Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fear factor

Nature fights back in newest film festival offering

Express Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit Gabriela Cowperthweight

    Even those who didn’t live near the water couldn’t escape the chills wrought by the image of a toothy mouth of a shark and a swimmer unknowingly crossing its path advertising the movie “Jaws.”
    Audiences will be chilled again with “Blackfish,” a fact-driven documentary playing at the Magic Lantern’s 25th annual Film Festival, which continues at the Ketchum theater this week.
    Magic Lantern owner Rick Kessler compiled a few details on some of the upcoming films—the schedules for all festival films can be found on their website,
    Kessler predicts “Blackfish” will win an Oscar for best documentary film. It’s a blistering expose of the Sea World aquatic parks launched after the death of a Sea World trainer who was working with an orca with a history of behavioral issues. Experts believe the whale’s actions were the result of trauma since it was first brought into captivity.
    The film moves like a psychological thriller and it challenges our thinking about our relationship with nature and our tendency to humanize the wild for our own purposes.
    Relationships are the common thread of four other films in the festival’s second week, Kessler said.


Kessler predicts
“Blackfish” will win an
Oscar for best documentary film

    Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston deliver funny and poignant performances in “Drinking Buddies,” a romantic comedy that is genuinely affecting, charming—and stacked with laughs. Writer/director Joe Swinberg gives us close observation of characters torn between their heads and their hearts, in a film called both penetrating and wise.
    “Prince Avalanche” is an offbeat comedy about two men painting traffic lines on a desolate country highway that’s been ravaged by wildfire. Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsh give striking performances described as deeply felt and light as laughter, speaking insightfully to the joys and costs of being alone, and of the risk that comes with letting another person in.
    Jesse and Celine first met in their 20s in “Before Sunrise,” reunited in their 30s in “Before Sunset,” and now, in the critically acclaimed film “Before Midnight,” they face the past, present and future; family, romance, and love.
    A fully-assimilated Israeli-Palestinian has his life turned upside down when informed that not only was his wife killed in a terrorist bombing, but that she was the suicide bomber. “The Attack” studies the impact of discovering the essential mysteries of other people, even those we think we know best.
    Held over for a second week, “The Spectacular Now” is a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth and first love. Authentic in every respect, it is destined to take one back to that time if you’re no longer there, and light a path if you are.
    Finally, in light the latest disclosures about the National Security Agency, “Closed Circuit” is a timely and gripping thriller about the use and misuse of government surveillance.

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