There’s nothing complicated about The Call. For the better part of an hour, it’s abducted teenage girl in the trunk of a moving car, 911 call center operator (Halle Berry) on the line via untraceable cell phone, LAPD doing their best to locate the vehicle and identify serial killer behind the wheel. It’s neither artfully done nor remotely plausible, but it does engage you on a purely visceral level. Then The Call goes completely nuts, blending too-familiar elements from The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho and Death Wish in a noxious and nonsensical final act. What were director Brad Anderson (The Machinist) and screenwriter Richard D'Ovidio thinking? Hard to say, but at least their flailing hodgepodge of a movie isn’t boring or predictable. In fact, the rowdy locals at an advance promotional screening of The Call spent much of their time yelling advice and commentary at the screen. You can't blame an audience for trying.
Shot in in the Shreveport area and set there and in Lake Charles, The Pardon tells the true story of Toni Jo Henry, a beautiful young woman who earned national headlines in the 1940s for her involvement in a sensational murder case. The film was directed and co-written by New Orleanian Tom Anton, and produced and co-written by Anton's wife, Sandi Russell. It will will premiere tonight at The Theatres at Canal Place in a benefit for Eden House, a residential program in New Orleans for women who have been commercially and sexually exploited. A wine reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the screening at 7:30 p.m. Limited tickets will be available at the door.
The New Orleans Film Society's planned outdoor screening of T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story at the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots tonight has been postponed to due to high winds, which pose a threat to the Society's inflatable screen. The screening has been rescheduled for Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Fair Grounds, which is also the night of the its annual crawfish boil.
Read our review of T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story here.
It’s been a rough month for American justice on local movie screens. First was Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five, a documentary about innocent New York City teenagers railroaded into prison by over-zealous detectives and prosecutors. Now comes West of Memphis, the story of the West Memphis Three, Arkansas teenagers who were falsely convicted of the tragic murder of three eight-year-old boys in 1993. Unlike Burns’ film, Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg’s West of Memphis is structured like a narrative movie with enough twists, turns and suspense to navigate its two-and-half-hour running time — normally the kiss of death for a documentary. Official misconduct and political ambition once again tell the tale, along with a strong measure of willful incompetence among small-town police and a medical examiner. The film can take us deep into events as they unfold because Peter Jackson — celebrated director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy — and his partner and fellow filmmaker Fran Walsh produced West of Memphis while funding the new investigation that ultimately led to a resolution in the case. Berg was there to capture all the details, and her film paints a rare portrait of a broken justice system through an instance of catastrophic failure.
West of Memphis is screening exclusively at the Elmwood Palace in Harahan. More info here.
The Contemporary Arts Center opens an exhibit focusing on the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, other earlier movies by Court 13 artists and art installations by Eliza Zeitlin, younger sister of Beasts writer/director Benh Zeitlin. Many of the buildings and props in the film were created by Eliza, and she's been active in local art installations, including the Music Box.
Beyond "Beasts": The Art of Court 13 opens Friday with a reception and party featuring a reading by Beasts cowriter Lucy Alibar and music by the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Video installations include unseen footage from the film, behind the scenes footage and earlier Court 13 films. More on that here. (The teaser above was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures seven months ago and is not included in the exhibit.)
Tonight, Benh Zeitlin and Beasts and Court 13 filmmakers will screen other footage and discuss the film at the CAC's ArtSpeak at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.
The Brooklyn Brewery Mash rolls into town next week with a six-day schedule of events at venues around town mixing cuisine, art, film, music and, of course, beer.
New Orleans is the second stop on an 11-city national tour for the Brooklyn Brewery Mash, which is organized by the New York-based brewery and benefits the nonprofit Slow Food USA. The Mash continues across the country all year, and at each stop event organizers orchestrate collaborations between people in the local food and art scenes and counterparts from Brooklyn traveling with the road show.
The original Mandarin title of 11 Flowers translates literally to something along the lines of I am 11. That would have been a more fitting name for this autobiographical and unsentimental coming-of-age story from veteran Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle). The film does a remarkable job of getting across what it’s like to be a still-innocent pre-teen boy.
Set in 1975, 11 Flowers is based on the director’s own experiences growing up in rural province of Guizhou near the end of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution — a time when urban families in places like Shanghai were asked to move inland along with factories to help defend the industrial base against potential attack from the U.S.S.R. Though many of the adults pine for cultural and material riches of the city they lost, the children are a product of the new environment and possess little understanding of the social upheaval that surrounds them.
The story involves a new shirt for an 11-year-old boy — a rare and valuable commodity during Mao’s reign — a chance encounter with a fugitive, and the growing political unrest in the streets of a rural village. But plot details are far from central, as 11 Flowers is more interested in evoking a particular time and place from a child’s unencumbered perspective. Surprisingly natural performances from an ensemble of young actors keep that goal well within reach.
11 Flowers screens nightly at 7:30 p.m. through March 7 at Zeitgeist Movies. More info here.
Loyola University presents Kunta Kinteh Island: Coming Home Without Shackles tonight. Ben Vereen stars in the film and will attend the screening. Vereen starred as Chicken George in the 1977 miniseries Roots, which introduced many to the figure Kunta Kinteh, to whom Alex Haley claimed to be related and who became a symbol of what was done to Africans who were enslaved, taken to the United States and resisted severing ties to their homeland.
Kunta Kinteh is said to have been a Mandinka warrior taken from the village of Juffereh in Gambia. St. James Island was a prison/port where many slaves were held before they were transported to the West. Gambia renamed it Kunta Kinteh Island in February 2011. This film, produced and directed by New Orleans native Elvin Ross, dramatizes some scenes as it explores the history of slavery. The film also features Jermaine Jackson and Gambian president Yahya Jammeh.
The film screens at 7 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium and a symposium follows.
Director-producer Ben Affleck's Argo took the top honor at the 85th Academy Awards last night with a victory in the Best Picture category. Daniel-Day Lewis became the first three-time winner of the Best Actor Oscar for his work in Lincoln, and Jennifer Lawrence took Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. The evening's best moments? Lawrence recovering gracefully after falling on the steps up to the stage to accept her award; a 76-year-old Shirley Bassey absolutely killing it with a performance of her '60s classic "Goldfinger"; and nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, Oscar-nominated star of New Orleans' own Beasts of the Southern Wild, flexing her formidable muscles whenever the camera came her way.
A complete list of the winners is available here.
The point? Wasteful as well as very bad use of tax payer money for truly…
So, what's your point?
HumidCity will do everything it can to assist. If there is something we can do…
Throw another party in the city with the highest poverty rate in…
Can you say it's The Beatles without John?
Or can it be Miami Vice…
an excellent movie! my review - http://www.neauxreelidea.com/2013/04/revie…
The road to Hell is paved in unbought stuffed dogs.
Long how many more billions we spend to prevent the FBI's definition of terrorism versus…
Your Typical "Short-Sighted Mean Spirited, Long Term Pain" Comment is why New…
Boy what a mean spirited article downing some one else's hard work. I am surprised…
I have been exploring for a slight for any high excellence articles or…