Films Screened In 1999

Magdalena believes she has been called by God to have 13 daughters all bom on the same day. News of these miracle births spreads each year, but just as Magalena's work is almost done, God seems to change his mind, causing Magdalena to question the religious beliefs which have guided her entire life. ... Read more
2 Seconds scooped the prize pool at this year's Montreal World Film Festival. Manon Briand's debut collected Best Director, Best First Feature and Best Canadian Film as judged by both the critics and public. An understated film with an extraordinarily simple premise: a mountain-bike racer, Laurie, is in the throes of a mid-life crisis; the title refers to the crucial moment of hesitation she exper... Read more
A docudrama so real you'll wish it was fiction! Myles Berkowitz is recently separated and has rejection slips piling up beside his daft screenplays. Ever the go-getter, Myles decides to combine his movie career aspirations with his love life. He resolves to produce, direct and star in a documentary that will foflow him through 20 romantic encounters in order to find a soulmate and make a movie. ..... Read more
Bao Gun is a simple country boy whose dreams come true. He wins a contest in his small town, the prize being a deluxe apartment in a sumptuous, new Shanghai high-rise. Armed only with a single suitcase, the address of a distant relative and trousers that ride too high, Bao Gun heads for the big smoke and a world of trouble. ... This delightful Chinese comedy charmed audi­ences at this year's Berli... Read more
"... A poetic and upbeat celebration of the quiet beauty in unremarkable lives... wonderfully shot and edited with a vivid sense of place and an immensely appealing cast, A la Place du Coeur is a touching portrait of the dif­ferent kinds of love that bind its characters."—Screen International ... "A warmly textured slice of humanist cinema... A look at an average blue-collar family through the pri... Read more
"A remarkable example of finding home movies in the attic that open a window on an entire world, A Letter Without Words provides a glimpse of Germany between the wars that is privileged in more than one sense of the word. Consisting mostly of footage taken by the present filmmaker's wealthy grandmother between 1914 and 1938, Lisa Lewenz's concise, highly evocative doco will fascinate anyone with a... Read more
Benning's dazzling first work began as a bedroom exper­iment with the PXL 2000. A pastiche of image and sound fast becomes a lucid commentary on adolescent isola­tion in a poor Milwaukee neighbourhood. Viewing her room through a snow dome—in what may be the most oblique and profound evocation of the opening scene from Citizen Kane (if she'd seen it or cared}—Benning represents youth as it is lived... Read more
"The more I see of men, the more I like my dog," said Frederick the Great. The trouble is, you can get to like your dog a little too much, and that's what A.J. Poulin's whimsical but fascinating dog-umentary is all about. Poulin set out to examine the bizarre habits, rituals and foibles of Los Angeles pooch owners. In true Hollyweird fashion he has uncovered a subculture of obsessives, eccentrics ... Read more
Urban living at its worst—allergies, diseases, missing Y-fronts—and of course, finding the dust level. ... Read more
A commuter train rattles through the night, and as a man threatens a woman in the carriage, the audience is forced to confront the question "what would you do?" Schweiger's tautly constructed film is as disquieting for the introspective journey it asks the viewer to take as for the unpleasant circumstances it depicts. ... Read more
A harrowing study of fractured male ethos set in the remote beauty of Ruapehu's Makatote Gorge, Accidents deconstructs the myths of masculine camaraderie with a palpable sense of dire inevitability. Reminiscent of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies", the film is tense and provocative throughout, and lingers long after its end credits as a psychological thriller of frightening plausibility. ... Read more
Junk culture Laurel and Hardy team the Halflifers hit the screen running in this suburban Sci-Fi. Surviving in a perpetual state of fast forward, unleashing a never-end­ing babble of fast speak, this duo represent the everyday as aiien territory. Halflifers is an ongoing collaborative project created by Torsten Z. Burns and Anthony Discenza. Their series of lo-fi, video works "dig deep into our po... Read more
Adrian and his mother are enjoying a seaside holiday when the dynamic between them is forever changed by his mother's liaison with a handsome stranger. ... Read more
Hirokazu Kore-eda has two previous MIFF hits under his belt and once again proves his irrepressible talent. After Life is set in a purgatory or limbo which looks an awful lot like an old brick school on a perfect autumn day. Guides assist the newly dead in selecting their most treasured memory, the one that they will take with them to eternity. ... While some people have no trouble choosing, oth­e... Read more
This film is anything but boring. The synopsis for this film could be "a couple argue about the man's mother coming to visit"—but alienation is about the shifting borders in relationships. Where are the limits? What happens if you go beyond them? It's a tense, but amusing, ride. The sense of changing space and power is reinforced by the camera and sound design, providing a strongly cinematic exper... Read more
Archie lives a peaceful existence in the apartment which has long served as his home, carrying the warmth of a life full of fond memories. This peace is broken when a slick, fast talking salesman comes calling. ... Read more
The music clip for Bjork's All is Full of Love features a pair of white robots embracing in a way that is compellingly human. Like many of Chris Cunningham's music clips, this one has created controversy, but as Cunningham stated jokingly in Times/Metro magazine: "I don't think there are any rules about robots having sex" ... All is Full of Love reflects Cunningham's interest in gimmickry, special... Read more
Martin Arnold's third installment in what constitutes something of a trilogy continues where piece touchee (1989) and passage a I'act (1993) never quite left off. Throwing down the gauntlet to Hollywood's space/time system, Arnold's methodology rigorously tears asunder the film language of classic American cinema. passage a fact revealed and revelled in the family as prison, reworking a few grabs ... Read more
An elderly woman silently carries out a what appears to be a ritualised activity, the point of which only becomes clear as the film progresses. This moving film from Korea is a beautiful meditation on life, death and the passage of time. ... Read more
Based on the Oscar Wilde play, Oliver Parker's An Ideal Husband is a rare triumph—celebrating the wit of Wilde's theatrical voice whilst exploiting the medium of film to full effect. Rupert Everett {My Best Friend's Wedding) takes on the role of Lord Arthur Goring—confirmed bachelor and famed throughout London for his elegance, repartee and refusal to take anything seriously. When called upon by h... Read more
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