Daily Archives: September 29, 2006

The Dogwalker

In this low-budget 2002 feature by Jacques Thelemaque, a young woman (Diane Gaidry) flees the east coast to escape her boyfriend’s chronic abuse and lands in Los Angeles; given shelter by a sour but protective older woman (Pamela Gordon), she gains some equilibrium while helping out with the woman’s dog-walking business. The plot of this character-driven drama is slender and the digital images rather muddyapparently an impoverished indie feature can look bad and still not be very interestingbut to his credit, Thelemaque sticks to his minimalist turf. And the dogs are great. 99 min. (JR) Read more

St. Louis Blues

Nat King Cole stars in this 1958 biopic about the great southern composer W.C. Handy. A travesty in terms of biography, this is worth seeing only for the impressive lineup of musicians in the cast (Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald). Alan Reisner directed. 93 min. (JR) Read more

The Science of Sleep

Michel Gondry, known for his music videos (for Bjork and others) and his collaborations with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (directing Human Nature and cowriting and directing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), debuts as a full-fledged writer-director in this charming comedy. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as an obsessive young Mexican illustrator trying to settle down in Paris with his French mother (Miou-Miou) and reach some kind of emotional equilibrium with an equally obsessive neighbor (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The story is as much about imagination and innocence as the hero’s unstable life and career, so there are many flights of fancy, some concerning an imaginary TV talk show on which he’s both host and guest. Gondry is a soft surrealist without much of a sociopolitical agenda, closer to Dr. Seuss than Luis Bunuel; the closest movie antecedent for this romantic fantasy may be Richard Lester’s The Knack, and How to Get It (1965). In English and subtitled French and Spanish. R, 105 min. a Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley, River East 21. Read more