Monthly Archives: September 2005

Milwaukee, Minnesota

In more humanistic eras like the 1930s, movies sometimes wore their sentimentality on their sleeve, but today they’re more apt to announce their flakiness. This unpleasant 2003 feature by first-time indie director Allan Mindel concerns a naive young man (Troy Garity) who’s won some money as a champion ice fisherman. Left alone after the death of his bossy mother, he attracts various predators, including an oily salesman (Randy Quaid) and a flirtatious drifter (Alison Folland) with a kid brother. Not bad to look at, but consistently unedifying. With Bruce Dern. R, 95 min. (JR) Read more

Safe Conduct

Bertrand Tavernier based this fascinating 2001 drama of the French Occupation on the memories of two of his friendsJean Aurenche, an apolitical screenwriter, and Jean Devaivre, an assistant director who served as a member of the Resistance. It’s the most textured portrait of the period I know, exploring the complex moral choices each man faced in working for a German film production company. In French with subtitles. 163 min. (JR) Read more

The Religious Imagination: Four Short Films

This program inaugurates a weekly film-and-lecture series by Jeffrey Skolar, associate professor at the School of the Art Institute, to last through mid-December. The first three works are classic 16-millimeter experimental shorts: Bruce Baillie’s All My Life (1966), Bruce Conner’s Valse Triste (1979), and Will Hindle’s Watersmith (1968). The fourth, La ricotta, is one of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s greatest films but also one of his least known. Shot in 35-millimeter for the anthology feature RoGoPaG (1963), it’s a hilarious, irreverent satire about a big-budget film shoot depicting the Crucifixion, with Orson Welles (dubbed into Italian) as the director. (JR) Read more


Five years in the making, Wong Kar-wai’s first ‘Scope feature is his longest, most ambitious, and most expensive yet. It begins in 2046–almost 50 years after Hong Kong has been returned to China–yet most of the action takes place in the 1960s, and Wong uses his brief evocations of the future mainly as a way of poetically lamenting the past. Tony Leung returns as the journalist from In the Mood for Love, but this time he’s more in the mood for sex and seedy intrigue (the title also refers to the number of a hotel room), and the romantic fatalism is so lush that you’re invited to get lost in it. With Carina Lau, Gong Li, Faye Wong, and Zhang Ziyi; Maggie Cheung is around too, but only for a cameo. In Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese with subtitles. R, 129 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Music Box. Read more