Signed capsules mean that a Stranger reviewer has seen the film. Unsigned capsules have been rewritten-and often injected with unnecessary dumb jokes-from SIFF's promotional text.

REVIEWERS: Shannon Gee, Nate Lippens, Jennifer Maerz, Charles Mudede, Sean Nelson, Megan Seling, Bradley Steinbacher, Annie Wagner, and Andrew Wright.

recommended 3-Iron recommended
South Korea, 2004 (95 min.)
Dir. Kim Ki-duk

The director of the brutal Bad Guy shows his sensitive side-the occasional pummeling with golf balls notwithstanding. A love story between a man who breaks into homes and an abused former model, the only line of dialogue spoken between the two is a single sentence, mentioned but once: "I love you." By the time this beautiful and oddly haunting film arrives at its end, you'll know just how they feel. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Neptune Sat May 21 6:30 pm
Neptune Sun May 22 4:15 pm

Russia, 2004 (126 min.)
Dir. Ilya Khrzhanovsky

Three Russians walk into a bar, sit down, and shoot the shit. This is not the set-up to a joke, but the premise of 4, which focuses on the late-night conversational leapfrog of three characters. Their idle chatter touches on politics and culture, adding up to a boozy portrait of contemporary Russia certain to make you thirsty.

Neptune Fri June 10 2:00 pm
Neptune Sat June 11 6:30 pm

recommended 5 x 2 recommended
France, 2004 (90 min.)
Dir. François Ozon

François Ozon has directed several diverse features, including the ensemble musical farce 8 Women, the romance Water Drops on Burning Rocks, the drama Under the Sand, and the mystery Swimming Pool. In 5 x 2 he throws another curveball, using the reverse chronology format familiar from many films-most notably Memento and most notoriously Gaspar Noe's Irreversible-and applies it to a fractured domestic drama. While Memento and Irreversible used time moving backward to ratchet up the tension of situations that hinged on violence, Ozon turns back time to show the arc of a relationship from divorce to first meeting.

The five curt sequences offer a romantic autopsy of the marriage between Marion and Gilles. The movie opens on the day they sign their divorce papers and moves backward, exposing a dark timeline of betrayal and cruelty. It's emotional entropy in reverse, with a happy ending that's actually a beginning, the acting nuanced enough to carry some of the less believable parts (such as a preposterous wedding night that reminds us Ozon is a gay man with a flair for melodrama). Even the cinematography softens as the chronology works its way back through time and the characters get younger and happier.

The leads are perfect at conveying the depth of a relationship that we see only at its high and low points, and the emotional temperature has much in common with Harold Pinter's Betrayal and Jane Campion's TV movie Two Friends. From the fleeting and substantial nature of relationships and the reversals of commitments, Ozon fashions a tough and haunting portrait of a desperate marriage. (NATE LIPPENS)

Egyptian Sat June 4 9:00 pm
Neptune Tues June 7 5:00 pm

9 Songs
United Kingdom, 2004 (2004 min.)
Dir. Michael Winterbottom

With a running time at just over an hour, Michael Winterbottom's (cough hack cough) sexually explicit film seems to mimic the duration of his characters' endurance. Focusing on a brief sexual encounter between a British glaciologist (no, really) and a young American abroad (code for hot and loose), the film is interspersed with concert footage of the Dandy Warhols and Franz Ferdinand.

Neptune Mon June 6 9:30 pm
Neptune Wed June 8 5:30 pm

The 10th District Court: Moments of Trial
France, 2004 (105 min.)
Dir. Raymond Depardon

Twelve criminals, who are of course innocent until proven guilty (although their guilt seems pretty damn clear), face a tough female magistrate in this portrait of the French judicial system. The humor and pathos come from their often-deluded defenses as they appear before the woman who comes across as a combination of Judge Judy-esque American snappishness (and impatience) and French coolness (with a smidgen of contempt).

Neptune Sat May 28 1:15 pm
Harvard Exit Wed June 1 5:00 pm

France, 2004 (105 min.)
Dir. Olivier Marchal

Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu star in this noirish thriller as two cops vying for a promotion. Whichever of them can nab a gang of armored-truck robbers will get the job. The set-up puts a brutal competition into play, which allows for plenty of double-crossing, tension, deceit, and, naturally, scene-stealing.

Egyptian Thurs May 26 9:15 pm
Neptune Mon May 30 4:15 pm

Hong Kong, 2004 (129 min.)
Dir. Wong Kar-wai

Wong Kar-wai's hotly anticipated follow-up to the high water mark of In The Mood for Love has been wreathed in awards and acclaim. Tony Leung reprises his role from that film, but the romantic melancholy has been replaced by a cool detachment (and a moustache). Leung has encounters with four women in 1960s Hong Kong while he writes science fiction set in 2046.

Neptune Fri May 20 9:15 pm
Neptune Sat May 21 1:30 pm


recommended Absolut recommended
Switzerland, 2004 (94 min.)
Dir. Romed Wyder

A surprisingly effective exercise in liberal paranoia. Two idealistic men set out to disrupt an economic conference with a computer virus, but things go wrong when one of them has an accident and ends up in a coma for two days. When he wakes up, he doesn't know whether the plan was put into action or not-and just who are the people following him? Directed with a perfectly cold eye by Romed Wyder, this thriller keeps you suitably confused until its finale, then confuses you even more. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Harvard Exit Tues May 24 7:15 pm
Harvard Exit Thurs May 26 2:00 pm

Accidentally Growing Up

Short films about coming of age and aging unbecomingly.

Broadway Performance Hall Sun June 5 11:15 AM

Acting Tribute: An Evening with Peter Sarsgaard

The man who should've won an Oscar for his performance in Shattered Glass takes the stage for a discussion about his career. Think he's too young for this sort of event? You haven't been paying attention.

Egyptian Sat May 21 5:00 pm

Adam & Steve
U.S., 2005 (100 min.)
Dir. Craig Chester

The title is a groaner, but this romantic comedy about a gay man who becomes reacquainted with a former one-night stand he doesn't remember features indie-fag catnip Parker Posey-or, if you're inclined to be a little more obscure and discerning, Julie Hagerty.

Egyptian Thurs May 26 7:00 pm
Egyptian Sat May 28 1:30 pm

recommended After Innocence recommended
U.S., 2005 (95 min.)
Dir. Jessica Sanders

An alternately probing and fly-on-the-wall camera reveals the plight of convicts (many serving lengthy sentences for rape and murder) proven innocent by newly admitted DNA evidence. Aided by a nonprofit legal organization formed by once notorious O. J.-crony Barry Scheck, they attempt to reintegrate into society. Originally produced for cable, this enraging documentary proves more than worthy of a big-screen showing. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Broadway Performance Hall Wed June 1 6:45 pm

After Midnight
Italy, 2004 (89 min.)
Dir. Davide Ferrario

A night watchman at Turin's Museum of Cinema is shaken from his dull and complacent world when he rescues a beautiful fast-food worker from both her boss and the police. The night watchman has lived in an imaginary world of larger-than-life screen icons for so long that he must choose between his dreary comfort and a potential real-life romance, complete with complications.

Neptune Mon May 23 9:30 pm
Harvard Exit Thurs May 26 4:30 pm

recommended After the Day Before recommended
Hungary, 2004 (119 min.)
Dir. Attila Janisch

Of the various moods available to a filmmaker, creeping, nightmarish paranoia can be one of the most difficult to sustain; often, all it takes is a single crumple of a neighboring popcorn bag to break the spell and bring on the tension-relieving guffaws. At the press screening for SIFF Emerging Master Attila Janisch's After the Day Before, one of the reels was mistakenly played upside down, and the mood not only sustained, but the gaff actually enhanced the film's skittery, unclean vibe. This, clearly, is some powerful juju.

Set in the bleak Hungarian countryside, András Forgách's screenplay follows a dour funeral photographer as he pushes his rusty, uncooperative motorized bicycle on a quest for a farm he inherited from a distant relative. Shortly after arriving in the neighboring town, he is informed of the brutal murder of a previously glimpsed resident, discovers a few unaccountable scratches on his person, and his private quicksand just gets deeper and deeper. Working with just the barest whiff of black humor, the director imbues his chronologically skewed narrative with enough spare hints throughout to support a variety of hypotheses. Gabor Medvigy's exceptional photography, seemingly capable of capturing the slightest disturbance of a single blade of grass from a distance, only enhances the surreally hyper-alert, bad-dreamy feel.

Certainly, Janisch's assured combination of deliberately glacial pacing and short, jarring shocks won't be for everyone (119 minutes is a long time for one's nerves to be continually jangled, after all). It's hard to imagine, however, that even the most easily distracted viewers won't be struck by the director's uncanny knack for imbuing a number of everyday objects-seashells, light switches-with an air of queasy, blind menace. Without resorting to backward-talking clowns or razor-wielding bogeymen, he successfully brings on the night sweats, over and over again. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Harvard Exit Thurs June 2 7:00 pm
Harvard Exit Sat June 4 3:45 pm

Almost Brothers
Brazil, 2004 (102 min.)
Dir. Lúcia Murat

Five decades of Brazilian history are told through the lives of two childhood friends. One has blossomed into a senator, the other is the leader of a drug cartel-both, however, end up occupying the same prison.

Broadway Performance Hall Sun May 22 9:15 pm
Harvard Exit Wed May 25 4:30 pm

Germany, 2004 (88 min.)
Dir. Thomas Durschschlag

Lavinia Wilson plays a librarian with a double life of substance abuse and casually meaningless one-night stands. Potential escape appears in the form of a nice guy, but when he leaves town for a week, the hushed world of her job and the temptations of seamy nightlife threaten to draw her back into her old ways. And why wouldn't they? Books and nice guys-you want to get high just thinking about it.

Broadway Performance Hall Sun May 29 6:15 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Tues May 31 2:00 pm

Alternate Tracks

Silent scenes are given a new soundtrack. Hosted by our very own Sean Nelson (who moonlights as the lead singer of Harvey Danger).

Broadway Performance Hall Wed June 8 7:00 pm

Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley
U.S., 2004 (65 min.)
Dir. Nyla Bialek Adams, Laurie Trombley

"Love, anger, depression, my dreams, and Zeppelin." That's what Jeff Buckley says his influences are in this short but sweet tribute documentary about the late singer/songwriter who died in a drowning accident in 1997. Billed somewhat as an anti-Kurt Cobain (Buckley's first full-length album, Grace, with its swooping songs of love and passion ringing with warm melodies and his angelic falsetto, was released in 1994, the year Cobain died), Buckley seems to be without skeletons in his closet, which makes for a somewhat flat film. Despite this, the uniqueness of his music and soul shine through. (SHANNON GEE)

EMP's JBL Theater Thurs June 2 7:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sat June 4 9:15 pm

U.S./Spain, 2005 (88 min.)
Dir. Kevin Noland

The slutty dude from Dawson's Creek (you know, the kid that slept with his teacher) goes to Spain with some friends and does all the typical things Americans do while there: run with the bulls, drink a lot, fall in love with a totally hot Spanish girl, etc. Then he's faced with a dilemma: Should he return to America, as planned, and start his new stupid job and live a stupid typical life? Or should he stay in Spain with a totally hot girl who is wicked good in bed? Choices, choices-none of which are very compelling. (MEGAN SELING)

Egyptian Wed June 8 7:00 pm
Harvard Exit Fri June 10 2:00 pm

The Animated Guide to Life

A shorts package full of cartoons, abstract and narrative alike.

Egyptian Sun May 22 3:45 pm

Another Life
Italy, 2004 (86 min.)
Dir. Michele Placido

An Italian couple with frantic work schedules struggles to maintain the spark of their marriage. Disaster intercedes when the wife is sexually assaulted and the husband suffers a freak accident. Both events propel the couple into a state where fantasy and reality are blurred.

Uptown Sat June 4 6:30 pm
Uptown Sun June 5 5:00 pm

Après Vous...
France, 2003 (110 min.)
Dir. Pierre Salvadori

A Miramax wet dream. The always dependable Daniel Auteuil stars as a restaurant manager who stumbles across a suicidal wreck (José Garcia) while on his way to dinner. He stops the sap from hanging himself, takes him into his home, and all hell quickly breaks loose. Amidst all the chaos, a clunky love story takes shape, and the farce, once beautifully set up, suffers mightily from the sudden invasion of a heart. Still, the film manages to hit more than it whiffs. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Egyptian Wed May 25 9:15 pm
Neptune Fri May 27 5:00 pm

Arafat, My Brother
France, 2005 (75 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Rashid Masharawi

This documentary offers a look at the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat as seen through the eyes of his brother, Dr. Fathi Arafat. Their relationship gives some telling glimpses into the experiences that drove the famous Arafat's politics.

Broadway Performance Hall Mon May 23 6:45 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Thurs May 26 4:30 pm

recommended The Aristocrats recommended
U.S., 2004 (92 min.)
Dir. Paul Provenza

In this brilliant documentary, dozens of famous comedians, from the brilliant (Robin Williams, Dana Gould, Martin Mull) to the execrable (Doug Stanhope, Carrot Top) and everyone in between gather to tell their version of the dirtiest joke in history. Within its infinite variations lies a portrait of both the art of comedy and the inherent vindictiveness of comics. Language-sensitive people should definitely stay away. People with brains, hearts, and senses of humor should definitely get in line now. (SEAN NELSON)

Neptune Fri May 20 midnight

The Art & Crimes of Ron English
U.S., 2004 (82 min.)
Dir. Pedro Carvajal

Ron English is a fortysomething guerrilla artist who transforms billboards with vicious satire that he calls "popaganda." This documentary celebrates his work with plenty of talking-head hyperbole, but you may find his self-satisfaction and eventual hawking of himself as a product disturbingly conflicted. Over the course of the film he becomes more invested in his own legend than in any true culture-jamming. (NATE LIPPENS)

Broadway Performance Hall Thurs May 26 6:45 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sat May 28 1:45 pm

Arvo Pärt: 24 Preludes for a Fugue
Estonia, 2004 (88 min.)
Dir. Dorian Supin

For those obsessed with Arvo Pärt, the strict Russian Orthodox composer who spent 13 years in exile from Estonia, this meandering, amateurish documentary is probably not to be missed. For everyone else (which may, in fact, be most everyone), full attention will be hard to maintain. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Broadway Performance Hall Tues May 24 6:45 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Fri June 10 2:00 pm

As it is in Heaven
Sweden, 2004 (130 min.)
Dir. Kay Pollak

A world-famous conductor collapses onstage after a great performance and is told by a doctor that he is dying. He then heads to the north of Sweden to end his life in a village where he spent an unhappy childhood. Upon his arrival, the conductor is met with bad news (the bullies of his past have become the wife-beaters of today) and good news (the village store is operated by a young and single Nordic bombshell). Half the movie is inspired by Disney, the other half by Bergman (particularly Winter Light)-altogether the effort is harmless. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

Neptune Thurs June 2 6:30 pm
Uptown Sun June 5 2:15 pm

Avellaneda's Moon
Argentina/Spain, 2004 (145 min.)
U.S. Premiere

Dir. Juan José Campanella

Director Juan José Campanella, who had a hit with Son of the Bride, follows up with this romantic comedy. The plot turns on the history of a social and sports club founded in the 1940s, which is now losing popularity as the social climate changes.

Uptown Wed June 8 6:30 pm
Uptown Sat June 11 11:00 AM


Banlieue 13
France, 2004 (82 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Pierre Morel

In this French action film produced by Luc Besson, a wall has been built around a Paris suburb in 2010 to contain the criminal element. Taha, the kingpin of this city unto itself, kidnaps the sister of the imprisoned local hero Leito, who, of course, takes matters into his own hands. And then things get personal.

Neptune Fri June 10 4:45 pm
Egyptian Sat June 11 midnight

recommended Bars in the Memory recommended
Spain, 2004 (80 min.)
Dir. Manuel Palacios

This fairly static documentary is nonetheless riveting and disturbing just on the strength of its interviews. Interspersed with archival footage, the talking-head segments reveal the truth about the concentration camps set up by Francisco Franco to house Republican prisoners during and after the Spanish Civil War. (NATE LIPPENS)

Broadway Performance Hall Tues May 24 4:30 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Fri May 27 2:00 pm

Based on a True Story
Netherlands, 2005 (75 min.)
Dir. Walter Stokman

A documentary that focuses on the real people and events that inspired the great 1975 Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon. There are plenty of archival film clips, news-footage segments, and interviews with hostages and FBI agents, which set the scene for the 14-hour standoff. Director Walter Stokeman's bizarre taped phone conversations with the convicted felon John Wojtowicz prove to be the fascinating core of the film, existing in their own moral ozone.

Broadway Performance Hall Sat June 11 6:15 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sun June 12 9:15 pm

Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt
U.S., 2004 (99 min.)
Dir. Margaret Brown

Townes Van Zandt was the hard-drinking, hard-living troubadour of country-folk, whose music inspired countless other musicians such as Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, and the Cowboy Junkies. This film tells the amply bittersweet story of his life and music.

EMP's JBL Theater Thurs June 2 9:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Fri June 3 9:00 pm

The Beat That My Heart Skipped
France, 2005 (107 min.)
Dir. Jacques Audiard

In this remake of James Toback's 1978 cult classic, Fingers (not to be confused with Richard Kern's 1980s cult classic Fingered), a French man named Tom struggles between polar familial expectations-his father's criminal underworld, and his late mother's wish for him to become a concert pianist.

Neptune Sun May 29 6:30 pm
Neptune Mon May 30 2:00 pm

The Beautiful Country
Norway, 2004 (126 min.)
Dir. Hans Petter Moland

A young man, played by the excellent Damien Nguyen, is ostracized in his Vietnamese home because of his mixed racial heritage. He sets out on a personal quest to find his American G.I. father, encountering Nick Nolte and Tim Roth along the way.

Egyptian Thurs June 9 9:15 pm
Uptown Sat June 11 2:00 pm

Being Caribou
Canada, 2004 (72 min.)
Dir. Leanne Allison, Diana Wilson

Being Caribou is a documentary following a husband-and-wife team as they spend half a year following a herd of Caribou from Yukon, Canada, to Alaska. Hoping to raise awareness about the animals (so George W. Bush and his cronies won't drill for oil in their habitat), Leanne Allison and Karsten Heuer filmed their trek as they made themselves part of the porcupine caribou herd, forging rivers, climbing mountains, and struggling through snow and heat just as their four-legged friends did. Though admirable, the film doesn't offer enough to fully hold your attention. (MEGAN SELING)

Broadway Performance Hall Fri June 3 6:45 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Tues June 7 2:00 pm

Beneath Her Window
Slovenia, 2004 (90 min.)
Dir. Metod Pevec

This Slovene film tells the story of a 30-year-old dancer having a life crisis that leads her to question everything, including whether the man she has taken to be a stalker is actually something else entirely.

Broadway Performance Hall Wed May 25 9:00 pm
Harvard Exit Fri May 27 2:00 pm

recommended Bluebird recommended
Netherlands, 2004 (79 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Mijke de Jong

Already stretched dangerously thin with the effort of dealing with her handicapped brother, an overly book-smart middle-schooler begins to buckle under the increasing wrath of schoolyard bullies. The premise smacks of Carrie-type shenanigans, but director de Jong wisely keeps things located in the real world, drawing out a tremulously effective performance from 13-year-old Elske Rotteveel in the process. Originally developed as an after-school special for Dutch television, but don't hold that against it. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Neptune Sun June 5 11:30 AM
Harvard Exit Tues June 7 7:15 pm

Boats Out of Watermelon Rinds
Turkey, 2004 (101 min.)
Dir. Ahmet Ulucay

On the outskirts of a sleepy Turkish town, a pair of movie-mad village kids attempt to fashion a homemade projector, fueled by scraps from the local theater. However, an ill-advised crush on an older girl soon threatens to stop these mini-MacGyvers in their tracks. Initially charming, with an oddball flicker of Gothic witchcraft horror lurking in the wings, the film turns repetitious, and frankly dull, during its second half, squandering most of its accumulated goodwill. Still, the self-trained director may be one to keep an eye on. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Harvard Exit Sat May 28 11:00 AM
Harvard Exit Fri June 3 7:15 pm

Bombón, el Perro
Argentina, 2004 (96 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Carlos Sorín

This is not Every Which Way but Loose, but it does center on the road adventures of man and beast. In this case, a 52-year-old unemployed mechanic and man's best friend, as they make their way to the promise of a career in dog shows. No, really.

Egyptian Sat June 4 6:30 pm
Egyptian Sun June 5 1:30 pm

Bride of Silence
Vietnam/Germany/Australia, 2005 (114 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Doan Thanh Nghia, Doan Minh Phuong

A young Vietnamese woman is ostracized when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock and won't reveal the identity of the baby's father. Her family and fellow villagers persecute her. The film picks up 17 years later as her son struggles to discover the truth about his father's identity and his mother's whereabouts.

Broadway Performance Hall Sun June 5 3:45 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 12 9:00 pm

Finland, 2003 (80 min.)
Dir. Esa Illi

This Dogme-style movie follows two brothers' divergent lives. The youngest is terminally ill and living in Estonia, trying to savor what remains of his life. His older, successful brother wants to bring him back to Finland for treatment.

Harvard Exit Mon May 30 9:30 pm
Neptune Thurs June 2 2:00 pm

Denmark, 2004 (113 min.)
Dir. Susanne Bier

After a helicopter incident in Afghanistan renders a Danish family man M.I.A., his wife finds herself unaccountably drawn toward his bad-seed kid brother. Dogme vet Susanne Bier (Open Hearts) has a knack for the unsettlingly direct close-up, but her verve ultimately can't overcome the cliché-ridden script. A shame, really, considering the substantial acting chops of Connie Nielsen (making her long overdue native language debut) and Nikolaj Lie Kaas, who resembles Ben Affleck in Encino Man makeup. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Harvard Exit Fri May 20 7:15 pm
Harvard Exit Sat May 21 4:15 pm


C'est la Femme

New short films from women directors.

Broadway Performance Hall Sat May 21 1:45 pm

recommended Campfire recommended
Israel, 2004 (95 min.)
Dir. Joseph Cedar

Following the requisite period of mourning, a youngish Jerusalem widow and her two teenaged daughters lock horns over the option of moving to a new, suspiciously snobbish commune. A huge hit in its native Israel, Cedar's nicely unsentimental film mixes comedy and drama in commendably unpredictable proportions. Exceptionally well acted, especially by lead Michaela Eshet, but marred somewhat by a few overly jarring shifts in tone, particularly a markedly ugly incident of second-act sexual thuggery. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Egyptian Fri June 3 2:00 pm
Neptune Tues June 7 9:30 pm

Cape of Good Hope
South Africa/U.S., 2004 (107 min.)
Dir. Mark Bamford

This film's overlapping storylines may remind some of Robert Altman if he were South African and set a movie in an animal shelter rather than a rest home (think Three Women). The lives of a woman having an affair, a playboy, and a workaholic intermingle and reflect off one another.

Harvard Exit Sun May 29 6:30 pm
Harvard Exit Mon May 30 2:00 pm

Canada, 2004 (98 min.)
Dir. Don McKellar

Rick (writer/director/Canadian Don McKellar), a wannabe experimental filmmaker, finds himself the limo driver of spoiled American child actor Taylor Brandon Burns during a film shoot in Toronto. Much sarcasm, sending up, and scorn for the film industry ensues. McKellar's off-kilter humor makes this film-within-a-film satire interesting to watch, and he also keeps Jennifer Jason Leigh from going too over the top. He doesn't, however, keep Eric Stoltz from doing the same. (SHANNON GEE)

Neptune Fri May 27 7:15 pm
Harvard Exit Mon May 30 11:30 AM

¡Cinema Fantastico!

A bunch of Spanish-language shorts.

Broadway Performance Hall Sat May 28 9:15 pm

recommended The Circus recommended
U.S., 1928 (71 min.)
Dir. Charlie Chaplin

It's amazing that for all the hassles and auteur-style meltdowns (or rather, burn downs, as in the studio where he was shooting) that surrounded the making of this early Chaplin gem, the resulting work is breezy, fun, and hilariously free of indulgence. The tightrope sequence is among the master's very best bits, and the score featured on this rare print was composed by Chaplin himself, decades after the film was made. (SEAN NELSON)

Neptune Sun June 5 6:30 pm
Egyptian Sat June 11 11:00 AM

The Civilization of Maxwell Bright
U.S., 2005 (112 min.)
Dir. David Beaird

If Maxim magazine produced films, this P.O.S. would be its flagship. Patrick Warburton plays a vulgar bully (sample dialogue: "I'll stick my foot so far up your ass, it'll come out of your mother's pussy") who's tired of dating bitches with "Teflon clits," so he arranges relations with an Asian bride who has no problem pleasuring him. Too bad he's got a terminal disease! Sentimental, hypermasculine garbage. Eric Roberts and Simon Callow costar. (SEAN NELSON)

Harvard Exit Mon June 6 9:30 pm
Harvard Exit Tues June 7 4:30 pm

recommended Clean recommended
France, 2004 (111 min.)
Dir. Olivier Assayas

Despite the fright perm that makes her look like Ludwig Van Beethoven in a motorcycle jacket, Maggie Cheung should be showered with many awards and accolades for her portrayal of a dead rocker's groupie wife trying to shake her demons and drug addiction to regain custody of her son. Directed by ex-hubby Oliver Assayas, who also brought Cheung to France, and the altar, with 1996's Irma Vep. (SHANNON GEE)

Harvard Exit Tues June 7 9:30 pm
Uptown Thurs June 9 2:00 pm

Côte d'Azur
France, 2005 (90 min.)
Dir. Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau

This French film is not based on the salacious chapter of Truman Capote's Answered Prayers, but it does have to do with sexual boundary-testing and lust. Of course, the triangulations of desire involve a married couple and their children (not that way), one of whom they suspect is gay.

Egyptian Sat June 11 6:30 pm
Egyptian Sun June 12 3:45 pm

recommended Crane World recommended
Argentina, 1999 (89 min.)
Dir. Pablo Trapero

One of the festival circuit's best surprises, Crane World is a film of integrity and modest beauty, a black-and-white telling of the work life of a 50-year-old underemployed man dealing with the adversities in his life. Once a bass player for a one-hit-wonder rock band, he now subsists through construction jobs until training as a crane operator. His relationships with his son and mother, as well as a new woman in his life, lead to changes both good and troubling. Trapero's knack is immediacy: His gift to us all is the film. (RAY PRIDE)

Harvard Exit Sat June 11 11:30 AM

Cruel But Necessary
U.S., 2004 (97 min.)
Dir. Saul Rubinek

This independent American film taps into the downside of videotaping sexual encounters. A suburban housewife discovers her husband's infidelity on a videotape of a family vacation (that's a long way from Paris Hilton). She's devastated, and then driven in a way that only acidic Brit writer Fay Weldon's avenging characters could understand.

Broadway Performance Hall Tues June 7 9:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Wed June 8 4:30 pm


recommended Dalecarlians recommended
Sweden, 2004 (98 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Maria Blom

This moody and well-acted film follows Mia, who's living in Stockholm, as she returns home to her small childhood town to celebrate her father's 70th birthday. Naturally there are family tensions; her sisters are none too pleased when their father decides to give her the cabin by the lake. Visiting old acquaintances who espouse happiness, it becomes apparent that Mia isn't the only person wrestling with discontent and feelings of displacement. (NATE LIPPENS)

Harvard Exit Wed June 1 2:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Thurs June 2 9:00 pm

Days and Hours
Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2004 (96 min.)
Dir. Pjer Zalica

In a sleight of hand that shows the after-effects of the Balkan war without ever mentioning it once, acclaimed director Pjer Zalica turns a mundane family visit into a provocative exploration of psychological trauma.

Broadway Performance Hall Sun June 5 6:15 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Mon June 6 9:00 pm

Dead Man's Shoes
United Kingdom, 2004 (86 min.)
Dir. Shane Meadows

Two brothers return to their quiet hometown, but their visit is soon revealed to have other motives in this tense British drama about the lure of revenge and retribution.

Egyptian Fri June 3 9:15 pm
Uptown Tues June 7 4:45 pm

The Debt
Argentina, 2004 (90 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Jorge Lanata, Andrés Schaer

Jorges Lanata, one of Argentina's most respected journalists, pursues the corrupt bureaucratic and political forces responsible for the economic collapse of what was once one of richest countries in the world. The film takes him from Buenos Aires to the Oz of corruption, Washington, D.C.

Broadway Performance Hall Thurs June 2 6:45 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sat June 4 3:45 pm

Deep Blue
United Kingdom/Germany, 2003 (90 min.)
Dir. Alastair Fothergill, Andy Byatt

Fish! Doing Stuff! While exquisitely shot, this BBC production ultimately lacks the connecting thesis statement that separates an above-par nature documentary from just a really cool episode of Animal Planet. Still, many of the critters caught here on film (including some ludicrously huge shoals of feeder fish, a veritable dolphin fleet, and a few seriously freaky trench-dwelling beasties) really are something to see on the big screen. Warning: Younger Free Willy fans may be upset by the repeated bloodthirsty depiction of killer whales as complete and utter bastards. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Egyptian Sat June 4 11:00 AM
Neptune Mon June 6 7:15 pm

U.S., 2005 (93 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. David S. Marfield

A sweet but troubled young drifter stumbles into an ever-worsening situation when he's hired by a small-town sleazebag (Peter Coyote, who seems custom-built for these kind of roles). The story starts out in fairly straightforward moral waters of good versus bad, but finds a delusional undertow in its second half.

Uptown Thurs June 9 9:15 pm
Uptown Sat June 11 4:30 pm

Dias de Santiago
Peru, 2004 (83 min.)
Dir. Josué Mendez

A young man returns to Lima after six years fighting terrorists, the Peruvian drug mafia, and a nationalist war against Ecuador. Needless to say, he has an increasingly difficult time adjusting to civilian life, and his violent tendencies begin to surface in increasingly paranoid ways.

Harvard Exit Thurs June 2 5:00 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 5 4:15 pm

Dreamship Surprise: Period 1
Germany, 2004 (87 min.)
Dir. Michael "Bully" Herbig

This German sci-fi spoof takes on Star Wars and Star Trek. Set in 2304, Martian colonies wage war upon Earth. What stands between survival and annihilation? The effete crew of the Dreamship Surprise. German sci-fi hilarity ensues.

Neptune Sat June 11 9:30 pm
Neptune Sun June 12 9:30 pm

Drive Well, Sleep Carefully: On the Road with Death Cab for Cutie
U.S., 2005 (85 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Justin Mitchell

Seattle hometown indie-rock heroes and all-around nice guys Death Cab for Cutie are captured on the road, onstage, and in some private moments-well, as private as it gets with a camera bearing down on you.

Neptune Fri June 10 9:30 pm
Egyptian Sat June 11 3:45 pm

The Dying Gaul
U.S., 2005 (105 min.)
Dir. Craig Lucas

If the homoerotic subtext of certain Hitchcock films were made explicit, they would probably become completely absurd. Craig Lucas was trying to make an explicit Hitchcock movie about a love triangle (Patricia Clarkson, Campbell Scott, and Peter Sarsgaard star), and the result is too overwrought to thrill. The characters are so credulous they strain credulity, the music is a constant, oppressive presence, and the devices Lucas employs to indicate psychology are lurid and heavy-handed. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Egyptian Sat May 21 7:00 pm
Egyptian Sun May 22 1:30 pm


recommended Earth and Ashes recommended
France, 2004 (105 min.)
Dir. Atiq Rahimi

Following the destruction of his village, an elderly Afghani wanders the desert vainly searching for family remnants, with his newly deaf grandson in tow. Even more dour than the description suggests, this mournful lament occasionally tests the outer limits of caffeine, but ultimately generates a powerful, elegiac response. Slow going, to be sure, but also fairly hypnotic, with random, jarring flashes of the surreal. A sure-handed directorial debut from novelist Rahimi. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Neptune Wed May 25 9:30 pm
Neptune Sat May 28 11:00 AM


U.S., 2005 (104 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Tristan Bayer, Wolfgang Bayer

Based on "true events" about the Bayer family, guided by patriarch and renowned wildlife cinematographer Wolfgang Bayer, this docu-movie mixes fact and fiction until neither is relevant. The cloying narration by son (and director/editor/writer/producer) Tristan Bayer mars some breathtaking wilderness footage, and the sugary sentimentality creates a tension-free atmosphere where nothing ever seems at stake or in jeopardy, even when bears are menacing. (NATE LIPPENS)

Neptune Thurs May 26 7:15 pm
Egyptian Sat May 28 11:00 AM

The Edukators
Germany, 2004 (127 min.)
Dir. Hans Weingartner

Two budding anarchists abandon theory and take direct action against their oppressors: the rich. When the rich are away golfing, skiing, relaxing under a tropical sun, the two anarchists break into their homes and trash them. The rich return home, find the mess, and hire some poor third-world laborers to clean it up.

Neptune Sat May 28 9:30 pm
Neptune Mon May 30 11:00 AM

El Crimen Perfecto
Spain, 2004 (103 min.)
Dir. Alex de la Iglesia

This cheesy, though occasionally hilarious, comedy revolves around a department-store employee (Guillermo Toledo) who lives his life as if he were a lothario. When he loses out on a promotion to a hated rival, a tiff leads to murder, and he soon finds himself at the mercy of a horrible woman who happened upon the crime. Despite some major missteps (including a disastrous direct-to-camera narration), there's enough here that works to recommend the effort. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Neptune Tues June 7 7:15 pm
Neptune Thurs June 9 2:00 pm

Ellie Parker
U.S., 2005 (95 min.)
Dir. Scott Coffey

Those who are attracted to Naomi Watts' beauty will enjoy this film; those who do not find her beauty attractive will not enjoy it. The film is about an actress who, unlike Naomi Watts, is trying to get her foot into the door of Hollywood. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

Neptune Thurs June 9 7:15 pm
Neptune Sat June 11 2:00 pm

Experimental Voices

A package of short films that stretch the medium.

Northwest Film Forum Sun May 22 3:30 pm
Northwest Film Forum Mon May 23 7:00 pm


Fallen Angel: Gram Parsons
Germany/United Kingdom, 2004 (92 min.)
Dir. Gandulf Hennig

This documentary tells the story of Gram Parsons. He was a former Byrd, spent a much of his life getting high and communing with cactus trees, and died in 1973 of a drug overdose. Now he's considered to be the father of alt-country.

Egyptian Fri May 20 9:30 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sat May 21 4:00 pm

The Family Picture Show

Cartoon and live action shorts-all of which are safe for the kids.

Egyptian Sat May 21 11:00 AM

Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate
U.S., 2004 (78 min.)
Dir. Michael Epstein

From the director of the excellent Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood, this documentary concerns one of the most impressive financial disasters in all of cinema, Heaven's Gate. If you are going to go down in history, then go down like Michael Cimino's film.

Egyptian Fri June 3 4:45 pm

Fishermen's Terminal
U.S., 2005 (56 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. B. J. Bullert

This documentary is about how the powerful Port of Seattle wants to get rid of fishermen and replace them with yachtsmen. Now, the Bible, which was written by God, has lots of fishermen but no yachtsmen-surely that says something about our times.

Egyptian Mon May 30 6:30 pm

recommended Fly Filmmaking Challenge recommended

Three filmmakers-Sue Corcoran, Thom Harp, and T. J. Martin-took the SIFF challenge to film a narrative short, while local filmmaker Andy McAllister documented the process. Here's your chance to see the entire spectacle.

Egyptian Sun May 29 1:30 pm
Egyptian Fri June 10 2:00 pm

South Africa, 2004 (112 min.)
Dir. Ian Gabriel

If America is about money, and Britain is about class, and France is about love, then South Africa is about forgiveness. Directed by Ian Gabriel, and set in modern-day South Africa, Forgiveness tells the story of an ex-cop-turgidly named Tertius Coetzee-who asks the family of an anti-apartheid activist he killed to forgive him.

Neptune Thurs June 9 9:30 pm
Neptune Sun June 12 11:30 AM

Fourteen Sucks
Sweden, 2004 (83 min.)
Dir. Emil Larsson, Henrik Norrthon, Filippa Freijd, Martin Jern

Filmed by four directors in Helsingborg, Sweden-a seaside city that is often called the Pearl of the Øresund-Fourteen Sucks is about a Swedish teenager who is raped during a party by her brother's friend. Do not expect a happy ending.

Harvard Exit Fri June 10 9:30 pm
Neptune Sun June 12 4:14 pm

United Kingdom/Denmark, 2004 (90 min.)
Dir. Juliet McKoen

Kath, a young and awkward English woman, is struggling with the tragic disappearance of her older sister, Annie. The search ends with the assumption that she's dead, but Kath continues to relentlessly search for answers. Through vivid hallucinations, she thinks she's able to communicate with her lost sister, and believes she will eventually solve the mystery. In this decent, if a little slow, psychological thriller, Kath discovers that sometimes finding answers is worse than not knowing the truth. (MEGAN SELING)

Harvard Exit Fri June 10 7:15 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 12 4:15 pm


Games of Love & Chance
France, 2003 (123 min.)
Dir. Abdellatafi Kechiche

A teenager blossoms in the grime and despair of the Paris projects. Winner of Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Director at the 2005 Cesars (also known as the French Oscars).

Harvard Exit Tues May 24 4:30 pm
Harvard Exit Wed May 25 7:00 pm

Geek Love

Shorts about the freaks among us, including a gynecological adventure starring Selma Blair.

Broadway Performance Hall Mon May 30 9:15 pm

France/Italy, 2004 (80 min.)
Dir. Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou

From the creators of Microcosmos comes the story of how the world came to be, as told by an elderly African man.

Harvard Exit Fri May 20 4:30 pm
Egyptian Mon May 30 3:45 pm

The Gits
U.S., 2005 (90 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Kerri O'Kane

A documentary about the early '90s punk band fronted by Mia Zapata, The Gits was in the middle of filming when Zapata's murderer was arrested on the basis of decade-old DNA evidence and brought to trial.

Egyptian Sat May 28 9:00 pm
Egyptian Mon May 30 3:45 pm

Godzilla: Final Wars
Japan/Australia/U.S./China, 2004 (124 min.)
Dir. Ryuhei Kitamura

For Godzilla's 50th birthday, the big greenie gets a brand-new film courtesy of the director of Versus and Azumi.

Neptune Fri May 27 midnight
Neptune Sat May 28 3:30 pm

recommended Going ThroughSplat: The Life and Work of Stewart Stern recommended
U.S., 2005 (104 min.)
Dir. Jon Ward

A visually clumsy but engrossing documentary about screenwriter Stewart Stern, who wrote the scripts for Rebel Without a Cause and Sybil, among many other films, before quitting the business and relocating to Seattle. There's some great stuff here: Stern's powerfully articulate description of writing anxiety, his obsession with cows (his first, entirely nonverbal interaction with James Dean is priceless), and the exquisite sensitivity that both strengthened his writing and incapacitated him for life in Hollywood. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Egyptian Sun May 29 6:00 pm

Gorky Trilogy
Soviet Union, 1938-1940 (Part I: 98 min, Part II: 100 min, Part III: 120 min.)
Dir. Mark Donskoy

An ambitious trilogy based on the autobiography of the Russian writer Maxim Gorky. Part I is subtitled "Childhood of Maxim Gorky," Part II "My Apprenticeship," and Part III "My Universities."

Part I: Harvard Exit Sun May 22 2:00 pm
Part II: Harvard Exit Sun May 22 4:15 pm
Part III: Harvard Exit Sun May 22 6:30 pm

The Great Water
Macedonia, 2004 (90 min.)
Dir. Ivo Trajkov

Set in 1945, this sweeping Macedonian memory play combines elements of Dickens, Citizen Kane, and Alexander Solzenitzyn to examine the sinister terrors of life under Communism in the years immediately following WWII (i.e., before Tito defied Stalin). Framed by a politician's deathbed reminiscence of the reprogramming camp of his youth, the story is full of powerful (if melodramatic) moments, despite English-language narration that's clunkier than Soviet-realist architecture. (SEAN NELSON)

Uptown Thurs June 2 4:45 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 5 9:00 pm

Green Hat
China/Hong Kong, 2004 (110 min.)
Dir. Liu Fendou

Both sexual inadequacy and sexual jockeying are themes in this semi-comedy about a hostage and a police inspector.

Harvard Exit Mon May 23 9:30 pm
Neptune Fri May 27 2:00 pm

Grizzly Man
U.S./Canada, 2005 (100 min.)
Dir. Werner Herzog

The great Werner Herzog continues with his crazy documentary kick, this time turning his lens toward an environmental activist named Timothy Treadwell, who camps in Alaska to observe grizzly bears.

Egyptian Mon June 6 7:00 pm
Egyptian Wed June 8 4:45 pm


Hana & Alice
Japan, 2004 (133 min.)
Dir. Shunji Iwai

A teen romance/comedy involving lies, back-stabbing, and amnesia.

Egyptian Wed June 8 9:15 pm
Harvard Exit Thurs June 9 4:15 pm

Happily Ever After
France, 2004 (105 min.)
Dir. Yvan Attal

A couple find themselves jealous of their bachelor friend's freedom, specifically the amount of joy he appears to find in being surrounded by young, beautiful women.

Neptune Wed June 1 9:30 pm
Uptown Fri June 3 2:00 pm

recommended Hari Om recommended
India, 2004
Dir. Bharatbala Ganapathy

The title character's name also happens to be an Indian greeting. With that same openness he greets the audience and leads us on a journey through Southern India that is picturesque but eventually not as lightweight as it first appears. Hari Om's traveling companion is a beautiful young French woman, and the film takes a trip of self-discovery and personal revelation against the backdrop of a very authentic India, much as Y Tu Mamá También did with Mexico-except without the sex, and with nods to Bollywood. (NATE LIPPENS)

Harvard Exit Mon June 6 4:45 pm
Neptune Wed June 8 9:30 pm

Hawaii, Oslo
Norway, 2004 (125 min.)
Dir. Erik Poppe

It's a sweltering day in Oslo, and a gaggle of interesting characters are finding their lives intersecting à la Altman's Short Cuts. Their uniting theme: Hawaii (be it a bar or the actual state).

Neptune Sun May 29 9:30 pm
Neptune Thurs June 2 4:00 pm

The Heart of the Game
U.S., 2005 (114 min.)
Dir. Ward Serrill

This documentary, which was made over the course of six years, gets to the heart of Roosevelt High School's girls' basketball team. The story: brilliant upper-class white coach must tame a wild but brilliant inner-city black player. This is the stuff of hoop dreams.

Neptune Sat June 11 11:00 AM

recommended Heaven's Gate recommended
U.S., 1980 (219 min.)
Dir. Michael Cimino

Admitting to liking this movie is one of those things that you're simply not supposed to do-it's like taking up for Ishtar ("the first hour is really funny!") or Waterworld ("the effects are great!"). But Cimino's folly, despite its infamy for going over budget and being a towering inferno of directorial ego, is a fascinating attempt at re-imagining the Western genre, in much the same tradition as Altman's brilliant McCabe and Mrs. Miller. It's also 100 years long and agonizingly slow. But since when has that disqualified a film from being taken seriously? It's time to give Heaven's Gate a real look, and SIFF should be congratulated for defying orthodoxy. Christopher Walken and Kris Kristofferson star. (SEAN NELSON)

Egyptian Sat June 4 1:30 pm

recommended Heights recommended
U.S., 2005 (93 min.)
Dir. Chris Terrio

During a single hectic day, the frigged-up lives and loves of several interconnected upper-crust New Yorkers get placed under the microscope in this effective adaptation of screenwriter Amy Fox's play. Much less staid than the Merchant Ivory production pedigree would suggest, Chris Terrio's solid debut (he's only 25, the bastard) benefits from a hugely enjoyable, hammily gargantuan performance by Glenn Close as a legendary terror of the stage. Like Closer, but with actual wit supporting the copious bile. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Uptown Thurs June 9 7:00 pm
Uptown Fri June 10 4:45 pm

Her Minor Thing
U.S., 2005 (91 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Charles Matthau

Frigidity is one of the three themes in this sex comedy that features several stars from Saturday Night Live.

Broadway Performance Hall Fri June 10 9:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sun June 12 11:15 AM

A Hole in My Heart
Sweden, 2004 (98 min.)
Dir. Lukas Moodysson

Lukas Moodysson's fourth feature explores the dark side of porn, which is the only side of porn that concerns directors (who has ever seen a movie about the bright side of porn?). Moodysson is an important Swedish director-his previous movie, Lilya 4-Ever made Anthony Lane cry.

Egyptian Sat June 4 midnight
Neptune Mon June 6 2:00 pm

Holiday Weekend
Poland, 2004 (72 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Robert Gliñski

A silly movie about a butch lady librarian who's addicted to appearing on game shows, and a sensitive gentleman bandleader in the Polish armed services who just wants to find true love. They meet on a Blind Date clone produced by Polish TV, and then get whisked off to a hotel, where they spend the weekend sparring over patriotism and politics. The situation is contrived and the acting earnest, but at least the movie lacks pretense. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Broadway Performance Hall Tues May 24 2:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sun May 29 9:15 pm

recommended The Holy Girl recommended
Argentina, 2004 (103 min.)
Dir. Lucrecia Martel

This intoxicating film by Lucrecia Martel (La Ciénaga) stars María Alche, a young Argentinean actor, and I'm tempted to say she's all the reason you need to buy a ticket. It's impossible to take your eyes off her, not because she's beautiful, exactly-though she has the smudged, rosy looks of a particularly luscious Renaissance Madonna-but because her face registers religious and sexual conflict with an alarming intensity. Her mouth crumples at the corners and her eyes become hooded as she tries to will spiritual ecstasy or physical contact, and she effortlessly navigates the tough contours of a plot that might not have made sense without her.

Amalia (Alche) is a young Catholic girl who lives in a hotel with her divorced mother and her uncle. When she's not floating idly in the hotel pool, she attends religious education classes in which girls recount violent stories of martyrdom and a pretty teacher coaches them to be alert to the call to join a religious order (meanwhile, Amalia's sexually experienced friend Josefina whispers wickedly, "Don't listen to her. She only wants tongue kisses"). Then a conference of doctors at the hotel puts Amalia in contact with a man named Dr. Jano. Unfortunately, the contact is literal.

When Amalia catches him rubbing up against her in a crowd, she reacts not with fear but with an insatiable curiosity that is both altruistic and cruel. She's an innocent taught to save sinners, but her impulse to pursue her frotteur is uncannily aware of his deepest fears. Martel's direction is equally acute; even as the cinematography becomes more and more disorienting and hazily erotic, the emotional core of the film tightens incrementally until you have to remind yourself to breathe. The Holy Girl is stunning. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Harvard Exit Fri May 20 9:30 pm
Harvard Exit Sat May 21 11:30 AM

recommended Hostage recommended
Greece/Turkey, 2004 (102 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Constantine Giannaris

Armed with a machine gun, a live grenade, and a quickly cramping hand, a fugitive Albanian commandeers a bus in the countryside of Northern Greece and demands quick passage over the border. During the trip, his uniquely tortured backstory is slowly revealed. Based on a true incident, director Giannaris' film explores the fascinating and increasingly violent nationalistic conflict in the region. A sweat-inducing experience, with a niftily literary approach to its flashbacks. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Harvard Exit Thurs June 2 9:30 pm
Harvard Exit Sat June 4 11:30 AM

House Arrest

This program of short films focuses on movies "containing children but made for adults" and includes the short subject Spandex: A Father's Tale. Eww.

Broadway Performance Hall Sat June 11 11:15 AM

Howl's Moving Castle
Japan, 2004 (119 min.)
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki

In this anime feature from the brilliant Miyazaki (Spirited Away), a shy young woman is turned into a shy 90-year-old woman by a wicked witch. To reverse the curse, she seeks help from a wizard who lives in a castle that moves on metal legs.

Neptune Fri June 10 7:00 pm

The Hunter
Kazakhstan, 2004 (93 min.)
Dir. Serik Aprymov

This story of the unlikely friendship that develops between a rugged hunter-gatherer and the orphaned boy of one of his many peasant mistresses is quiet, coarse, and nice to look at, especially when it explores the collision of modern and ancient cultures in the contemporary Far East. It also features one of the strangest sex scenes ever, which takes place on the back of a horse galloping through the mountains of Kazakhstan. (SEAN NELSON)

Broadway Performance Hall Wed June 1 9:00 pm
Harvard Exit Fri June 3 5:00 pm


The Immortal
Nicaragua/Spain/Mexico, 2005 (78 min.)
Dir. Mercedes Moncada Rodriguez

This documentary looks at the war that has torn Nicaragua apart. Will this country ever find happiness?

Harvard Exit Sun June 5 2:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Thurs June 9 9:00 pm

In My Father's Den
New Zealand, 2004 (126 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Brad McGann

A retired war photographer settles in a quiet town to live a quiet life. Soon his peace is disturbed by a young woman. Had this movie been French, the nature of this disturbance would have been sexual; but because it was made in New Zealand, the disturbance is simply criminal.

Uptown Fri June 10 9:30 pm
Uptown Sun June 12 11:00 AM

In the Battlefields
Lebanon/France/Belgium, 2004 (90 min.)
Dir. Danielle Arbid

Set during the civil war that reduced much of Beirut to rubble, this feature centers on a 12-year-old girl who is obsessed with her family's 18-year-old maid.

Neptune Wed June 1 7:15 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Fri June 3 4:30 pm

Inlaws & Outlaws
U.S., 2005 (93 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Drew Emery

Seattle couples, straight and gay, offer opinions on dating, relationships, and sex in this documentary. Surely it will be better than Singles.

Broadway Performance Hall Mon May 30 11:15 AM
Broadway Performance Hall Tues May 31 6:45 pm

Innocent Voices
Mexico, 2004 (111 min.)
Dir. Luis Mandoki

The best way to look at war and its impact is through the eyes of a child. In this movie, we see the civil war in El Salvador through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy. South America is exuberant, North America is rich, Central America is sad.

Uptown Fri June 3 7:00 pm
Neptune Sun June 5 1:30 pm

Japan, 2004 (128 min.)
Dir. Takashi Miike

Of the dozen films Takashi Miike seems to make every year, this one arrives half-baked. Using the story of 19th-century samurai Izo Okuda as its centerpiece (he was crucified for being such a brute), the film spins amazingly out of control into a mess of random slaughters and surprisingly clunky construction. For Miike heads only-and even they may find it hard to defend. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)

Egyptian Sat May 28 midnight
Neptune Wed June 1 4:45 pm


The Journey
India/U.S., 2004 (104 min.)
Dir. Ligy J. Pullappally

When two country girls in the South of India develop feelings that go beyond friendship, things inevitably fall apart. Will the girls defend their love, or surrender it to the heterosexual tradition of their village?

Egyptian Mon May 30 9:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Wed June 1 2:00 pm

The Joy of Life
U.S., 2005 (65 min.)
Dir. Jenni Olson

The voice of the best poet of the beat generation, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, can be heard in this documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge, which is our planet's leading suicide landmark.

Northwest Film Forum Sun May 22 6:30 pm
Northwest Film Forum Tues May 24 7:00 pm

U.S., 2005 (102 min.)
Dir. Phil Morrison

In Junebug, which was in dramatic competition at Sundance 2005, a Chicago art dealer marries a pretty Southern gal and must now deal with the most trying type of American: Southern in-laws.

Uptown Fri June 10 7:00 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 12 2:00 pm


recommended Kekexili:Mountain Patrol recommended
China/U.S., 2004 (95 min.)
Dir. Lu Chuan

On the desolate border of Tibet, an ethically shaky volunteer militia takes on a ruthless assortment of rare antelope poachers, with tragic results. Based on true events, this spectacularly tough, built-for-speed survival actioner favorably recalls the single-minded glory days of Walter Hill, with one hell of a shivery quicksand set piece. The absolute lack of any extraneous character development may throw some, but those willing to ride it out will find much to savor. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Neptune Wed May 25 7:00 pm
Egyptian Fri May 27 4:45 pm

Kept and Dreamless
Argentina, 2005 (94 min.)
Dir. Martin Desalvo, Vera Fogwill

A very-together 9-year-old girl and her irresponsible, drug-addict mother surmount many obstacles and overcome monumental odds to triumph in an Argentina undergoing severe economic strife. Something between pathos and humor ensues.

Uptown Sun June 5 7:15 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Tues June 7 4:30 pm

The Keys to the House
Italy/Germany/France, 2004 (115 min.)
Dir. Gianni Amelio

A drama by the director of L'America, The Keys to the House centers on Gianni (Italian stud Kim Rossi Stuart), a young dad who tries to redeem himself by assuming responsibility of his handicapped adolescent son from whom he'd split like a SOB many years before, even though his wife had died while giving birth to the boy.

Egyptian Tues May 31 7:00 pm
Neptune Sat June 4 11:00 AM

King's Game
Denmark, 2004 (103 min.)
Dir. Nicolai Arcel

This competent, believable thriller depicts from a political journalist's perspective a slimy power struggle with a lot at stake. Said journalist untangles an outrageously gnarly web of deceit that leads him to deduct that a favored prime-minister candidate who was severely hurt in a vehicular "accident" may have been a victim of a sinister plot.

Harvard Exit Sun May 22 9:30 pm
Harvard Exit Mon May 23 5:00 pm

Kings and Queen
France, 2004 (150 min.)
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

A vibrant story of two opposites who can't escape each other, Kings and Queen traces the lives of Nora, a chic gallery owner on the verge of tying the knot again, and Ismael, a rumpled violinist who's about to enter a loony bin helmed by Catherine Deneuve. Lucky bastard.

Neptune Sun June 5 8:30 pm
Neptune Wed June 8 2:00 pm

Kings of the Sky
U.S., 2004 (68 min.)
Dir. Deborah Stratman

Documentarian Deborah Stratman keeps tabs on world-renowned Mongolian tightrope walkers and circus performers (who knew?) in Chinese Turkestan. Through footage of their astounding stunts, mixed with vignettes of their daily life on the road, Stratman subtly reveals the fluctuations in Chinese society in the aftermath of 9/11. Shown with Fruits of Our Labors.

Northwest Film Forum Sun May 22 8:30 pm
Northwest Film Forum Wed May 25 7:00 pm


Japan, 2004 (92 min.)
Dir. Hiroki Ryuchi

Three men contract high-school senior slacker Chikako to be their sex toy for one year. When one of the men gets knifed and hospitalized, all sorts of drama engulfs the house where the sexual transactions occur. This manga-based film examines male impotence, both literal and metaphorical.

Harvard Exit Sun June 5 6:30 pm
Neptune Tues June 7 2:00 pm

recommended La Sierra recommended
Colombia/U.S., 2004 (96 min.)
Dir. Scott Dalton, Margarita Martinez

The most disturbing element of this profoundly disturbing (and smart, moral, tasteful) documentary about life in the barrio ghettos of Medellin, Colombia, is the casual reality of guns, murder, and cocaine everywhere you look. Though the filmmakers remain detached (no voiceover, thankfully), their portrait is intimate, and a massive bummer. Still, this movie offers a wake-up call to coke-chic hipsters who think their fashionable habits have no real-world consequences. (SEAN NELSON)

Broadway Performance Hall Mon May 23 9:00 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Wed May 25 6:45 pm

Ladies in Lavender
United Kingdom, 2004 (103 min.)
Dir. Charles Dance

In a tightly knit seaside village in 1936, spinster sisters Ursula and Janet Widington (Maggie Smith and Judi Dench) find a young man washed ashore and strive to nurse him back to normality. Naturally, it all ends in jealousy, political paranoia, and broken hearts. No connection to the best seller When I'm an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.

Egyptian Fri May 20 7:00 pm
Neptune Sun May 22 2:00 pm

Land of Plenty
U.S., 2004 (123 min.)
Dir. Wim Wenders

Director Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club, Until the End of the World) unfortunately sinks into schmaltz with his interpretation of the paranoia and search for hope that followed the 9/11 attacks. Land of Plenty stars Michelle Williams as an altruistic twentysomething attempting to help both her anti-Arab, Vietnam-vet uncle (John Diehl) and L.A.'s homeless population-succeeding instead in delivering a cavity-inducing dose of overt sentimentality. (JENNIFER MAERZ)

Neptune Mon May 30 9:30 pm
Egyptian Wed June 1 4:30 pm

The Last Day
France, 2004 (110 min.)
Dir. Rodolphe Marconi

The Last Day is a fanciful study of secretive, dysfunctional family dynamics. When an unconfident 19-year-old college student persuades a girl he meets on a train ride to accompany him to his parents' house for the holidays, conflict arises when both become enamored of his best friend.

Harvard Exit Sun May 29 9:00 pm
Harvard Exit Tues May 31 2:00 pm

Last Days
U.S., 2005 (95 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Gus Van Sant

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's tragic suicide is the inspiration for Last Days, Gus Van Sant's harrowing, distinctive look at a talented, bedeviled musician's final hours on earth. The director allusively layers images and sound to render a poignant character study of a tormented soul.

Neptune Sun June 12 6:30 pm

The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman
Canada/U.S., 2005 (99 min.)
Dir. Barry Avrich

Lew Wasserman was the architect of modern dealmaking in Hollywood, a pioneer in the development of television, and a genuine legend. He was also a rock-hard Jew with ties to organized crime, monopolistic labor practices, and Ronald Reagan. This documentary goes pretty easy on the late codger, despite making constant reference to his shady life. It's as though the filmmakers are scared of offending him even in death. Now that's power. (SEAN NELSON)

Broadway Performance Hall Sat May 28 6:15 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Mon May 30 1:45 pm

The Last Moon
Chile/Mexico/Spain, 2004 (105 min.)
Dir. Miguel Littin

The early stages of the Middle East conflict following World War I is the setting for The Last Moon. A scion of Palestinian Christian immigrants to Chile, Miguel Littin recounts the spirited saga of two friends, Jacob the Jew and Soliman the Christian Palestinian, dealing with political and religious differences.

Egyptian Sat June 11 9:00 pm
Egyptian Sun June 12 1:30 pm

recommended Layer Cake recommended
United Kingdom, 2004 (107 min.)
Dir. Matthew Vaughn

A nameless, dashing smack dealer's (Daniel Craig, rumored to be the next bloke to fill 007's tux) plans of early retirement are dashed when a huge E deal goes south, attracting the violent attention of the local Mr. Big. Former Guy Ritchie producer Vaughn (currently directing the next X-Men installment) makes a strong debut with this formulaic, yet smartly self-aware throwback to classic Brit crime cinema. Despite rumors to the contrary, the thug-life genre still has some juice. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Neptune Sat May 21 9:30 pm
Egyptian Tues May 24 4:45 pm

Le Grand Voyage
France, 2004 (108 min.)
Dir. Ismaël Ferroukhi

The road to Mecca is strewn with many laughs as an uneducated Moroccan father and his troublesome son enact the generation-gap tango. Driving through seven countries on their way to the holy city, they pick up many unexpected passengers and insights about each other.

Neptune Tues May 31 7:15 pm
Neptune Fri June 3 4:15 pm

Left Turn

The titles of just a few of these short films really say it all: Boy-Next-Door, Cry for Help, Forced Entry, Jihad, Piledriver, and While the Widow Is Away.

Broadway Performance Hall Wed June 8 9:00 pm

León and Olvido
Spain, 2004 (112 min.)
Dir. Xavier Bermúdez

This is basically your typical nonsappy story about incest between a boy with Down syndrome and his sister. León and Olvido try to deal with life's vagaries following the death of their parents. They find having sex with each other a valuable coping mechanism. Director Xavier Bermúdez remarkably manages not to sensationalize this Jerry Springer Show premise.

Harvard Exit Fri May 27 9:30 pm
Uptown Thurs June 2 2:00 pm

recommended Letter from an Unknown Woman recommended
China, 2004 (90 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Xu Jinglei

One dark and snowy night, a playboyish a-hole of a writer is made aware of a tragically one-sided, decade-spanning love affair, featuring himself as the oblivious subject. Daring to infringe on sacred turf (mainly director Max Ophuls' 1948 masterpiece, starring Joan Fontaine) director/star Xu Jinglei's gutsy remake successfully transfers the material to China on the eve of communism. Visually ravishing and exceptionally well cast, with a new, subtly empowering feminist tilt. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Neptune Mon May 30 7:00 pm
Egyptian Thurs June 2 4:45 pm

Lila Says
France, 2004 (89 min.)
Dir. Ziad Doueiri

Hot blond babe Lila causes a libidinal uproar when she moves into the poverty-stricken, Arab-dominated ghetto of Marseilles. Young aspiring writer Chimo and his loutish friend Maloud vie for Lila's attention, with the seductress wisely choosing the scribe. The film is a piquant depiction of the erotic one-upmanship of youth.

Uptown Sat June 4 9:15 pm
Uptown Tues June 7 2:00 pm

recommended Lipstick & Dynamite recommended
U.S., 2004 (83 min.)
Dir. Ruth Leitman

This lively documentary chronicles the long history of tough broads willing to slug it out inside-and sometimes outside-the wrestling ring starting back in the '40s and '50s. Using historical footage and current interviews with a collection of colorful women, the film delves into the scandals, love affairs, costumes, conflicts, and most prominently, the strength of the early female pioneers of "lady wrestling." (JENNIFER MAERZ)

Broadway Performance Hall Fri May 20 4:30 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sat May 21 6:15 pm

Little Sky
Argentina, 2004
Dir. Maria Victoria Menis

In rural Argentina, a footloose teenager named Felix secures work with the parents of 1-year-old boy. When the parents divorce, Felix bolts to a metropolis with the baby in an effort to create the family he's never had. What a fool.

Harvard Exit Mon May 30 6:30 pm
Harvard Exit Tues May 31 7:15 pm

The Lizard
Iran, 2004 (115 min.)
Dir. Kamal Tabrizi

Those killjoy Iranian authorities were not amused by Kamal Tabrizi's impious comedy about a thief who fakes his way out of prison by disguising himself as a cleric and, once free, goes on to commit scandalous acts. This sacrilegious hoot of a movie broke box-office records in Tehran before it was banned.

Neptune Sun May 22 11:30 AM
Neptune Tues May 24 7:00 pm

Lonesome Jim
U.S., 2005 (87 min.)
Dir. Steve Buscemi

Title character Jim (Casey Affleck) is indeed lonely; he's a failed writer who returns defeated to his overcast hometown of Goshen, Indiana, and the type of guy who sleeps all day, steals from his chirpy mom's (Mary Kay Place) purse, and hangs pictures of depressed and suicidal writers on his wall. Buscemi directs the fine ensemble cast (including Liv Tyler) to deliver on-the-money deadpan comedy, but you have to ask yourself if their drab existences can support the ultimately hopeful message of the film. (SHANNON GEE)

Egyptian Fri June 10 9:15 pm
Neptune Sun June 12 2:00 pm

Long Twilight
Hungary, 1997 (70 min.)
Dir. Attila Janisch

Based on Shirley Jackson's "The Bus," Long Twilight follows an aged archaeologist as she traverses a bizarre landscape inhabited with monsters in scenes that appear to be from her past. This film seems to be about the danger of losing touch with one's identity as one ages.

Harvard Exit Sat June 4 2:00 pm

The Loss of Nameless Things
U.S., 2004 (103 min.)
Dir. Bill Rose

The boozy testimonials of the theater hippies who once worked with Oakley Hall III are all we have to go on, but according to these narrators (plus quotations from the Catskill Daily Mail) the boy was something of a genius. He was certainly charismatic, if nothing else, and he certainly suffered massive brain damage after a fall from a bridge near the theater he helped found. It's a powerful story, but is it also wishful fiction? (ANNIE WAGNER)

Broadway Performance Hall Thurs June 2 4:30 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Mon June 6 6:45 pm


Chile, 2004 (120 min.)
Dir. Andrés Wood

In 1973 Pedro Machuca, a boy from the skids, befriends a private-school student named Gonzalo. Then a girl gets involved, and the military takes over the government, and it all goes to shit.

Egyptian Fri June 10 4:30 pm
Egyptian Sun June 12 6:00 pm

Mad Hot Ballroom
U.S., 2005 (110 min.)
Dir. Marilyn Agrelo

The very definition of a crowd pleaser, this winsome documentary (coproduced by Nickelodeon) focuses on an increasingly popular program in the New York public school system, where initially unsuspecting fifth graders are forcibly enlisted to perform the rumba, tango, and waltz for the amusement of their parents and teachers. Shockingly, the presumably rampant cootie epidemic is never addressed. Alternately sloppy and overly manipulative, but the kids themselves are ferociously, disarmingly charming. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Harvard Exit Sat May 21 6:30 pm
Harvard Exit Sun May 22 11:30 AM

Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story
U.S., 2005 (107 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Scot Barbour

A man, a band, a drug, Seattle. This documentary is about the singer Andrew Wood, and how he was in an influential early grunge band called Malfunkshun, and then he was in this other band called Mother Love Bone, and then he overdosed and died. Sad, huh?

Neptune Sat June 4 6:30 pm
EMP's JBL Theater Thurs June 9 7:00 pm

Man About Dog
Ireland, 2004 (88 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Paddy Breathnach

These three guys think they can make big bucks watching greyhounds chase one another around a track. Fat chance. It's like Seabiscuit plus Bottle Rocket, but with an Irish brogue.

Uptown Sat June 11 6:45 pm
Uptown Sun June 12 1:45 pm

The March of the Penguins
France, 2004 (84 min.)
Dir. Luc Jacquet

An epic adventure documentary about... penguins. Yep, that's right, the cute little waddling, tuxedoed species are not only sometimes gay (as some famous residents of the Central Park Zoo have proven), but are also very brave and heroic.

Harvard Exit Sat June 11 6:30 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 12 11:30 AM

Japan, 2004 (92 min.)
Dir. Takashi Shimizu

A Japanese horror film by the director of The Grudge about ghosts from the underground. There's nothing creepier than a haunted subway system. Except maybe a haunted monorail.

Egyptian Sun May 22 9:00 pm
Egyptian Fri May 27 2:00 pm

Russia, 2004 (97 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Anna Melikian

An upbeat movie about a wayward former boxer and the people who live in Mars. No, not the planet, but a downtrodden Russian township. The Soviets were crazy about space, as you may recall. Or wait, perhaps the town was actually named after Karl Marx, but a Cyrillic letter on the train station sign mysteriously disappeared...

Uptown Thurs June 2 9:15 pm
Harvard Exit Wed June 8 5:00 pm

Max & Grace
U.S., 2005 (88 min.)
Dir. Michael Parness

Natasha Lyonne plays a suicidal bride and David Krumholtz her equally suicidal groom in this upbeat and quirky romantic comedy. Did we mention the unhappy couple meets when they're confined in a mental institution?

Broadway Performance Hall Thurs June 9 6:45 pm
Broadway Performance Hall Sat June 11 1:45 pm

McDull, Prince de la Bun
Hong Kong/China, 2004 (78 min.)
Dir. Toe Yuen

An animated movie about a little piglet named McDull. He's saddled with such a sad name, no wonder he's a miserable wreck. Luckily, he has a mother to tell him a sweet story about the royal piggy papa he never had the pleasure of meeting.

Broadway Performance Hall Thurs May 26 2:00 pm
Egyptian Sun May 29 3:45 pm

recommended Me and Youand Everyone We Know recommended
U.S., 2005 (95 min.)
Dir. Miranda July

If you've never seen anything by (the previously Portland-based) Miranda July, let me make a few things clear. Her work is never "quirky." It's devious and hilarious and completely fucked up. Also: Miranda July is never "whimsical." Whimsy takes something cute and, on a lark, makes it cuter. July takes something cute and carefully shoves it somewhere you never wanted "cute" to go.

If you already know and like Miranda July, meanwhile, you'll want to watch this brilliant movie again and again. Though she confines herself to playing only one character (Christine Jesperson, a wry portrait of the artist as lovable basket-case), the gut-clenching humor and endlessly surprising use of language you remember from her video and performance work hasn't been tamed. Meanwhile, July proves herself a genius director of actors, in an anti-naturalist style that I'm tempted to say she invented.

Me and You and Everyone We Know is about a working-class suburb where the children are bored and obsessive and the adults never quite found an opportunity to branch out or learn to cope with themselves. Christine is an artist and "Eldercab" driver, trying in vain to break into the regional art scene through the local museum. She develops a crush on an unstable shoe store clerk (John Hawkes) and father of two; and these boys, Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) and Peter (Miles Thompson), provide our entrée into the clandestine and complicated world of the neighborhood children. Robby, aged 6, is in a memorable, hopelessly Freudian stage in his development, and it's the strength of Ratcliff's performance that rescues the most delicate, potentially disastrous scene in the film. To say more would be to diminish the experience of watching the movie for the first time, but Me and You and Everyone We Know will make you laugh so hard you weep. And I mean that literally. (ANNIE WAGNER)

Paramount Thurs May 19 7:30 pm

Metallic Blues
Israel/Canada/Germany, 2004 (90 min.)
Dir. Danny Verete

Two Israelis scheme to turn a handsome profit by purchasing a classic Cadillac in Tel Aviv and then shipping the car to Germany. Naturally nothing goes as planned; driving the car through Germany, during Hanukkah, things quickly go awry. The contrasts between the two friends provide a light comic touch to what is essentially an internal drama for Shmuel, whose parents survived the Holocaust, as he wrestles with his family history. (NATE LIPPENS)

Broadway Performance Hall Tues May 31 9:00 pm
Harvard Exit Mon June 6 2:00 pm

Midwinter's Night Dream
Serbia/Montenegro, 2004 (95 min.)
Dir. Goran Paskaljevic

When Lazar returns home to Serbia after a 10-year absence, he finds his former apartment occupied by a single mother and her autistic daughter. They are Bosnian refugees who have been squatting there for several years. Lazar is loathe to evict them and instead chooses to move in, developing a kinship with them. If that sounds particularly weightless or soft, it isn't. Directed with unblinking rigor by Goran Paskaljevic (Cabaret Balkan), the moments of tenderness are fleeting as the three marginalized characters struggle to connect and survive. (NATE LIPPENS)

Harvard Exit Mon May 23 7:15 pm
Harvard Exit Tues May 24 2:00 pm

Missing in America
U.S./Canada, 2005 (102 min.)
World Premiere
Dir. Gabrielle Savage Dockterman

The forest sanctuary of a grizzled Vietnam vet (Danny Glover) is invaded by a former platoon member who entrusts a cute little half-Vietnamese girl (played by Seattle native Zoe Weizenbaum) to his cantankerous care.

Egyptian Sat May 28 6:00 pm
Egyptian Mon May 30 1:30 pm

Mongolian Ping Pong
China, 2005 (102 min.)
U.S. Premiere
Dir. Ning Hao

Three boys from Mongolia discover a mysterious plastic orb, conclude that it must be Chinese in origin, and maybe even a unique and invaluable objet d'art. Perhaps, by returning it to the Chinese capital, they will bring honor to their people and glory to themselves.

Harvard Exit Sat June 11 9:00 pm
Harvard Exit Sun June 12 6:30 pm

recommended Murderball recommended
U.S., 2004 (85 min.)
Dir. Henry-Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro

Even if sports documentaries aren't your thing, you won't be able to resist this doc about the sport of quadriplegic wheelchair rugby (AKA "murderball") and the U.S. team's quest for gold at the 2004 Paralympics. What makes it more than simply an excellent film about heart, competition, and sportsmanship is the emotional journey it takes you on through the stories of the members of the team-how they live their lives, deal with their pasts, and love their friends and families. It's a testament to how the mind and spirit can overcome the odds and go on to kick some rugby ass. (SHANNON GEE)

Egyptian Fri May 27 9:15 pm
Egyptian Mon May 30 11:00 AM

My Stepbrother Frankenstein
Russia, 2004 (111 min.)
Dir. Valery Todorovsky

A hideously scarred young veteran named Pavel moves in with a father he's never met, and the psychological trauma of war immediately makes itself apparent. Pavel sees ghostly soldiers everywhere he goes, and his middle-class Muscovite family is not pleased.

Harvard Exit Fri May 27 7:00 pm
Harvard Exit Sun May 29 1:30 pm

recommended My Summer of Love recommended
United Kingdom, 2004 (84 min.)
Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski

To be perfectly frank, a filmmaker better have one hell of a good reason to infringe on the turf of Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures. Bridging the (narrower than you'd initially think) gap between his early gore chuckles and later heartfelt Tolkien opuses, Jackson's 1994 film captured the hellzapoppin intensity of teenaged female romance so perfectly that it's hard to imagine anyone having the stones to ever attempt a similar story. With that said, full props are due to screenwriter/director Pawel Pawlikowski. Without ever quite hitting the operatic heights of the previous film, his My Summer of Love achieves a nervy, wonderfully het up fervor of its very own.

Based on Helen Cross' award-winning novel, Pawlikowski's script focuses on Mona, a lower-class lost Yorkshire soul who lives in the upstairs of a grotty pub. Languishing one day in the tall grass, she stumbles across Tamsin, a disdainful upper-crust girl spending the summer in the cavernous mansion of her zombified parents. Emotions soon run high, to the chagrin of the straight-laced community, personified by Mona's newly born-again brother (Paddy Considine), an ex-con whose dangerous, raging-ape temper is never more than one ill-advised word away.

Previously responsible for the intriguingly spare Russian immigrant saga Last Resort, the director displays a genuine gift for capturing the cranked-to-11 fever of illogical attraction. Even more importantly, he also gets two exceptional performances from his stars. In the Kate Winslet role, relative newcomer Emily Blunt sports a cool beauty and bemused, bored cruelty. Several degrees greater, though, is Natalie Press, who gives Mona a tangible aura of fierce, what's-she-going-to-do-next passion. Alternatively homely and Valkyrie gorgeous, Press seems herself unsure of what exactly her character is capable of. When she turns her blue-eyed bullet glare toward the camera, the very tripod quakes. (ANDREW WRIGHT)

Neptune Fri May 20 7:00 pm
Neptune Sat May 21 4:15 pm

Mysterious Skin
U.S., 2004 (99 min.)
Dir. Gregg Araki

Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation) is back with an adaptation of the Steve Heim novel about childhood sexual abuse and its aftermath. A teen prostitute in New York City and a shy nerd obsessed with alien abduction discover they share something more profound than a childhood Little League team.

Egyptian Thurs June 2 9:15 pm
Uptown Sat June 4 3:45 pm