Thursday, April 23, 2009

RiverRun Film Festival Coverage 2009

My coverage of the annual RiverRun International Film Festival was published in today's Dispatch. Here is a look at some of my recommendations I didn't mention in yesterday's 6 Must See Films piece:

'I Sell the Dead' (U.S.; Director: Glenn McQuaid) - Critic's Pick

Gleefully macabre horror comedy about two 18th century graverobbers who begin to encounter undead corpses and discover a previously untapped market in transporting reanimated corpses. Well done on all fronts, with a "Dawn of the Dead" meets "Death Becomes Her" vibe. Highly entertaining. Screenings: 11:30 p.m. Friday, The Garage; 9 p.m. Saturday, The Garage (3 stars out of four)

'Kalinovski Square' (Estonia; Director: Yury Khashchavatski) - Critic's Pick

Like some kind of Estonian Michael Moore, Yury Khashchavatski takes us on a behind the scenes tour of political life in Belarus under dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Using wry, tongue-in-cheek narration and interviews with both Lukashenko supporters (mostly poor villagers whose only news come from state-issued, one-station radios) and his detractors, "Kalinovski Square" gives us a rare, intimate look at life in a totalitarian state. Screenings: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, UNCSA Gold; 4 p.m. Friday, Reynolda House; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Reynolda House (3 stars out of 4)

'Shall We Kiss?' (France; Director: Emmanuel Mouret) - Critic's Pick

Clever, entertaining French romantic comedy about a couple who meet, but the woman refuses to kiss him, relating a strange romantic tale of two best friends who fall in love and try to find ways of leaving their significant others without hurting them. No one does romance like the French, and "Shall We Kiss" is a beautiful, swoon-worthy truffle. Screenings: 7 p.m. Sunday, UNCSA Main; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, UNCSA Gold (3 stars out of 4)

'Treeless Mountain' (South Korea and USA; Director: So Yong Kim) - Critic's Pick

Beautifully simple story about two young sisters who are left with an uncaring, alcoholic aunt while their mother goes off to search for their deadbeat father. Finding themselves abandoned twice, the girls have to make a living on their own, trying desperately to do all they can to bring their mother back. An enchanting piece of realism as seen through the eyes of children in the face of great hardship. Screenings: 10 a.m. Thursday, UNCSA Babcock; 4:30 p.m. Friday, UNCSA Gold; 12:30 p.m. Saturday, UNCSA Babcock (3.5 stars out of 4)

For more of my coverage on the 2009 RiverRun Film Festival, click here.

3 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

Terrific work here Matthew! As of late your energy is boundless! Kudos to you.

I did see SHALL WE KISS? and thought it was OK. I will see TREELESS MOUNTAIN over the weekend.

Matthew, I did manage to secure tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival for this coming Monday and Thursday with my friend Broadway Bob.

I will be seeing the new film by Lucia Puenzo (who directed a film you gave a very favorable review for, XXY) called THE FISH CHILD on Monday, and then on Thursday I will be seeing FISH EYES, a Chinese film directed by Wei Zheng.

Matthew Lucas said...

Thanks Sam!

I'm not quite sure how I pulled it off honestly. I've seen more than 20 films in the past 2 weeks, on top of all day rehearsals and classes. So needless to say I've been busy. But it's been worth it.

Sam Juliano said...

Indeed, I'm sure it has. I look forward to your subsequent reports, and good luck with rehearsals too!