Issuu on Google+

P.2

ANTHONY HOPKINS

P.3

SIR BEN KINGSLEY

P.4

CHARLIZE THERON

P.5

MIKE NEWELL

P.6

SHORTS THREE

P.7

ONSCENE

CINEFILE O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F T H E C I N E V E G A S F I L M F E S T I V A L | W W W. C I N E V E G A S . C O M

Director John Dahl made his reputation

with the hard-boiled, film-noir, one-two punch of Red Rock West and The Last Seduction. With YOU KILL ME, he takes characters that could have come from that genre but delightfully plunges them into a romantic comedy. The result is a quietly outrageous film that works on many levels.

Frank Falenczyk loves his job as the hitman for his Polish mob family in Buffalo. But Frank's got a drinking problem and when he messes up a critical assignment, his uncle sends him to San Francisco to clean up his act. Out on the Left Coast, Frank attends AA meetings and gets a job at a mortuary, where he falls for the tart-

tongued Laurel, who is devoid of boundaries and clearly not mourning her stepdad's sudden passing. Meanwhile, things get worse in Buffalo, where an upstart Irish gang threatens the family business. When violence erupts, Frank is forced to return home, and Laurel follows him.

CLOSING NIGHT FILM

YOU KILL ME

Kingsley unleashes the full range of weapons in his acting arsenal, showing deadly accuracy with all of them. Both steely cold and hilariously deadpan, he is the perfect choice for this shape-shifting genre hybrid that successfully commingles 12-step therapy, romantic comedy and hitman thriller. YOU KILL ME is a streetsmart mob comedy that scores a direct hit.

PALMS CASINO RESORT • BRENDEN THEATRES • 1.888.8VEGAS8 • WWW.CINEVEGAS.COM


Anthony s a h s n i k p Ho na e e b s y a alw d n i k t n e r dif fe of British actor.

It is no coincidence that he was an understudy to Laurence Olivier. One

can only imagine what the master taught his pupil, but it is also likely that Olivier taught him less than we might think: Hopkins' talent, as with Olivier's, was largely something that can't be taught; you're born with it or you’re not. Hopkins was born with it. Yet while he is every ounce the professional, capable of captivating with his words alone, it has rarely been just his words that have caught our attention. Hopkins, the pleasant Welsh gentleman with kind features and piercing blue eyes, embodies his characters perhaps more completely than anyone working today, yet he remains his signature self.You could say he's the link between the classiP.2

cal mold forged by his mentor Olivier and the rebel mold of his free-spirited contemporary Jack Nicholson.Who else could make mainstream films so subversive and make subversive films so mainstream? Who else could play a president (Nixon), painter (Finding Picasso), tragic Shakespearean figure (Titus), and masked anti-hero gone but not forgotten (The Mask of Zorro) and rule all of them? Of course, there is also the role that took him from one of the greatest of his time to one of the greatest of all time.And that's not just our opinion:AFI named Dr. Hannibal Lecter the top movie villain of all time. Norman Bates is No. 2 and Darth Vader is No. 3, but the truth is that nobody comes close. Lecter's evil is made exponentially more horrifying by the glimpses Hopkins gives us into his humanity. 2007 CINEVEGAS FILM FESTIVAL • JUNE 6-16

It's those same glimpses that make all of Hopkins' roles so powerful.When he is a hero, it is a title he has earned rather than one that's been bestowed upon him. When he is a villain, he is as evil as the screen has ever seen precisely because we know that he has an ounce of good in him somewhere.When he is a man of honor – which, in truth, he always is – you can see the passion just behind his eyes. The perfect metaphor for his artistry is the poster for Julie Taymor's brilliant (with much help from Hopkins in the title role) Shakespeare adaptation Titus. It is an uncomfortable portrait of the actor in the lead role, face unevenly and incompletely caked with blue paint, which also covers his breastplate and obscenely grand helmet. Stubble can be seen beneath the paint, and Hopkins' age is hardly hidden.And then you get to his eyes – they are tired, forlorn, long ago defeated.Yet they are not drained of pride. It may be false, or it may be insane. Whatever it is, you know that you're staring at a light that will never go out no matter how strong the storm around it. That light has been illuminating us for nearly five decades now, and it's pure Hopkins.


If the greatest height an actor can reach is to achieve complete psychologi-

cal transformation – forget those parlor tricks like makeup and prosthetics and special diets – then Sir Ben Kingsley reached the peak long ago and has yet to come down.

It's a familiar refrain:The movie starts rolling and goes on for a few seconds, few minutes, or perhaps even longer; yet, it doesn't truly start until Kingsley makes his entrance, typically not with a bang but as an invited guest, intent on fitting the scenery even when his mission is to chew it up. He may speak with an accent or he may speak with his own proper British lilt.And he typically isn't hidden behind anything more than the character he has assumed and will embody for the next two hours. And guess what? That's enough. In fact, the old cliché doesn't sound quite so clichéd when talking about Kingsley: He embodies his characters. In role after role, the man with the hairless crown and compact frame has disappeared behind a remarkable arsenal of moods and behaviors. He captured the complexity of selflessness and charity in Ghandi. He expressed the dignity of a servant struggling to maintain normalcy despite a deep sense of his own mortality in Schindler's List. He was a terrifyingly intense hit man who destroyed everything in his path, whether or not he touched any of it, in Sexy Beast. He showed both ferocity and vulnerability in The House of Sand and Fog. He was even aloof and narcissistic as “himself” in a hilarious episode of The Sopranos. It's not just that you get the

sense that Ben Kingsley could play anything, it's that he's unequivocally proven it. And he doesn't take it lightly. Unlike some in the film business who have reframed their workaholic tendencies as prolific output, Kingsley has both had a workaholic's devotion to the job and an artist's passion for the craft.The result is that there maybe be slightly fewer Kingsley movies as some other, more “prolific” actors, but there is nary such a thing as a bad Sir Ben Kingsley movie. By turning himself over to his roles, and by simply picking fantastic roles, Kingsley makes it count.We may have to wait slightly longer than the suits in Hollywood find comfortable, but it makes us appreciate much more what we get once the wait is over. What we get from Sir Ben Kingsley, time after time, is perfection.

He embod ies his charac ters.

PALMS CASINO RESORT • BRENDEN THEATRES • 1.888.8VEGAS8 • WWW.CINEVEGAS.COM

P.3


she was in the running again for another character role, of a female miner in remote Minnesota forced to endure severe sexism in North Country. Her physical transformation is impressive albeit less drastic than for Monster, but as with that role it's not the look that captivates, it's

Beautiful actresses are a dime a dozen. But actresses who transcend mere beauty are a gift. the way Theron inhabits the role. In Josie Aimes,Theron makes you feel the pain of a woman so alienated in her own community that her father won't even stand up for her.You feel it and it hurts.

The French poet and musician Serge Gainsbourg once said, “Ugliness is in a

way superior to beauty because it lasts.” You get a sense that Charlize Theron might agree – but you also get a sense that such concerns of ugliness vs.beauty just don't matter to her.

See,Theron is a classic screen beauty.The South African-born actress started as a dancer, as did Audrey Hepburn. She has the physical virtues that make her a natural for such roles as the dark heroine in Aeon Flux, the model muse to Kenneth Branagh's stand-in Woody Allen in Celebrity, or as Peter Sellers' put-upon lover in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Beautiful actresses are a dime a dozen. But actresses who transcend mere beauty are a gift. P.4

And so it is that besides the roles that accentuate her acting as well as her beauty. She has carved out sincere respectability as somebody who can act, period. Her role as Aileen Wuornos, the notorious female serial killer, not only require that she take on a grand physical transformation but also that she take on the tough language and demeanor of a woman whose pain and rage come in equal measures of unpredictability.The role didn't just silence her critics – it got most of them to emphatically admit that Theron was so much more than a pretty face that she deserved the highest praise bestowed upon an actress: an Oscar.Theron won her statue, just as Hepburn and Streep before her.You get a sense it won't be her last. Indeed, not more than two years later 2007 CINEVEGAS FILM FESTIVAL • JUNE 6-16

Then, on the other hand, you see the strength and cunning she has as Aeon Flux. Her physical traits and dancer background are tools: she knows that her body is an instrument, not a hindrance, and she knows how to use it. And yet, she is not a country unto herself. She has worked alongside the biggest male names in Hollywood and never wilted in their presence. On the contrary, in films like The Devil's Advocate, The Astronaut's Wife, and 2 Days in the Valley, she has kept the films from careening into dangerously masculine territory, and we should thank her for it. All of this and Theron is barely into her 30s. Even if, as Gainsbourg hints, her physical beauty may change with the passing of time, what Theron puts on the screen will not change, because what's up there is neither beauty nor ugliness – it's honesty, and that's what really lasts forever.


Mike Newell is one of the most talented and respected directors working today. Even so, he isn't frequently thought of in the rarified air of directors brought up in the '60s and '70s…but make no mistake that that's where he belongs. Perhaps the understatement is a result of nationalitythe British-born and bred director has made genre-defining films in many genres, but more importantly he's made films that redefine genres.And he's done so with absolute subtlety and reserve.

Having started out on a path to directing for the stage, Newell knows actors and knows what to do with them as well as any director working today. He arguably made stars of Miranda Richardson (Dance with a Stranger, Enchanted April) and Hugh Grant (Four Weddings and a Funeral), and he's gotten profoundly subtle and explosive performances out of some of Hollywood's finest.Al Pacino played against type as the perennial loser in Donnie Brasco, and he played opposite Johnny Depp playing against type as a

s He’s made film that redefine 's genres. And he done so with y t le t b u s e t lu o s ab and reserve.

somewhat quirk-free undercover cop.The result was a gangster movie that was also against type – a character study that was as suspenseful as any from the gangster movie canon, but with half the manufactured explosiveness.The double-pairing of John Cusack and Cate Blanchett with real-life couple (at the time) Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie, plopping them down in the center of the suburbs in Pushing Tin revealed the bizarre extremes of American Normalcy. And those aren't even his most celebrated examples: Four Weddings and a Funeral was both classic in its meaningful yet lighthearted take on the romantic comedy and revolutionary in its simple depiction of our crazy modern mating rituals. And Into the West was a modern Irish fairy-tale that can only be described as

enchanting – a very old type of story (one that's universally compelling to all ages) set in a very new type of world (a low-income housing project). Newell is possibly more known to a younger generation as the first Brit to helm the very British Harry Potter series, but Into the West is a fantastic story of a different kind that has stood the test of time and will continue to do so. In fact, that is the other unique quality about Mike Newell, one more akin to a painter than most filmmakers: How does one make uniquely modern works that stand the test of time? The answer might be to focus on emotions rather than situations.Whatever it is, we can all point to his films and immediately see what it's like to live for today while creating works that last.

PALMS CASINO RESORT • BRENDEN THEATRES • 1.888.8VEGAS8 • WWW.CINEVEGAS.COM

P.5


BITCH

2006 • USA • b/w • 15 min. Director: Lilah Vandenburgh. Cast: Keira Leverton, Jaun Garcia, Katlin Rivers, Zia Harris, Kathy Bell-Denton. Love at first sneer.

2006 • USA • color • 7 min. Director: Jon Frechette. Cast: Courtney Halverson, Tyler Trautman, Abe Vigoda, Silver Daggers. A teenage girl, an all-ages punk club and a mix tape.

HOW SHE SLEPT AT NIGHT

2006 • USA • color & b/w • 4 min. Director: Lilli Carre. In this hand-drawn animation, a man tries to remember his wife but only comes up with scant details as his memory begins to stray.

KNOCK KNOCK

MOVE ME

THE NEW MATH

PILLOW GIRL

ROOM 10

STUTTER

2007 • USA • color • 4 min. Director: Jack Ferry. Cast: Brian Sacca, Peter Karinen. The worst knock knock joke ever.

2006 • USA • color • 8 min. Director: Ronnie Cramer. Covers from over 200 lurid pulp magazines and vintage paperbacks morph into one girl’s story.

P.6

FEEDBACK

2006 • USA • color • 18 min. Director: Jonathan Pulley. Cast: Kevin Lucero Less, John Pulley, Ian Delaney. During his last evening in town, a young man must find a way to say goodbye to his distant father, learning that what isn't said can be more powerful than what is.

2006 • USA • color • 19 min. Director: Jennifer Aniston, Andrea Buchanan. Cast: Robin Wright Penn, Kris Kristofferson. It’s a typical night in the ER until an unexpected relationship with a patient challenges a veteran nurse with a hardened heart to rethink her decisions and choices in life.

2006 • USA • color • 11 min. Director: Michael Duffey. Cast: Joe Burton, Liz Parrott, Kathy Hendricks, Aracely Vargas, Olive Duffey. In the wake of an awkward nooner and dark thoughts, a single mother questions her relationship with her weird boyfriend and his asymmetrical moustache.

2006 • USA • color • 13 min. Director: Janice Ahn. Cast: Sahr Ali, Ernest Waddell, Juanita Howard,Lucia Brawley.

1. verb. "to speak in such a way that the rhythm is interrupted by repetitions, sometimes accompanied by contortions of the face and body." 2. noun. a psychological drama in which a jilted woman's NewYear's Eve gets turned upside-down.

2007 CINEVEGAS FILM FESTIVAL • JUNE 6-16

STILL LIVES SHORTS THREE A showcase of the true power of cinema: portraiture. Outsiders, people at the end of life, a bittersweet breakup, or a horrific moment – this program illuminates the inner beauty as seen from the outer shell. From slap-happy comedy to intense drama and everything in the middle, the noble characters in these stories are satisfyingly full. 99 minutes. showtimes:

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 4:00PM SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 1:30PM


(L-R) Actors Escher Holloway, Alex D. Linz, and Erick Avari from the film "Choose Connor" attend the 2007 CineVegas Hollywood Reporter Cocktail Party held at the Ghostbar inside the Palms Casino Resort.

Actress Sonja Kinski from the film "All God's Children Can Dance" poses for a portrait.

Director Chris Fuller (L) and actress Kayla Tabish from the film "Loren Cass" with a guest attend the "La Proxima Ola" cocktail reception. Actor Kevin Durand from the film "Throwing Stars" poses for a portrait.

Actor Jesse Eisenberg arrives at the "The Living Wake" screening.

images photos by getty

Actors Nick Chinlund (L) and Edi Gathegi attend the world premiere of "The Fifth Patient".

(L-R) Producer Ami Ankin, director Sol Tyron, producer Chadwick Clough, writer Peter Kline, and actor/writer Mike O'Connell arrive at the "The Living Wake".

URES ONSCENE PICT

Signage is seen at the "The Living Wake" screening.

Actor Jason Lew, director Robert Logevall and actress Sonja Kinski, attend the world premiere of "All God's Children Can Dance"

PALMS CASINO RESORT • BRENDEN THEATRES • 1.888.8VEGAS8 • WWW.CINEVEGAS.COM

P.7


Director Adam Rifkin poses at the Palms Casino Resort.

(L-R) Producer Andrew McFarlane, director Luke Eberl, actor Alex D. Linz, actor Escher Holloway, and producer Aaron Himelstein arrive at the "Choose Connor" screening.

Actress Kym Jackson attends the "Have Love, Will Travel" screening.

creel ad

Actress Diana Garcia attends the "Drama/Mex" screening. (L-R) Actor Colin Hanks, director Peter Spears and actress Rachel Blanchard from the film "Careless" pose for a portrait.

ONSCENE P.12

S RE ages im y tt ge PICT U by photos 2007 CINEVEGAS FILM FESTIVAL • JUNE 6-16


CineFile 2007/Issue 4