Chlotrudis Monday Night at the Movies + Indie Film Round-Up, August 19 - 25

Hello Film Lovers!

Lots of interesting films out there, but I'm very excited about this week's Chlotrudis Monday Movie of the Week! The Brattle Theatre, ever the purveyor of daring and intriguing film, provides the Exclusive Area Premiere of LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, the latest film by Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Scot and I saw Ratanaruang's startling film MON-RAK TRANSISTOR a couple years ago in Toronto, and this one has been receiving raves. PLUS, it features a librarian in the lead role! You know that's something many Chlotrudis members can get behind. Please join us at the Brattle Theatre for the 7:15 show, Monday, August 23. Watch for an e-mail about dinner to come.

dir Pen-ek Ratanaruang w/Tadanobu Asano,Sinitta Boonyasak,Laila Boonyasak,Takashi Miike

With his latest feature film, Pen-ek Ratanaruang proves to be one the most prolific and exciting directors to emerge in recent years. LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE pairs Ratanaruang with internationally acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, HERO) and Japan's leading actor, Tadanobu Asano (ICHI THE KILLER, ZATOICHI). The collaboration results in a glorious surreal love story laced with magical realism that crosses physical, geographical, and, ultimately, emotional boundaries. Kenji (Asano) is a Japanese librarian's assistant living in Bangkok. His quiet lifestyle complements a mysteriousness that masks his obsessive-compulsive and suicidal behavior. Kenji's path becomes disrupted when Nid, the Thai woman whom he spies on between the bookshelves, dies. By some force of the universe, he befriends Nid's sister Noi, and the two embark on a relationship under scored by impending devastation. Noi lures Kenji back into the realm of life's chaotic pleasures, connections, and loss, just as she is about to leave for Osaka. Eventually Kenji's past and present converge as a trio of Yakuza come looking for him in Bangkok, adding a touch of humor that plays with one of the film's motifs of timing in life and "what if" scenarios. Kenji and Noi leap to life on-screen via the masterful restraint of Tadanobu and Thai actress Sinitta Boonyasak's strikingly beautiful and delicate performance. LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, with its entrancing atmospheric tone, is an eloquent experience in cinema framed with alluring subtlety and haunting images.

Another new release this week is WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE, a hit at Sundance, based on stories by Andre Dubus (IN THE BEDROOM) and starring a quartet of indie stars, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause, and Naomi Watts. A few people who saw this film at festivals simply hated it, but I've been reading more positive reviews, including a couple from our own members, that I'm now thoroughly intrigued. Of course, the major problem is it has opened exclusively at the Harvard Square

Theatre. Blah! That's a good way top bury a film in Boston! Oh well, perhaps I'll catch it somewhere. I've also been hearing raves about ZATOICHI, THE BLIND SAMURAI (write a review, somebody, please!) This one is playing at the Coolidge Corner Theatre (as well as that big indie chain in Cambridge... you know the one... they buried IMELDA a couple weeks ago?) I hope to tray and catch it before it disappears.

Speaking of the Coolidge, our own new Treasurer Clinton McClung, has programmed a terrific series at the Coolidge this summer, Teen Cinematheque. Playing everyday, for just $2, Clinton has grouped the films by categories. Next week is "Runaways," and his unique programming includes such films as THE 400 BLOWS, and MANNY & LO (where you can see Scarlett Johansson in her first starring role! Following each film, panels of teens, educators, parents, and film critics will lead a lively discussion.

See you at the movies!

Playing this week, August 19 - 25.

Brattle Theatre, Cambridge
The Art of Samurai Cinema
Kill Bill, vol. 1 (Thu.)
Kill Bill, vol. 2 (Thu.)
Exclusive Area Premiere!
Last Life in the Universe (Fri. - Wed.)
Midnight Cult Classics
Repo Man (Fri. & Sat.)

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline
Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman
Maria Full of Grace
The Corporation (starts Fri.)
Tom Dowd and the Language of Music
Teens on Screens! "Romantics"
Midnites! The Best of Ben Stiller
Reality Bites (Fri. & Sat)
Midnites! Back to the Grindhouse!
Dr. Black & Mr. Hyde (Sat.)
Teens on Screens! "Runaways"
The 400 Blows (Mon.)
The Outsiders (Tue.)
Manny & Lo (Wed.)
Tribute to Marlon Brando
The Godfather

Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge
No Screenings... See you in September!

Hollywood Hits Theatre, Danvers
Garden State
The Door in the Floor
Napoleon Dynamite

Landmark Theatres
Kendall Square, Cambridge
La Dolce Vita (starts Fri.)
Uncovered: The War in Iraq (starts Fri.)
Intimate Strangers
Open Water
Garden State
The Door in the Floor Maria Full of Grace
A Home at the End of the World
Napoleon Dynamite
The Corporation
Gozu (Thu.)

Embassy Cinema, Waltham
Uncovered: The War in Iraq (starts Fri.)
Zatoichi: the Blind Swordsman
Maria Full of Grace
Garden State
Before Sunset
Napoleon Dynamite

Loews Theatres Copley Place, Boston
Uncovered: The War in Iraq (starts Fri.)
Maria Full of Grace (starts Fri.)
Riding Giants
Code 46
Intimate Strangers (Thu.)
Zatoichi: the Blind Swordsman
Before Sunset
The Door in the Floor
Napoleon Dynamite
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Thu.)

Harvard Square, Cambridge
We Don't Live Here Anymore (starts Fri.)
Zatoichi: the Blind Swordsman
Fahrenheit 9/11

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Icelandic Cinema
The Seagull's Laughter (Thu.)
Roxbury Film Festival
Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (Thu.)
We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story (Sun.)
The Fine Art of Frying Chicken (Sun.)
The Extraordinary Mr. Barnet
The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (Fri.)
The Girl With the Hat Box (Fri. & Sat.)
The House on Trubnaya Square (Sat.)
Okraina (Sun.)
Art on Film
My Architect (Sat.)
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time (Sun.)
New England Film Artists Presents
The Pursuit of Pleasure (Sat.)

The Newburyport Screening Room, Newburyport
Bukowski: Born Into This (Thu.)
The Door in the Floor (starts Fri.)

Boston Jewish Film Festival Events
Another Chance to see...
My Architect at the Museum of Fine Arts (Sat.)

Michael R. Colford
Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film, President