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February 12th, 2014 WW Staff | Movie Reviews & Stories
 

PIFF 2014: Shovel-Ready

The Portland International Film Festival digs itself out from beneath the snowbank.

PIFF_2014CHEATIN’ - IMAGE: Bill Plympton
It’s normal to feel behind at this point in the Portland International Film Festival. During a normal year, it’s impossible to keep up with all the mummified dictators and decapitated royals and bicycling Frenchmen. But 2014 presented a special hurdle, as our fair city got a Snowmageddon all its own, resulting in smaller crowds on opening night and all screenings canceled last Sunday.

But PIFF is a marathon, not a sprint. You can be the tortoise. Catch up this week with fondue-slurping Parisians, Dutch dairymen,  Bangladeshi luddites, German Jesus freaks, Filipino fraudsters and aging Mexican divas. Anything, remember, is better than another round of Taboo with your whiny neighbors. 

 

2 Autumns, 3 Winters

Critic’s Grade: B  [FRANCE] This French rom-com gets away with a lot that would probably look silly in an American one: characters giving lots of piece-to-cameras and documentary-style voice-overs, a guy taking a knife to the stomach for a mystery dream girl to whom he’s barely spoken a word, men wearing roll-neck sweaters while eating fondue. But the meat—or lack thereof—of indie darling 2 Autumns, 3 Winters is more universal. Across the titular timeframe, three young Parisians navigate romance, relationships and growing up. Sing along if you know the tune (they do, in fact, literally sing their story at one point, for no discernible reason). The characters themselves are outwardly charming, and their vox-pop narration is a fresh approach to the genre, but the story and its protagonists have about as much substance and depth as their English-language mumblecore counterparts. RUTH BROWN. OMSI, 6 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18. WH, 7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 22.


15 Years and One Day

Critic’s Grade: C  [SPAIN] 15 Years and One Day has all the angsty trappings of a typical teen drama: Misunderstood Jon (Aron Piper) chugs 40s on the beach, gets suspended from school and threatens to kill himself when his grandfather takes away his TV privileges. Then, though, he actually takes some more extreme actions, including killing his neighbor’s dog with rat poison and giving another boy a knife that ends up being used as a homicidal weapon. But other than vague references to his suicidal father, it’s never clear why Jon’s such a little terror. The same goes for the other characters in this strange family film: All of Jon’s relatives have hang-ups that remain entirely vague. Director Gracia Querejeta is known for exploring parent-child relationships, but here juggles so many narrative threads nothing resonates. GRACE STAINBACK. WH, 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 12. FT, 8:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18.


Boy Eating the Bird’s Food

Critic’s Grade: B  [GREECE] If Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp were to be reimagined for the current economic era, he might take the emaciated form of Yorgos (a mesmerizing Yiannis Papadopoulos), a specterlike scavenger drifting through a depressed Athens. Based on Knut Hamsun’s Hunger, this near-antic examination of a meek hotel clerk doesn’t end in a meet-cute but rather a masturbate-frantic, after which a malnourished Yorgos slurps down his own ejaculate in search of sustenance. Courtesy of director Ektoras Lygizos’ anxious, quivering camera, we’re offered glimpses of this young man’s promise (he possesses a gorgeous singing voice) but few glimmers of hope that he’ll somehow stave off his rapid physical and psychological deterioration. Rarely do films instill such a sense of helplessness. Lygizos has created an entrancing 21st-century Greek tragedy. CURTIS WOLOSCHUK. C21, 8:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18. FT, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


Cheatin’

Critic’s Grade: A  [UNITED STATES] American animation is so single-mindedly geared toward children that Bill Plympton’s adult-oriented, hand-drawn cartoons always arrive as a welcome reminder of the form’s range. Like 2008’s Idiots and Angels, the Kickstarter-funded Cheatin’ is a sublimely dialogue-free dreamscape. It’s also a story of mad love in a lurid world (akin to David Lynch’s Wild at Heart), with lead lady Ella and paramour Jake falling for each other at first sight but eventually falling down a rabbit hole of jealousy. This entails revenge sex, murderous desires and, oh yeah, a soul-transporting machine (via which Ella transmits herself into the bodies of the other women Jake fucks). Though characteristically tough, Plympton also affectingly visualizes emotion: In bed, Ella’s tentative hand stretches a long distance to touch Jake, only to be cast off; an overhead shot shows their spoonlike shapes turning away from each other as the bed breaks in half. Has a Disney movie ever captured such a raw human ache? KRISTI MITSUDA. C21, 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 12. CM, 5:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 16.


Coffee in Berlin

Critic’s Grade: B+  [GERMANY] Midway through Coffee in Berlin, Niko (Tom Schilling) breaks off a bathroom tryst with a former classmate. They’re only doing it as “Vergangenheitsbewältigung,” he says. It’s translated as “coming to terms with the past,” but the phrase specifically refers to Germany’s confrontation with its Nazi history. That search for historical atonement burbles throughout Jan Ole Gerster’s debut feature, a black-and-white portrait of an aimless, lank-haired 20-something drifting through a day in Berlin. He’s perpetually foiled in his pursuit of coffee—and this guy could really use a shot of caffeine—as well as human connection. Some might see it as mere German mumblecore, but Schilling’s performance is wonderfully sympathetic, and the score—lovely piano tunes, jaunty jazz—elevate the film to something dryer, wiser and far more generous. REBECCA JACOBSON. OMSI, 6 pm Friday, Feb. 14. CM, 2:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


The Congress

Critic’s Grade: C  [ISRAEL] What begins as a live-action meta-meditation on Robin Wright’s career (the actress plays herself) and the state of movies transmogrifies into an animated rumination on identity and reality. Directed by Ari Folman (of Waltz With Bashir) and based on a Stanisław Lem novel, The Congress sounds as enticingly existential as a head trip dreamed up by Charlie Kaufman or Richard Linklater a la A Scanner Darkly. Alas, it’s squandered by stilted scripting and a sci-fi segue that strives for Brave New World heights but comes up only with one-note “chemical party” people. Hallucinogenic musings arrive devoid of grooviness or depth, replaced by flat moral judgments on youth culture, celebrity obsession and prescription drug addiction. KRISTI MITSUDA. C21, noon Friday, Feb. 14.


The Golden Dream

Critic’s Grade: B  [MEXICO] Guatemalan pre-teens wrestle with romance and companionship in Diego Quemada-Diez’s debut feature, but The Golden Dream is no Growing Pains: Our subjects are coming of age on a perilous migration to the United States. These are children undergoing the trials of men, and as they encounter violence, theft and extortion at the hands of migration coyotes, Quemada-Diez forges somberly and relentlessly ahead without pause for remorse. Leader Juan turns from impatient boy to road-hardened man, but his evolution doesn’t include the “Golden Dream” he had hoped for at the outset, leaving viewers on the other side of the fence to quite rightly question why it has to be this way. GRACE STAINBACK. C21, 2:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17. WH, 5 pm Saturday, Feb. 22.


Google and the World Brain

Critic’s Grade: C+  [GREAT BRITAIN] In pulling back the curtain on Google’s audacious plan to scan every book in existence and create a universal digital library, documentarian Ben Lewis ensures there’s always someone waiting to shout “boo!” Librarians, authors and futurists are shot through moody Fincher-like filters and accompanied by a Reznor-lite score as they deride the corporation’s galling disregard for copyright and warn that the groundwork is being laid for a dystopian future. However, the impact of such doomsaying is diminished when interspersed with shoddy animation that hardly gives the impression that Lewis is well-versed in cutting-edge technology. His alarmist documentary certainly succeeds in raising viewers’ concerns about Google, but it’s a curiosity that is likely just to send them scurrying back into Google’s waiting arms. CURTIS WOLOSCHUK. OMSI, 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 12. WTC, 1 pm Saturday, Feb. 15.


I Am Yours

Critic’s Grade: C  [NORWAY] Within the first 10 minutes of Iram Haq’s debut feature, I Am Yours, we know the ingredients of Pakistani-Norwegian Mina’s life: unavailable men, frustration with her young son Felix, traditionalist parents judgmental of her sexual freedom, a stillborn acting career, and a successfully employed and partnered ex-husband casting everything into harsher relief. Then Mina meets Jesper and senses possibility, but Haq sketches the romance so superficially that we have a hard time believing it significant. Eventually spurned again, Mina continues going through the motions, but her disappointments don’t accrue any nuance or depth, resulting in dire concluding actions that lack a credible emotional crescendo. KRISTI MITSUDA. WH, 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 12. FT, 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


In Bloom

Critic’s Grade: B+  [GEORGIA] Everyone knows adolescence is torture, but what if your awkward phase takes place in war-torn Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union? You might just get a gun from your sweetheart as a forget-me-not. You might also be married off to a local thug before you reach 15. In Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’ melancholy meditation on innocence lost, it’s 1992 in Tbilisi and best friends Eka and Natia are almost all grown up. They go to school, they fight their way through bread lines, they dance, they yearn, they smoke, they alternately dodge and attract men. They never laugh. They are surrounded on all sides by the menace of hair-trigger men and women who have abandoned all hope for a better life. Blooming has never been so bleak. DEBORAH KENNEDY. CM, 6 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. FT, 5 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


It’s All So Quiet

Critic’s Grade: C-  [THE NETHERLANDS] Helmer’s days are dominated by routine. Every morning, he cares for his bedridden father. He then goes to work on his desolate farm, tending to the cows and crops. He meets with the guy who drives the dairy truck and rebuffs his advances, maybe says hello to his neighbor, and gets tempted by a young farmhand. Then maybe he gets some coffee. And then goes back to work. One thing he doesn’t do much is speak. And one thing director Nanouk Leopold doesn’t do is advance the film into anything particularly enjoyable, save a few pretty shots of grass blowing in the wind, a couple moments of tenderness from the father, and the offer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Helmer will talk to the truck driver a little longer. But there’s much work to do, and these cows aren’t going to milk themselves. AP KRYZA. C21, 7:45 pm Sunday, Feb. 16. FT, 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 19.


Just a Sigh

Critic’s Grade: C-  [FRANCE] Just a Sigh is about a woman whose life is so difficult she repeatedly makes love to a corpse. Well, technically he’s not dead, but he’s Gabriel Byrne. The first time he and Emmanuelle Devos’ character kiss after their encounter on a train, you get the feeling that when the camera pans around it’ll end up like the bathroom scene in The Shining. Devos is otherwise fascinating as a woman at the end of multiple tethers, a middle-aged, insolvent actress flirting not just with divorce but with being anyone but herself. She is condescended to by her husband, her uptight sister, a bitchy bartender—heck, even by a lamppost—and her sometimes childish volatility ranges interestingly from slapstick to genuine pathos. But while the film’s one-day love story might aim at Before Sunrise, it’s a lot more like Weekend at Bernie’s. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. C21, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 13, and 6 pm Saturday, Feb. 15.


The Last Call

Critic’s Grade: B-  [MEXICO] In this comedy about a Mexican theater troupe putting on Camus’ Caligula, you’ll meet all the usual suspects: There’s the obsessive director who can’t decide whether to set the production in fascist Italy or ancient Rome, the perpetually sloshed producer, the asthmatic set designer, the aging diva who resents the pretty young ingenue, the hunky stripper-turned-technician (they call him Chippen) who bangs the costume mistress backstage. It all makes for a lively if low-stakes romp, punctuated with just enough moments of emotional risk and droll one-liners (the stoned stagehand fears the neighborhood kids are planning a “rebellion of the emos”) to keep things amusing, if never particularly engrossing. REBECCA JACOBSON. OMSI, 9 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. CM, 6 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18.


La Última Película

Critic’s Grade: D+  [MEXICO] You don’t need to see any classic rock documentaries to understand Rob Reiner’s brilliant mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. Unfortunately for directors Raya Martin and Mark Peranson, their painstaking parody of Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie will be utterly lost on anyone not familiar with the original. Moreover, their update of the cult classic—the story of a whiny hipster who travels to the Yucatán to scout for the last film shot on cellulose—is just as painfully forehead-slapping as Hopper’s 1971 film. Even the “Scene Missing” cards are there. But it’s not just scenes that are missing from La Última Película—it’s humor entirely. MITCH LILLIE. CM, 9 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. FT, 7:45 pm Sunday, Feb. 16.


Levitated Mass: The Story of Michael Heizer’s Monolithic Sculpture

Critic’s Grade: B  [UNITED STATES] A rolling stone gathers no moss, but a 340-ton boulder cruising through the streets of L.A. attracts quite a crowd, and sometimes gets its own Twitter account. In 2012, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art redefined “massive undertaking,” transporting a 20-foot-tall hunk of granite from a quarry in Riverside to the museum’s front lawn, for use in an installation by the artist Michael Heizer. Levitated Mass is half documentary, half grindingly slow road movie, tracking the rock’s 10-day journey, during which time it became a Southern California cultural phenomenon. As the industrial caravan passes through communities that, frankly, probably don’t get to LACMA very often, the film becomes an unexpectedly profound testament to the idea that interpretation always trumps artistic intent. Is this thing a monument to human achievement, a sign from God, a $10 million insult in the middle of a recession or, as the mayor of Carson, Calif., puts it, “a big pebble”? Other talking heads pop up to discuss Heizer’s work in more educated terms, but I’m inclined to agree with the assessment of one street-side observer: “You can’t say, ‘I’m an artist, this is my rock.’ Nah, you ain’t create that, bro.” MATTHEW SINGER.  WH, 2:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17. FT, 6 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18.


Metro Manila

Critic’s Grade: A  [GREAT BRITAIN] When rice prices plummet, there’s only one place for Oscar and his family to go: Big Dirty Dangerous City. The plot screams of socioeconomic drama, a genre not so much overdone as underdeveloped. But while Metro Manila dabbles in the trite aphorisms you might expect—“Hope is all people need,” explains Oscar’s colleague—the film soon proves itself to be far more than simple cliché. As the parents, Jake Macapagal and Althea Vega have hopeful yet desperate stares that seem to cross the city. The family is trapped in a purgatory of need, and the stakes rise ever higher as the fraudsters circle. In the opening voice-over, Oscar quotes a Filipino proverb: “No matter how long the procession, it always ends at the church door.” After that turn of phrase, there’s only one way Metro Manila can end, but it’s no less thrilling, its heart no less sweet. MITCH LILLIE. OMSI, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 13. FT, 12:30 pm Saturday Feb. 15.


Nothing Bad Can Happen

Critic’s Grade: B-  [GERMANY] The kindness of strangers takes a cruel, Nick Cave-worthy turn in Katrin Gebbe’s profoundly disturbing debut. Tore (Julius Feldmeier), an itinerant, epileptic “Jesus Freak,” accepts Benno’s (Sascha Alexander Gersak) offer to stay with his family, unaware of his host’s intentions to test his faith. The malicious Benno indulges in sadism that would do Dogville residents proud, forcing Tore not only to turn the other cheek but invite further degrading abuse. As Tore’s angelic features turn cadaverous, the film grows increasingly grueling. And while Tore is convinced of his reward for enduring such torment, viewers may grow bewildered about the exact objective of Gebbe’s occasionally gratuitous exercise. But regardless of your immediate reaction (repulsion is likely), the film’s images will ultimately prove unshakeable. CURTIS WOLOSCHUK. C21, midnight Saturday, Feb. 15.


People in Places

Critic’s Grade: A  [SPAIN] From its opening scene, in which both viewer and waiter butt into an awkward date at a restaurant, People in Places is a celebration of all manner of human interaction. These are unrelated sketches of, well, “people in places.” They’re people generally doing really weird shit, and the scenes are often marked by surreal ambiguity (is she dreaming, or is there really a dead guy and raw meat draped outside her apartment door?). There’s a lusty middle-aged man posing as a real estate agent, a skirmish over an inappropriate doormat and a pair of would-be robbers who abandon thievery to tidy a woman’s sloppy apartment. Coming from a country in the throes of economic and social instability, the film speaks to the times with its shoestring budget, kaleidoscope of personalities and choppy, voyeuristic cinematography. GRACE STAINBACK. C21, 6 pm Friday, Feb. 14. WH, 5 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


Stranger by the Lake

Critic’s Grade: B+  [FRANCE] Hitchcock by way of Cruising, Stranger by the Lake is a murder mystery set at a hot spot for homosexual trysts. We know the killer’s identity, but we’re drawn in anyway, which puts us in a similar situation as protagonist Franck. He’s a young man who witnesses another man being drowned by his lover and then begins a sexual relationship with the murderer because, well, the heart wants what the heart wants. Alain Guiraudie won Best Director in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year, and he deserves it just for the last scene, which is as awash in dread and dark beauty as any sequence in recent memory. MICHAEL NORDINE. CM, 6 pm Friday, Feb. 14. WH, 9:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 22.


Television

[C+] [BANGLADESH] Television is a lot like its namesake subject matter: brightly colored, quick-moving, likeable and more than a little dumb. It’s a moral parable of sorts, a Muslim version of Footloose in which a Bangladeshi village’s local religious leader wants to forbid–I shit you not–imagination. He’d also strongly prefer his flock shy away from graven images, in particular those on the lone television set owned by a local Hindu. The rest of the tale unfolds with similar subtlety, with plenty of drunken crying and a few fun sight gags, until the young win the day (spoiler!). It’s wildly popular in its home country, enough so the country’s submitted it for an Academy Award, despite it being blazingly naive and unashamedly amateurish. But hey, you’ve already seen all your favorite ‘80s comedies, because they’ve been around for 30 years. Why not watch Bangladesh’s, which was made just last year? MATTHEW KORFHAGE. WH, 9 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. C21, 5 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


Tim’s Vermeer

Critic’s Grade: B-  [UNITED STATES] In this documentary from Penn and Teller (yes, that Penn and Teller), an inventor of high-tech computer equipment named Tim Jenson sets out to re-create the painting The Music Lesson from 16th-century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. The music is lovely, as are the glimpses of Vermeer’s work, but there’s something missing. Even at the conclusion of Jenson’s experiment, it’s not completely clear whether Vermeer had the help of a camera obscura when painting his masterpieces. What is crystal-clear is that Jenson has too much time and money on his hands. Otherwise, why would he devote five years of his life to what is, in the end, (a) an extended version of MythBusters and (b) a hyped-up game of paint-by-numbers? DEBORAH KENNEDY. WH, 6 pm Friday, Feb. 14. OMSI, 8:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18.


The Tough Guys

Critic’s Grade: B  [NORWAY] Modulf is the superhero a historically neutral country like Norway deserves: one who takes an ass-whipping so others don’t have to. For a kid obsessed with comic books, the 11-year-old protagonist of The Tough Guys has greatly misinterpreted his late father’s dictum that a hero “protects the weak,” taking it upon himself to leap in front of bullies’ fists and toss his head into toilets to save his classmates from torment. Just call him Martyr Boy. Modulf (Sondre Blakstad Henriksen) is content with his role as volunteer sacrificial lamb, until the arrival of Lise (Regine Stokkevåg Eide), a preteen manic-pixie in pigtails and pink glasses, forces him to confront his own wimpdom. Ostensibly a children’s film, The Tough Guys ends with a fairly unambiguous “let’s all just get along” message, and while it’s nice to see a movie that transfers the superhero mythos to real life without the brutal cynicism of Kick Ass or Super, this is basically a spirited Norwegian take on an ABC Family movie—just with more utterances of “shit,” an undercurrent of juvenile sadism and the vague implication that Modulf’s father committed suicide and possibly mowed down his co-workers in the process. Delightful! MATTHEW SINGER. FT, 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 16, and 2:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


Transit

Critic’s Grade: B  [THE PHILIPPINES] Filipinos comprise one of the biggest groups of foreign workers in Israel, and they’re the subject of Hannah Espia’s debut feature, Transit. It’s a low-key, patient film that manages an impressively calm tone for such potentially incendiary subject matter—at issue, for example, is whether a 4-year-old, Israeli-born boy will be deported. The film follows the linked stories of five Filipinos in Tel Aviv, and it builds the most steam when addressing the relationships between the parents and their third-culture kids, who were born in Israel, speak only Hebrew and, as one mother resentfully points out, don’t know how to make adobo. While a pervasive sense of paranoia percolates, it’s the tender moments—as when the 4-year-old tucks his overworked father into bed—that really stick. REBECCA JACOBSON. OMSI, 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 13. C21, 3:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 15.



Walesa: Man of Hope

Critic’s Grade: B+  [POLAND] Lech Wałęsa just couldn’t keep his mouth shut—not a good tactic in 1970s Poland. In Andrzej Wajda’s biopic Walesa: Man of Hope, we see his plain dealing and curt, ideological outbursts take him from electrician to leader of Solidarity, the anti-Soviet labor union. With precision and heart, Robert Więckiewicz plays the hero, much as he did in 2011 drama In Darkness. But despite deft edits of actual newsreels from the time, Walesa’s story seems tangled, though that’s mostly because the dramatic speeches and symbols—like the churning Polish punk soundtrack—overwhelm the archival backdrop. It’s a political drama, after all, with a decade of turmoil to cover and a multifaceted figure to profile, and Walesa emerges energetic, honest and indeed hopeful. MITCH LILLIE. WH, 7:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17. OMSI, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


The Wishful Thinkers

Critic’s Grade: A-  [SPAIN] This is a Spanish film about the dream of movies, a film of a filmmaker making a film and a black-and-white tribute to the French New Wave and to the meta-filmmaking of South Korean film director Sang-soo Hong. It should be ponderous, dull, self-important. But it never is. Jonás Trueba’s The Wishful Thinkers is a lighthearted love affair—or a succession of them, really. As hopelessly passionate young director Leon muddles his way through multiple relationships, we often see the same scenes from his life replayed as scenes in the movie he’s working on, complete with booms and dollies and clackers. But somehow this is never precious meta-commentary, but rather a celebration: Film bleeds into life until film is life, and vice versa. Leon and the women he dates are people we still care about as characters. And through it all, this shaggy dog of a movie maintains an almost anachronistic sense of possibility that is infectious. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. FT, 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 12. CM, 7:45 pm Monday, Feb. 16.


A World Not Ours

Critic’s Grade: A-  [LEBANON] In Madhi Fleifel’s documentary, the only real constants are cigarettes and machine guns. Also claustrophobia. This is the story of Lebanon’s Ain el-Helweh refugee camp where, for decades, Palestinians have languished, largely jobless and angry, hoping for a chance to return to their homeland. The film’s tone is bittersweet and riddled with longing. Its nonlinear structure mimics the flight of the flock of pigeons that belong to the director’s uncle—weaving and soaring, circling back on themselves. You won’t soon forget anyone Fleifel follows with his camera—his grouchy but loving grandfather, his restless friend Abu Eyad, his now-dead uncle Jamal, who many in Ain el-Helweh think might have freed his people if he hadn’t been shot in the throat by an Israeli soldier—or the image of one of the pigeons, caught in a cage. DEBORAH KENNEDY. WTC, 6 pm Friday, Feb. 14, and 5:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 16.

WW critics were unable to screen 17 of the films, but here’s a bit about each:

American Dreams in China

[HONG KONG] Three Beijing college students, all obsessed with America, start an English-language school in 1985. FT, 5:45 pm Friday, Feb. 14. C21, 5:45 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


Antboy

[DENMARK] A kids’ movie about a 12-year-old who is bitten by a genetically modified ant and quickly finds himself developing amazing superpowers. WH, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 13. CM, 1 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. 


Aya of Yop City

[FRANCE] An animated story about three teenage best friends in Ivory Coast. WH, 3:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. C21, 12:15 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


Back to 1942

[CHINA] A (presumably heartwarming) saga of famine, drought, disease, 

earthquakes, government corruption, windstorms, war and locusts. OMSI, 6:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 16. CM, 8:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18.


Circles

[SERBIA] A trio of stories exploring the aftershocks of the Bosnian War. OMSI, 6:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17. WH, 5:45 pm Wednesday, Feb. 19.


The Great Passage

[JAPAN] While compiling a new Japanese dictionary, a bookish salesman falls in love with a culinary student. WH, 7:45 pm Sunday, Feb. 16. OMSI, 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 19.


Horses of God

[MOROCCO] Four childhood friends become suicide bombers in the slums of Casablanca. C21, 9 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. WH, 2:15 pm Saturday, Feb. 22.


Juvenile Offender

[SOUTH KOREA] A 16-year-old boy finds himself trapped in a cycle of crime. C21, 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 13. CM, 3:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 15.


The Last Step

[IRAN] From beyond the grave, a dead architect narrates a story about his gorgeous movie-star wife. CM, 12:15 pm Monday, Feb. 17. C21, 6 pm Tuesday, Feb. 18.


The New Rijksmuseum

[THE NETHERLANDS] A documentary about the decadelong renovation of the Amsterdam museum. WH, 2:45 pm Sunday, Feb. 16. C21, 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 19.


Nobody’s Daughter Haewon

[SOUTH KOREA] A student stumbles sleepily through life in Seoul. FT, 7:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17. WH, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


The Priest’s Children

[CROATIA] A young priest, with the help of a convenience-store owner, punctures holes in condoms and soon finds his flock in the midst of a baby boom. OMSI, 8:30 pm Friday, Feb. 14. CM, 5 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


The Search for Emak Bakia

[SPAIN] An appropriately unconventional documentary about Emak Bakia, a 1926 avant-garde film by Man Ray. WTC, 7:45 pm Sunday, Feb. 16, and 9:15 pm Friday, Feb. 21.


The Snow on the Pines

[IRAN] A piano teacher, finding her marriage in trouble, must navigate between desire and tradition. C21, 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 16. CM, 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


Stray Dogs

[TAIWAN] More slow cinema from Tsai Ming-Liang, this time chronicling a family in Taipei. FT, 3:15 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. CM, 7:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17.


Thy Womb

[THE PHILIPPINES] A woman unable to bear her own child must look for a second wife for her husband. FT, 9 pm Saturday, Feb. 15. C21, 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 20.


The Way We Dance

[HONG KONG] A low-budget movie about young people dancing and doing kung fu. C21, 7:30 pm Monday, Feb. 17. WH, 7 pm Friday, Feb. 21.

 
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