The Game Plan — the review’s up!

My review of The Game Plan is now up at CT Movies.

Shake Hands with the Devil — the review’s up!

My review of Shake Hands with the Devil is now up at BC Christian News.

How to treat a lady (even when she’s a sex doll)


Variety recently hosted a screening of the much-buzzed Lars and the Real Girl, followed by a Q&A; with director Craig Gillespie and actor Ryan Gosling. The latter plays a man who has a reportedly sweet relationship with a “woman” he met via the internet — who just happens to be a latex blow-up doll. I love these quotes:

The “Lars” duo also took time to chat about their synthetic co-worker, Bianca, who made a strong impact on the cast and crew in her debut role.

“I said since the beginning that Bianca is an actress in this movie, so we will treat her that way,” said the director.

“When I first met Craig, I asked him, ‘How you are going to shoot Bianca?’ “ commented Gosling. “And he said, ‘I’m going to shoot her as though she has a nudity clause in her contract.’ “

Incidentally, believe it or not, this movie is being promoted to the religious media. Must have something to do with the fact that Lars believes his “girlfriend” is a former missionary! Reports from the Toronto film festival — such as this and this and maybe this — also indicate that Lars is a devout, sexually abstinent churchgoer.

OCT 5 UPDATE: Click here to watch the movie’s trailer.

VIFF 2007 — movie-going schedule

This year’s edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off in an hour or so, so it’s about time I posted the first draft of my movie-going schedule. As with the schedules I posted in 2006 and 2005, this list is highly flexible and will be revised continually often over the next two weeks, as I juggle family and work obligations and the Thanksgiving holiday and so on. Any films that I do not end up seeing will be deleted from this list. Any articles I write shall be linked to from here. And as I blog the films that I see, I shall link to those posts from the titles listed here.

ARTICLES

‘Christian ‘niche marketing’ an Almighty flop?,’ BC Christian News, Sep 2007 — my monthly film column highlights The Monastery: Mr. Vig and the Nun, In Memory of Myself and One Hundred Nails.

‘VIFF films explore cults, homosexuality and forgiveness,’ BC Christian News, Oct 2007 — my monthly film column highlights Secret Sunshine, Join Us and For the Bible Tells Me So.

4 Months unflinching, Real Girl an endearing parable,’ BC Christian News, Nov 2007 — my monthly film column includes a review of a festival screening of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.

SCHEDULE — LAST UPDATED NOV 4, 12:54PM.

FILMS I SAW IN ADVANCE:

Atonement (dir. Joe Wright; UK, 123 min.)

THU SEP 27
Busy with work.

FRI SEP 28
10:00 — GR7 — My Kid Could Paint That (dir. Amir Bar-Lev; USA, 81 min.)

SAT SEP 29
18:20 — GR4 — You, the Living (dir. Roy Andersson; Sweden, 92 min.)
21:30 — GR7 — The Savages (dir. Tamara Jenkins; USA, 113 min.)

SUN SEP 30
Church, busy with work.

MON OCT 1
10:00 — GR7 — Persepolis (dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud; France/Iran, 95 min.)
12:15 — GR6 — Shattered (dir. Mike Barker; Canada/UK, 91 min.)

TUE OCT 2
16:00 — GR7 — Redacted (dir. Brian de Palma; USA, 90 min.)
19:30 — GR1 — Jellyfish (dir. Etgar Keret, Shira Geffen; France/Israel, 78 min.)
21:15 — GR7 — Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (dir. Sidney Lumet; USA, 123 min.)

WED OCT 3
Press screenings, busy with work.

THU OCT 4
Busy with work.

FRI OCT 5
Press screenings, busy with work.

SAT OCT 6
Thanksgiving with family. Watched Elijah (dir. Paul Unwin; Canada, 88 min.) at home.

SUN OCT 7
Thanksgiving with wife’s family.

MON OCT 8
19:00 — GR7 — 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (dir. Cristian Mungiu; Romania, 113 min.)
21:30 — GR2 — Operation Filmmaker (dir. Nina Davenport; USA, 95 min.)

TUE OCT 9
Busy with work.

WED OCT 10
Press screenings, busy with work.

THU OCT 11
Busy with work.

FRI OCT 12
Busy with work.

Review: Shake Hands with the Devil (dir. Roger Spottiswoode, 2007)

AT LEAST one new movie about the Rwandan genocide has been produced each year for the past four years, ever since Terry George directed Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo to their richly deserved Oscar nominations for Hotel Rwanda — and to the casual viewer, it might seem like all these films are beginning to blur together.

All of these films — including Shooting Dogs (released in the United States as Beyond the Gates), A Sunday in Kigali and the newest film, Shake Hands with the Devil — have depicted the shock and horror felt by whites and blacks alike when Hutu extremists began killing Tutsis by the tens of thousands in April 1994.

[Read more...]

Movie to explore “missing years” of Jesus

We’ve had plenty of films about the adult life of Jesus when he was in his 30s, and a fair number about his infancy, and even a few that brought to life apocryphal legends about his childhood. But what about his adolescence and early adulthood? Variety reports:

Indie financers have signed director Drew Heriot to make his feature debut on “The Aquarian Gospel,” a story of Jesus Christ’s “missing years” from ages 13 to 30.

William Keenan (“Poor Things”) is producing with Thaddeus Carlson co-exec producing the $12 million-$15 million project with plans to use a high-definition format in the vein of “300″ with shooting on U.S. soundstages.

Heriot directed self-help documentary “The Secret,” which sold more than 2 million DVD copies. John F. Sullivan and Keenan wrote the script, inspired by two books — “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ” (1908) by evangelical preacher Levi Dowling and “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ” (1898) by Russian anthropologist Nicholas Notovich.

Story chronicles Jesus’ journeys from Israel through India, Tibet, Persia, Greece and Egypt as he encounters people of all creeds, classes and faiths.

Producers plan on using actors from the Middle East, India, the Far East, Europe and America along with modern-day spiritual leaders in cameo roles, portraying prominent historical and religious figures that Jesus encountered.


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