Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AURORA

Romania/France/Switzerland/Germany
2010
181 minutes

A downtrodden, divorced Bucarest man in the middle of what seems a personal crisis kills four people. Deliberately opaque yet thoroughly engrossing and occasionally absurdist character study where style perfectly channels substance.

Starring Cristi Puiu (credited only in the end titles), Clara Voda, Valeria Seciu, Catrinel Dumitrescu, Luminita Gheorghiu, Valentin Popescu, Gelu Colceag, Simona Popescu, Gheorghe Ifrim, Alexandru Lazar, Andrei Mateiu, Leo Profir, Iluian Puiu, Lucian Ifrim, Sorin Medeleni, Adina Cristescu, Mona Dobrisan, Dana Cavaleru, Alina Grigore, Anda Birleanu, Richard Bovnoczski, Cristina Toma, Constantin Dita, Ion Stoica, Stelian Zamfir, Gheorghe Aur, Carmela Culda, Lucian Ciurariu, Ileana Puiu.
Directed and written by Mr. Puiu; produced by Anca Puiu, Bobby Paunescu; director of photography (Egli Film, Kodak Cinelabs Romania), Viorel Sergovici; production designers, Vali Ighigheanu, Andreea Popa; costume designers, Ana Andrei, Monica Fiorescu; film editor, Ioachim Stroe. 
A Mandragora Movies production in collaboration with Parisienne de Production, Bord Cadre Film, Essential Filmproduktion; with the support of CNC România, ARTE France Cinéma, ZDF/ARTE, Eurimages programme, SC Serv Invest, Office Fédéral de la Culture Suisse, Societatea Româna de Televiziune, Centre National de la Cinématographie, HBO România, Télévision Suisse Romande. (World sales, Coproduction Office.)
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, November 7th 2010.

Monday, November 29, 2010

IM SCHATTEN

In the Shadows


Germany
2010
85 minutes

A thief just out of jail sets up a new job while being chased by both the police and his former associates. Terse, tight heist movie that transplants the genre's classic coordinates to modern day Germany.

Starring Misel Maticevic, Karoline Eichhorn, Uwe Bohm, Rainer Bock, David Scheller, Peter Kurth, Hanns Zischler.
Directed and written by Thomas Arslan; produced by Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber; music by Geir Jenssen; director of photography (ARRI Kopierwerk prints), Reinhold Vorschneider; production designer, Reinhild Blaschke; costume designer, Anette Guther; film editor, Bettina Blickwede.
A Schramm Film Koerner & Weber presentation/production, in co-production with ZDF/3sat; with financing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM - Kulturelle Filmförderung des Bundes, Filmförderungsanstalt.
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, November 6th 2010.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

TOURNÉE

On Tour

France/Germany
2010
111 minutes

The producer behind a French tour of American New Burlesque artists finds his world collapsing as the past comes back to haunt him. Endearing backstage drama whose tried and true plot is carried by the sheer presence of its cast.

Starring Miranda Colclasure, Suzanne Ramsey, Linda Marraccini, Julie Ann Muz, Angela de Lorenzo, Alexander Craven, Mathieu Amalric.
Directed by Mr. Amalric; produced by Laetitia Gonzalez, Yaël Fogiel; written by Mr. Amalric, Philippe di Folco, Marcelo Novais Teles, Raphaëlle Valbrune; director of photography (LTC Scanlab), Christophe Beaucarne; production designer, Stéphane Taillasson; costume designer, Alexia Crisp-Jones; film editor, Annette Dutertre.
A Les Films du Poisson presentation/production; in co-production with ARTE France Cinéma, WDR-ARTE, Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion, Le Pacte and Film(s); with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma; with the support of Région des Pays de la Loire, Région Haute-Normandie, Département de la Charente-Maritime, Région Poitou-Charentes; in partnership with Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l'Image Animée; in association with Sofica Europacorp and Sofica Coficup, a Backup Films fund; with the participation of Filmförderungsanstalt; with the support of MEDIA Programme of the European Union and PROCIREP. (French distributor and world sales, Le Pacte.)
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, November 5th 2010.

Friday, November 26, 2010

THE AMERICAN

USA
2010
105 minutes

An armourer chased by mysterious assassins hides in a picturesque Italian village while fulfilling one last contract. Stylish, drawn-out paranoid mystery, precisely tooled.

Starring George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli, Johan Leysen.
Directed by Anton Corbijn; produced by Anne Carey, Jill Green, Ann Wingate, Grant Heslov, Mr. Clooney; screenplay by Rowan Joffe, based on the novel by Martin Booth, A Very Private Gentleman; music by Herbert Grönemeyer; director of photography (colour, widescreen), Martin Ruhe; production designer, Mark Digby; costume designer, Suttirat Anne Larlarb; film editor, Andrew Hulme.
A Focus Features presentation of a This Is That/Greenlit/Smokehouse production; produced in association with Twins Financing. (US distributor, Focus Features. World sales, Focus Features International.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), November 5th 2010.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

UNSTOPPABLE

USA
2010
97 minutes

Human error sends an unmanned freight train loaded with hazardous materials hurtling towards a Philadelphia suburb; a laid-off driver and a rookie conductor are the only hope of stopping it. Taut, tight little B-thriller that plays out almost in real time and puts to good use its director's tendency for hectic visuals.

Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine; Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn, Ethan Suplee.
Directed by Tony Scott; produced by Julie Yorn, Mr. Scott, Mimi Rogers, Eric McLeod, Alex Young; written by Mark Bomback; music by Harry Gregson-Williams; director of photography (DeLuxe, widescreen), Ben Seresin; production designer, Chris Seagers; costume designer, Penny Rose; film editors, Chris Lebenzon, Robert Duffy.
A Twentieth Century-Fox presentation, in association with Dune Entertainment, of a Prospect Park/Scott Free production; produced in association with Ingenious Media; made in association with Big Screen Productions. (US distributor and world sales, Twentieth Century-Fox.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), November 3rd 2010.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

IO SONO TONY SCOTT

Italy
2010
132 minutes

The life and times of Italian-American clarinetist Tony Scott, an acclaimed jazz musician in the New York of the 1950s who died in penury in Italy. Sympathetic but overlong documentary about an undeservingly forgotten musician that ends up being far too much of a “talking-head” television piece than it means to be; for jazz connoisseurs only.

Directed by Franco Maresco; produced by Giuseppe Bisso; written by Mr. Maresco, Claudia Uzzo; director of photography (colour), Alessandro Abate; sound, Luca Bertolin; production designers, Cesare Inderillo, Nicola Sferruzza; film editor, Edoardo Morabito.
A Regione Siciliana presentation, in collaboration with Sicilia Film Commission, of a Cinico Cinema/RAI Cinema presentation/production.
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, November 3rd 2010.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

USA/France
2010
105 minutes

A Los Angeles lesbian couple with two teenage children conceived by artificial insemination are flabbergasted when the kids seek the original sperm donor. Standard family comedy with a clever sex twist; neither as funny nor as groundbreaking as everyone seems to make it out to be, but with performances so good they're worth alone the price of admission.

Starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo; Mia Wasikowska; and Josh Hutcherson.
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko; produced by Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Jordan Horowitz, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Philippe Hellmann; written by Ms. Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg; music by Carter Burwell; director of photography (Technicolor), Igor Jadue-Lillo; production designer, Julie Berghoff; costume designer, Mary Claire Hannan; film editor, Jeffrey M. Werner. 
A UGC PH/Gilbert Films presentation, in association with Saint Aire Productions, Artist International and 10th Hole Productions, of an Antidote International Films/Mandalay Vision/Gilbert Films production. (US distributor, Focus Features. World sales, Inferno.) 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), November 2nd 2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010

OBRATNOE DVIZHENIE

Reverse Motion


Russia
2010
92 minutes

A mother traumatised by her soldier son's status as missing in action decides to take care of a young illegal alien. Highly stylized slow-motion thriller where mood is as important as plot.

Starring Olga Demidova, Vladislav Abashin, Georg Gachoev, Daria Gacheva, Nikita Emtshanov, Alexander Plaksin, Vassili Kortukov, Oleg Ageitchev.
Directed by Andrei Stempkovski; produced by Mr. Stempkovski, Vladislav Rosin, Mikhail Kalatozishvili, Andrei Bondarenko; written by Anish Vardanian with Livi Shavgulidze and Mr. Stempkovski; music by Ilya Balaban; director of photography (Salamandra Laboratories), Zaur Bolotaev; production designer, Sergei Avstrievski; costume designer, Olga Nesterenko; film editor, Dmitri Dumkin.
A Mikhail Kalatozov Fund presentation/production, with financial support from the Russian Ministry of Culture.
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, November 1st 2010.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

OCA

Dad


Slovenia
2010
70 minutes

A divorced father spends a quiet Sunday in the countryside trying to get closer to his son. Slight, over-extended tone poem with a ravishing eye for composition but no feel for rhythm or narrative, ending in a somewhat baffling, uncalled-for documentary coda.

Starring Miki Ros, Sandi Salomon.
Directed and written by Vlado Skafar; produced by Frenk Celarc; director of photography (TV Slovenija Filmlab), Marko Brdar; production designers, Zoran Grabarac, Frenk Grdin, Tanja Vukovic; costume designer, Emina Kaliman; film editors, Jurij Moskon, Zoran Velickovic.
A Gustav Film presentation/production, in co-production with 100, Propeler, MB Grip, Obcina Dobrovnik, financed by the Slovenian Film Fund and Viba Film.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

AUTOBIOGRAFIA LUI NICOLAE CEAUSESCU

Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu


Romania/Germany
2010
179 minutes

The rise and fall of Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu as seen through official film and television footage from 1965 through 1989. Staggering documentary assemblage of meticulously researched archival footage structured like a chronological chronicle of the Romanian regime's history, without any voiceover or historical context, allowing the images themselves to tell both the official and the real history of the times.

Directed by Andrei Ujica; produced by Velvet Moraru; screenplay by Mr. Ujica, from an original idea by Mr. Moraru; screenplay consultant, Razvan Radulescu; archival footage research, Titus Muntean; film editor and sound designer, Dana Bunescu.
An Icon Production presentation/production, in association with Societatea Romana de Televizune; with the support of Centrului National al Cinematografiei, HFG/ZKM Filminstitut; with the participation of The Media Partnership; developed in collaboration with Neue Mira Filmproduktion with the support of Nordmedia Fonds. 
Screened: Estoril Film Festival 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 30th 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

LES ROSEAUX SAUVAGES

The Wild Reeds

France
1994
114 minutes

In 1962 rural France, four teenagers have their first sexual and political experiences against the backdrop of the Algerian war. Sensitive, understated coming-of-age picture with excellent performances.

Starring Élodie Bouchez, Gaël Morel, Stéphane Rideau, Frédéric Gorny, Michèle Moretti, Jacques Nolot.
Directed by André Téchiné; written by Mr. Téchiné, Gilles Taurand, Olivier Massart; director of photography (Telcipro), Jeanne Lapoirie; production designer, Pierre Soula; costume designer, Élisabeth Tavernier; film editor, Martine Giordano.
An Alain Sarde—Georges Benayoun presentation of an Ima Films/Les Films Alain Sarde co-production, with the participation of Canal Plus, in association with Ima Productions, La Sept-ARTE, SFR Production; with the participation of Centre National de la Cinématographie. (French distributor, Pan-Européenne. World sales, Studiocanal.)
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, October 30th 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

MA SAISON PRÉFÉRÉE

My Favourite Season


France
1993
127 minutes

Two estranged brothers have to make up in order to care for their ailing mother. Intense family drama where everything takes place between the lines, with outstanding acting, writing and directing making it all happen effortlessly.

Starring Catherine Deneuve, Daniel Auteuil; with Marthe Villalonga, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Chiara Mastroianni, Carmen Chaplin, Anthony Prada; with the participation of Ingrid Caven.
Directed by André Téchiné; produced by Alain Sarde; written by Mr. Téchiné and Pascal Bonitzer; director of photography (Eclair, Panavision), Thierry Arbogast; production designer, Carlos Conti; costume designer, Claire Fraisse; film editor, Martine Giordano.
An Alain Sarde presentation of a Les Films Alain Sarde/TF1 Films Production/DA Films co-production, with the participation of Sofica Cofimage 4 and Sofica Investimage 4, with the support of Région Midi-Pyrénées, with the participation of Canal Plus. (World sales, Studiocanal.)
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, October 29th 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

J'EMBRASSE PAS

I Don't Kiss

France/Italy
1991
116 minutes

A young provincial comes to Paris with aspirations to be an actor but life teaches him a number of hard lessons. Powerful coming-of-age tale with some quite dark undertones.

Starring Philippe Noiret, Emmanuelle Béart, Manuel Blanc, Hélène Vincent; with Ivan Desny.
Directed by André Téchiné; produced by Maurice Bernart, Jacques-Éric Strauss, Jean Labadie; screenplay by Mr. Téchiné, Jacques Nolot and Michel Grisolia, with the collaboration of Isabelle Coudrier-Kleist, from a story by Mr. Nolot; music by Philippe Sarde; director of photography (Éclair, widescreen), Thierry Arbogast; production designer, Vincent Mateu-Ferrer; costume designer, Claire Fraisse; film editors, Claudine Merlin, Édith Vassard.
A Maurice Bernart—Jacques-Éric Strauss—Jean Labadie presentation of a Président Films/Bac Films/Salomé/Ciné Cinq/Gruppo Bema co-production, with the participation of Canal Plus, Centre National de la Cinématographie. (World sales, Studiocanal.)
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, October 27th 2010.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

HÔTEL DES AMÉRIQUES

France
1981
94 minutes

A heartbroken doctor and an aimless drifter meet by chance on the streets of Biarritz and start a doomed love affair. Highly stylized melodrama whose abrupt tone and loving subversion of genre rules make up for a bumpy yet absorbing ride.

Starring Catherine Deneuve, Patrick Dewaere; Étienne Chicot, Sabine Haudepin; with the participation of Dominique Lavanant; and with Josiane Balasko; François Perrot.
Directed by André Téchiné; written by Mr. Téchiné and Gilles Taurand; music by Philippe Sarde; director of photography (Eclair, Panavision), Bruno Nuytten; production designer, Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko; costume designer, Christian Gasc; film editor, Claudine Merlin.
An Alain Sarde presentation of a Sara Films/Films A2 production. (Original French distributor, Parafrance Films. World sales, Studiocanal.)
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, October 26th 2010. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

EL ÚLTIMO VERANO DE LA BOYITA

The Last Summer of La Boyita


Argentina/Spain/France
2009
84 minutes

In 1980s Argentina, a young girl on a country vacation with his now-divorced father befriends a young farmhand with a big secret. Charming little coming-of-age tale with a twist, attentively handled and written and excellently performed.

Starring Guadalupe Alonso, Nicolás Treise, Mirella Pascual, Gabo Correa.
Directed and written by Julia Solomonoff; produced by Pepe Salvia, Maria Teresa Arida, Ms. Solomonoff; music by Sebastián Escofet; director of photography (Laboratorio Stagnaro), Lucio Bonelli; art director, Mariela Ripodas; costume designer, Natalia Vacs; film editors, Rosario Suárez, Andrés Tambornino.
A Travesía Producciones/Lucia Seabra/El Deseo/Domenica Films/Epicentre Films presentation-production, with the support of INCAA, ICAA, Buenos Aires Lab/BAFICI, Ibermedia Programme, Fundo Metropolitano de la Cultura, las Artes y las Ciencias. (World sales, M-Appeal.)
Screened: distributor advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 25th 2010. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

INSIDE JOB

USA
2010
105 minutes

A documentary on the roots and development of 2008's worldwide economic crisis. Smart, dynamically handled documentary that occasionally falls into TV news special territory.

Directed by Charles Ferguson; produced by Audrey Marrs, Mr. Ferguson; written by Mr. Ferguson with Chad Beck, Adam Bolt; narrated by Matt Damon; music by Alex Heffes; directors of photography (Technicolor, widescreen), Svetlana Cvetko, Kalyanee Mam; film editors, Mr. Beck, Mr. Bolt. 
A Sony Pictures Classics presentation of a Representational Pictures film in association with Screen Pass Pictures. (World sales, Sony Pictures Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), October 26th 2010.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

USA
2010
116 minutes

Drunken and angered at getting dumped by his girlfriend, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates a website that will plant the seeds for the social networking site Facebook. Old-fashioned corporate drama classily and smartly updated for the online age around a script so deft and solid that you wonder how it got made in this day and age.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence.
Directed by David Fincher; produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael de Luca, Ceán Chaffin; screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, based on the book by Ben Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires; music by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross; director of photography (Deluxe prints, widescreen), Jeff Cronenweth; production designer, Donald Graham Burt; costume designer, Jacqueline West; film editors, Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter.
A Columbia Pictures presentation, in association with Relativity Media, of a Scott Rudin/Michael de Luca/Trigger Street production. (World sales, Sony Pictures Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), October 25th 2010.

Friday, November 12, 2010

DIE FRAU MIT DEN 5 ELEFANTEN

The Woman with the 5 Elephants

Switzerland/Germany
2009
94 minutes

The life of Svetlana Geier, the most acclaimed translator of Russian literature into German. On paper, not the most appealing of subjects for a documentary, but in practice a remarkable gem about coming to terms with the past and the role of art and literature and everyday life.

Directed and written by Vadim Jendreyko; produced by Hercli Bundi, Mr. Jendreyko; music by Daniel Almada, Martin Iannaconne; camera (Schwarzfilm), Niels Bolbrinker, Stéphane Kuthy; sound, Patrick Becker; film editors, Gisela Castronari-Jaensch, Mr. Jendreyko.
A Mira Film/Filmtank production in co-production with Schweizer Fernsehen and ZDF/3sat.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 19th 2010.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LE BATEAU EN CARTON

France
2010 (no copyright date on print screened)
80 minutes

Romanian gypsies immigrate illegally to France to make a better life for themselves by begging. Well-meaning but shapeless documentary that manages to show the generally unnoticed side of a hot-button issue without really engaging with it in cinematic terms.

Directed by José Vieira; no further credits on print screened.
A Zeugma Films production. 
Screened: DocLisboa advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 19th 2010.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

EL SICARIO ROOM 164

USA/Italy/France
2010
80 minutes

A retired contract killer for Mexican drug traffickers confesses his crimes and his sins to a camera in a Ciudad Juárez hotel room. Disturbing, thought-provoking documentary that juggles successfully a number of different themes around its central device of letting a hired assassin speak for himself.

Directed and photographed (in colour) by Gianfranco Rosi; produced by Serge Lalou, Mr. Rosi; based on the Harper's Magazine article by Charles Bowden, El Sicario; music by Abraham Spector; film editor, Jacopo Quadri.
A Robofilms/Les Films d'Ici presentation/production, in association with ARTE France - La Lucarne; with the participation of Centre National de la Cinématographie; with the support of PROCIREP - Société des Producteurs and ANGOA.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 18th 2010.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

LE REFUGE

Hideaway

France
2009
88 minutes

Discovering she's pregnant by her late partner, a recovering drug addict decides to keep the baby against all odds, and becomes fast friends with her gay brother-in-law. Slight, diffuse character study, essentially a two-hander without much of a plot but a great lead performance and solidly observational handling.

Starring Isabelle Carré, Louis-Ronan Choisy, Melvil Poupaud, Pierre Louis-Callixte, Claire Vernet, Marie Rivière, Nicolas Moreau, Jérôme Kircher, Jean-Pierre Andréani, Émile Berling.
Directed by François Ozon; produced by Claudie Ossard, Chris Bölzli; written by Mr. Ozon and Mathieu Hippeau; music by Mr. Choisy; director of photography (LTC, Panavision), Mathias Raaflaub; production designer, Katia Wyzskop; costume designer, Pascaline Chavanne; film editor, Muriel Breton.
An Eurowide Film Production/Foz presentation/production, in co-production with France 2 Cinéma; associate producer, Teodora Film; in association with Sofica Coficup, Backup Films; with the participation of Canal Plus, Cinécinéma, France 2, Le Pacte. (French distributor and world sales, Le Pacte.) 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), October 18th 2010.

Monday, November 08, 2010

NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ

France/Germany/Chile/Spain
2010
90 minutes

Filmmaker Patricio Guzmán travels to the Atacama desert, in Chile, to trace the connections between its role both as a centre for international astronomy and a symbol of the ruthless repression of Pinochet's regime. Not so much a documentary as a quietly thought-provoking, filmic essay on history and memory. Occasionally poetic, always very beautiful to look at and extraordinarily accessible.

Directed by Patricio Guzmán; produced by Renate Sachse; written by Mr. Guzmán, with the collaboration of Sonia Moyersoen; music by José Miguel Miranda and José Miguel Tobar; director of photography (Eclair), Katell Djian; film editors, Mr. Guzmán and Emmanuelle Joly.
An Atacama Productions presentation of an Atacama Productions/Blinker Filmproduktion/WDR/Cronomedia co-production; with the collaboration of Fonds Sud Cinéma, Ministère de la Culture et Communication - Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l'Image Animée, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Européennes, Région Île-de-France; and the participation of TVE. (World sales, Pyramide International.)
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 17th 2010. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

LA TERRA HABITADA

Spain
2009
71 minutes

A documentary on the experience of living in remote Mongolia. Atmospheric documentary tone poem on isolation more interesting for its formal qualities.

Directed and written by Anna Sanmartí; produced by Marta Andreu; director of photography (colour), Pau Mirabet; film editor, Vep Culleré.
A Drimtim Entertainment/Estudi Playtime presentation/production, in co-production with Televisió de Catalunya; with the support of Institut Catalá de les Indústries Culturals; with the participation of Canal Sur Televisión, Grup Radiotelevisió Valenciana, Televisión de Galicia, Euskal Telebista, Televisión Autonómica de Canarias, Televisión Autonómica de Castilla-La Mancha, Televisión Autonómica de Murcia, Televisión Autonómica de Aragón; with the collaboration of Proddigi Digital Media, Utopic.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 17th 2010.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

PARTO

Portugal
2010
80 minutes

A funeral agent travels around a remote Northern region of Portugal to organise a funeral. Amateurish attempt at creating a rural documentary around a fictional framework, with real people playing their own roles, with a real eye for the landscape lost amid the general staginess.

With Olegário Gonçalves, Raul Sá e Sousa, Carlos Xavier Dias.
Directed and produced by António Borges Correia; written by José Pinto Carneiro, Mr. Borges Correia; director of photography (colour), Miguel Robalo; art director, Margarida Amaro; film editors, Mr. Borges Correia, Nuno Bouça.
An António Borges Correia production, with financial support from Município de Arcos de Valdevez.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 16th 2010.

Friday, November 05, 2010

MISTÉRIOS DE LISBOA

Portugal/France
2010
266 minutes

In 19th century Lisbon, an orphan boy discovers the truth about his birth and finds himself in the middle of a series of romantic intrigues. Sweepingly old-fashioned melodrama used as an excuse for a stylized but utterly sincere meditation on the nature of storytelling and man's love of stories very much in line with its director's work; length is surprisingly not a problem. The film was shot simultaneously as a six-hour television series.

Paulo Branco presents a Clap Filmes production, with the participation of Alfama Film Production, Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, Ministério da Cultura, ARTE France Cinéma, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Cofinova Développement. (Portuguese distributor, Clap Filmes. World sales, Alfama Films.) 
Starring Adriano Luz, Maria João Bastos, Ricardo Pereira, Clotilde Hesme, Afonso Pimentel, João Luís Arrais, Albano Jerónimo, João Baptista, Martin Loizillon, Julien Alluguette, Rui Morrison, Joana de Verona, Carloto Cotta, Maria João Pinho, José Manuel Mendes; with the special participation of Léa Seydoux, Malik Zidi, Melvil Poupaud, Margarida Vila-Nova, Sofia Aparício, Catarina Wallenstein.
Directed by Raúl Ruiz; produced by Paulo Branco; screenplay by Carlos Saboga, based on the novel by Camilo Castelo Branco, Mysteries of Lisbon; music by Jorge Arriagada and Luís de Freitas Branco; director of photography (Nova Imagem/Light Film), André Szankowski; art director, Isabel Branco; wardrobe, Tânia Franco; film editors, Valeria Sarmiento, Carlos Madaleno.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Medeia King 3 (Lisbon), October 16th 2010. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

SONGS FROM THE NICKEL

Germany/USA
2010
83 minutes

Life stories from some of the inhabitants of Los Angeles' rundown area known as “The Nickel”. Smart if occasionally awkward documentary about the dispossessed, notable for its lack of condescendence.

A Promised Land Films presentation/production.
Directed, produced, photographed (color) and edited by Alina Skrzeszewska; co-editor, Oliver Eclarinal.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 15th 2010. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

O MANUSCRITO PERDIDO

Portugal/Brazil
2010
79 minutes

A Portuguese filmmaker travels through Brazil on the trail of an adventurer with connections to the abolitionist movement, and sees how the descendents of the original slaves live today in the deep country. An ingenious premise – a real documentary on real people framed by a fictional device, since the adventurer was the character of a novel by 19th century Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz – becomes a dreary travelogue, well-intentioned but unable to deploy an actual personal point of view on the subject.

A David & Golias presentation/production, in co-production with Refinaria Filmes; supported by Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual—Ministério da Cultura, Ibermedia Programme, Rádio e Televisão de Portugal.
With Mira Freitas and Alan Felix.
Directed by José Barahona; produced by Fernando Vendrell; narration written by Mr. Barahona with Francisco Luís Parreira; inspired by the novels Correspondência de Fradique Mendes by José Maria de Eça de Queirós and Creole by José Eduardo Agualusa; camera (colour), Marcela Bourseau; sound, Pedro de Sá Earp; film editor, Carolina Dias.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 14th 2010.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

36 VUES DU PIC SAINT-LOUP

Around a Small Mountain


France/Italy
2009
86 minutes

A charming Italian helps a woman repair her broken down car and, seduced by her mystery, decides to follow her around, discovering she works in an rundown itinerant circus. Playful, stylised romantic comedy where the slight plot is a mere excuse for a joyous yet melancholy meditation on life and art.

A Pierre Grise Productions/France 2 Cinéma/Cinemaundici/Alien Produzioni co-production; with the participation of Canal Plus, France 2, RAI Cinema, Centre National de la Cinématographie; with the support of Région Languedoc-Roussillon, Media Programme of the European Union, PROCIREP and ANGOA-AGICOA. (French distributor and world sales, Les Films du Losange.)
Starring Jane Birkin, Sergio Castellitto, André Marcon, Jacques Bonnaffé, Julie-Marie Parmentier.
Directed by Jacques Rivette; produced by Martine Marignac; written by Mr. Rivette, Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent, Mr. Castellitto, Shirel Amitay; music by Pierre Allio; director of photography (LTC, Cinecittà), Irina Lubtchansky; production designer, Manu de Chauvigny; costume designer, Laurence Struz; film editor, Nicole Lubtchansky.
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Cinema City Campo Pequeno 2 (Lisbon), October 14th 2010.

Monday, November 01, 2010

LAST TRAIN HOME

Canada/USA/Great Britain
2009
90 minutes

A Chinese rural couple takes up hard-working jobs in the city to make sure they earn enough to give their children a better future, but they only travel back home once a year for the Chinese New Year, and the oldest daughter, now a teenager, resents their absence. Engrossing documentary that expertly juxtaposes a personal family story to a greater socioeconomic question without ever losing track of either.

Téléfilm Canada and the Rogers Fund present, with the participation of SODEC, an Eyesteelfilm production; in association with ITVS International; produced and developed in association with Superchannel; produced in association with Channel 4, TV5 Québec Canada; with the financial support of Canada Council for the Arts; with the support of Sundance Documentary Fund, Jan Vrijman Fund; with the support of Yuan Fang Media; with the assistance of Canwest-Hotdocs Completion Fund. (World sales, Eyesteelfilm/Kinosmith.)
Directed by Lixin Fan; produced by Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross; music by Olivier Alary; director of photography (colour), Mr. Fan; camera, Shaoguang Sun, Mr. Fan; film editors, Mr. Fan, Mary Stephen.
Screened: DocLisboa 2010 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, October 13th 2010.