Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 16 News List

Other movie releases

Compiled by Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff Reporter

Into the White Night (Byakuyako)

A murder mystery with strong psychological overtones from director Yoshihiro Fukagawa, based on a best-selling novel. The film is unusual in dealing with the lives of two main characters who were children at the time of the murder. There is a good story trying to get out, but the multistranded narrative never quite comes together and viewers are left struggling to work things out for themselves.

Gigola

A film by Laure Charpentier, adapted from one of her own novels, the story of Gigola is set in the “sexy Parisian lesbian underworld of the 1960s.” There is style aplenty, with swanky hookers in men’s clothing and rich older women looking for another kind of love. The title character, played by Lou Doillion, is a student who after the suicide of her first love, closes down emotionally and embarks on a journey through the underbelly of lesbian clubs. Though the settings are luscious and the cast is fine, the film is oddly anemic.

The Resident

Hilary Swank seems to have picked yet another dud, one in a long line of unremarkable films since she burst onto the scene in 1999 with Boys Don’t Cry. In The Resident, she is cast as Juliet Devereau, a young woman who moves into a gorgeous apartment, but soon discovers that her landlord has an unhealthy interest in her. The psychological thriller quickly degenerates into a by-the-numbers stalker movie that offers few surprises. Lingering shots of Swank in a state of undress are used shamelessly to sex up the movie, but you’ve probably seen it all before.

Yves Saint Laurent: L’Amour Fou

A documentary about the life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent told largely by his lover Pierre Berge in the lead-up to a huge auction of the tremendous art collection that the two built up over nearly half a century together. Given who the narrator is, this is necessarily something of a hagiography, and while it provides a wonderful glimpse into the life of an artist, it fails to provide much social context for those unfamiliar with the shifts in the fashion and art worlds that Saint Laurent inhabited. The film does include some great archival footage and the interviews with Berge are interesting if a little narrow in scope.

Draw Yourself (Dessine-toi)

This documentary by French director and cinematographer Gilles Porte starts with a fairly simple premise that is turned into a charming 70 minutes of cinema. The production team set up a big transparent surface at locations around the world and invited children to draw themselves. That’s pretty much it. There are no interviews, though occasionally one of the children’s drawings is brought to life through CGI. It’s as cute as can be, but there is more to be found in both the children’s expressions and their art if you choose to look hard enough.

Here Comes the Bride, My Mom!

Japanese family drama about a single mother and young daughter, whose cozy life together is disrupted by the arrival of mom’s new boyfriend. The daughter, played by Aoi Miyazaki, is confused and angered by this new romance, and friendly neighbors try and repair the damage. There is a cute dog and the suggestion of terminal illness, which puts Here Comes the Bride, My Mom! into the laughing-through-the-tears category of cinematic entertainment.

Honeybee Hutch

A feature film based on a hugely successful Japanese anime cartoon series released in the early 1970s that crossed over to the English-speaking market. This film version is notable for its screenplay by Kundo Koyama, who also wrote Departures, the unexpected winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2009. The story tells the tale of a young bee called Hutch, who is separated from his mother and must survive in a mostly hostile world after their hive is destroyed by a wasp attack.

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