Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Films on Hold

You can't always get what you want. Although Houston is a major city and shows its share of first run films there are a few titles that are not skedded to appear in Space City. Namely Lake of Fire, Redacted and Southland Tales.
Lake of Fire is a black and white documentary by Tony Kaye (American History X) on the history of abortion in America. This docu will probably show up on screens after award noms are announced since it's one of the best, after No End in Sight, non-fictional films in many a moon. Kaye interviews the real Jane Roe and Noam Chomsky among others. There are some disturbing moments where the audience is asked to deal with actual abortion procedures, plus a very exact chronology of abortion clinic shootings.
Redacted serves up the Iraqi war in a reality mode. From Brian De Palma the film is at once experimental and gripping. We see an army unit plan and execute the rape of an Iraqi teen. The action unfolds as a continous series of video moments - embedded reporters; soldiers with camcorders and a French documentary that are blended together. De Palma used a similar plot for Casualties of War but in Redacted the immediacy of the situations are impacted by the video point of view. I realy enjoyed this latest De Palma film although its small scale has kept it playing in limited art house engagements.
Southland Tales is the follow-up feature from Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko). After playing in a longer version at the 2006 Cannes Festival the film was bounced by Universal and picked up by Sameual Goldwyn, a small distributor. It has yet to screen but the promise of post apocalyse West Coast sci fi adventure will keep me up nights awaiting its unwinding.


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