9 Songs

MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  United Kingdom, 2004.  Revolution Films.  Screenplay by Michael Winterbottom.  Cinematography by Marcel Zyskind.  Produced by Andrew Eaton.  Film Editing by Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom.  Toronto International Film Festival 2004. The complicated path of erotic connection is lightly explored in this short feature by filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, making one of his most provocative yet least…

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The Intruder (L’Intrus) (2004)

CLAIRE DENIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  France, 2004.  Ognon Pictures, Arte France Cinema, Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Pusan Film Commission.  Screenplay by Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, based on the novel by Jean-Luc Nancy.  Cinematography by Agnes Godard.  Produced by Humbert Balsan, Jerome Clement, Michel Reilhac.  Music by Stuart Staples.  Production Design by Arnaud de Moleron.  Costume Design by…

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Evolution Of A Filipino Family (Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino)

BB (out of 5) Intimate and interminable epic film by Lav Diaz, one of the first to establish his uncompromising devotion to mammoth running times (in this case, a whopping ten and a half hours) that effectively put one in the position of living someone else’s life along with them.  Atmospheric and delicate, the film…

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Eros (2004)

MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI, STEVEN SODERBERGH, WONG KAR WAI Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA/Italy/Hong Kong/France/Luxembourg/United Kingdom, 2004.  Block 2 Pictures, Roissy Films, Solaris, Cité Films, Fandango, Delux Productions, Jet Tone Films.  Screenplay by Wong Kar Wai, Steven Soderbergh, Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, segment The Dangerous Thread of Things based on the novel by Michelangelo Antonioni).  Cinematography by Christopher Doyle, Marco Pontecorvo, Steven…

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The Raspberry Reich

BB (out of 5) A group of modern-day political insurgents take inspiration from the Baader Meinhoff crew, tearing through Berlin in the hopes of winning people over to their cause.  The revolution is open sexuality: masturbation is counter-revolutionary, the most important thing is to remove the bourgeois stink of monogamy or sexual orientation from intercourse…

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The World (Shijie)

BBB.5 (out of 5) World Park in Beijing is the setting of this enjoyable melodrama, in which global themes are played against personal ones. A young woman who works as a dancer in the park’s shows is having a relationship with a security guard, but has to deal with his commitment issues while also fighting…

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Saving Face

BBB (out of 5) Family and cultural traditions are thrown to the wind when Chinese-American surgeon Wil (Michelle Krusiec) allows her pregnant mother (a stunning Joan Chen) to live in her apartment when her mother’s refusal to reveal the father of the child gets her kicked out of her suburban community. Wil is now in…

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Tropical Malady (Sud Pralad)

BBBB (out of 5) Despite a disjointed plot that sees certain events happen without much explanation, this film has a sensual tone about it that absorbs you as a viewer and won’t let you give up on it too easily. A Thai soldier falls in a love with a young man from the sticks, and…

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A Dirty Shame

B (out of 5) Tracey Ullman is a frigid, angry housewife who cannot satisfy the needs of her wholesome husband (Chris Isaak) and is ashamed of her mega-breasted exotic dancer daughter (Selma Blair). After suffering a hit to the head, however, her libido is awakened and she is inducted into a pro-sex cult by a snake-tongued…

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Brides (Nyfes)

BBB (out of 5) Women from all over eastern Europe are gathered on a boat in Piraeus and sent to America as mail-order brides. One of them (Victoria Haralabidou) is a skilled seamstress who is travelling to Chicago to replace her sister, who came back home to Greece without marrying the man who was intended…

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Vital

BBB (out of 5) In this dazzlingly photographed film, a car accident survivor wakes up to find himself with no memory of the incident. After recovering, he decides to revive his long-forgotten ambitions of becoming a doctor and re-enrolls, much to his parents’ delight, in medical school. When his class is assigned to dissection class,…

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Being Julia

BBB.5 (out of 5) Not since Cousin Bette has a woman’s revenge been this much fun. Annette Bening tears into the role of a famous London stage actress who is starting to lose the thrill of performing before a live audience night after night. Her vigor is restored when she meets a young American financier…

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