A proposition to save your son's life, a funeral for a car, a missing ex-girlfriend, sex addicts in New York City and Steven Colbert of "The Colbert Report" on the big screen. This year's 18th Annual Magic Lantern Fall Film Festival is bundled full of mouth-watering propositions.
Beginning this Friday, Sept. 15, and running through Thursday, Sept. 28, the eagerly awaited festival includes all of the above, as well as comedies, documentaries and a western that claims to turn the western upside down.
Turn to Page C6 for a run down on the multiple movies and our local not-so-multiplex (and that's just the way we like it, thank-you very much).
This is just the kind of proposition you'd want to refuse but couldn't. Set in the Australian bush in the 1880s, Guy Pearce ("Momento") plays an outlaw, who is offered a reprieve for himself and his 14-year-old brother. To get it he must help capture the other member of their gang, his older brother played by Danny Houston ("The Constant Gardener.") The screenplay was co-written by rocker/novelist Nick Cave and director John Hillcoat. The cast includes British actors Emily Watson ("Punch-Drunk Love"), John Hurt ("V for Vendetta") and Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast"). One of the year's hidden gems, this gripping adventure drama was the talk of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Rated R for some intense violence.
Film noir in high school? Why not? Brainy student Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a loner in his Southern California school. The mystery begins when his ex-girlfriend, Emily (Emilie de Ravin of "Lost"), reaches out to him unexpectedly and then vanishes leading him to investigate his fellow students and friends. Through intense interactions with all the typical make-up of high school life—from thespians and band geeks to the druggies—Brendan works to crack the cliques and the case with an array of lingo loaded dialogue. It costars Lukas Haas, Meagan Good and Noah Fleiss. First time director Rian Johnson received the special Jury Prize at Sundance this year for this perfectly realized film noir. Rated R for some violence.
Clue: Eight letters, Will Shortz, and what he does every week, day-in day-out for The New York Times. This documentary is an irresistible look at crossword editor Shortz and his highly vocal fan base. It also takes the viewer to the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and includes high-profile puzzle fanatics such as Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Mike Mussina, the Indigo Girls and Bob Dole. Rated PG.
'Strangers With Candy'
Written by and starring the hysterical Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert of TV's "The Colbert Report," this wickedly barbed comedy is a prequel to the critically acclaimed TV series of the same name, which featured Jerri Blank. Sedaris stars as a 47-year-old ex-con who re-enrolls in her old high school to help her father come out of a coma she induced when she first ran away 30 years earlier. The all-star cast includes Colbert, Sarah Jassica Parker, Oscar-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Sir Ian Holm and Allison Janney ("West Wing"). Rated R for language and adult content.
'Down In The Valley'
As a seemingly modern embodiment of the laconic, soft-spoken cowboy hero, Edward Norton plays a drifter who picked-up a sulky teenager, played by Evan Rachel Wood. A romance between them chips away at her dicey family life which eventually begin to unravel when he is caught in a lie. As demons beneath Norton's veneer reveal themselves, justice is meted out, Old West-style. Costarring Ellen Burstyn, David Morse, Bruce Dern and Rory Culkin. Rated R for language, sexual content and violence.
'Who Killed the Electric Car?'
This intriguing documentary is a bit of a business whodunit. First introduced in California in 1996 as an alternative to the pollution-spewing vehicles, General Motors EV-1 was just as speedy as a gas-guzzler and far less expensive to keep running. A number of celebrities including Tom Hanks and filmmaker Chris Paine jumped on the electric bandwagon. Within a few years, the EV-1 was no longer, having been recalled by GM. Why? Under whose orders? Rather than let the cars just disappear from the road, Paine chronicled the last days of the EV-1, filming various public protests and even chartering a helicopter to fly over the isolated area where the cars were being broken down to scrap metal. Rated PG.
First there was "Fire," then "Earth." Now completing the Hindi-language "Elements" trilogy, Toronto-based Indian director Deepa Mehta gives us the movie, "Water." An 8-year-old Hindu widow who doesn't even remember being wed is sent to live in isolation with other widows according to Hindu teachings. It also stars Indian superstar Lisa Ray as a young widow in love with a man from a lower caste, who attempts to intervene. Part melodrama, part social commentary, "Water" has received excellent reviews the world over, though Mehta was forced to cancel filming in India at one point due to opposition riots. The young girl is played by Sarala, a child chosen from a village in Sri Lanka. The film is set in 1938 before India's independence but during the rise of Mahatma Ghandi. Rated PG.
'Trust The Man'
This sophisticated comedy directed by Bart Freundlich and starring his wife, Julianne Moore, is a Woody Allen-style take on two couples with romantic problems, set in New York City. The movie features David Duchovney as Moore's sex addict husband, Billy Crudup as her brother, Tobey, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as his long-suffering girlfriend. James Le Gros and Ellen Barkin have amusing cameos, while Eva Mendes appears briefly as an old flame of Tobey's. One thing you can count on is great locations. Rated R for language; sexuality; adult content.
A festival full of film
"The Proposition:" Sept. 15-17, 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Sept. 18, 7 p.m., Sept. 18-21 at 4:30 p.m.
"Water:" Sept. 15-18, 4:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Sept. 18-21, 7 p.m.
"Wordplay:" Sept. 15-17, 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18-Sept. 21, 7 p.m.
"Brick:" Sept. 15--21, 4:30 p.m.
"Trust the Man:" Sept. 22-Sept. 24, 2 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Sept. 18, 7 p.m. Sept. 26-28, 4:30 p.m.
"Who Killed the Electric Car?" Sept. 22-24, 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26- 28, 7 p.m.
"Brick:" Sept. 15-18, 6:45 p.m. Sept. 18-21, 4:30 p.m.
"Down in the Valley:" Sept. 22-24, 6:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Sept. 25-28, 4:30 p.m.
"Strangers With Candy:" Sept. 22-25, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26-28, 7 p.m.
The Magic Lantern is located on 1st Avenue and 2nd Street in Ketchum. Call 726-4274 or visit magiclanterncinemas.com.