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Archive for April 30th, 2012

by Jaime Grijalba.

a.k.a. Romancing in Thin Air

(China/Hong Kong, 111 min)

For some reason we’ve been having a surge of ‘known’ asian directors that have released films in early 2012 (if at this time can be called early), I’m talking about the action-cop film director Dante Lam and our last entry on this series: ‘The Viral Factor’ (2012), and now this, from the director Johnnie To, famous for his films about mafia, crime and detectives, we have… a romantic film. Even though it’s not his first foray into this genre, last year he made the romantic film ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ (2011), co-directed with his usual collaboratorKa-Fai Wai. But this one is something of another kind, as it mixes both comedic and melodramatic elements into the plot, as well as incorporing some meta-elements, as a film is made inside the plot of the film, and we actually get two parallel storylines inside one movie, and I’m guessing that’s why the film seems to have a numerical number in its original title (the ‘II’ at the end of the title is not a chinese word), as if we were grateful we got two stories by the price of one, when what we actually want is one good strong story, not a back story that turns into some kind of confusing side-story that makes up for almost 45 minutes of the runtime and then go away and try to combine both of the plotlines trying to make some sense of the connection, giving us an unsatisfying sappy ending.

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Rachel Mwanza as lead in Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen's "War Witch" the sole five star movie shown at Tribeca and the Festival's clear masterpiece.

by Sam Juliano

As I write this brief lead-in at 11:40 P.M. on Sunday evening, April 29th, I will admit being bushed and completely spent after a torrid week at the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan, a venture that once and for all has cast serious questions about my sanity.  Still it was a time I entered the portal to world cinema with a hands on resolve and a determination to see all the feature films that had received the most sterling word of mouth, glowing anticipation, and ultimately the awards given by the Tribeca jury and the audiences.  With Lucille in tow for most (and Broadway Bob for some) I took in 18 feature films over this past seven-day period, making for a grand total of 28 for the festival.  With only a very few exceptions, I managed to watch just every must-see, and feel qualified to post a list of what I felt were the 10 Best Films of the TFF, a venture that will be up at the site tomorrow morning.  I had intended on posting it today over the diary, but I spent most of Sunday cleaning up at Tribeca, seeing some vital films that had won awards, and weren’t negotiated in the hectic schedule proper over the past nine days.  I have much to say, and WitD readers will get the full report and the top ten with capsule reviews in the morning.

At The Movie Projector R.D. Finch inches closer to his upcoming William Wyler Blogothon, which will surely get the world-class treatment in the hands of the passionate and gifted movie writing veteran.  At Wonders in the Dark, Dee Dee’s sidebar interview with European poet Claudia Schonfeld has been enormously popular with readers.  The site regulars, including Bob Clark with a terrific piece on Daren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Jim Clark with a stupendous essay on the Japanese Teshigahara classic Woman in the Dunes, Jamie Uhler with another extraordinary posting in his ‘Getting Over the Beatles’ series, and Allan Fish with an utterly-engaging piece on the screen legend Jane Greer, has all kept the site moving along full throttle. (more…)

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