her birthday with her devoted husband John(Alec Baldwin), and their daughters Anna(Kate Bosworth), Lydia (Kristen Thomas) and their son, Charlie(Shane McRae), she is dearly loved. But then, something begins to change. She is giving a lecture when she begins to forget what she is meant to be saying and has to refer to notes. It is the first sign that something is wrong, and when it happens again and again, she seeks medical help. She and her husband have to face the family and tell them the tragic diagnosis which she has received - she has an early stage of Alzheimer's Disease. www.moviesbymills.com
I see the words hanging in front of me and I can't reach them and I don't know who I am and I don't know what I am going to lose next. There have been other films which have briefly visited this mind crippling disease before: The Notebook, the tear-jerking moments when Noah (James Garner) reads to his wife Allie (Gena Rowlands) their love story which she can no longer remember or the one reading it to her. Still Alice plunges even deeper to the effects and aftermath of Alzheimers. There are many scenes which will have you shedding tears because Moore perfectly shows what happens to an intelligent person when they begin to lose control of their life and the effects it has on her family. A vital fact is that one of her children will genetically inherit the disease and they all have to be tested. When the results are in and Alice apologizes to the one who has been told will get Alzheimer's, it is a heartbreaking scene: knowing that one of her dearest children will die because of her illness.... This is not an easy review to write because I have witnessed first-hand the devastating effect of this disease when my brother was diagnosed with it. What is different in Alice's case is that she is younger than most sufferers, but I can honestly tell you that Julianne Moore gives a truthful and painful account of the mental breakdown that slowly impairs and destroys one's lifestyle. As Alice expresses her feelings while she is still capable of doing so: I am not suffering. I am struggling, struggling to be part of things, to stay connected to who I once was. So live in the moment, that's all I can do live in the moment. She stares into space...a space that has people in it who seem to know her...and sometimes she remembers them...and those moments are precious, but they are becoming more and more infrequent. All the supporting cast are excellent: Alec Baldwin, who seems to get better with age like a vintage wine. Kristen Thomas who has to deliver a speech in a play which shows the talent of this fine young actress and a great future that she will have. Kate Bosworth is at her best, giving a subtle and delicate performance. But of course it is Julianne Moore who deserves and will gain, I am certain, justifying plaudits for an outstanding and memorable moment in film history. 7
Kristen Stewart in Still Alice
Kate Bosworth, Juliette Moore and Alec Baldwin in Still Alice
Juliette Moore in Still Alice
Alec Baldwin and Juliette Moore in Still Alice 9
CINEMA MADE IN ITALY GREENERY WILL BLOOM AGAIN Directed by Ermanno Olmi Starring: Claudio Santamaria. Alessandro Sperduti. Ermanno Olmi, known for The Tree of the Wooden Clogs, winner of the Palme d'Or in Cannes, was about peasants living or surviving in Lombardy, that was made in 1978, and nothing has come close to its brilliance until now with his latest film which concentrates on just one day during a snow covered winter, on a mountain side. There are no battles to be seen just the inner warfare that is taking place inside these men that is expressed by either emotional outbursts or long periods of silence. The only excitement that these men have is when a rationing of bread and soup is served or when the mail arrives and they wait for their name to be called to go forward and collect it; all but one who stares ahead waiting patiently to hear his name read out...waiting...waiting. One soldier mans the lookout post. He views the white landscape with anticipation listening to the boom boom sound of cannon fire, reminding all that their enemy is out there and that this is just a temporary lull in the fighting. Suddenly he spots a wolf, a welcome distraction for his mind to take time out from the war. Another is shaking with fever and a fellow soldier goes outside into the chilling air and returns with a ball of ice which he wraps in a towel to place on the fevered brow of the man. But soon he throws off the improvised aid and begins to scream and shout that awakens some and causes others to groan, perhaps echoing the fear that is imprisoned within them. You could almost imagine the bitter cold air being warmed by the solitary singing of an Italian voice as it reaches across the barriers and soldiers shout out their appreciation of the joyous tones which caress the ears of all men with love not distinguishing one soldier from another. And later when the same soldier is asked to sing another song, he refuses, because he says he cannot sing when he is not happy.
In the trenches officers arrive. A major comforts his men and tells them they are following orders and sympathises with one who wonders why they are fighting. While an arm's length away, an officer winds up a phone to speak to headquarters. Anxious faces. Feared frowns. Tortured tears. "Stay put" comes the command, and hope is crushed beneath their feet. They must spend another night, another week, another month on this pointless position on a hilltop. A captain rips off his cap badge and braids of rank and gives them to the major. His defiant gesture but brave protest is met with understanding. Greenery Will Bloom Again is filled with these poetic vignettes and says more about the madness of war than most other war films heaped together. It can be mentioned in the same breath as Malick's The Thin Red Line, Lewis Milestone's All Quiet on the Western Front, and the rarely seen Time Out of War. Olmi is a masterful filmmaker, now in his eighties, has made a film that will be fondly recollected in years to come and stand proudly alongside Il Posto, The Tree of the Wooden Clogs and The Legend of the Holy Drinker. His stories are simple, and poignantly honest. You cannot take your eyes off the screen for a moment in case you miss a change in a facial expression that would reveal much more than any dialogue could have done. Great films have great characters and they are all here in this film, and headed superbly by Claudio Santamaria and Alessandro Sperduti, but watch closely for those that come out of the shadows and into the light. You would be advised to see this film as soon as you can if case you do not have another chance. For Londoners it is part of the Cinema Made in Italy season which is being screened at Cine Lumiere at the Institut de Francais. Olmi's film is the centrepiece of the event and audiences will also have a chance of hearing from the actor Alessandro Sperduti who will be attending the screening for a Q & A after the showing of the film. Claudio Santamaria brings with him an impressive film pedigree which is rooted in his home country of Italy. He has been tempted to accept a role abroad: a supporting player in the James Bond movie Casino Royale, but like many European counterparts he seems to prefer working in Italy. His starring role in Greenery Will Bloom Again as the major brings a wonderful calming effect to the whole movie. His presence is immediately authoritative but paradoxically compassionate and because of that brings greater respect from his men who feel free to express their feelings to him without fear of his rank. Personally I think he will be tempted to take lucrative offers from America if the parts are right for him, either way, we will be seeing a lot more of Claudio Santamaria and hopefully Movies by Mills will be reporting it. Likewise, the name of Alessandro Sperduti, the second in command, whom MbM will have the pleasure of interviewing in the April issue. 11 www.moviesbymills.com
Alessandro Sperduti and Claudio Santamaria in Greenery Will Bloom Again
Claudio Santamaria in Greenery Will Bloom Again
Claudio Santamaria and Alessandro Sperduti in
Greenery Will Bloom Again.
Claudio Santamaria in Greenery Will Bloom Again.
CINEMA MADE IN ITALY GOOD FOR NOTHING Directed by Gianni Di Gregorio Starring: Gianni Di Gregoria. Marco Marzocca. Valentina Lodovini. Gianni Di Gregorio, writer, director and star of Good for Nothing, famously starred in Salt of the Earth, which was critically successful. The very core of this very funny film is the character of Gianni, a mild mannered civil servant who is anticipating retirement and freeing himself from the boredom that has enveloped his daily routine of just filling the moments of the day with reading the newspaper, looking across the office to other staff to see if they are as bored as he is. So Gianni cannot wait for retirement and enjoying life, but then all his plans and hopes are unexpectedly dashed when he is called in to see his manager, which becomes a peeking perambulation as fellow office workers, aroused by curiosity and an excuse for any form of activity, come out of their respective offices and into the corridor to watch Gianni as he proceeds to the bosses office. Once in the authoritarian inner sanctum, Gianni is requested to be seated and is told that his retirement is to be put on hold as there has been a managerial policy change regarding retirement, meaning that he will have to keep working for another three years. He is mortified. Gone are the cosy chit-chats by the coffee machine with fellow office shirkers. He is to be transferred to a subsidiary office on the outskirts of Rome - and, he will actually have to work! But what seemed to be the end of it all, he discovers a side of himself that he thought never existed. He begins to make unlikely friendships and even learns to dance. www.moviesbymills.com
A fellow office worker, Marco, shows him how to use the computer and set up excel worksheets, while he observes a gum-chewing female pandering to Marco for every single thing to help her out, pushing her well endowed breasts in his face to encourage him. Gianni Di Gregorio is an auteur which might be better described as a film factotum. He plays a similar character in most of his films, of which there have only been nine to date. He started to get noticed when he appeared in Gomorrah in 2008, and then in the same year came Mid-August Lunch, a film that really set the characteristic pattern of Gianni: an ordinary person, doing very little, but facing many day-to-day problems that most of us could empathise with because we too have experienced them. Mid-August Lunch observes a man, Gianni, caring for his elderly mother in their condo in Rome. His only recreation and escape from his duties are when he visits the local tavern. There, he can forget the condo fees which he hasn't paid in years. On a hot August day, Gianni is paid a visit by the administrator who makes him a surprising offer. He wants to leave the city for Ferragosto, a mid-August tradition, and asks if he could leave his mother with Gianni's care in exchange for writing off some of the debt. Gianni and his mother agree to do it, and the administrator beings his mother and his aunt. Later, Gianni's doctor calls and requests the same favour. Can Gianni make the most of the situation, or as an old Oriental Chinese saying goes: 'Moments of crisis are moments of opportunities'. In The Salt of Life, Gianni appears to be invisible to most people and he begins to question his own existence. He is sixty, retired and a kind helpful man, ready to accommodate their needs: walking the neighbour's dog or shopping for his wife. But are people taking advantage of him? His wife still works, so he is left to do the daily chores...yes, everyone likes Gianni, but does anyone love him? In examining his life, he has to admit that he is not attractive to women as he once was: he is a ladies pet rather than a ladies' man. So when his macho lawyer friend suggests he finds himself a young mistress, he begins to question his age and takes a huge dive into the amorous activity of chasing women. Sixty-five year old Gianni Di Gregorio has the puffedeyed looks of the average Italian male, and would probably go unrecognized if you passed in the street. It is this commonality that makes him an Italian treasure, and though not as famous as Mastroianni or Bertolucci, he is dearly loved and respected for playing the average man-in-the-street. Viva Di Gregorio! 15
Gianni Di Gregorio in Good For Nothing.
Gianni Di Gregorio dancing in Good for Nothing.
Gianni Di Gregorio and Marco Marzocca in Good For Nothing.
Gianni Di Gregorio in Good For Nothing. 17
CINEMA MADE IN ITALY THE MAFIA ONLY KILLS IN SUMMER Directed by Pierfrancesco Diliberto Starring: Pierfrancesco Diliberto. Christiana Capotondi. It is beneficial to know that the film's director and star is a television comedian and political commentator, because the narrative leans towards the smaller screen than the larger one. As you might expect, the story is set in Palermo, which has a history with the Costra Nostra, and looks at a boy named Arturo, who becomes obsessed with the politician Giulio Andreotti, keeping scrapbooks on him, and while fellow teenagers adorn their bedroom walls with sexy pinups of women, Arturo hangs a large picture of Andreotti above his bed. But it would all seem quite innocent were it not for the fact that the very first word he uttered as a baby was not 'papa' or 'mamma' but 'mafia'. At a school costume party, he goes dressed as his hero, glasses and slicked back hair and all. Arturo's birth coincided with the election of the Mafioso mayor Vito Ciancimino and a massacre ordered by the crime boss Salvatore Riina. Some of these later eliminated figures Arturo gets to know personally because he is an accomplished amateur journalist. Soon Arturo becomes infatuated with a pretty blonde in his class named Flora who pays him little attention as she thinks he is stupid and prefers another boy who is kind and thoughtful towards her. Fortunately for Arturo, his aptitude for journalism gives him confidence to get an interview with his hero as a scoop for his school paper. It also helps him to get some attention from Flora, but all hope of having her as his girlfriend end when she tells him that she is leaving Italy to live in Switzerland.
In the second half of the film we are fast-forwarded to Arturo as an adult, played by the director himself (Pierfrancesco Diliberto). He is still incredibly naive and fails to impress his new employer who hires him but he has little ability to do anything without completely making a mess of it. Good fortune however falls on him when he meets up again with the love of his life Flora (Christiana Captondi). He immediately falls back on his old ways of trying too hard to impress her but tells her that he has many connections and is a photo/journalist. Flora hires him as an assistant, but he is so smitten with her, he often fails to hear what she is telling him or misconstrues her attention to him as more than friendship. When she invites him back to her home for a meal and to discuss how he can be of help to her...Arturo really believes that at last that Flora has fallen in love with him. The story gets a little weak and contrived and fails to deliver any believable narrative because of the miscasting of Diliberto as Arturo. Watching him is like watching a TV sitcom that would have you quickly changing channels. The fault is that he is not a good actor and because of that the film would have died a death but it has one saving grace and that is Christiana Capotondi who plays Flora, she has all the appeal and strength of a good actress to carry the film across the finishing line. She is mainly known for the beautifully cinematographed Kryptonite! a story about four generations of family. Notte prima degli esami featured Christiana as one of a group of friends preparing for their final exams. But the film that many may have missed in Christiana Capotondi's filmography is Ex, which again teamed her with director Fausto Brizzi. The film is a comedy about various couples that have had difficulties in staying together and with the daily troubles which they undergo with their relatives. The relationships grow more and more complicated as time progresses. The film interweaves drama with comedy and romance which is particularly apparent at the end of the film. Whether Christiana has a small or large role to play in any film, she is worth watching because she has the charisma of a star and in the case of The Mafia Kills Only in Summer, she is the film's savour. With due respect to Pierfrancesco Diliberto, he should keep to directing and TV comedy because that is where his real talent lies. 19
Christiana Capotondi in The Mafia Only Kills in Summer.
Christiana Capotondi and Pierfrancesco Diliberto in The Mafia Only Kills in Summer.
Pierfrancesco Diliberto and Christiana Capotondi in The Mafia Only Kills in Summer.
Christiana Capotondi and Pierfrancesco Diliberto in The Mafia Only Kills in Summer. 21
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL Directed by John Madden Starring: Judi Dench. Maggie Smith. Bill Nighy. Dev Patel. Celia Imrie. Penelope Wilton. Ronald Pickup. Richard Gere. Tina Desai. The Marigold Hotel is full up, so we have to expand. A chain of hotels stretching across India and beyond for those as this great lady who had a chance to say why die here, when I can die there? Like any good holiday destination that you have experienced once, you will invariably return again...and again. So it is with this sequel to the very successful The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which coined over ÂŁ20 million at the UK and Ireland box offices and won Judi Dench a Golden Globe nomination. Here we are meeting up with old friends again: Sonny (Dev Patel) who now has grand designs of opening a new hotel; his business partner Muriel (Maggie Smith, 81); Evelyn (Judi Dench, 81) who has got a job sourcing fabrics for a western company, but wonders why she is so fearful of giving her heart to Douglas (Bill Nighy, 66). Madge (Celia Imrie,63) and Norman (Ronald Pickup, 75) now running the Viceroy Club for expatriates, while Norman's mind is distracted by his worrying concerns of Madge's infidelity. Into this seasoned establishment of characters, walks Guy (Richard Gere, 66) claiming to be a writer but suspiciously considered to be a hotel inspector rating the standard of The Marigold. As in most ensemble pieces like this, composed of a series of storylines, one invariably warms to some characters more than others and here is the underlying question on whether Douglas will propose www.moviesbymills.com
to Evelyn and of course you really wish he would. And of course being this is a feel-good movie you feel pretty confident that you will not be disappointed. It is this thread of the story that is the strongest. Underlying the whole narrative is ageism as the majority of the characters are over sixty and you half expect one of them may keel over at any time and will not be answering Sonny's roll-call in the morning. In reality, many people are living to a hundred and beyond, which might suggest that we will see a triad - The Third Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? By the closing of this film we already know that one of these characters we will not see again. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is at its very best when it focuses on life and what people can still achieve with the time that they have. The preparation of Sonny's wedding to Sunaina (Tina Desai) and the wedding ceremony itself is beautifully staged and you can almost feel cell rejuvenation amongst the cast. The photography is superb and the ambiance of India is expertly captured with the chaotic mixture of traffic and stall holders bartering their brightly coloured cloths and merchandise, while you sniff the spice-filled air. The finale will have your feet tapping as the wedding couple take to the floor and the wedding guests dance the night away. Excited, exhilarated, joyously celebrating Sonny and Sunaina's marriage...and celebrating the optimism of life. This is a wonderful film, beautifully acted and directed, and equally...if not even better than the first. So, please, check it out and check in to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and enjoy your stay - I would recommend the majestic suite, with Sonny's approval of course. This is actually a much more Shakespearean story of comedy of manners and human foibles and I think you are focusing on the younger couple much more in this movie has added a lot to it and allows all the characters with their middle-ages problems to bounce around. - Richard Gere. The film is screening at The Gate, Notting Hill, where you can always expect a warm welcome. 23
Lilette Dubey and Richard Gere in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Judi Dench and Bill Nighy in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Judi Dench in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Diana Hardcastle and Ronald Pickup in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 25
Cinema Couch IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Directed by Frank Capra Starring: James Stewart. Donna Reed. No film director has ever surpassed the record of Frank Capra in exploring the impact that films have had on us at an emotional level. He recognised that movies are meant to move us. The story of It's a Wonderful Life is about a man named George Bailey (James Stewart) who dreams of travelling the world, but his dreams are crushed by his sense of duty to the people of Bedford Falls and then, though happily, meeting and falling in love and marrying Mary (Donna Reed) the local beauty, raising a family and fighting for the local people to afford their homes. The only thing that stops the greedy and soulless banker Mr Potter (Lionel Barrymore) from taking over the town is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, an inebriated Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, allowing Potter to take over the town. George, thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off without him, contemplates suicide by jumping off a bridge. But the prayers of all his loved ones are heard in the heavens and an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) is sent down to earth to earn his wings and shows George what life would be like if he had never been born. www.moviesbymills.com
The characters are totally believable. George Bailey is an honest and decent human being who is always thinking of others and trying to do the right thing. Mary is a devoted wife and mother. Mr Potter is a cruel and selfish man who does not care for anyone but himself. Uncle Billy is kind but forgetful particularly when he has been drinking. We feel that we know these people, they are real flesh and blood and that is what good characterisation is all about. The third magical ingredient of a great motion picture is emotion, how does it make you feel? And that is where we come to what the term 'cinema couch' means. How does a film reach you on an emotional level? Can you relate to what is happening to George Bailey? A good honest man cannot see a way out of his problems and so is on the brink of suicide. Clarence, an earth angel is sent to save him. What has driven George to this manic sense of depression? Losing $8,000 dollars that he feels totally responsible for? When you are at your lowest ebb, you think that you are worthless and life is not worth living, but Clarence shows him what life would be like if he had not been born. Who would have been there to save his brother's life? Who would have stopped Mary from becoming a spinster? And their loving children would never have been born. So for George, to live or die, is about losing money $8,000. Can you put a price on a life? Are your debts worth more than your life? Many arthouse auditoriums are now a place of luxury, with sofas, couches and even beds all beautifully upholstered. When the patron is ready - the film will begin. Lower the lights, run the film. Suspend your disbelief. The Show is about to begin 27
FILM FEST FOLLOWER HONG KONG 2015 MbM Recommends ACTRESS
Directed by Robert Greene Featuring Brandy Burre A documentary film, about a woman/actress in crisis. Brandy Burre appeared on the series The Wire before taking an hiatus to start a suburban family with her partner, Tim. Now a mother of two, the middle-aged Burre plays out her crumbling domestic life, starring in a role as herself. Surprisingly opaque, Actress wanders through Sirkian melodrama and cinema veritĂŠ to question both thespian and real life truths
Directed by Ivan I Tverdovsky Starring: Nikita Kukushkin, Philipp Avdeev, Masha Poezhaeva. After years of being home-schooled, wheelchairbound Leana is elated to be readmitted to high school. Relegated to a remedial class, where the teachers have no interest in doing their job and the other students grow increasingly hostile, Lena's problems are far from over. Like Miroslav Slaroshpitsky's acclaimed Ukranian drama The Tribe Tverdovsky's film is similarly arresting dramatisation of disabled youth in the former Soviet Union.
Directed by Reuben Ostlund Starring: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli. Is it a social satire, a scathing commentary on modern masculinity or just mean-spirited take on well-to-do vacationers? Ostlund's deceptively diabolical comedy of manners is a clever dissection into contemporary family life. After an avalanche at a luxury ski resort, a Swedish family is left reeling from the father's not-so-fatherly reaction to the icy deluge. At once piercing, hilarious, and yet subtle, this fine-tuned winner at Cannes' Un Certain Regard effectively reinvents the disaster movie for the 21st century.
FOREVER AND EVER (2001) Directed by Raymond To
Starring: Sylvia Chang, Chris Lee, Josie Ho, Chapman To. Based on the autobiographical novels by Chi Mo, an HIV positive young man who died at the age of 23, socially conscious drama Forever and Ever tells a stirring tale of hope and faith. Sylvia Chang won her second Hong Kong film award for Best Actress as Chi Mo's selfless and devout mother who inspired Chi Mo during his life and later honoured him by posthumously publishing his novels.
IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO Directed by Wan Jen
Starring: Lee Tsung-i, Wang Lo-Yuan, Chen Po-Cheng, Su Ming-Ming. The relationship between the mainland and Taiwan has been under a century of intense pressure but Taiwanese New Wave auteur Jen Wan gives it a personal spin in It Takes Two to Tango. When Zhao leaves Beijing for Taipei to be with his lover Shin-Ye, they face fierce opposition from his parents. Wan approaches the situation with humour and intelligence, and ultimately it proves the older generations hold the keys to diplomacy and lasting happiness.
Directed by Eugene Green Starring: Fabrizio Rongione, Christelle Prot Landman, Ludovico Succio. Green's formalism and mannered, stilted performances echo the grand, inflexible structures that loom omniscient throughout his inquisitive drama. A celebrated Swiss architect and his French wife head to Italy on a research trip where they meet a young girl and her brother, an aspiring architect. While the men continue the tour, the women remain behind, both couples slowly find an unlikely trust in each other and the opportunity to unburden themselves of lingering secrets, doubts and desires.
Directed by Christian Petzold Starring: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf, Trystan Puttler. A powerful exploration of Germany after World War 11. Nelly(Nina Hoss) is not only a Holocaust survivor but also deeply disfigured, and must reconstruct her life anew, like the broken country around her. Her first task is finding her husband, which, in turn, means posing questions about their life whose answers she may not want to know. From the breakout director of Jerichow and Barbara, a film of profound questions for contemporary Germany.
Directed by Im Kwon-taek Starring: Ahn Sung-ki, Kim Qyu-ri, Kim Ho-jung. Korean master Im Kwon-taek's remarkable 102nd feature, his seventh with veteran Ahn Sung-ki, who anchors this deeply moving story of a man facing love and death. Executive Oh Sang-Moo must balance the demands of his cosmetic business with the loving care he offers his wife as she lies in hospital dying of cancer. Into this precarious and emotional balance come the young, vivacious employee Choo Eun-joo, causing both to think about their pasts and futures and where love survives.
Directed by Jafar Panahi Starring: Jafar Panahi. After This is Not a Film and Closed Curtain, Taxi is Jafar Panahi's third film after he was banned from filmmaking in 2010. The film takes place within a taxicab, the characters are Tehran's diverse resident; and the story is literally steered by none other than the driver, Panahi, who engages his passengers in candid conversations. Though scripted and acted, Taxi upholds Panahi's conviction to continue 'making films under any circumstances to pay my respects and feel alive'. Golden Bear for Best Film at Berlin.
THE POSTMAN'S WHITE NIGHTS
Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. Starring: Aleksey Tryapitsyn, Irina Ermolova, Timur Bondarenko. In a world abuzz with cellphones, social media and digital overload, can we imagine the tranquillity and fragile communication? Konchalovsky evokes in this idyllic rhapsody of rural Russia. Here, lifelines depend on the boat of the postman, Lyokha, who connects the scattered populations across frozen lakes. And he, in turn, begins to connect with Irina and her son Timur in this pastoral landscape. Until the boat breaks down, and love and worlds are threatened. Winner of the Silver Lion at Venice.
Directed by Cedric Kahn Starring: Matthieu Kassovitz, Celine Sallette. At first, Paco and Nora seem to have noble ideas: escaping consumer society to travel the land in idyllic freedom, raising their children with alternative values. Yet, when Nora chooses to return into bourgeois society, Paco and two of the kids flee across an underground of communes and invented lives. Following the perspective of growing children who learn to question these choices, while anchored by strong performances by Matthieu Kassovitz and Celine Sallette, the film raises haunting issues for life.
THE GOLDEN ERA
Directed by Ann Hui Starring: Teng Wei Feng Shaofeng, Wang Zhiwen. Ann Hui's pet project is an epic drama about progressive writer Xiao Hong who rose to prominence in turbulent 1930s China and died at the age of 30 in war-torn Hong Kong. Told using an intricately-crafted experimental structure, the film explores Xiao Hong's relationships and literary inspirations, particularly her experiences living in China's culturally oppressive patriarchal society. Hong Kong's entry into the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2015 Academy Awards. 30
EXTRAS DVDS/BLU-RAY OF THE MONTH
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY Directed by Lasse Hallstrom Starring: Helen Mirren. Om Puri. Manish Dayal. Charlotte Le Bon. The Kadam Family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant across the road from Madam Mallory's MichelinStarred hotel.
No Extras announced at this time.
PHOTO CREDITS Artificial Eye/Curzon Film World/ 220.127.116.11.32. 01 Distribution 10.12.13.18.20.21. BIM Distribuzione 14.16.17. 20th Century Fox. 18.104.22.168. Park Circus.26.27.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Movies by Mills would like to thank the following for their help and support. Mat Kirkby RSA Films Clare Leach Premier Comms.com Milana Vikova - Gate Picturehouse, Notting Hill. www.moviesbymills.com
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