Thursday, June 28, 2007

Moliere Reinvented

Starring Romain Duris and New wave icon Fabrice Luchini, Moliere takes pleasure into imagining what could have been the inspiration for some of the famous French playwright's masterworks such as Tartuffe & Le Bourgrois Gentillhome. The result is a charming and amusing mainstream comedy lead by 2 brilliant actors, which delivers moments of pure fun without taking itself too seriously.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ethan Hawke battles Stupid Robots

No, Wait a minute ... Ethan Hawke's autobiographic Hottest State was actually a fine piece of indie fillmmaking about a young actor in a constant state of emotional wreckness. Confirming Hawke's talent at directing intimate stories with strong acting, Hottest State intertwined self-derision and poetic tones, giving us a rare look at heartbroken man. Hawke was present for a Q&A, supported by his French onscreen darling, July Delpy.

But, except for Hawke's film, tonight will remain in my mind as the all-time low of the LA film festival since I've been covering it. Not only had Michael Bay and his stupid car-robots taken center stage for the premiere of Transformers but Hottest State was followed by a musical version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What's next? A Steven Seagal retrospective?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eric Rohmer goes spy

I know what you might think -- at least those of you who know who Eric Rohmer is --, Rohmer and spy movie shouldn't be in the same sentence in a perfect cinephile world. Set on the eve of the 2nd world war, with geopolitics in the background, Rohmer's Triple Agent is however a fascinating genre exercise where the veteran new wave director injects his signature taste for dialogues and intimacy to create an intrigue mostly based on conversations between a husband and his wife. Released a couple of years ago in France, Triple Agent hasn't found any distribution in the U.S yet and was shown as part of the "films that got away" sidebar.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lisa Kudrow & the blue Giant

While I certainly wouldn't deny that writer/director Scott Prendergast's debut was entertaining, Kabluey is mostly a one-joke movie that can't survive the short-to-feature treatment. Kabluey plays on the cuteness of its giant blue mascot and its cast, but it isn't enough to make us swallow its cliche awkward male babysitter premise -- Arnold and Vin Diesel already went that way -- and its flag-waving feel. Kabluey is the kind of safe entertainment you can enjoy on a flight, but certainly not something you should pay $11 for. Prendergast, his star Lisa Kudrow and some of the cast were present for a short Q&A.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Horror goes green in The Last Winter

With its slow pace, beautiful cinematography and twist on genres, The Last Winter, most-likely a pioneer in the green horror movie sub-genre, was closer to Werner Herzog's cinema than to a previous similar attempt to mix ecology and genre -- I'm of course talking about the action pudding On Deadly Ground starring our favorite buddhist/guitarist/karateka.
While highly intriguing and addicting, The Last Winter would have gained in strength by avoiding some cliches of the genres - do we really need to see scenes already featured prominently in 28 Days, Resident Evil and The Thing?