Pursuing the truth is indeed a noble endeavor, one that’s made all the more virtuous when infused with passion. That’s particularly crucial when attempts are made to intentionally obscure it and the stakes are high.
“Aniara” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Emelie Jonsson, Bianca Cruzeiro, Arvin Kananian, Anneli Martini, Jennie Silfverhjelm, Emma Broomé, Jamil Drissi, Leon Jiber, David Nzinga, Peter Carlberg, Dakota Trancher Williams, Otis Costillo Ålhed, Dante Westergårdh. Directors: Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja. Screenplay: Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja. Source Material: Harry Martinson, poem, Aniara. Web site. Trailer. Starting over can seem like a dual-edged sword. In some ways, it may appear to be a tremendous opportunity to begin afresh. In other ways, though, we might feel devastated, completely overwhelmed by what we find ourselves up against. And, in the midst of that conundrum, we could be beset by the feeling of being totally adrift, unable to find our way, emotions not unlike [...]
“Spider” (“Araña”) (2019). Cast: María Valverde, Mercedes Morán, Gabriel Urzúa, Felipe Armas, Pedro Fontaine, Marcelo Alonso, María Gracia Omegna, Mario Horton. Director: Andrés Wood. Screenplay: Guillermo Calderón. Web site. Trailer. Truth can be a powerful weapon, one that can both avenge wrongs and operate as a force of devastating destruction, sometimes simultaneously. The power associated with it can have tremendous ramifications and in a variety of contexts. And, when evidence of truth in both its aspects surfaces, the implications can be staggering. So it is for three individuals whose stories are rooted in the past and thought forgotten until they’re unexpectedly revived in the present, an intense saga depicted in the taut Chilean political thriller, “Spider” (“Araña”). In 1970, socialist [...]
“The Fall of the American Empire” (“La chute de l’empire américain”) (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Alexandre Landry, Maripier Morin, Rémy Girard, Maxim Roy, Louis Morissette, Florence Longpré, Patrick Emmanuel Abellard, Pierre Curzi, Vincent Leclerc, Eddy King, Anoulith Sintharaphone, Ayana O’Shun, Kémy St-Eloy. Director: Denys Arcand. Screenplay: Denys Arcand. Web site. Trailer. We all have our priorities when it comes to determining what we believe has value. But what exactly are those determinations based on? Do they arise from rigorously scrutinized considerations, or do they stem from arbitrary, capricious, cursory examinations? Are they decided upon by consensus, or do they vary from one individual to another? And are they fixed or flexible, changeable as needs arise or forever rigid? Those [...]
“The Trouble with You” (“En liberté!”) (2018). Cast: Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, Audrey Tautou, Vincent Elbaz, Damien Bonnard, Hocine Choutri, Octave Bossuet. Director: Pierre Salvadori. Screenplay: Benjamin Charbit, Benoît Graffin and Pierre Salvadori. Web site. Trailer. How far are we willing to go to make amends? To be sure, many of us justifiably feel compelled to right our wrongs, often with good reason. But, when it comes to compensating for the misdeeds of others for whom we feel responsible, how long must we leave ourselves on the hook, if at all? That’s a conundrum faced by a noble public servant with good intentions – and not always the best results – in the wacky new French farce, “The Trouble with [...]
“If Beale Street Could Talkˮ (2018). Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, Finn Wittrock, Emily Rios, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Beach, Aunjanue Ellis, Teyonah Parris, Ebony Obsidian, Dominique Thorne, Ed Skrein, Ethan Barrett, Milanni Mines, Pedro Pascal, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Kaden Byrd. Director: Barry Jenkins. Screenplay: Barry Jenkins. Book: James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk. Web site. Trailer. Much goes on in a neighborhood that comes to define its character. It’s as if the community takes on a life and personality of its own, one that frequently persists and comes to distinguish the area in question, including its residents, often for generation after generation. It’s a phenomenon that essentially becomes a way [...]
“The Old Man & the Gun” (2018). Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter, Ari Elizabeth Johnson, Teagan Johnson, Gene Jones, John David Washington, Elisabeth Moss, Keith Carradine, Robert Longstreet. Director: David Lowery. Screenplay: David Lowery. Story Source: David Grann, “The Old Man and the Gun,” New Yorker magazine. Web site. Trailer. What gives us personal satisfaction? That’s something many of us chase down throughout our lives, and some of us are fortunate enough to find it. But is this a quest we should pursue at any cost, especially if the goals are dubious? That’s a question posed in the new, fact-based biopic, “The Old Man & the Gun.” Septuagenarian Forrest Tucker (not the [...]
“Crown Heights” (2017). Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Bill Camp, Luke Forbes, Adriane Lenox, Zach Grenier, Josh Pais, Skylan Brooks, Nestor Carbonell, Armand Schultz. Director: Matt Ruskin. Screenplay: Matt Ruskin. Web site. Trailer. Seeking justice is sometimes an unbelievably slow and difficult process. Bureaucratic procedures, sloppy investigative work and officials unwilling to admit making mistakes all contribute to needlessly complicating matters. The frustration can be exasperating for everyone involved, especially those who have been wrongfully convicted. Such is the case in the fact-based biographical drama “Crown Heights,” now available on DVD and video on demand. In 1980, 18-year-old Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield) was arrested, convicted and incarcerated for a murder he did not commit in the Crown Heights [...]