This week's premieres
How to Deal (Láskou buchnutá) - Comedy/Drama by Clare Kilner. Mandy Moore has always been a second-tier teen pop star. Despite sharing Britney Spears' (initial) pretty girl-next-door persona, she lacks the barely contained sexual energy that has made Spears so marketable and tabloid-worthy.
photo: Continental Film
Other movies playing
photo: SPI international
Far From Heaven (Ďaleko do neba)- Drama by Todd Haynes. With the onset of Nazism, many of German cinema's best flocked to Hollywood and revolutionized American film. This was most consistently evident in film noir and horror, but two directors - Douglas Sirk and Max Ophuls - took a slightly brighter, but equally critical take on what was then contemporary America. Taking melodrama to its glorious extreme, the two directors, in the late 1940s and the 1950s, perfected what came to be unfairly and shortsightedly known as "women's pictures" or "weepies" - films that focused primarily on the difficult and often tragic lives of suburban American women. Using highly exaggerated emotions, sweeping music, and (in some cases) vibrant, otherworldly colour, Sirk and Ophuls hinted at the sexism, homophobia, and racism simmering underneath mainstream America's supposed picture-perfectness. Todd Haynes, one of contemporary cinema's very best, consciously made Far From Heaven in the style of these films. Though it directly addresses the critiques that the originals could only hint at, Haynes' film remains a most lovingly crafted tribute - right down to every lavender scarf, misty eye, string crescendo, and beautifully decaying leaf.
Whale Rider(Pán veľrýb) - Drama by Niki Caro. A nearly tone-perfect feminist coming-of-age story, this beautiful New Zealand film is worthy of the recognition it has received since its award-collecting debut on the film-festival circuit late last year. Caro's thoughtful direction makes one want to further explore the Maori culture it depicts and marks her as a director to watch. Similarly, barely adolescent star Keisha Castle-Hughes, whose next scheduled appearance is in Star Wars: Episode III in 2005, may have a successful career ahead of her, which will hopefully contain more small films such as this one.
Prepared by Jonathan Knapp
15. Dec 2003 at 0:00