AFI Preview November 27-February 6 - page 6

Daily Listings: 301.495.6700
Sun, Dec 8, 7:40; Thu, Dec 12, 9:20
Fourteen-year-old Myrto is angry. Her father, recently
bankrupted by the Greek economic crisis, hasn’t been seen in
days. She kidnaps the 8-year-old son of her father’s business
partner, whom she blames for their troubles. At first, her
means of torture are merely pedantic, as she reads words
from the dictionary to the clueless boy (“debt,” “responsibility,”
“dissolution”). But things soon turn sinister. Filmmaker Thanos
Anastopoulos displays exquisite control, turning what could
have been a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller into a probing
psychological exploration, recalling early Michael Haneke and
even Greek tragedy. Official Selection, 2013 Berlin, Toronto
Film Festivals.
DIR/SCR/PROD Thanos Anastopoulos; SCR Vasilis Giatsis; PROD Stella
Theodoraki. Greece/Italy, 2012, color, 97 min. In Greek with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE ENEMY WITHIN [O ehthros mou]
Sat, Dec 14, 5:25; Thu, Dec 19, 7:20
Greek filmmaker and AFI alum Yorgos Tsemberopoulos
returns to the screen after a ten-year absence with this
thought-provoking take on vigilante justice. Kostas (Manolis
Mavromatakis) is a 48-year-old husband and father with a
successful garden supply store in the Athens suburbs, and a
love for debating politics at his local pub. But after a gang
of hoodlums ransacks his house, tortures his family and runs
off with his car, he’s forced out of his comfort zone and into
the world he really lives in. Feeling he has failed his family,
and egged on by his paranoid neighbor, the lifelong pacifist
contemplates arming himself and seeking revenge. Official
Selection, 2013 Montreal, Athens and BFI London Film Festival.
DIR Yorgos Tsemberopoulos; SCR Giannis Tsiros; PROD Eleni Kossyfidou. Greece, 2013, color, 107
min. In Greek with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE EXAM [A vizsga]
Sun, Dec 15, 9:30; Tue, Dec 17, 9:20
Christmas Eve, Budapest, 1956. Following that year’s failed
revolution, Soviet domination of Hungary’s secret police
creates an unprecedented level of institutional paranoia, with
the spies spying not only on the citizenry, but on each other,
via administration of a secret loyalty test. It falls to high-ranking
bureaucrat Marko to run the test on his young protégé, Andras.
While under surveillance, Andras welcomes in the beautiful
Eva, and the two become intimate. Soon after, Andras
discovers that sensitive documents have gone missing. In a
panic, the young spy calls the only man who can help—his
mentor and, secretly, his inquisitor, Marko. Péter Bergendy won
Best New Director at the 2012 Chicago Film Festival for this
twist-filled spy thriller. Official Selection, 2012 Karlovy Vary Film
DIR Péter Bergendy; SCR Norbert Köbli; PROD István Bodzsár. Hungary, 2012, color,
92 min. In Hungarian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Dec 21, 6:00; Sun, Dec 22, 1:45
Celebrated Irish author and screenwriter John Banville adapted
his own novel, winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize, for this
probing meditation on love, memory and loss. Struggling with the
death of his wife, art historian Max (Ciarán Hinds) rents a seaside
cottage let by Miss Vavasour (Charlotte Rampling), the very same
one at which he spent a fateful summer some 50 years earlier,
in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Cedars (Rufus Sewell and
Natascha McElhone) and their children. Elegantly edited, the film
glides between timelines and narratives with panache, keeping
secret the mysterious reasons for Max’s return until the final
haunting revelations. Official Selection, 2013 Edinburgh and
Toronto Film Festivals.
DIR Stephen Brown; SCR John Banville, from his novel; PROD David
Collins, Michael Robinson, Luc Roeg. Ireland/UK, 2013, color, 86 min. In English. NOT RATED
DORMANT BEAUTY [Bella addormentata]
Sun, Dec 8, 1:00; Wed, Dec 11, 7:25
Italy’s real-life Eluana Englaro case, where a young woman
injured in a car accident lived in a vegetative state for 17 years
while her father fought to have the plug pulled, is the backdrop
for this thought-provoking drama from Marco Bellochio
(VINCERE, GOOD MORNING, NIGHT). Surveying a variety
of characters and viewpoints, this multi-strand tale explores the
contradictory push and pull of politics, ethics, family loyalty and
love in contemporary society. Does the possibility for change
exist even for those with fiercely held opinions? Starring Toni
Servillo, Alba Rohrwacher, Isabelle Huppert, Pier Giorgio
Bellocchio and Maya Sansa. Official Selection, 2012 Venice,
Toronto, Busan and London Film Festivals.
DIR/SCR Marco Bellocchio; SCR
Veronica Raimo, Stefano Rulli; PROD Marco Chimenz, Giovanni Stabilini, Riccardo Tozzi. Italy/
France, 2012, color, 115 min. In Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
ME AND YOU [Io e te]
Fri, Dec 6, 9:30; Wed, Dec 11, 7:10
Director Bernardo Bertolucci returns to the screen for the first time
since 2003 with a wistful tone poem about the passions and
yearnings of youth. Disaffected teen Lorenzo, pimply, sullen and
self-conscious, shares a Rome townhouse with his divorcée mom.
Going through the motions of preparing for a school ski trip,
Lorenzo secretly stashes junk food provisions in the basement,
planning to ditch the trip and enjoy his own staycation. The
unexpected arrival of his older junkie half-sister Olivia (Tea
Falco), in need of a place to lie low and get clean, spoils his
plans for solitude, but offers the opportunity for two needy souls
to connect. Official Selection, 2012 Cannes, 2013 Göteborg,
Rotterdam, San Francisco Film Festivals.
DIR/SCR Bernardo Bertolucci; SCR
Niccolò Ammaniti, Umberto Contarello, Francesca Marciano; PROD Mario Gianani, Lorenzo Mieli. Italy,
2012, color, 103 min. In Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
AND THE STORK [Il comandante e la cicogna]
Sat, Dec 14, 12:45; Mon, Dec 16, 5:00
The latest from Silvio Soldini (BREAD AND TULIPS) is a comedic
love story about two quirky individuals finding each other.
Widowed plumber Leo (Valerio Mastandrea) does his best
to raise his teenaged son and daughter, but is frequently at a
loss, a fact he kvetches about late at night to the ghost of his
deceased wife (Claudia Gerini)—whose fun-filled afterlife and
I-told-you-so attitude about her husband’s tribulations provide
little comfort. Into his life comes starving artist Diana (Alba
Rohrwacher), who has her own baggage, but perhaps together
they can share the burden. Above it all presides the statue of
Giuseppe Garibaldi, ruminating on the sorry state of the nation,
and occasionally arguing with the neighboring monuments.
Official Selection, 2012 Venice Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Silvio Soldini; SCR
Doriana Leondeff, Marco Pettenello; PROD Lionello Cerri. Italy/Switzerland/France, 2012, color,
108 min. In Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
PRETTY BUTTERFLIES [Bellas mariposas]
Sun, Dec 15, 5:40; Mon, Dec 16, 7:15
Precocious, perceptive young Sardinian teen Caterina imagines
she’s the star of her own reality show, narrating scenes and
confiding to the camera about the chaotic life of her family. Her
father collects disability and chases women; her over-worked
mother turns a blind eye to much, including her older sister’s
prostitution and her brother’s low-level gangsterism. Despite
trying circumstances, Caterina and her best friend, Luna, are
happy, footloose teens—Caterina’s running commentary being
not so much an escapist fantasy life as an embrace of the one
around her. Official Selection, 2012 Venice, 2013 Rotterdam,
Göteborg Film Festivals.
DIR/SCR/PROD Salvatore Mereu, from the novel by Sergio
Atzeni; PROD Elisabetta Soddu. Italy, 2012, color, 100 min. In Italian and Sardinian with English
subtitles. NOT RATED
Courtesy of Hungarian National Film Fund
Courtesy of Independent Film Company
Courtesy of The Festival Agency
Courtesy of Independent Film Company
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