||June 27, 2008
Dir: Henry Koster, USA (1950), 104 min.
"In this world you have to be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. For years I
was smart smart. I recommend pleasant". Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart)
certainly followed this advice by his mother but struggles with family
and friends as he is the only one who can see his pal Harvey, a
human-sized white rabbit. After Elwood ruins his sister Veta's society
party, she decides to have him committed to a mental-hospital. But
things don't work out as planned and Veta ends up in the sanatorium
herself instead of Elwood. Come and watch how the story gets untwisted
in this most charming film. Great fun for the whole family.
Best Actor Oscar nomination and Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.
||July 25, 2008
Bacheha-Ye aseman (Children of Heaven)
Dir: Majid Majidi, Iran (1997), 88 min.
In this simple, yet endearing story, two children invent an intricate plan to conceal
the loss of a pair of shoes. It's the story of Ali and Zahra, brother and sister
who belong to a poor family living in Iran. Ali loses his sister's shoes through
no fault of his own. Afraid of their parents anger, they decide to keep
it a secret and share the only pair of worn-out sneakers belonging to Ali.
A story about love and trust between a brother and sister, and humanity,
transcending all cultures. The direction, cinematography,
and music are all outstanding -- but it is the children that you will fall
in love with. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language
Film in 1998 and recipient of many other acclaimed awards.
(Iranian with English subtitles)
||August 08, 2008
Dir: Wim Wenders, Germany (1984), 147 min.
This unusual road movie tells the tale of Travis, a man lost
in his own private hell. Presumed dead for four years, he reappears
from the desert on the Mexican border, world-weary and an amnesiac.
He traces his brother Walt who is bringing up Hunter, his
seven-year old son whom Travis' ex-wife Jane
abandoned at Walt's door several years before. As virtual strangers,
Hunter and Travis begin to build a wary friendship and conspire to find
Jane and bring her back to be a family. Paris, Texas is notable for
its stunning images of the Texas landscape.
This movie is probably director Wim Wenders' most well known, critically acclaimed,
and successful movie and won a number of international awards.
||September 19, 2008
Taare Zameen Par (Stars on the Land)
Dir: Aamir Khan, India (2007), 140 min.
Taare Zameen Par is the story of Ishaan, an eight-year old boy
whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate;
strange colors, moving shapes, numbers metamorphing into fishes.
Ishaan is lost in his world, and is just not interested in algebra
and alphabets, constantly failing in school, much to the
frustration of his parents. Thinking that he is just a rebellious
little boy, they pack him off to a boarding school to 'be disciplined'.
Ishaan is lost in this place, and sinks into depression, until one day
a new art teacher joins the school who reaches out to him.
Taare Zameen Par boasts of a story that strikes a chord,
but more importantly, the acting, cinematography and direction is so sensitive,
that you are shell-shocked in amazement by the sheer impact it leaves
on you at the end. (Hindi with English subtitles)
||October 24, 2008
A new Leaf
Dir: Elaine May, USA (1971), 102 min.
A comedy about an aging playboy, his inheritance spent in lavish
living, finds himself alone and broke. The only thing he ever
wanted in life was to be wealthy. He soon realises that his
only hope to maintain his lifestyle, is to marry a rich woman.
This quest results in some great comical moments.
Written for the screen by Elaine May from a short story by
Jack Ritchie, this black comedy features hilarious performances by its
two leads, as well as the wonderfully dry George Rose as Matthau's
overly involved, but always proper butler.
||November 21, 2008
Dir: Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy (1988), 155 min.
A celebration of our love and fascination with film, seen through the
eyes of the young Italian boy Toto, who sneaks into previews of the film
to be shown later that night. The local clergy reviews the film and
decides what will be seen and what will not be seen. Thirty years later the
young boy, now a film director, is flooded with memories of the Cinema
Paradiso in his home town and returns to the town he hasn't visited since he
left to embark on his film career. Won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989
Cannes Film Festival and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2002.
(Italian with English subtitles)}
||December 5, 2008
My Left Foot
Dir: Jim Sheridan, USA (1989), 105 min.
Daniel Day-Lewis gives an Academy Award winning performance as Christy Brown,
a man thought to be mentally challenged, by his Irish family.
This true story of his growing up in poverty and overcoming the severe physical
disability of only being able to control his left foot is a wonderful
example of courage in the face of tremendous odds.
||January 23, 2009
The Story of Quiju
Dir: Yimou Zhang, China(1992), 101 min.
This movie was made by the internationally acclaimed Chinese director,
Zhang Yimou. It is about a peasant woman played by famous actress
Gong Li, whose life is unexceptional until her husband is
physically attacked by the village elder. When the elder refuses
to apologize, the very pregnant Qiu Ju takes her complaint to
the local magistrate. Soon, her quest for justice balloons
into a series of comic and frustrating battles with a complicated and unproductive bureaucracy.
This film boasts of wonderful scenes of the chinese countryside and is
a gentle satire of the bureaucractic system in modern China. (Mandarin with English subtitles)
||February 13, 2009
Triumph of the Will
Dir: Leni Riefenstahl, Germany (1935), 120 min.
Director Leni Riefenstahl is best known for her
innovations and aesthetics in filmmaking and for producing films that
are fully compatible with the Nazi ideas. This movie is a
propaganda film about the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg in 1934.
Originally produced to show future generations the rise of the Nazi
regime, it is now a historic document that demonstrates the power Hitler
had over the masses. Equally important are the many new cinematic
techniques Riefenstahl invented or applied. Both content and techniques
make this controversial film one of the most important ones ever made.
Winner of several international prizes and influential to many later
movies and documentaries. (German with English subtitles)
||March 13, 2009
Dir: Carroll Ballard, USA (2005), 100 min.
Set in Africa, a boy and his father happen upon a baby Cheetah. They are
compelled to bring it home and take care of this beautiful creature, which they
name Duma. Tragedy strikes and the family is forced to move from the farm
to the city. Keeping a full-grown mature cheetah in the city is impossible.
The young boy contemplates his options and decides that he must escort
Duma back to the wild where the Cheetah belongs.
||April 17, 2009
Dir: Charles Chaplin, USA (1931), 87 min.
This silent movie made three years after the start of the
`talkies' era, is generally viewed as Charlie Chaplin's greatest film.
Chaplin deliberately chose to make this movie as a ``silent movie'',
his only concessions being including musical scores and some other
sound effects. The plot concerns a tramp, broke and homeless, who meets a poor
blind girl selling flowers on the streets and
falls in love with her. The blind girl mistakes him for a millionaire
and because he doesn't want to disappoint her, he keeps up the charade.
The result is a poignant, deeply comic and a haunting film making
it a film to be remembered for a long time.
||May 8, 2009
L' Enfant - The Child
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, (Belgium/France) (2005), 100 min.
The film starts with a classic cinema setup: the young couple,
Sonia and Bruno, are rich in love but otherwise destitute when their
unplanned child is born. However, the film takes a unique twist
when Bruno, a hustler and petty thief, sells the baby to an adoption ring.
Set in a Belgian steel town, this heartbreaking drama shows Bruno's
struggle as he wrestles with the idea that not everything can be sold.
Winner of 11 awards including the Palme d' Or' at the Cannes Film Festival.
(French with English subtitles)