Thursday, May 12, 2005

day two

So here we are, after spending the last hour or so getting this stuff up through the wi fi system on my comptuter. So I had to cut and paste via email and some other stuff. Bummer, but I managed to do it.

I didn't see all that much today, as I attended the Dreamworks Wallace and Gromit presentation, the one with the free lunch, and I missed quite a few screenings I wasn't really keen on seeing anyway.

I checked out a few of the offices the studios had for the market and that was rather interesting as a few of them were showing trailers for mostly bad product. But for the most part everyone was rather nice. I've got five minutes to get out of here, so forthwith are a couple of reviews...

Match Point (USA/UK)

Written and Directed
by Woody Allen

It seems that our friend Woody has given up on New York. His latest film takes
place in England. There’s no reason for this, so it must be the grosses on his
last few pictures.

Chris Wilton(Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has just gotten a job as a tennis pro at an
exclusive country club in London. Here he meets one Tom Hewett(Matthew Goode)
and they hit it off immediately. Tom introduces Chris to not only the good life,
but his family as well. He likes them and they like him. The parents(Brian Cox
and Penelope Wilton) are rather nice, and soon Chris is shagging Tom’s sister
Chloe(Emily Mortimer) and is almost immediately part of the family [they’re
married halfway through the film].

He likes Chloe all right, but he really has his eyes on Tom’s fiancĂ©e Nola
Rice(Scarlett Johansson), who’s beautiful, vivacious, and everything Chris

Tom’s mother hates Nola, and soon the engagement is off. This gives Chris the
go-ahead to start an affair. Then there’s the pregnancy, and everything
threatens everything that our hero is built over the years, his job, his place
in society, you name it.

There’s psychic damage to Chris for sure, This is not one of Allen’s comedies,
but those occasional tragedies, which tends to blot his filmography from time to

This isn’t a bad film. In fact, it’s one of Allen’s best movies in quite a
while. The thing that makes all the best actors hanker to be in one of these
films is that he knows what he’s doing and is a pleasure to work with.

The ending is a bit of a shocker. He’s done pretty much the same thing as
“Crimes and Misdemeanors” and that was one of his best ever. At the moment,
this film doesn’t have a distributer in the United States, which is something

But I doubt Woody’s going to defect any time soon.

Kilometre Zero (Iran)

Directed by
Hiner Saleem

It’s strange to see a film supporting the American side in the Iraqi war, but
Kurdish filmmaker Hiner Saleem’s tale about the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, is
about as close to explaining the neocon’s point of view as any film I’ve seen in
many a year.

We meet Ako (Nazmi Kirik) and his wife (Belcim Bigin).in the spring of 2003.
They’re in Paris and Bush has just ordered the invasion of that country. The
radio tells the story of the massive demonstrations against the military
action, but the reporter quotes a Kurdish leader who says “America may be
imperialist, but nobody else is liberating us, we’d prefer the Swiss or the
French, but they wouldn’t come.”

Flashback to 1988 Ako and his wife are living in Iraqi Kurdistan and Saddam’s
men are looking to draft recruits for the Iran-Iraq war. The Sunni Arabs are all
portrayed as thugs as scared or comical Kurds are humiliated before being sent
to the front. On of them is .., who longs to be maimed as it’s the only way to
go home quickly without being killed.

The reason they got him is that his wife won’t leave her father, who’s the only
Kurd treated unsympathetically by the director. So our hero is stuck in the war,
that is until he’s given an assignment by the upper ranks. A martyr has died and
he has to escort it back home.

So Ako and an Arab taxi driver(Robert Alazraki) head off north to Kurdistan. On
the way, they argue, fight, placate the police, and ultimately abandon their
cargo. There’s a happy ending, except for the unseen family of the corpse.

This is a better-than-average flick, but not a great one. There’s pathos here
and the relationship between two fellows who hate each other’s guts for
political reasons is an interesting one.

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