Results 1 to 15 of 36

Thread: New York Film Festival 2012

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,309

    New York Film Festival 2012






    LIFE OF PI, Ang Lee, opening night

    New York Film Festival 2012
    September. 28 - October. 14, 2012


    Welcome to Filmleaf's Festival Coverage thread for the 51st New York Film Festival, Sept. 28 - Oct. 14, 2012. The Nyff is a presentation of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York. Filmleaf's General Film Forum discussion thread for the NYFF begins here.

    INDEX OF LINKS TO REVIEWS

    Amour (Michael Heneke 2012)
    Araf/Somewhere in Between (Yeşim Ustaoğlu 2012)
    Barbara (Christian Petzold 2012)
    Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu 2012)
    Bwakaw (Jun Lana 2012)
    Camille Rewinds (Noémie Lvovsky 2012)
    Caesar Must Die (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani 2012)
    Dead Man and Being Happy, The (Javier Rebollo 2012)
    Fill the Void (Rana Burshtein 2012)
    First Cousin Once Removed (Alan Berliner 2012)
    Flight (Robert Zemeckis 2012)
    Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach 2012)
    Gatekeepers, The (Dror Moreh 2012)
    Ginger & Rosa (Sally Potter 2012)
    Here and There (Antonio Méndez Esparza 2012)
    Holy Motors (Leos Carax 2012)
    Hyde Park on Hudson (Roger Mitchell 2012)
    Kinshasa Kids (Marc-Henri Wajnberg 2012)
    Last Time I Saw Macao, The (João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata 2012)
    Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Peravel 2012)
    Life of Pi (Ang Lee 2012)
    Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami 2012)
    Lines of Wellington (Valeria Sarmiento 2012)
    Memories Look at Me (Song Fang 2012)
    Night Across the Street (Raul Ruiz 2012)
    No (Pablo Larraín 2012)
    Not Fade Away (David Chase 2012)
    Our Children (Joachim Lafosse 2012)
    Paperboy, The (Lee Daniels 20120
    Passion (Brian De Palma 2012)
    Something in the Air (Olivier Assayas 2012)
    Tabu (Migues Gomes 2012)
    You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet (Alain Resnais 2012)


    These reviews have also been published on Flickfeast.uk.



    NYFF50 SIGNAGE ON FRONT WINDOWS OF RENOVATED ALICE TULLY HALL (photo by CK)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-16-2016 at 01:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,309

    P & I Screening Schedule



    P&I SCREENING SCHEDULE


    All screenings and press conferences will take place in the Walter Reade Theater, (165 West 65th Street) unless otherwise noted. (Main slate films in bold.)

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
    P&I OFFICE OPEN FROM NOON - 5PM
    NO PRESS AND INDUSTRY SCREENINGS

    THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 13
    10AM THE SAVOY KING: CHICK WEBB & THE MUSIC THAT CHANGED AMERICA (90 min) (ON THE ARTS Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR JEFF KAUFMAN
    12:30PM INGRID CAVEN: VOICE AND MUSIC (95 min) (ON THE ARTS Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR BERTRAND BONELLO
    3:00PM BECOMING TRAVIATA (108 min) (ON THE ARTS Sidebar)

    FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 14
    10AM THE WAR OF THE VOLCANOES (52 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)
    Screening with: 101 (20 min)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH THE WAR OF THE VOLCANOES DIRECTOR FRANCESCO PATIERNO
    12:15PM THE ROLLING STONES: CHARLIE IS MY DARLING – IRELAND ’65 (60 min)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR MICK GOCHANOUR AND PRODUCER ROBIN KLEIN
    2:15PM CASTING BY (94 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR TOM DONAHUE

    MONDAY SEPTEMBER 17
    10AM HERE AND THERE (Antonio Méndez Esparza, Spain/US/Mexico, 110 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERNCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR ANTONIO MENDEZ VIA SKYPE
    12:45PM CAMILLE REWINDS (Noémie Lvovsky, France, 110 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    3:30PM BERBARIAN SOUND STUDIO (92 min) (MIDNIGHT MOVIES)

    TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 18
    10AM PASSION (Brian de Palma, France/Germany, 100 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERNCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR BRIAN DE PALMA
    12:30PM THE BAY (84 min) (MIDNIGHT MOVIES)
    2:30PM ROMAN POLANSKI: ODD MAN OUT (88 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERNCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR MARINA ZENOVICH

    WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 19
    10:00AM BARBARA (Christian Petzold, Germany, 105 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR CHRISTIAN PETZOLD
    12:45PM HYDE PARK ON HUDSON (Roger Michell, USA/UK, 95 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    2:45PM LIV AND INGMAR (82 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
    10AM ARAF ( ((Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Turkey/France/Germany, 124 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR YEŞIM USTAOĞLU
    1:00PM FRANCES HA (Noah Baumbach, USA, 86 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR NOAH BAUMBACH
    3:30PM YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET (Alain Resnais, France, 115 min) (MAIN SLATE)

    FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 21
    9:30AM BEYOND THE HILLS (Cristian Mungiu, Romania, 150 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR CRISTIAN MUNGUI
    1:00PM PUNK IN AFRICA (82 min) (ON THE ARTS Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR DEON MAAS
    3:15PM JOHN CASSAVETES (50 min) (OPENING NIGHT OF CINEASTES)
    4:10PM LANG/GODARD: THE DINOSAUR (61 min) (CINEASTES)

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
    10AM ONCE EVERY DAY (66 min) (SPECIAL SCREENINGS)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR RICHARD FOREMAN
    12PM DOWNPOUR (128 min) (MASTERWORKS)
    2:30PM BWAKAW (Jun Robles Lana, The Philippines, 110 min) (MAIN SLATE)

    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
    10AM SHORTS PROGRAM #1 (91 min)
    12PM CELLULOID MAN (164 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)
    3:00PM TO BE ANNOUNCED: VIEWS FROM THE AVANT- GARDE
    PLEASE NOTE LOCATION:
    ELINOR BUNIN MUNROE FILM CENTER, 144 WEST 65 TH STREET
    3:15PM FINAL CUT – LADIES AND GENTLEMAN (85 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
    9:30AM LINES OF WELLINGTON (Valeria Sarmiento, France/Portugal, 151 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR VALERIA SARMIENTO
    1:00PM MEMORIES LOOK AT ME (Song Fang, Chin, 91 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR SONG FANG
    3:30PM SHORTS PROGRAM # 2 (96 min)

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
    10AM CAESAR MUST DIE (Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Italy, 76 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTORS PAOLO AND VITTORIO TAVIAN1
    2:15PM NIGHT ACROSS THE STREET (Raul Ruiz, Chile/France, 107 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE
    3:00PM ROOM 237 (102 min) (CINEMA REFLECTED Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR RODNEY ASCHER AND PRODUCER TIM KIRK

    FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28
    10:00AM LIFE OF PI (Ang Lee, USA, 120 min)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW
    1:00PM LEVIATHAN (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, USA, 87 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTORS LUCIEN CASTAING –TAYLOR AND VERENA PARAVEL
    3:15PM DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY (85 min) (ON THE ARTS Sidebar)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTORS MOLLY BERNSTEIN AND ALAN EDELSTEIN

    MONDAY OCTOBER 1
    10AM TABU (Miguel Gomes, Portugal, 118 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR MIGUEL GOMES
    1:00PM BEYOND THE HILLS (150 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR CRISTIAN MUNGUI
    3:00PM KINSHASA KIDS (Marc-Henri Wajnberg, Belgium/France, 85 min) (MAIN SLATE)

    TUESDAY OCTOBER 2
    10AM FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED (Alan Berliner, USA, 78 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR ALAN BERLINER
    12:15PM FILL THE VOID (Rama Burshtein, Israel, 90 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    3:30PM TO BE ANNOUNCED: VIEWS FROM THE AVANT-GARDE
    PLEASE NOTE LOCATION:
    ELINOR BUNIN MUNROE FILM CENTER, 144 WEST 65 TH STREET

    WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 3
    1:00AM OUR CHILDREN (Joachim Lafosse, Belgium, 111 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW VIA SKYPE WITH DIRECTOR JOACHIM LAFOSSE
    2:00PM THE PAPERBOY (Lee Daniels, USA, 107 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW

    THURSDAY OCTOBER 4
    10AM LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE (Abbas Kiarostami, Japan/Iran/France, 109 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR ABBAS KIAROSTAMI
    1:00PM THE LAST TIME I SAW MACAO (João Pedro Rodrigues, 85 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    3:15PM SOMETHING IN THE AIR (Olivier Assayas, France, 122 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR OLIVIER ASSAYAS

    FRIDAY OCTOBER 5
    P&I OFFICE OPEN FROM 9AM – 5PM
    10AM NOT FADE AWAY (112 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW
    1:00PM AMOUR (Michael Haneke, Austria/France/Germany, 127 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR MICHAEL HANEKE
    4:00PM OUTRAGE BEYOND (112 min) (MIDNIGHT MOVEIS)

    MONDAY OCTOBER 8
    10AM GINGER AND ROSA (Sally Potter, UK, 89 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR SALLY POTTER
    PLEASE NOTE LOCATION:
    ELINOR BUNIN MUNROE FILM CENTER, 144 WEST 65 TH STREET

    TUESDAY OCTOBER 9
    10AM HOLY MOTORS (Léos Carax, France, 115 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW
    1:00PM THE GATEKEEPERS (Dror Moreh, Israel/France/Germany/Belgium, 97 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW
    3:30PM COUSIN JULES (91 min)
    (MASTERWORKS)

    WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 10
    10AM THE DEAD MAN AND BEING HAPPY (Javier Rebollo, Spain/Argentina, 94 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW WITH DIRECTOR JAVIER REBOLLO

    THURSDAY OCTOBER 11
    NO SCREENINGS

    FRIDAY OCTOBER 12
    10AM No (Pablo Larraín, Chile/US, 110 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW

    SATURDAY OCTOBER 13
    NO SCREENINGS

    SUNDAY OCTOBER 14
    9AM FLIGHT (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 138 min) (MAIN SLATE)
    **PRESS CONFERENCE TO FOLLOW
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-24-2012 at 05:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,309

    Here and There (Antonio Méndez Esparza 2012)

    ANTONIO MÉNDEZ ESPARZA: HERE AND THERE (2012)



    Back and forth

    The plight of a migrant worker is the burden of a coldly documentary-style first feature by young Mexican filmmaker Antoinio Méndez Esparza. Espara blends vérité-style editing and casting methods with artistic ellipsis in telling what happens when his rather apathetic protagonist Pedro (Pedro de los Santos) returns home to his remote mountain village in the province of Guerrero after years of working at odd jobs in the States. The storytelling is too free to appeal to a conventional audience; this is neorealism drained of its former energy an deadened by a sense of hopelessness much more 21st century than post-WWII.

    "Allá" ("there") in the title refers to the USs. Why Pedro comes back home from there isn't specified, presumably missing his family and wanting to be back home. His 30-year-old wife Teresa (Teresa Ramirez Aguirre) seems as apathetic as he is, and suspecting he'd have had girlfriends in the States, is withholding at first. His two schoolgirl daughters Heidi (Heidi Laura Solano Espinoza) and Lorena (Lorena Guadalupe Pantaleon Vazquez) are giggly and distant. In one of the most telling scenes, Pedro takes Heidi and Lorena to a lake he's long dreamed of visiting with them. But the visit, like much else, is flat. His efforts to start a band -- he's a singer and guitarist -- are also lackluster. Performing is obviously the most fun Pedro has in his life, but his "Copa Kings" group gets him deep in debt for equipment and work draws members away.

    That's the introductory section. The second one,"Aquí ("Here"), is a grim sequence in which Teresa has a medical crisis during pregnancy, and the baby girl, their third daughter, almost dies after a caesarian birth while Teresa, weakened from loss of blood, is consequently forced to lie for days in the hospital without seeing her newborn. The hospital stay -- for which he must supply medicines and blood donors -- gets Pedro further in debt. The result: day labor.

    In a third chapter, "Horizonte" ("Horizon"), the film follows Pedro's continuing tough life in Mexico and also visits Nestor (Nestor Tepetate Medina), a youth who wants to migrate to El Norte and practices break dancing -- his life perhaps destined to parallel Pedro's. Pedro is seen applying for work at multiple construction sites, work options apparently running dry. Part three is both depressing and desultory, studiously avoiding definite outcomes.

    The conclusion is nonetheless obvious. In the final section, "Allá" ("there") -- Pedro is forced to return to the US, where he can at least find work even if it doesn't pay very well. The film doesn't show Pedro in the US; when he leaves, the point of view stays in Guerrero province. Esparza cheats a bit in this rushed last chapter, unless it's meant as an epilogue. Esparza stages a perfunctory conversation between Heidi and Lorena about whether, or how much, they miss their now again absent father. Then the film shows a sound-only tape from a scene of Pedro performing songs at home with his family, while showing footage of the town Pedro himself no longer in sight.

    The documentary style makes it hard to tell how much the family members are meant to be apathetic or how much the non-actor cast members, lacking forceful direction, are merely to shy and inexperienced to project emotion. One may correspondingly ask at times if the omission of narrative links is sophistication or directorial clumsiness. Dialogue is often crudely expository. Characters say exactly what they are meant to be feeling, or what we're supposed to learn. With his ethnographically exact settings and people, Esparza would be presenting a shatteringly strong picture of the fragmentation of families and banishing of hopes for the Mexican migrant poor. But the prevailing listlessness makes it hard for a viewer to respond. Esparza has not drawn satisfying performances from his indigenous cast, whose dialogue often seems the mere mouthing of a scene outline. The effect is often quite unconvincing. Esparza's methods show a debt to Carlos Reygadas, but he lacks Reygadas' bold vision and skill with non-actors.

    Aquí y allá nonetheless did well at Cannes, winning the top prize of the 2012 Critics' Week series, which will guarantee further festival exposure and help the director pursue further projects. Those who admire the film see it as beautifully understated, its lack of resolution helping to highlight Es[arza's themes. Barbu Balasoiu's camera work has drawn praise for nice color and light, though its neutrality underscores the flatness of most scenes.

    Screened as part of the New York Film Festival 2012, at Lincoln Center.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-17-2012 at 06:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,309

    CAMILLE REWINDS (Noémie Lvovsky 2012)

    NOÉMIE LVOVSKY: CAMILLE REWINDS (2012)


    INDIA NAIR, JUDITH CHEMLA, NOÉMIE LVOVSKY, AND JULIE FAURE IN CAMILLE REWINDS

    Peggy Sue, in French

    The prolific Noémy Lvovsky, who writes, directs, and frequently acts, stars in this buoyant, colorful French fantasy (which she directed and co-scripted) about a middle-aged woman in crisis. Camille (Lvovsky) is an actress who can't get much work. Her latest job consists of screaming while she gets her throat cut in bed and spurts fake blood. She is a heavy drinker and tokes on a bottle even on the Métro going home. There, things are getting packed up because she and her husband are divorcing. It's New Year's Eve and she goes to a wild party. In the aftermath she falls into a deep sleep in which she returns to her high school years -- and tries to change things. It's a French take on the kind of theme that's familiar from Hollywood movies and sci-fi. In fact this is more or less a free remake of Coppola's Peggy Sue Got Married. It's rather amusing to see it done with French actors, including some prestigious and sophisticated ones like Matthieu Amalric and Denis Podalydès, with none other than Jean-Pierre Léaud as a histrionic watchmaker and the great Yolande Moreau as Lvovsky's mother. The whole effort may seem to add only a few new touches to the stereotypes; subtleties will be more perceptible to the Gallic audience than Stateside, but this is an enterprise notable for its energy and enthusiasm throughout and shows Lvovsky's fluidity as an actress and fluency as a director.

    To give you an idea: Lvovsky has performed in 97 films. Just recently she played the Madam is Bertrand Bonello's justly admired 2011 House of Tolerance, and then switched from the turn of the century to the French Revolution to play an important member of Marie Antoinette's entourage in Benoît Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen. She's far from an actress who can't get work: she's indispensable. She doesn't need to write and direct movies, and we might see Camille redouble as something of a vanity piece. She does stage some witty changes though. When Camille finds herself back at home with her parents going to the lycée and falling in love with her future, presently estranged, husband Éric (Samir Guesmi), they both play themselves, at their present age. Nobody seems to notice.

    The usual stuff follows. Camille does all she can to avoid getting inovolved with Éric, knowing that the resulting marriage is going to end badly. She connects with a much older man, a physics prof (Podalydès), to whom she confides the time-travel thing that's gong on and seeks his help as a connection when for she returns to the Obama era. She also knows that shortly after her sixteenth birthday, when she has gotten pregnant by Éric (who's madly in love with her) her mother is going to die of a heart attack, and she seeks to prevent that. Spoiler alert: she fails. Things do seem to change between her and Éric, in a feel-good sort of way.

    I'm not going to claim that this movie is uperior to its Hollywood equivalents -- it's just French, and it's interesting to see how Lvovsky has reshaped the theme to her own sensibility and preoccupations. It's fun for French film fans to see Matthieu Amalric done up as a particularly dorky high schoo teacher whose authoritarian manner touches off a student revolt. Lvivsky and Guesmi are personable and lithe enough to make their momentary return to lycée-age occasionally believable, despite their keeping their adult shape. Guesmi, particularly, looks youthful, till you see his face up close. Lvovsky's mature woman's body comes in for some funny comments when the other girls at a gym class do an impromptu eval of her body part by body part. But what's particularly French is the willingness to put middle-aged actors in the role of adolescents and not be ashamed at the contrast. Lvovsky has a warm, appealing mistress-of-the-revels sort of personality and easily plays a woman able to handle time travel with suppleness and good humor. Camille Rewinds is also a way of showing Lvovsky's warm sympathy toward adolescence, as well as her belief in giving marriages a second chance. On a superficial level, the film moves along with energy, the scenes (handsomely shot by Jean-Marc Fabré) are bright-colored, the Eighties clothes and music are fun and played for sympathy rather than caricature, and the party and dance sequences further liven things up. The only trouble is what Justin Chang noted in his Variety review at Cannes: it goes on a bit too long: the 115 minute runtime could lose a quarter of an hour or so. But this does show that the French filmmaking machine is in working order, and can do almost anything.

    Camille redouble received the Prix SACD 2012 prize at the Cannes Directors Fortnight series. It opened in Paris September 12 (last Wednesday) to very good reviews (Allociné press rating: 4.2) Watched at the 2012 New York Film Festival press screenings.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-10-2018 at 06:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,309

    PASSION (Brian De Palma 2012)

    BRIAN DE PALMA: PASSION (2012)


    NOOMI RAPACE AND RACHEL MCADAMS IN PASSION

    De Palma being De Palma doing Corneau

    Brian De Palma's Passion will please his ardent fans but this close but uninvolving remake of the late Alain Corneau's last film Love Crime (RV 2011) is just eye candy. Its slight variations on the already far-fetched original and its new casting do not impress. Corneau was making a sort of Hitchcock thriller. It's an old school film noir that set itself a problem: how about getting away with the perfect crime by first making yourself look guilty? The already dated quality of Corneau's movie may have been what De Palma liked. He has added a kind of Almodovar-esque gloss (with some pointless split-screen ballet images and cross-cutting that may owe something, with the bright color, to the Spanish director). He has made an even less realistic movie and tried to make the emotions more extreme and the hi-tech touches more numerous. Though his addition of Skype calls, cell-phone videos and security cameras adds a suggestive modern touch, none of these additions to Corneau's version really work. This is such a decadent effort, even the perfect crime theme gets submerged in the obsession with baroque beauty and campy style.

    One is in the awkward position here of trying to show how a movie fails to live up to the standards of another one that was not that great to begin with. But however much De Palma outdoes himself this time, he loses the good qualities Corneau's movie had. In Corneau's 2010 version (and Love Crime/Crime d'amour is a better title than Passion, by the way), Kristen Scott Thomas was Christine, the chilly, dominant CEO of a European corporation, and Ludivine Sagnier was Isabelle, her admiring, manipulated surrogate whose jealousy and anger lead her to homicide. Rachel McAdams is far less effective as Christine, and much younger. It's hard to see her as a CEO. Scott Thomas' haughty elegance and fluency in French and English and her age put her in another category altogether. As Isabelle, Sagnier gave one of her best performances, full of insecurity and eagerness. Noomi Rapace, who has disappointed in her new Hollywood star status so far, is too mousy and strange looking to be someone a powerful female CEO would take on and even pretend to consider as a lover. De Palma predictably hits the lesbian theme far harder, as part of generally upping the camp level of the film, also predictable. The original idea was that Isabelle didn't quite know where she stood with Christine. Despite the luridness of Rapace's and McAdams smooches and more lip-locking with Dani (Karoline Herfurth), Isabelle's German assistant, who's not only a female but an intense lesbian in this new version, De Palma generates less intensity overall than Corneau did because of the lack of psychological realism.

    The subtlety of Corneau's movie (which disappears in its hokey post-crime segment) is in how it shows the cruel manipulations of the corporate world, the greed, jealousy and ambition. These work well because Scott Thomas, Sagnier, and Patrick Mille as Philippe, a suave, attractive male employee whom the two women share and whom Christine blackmails, fit so well together. Again the casting fails De Palma because the English actor Paul Anderson is a caricature who seems stressed out and over-the-top from when he first appears. Corneau's office scenes are more believable. He is better at conveying the sense of high-powered business dealings going on. De Palma's reliance on a trendy video as Isabelle's springboard to success makes the material too trivial and media-based. De Palma's actors just seem to be posing in the big corporate spaces; Corneau's inhabit them naturally.

    It might have been better to play up Rapace's mousiness. It might have made her seem so inadequate that her feelings would be warped and she would be overcome by jealousy, humiliation, and resentment as soon as she realized Christine was manipulating her. In Corneau's version, with Ludivine Sagnier in the role, Isabelle is a slow burn, resisting anger as long as she can because of the power she's had a taste of. It's not clear what's happening to Rapace's character.

    After the crime, nothing makes sense in either movie. While Corneau's Love Crime was an entertaining psychological study, it fell apart as a police procedural. De Palma's Passion doen't work in either genre. The images by Jose Luis Alcaine are such gorgeous eye candy that they may stop registering as anything but artwork after a while. Likewise Pino Donaggio's lush score, which underlines the suspenseful bits in a Bernard Hermann mode, makes the movie even more Hitchcockian and even more artificial.

    Passion debuted at Venice, with showings at Toronto and the New York Film Festival swiftly following in September 2012. Screened for this review as part of the NYFF at Lincoln Center, at which time time it had not yet acquired a US distributor. French, German and Dutch releases (the film is set in Berlin in place of Corneau's La Défence, Paris location) are scheduled for February 2012.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-19-2012 at 07:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    13,309

    BARBARA (Christian Petzold 2012)

    CHRISTIAN PETZOLD: BARBARA (2012)


    NINA HOSS AND RONALD ZEHRFELD IN BARBARA

    The feeling of repression

    There's a lot going on under the surface in Christian Petzold's slow-burning Barbara, the story of a woman doctor banished from Berlin to the provinces in 1980 East Germany. This winner of several important German film awards (including the number two director prize at Berlin), owes everything to the impeccable cool of of Nina Hoss, in the title role here, and collaborating with Petzold for the fifth time. This is another example of how emotionally subtle and intense the chilly perfection of the new German or "Berlin" school of filmmaking can be.

    When Barbara (Hoss) shows up at the rural hospital she keeps "separate," refusing to share a lunch table with colleagues, but Andre (Ronald Zehrfeld), the warm and soulful head doctor, is persistent. Pretty quickly we understand Barbara's reserve, even hostility: she is being watched, and even Andre is probably reporting on her. If the story he tells her is true, a major fuckup at Berlin Charité that he was responsible for led to his being exiled here, and he's only allowed to keep practicing as a doctor in exchange for aiding the security system. But both he and Barbara are serious about their work and caring toward their patients. Hoss' slow warming up is an impressive example of her subtle control as an actor.

    Slowly plot elements accumulate. Barbara has a boyfriend in West Germany (Mark Waschke) who sneaks in occasionally to visit (leaving telltale quality cigarettes with her) and is planning to get her out of the GDR and into Denmark as soon as possible. This is the time bomb that makes every scene quietly suspenseful. Two young people show up in the hospital as patients who are examples of the brutality of the government. Stella (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) ran away from a work camp and contracted meningitis hiding in the fields; she is also pregnant. Similarly oppressed is young Mario (Jannik Schumann), who jumped out of a building in a suicide attempt and may have brain damage. Barbara bonds with Stella closely; it's Andre who's most concerned with Mario. One wonders at times if Barbara will shift her loyalties from her boyfriend to Andre, since it seems also at times that her duty to her patients might override the escape schedule.

    The country setting, with its quiet, its greenery, its excellent vegetables and its healthy air, helps Petzold to keep his picture of GDR repression subtly understated so that we absorb it inwardly and feel it better than happens with more conventional or obvious depictions. Without the more obvious trademark images of Soviet era shabbiness, the omnipresent propaganda, the conspicuously missing luxuries, the dictatorial bureaucracy or the overt cruelty, the viewer is encouraged to internalize a sense of the world without freedom, one that grows out of simply observing Barbara's face and her interactions with Andre and others. There is no mistaking the spartan nature of her assigned apartment or the Stassi agents who show up now and then for strip searches and the man who keeps parking his little car outside (Rainer Bock), but this is lean and mean filmmaking where everything counts and nothing is overdrawn.

    In a pared down style more extreme than the director's memorable 2008 Postman Always Rings Twice remake Jerichow, Barbara (FCS 2009) is so minimal it feels a little tight, and at the end is anticlimactic. Mike D'Angelo noted in a Toronto tweet review that it's "exquisitely made," but said he was "disappointed" when a "conventional shape" eventually appeared "beneath layers of subtle misdirection." The film has to go somewhere, and when it does, it loses some of the pushes and pullls that kept us on the edige of our seats. Nonetheless Petzold seems close to the top of his game and his sense of the communist world is almost thrillingly uncluttered and fresh and his writing shows a gift for quietly making the social and political shine out cllearly through the personal.

    Since its February 2012 Berlinale debut Barbara has been released in over a dozen countries, mostly European. A UK release is set for September 28, limited US release December 21. 2012. Watched for this review at the press screenings of the New York Film Festival, Lincoln Center.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-24-2014 at 12:35 AM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •