Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

Excellent, gripping Egyptian film about a lame young man who sells newspapers in a train station. He's obsessed with a beautiful cold drink vendor (the stunning Hind Rostom). She's engaged and selling drinks illegally; he's fallen in love with her boisterous, carefree spirit, and is desperate to take her away. Her fiance is a luggage porter attempting to unionize his co-workers. There's a lot of tension at this train station, and that tension comes to a head in the most desperate way. A masterful film that I'd never even heard of before last week. ****

Melodramatic film about white slave trafficking. Meant to be a shocker, but other than its desire to expose a very real problem, it's not that involving. ***

DOG SHOW (2013)
A couple more new Mickey Mouse shorts, one featuring a zombie Goofy. As always, ****. These are wonderful.

Powerful Luis Bunuel film about children trapped in the cycle of desperation and poverty in Mexico City. There are a number of surreal shots and sequences, but Bunuel counters those moments with a truly visceral social realism and moments of idealism that are sadly overpowered by harsh reality. Excellent stuff. ****

The story of how the fashion house weathered the murder of Gianni Versace, with particular investment in the downward spiral of Donatella (Gina Gershon). Not as full-blooded as I wish it had been (it has that breezy, TV movie slickness I'm all too used to from Lifetime), but I like the approach: instead of focusing only on Donatella's drug addiction and how she pushes the people around her, it focuses largely on what can happen to a family after a sudden, tragic death forever alters the family dynamic. Gershon is actually quite good; it's not as over-the-top as the ads make it seem, but with a little more grounded an approach, it could have really been something more. Colm Feore is also quite good as Santo Versace. ***

Wow, that little girl from Charles in Charge that isn't Nicole Eggert has had a surprising amount of work done. Potentially interesting Lifetime flick about a teacher carrying on a sexual affair with her student that either needs to be much more hilariously lurid or much more of a thriller. But it's... sure there, I guess. **

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