IRRƒVERSIBLE – FRANCE
By far the most disturbing yet magnetic film. In “IrrŽversible,” director Gaspar NoŽ confronts his audience head on with the harsh realities of a violent world. Starring French mega-celebs Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel, the film deals with revenge, though to give any of the plot’s details away would positively ruin the experience. Be forewarned of the nine-minute rape scene and a bludgeoning far more gruesome than ever expected. Beyond its shock value, though, lies a remarkable film of epic artistic proportions. NoŽ is gifted in his ability to portray the absolute bile of humanity in one scene and the most tender of intimate moments the next. In his Q&A after the film, NoŽ talked about the film’s mixed reception thus far (audience members vomited and needed oxygen in Cannes), his subtle cameo (look for a man self-pleasuring) and the surprisingly festive atmosphere on the set (“We were rather drunk for some scenes,” he said). In all, a film that will revolutionize those capable of sitting through it. This film will be in theatrical release over the coming months.
SWEET SIXTEEN – SCOTLAND
This film deals with the life of one working class lad in gritty Scotland as he waits for his mum’s release from prison and does everything in his power to prevent her from returning to her abusive boyfriend when back. The film effectively depicts the life of frustrated, lower class youth in conjunction with the helplessness one feels as a member of a severely dysfunctional family. Just shy of his 16th birthday, Liam strays into dangerous territory in a quest to raise funds, though his character remains strong and heroic. The acting is shockingly well done, as well as the emotional intensity conveyed through director Ken Loach’s sprawling cinematic eye. In all, a film that does not use rose-tinted glass but knows when to pepper humor in all the right places. Look for this film in theatrical release in the coming months.
LIFE IN BED – USA
A rather clichŽ topic, “Life In Bed” depicts what happens when three incredibly attractive single women move to Los Angeles from NYC and have only enough money to share a king size mattress stuffed in a studio apartment. Shock of all shocks, debauchery ensues when an aspiring rock star, Simon, is thrown in the mix along with enough drugs to satisfy Keith Richards. The film is entertaining in its visuals but fails to delve into any significant character development. Most entertaining is its depiction of the City of Lost Dreams and its never-ending excess. Said filmmaker Nick Lindsay in an interview with Artsweek, “I was really drawn to this cartoonish version of this bubbly but also dark city. As a filmmaker, I could also see the production value of 30 pages of script being played on a mattress, though a lot is happening on that mattress.” In all, it’s a film worth seeing, if not at least for the coke-induced, fast-forward sex scenes and L.A. jokes. This film screens tonight at 9:30 at Victoria Hall with Lindsay available for Q&A afterward.
SPUN – USA
For Artsweek, this was one of the most anticipated films in the festival as it starred Mena Suvari, Patrick Fugit, Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Deborah Harry, Eric Roberts, John Leguizamo and Jason Schwartzman. Phew. Not to mention that the soundtrack was composed by Billy Corgan. Oh, and then there’s the fact that director Jonas