Archive for March, 2012

Indie Roundup: ‘A Kid With a Bike’

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have won the top prize in Cannes twice — for “Rosetta” (1999) and “L’Enfant” (2005) — making them some of the most celebrated directors working today. Yet you’d be hard pressed to see their movies in this country; they tend to play for a week in New York and Los Angeles before disappearing. And that’s a shame. Their movies, usually set in the seedy underbelly of French-speaking Belgium, show an enviable economy — not a single shot is wasted — while being shot in a manner that makes you forget the movie is scripted. Like the semidocumentary feel of Daren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler”? — that was cribbed from the Dardenne brothers. Their latest movie, “A Kid With a Bike,” is a gem of a film will be, hopefully, seen by more people in the States. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘A Kid With a Bike’’

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‘The Deep Blue Sea’ director Terence Davies talks about working with Rachel Weisz and getting right the texture of a time

The title of Terence Davies’ latest film, “The Deep Blue Sea,” is derived from the old saying about being stuck between two ugly choices. The movie, which was adapted from the play by Terence Rattigan, focuses on Hester (Rachel Weisz), an upper-class woman in postwar London who forsakes her comfortable, cultured marriage with Sir William (Simon Russell Beale), a high-court judge, to live in sin in a rundown bedsit with R.A.F. pilot Freddie (Tom Hiddleston). While Freddie might be an unparalleled lover, his immaturity and emotional scars from the war make him a lousy, feckless partner. The situation becomes so unbearable that, in the beginning of the film, Hester tries to commit suicide. “Beware of passion, Hester,” Sir William’s snooty mother warns at one point in the movie. “It always leads to something ugly.” To which Hester quips, “What would you replace it with?” That pretty much sums up the dilemma at the heart of this drama. Continue reading ‘‘The Deep Blue Sea’ director Terence Davies talks about working with Rachel Weisz and getting right the texture of a time’

Indie Roundup: ‘Sound of Noise’

Early on in Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson’s debut feature, “Sound of Noise,” we see Sanna (Sanna Persson) blazing down the freeway in a beat-up van, her eyes furtively glancing at the rearview mirror like a crook speeding away from a crime. Accompanying the scene is a propulsive drum track, exactly the sort of score you’d expect in a caper drama. Then the camera pans over to reveal a guy bashing away at a drum set in the back of the van. It’s a great visual gag, and it sets up much of the subversive humor that follows. The duo’s aim, it turns out, is not precisely criminal but definitely perverse; they are creating music using the van’s gear shifts and its swerves over rumble stripes. And when a traffic cop tries to pull them over, the drummer Magnus (Magnus Borjeson), enraged that the police siren ruined his piece, chucks his drum set at the cop. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Sound of Noise’’

Indie Roundup: ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’

The best way to see this film is accompanied by an omakase dinner of world-class sushi.

If that’s impossible, as it was with me, who watched it while trying to choke down a deeply unsatisfying microwaved frozen burrito, you’ll find “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” directed and shot by David Gelb, to be sumptuous torture. As you might expect, Gelb packs the film with one image after another of glistening morsels of raw fish photographed artfully on black lacquer plates; it edges on the pornographic in the best possible way. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’’

Indie Roundup: ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’

If there was ever a movie to cleanse the palate of awards season good taste, it’s “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.” It features, among other things, a used-toilet-paper salesman, copious body fluids, and a really improper use of a bathtub. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim carved out a cult audience with their Adult Swim series “Tim & Eric Awesome, Great Job.” Like their show, this movie will have you laughing uproariously or leave you vaguely traumatized. Or both. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’’


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