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For the week of May 2 through May 8, 2001

Season of the silver screen

The Magic Lantern Spring Film Festival opens Friday

Express Arts Editor

To live in the Wood River Valley is to live with and in synch with the seasons. What we do with our free time ebbs and flows with the whims of the weather. June through September brings a gamut of fun in the sun, October through November offers hunting, fishing and hiking through yellow aspen groves, December through April means skiing, sledding and skating. That leaves May—the rainy month.

Monica Bellucci in Malena. Photo by Fabian Cevellos

Well, let it rain, sleet, hail even snow. None of that really matters if you are tucked into the safety of a dark theater, popcorn in hand, with the world of film ready to carry you away.

It is time for the annual Magic Lantern Film Festival—a three-week event that brings the best foreign, art and independent films to the valley. The festival opens Friday in Ketchum.

This year’s festival offers the local debuts of films from Italy, France, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and the United States. Three of the films being shown, Malena, Before Night Falls and Amores Perros, were Oscar nominees this past year. Further, there will be two Sundance Film Festival sensations screened.

Kicking off the festival Friday will be three films: Malena, The House of Mirth and The Caveman’s Valentine. Opening Friday, May 11, are Before Night Falls and Amores Perros. The Widow of Saint-Pierre and The Dish open May 18.

Steve Bynum, manager of the Magic Lantern, is also finalizing the bookings of two "mystery" movies to be shown week two and three. A brief round-up of the week one fare follows.

Malena: From the writer and director of Cinema Pardiso, Giuseppe Tornatore, comes a coming-of-age saga set in a lovely Sicilian village. World War II has drawn all of the young men to battle, and the old men and young boys are left home to ponder the charms of the most beautiful woman of the village. One particularly bewitched adolescent applies all of his energies and time to discover the hidden truths about the seductive Malena.

The House of Mirth: Terence Davies has adapted the Edith Wharton novel about the moneyed classes of 1905 New York. Gillian Anderson plays Lily Bart, a beautiful and socially prominent woman who, at the then late age of 29, is unmarried. Laura Linney (Academy Award nominee for You Can Count On Me) plays Bertha Dorset, ostensibly Lily’s friend, but one who is a rival for potential suitors and casts aspersions on Lily’s character. Linney and Anderson are supported by Eric Stoltz, Elizabeth McGovern, Anthony LaPaglia and Dan Akyroyd. The turn-of-the-century costumes and settings are yet two more reasons to see this drama.

The Caveman’s Valentine: In this voguish mystery, Samuel L. Jackson plays a highly intuitive schizophrenic, Romulus Ledbetter, who lives in a cave in Central Park. Ledbetter’s daughter, Lulu (Aunjanue Ellis), is a detective investigating a murder. She employs her father in the search for the killer. The film presents surrealistic visual effects in its portrayal of Ledbetter’s mental state—one that flits between delusion and truth. Kasi Lemmon (Eve’s Bayou) has adapted this film from the cult novel of the same name. Also starring in the film are Colm Feore and Anthony Michael Hall.

For more movie information and daily showtimes, call the Magic Lantern at 726-4274.



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