Based on a play by Yasmina Reza and directed by Roman Polanski, Carnage, takes an intimate look at modern social mores as two pairs of parents get together after their sons get involved in a fight. The meeting starts out all civility and reason, but gradually deteriorates into chaos as the parents battle each other and their spouses over the rights and wrongs of the issue at hand, and much else. A strong cast that includes Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz looks promising on the credits, but Polanski has failed to generate sufficient ensemble chemistry, fatally undermining this potentially powerful, if rather stagy, production.
Romantic comedy by Thai director Mez Tharatorn about a couple of high-fliers at a bank who have been keeping their relationship quiet to get around their employer’s strict “no fraternization” policy. When the two decide to get married, this sparks a competition over who will be the one to put love ahead of career and resign their job. An error at an ATM leads to the theft of a large sum of the bank’s money and the lovers decide to compete to see who can get it back first as a way of determining who will continue to work, and who will lay their career down on the altar of marriage.
Forget Me Not
Super low-budget indie film with strong echoes of Before Sunset, but with enough chemistry between the leads Tobias Menzies and Genevieve O’Reilly, as well as a lovely score and moody London setting to let it stand on its own two feet. Menzies is a singer-songwriter with drug and other issues, O’Reilly a barmaid who he rescues from harassment by a drunk late one night. They spend the rest of the time talking, attending a party, and almost getting to know one another.
Stopped on Track (Halt auf freier Strecke)
German film that picked up the prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival last year and numerous other awards for its intimate portrayal of a man suffering from an inoperable cancer. The film is not wholly devoid of lighter moments, but on the whole is a tough slog through the process of physical and mental decline, brilliantly captured by Milan Peschel. Director Andreas Dresen stays clear of the most common cliches of “death” movies, portraying the family around the dying man as still engaged with their own lives, even in the midst of their tragedy.
A grab bag of movies for distributor CatchPlay, providing a chance to watch films that often had limited releases in Taiwan. The program includes: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Ages of Love, All Good Things, the Beaver, Arirang, Ha, Ha, Ha (愛情，說來可笑), Even the Rain, The Burning Plain, The Company Men, Sarah’s Key, Triage, The Bang Bang Club, Solitary Man, The Round-Up, The Tree, Lily Sometimes, Bedevilled, The Messenger, Barney’s Version, The Tempest, Winter’s Bone, Catfish, The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Screenings at Taipei Film House (光點—台北之家), 18, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市中山北路二段18號), Vieshou Xinyi, 16, 18 Songshou Rd, Taipei City (台北市松壽路16,18號) and Ambassador Theater Spring Center (國賓影城長春廣場), 176 Changchun Rd, Taipei City (台北市長春路176號). Details about the films and screening times can be found at www.catchplay.com/festival.
I Am: SM Town Live World Tour in Madison Square Garden
A behind the scenes look at the South Korean pop franchise SM Town as they gear up for a major gig in New York. In a similar vein to Documentary of AKB48: To Be Continued and Show Must Go On which opened last week, the documentary follows members of the massive group lineup, touching on hopes and fears, friendship and ambition, and ends up with concert footage as the group performs to an adoring crowd.