Tuesday, June 19, 2012


REEL DEAL : MOVIES THAT MATTER jim fouratt March 2012 March in NYC is both a movie lover’s paradise and a movie goers hell! Major specialty programs are being spooled all over the city and movies that matter are premiering almost daily.

Let’s Go to the Movies!

I took myself to the BA cinematek for : New Voices in Black Cinema Festival . Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door, directed by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward. woke me up to a lost film. The documentary tells of the making and suppression of The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973) directed by Hogan’s Heroes actor and TV series director Ivan Dixon. A feature based on Sam Greenlee’s controversial novel of same name.(1969). Dixon assembled a first class cast to bring to life a serious satire of black stereotypes. The story revolves around the first black CIA agent who resigns at the height of Panther Party visibility and moves to Chicago to teach his CIA skills to black militants. Spook captures both the stereotyping of black people by white Americans and the emerging Black Power movement. Politicians and the FBI took it seriously and saw it as realistic threat to law and order. United Artist bowing to pressure pulled the film after its opening week.RISE and FALL documents what happened and why the film disappeared. In 2004 it finally surfaced on DVD. Both films are charged with the passion of racial change and racist fears. See them.

TRAILER: http://youtu.be/uUV3yD5Ofkk

Lets take a peek at some of the stronger Festival films playing in March:

Rendez-vous French Cinema (Lincoln Center/IFC/BAM) Each year this round up of French Film plays 50 cities in US presenting the best of the current crop of French films and classic features as well as documentaries and shorts. Here is a taste :

17 Girls directed by Delphine & Marian Croulin

The real life story of 17 teenage girls in one high school deciding to get pregnant reverberated around the world. In 17 GIRLS the Croulin sisters take a hard look at the pastel bathed ocean-side town where the girls went to school. A narrative film that is unsettling as the teens mouth feminist slogans to justify controlling their bodies in a way that twists normal feminist discourse. How school officials and parents react when the teens insisted on playing family and live collectively in defiance of their age and experience, Boys don't seem to matter , except as a means to end.

38 WITNESSES director Lucas Belvaux Loosely based on a best-selling novel by Didier Decoin that itself was a gloss on the infamous 1964 Kitty Genovese murder case. Belvaux looks at the moral morass some of the silent witnesses find themselves in as a probing journalist tires to reconstruct the crime. The reverberation of this specific Paris set crime is world wide in cultures where people do look away in order to not have to be involved. Reminds me how here in Greenwich Village how the closing of a hospital happened with the silent complicity of many residents and all the elected politicians. 38 Witnesses reveals how silence can speak very loud in human conscience and seep into personal and intimate relations.

UNFORGIVABLE director Andre Techine French directors make movies for adults. How nice given all the foolish and gross out films Hollywood desires, fetishes, emotional blocks and survival. UNFORGIVABLE takes two people finished with the frolic of youth and has them collide in the loveliest of cities, Venice. He (Andre Dussolier) is a 60 something author divorced with a seen-it-all actress daughter. She (Carole Bouquet) is a late 40’s beauty who has beguiled men and women for almost 30 years and now works as a real estate agent He wants a place to write and she takes him to parts of Venice off the tourist path. He falls into instant lust and immediately proposes. She has been around the block just too many times to take him seriously. But her closest friend and former lover (Adriana Asti),(the two are still emotionally involved), reminds her the clock is ticking. They marry and then the real intrigue begins. Inspired by the same titled novel by Philipple Dijan this is a movie that could inspire a Showtime series.

UNFORGIVABLE trailer: https://vimeo.com/40657738


Directors: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi Countries: Palestine/Israel/France Sundance award winner 2012 5 BROKEN CAMERAS made by a Palestinian and Israeli tells the story of how an amateur photographer bought a video camera to document his family and over the course of five years records the plight of Palestinians as the Israeli government moves settlers on to the land held traditionally by Palestinians. He has to use five different video cameras each subsequently damaged by bullets or rocks. One ordinary family and their friends in a small village are the subject of this deeply moving documentary. When the Sundance award was announced both filmmakers took the stage and between held the coveted award. Together they give visual hope for the future. When the politics of the grandfathers on both sides loses it sway

5 Broken Cameras TRAILER https://vimeo.com/15843191 .

TEDDY BEAR Director: Mads Matthiesen Country: Denmark Winner of the audience award for World Narrative film at Sundance 2012 TEDDY BEAR is the story of steroid sculptured body builder who at 38 still lives at home with his emotionally incestuous mother and how he finally breaks away from her and finds true love in Thailand of all places. Describing the narrative line does not do justice to this sensitive study of how one finally grows up and must leave home. His mother is something to reckon with! Must admit when I first read the film’s description I though I would pass on it until a fellow critic I trusted suggested it would surprise me. It certainly did. So I will suggest the same to you

TEDDY BEAR trailer: https://vimeo.com/42099311© jimfouratt 2012 (cc) Jim Fouratt/ReelDeal Movies" Movies That Matter feedback welcome reeldealmovies@gmail.com