Saturday, Oct 19, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 42 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 31
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Fontaine's The Innocents a spiritually rapturous triumph
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE INNOCENTS
Now playing


I watched director Anne Fontaine's (Gemma Bovery) post-WWII drama The Innocents (Les innocents) in a state of perpetual awe. From the early, eerie, unquestionably haunting images of a young nun traipsing through a barren, snow-covered Polish countryside going who knows where, to a moment of communal redemption hidden under the shroud of unthinkable secrecy and unimaginable sacrifice, the movie is a consistent triumph, achieving an overwhelming aura of brilliance that it manages to sustain first second to last. Not only is this Fontaine's crowning achievement behind the camera, it is without question one of 2016's most mind-blowing achievements, and I seriously doubt I'll see many of a similar ilk at any point over the next six months.

It is December of 1945 and the ravages of war still reverberate throughout Poland. A doctor working for the French Red Cross, Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Laâge) cannot turn a blind eye when a Polish Benedictine nun, Irena (Joanna Kulig), arrives out of the wilderness begging for help. When she arrives at the convent, Mathilde discovers something beyond the pale, a member of this holy sisterhood on the verge of giving birth. Delivering the baby, Mathilde is next presented to the order's authoritarian Reverend Mother (Agata Kulesza) by her trusted second Maria (Agata Buzek), the pair revealing to the doctor a shocking secret that stops her blood cold.

Loosely based on a real-life incident involving Red Cross doctor Madeleine Pauliac, what Mathilde finds herself smack-dab in the middle of is an incident so disturbing just the thought that even an ounce of it is true is an enough to scar a person right down to the marrow. After being brutalized by the Germans, these Polish nuns were then raped and murdered by the Soviet forces who had supposedly arrived to liberate them. Many of the survivors turned out to be pregnant, causing a crisis of identity and faith that put all they believed in and cherished to an inconceivable test.

The Innocents is essentially a tale of two wildly different women, Mathilde and the Rev. Mother, trying to understand one another as they come up with what they feel is the best solution to the problems facing the nuns. One is a woman of science, a person who left God behind long ago as she watched the ravages and horrors of war run rampant across to the globe. The other, a woman so devout she is willing to sacrifice her own immortal soul if she believes it will sanctify a place in heaven for her fellow Benedictine sisters, who doesn't so much fight against the doctor as try to diminish her influence upon the convent. Both have their hearts in the right place, both understand the other is only doing what she feels is best. Yet the paths they take couldn't be more divergent, and it is that deviation upon which Fontaine builds her film's foundation.

Standing in-between them is Maria, a nun who believes just as fervently as her beloved Rev. Mother yet is also a woman who sees the wisdom in what it is Mathilde is trying to accomplish. She is the one who will have her faith tested the most, the one who must grapple with all of the many layers of this ghastly situation. As such, it is her transformation that matters, the one that is the most intimately affecting, watching her find the strength to carry on, do the right thing and still maintain her relationship with the God she holds dear magnificent to behold.

All three actresses deliver superb, award-worthy performances. Kulesza, so stunning in Oscar-winner Ida, is equally amazing here. The subtly of her work, the dexterity of the emotions she traverses through as she plays them all so close to the vest, everything hid behind a cloak of piety she has clung to for so long she no longer knows how to remove it. Equally wonderful is de Laâge. So memorable in The Wait and in Breathe, she brings a calm sincerity to Mathilde that is mesmerizing, and watching her traverse through so many emotional minefields while attempting to keep this painfully destructive secret is truly incredible.

It is Buzek who most impresses, however, the way she brings Maria to life sublime. This nun is asked to do the impossible, and in the process finds her most intimate beliefs put to the ultimate test. Buzek conveys every step of this journey with notable specificity, every turn of phrase, nod of the head or gentle caress leading to a greater realization that can only come by journeys end. But what is most impressive is how she manages to express all of this in a way that stays true to the nun's spiritual convictions, allowing the film to be a truer treatise on religion than any so-called 'faith-based' feature could ever hope to emulate.

Fontaine has made some very good motion pictures in her directorial career, most notably last year's Gemma Bovery and 2008's The Girl from Monaco, but she's never come close to this sort of brilliance, her steady hand steering things to their finish with a level of confidence that's tremendous. She is aided in no small part by Caroline Champetier's (Holy Motors) superlative cinematography, her depictions of this austere landscape ravaged by war recalling the melancholic intimacy of films like Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds and Agnieszka Holland's Europa Europa.

As strong as the technical aspects are, it is the emotional component that makes The Innocents a potential instant classic. Fontaine allows horror and catastrophe to intermingle with hope and salvation, shaping things in a way that allows the spiritual components to take root as if they had been burrowing deep into this story's cinematic soil for multiple generations. The balance is always spot-on, and when tragedy strikes it does so right alongside redemption, in the process painting a fuller picture of religious complexities amongst the pious and the non-believer that is extraordinary. This movie is a one-of-a-kind experience, watching it a divine revelation I'll likely be preaching the virtues of for a long time to come.


3 $ Bill Cinema: The Fierce Awakens!
Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema returns to Capitol Hill's Cal Anderson Park (1635 11th Ave at E Olive St.) with FREE outdoor movies! The fierce awakens in these outer-space tales, Friday nights in August!

All screenings begin at sunset (around 8:30pm) at the SE corner of Cal Anderson Park. Arrive early to get a good seat and join us for the pre-show events. Concessions will be open and the DJ will start at 7pm. Official announcements and activities will begin at 8pm.

All films will have subtitles. This is a smoke-free event. Bring low-backed chairs or blankets for seating, please. Hot popcorn, cold drinks, candy, and other concessions for sale on site. Limited lawnchair rentals available.

See more at: http://www.threedollarbillcinema.org/calendar/the-fierce-awakens#sthash.WzoqTmnj.dpuf

CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME (2011)
Friday, August 5, at 8pm in Cal Anderson Park.

Lesbian space aliens have landed, with a mission to rid themselves of romantic emotions via inevitable heartbreak on Earth. When Zoinx and unsuspecting Jane hit it off, a hilarious relationship ensues!

SPACEBALLS (1987)
Friday, August 12, at 8pm in Cal Anderson Park.

President Skroob (Mel Brooks) has ordered Lord Dark Helmet to steal planet Druidia's air supply! Only Lone Starr and his sidekick Barf can stop them. You've never seen a movie like this before& or have you?

BARBARELLA (1968)
Friday, August 19, at 8pm in Cal Anderson Park.

Far in the future, super-sexy Barbarella (Jane Fonda) has to intercept the evil Doctor Duran Duran and bring him back to earth. Through the Labyrinth of Love, around the Palace of Pleasure, and surrounded by Matmos& Barbarella will overcome!

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (2005)
Friday, August 26, at 8pm in Cal Anderson Park.

Seconds before earth is destroyed, Arthur Dent is saved by his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def) and set on a course to hitchhike through the galaxy. Will being picked up by Trillian (Zooey Deschanel) and Zaphod (Sam Rockwell) be a blessing or a curse?

Courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema,/i>


Fontaine's The Innocents a spiritually rapturous triumph
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE INNOCENTS
Now playing


I watched director Anne Fontaine's (Gemma Bovery) post-WWII drama The Innocents (Les innocents) in a state of perpetual awe. From the early, eerie, unquestionably haunting images of a young nun traipsing through a barren, snow-covered Polish countryside going who knows where, to a moment of communal redemption hidden under the shroud of unthinkable secrecy and unimaginable sacrifice, the movie is a consistent triumph, achieving an overwhelming aura of brilliance that it manages to sustain first second to last. Not only is this Fontaine's crowning achievement behind the camera, it is without question one of 2016's most mind-blowing achievements, and I seriously doubt I'll see many of a similar ilk at any point over the next six months.

It is December of 1945 and the ravages of war still reverberate throughout Poland. A doctor working for the French Red Cross, Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Laâge) cannot turn a blind eye when a Polish Benedictine nun, Irena (Joanna Kulig), arrives out of the wilderness begging for help. When she arrives at the convent, Mathilde discovers something beyond the pale, a member of this holy sisterhood on the verge of giving birth. Delivering the baby, Mathilde is next presented to the order's authoritarian Reverend Mother (Agata Kulesza) by her trusted second Maria (Agata Buzek), the pair revealing to the doctor a shocking secret that stops her blood cold.

Loosely based on a real-life incident involving Red Cross doctor Madeleine Pauliac, what Mathilde finds herself smack-dab in the middle of is an incident so disturbing just the thought that even an ounce of it is true is an enough to scar a person right down to the marrow. After being brutalized by the Germans, these Polish nuns were then raped and murdered by the Soviet forces who had supposedly arrived to liberate them. Many of the survivors turned out to be pregnant, causing a crisis of identity and faith that put all they believed in and cherished to an inconceivable test.

The Innocents is essentially a tale of two wildly different women, Mathilde and the Rev. Mother, trying to understand one another as they come up with what they feel is the best solution to the problems facing the nuns. One is a woman of science, a person who left God behind long ago as she watched the ravages and horrors of war run rampant across to the globe. The other, a woman so devout she is willing to sacrifice her own immortal soul if she believes it will sanctify a place in heaven for her fellow Benedictine sisters, who doesn't so much fight against the doctor as try to diminish her influence upon the convent. Both have their hearts in the right place, both understand the other is only doing what she feels is best. Yet the paths they take couldn't be more divergent, and it is that deviation upon which Fontaine builds her film's foundation.

Standing in-between them is Maria, a nun who believes just as fervently as her beloved Rev. Mother yet is also a woman who sees the wisdom in what it is Mathilde is trying to accomplish. She is the one who will have her faith tested the most, the one who must grapple with all of the many layers of this ghastly situation. As such, it is her transformation that matters, the one that is the most intimately affecting, watching her find the strength to carry on, do the right thing and still maintain her relationship with the God she holds dear magnificent to behold.

All three actresses deliver superb, award-worthy performances. Kulesza, so stunning in Oscar-winner Ida, is equally amazing here. The subtly of her work, the dexterity of the emotions she traverses through as she plays them all so close to the vest, everything hid behind a cloak of piety she has clung to for so long she no longer knows how to remove it. Equally wonderful is de Laâge. So memorable in The Wait and in Breathe, she brings a calm sincerity to Mathilde that is mesmerizing, and watching her traverse through so many emotional minefields while attempting to keep this painfully destructive secret is truly incredible.

It is Buzek who most impresses, however, the way she brings Maria to life sublime. This nun is asked to do the impossible, and in the process finds her most intimate beliefs put to the ultimate test. Buzek conveys every step of this journey with notable specificity, every turn of phrase, nod of the head or gentle caress leading to a greater realization that can only come by journeys end. But what is most impressive is how she manages to express all of this in a way that stays true to the nun's spiritual convictions, allowing the film to be a truer treatise on religion than any so-called 'faith-based' feature could ever hope to emulate.

Fontaine has made some very good motion pictures in her directorial career, most notably last year's Gemma Bovery and 2008's The Girl from Monaco, but she's never come close to this sort of brilliance, her steady hand steering things to their finish with a level of confidence that's tremendous. She is aided in no small part by Caroline Champetier's (Holy Motors) superlative cinematography, her depictions of this austere landscape ravaged by war recalling the melancholic intimacy of films like Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds and Agnieszka Holland's Europa Europa.

As strong as the technical aspects are, it is the emotional component that makes The Innocents a potential instant classic. Fontaine allows horror and catastrophe to intermingle with hope and salvation, shaping things in a way that allows the spiritual components to take root as if they had been burrowing deep into this story's cinematic soil for multiple generations. The balance is always spot-on, and when tragedy strikes it does so right alongside redemption, in the process painting a fuller picture of religious complexities amongst the pious and the non-believer that is extraordinary. This movie is a one-of-a-kind experience, watching it a divine revelation I'll likely be preaching the virtues of for a long time to come.


Latest Ice Age offers up more of the same
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE
Now playing
After he unearths an otherworldly prophecy deep within the bowels of the Earth, adventurer Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg) leaves the lost underground world of the dinosaurs to warn his friends Manny (Ray Romano), his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), her fiancé Julian (Adam Devine) and best buddies Diego (Denis Leary), Shira (Jennifer Lopez), Granny (Wanda Sykes), Crash (Seann William Scott), Eddie (Josh Peck) and Sid (John Leguizamo) of an impending disaster. A meteorite is hurtling towards the planet, and if it strikes it will wipe out almost all life living upon it. It's up to them to come up with a solution, the entire group walking once again into harm's way in order to see their close-knit interspecies family survives yet another calamity.

And thus begins the saga of Ice Age: Collision Course, the fifth animated adventure featuring this ragtag group of family-friendly characters, this collection of mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, sloths and other various mammals proving to have an enduring allure for a number of viewers the entire world over. Scrat's back as well, of course, still chasing acorns, this time going to positively interstellar lengths in order to possess even just one of them. It's all a bit of exceedingly familiar freewheeling craziness where Manny and company learn a number of life lessons as they continue to forge unbreakable bonds of togetherness, and as such there's precious little to get annoyed or upset about as things move along their well-trodden path.

Yawn. While a decided step above the group's last outing, 2012's risibly annoying Ice Age: Continental Drift, that doesn't make watching this newest entry in the series any more palatable for viewers over the age of six or seven. It's animated television fodder, nothing more, content to poke around in its own nonchalant inoffensive way not really caring whether or not the impact it ends up making upon the viewer is anything substantial. The sequel speaks in generalizations and platitudes, moving with the momentum of a slug in a race to the finish line with a one-legged tortoise, and as such I kind of hoped that meteor would hit its target making further adventures impossible.

There are a few nice moments, not the least of which is the reintroduction of wild card Buck, a musical sequence showcasing him saving a Triceratops egg from a crew of flighty predators whimsically imaginative. But the movie is so gosh darn intent at keeping the momentum moving at a breakneck pace there's never the possibility characters are going to evolve more than they already have or situations will become even minutely more complex. Even the Scrat moments, usually the best little asides these Ice Age movies have to offer up, feel tired, moderately rundown this time out, the shenanigans involving him and his acorn just not nearly as humorous as they have been in the past.

Not that I care. Ice Age: Collision Course was not made for me. Heck, I'd hazard a guess they're not made for domestic audiences, either, a large portion of the box office for the past couple of adventures coming from outside the United States. This is a franchise that exists more because of its international popularity than it does for anything else, Manny and his family and friends continuing to survive in large parts thanks to that and that alone. Which is fine, I guess, and little kids continue to find these films relatively enjoyable. For me, though, I think I'm just about done giving them a chance, and the next time this gaggle of crazy critters ambles back on-screen I think I might just choose to stay home.


Energetic Nerve a game of frustrating implausibility
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

NERVE
Now playing


On the verge of graduation, Venus 'Vee' Delmonico (Emma Roberts) dreams of leaving Staten Island to attend college at a prestigious art school in California. But with little money to pay the tuition, not to mention an overprotective mother, Nancy (Juliette Lewis), still grieving over the loss of Vee's older brother barely a year prior, the 18-year-old is going to have to put those aspirations on hold. She'll attend a local college and continue to live at home, not wanting to risk revealing her desires to her mom for fear doing so will only lead to tears, heartbreak and anger.

Yet a person can only take so much before they push back against the forces cast against them. When her outgoing, vivacious best friend Sydney (Emily Meade) jabs one too many times, Vee does the unthinkable, signing up to play a crazy, probably illegal one-of-a-kind online game called Nerve. A variation on Truth or Dare, users who decide to get involved in the action can win money by completing tasks set forth for them by the watchers. But what initially starts out as playful fun mixed with a little bit of joyful rebellion quickly turns into a sinister fight for survival, Vee and another fellow player, the mysterious, if handsome, Ian (Dave Franco), forced to team together if they hope to escape Nerve's sinister grasp and continue with their lives with even an ounce of freedom.

I want to like Nerve, I really do. Franco is as charming as ever, the young actors portraying Vee's friends, most notably Meade and 'Parenthood' star Miles Heizer, are excellent and the direction by Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3 filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman is suitably energetic. Additionally, screenwriter Jessica Sharzer's ('American Horror Story') adaptation of Jeanne Ryan's best-selling novel is spunky and charming, setting up the story quite nicely as it puts the building blocks in place for all the craziness and danger certain to transpire. Best of all, Roberts is wonderful, delivering one of her better performances as she navigates through the emotional complexities inherent to her character's journey, and as such it was exceedingly easy to care for Vee and hope she'd find a way to dig herself out of the hole she suddenly finds herself trapped within.

But while the first half of the movie is a giddy good time, at a certain point the inherent implausibility fueling things begins to take its toll. Once the nefarious nature of Nerve is revealed, at the point Vee discovers just how terrible her situation is, the fun has ebbed away to the point absurdity is all that remains. On top of that, the way things are resolved is boringly absurd, the supposed moralistic statement that I believe all involved are going for unintentionally laughable when push finally comes to shove. The payoff simply does not work, the accusations being levied against those watching the game, and thus the viewers taking in the movie as well, packing about as big a punch as a feather being wielded by a three-month-old infant.

For a little while, though, Nerve is something moderately special. The early portions depicting Vee's insecurities, how they are coupled with her aspirations to pursue her artistic talents, those are wonderful. Better is the way they are juxtaposed with her relationship with Nancy, this mother's emotional smothering of her beloved daughter completely understandable considering the mutual loss both have endured. All of this sets up the character perfectly, so when she decides to become a player in this not-so-harmless game I couldn't help but root for her to cut loose, have some fun and discover that interior resolve others seem to see yet she herself stubbornly refuses to embrace.

Joost and Schulman keep the pace moving full speed ahead, and even when the narrative begins to spiral hopelessly out of control the pair still manage to craft a fair amount of kinetic intensity that's absolutely undeniable. But while they've studied the Michael Mann meets David Fincher meets Nicolas Winding Refn playbook cover-to-cover, their combined filmmaking bravado just isn't enough to cover up the story's more readily apparent shortcomings. The lunacy of it all, the way events play themselves out, no matter how glorious it all looks or how rapidly things are paced that doesn't lessen the stupidity of it all a single ounce. The plan Vee and her conspirators concoct is too inane to take seriously, and as such the central point is relegated moot, the power of the climactic reveal lessened to the point of insignificance.

In many ways, Nerve reminds me of an online, social media version of 1997's The Game merged with other '80s and '90s teenage throwbacks as varied as Cloak & Dagger, Wargames, Gotcha! and Hackers, that initially mentioned Michael Douglas/Sean Peen surrealistic thriller most of all. Yet where that Fincher favorite crafted an otherworldly dreamscape planted firmly between the lands of fantasy and reality that allowed for its inherent implausibility to be diminished, this never happens as far as Joost and Schulman's latest is concerned. As nice as certain components might be, as solid as the performances universally are, the movie simply doesn't work, making it just another cinematic missed opportunity residing in a summertime multiplex already overflowing in them.


Frank Ferrante presents 'An Evening With Groucho'
------------------------------
Sting and Peter Gabriel together make for a very memorable night at Key Arena
------------------------------
Daisy's considerable potential not unleashed
------------------------------
August 2016 theater
------------------------------
SEATTLE ART FAIR August 4-7 announces highlights of 2016 Fair
------------------------------
Child star-turned-author and newly out Mara Wilson coming to Town Hall
------------------------------
Mahler bliss in a compact disc
------------------------------
The Dragon Lady returns
------------------------------
August 2016 theater
------------------------------
Energetic Nerve a game of frustrating implausibility
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Garbage playing the Paramount Theatre in September
------------------------------
Fontaine's The Innocents a spiritually rapturous triumph
------------------------------
3 $ Bill Cinema: The Fierce Awakens!
------------------------------
Fontaine's The Innocents a spiritually rapturous triumph
------------------------------
Latest Ice Age offers up more of the same
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2016 - DigitalTeamWorks 2016

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News