Not a ‘Matrix’ fan? These films are completely free of fireballs

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Not a ‘Matrix’ fan? These films are completely free of fireballs

Neo and Trinity are back in town with “The Matrix Revolutions,” the latest blockbuster to terminate small art films’ chances of getting shown in local theaters.
But take heart: Despite the “Matrix” attack, some subtler films still survive, at least at Core Art Hall. Tomorrow, this arthouse theater in Jongno, northeastern Seoul, begins multiple daily screenings of “Talk to Her,” “Far From Heaven” and “Between Calm and Passion.”
“Talk to Her” and “Far From Heaven” by now are Core Art Hall favorites, having screened there last year. “Between Calm and Passion” does not quite fit the “arthouse” category, but it’s a decent romance that wouldn’t spoil a date on an autumn evening.
“Talk to Her,” written and directed by Spanish critical favorite Pedro Almodovar, tells the story of an unusual friendship between two men, both of whom are caring for women in comas. It’s a funny, intelligent film that’s full of rich cultural treats.
“Far From Heaven” stars Julianne Moore as a housewife in an American suburb in the late 1950s whose world tumbles down when she learns that her husband (Dennis Quaid) has homosexual inclinations. She soon develops a friendship with her African-American gardener (Dennis Haysbert) that stirs controversy in the conservative town. Director Todd Haynes deliberately employs a lush, Technicolor ’50s style.
“Between Calm and Passion,” based on a bestselling Japanese novel, has beautiful Italian and Japanese settings. It falls flat otherwise, telling a hackneyed story about two old flames meeting again after years. The novel overcame its trite subject matter with its unique form: it was written by one male and one female novelist, each from a different protagonist’s viewpoint. The movie fails to capture the charm of the novel.
All three films will be screened with Korean subtitles. “Talk to Her” was filmed in Spanish, “Far From Heaven” in English and “Between Calm and Passion” in Japanese, English and Italian. Tickets are 5,000 won ($4.20), with a special Friday night red-eye package of all three films at 10,000 won. Kim Ji-woon, the organizer, says, “The screening is to go on at least until next weekend, but we’re not sure how long we can continue showing the three films.”

by Chun Su-jin

To reach Core Art Hall, take subway line No. 1 to Jonggak Station and use exit No. 4. For screening times, call (02) 739-9932.
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