I’ll be away for the next 4 days so I’m leaving 4 mini-reviews of some movies you should (not) check out over the weekend.
Up and Down (2004)
This Czech film opens as two low lifes discover an abadoned child and consequenly sell it on the black market which leads to a series of unique events. Director Jan Hrebejk overlaps three plotlines of a childless couple, an emigre who returns to Prague to confront family issues, and the two criminals to tell this comic, satirical, and tragic tale of loss, family, love, and acceptance. Memorable scenes and humorous characters combine to create an above-average film.
Sibel (Sibel Kikilli) and Cahit (Birol Unel) are Turkish immigrants living in Germany who are both trapped by their lives. Sibel is surrounded by her overbearing and traditional family and Cahit is a bum with no hope for the future. Upon meeting at a hospital, Sibel asks Cahit to marry her so she can escape her family. What happens next is a touching, passionate, profound, and exhilirating love story. A lovely film and a magnificent cultural experience. Ultimately worth the trip.
Chow Mo Wan (Tony Leung) is a writer who has created a science fiction masterpiece about a train, 2046, that goes nowhere and after boarding you can never exit. This story, with its vivid imagery, becomes the subplot for another.
Set in 1960’s Hong Kong, the writer lives a party lifestyle and his relationships with three girls, including one played byZiyi Zhang, is the center of movie . 2046 is a story of memories, love, and the future and it is one that should not be missed.
Off the Map (2003)
A coming-of-age story set in the remote New Mexico desert. 11-year old Bo’s life is nothing short of unique. Her family lives “off the map”, on an isolated farm that has no electricity or running water. They survive on less than $20,000 per year. One summer she watches as her father battles unexplainable depression. It is during this summer that a stranger (Jim True-Frost) emerges and through him Bo learns about love and lost. Joan Allen is beyond excellent as Bo’s mother, a part Hopi-Indian with Earth Mother tendencies. Each scene is filled with humor, originality, and beaut y. A lovely, little-known wonder of a movie that leaves you wanting more.