Unlike her fine work in last year’s Sundance entry “The Deep End,” Tilda Swinton is on automatic pilot and in “icon” rather than “actress” mode in “Teknolust,” her second teaming with writer-director Lynn Hershman Leeson after “Conceiving Ada.
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“War and Peace” is a frightening examination of the continuing confrontation between nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan. Exhaustive treatment given this volatile subject by radical filmmaker Anand Patwardhan is commendable, but pic would reach a much wider audience if trimmed by about an hour.
It’s perhaps fitting that “Baader,” Christopher Roth’s sure-to-be-controversial biopic about ’70s West German celebrity terrorist Andreas Baader and his rise from small-time car thief to leader of the Marxist revolutionary Red Army Faction, uses only his surname in the title. Pic can’t provide a complete, incisive profile of the man.
Filmmaker Josh Koury’s senior thesis project at the Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn, “Standing by Yourself” is an unadorned, verite glimpse into the lives of two directionless teens in a well-appointed upstate New York suburb.
A young couple can literally feel each other’s physical discomfort in “A Painful Pair,” a DV-shot feature on the many aspects of love and infatuation that’s sloppily developed and way overstretched. Writer-director Hisashi Saito has plenty of ideas and an interesting cast but often seems at a loss about what to do with them.
Not even Leos Carax’s “Pola X” was as loose an adaptation of a literary source as “Julietta,” which spins Heinrich von Kleist’s novella “The Marquise of O” into the trance-dance age as three libidinous teens run wild during and after the annual Berlin Love Parade.
Sophomore feature by Takashi Nakamura, chief animation director on “Akira,” among others, is an overlong, hopelessly confused mixture of kidtoon and grand spiritual statements, with not even a consistent graphic style to recommend it. “A Tree of Palme” is one for hardcore Japanime fans only.
As a plain Jane who falls for a handsome ballroom dancer, comedienne Sandra Ng steals a march on her more famous co-stars in “Dance of a Dream,” a modern-day Cinderella story that will enchant Sinophiles but probably seem terminally lightweight to others.
A dramatized documentary about a legendary woman who lived for nearly half a century in the South Australian desert, “Kabbarli” (grandmother) is intriguing, but limited nature of the project leaves aud wanting more. Story of Daisy Bates was at one time mooted as a project for Katharine Hepburn.
An overview of the African-American Muslim experience told from a unique point of view, Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar’s “Bilalian” arrives at an opportune moment. Begun prior to Sept. 11 and completed afterward, pic debuts when audiences are craving knowledge about Middle Eastern religions.
The story of how Roberto Calvi, president of Banco Ambrosiano, came to be found swinging from London’s Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 is recounted with chilling class in “God’s Bankers.” Pic’s only problem is that the case is so unbelievably complex that viewers with no background will be lost from scene one.