Address Unknown (Suchwiin bulmyeong) (2001)

KI-DUK KIM Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  South Korea, 2001.  Kim Ki-Duk Film, LJ Film, Prime Entertainment.  Screenplay by Ki-duk Kim.  Cinematography by Jeong-min Seo.  Produced by Seung-jae Lee.  Music by Ho-jun Park.  Production Design by Ki-duk Kim.  Film Editing by Sung-Won Hahm.  Toronto International Film Festival 2001. Denizens of a barren rural landscape live in a holding pattern in the decades since…

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Trouble Every Day (2001)

CLAIRE DENIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.  France/Germany/Japan, 2001.  Arte France Cinema, ARTE, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Dacia Films, Kinetique, Messaouda Films, Rézo Films, Rezo Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.  Screenplay by Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau.  Cinematography by Agnes Godard.  Produced by Georges Benayoun, Philippe Liegeois, Jean-Michel Rey.  Music by Tindersticks.  Production Design by Arnaud de Moleron.  Costume Design by Judy…

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Millennium Mambo (Qian Xi Man Po)

BB.5 (out of 5) Visually opulent indulgence from Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who takes his intricate camera work into the world of Taipei rave culture for a formless meditation on obsessive love.  Vicky (Qi Shu) is in a constant state of breaking up with Hao-Hao (Chun-hao Tuan), but somehow he always finds out where she goes and…

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Life As A House

BBB (out of 5) Respectable ensemble drama centering around a dying man (Kevin Kline) who decides to finally tear down his dilapidated house after twenty years and rebuild it in his own image. The project ends up bringing him closer with family members whom he was afraid he had lost for good: his estranged ex-wife…

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Zus & Zo

BBB.5 (out of 5) Amusing comedy from the Netherlands about three very different sisters who go into a frenzy when their gay brother announces that he’s getting married–to a woman! Their fear is that his marriage will put him and his bride in financial control of a hotel property in Portugal that is very dear…

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What Time Is It There? (Ni Na Bian Ji dian)

BBBB (out of 5) Tsai Ming-Liang continues to explore the individual isolation of characters, and continues to do so beautifully. This one is about a bored watch seller who falls in love with one of his customers a day before she leaves for Paris, and the film is spent watching how the two of them…

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The Safety Of Objects

BB (out of 5) So many movies dissecting suburban life in America have been made (American Beauty, The Ice Storm, etc.) that this bland multi-familied tale of four very different groups of people doesn’t really stand a chance. The centre of their lives is a teenager (Joshua Jackson) who was paralyzed in a car accident…

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The Business Of Strangers

BBBB (out of 5) This excellent film is the cinematic equivalent of Madonna’s hit song “What It Feels Like For A Girl”. Tough-as-nails software executive Stockard Channing has just fired her new assistant (Julia Stiles) after the young woman arrived too late at an important sales pitch. Realizing she was too harsh, she decides to make…

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Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

BBBB (out of 5) On a casual evening in New York, a hotshot lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) celebrates a personal victory at a local bar, having just sent a guilty man to prison. A nearby patron of the establishment (Alan Arkin) has just had a terrible week that has confirmed his doubts about humanity in general….

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Italian For Beginners (Italiensk For Begyndere) (2000)

LONE SCHERFIG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Denmark/Sweden, 2000.  Danmarks Radio, Det Danske Filminstitut, Zentropa Entertainments.  Screenplay by Lone Scherfig.  Cinematography by Jorgen Johansson.  Produced by Ib Tardini.  Production Design by Jette Lehmann.  Costume Design by Malin Birch-Jensen.  Film Editing by Gerd Tjur.  Toronto International Film Festival 2001. Irresistible romantic comedy made under the strictures of the Dogma film code but just as effective, if…

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Secret Ballot (Raye Makhfi)

BBBB (out of 5) Slyly humorous film about a female elections agent in Iran who is assigned to collect votes on a remote island. Her gender is against her from the start, but even conquering that hurdle isn’t the last of her difficulties as she tries to get an overworked, underpaid population to care about…

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The Triumph Of Love

BBB.5 (out of 5) In this sun-drenched romance adapted from Marivaux’s play, Mira Sorvino plays a princess whose father before her had usurped the throne from the king of the land she now rules. Intending to return her kingdom to its rightful heir (Jay Rodan), she finds the task complicated by the fact that she has…

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