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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 10 - 16, 2003

Arts and Entertainment

Movie-going at its best: Film Fest week two

Express Staff Writer

Magic Lantern’s 15th annual Film Festival continues this week with an additional five movies opening Friday, Sept. 12. "Buffalo Soldiers," Lucia, Lucia," Nowhere in Africa," "L’Auberge Espagnol," and "Northfork" are still available for viewing tonight and Thursday.

“Legend of Suriyothai” Photo courtesy Fox Searchlight

"Northfork," the latest installment from yet another pair of film making brothers, Mark and Michael Polish--who also made "Twin Falls, Idaho,"--continues through the Thursday.

The ensemble cast includes Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah, James Woods, Anthony Edwards, Claire Forlani, Peter Coyote and Kyle MacLachlan.

In "Northfork," the government decides to build a dam, thus obliterating—through flooding—an entire town. Like lemmings, everyone leaves except a priest, his ward, a young couple, and the town’s own "Noah" who has built an ark.

The second movie in the festival to star the charming Audrey Tatou—"L’Auberge L’Espagnol" being the other—is "Dirty, Pretty Things." Directed by the always skillful Stephen Frears, it has had plenty of buzz.

In this British crime thriller, an illegal Nigerian immigrant working as cab driver and as a porter at a London hotel makes a gruesome discovery. He enlists the help of a coworker, a chambermaid played by Tatou in her first English speaking role, to investigate what looks like a murder.

Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times wrote: The movie is a "swift, tangy drama with an equally terse title that pits London's illegal immigrants against the alluring hope of propriety."

"The Secret Life of Dentists," features the intelligent acting of Hope Davis and Campbell Scott in a drama from novelist Jane Smiley. Directed by Alan Rudolph, the marriage of these two dentists is put to the test by suspicions.

Drenched with irritable domesticity and narrated by repressed but adoring husband Scott, the movie has been likened to "Diary of a Mad Housewife" with a male protagonist. The script by Craig Lucas, even handily provides him with a drill-bit of an alter ego—played by Denis Leary—inspired by his most obnoxious patient.

The moody "Swimming Pool" concerns an English novelist with writer’s block who retreats to her publisher’s country house only to have her alone time disrupted by his free spirited daughter. While Charlotte Rampling gives her usual stony and affective performance, it’s the debut of young Ludivine Sagnier who has had critics and audiences seduced.

The festival also features one of the most controversial films of the year, "Capturing the Friedmans." This film, about a seemingly average family in Long Island, documents the true story of what happened when the father and one of his sons were arrested in the late-1980s for child pornography, abuse and other sordid crimes. Using copious video footage of the family shot by the eldest son, David, during the entire crisis, filmmaker Andrew Jarecki pieces together a disturbing tale of what many concluded was a witch hunt, but for others is a very exacting peak into one family’s shadow world.

And finally one good lunge into the world of gorgeous, colorful, historical epics is due. Directed by Prince Chatri Chalerm Yukol and supported by Thailand's current Queen Sirikit, "The Legend of Suriyothai" is about 20 pretty wild and wooly years in the life of a celebrated 16th century Thai queen who made endless sacrifices for the good of her country.

The prince’s friend and fellow UCLA alum, Francis Ford Coppola, produced the movie.



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