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Films & Schedules - Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Across the Sound

DIRECTOR: Brian Libby - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Shot on a ferry from Seattle to Victoria, this moody and minimalistic visual poem floats to the music of French electronica artist Colleen.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Dangerous Loop

DIRECTOR: Brian Knowles - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Exhilarating stop-motion blossoms of cut paper burst forth in colorful and decorative formations. 

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

The Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

DIRECTOR: Byrd McDonald - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

From a cloudy, perhaps psychotic, point of view, the story of an unsettled mother unfolds.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Little Pleasures

DIRECTOR: Jamie Marie Waelhcli - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

This maddening and excruciating piece demonstrates how self-destructive behaviors can stem from rituals intended to bring comfort.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

The Mixtress

DIRECTOR: Peter Hermes - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

This quick documentary profiles a woman with a passion for sharing music; she has created an international phenomenon by leaving mixed CDs for others to discover.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Nickel and Dimin' It With Buddy

DIRECTOR: Tomas Soderberg - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Buddy, a homeless man in Portland, makes his living returning cans and bottles.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Nous Deux Encore

DIRECTOR: Heather Harlow - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Maxie Leoussis recalls the love of her life, her departed husband Yiannis.  "The most horrible thing he did to me was to die."

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

November Light

DIRECTOR: Cheryl Lohrmann - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

This elegiac poem to a least-favorite time of year reminds us that summer will always end.  Forever.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Oscillating Fan

DIRECTOR: Rob Tyler - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

A quiet symphony of circulating air.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

These Pancakes are Small

DIRECTOR: Matthew Seely - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Two average brothers trade f-bomb insults over breakfast in this animated slice of life.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

To Remember That our Skies are the Same Skies

DIRECTOR: Chris Lael Larson - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Exquisite, state-of-the-art motion graphics poetically render the universality of humanity.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 11:45 AM (WH)

Water Paper Time

DIRECTOR: Gretchen Hogue - Short Cuts II: Oregon Made (Oregon)

Exploiting the compression of time possible with motion pictures, this documentary artfully shows paper artist Helen Hiebert's process.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 1:30 PM (B1)

The Rest is Silence

DIRECTOR: Nae Caranfil - Romania

"The biggest production in Romanian cinema, Caranfil's exuberant moviemaking comedy reimagines the creation of The War of Independence (1912), his country's first feature film.  As Grig, that film's director, embarks upon his inspired, remarkably ambitious project, he finds himself at odds with the financiers.  Soon, Grig's vision--one that he envisioned uniting his country--has been hijacked.  Caranfil sprinkles the film with droll insider jokes about moviemaking then and now, packing romance, tragedy and even an animated interlude onto the movie's already bountiful bill of fare.  In outlining the framework in which Romanian cinema was born, he suggests that the conflict between...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 2 PM (WH)

Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers

DIRECTOR: Rithy Panh - Cambodia

Winner of the European Film Award for best documentary, Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers is an exploration of contemporary Cambodia and the legacy of its recent past, as seen through the eyes of a community of prostitutes who inhabit a decaying apartment building in Phnom Penh.  Driven to prostitution by the necessities of survival, they relate their sense of disconnection from the very forces that have shaped their destinies: the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge, Western tourism, UN peacekeeping and the all-encompassing winds of capitalism.  Panh's haunting film captures them away from their customers and the noises of the street,...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 2:15 PM (B4)

As Simple As That

DIRECTOR: Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi - Iran

A nuanced portrait of a religious housewife in distress, As Simple As That offers a rare, realistic depiction of a middle class Iranian woman.  Put-upon Tanareh has a problem common to all sorts of women world-wide: she's suffering form a stressful routine so centered on husband, kids and home that she's completely lost any sense of herself, and has fallen into a deep depression.  Her self-absorbed husband is an engineer who is so busy that he doesn't bother to tell her that he's changed the number of their joint bank account; their two materialistic children are hurtfully unappreciative of her...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 2:45 PM (B2)

Captain Abu Raed

DIRECTOR: Amin Matalqa - Jordan

Winner of the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Matalqa's touching drama presents a multilayered look at contemporary life in Amman, with a fine performance from veteran actor Nadim Sawalha.  A widower and airport custodian, Abu Raed (Sawalha) is content to blend into the background and mind his own business.  Finding a pilot's cap in the garbage one day, he wears it home on a whim, and the children in his neighborhood decide he's a world traveler.  As "Captain Abu" obliges, telling the children stories about his journeys far and wide, he becomes increasingly involved in their...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 3 PM (B3)

Of Time and the City

DIRECTOR: Terence Davies - Great Britain

Of Time and the City was commimssioned to celebrate Liverpool, which won England's bid to become the European Union's Capital of Culture for 2008.  The idea was to commission a straightforward tribute film, but writer-director Davies had something else in mind, and crafted a very personal, poetic meditation--alternately angry, funny and moving--on his birthplace.  The film seamlessly fuses his distinct voice and wry humor with rich archival footage and half-forgotten bits of nostalgia.  Davies reflects on the feeling of timelessness and a lost sense of place, fashioning a love song and personal eulogy that invites one to "come closer.  See...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 4:30 PM (WH)

Everlasting Moments

DIRECTOR: Jan Troell - Sweden

Maria, a working-class woman in the village of Malmö, wins a Contessa camera in a lottery.  It is 1907. Over the span of a decade, as Maria struggles to keep her home and growing family together in the face of the Great War, a workers' strike, unemployment, and a chronically philandering and abusive husband, the camera records a gallery of "everlasting moments."  Tentative at first, under the tutelage of the kindly village photographer who counsels that "not everyone has the gift of seeing," Maria discovers her talent, and her newfound skill thrusts her on a journey that changes her entire...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 4:30 PM (B1)

The Window

DIRECTOR: Carlos Sorin - Argentina

Set in the lush Patagonia countryside, The Window is a tender, nostalgic film about nature, memory, aging and impending death.  Ill and bedridden, 80-year-old Antonio awaits a visit from his estranged son, now a world-famous concert pianist. He wants everything to be perfect for the reunion, and the women who coddle and nurse him in his hacienda work non-stop to make him happy. A piano tuner arrives make sure that the instrument is in working order, and the champagne bottle that has been kept in the cellar for 40 yars is on hand for the welcome toast.  Unable to assist...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 4:45 PM (B4)

Tricks

DIRECTOR: Andrzej Jakimowski - Poland

Jakimowski's warm, quirky drama follows the daily lives of Stefek, a precocious six-year-old boy, and his teenage sister Elka during one magical summer in their small provincial mining town.  A loner, young Stefek wanders the streets of his seemingly dull neighborhood in search of connection.  Sincehis father, a man he barely knew, left his mother for another woman, Stefek has been trying to figure out how to reconcile them and trick fate into bringing him back.  Sister Elka--preoccupied with her auto mechanic boyfriend Jerzy and jer job prospects at a big Italian firm--takes turns ignoring and helping him, assuring him...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 5:15 PM (B2)

Revanche

DIRECTOR: Götz Spielmann - Austria

"The ex-con Alex and his immigrant prostitute girlfriend Tamara are desperate to escape the dangerous brothel where they work.  Robert is a police officer happily married to Ursula, the two enjoying the serene splendor of a farmhouse they've designed and built themselves.  A botched robbery and a bullet fired astray set these characters on a collision course.  What begins as a grim, melodramatic thriller soon spins into completely unexpected emotional territory as writer-director Götz Spielmann reveals the characters' wounded psyches and traces their uneven arcs of redemption.  With its long, carefully composed medium shots, the film ventures into rich, temporal...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 5:30 PM (B3)

Modern Life

DIRECTOR: Raymond Depardon - France

Depardon's beautiful film is a moving portrait of the changing face of life in rural France.  In the Haut-Garonne, the octogenarian Privat brothers struggle with age and declining health; an elderly couple see their dairy herd dwindle to just one cow; a middle-aged man resents his responsibility for the family farm; and an enthusiastic young woman finds herself faced with insurmountable obstacles as she attempts to acquire her own place.  Depardon approaches all of them--people not necessarily at ease with talking about themselves or their situations--with great empathy and affection, and the quiet beauty of the landscape has a voice...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 7 PM (B4)

Dunya & Desie

DIRECTOR: Dana Nechushtan - Netherlands

A spin-off of an award-winning TV series of the same name, this warm-hearted and upbeat film catches up with best friends Dunya (Moroccan-born, Muslim and conservative) and Desie (Dutch, outgoing and fond of skimpy clothes) at age 18.  To her chagrin, Dunya's parents are taking her to Morocco for an arranged marriage.  Meanwhile, Desie faces a very different problem: she's pregnant.  When Desie learns that her estranged father lives in Morocco, a spontaneous cross-cultural road trip ensues, as the two friends attempt to navigate familial expectations and learn what it means to straddle two worlds. "Sunny and clever, never preachy,...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 7:15 PM (B1)

Tokyo Sonata

DIRECTOR: Kiyoshi Kurosawa - Japan

Based on a story by Australian writer Max Mannix, Tokyo Sonata follows the unraveling of a Japanese family riddled with deception and alienation.  Father Ryuhei is too proud to tell his family his job has been outsourced to China; oldest son Takashi is devising secret plans; young Kenji is secretly taking piano lessons against his father's wishes; and mother Megumi feels cut off from everyone.  Masterfully pitched between comedy, tragedy and surreal irrationality, Kurosawa's fable perfectly captures the impact of the upheavals of uncertainty in an age of globalization.

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 7:30 PM (WH)

The Baader Meinhof Complex

DIRECTOR: Uli Edel - Germany

Edel's riveting thriller chronicles the rise and fall of the left-wing militant group the Red Army Faction (RAF), which carried out an international terrorist campaign in the 1970s opposing American imperialism and the West German establishment.  Based on Stefan Aust's definitive book about the group, Edel's film mixes tense action sequences with character studies, deftly exploring the contradictory mentality of a croup that murdered over 30 public figures to thwart what they perceived as a new fascist state.  An exceptional cast of young German actors, along with screen legend Bruno Ganz (portraying the head of the German police force charged...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 7:45 PM (B3)

Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love

DIRECTOR: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi - United States

Youssou Ndour has been one of the brightest--and most courageous--stars in African music for over three decades.  Youssou was born into the West African griot tradition, in which musicians themselves must earn and command the status position of stateman.  His mélange of meringue, hip-hop, juju and funk manages to get everyone from prime ministers to street kids into his singular groove.  Vasarhelyi's film centers on the creation of his 9/11-inspired "Egypt," a joyous pan-African album in praise of the prophets and saints that gives Islam a human and smiling face.  Shocking backlash at home in predominantly Muslim Senegal takes the...

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Sun, Feb 8, 2009
at 8 PM (B2)

Eldorado

DIRECTOR: Bouli Lanners - Belgium

A droll and idiosyncratic addition to the Belgian noir tradition, Eldorado stars director Lanners as Yvan, a world-wise, quick-tempered vintage car dealer. When he surprises the young and inept Elie trying to burglarize him, he doesn't call the police. Instead, he winds up developing a strange affection for the guy and agrees to drive him home so that he can visit his parents. It's the start of an absurdist, odd-couple road trip in a '79 Chevy though a magnificent, but nonetheless whacked-out, country.  Stylishly directed and driven by a savvy soundtrack, Eldorado is "a small but damn-near perfectly formed serio-comedy...never...

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