Thursday, July 02, 2015

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

An ever-shifting director, always hard to pin down, Olivier Assayas has been steadily building a fascinatingly elusive body of work that seems to constantly, continuously engage itself in dialogue. Hence, Clouds of Sils Maria seems born out of a desire to work again with the great Juliette Binoche after 2008's uneven Summer Hours, but it also exists in relation to Mr. Assayas' two previous films, the based-on-true-events Carlos and the loosely autobiographical Something in the Air, works that dealt with the idealistic ideologies of social, political and personal revolution.

     While Clouds of Sils Maria isn't a period piece, taking place in our days, its roots are squarely set in the 1970s; it's a film that harks back to the past and to the sense that a future that once had stretched out endlessly before you has by now started constricting, disappearing. As Sandy Denny once sang, "who knows where the time goes?", and that is the question asked by the character played by Ms. Binoche, actress Maria Enders, as the world hits her full blast in the opening minutes.

     In the midst of a messy divorce, as she is travelling to Switzerland to attend a tribute to Wilhelm Melchior, the playwright and director who launched her into stardom, Maria is informed that he has been found dead near his house in the mountain village of Sils Maria. Melchior had made Maria's career by casting her at 19 in Maloja Snake, a fictional play-within-the-film that clearly references Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and The Blue Angel: a heady brew of desire and ambition between two differently-aged women, where Maria played young go-getter Sigrid, an intern whose intoxicating presence so turns company director Helena's head that the older woman develops a life-destroying crush on her.

     30 years later, Wilhelm dies just as a hotshot young director (Lars Eidinger) invites Maria to revisit the play, now in the role of Helena - effectively going full circle from one role to the other, from young, wide-eyed arriviste to desperate, deadened, woman left behind. At its heart, then, Clouds of Sils Maria is all about Maria, and her realisation she can longer hold, or go back to, who she was. The same life experience that has made her grow as into an acclaimed film and stage star are also holding her back from accepting that things and times change.

     A cleverly hidden woman's picture if ever there was one, slyly invoking Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve in its attention to the unstoppable flow of time, Clouds of Sils Maria sets up constant series of opposites or dichotomies that only underline how the world around Maria has changed since her stage debut: youth/old age, stage/screen, America/Europe, truth/lie, the open air of the mountains/the closed box of the stage, performance/real life.

     Maria deals with all this as she is left alone by the death of the man she thought of as a mentor and guide, made aware that she is also a brand that needs to be managed, scared by the realisation of her own mortality, energized by the wish to prove herself still relevant. It's a delicate balancing act of a role triumphantly carried by Ms. Binoche in a superb performance, suggesting an actual, strong personal investment in the character.

     But it's not just the actress's performance that holds Clouds of Sils Maria together; it's also the way Mr. Assayas surrounds her with two cannily chosen, young American actresses that almost seem to playing two different sides of her conscience: the integrity and the sellout, the seriousness and the slumming. Kristen Stewart, of Twilight fame, plays Maria's assistant and confidant Val, while Chloë Grace Moretz is Jo-Ann Ellis, the Lindsay Lohan-ish trainwreck cast opposite her as Sigrid in the new production of Maloja Snake. As Maria retreats to Wilhelm's mountain cabin to prepare for taking on Helena with Val, the play-within-the-film becomes a hall of mirrors where the actress' own internal misgivings and memories of playing Sigrid are highlighted by the lines being run between actress and assistant, effectively transforming themselves into both characters. In this section of the film, Ms. Stewart becomes a "voice of reason" simultaneously grounding Maria and making her terribly aware of all that's at stake.

     Mr. Assayas handles it fluidly, keeping the camera closely trained on his actresses, his camera suggesting Maria's restlessness, with the glorious Swiss Alps becoming more than just backdrops for a character who must shed her old (snake) skin and learn to live with a new one. It's almost offensive how such an apparently simple film about an aging actress can contain such multitudes inside itself - it's a glorious modern classic from a director who seems to be getting better with age.

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
France, Germany, Switzerland, USA, 2014
124 minutes
cast Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger, Johnny Flynn, Brady Corbet, Hanns Zischler, Angela Winkler, Nora von Waldstätten
director and screenwriter Olivier Assayas; cinematographer Yorick le Saux (colour, widescreen); designer François-Renaud Labarthe; costumes Jürgen Doering; editor Marion Monnier; producer Charles Gillibert; production companies CG Cinéma in co-production with Pallas Film, CAB Productions and Vortex Sutra, in association with Ezekiel Film Production, ARTE France Cinéma, ZDF/ARTE, Orange Studio, RTS and SRG SSR
screened August 14th 2014, Teatro del Casinò Kursaal, Locarno Film Festival press screening, and June 23rd 2015, Lisbon, DVD

Saturday, June 27, 2015

EN DUVA SATT PÅ EN GREN OCH FUNDERADE PÅ TILLVARON
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

We knew of Swedish director Roy Andersson's maniacally detailed, blink-and-you'll-miss-it slow-motion existential burlesque from the two previous films in the so-called "Trilogy of the Living" - 2000's Songs from the Second Floor and 2007's You, the Living. Going into this third and final instalment, it's worth pointing out how much of an acquired taste Mr. Andersson's style is; the very epitome of what has been, somewhat derisively, described as "slow cinema" with its existential concerns, oblique narratives and formalist structures, the fact is the Swedish helmer's films are also often extremely funny and never wilfully obscure, even if what they seem to be building towards may prove to be just out of reach.

     To sum up: each film is composed of thematically-linked but apparently unrelated sketches, nonsensical and melancholy, minutely controlled tableaux staging those little nagging annoyances we struggle with daily that eventually blow up into full-fledged crises, carrying the unmistakable smell of "loserdom", the daily and almost futile struggle to make something out of nothing and improve one's lot through patient work. Though formally A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence brings nothing new to the director's by now equally unmistakable and admirable formal stylings, impeccably framed and held as ever, the new film lets in some fresh air, some hope in his often claustrophobic, inescapable world.

     There are, for the first time in the entire trilogy, expressions of regret, remorse, hope, kindness; scenes of love and simple pleasure that surround what is the strongest narrative throughline of the three films, the misadventures of Sam (Nils Westblom) and Jonathan (Holger Andersson), disheartened salesmen of comic novelties who face the dank greyness of humdrum city life. Around these sad clowns, and against their desperate and yet often very funny struggles, Mr. Andersson places small, dialogue-less glimpses of love and happiness; their wanderings are the gravitational centre of the film's loosely connected tableaux, with everything else radiating from them through tangents or contiguities, underlining the film's central theme as the ultimate nature of human relationships.

     This is perfectly made out in A Pigeon Sat on a Branch's two tours-de-force: the nightmare scene of the "fire drum organ", and its follow-up dialogue between Sam and Jonathan, and the episode where, while stopping at a cafe for directions, the two salesmen witness 18th-century Swedish king Carl XII storm in on his way to a campaign that will prove disastrous. Both grab at the key idea of a diseased society that feeds and preys on its young and on the "other" to keep itself afloat (I couldn't help but see some shades of Göran Olsson's Concerning Violence, though the films couldn't be more different), but also question whether the naked, opportunistic exploitation of capitalism is the only possible engine for survival (the film seems to suggest that the patience required for the basic need for human contact is there if you only become attentive enough to it).

     Yet, despite A Pigeon Sat on a Branch seeming to be just "another Roy Andersson movie", behind the stellar visuals and technical mastery visible throughout, there definitely is a more hopeful, less despairing tone than in the previous films, a slightly stronger uplift that brings Mr. Andersson closer to the bonhomie of silent burlesque comedy and especially of his formal master that is Jacques Tati, where the payoff of the patient technical layering of gags and scene-setting is never just what we think it is. The director is, for sure, an acquired taste; for those who've already acquired it there's more to enjoy, for those who haven't this may actually be the strongest, smartest entry point.

EN DUVA SATT PÅ EN GREN OCH FUNDERADE PÅ TILLVARON
Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, 2014
100 minutes
Cast Nils Westblom, Holger Andersson
Director and screenwriter Roy Andersson; cinematographers István Borbás and Gergely Pálos (colour); designers Ulf Jonsson, Julia Tegström, Nicklas Nilsson, Sandra Parment and Isabel Sjöstrand; costumes Ms. Tegström; editor Alexandra Strauss; producer Pernilla Sandström; production companies Roy Andersson Filmproduktion in co-production with 4 1/2 Fiksjon, Essential Filmproduktion, Parisienne de Production, Swedish Television, ARTE France Cinéma and ZDF/ARTE
screened June 18th 2015, Medeia Monumental 4, Lisbon, distributor press screening


Thursday, June 25, 2015

MADAME BOVARY

Is there a way to film Gustave Flaubert's classic novel Madame Bovary without short-changing the book in the process? It's a good question - not just restricted to Flaubert's work, but that seems most vital to novels like this one, that don't translate easily to narrative work. Sophie Barthes otherwise admirably thoughtful adaptation doesn't answer it very well and it does short-change the book somehow, though there is certainly intelligence in it.

     The script by the director and her producer Felipe Marino reimagines clearly the tale of the adulteress Emma Bovary (played by current go-to actress Mia Wasikowska) in 19th century rural Normandy for the modern age of austerity, focussing it on consumerism, status, credit while taking a few liberties with the plot. Ms. Barthes' Emma remains childless and has a fling with the dashing marquess d'Andervilliers instead of the rakish Rodolphe Boulanger (who remains absent throughout), but the most important aspect of this reading is she never truly becomes anything other than a young woman straight out of convent education, stifled by the world around her. The small provincial society of Yonville, ravishingly shot on French location by the great cinematographer Andrij Parekh, has strictly defined parameters - suggested ever so elegantly by the way the village residents look at Emma, always looking back distantly at her.

     The doctor's wife, though, through no great fault of her own but rather of her own education, remains a wide-eyed dreamer let loose in a candy store of sensuality, all too enamoured of the shiny toys she becomes addicted to to fully understand the trap she has let herself fall into. It's a trap that hasn't necessarily been set on purpose for her only; most of what happens in this Bovary derives from the judgmental strictures of 19th century patriarchal society, a rigid system where status makes the rules more than talent or personality. Chafing against the greyness surrounding her, Emma blooms with the quivering anticipation of the moment she will find herself elevated above her surroundings - but, with her hands tied, she must instead fall down ignominious chutes as someone who mistook a bright lamp for the sun and must be punished for her impudence.

     Ms. Barthes and Ms. Wasikowska are very good at contouring the elaborately spring-loaded traps Emma walks into; the actress is careful to not make Emma too much of a victim, though she is assuredly one as well, while making sure she is not a defenseless, powerless woman. Instead, she is painted as defiantly headstrong but utterly deluded, who in some way deserves what she has coming while begging the question - could it ever have been any other way? But Ms. Barthes is unable to make what surrounds Emma truly come to life. The moments where she gives herself away or receives her emotional comeuppance are handled with such restraint and care that they become inert, never truly scaling the heights of passion required to make Emma's fall all the more harrowing.

     We're left with Rhys Ifans' suave, almost oily merchant Lheureux as the "forked-tongue serpent" that tantalizes Emma with credit for her lush tastes as the perfect (if obvious) metaphor of the cynicism of cheap credit, and with a handsome film that is no catastrophe but doesn't really make the most out the multitudes contained in its origin story.

MADAME BOVARY
USA, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom. France, 2014
118 minutes
Cast Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Ezra Miller, Logan Marshall Green, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Laura Carmichael, Olivier Gourmet, Paul Giamatti
Director Sophie Barthes; screenwriters Felipe Marino and Ms. Barthes from the novel by Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary; cinematographer Andrij Parekh (colour, widescreen); composers Evgueni Galperine and Sacha Galperine; designer Benoît Barouh; costumes Valérie Ranchoux and Christian Gasc; editor Mikkel E. G. Nielsen; producers Joe Neurauter, Mr. Marino, Ms. Barthes and Jaime Mateus-Tique; production companies Occupant Entertainment, A Company Filmproduktion, Left Field Ventures and Scope Pictures in association with Radiant Films International, Prescience Film Finance, VP Finance, Altus Media, Aden Films, Aleph Motion Pictures, Gem Films and Steel Fish Pictures
screened June 16th 2015, UCI El Corte Inglés 9, Lisbon, distributor press screening


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

JIAO YOU
Stray Dogs

Malaysian-Chinese director Tsai Ming Liang has said, more than once, that he sees himself more as a creator of images than as a storyteller - and the way his oeuvre has developed over the years has done nothing to disprove such an adage, with each new work moving further and further away from any sort of conventional landmarks. With Stray Dogs, his tenth feature, you get an almost plotless, often dialogue-free mood-piece stringing together a series of dazzling, self-contained long takes that seem to engulf any sort of momentum or development the film may have.

     Less of a traditional narrative than a series of evocative scenes involving the need for affection in a growingly impersonal world - a theme that has resonated throughout Mr. Tsai's career - Stray Dogs is a wonder to look at as much as, sadly, it is a challenge to sit through. His work was never that strong narratively to begin with, but somehow it seems as his attempts at creating feature-length pieces has taken a back seat to more mixed-media, experimental work such as the on-going series of Walker shorts whose latest example is the zen maturity of Journey to the West.

     The film's overarching concept of a destitute family man (played by Mr. Tsai's usual stand-in, Lee Kang Sheng) working as a human billboard to provide for his children in the absence of their mother could be construed as the reverse of the mysterious "walker" Mr. Lee plays in the parallel shorts: a man who struggles to move and stands still, lost in his own dreams of possibly recreating the nuclear family he let go of. The problem lies in the sense that Mr. Tsai's style isn't here to serve a narrative but to lead the viewer into a more rarified, sensory dimension that is constantly subtracting elements necessary to its full comprehension.

     It's closer in spirit to an art installation unfolding in time, divided very clearly into three acts, to which Mr. Tsai attributes a different female actress - the second, and longest act, is the one where the more recognisable narrative elements come together, with Stray Dogs eventually dissolving, in its final third, into a Lynchian Möbius strip of dreams and aspirations that demand total devotion from the viewer. Personally, I have my doubts that, at nearly two and a half hours, the cinema screen is the ideal place to watch it, but I could be wrong, and either way this is indeed a ravishing, exquisitely controlled visual experience.

JIAO YOU
Taiwan, France, 2013
136 minutes
Cast Lee Kang Sheng, Yang Kuei Mei, Lu Yi Ching, Chen Shiang Chyi, Lee Yi Cheng, Lee Yi Chieh, Wu Jin Kai
Director Tsai Ming Liang; screenwriters Tung Cheng Yu, Mr. Tsai and Peng Fei; cinematographers Liao Pen Jung and Sung Wen Zhong (colour, widescreen); art directors Masa Liu and Mr. Tsai; costumes Wang Chia Hui; editor Lei Zhen Qing; producers Vincent Wang and Mr. Lee; production companies Homegreen Films and JBA Production in association with House on Fire Productions and Urban Distribution International
Screened June 14th 2015, Lisbon



STRAY DOGS (trailer) from Cinema Guild on Vimeo.

Monday, June 22, 2015

MAGGIE

In these days of The Walking Dead and iZombie, maybe the idea of a "realistic" zombie drama shouldn't seem to be so surprising. Still, the debut feature by the British-born motion graphics artist Henry Hobson is a striking, strange proposition; a film that thinks so much outside the box you're never sure if it actually fits anywhere, an utterly tear-free zombie equivalent of the terminal-disease melodramas that we can trace back to something as far back as Alexandre Dumas' The Lady of the Camellias or as recently as John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.

     But this is also a film where Arnold Schwarzenegger essays a rare dramatic role, and an essentially supporting one, that doesn't require him to flex his muscles or dispose of villains with sound-bite sentences (and, by the way, acquits himself more than honorably). And this is definitely not a horror movie, since it's not at all about survival; what it is is a pared-down, bleached-out tone poem about mortality, set in a future, not entirely post-apocalyptic America in the throes of the so-called "necro-ambulist" virus, in effect a contagious disease (echoing contemporary global scares like Ebola or SARS) that turns those affected into living dead.

     The titular Maggie (played with quiet resourcefulness by an Abigail Breslin channeling the young Claire Danes) is a rural high-schooler who has caught it and, after running away to protect her family from her, is brought back home by her father Wade (Mr. Schwarzenegger). What follows is Maggie's slow goodbyes to life, every step of it magnified by the constant presence of the horror awaiting her in the close-knit small town she lived in and by the love of those around her; like some sort of horrible lottery she was chosen for without possibility of appeal, Maggie is the girl forced to grow up in an accelerated period of time. Key to the film's tonal control is a scene in a beach party where Maggie's best friend takes her for a last moment of joy and teenage fun with her friends, positing the horror as something that is just there, forcing a "new normal" upon everybody.

     Maggie abounds in lyrical ruralist imagery clearly influenced by both Terrence Malick and Jeff Nichols, in a curious combination of small-scale, intimate drama and end-of-the-world anxiety that has a lot in common with both Mr. Nichols' Take Shelter and the first act of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. That is part of what makes it a more distinctive film than most, even if there's a general feel that John Scott 3's script is a bit too thin for feature length; there's a sense of a passion project for all involved (including Mr. Schwarzenegger, who is also credited as producer), and of a calling card that reveals Mr. Hobson to be perfectly at ease in both narrative and atmospheric control. No masterpiece, but a smart, intriguing film.

MAGGIE
USA, Switzerland, 2014
95 minutes
Cast Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Director Henry Hobson; screenwriter John Scott 3; cinematographer Lukas Ettlin (widescreen); composer David Wingo; designer Gabor Norman; costumes Claire Breaux; editor Jane Rizzo; producers Colin Bates, Joey Tufaro, Matthew Baer, Bill Johnson, Ara Keshishian, Trevor Kaufman, Mr. Schwarzenegger and Pierre-Ange le Pogam; production companies Grindstone Entertainment Group, Gold Star Films, Lotus Entertainment, Matt Baer Films and Sly Predator Productions in association with Silver Reel
Screened June 13th 2015, Lisbon

Saturday, June 20, 2015

INSIDE OUT

After an unwelcome, fallow interregnum during which it seemed to rest its laurels on its vaunted history, animation powerhouse Pixar finally corrects course: Inside Out is the studio's first film in five years (since the masterful Toy Story 3) to live up to the standard we were led to expect - perhaps unrealistically, as it's almost impossible to pull masterpieces out of a hat.

     To clarify, Inside Out isn't a masterpiece - the scripting hits a snag halfway through, of which more later - but it is the long-awaited return to first-rate form by the studio. Masterminded by Pixar veteran Pete Docter, whose last outing was the equally genre-defying Up, the new film is entirely set inside an 11-year old's brain, following what happens when Riley's (Kaitlyn Dias) move to San Francisco with her family creates a "perfect storm" of conflicting emotions.

     Mr. Docter and his co-director, Ronnie del Carmen, design Riley's brain as a state-of-the-art "control centre" or ship's deck, manned by five key anthropomorphised emotions that take turns in running the machine, but actually mostly run by the chirpy, always-on Joy (a delightful Amy Poehler). But the move sets everyone on edge, and a couple of fumbles by the morose, clumsy Sadness (Phyllis Smith) effectively shut both her and Joy outside the control centre, leaving Riley scared, unbalanced, angry and uncertain of what the future holds now that she's been taken out of her comfort zone.

     Shifting between the "inside" and the "outside" of the brain, showing what's going on in Riley's brain to explain why she is behaving the way she does in life, Mr. Docter's film never really lets on how extraordinarily layered its tale actually is. That is partly by design - the "eye candy" is as wondrously drawn and detailed as anything in the Pixar canon, from the idea of each memory as a multi-coloured globe stored away in an endless library to forgetfulness as a huge abyss into which blackened, ashen memories are thrown into, through the idea of the "train of thought" that is an actual train travelling through the brain.

     The visuals help translate with almost effortless immediacy the complexity of the concepts behind the plot. But the "story first" ethos of the studio is again put to good use in the expert threading of emotion with experience as Riley, Joy, Sadness, the anxious Fear (Bill Hader), the distant Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and the forceful Anger (a brilliantly cast Lewis Black) learn to navigate the "real world" with its sudden changes.

     What's most impressive is just how Messrs. Docter and Del Carmen, and co-writers Meg Lefauve and Josh Cooley, turn out to perfectly capture the volatile, ephemeral nature of memory and thought and how such fleeting, apparently casual moments become so massively central to our personality - Inside Out gets just right that sense of gangly awkwardness that every tween and teenager goes through at some point, and makes it very clear that just because you grow up you don't automatically get all the answers to all the questions.

     Still, I do have some issues with the script, especially in the film's second act, as Joy and Sadness look for a way back to "headquarters" and team up with Riley's long-lost imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind). Their trip through memory lane sidesteps into some overly Disney-ish, kiddie-oriented strands that seem custom-tailored to maintain younger viewers interested.

     It's not out of character for the film nor is it suggesting of any "slumming", and it makes all the sense in the plot; but for a studio that prided itself in assuming the best and the smartest from its audiences, it seems a little bit like hedging its bets in a film whose conceptualism may have seemed a bit too far-fetched for the marketing folk at Disney. But if that's the price to pay to get back to Pixar's top-notch form, hey, I'll take it any day of the week, and Inside Out fully deserves to be up there with the studio's best output.

INSIDE OUT
USA, 2015
94 minutes
Voice cast Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan
Director Pete Docter; co-director Ronnie del Carmen; screenwriters Mr. Docter, Meg Lefauve and Josh Cooley from a story by Messrs. Docter and Del Carmen; directors of photography Patrick Lin and Kim White (colour); composer Michael Giacchino; designer Ralph Eggleston; editor Kevin Nolting; producer Jonas Rivera; production companies Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios
screened June 12th 2015, NOS Alvaláxia 5, Lisbon, distributor press screening

Friday, June 19, 2015

SAN ANDREAS

The less said about the idiocy that is San Andreas the better. No, seriously. Don't get me wrong - when disaster porn is halfway decent, I'll gladly own up to the guilty pleasure of watching Hollywood invent outlandish catastrophes to unleash on a cast of troupers making the rent money (Airport '77 anyone? The Poseidon Adventure?) But ever since Roland Emmerich brought the genre back and jumped the shark with the utterly laughable 2012, it's clear disaster films have pretty much fallen on hard times. True, not that they've ever been that good; but there was something intriguing in watching producers like Irwin Allen and Jennings Lang trying to reclaim the concept of big-budget spectacle by super-sizing TV-level soap opera mosaics with added visual effects.

     It worked for a brief period of time - the highpoint is probably The Towering Inferno, carried by the can't miss-combo of Paul Newman and Steve McQueen - but we're 40 years later and Dwayne Johnson, as nice a guy and sympathetic an actor as he is, is nowhere near the same league. Not even Paul Giamatti, roped in to do his usual sterling supporting work and cash the paycheque, can save this piece of utterly cynical disaster porn where the visual effects don't seem to be the only thing computer-generated. Of course, you don't expect stellar writing and Oscar-quality performances from a disaster movie, especially when it's clearly coming from a B-team. But Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse's scripting is so self-obvious it comes close to parody, and his overlaying of the classic "comedy of remarriage" tropes to spice it up turn out to be entirely inappropriate.

    The film posits a cataclysmic "swarm of earthquakes" running through California along the San Andreas Fault, destroying Los Angeles and San Francisco. It also posits that Mr. Johnson, playing a L. A. Fire Department helicopter pilot, joins forces with his ex-wife Carla Gugino and takes off for San Francisco to look for and reunite with the couple's teenage daughter Alexandra Daddario. It's all so predictable, throwaway and humorless - not even Mr. Johnson's trademark levity improves things - that it becomes disheartening to see a film that has no art or inspiration at all, that is a mere mix-and-match series of Lego bricks assembled in a purely functional way with one single goal: to serve as the pretext for another demonstration of state-of-the-art visual effects. However, by itself, that no longer cuts it in these days where state-of-the-art visual effects are no longer wow-inducing.

   San Andreas is nothing more than a carny attraction that attempts to put lipstick on a rickety pig and pass it off as the bearded woman, but never manages to convince.

SAN ANDREAS
USA, Australia, 2015
114 minutes
Cast Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi, Paul Giamatti
Director Brad Peyton; screenwriter Carlton Cuse, based on a story by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore; cinematographer Steve Yedlin (colour, widescreen); composer Andrew Lockington; designer Barry Chusid; costumes Wendy Chuck; editor Bob Ducsay; effects supervisor Colin Strause; producer Beau Flynn; production companies New Line Cinema and FPC in association with Village Roadshow Pictures and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment
Screened June 11th 2015, NOS Alvaláxia 6, Lisbon, distributor press screening