2011.5.20 NOW PLAYINGNo Name Stars (All)
Marking the 31st anniversary of the Gwangju Democratization Movement this year, director Kim Tae-il’s documentary sheds light on the ordinary people who took part in the May 18, 1980 civilian uprising in Gwangju against the military dictatorship of former President Chun Doo Hwan. Although hundreds of civilians were killed, the massacre is considered a stepping stone in Korea’s democratization.
In order to better understand the interviewees, Kim and his family stayed for about six months in Gwangju and interviewed dozens of people. Some of them made rice balls to support the protestors and some of them fought against the military regime until the end.
Even before its release, the 104-minute documentary received positive reviews after being chosen as the best film at the 36th Seoul Independent Film Festival last December.
Mother and Child (18)
Drama / 125 / English
“Mother and Child” is a drama centered around three women: A 50-year-old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago and an African-American woman looking to adopt a child of her own.
Starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits and Samuel L. Jackson the movie attempts to deal with the bond between mother and child.
Bening plays a woman who gave up her daughter for adoption when she was 14. Jimmy Smits, the new husband, encourages her to track down her daughter, played by Naomi Watts, who is already pregnant with a child. The father of the child could be Samuel L. Jackson or her next-door neighbor. Meanwhile an African-American woman is trying to find a child to adopt.
Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, who also directed “Passengers” (2008), the film has received accolades and was named by esteemed critic Roger Ebert as one of the best films of 2010.
Father’s Love (12)
Located in the deep forests of Gangwon is a Korean traditional school, where 13-year-old Song-yi (Jin Ji-hee) teaches etiquette and civil order to troublemakers. Rather being strict and uptight, Song-yi is known for her charisma and knowledge when it comes to teaching manners. But her patience is put to the test when social outcast Doo-yeol (An Nae-sang), her biological father, becomes one of her students.
Doo-yeol, once a boxing gold medalist at the Asian Games, doesn’t know of his daughter’s existence because of a critical injury and the loss of his wife.
Song-yi, whose idea it was to bring her troublesome father to the school, is full of anticipation to get to know her father, but Doo-yeol disappoints her by continuing to cause problems. After the truth about Song-yi is revealed, however, Doo-yeol realizes his own mistakes and tries to turn things around by becoming a true father figure for his daughter before it is too late. Marking the month of the family, this is one of a few family films for all generations.
“Father’s Love” is directed by Park Kwang-woo, who entered the film industry as a screenwriter. Park began directing films in the mid-’90s but this is his first commercial film.
Jin earned fame for her role as a spoiled child in the second season of the hit sitcom “High Kick through the Roof,” which aired in 2009.
Inside Job (12)
You’ve probably heard a lot about the global financial crisis of 2008, but many people haven’t heard the details about what happened on the inside.
“Inside Job,” a documentary directed by Charles H. Ferguson, aims to answer many of the lingering questions about what actually helped create the worldwide economic crisis.
The film, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011, focuses on changes in the financial industry leading up to the crisis and how regulations that were supposed to control risks didn’t do what they were supposed to.
With narration by Academy Award winner Matt Damon and plenty of interviews with financial officials, politicians and professors, “Inside Job” spins a sharp tale of lies, corruption, questionable practices and the state of the current and future financial system.
The conclusion: The system hasn’t really changed and that should worry you.
My One and Only (15)
Comedy, Drama / 108 / English
It’s rare these days to find a film about a living actor. But “My One and Only” is just that - a road-trip movie about George Hamilton’s early life on the road with his mother and brother. It’s loosely based on anecdotes Hamilton told long-time producer Merv Griffin about his youth.
The film is set in 1953 and Ann Deveraux (Renee Zellweger) lives with her husband Danny, their son George and his brother Robbie. Danny has an affair and Ann decides to leave him with their two sons.
But on the road, as Ann tries to find a new husband to take care of her and the kids, things don’t go entirely to plan. The first few men she meets turn out to be duds - one is broke and asks her for money, one is abusive, one sexually assaults her, one is in love with another man, etc.
The rest of the story involves George finding himself and learning what he’s good at - turns out, acting - in order to help his family. A majority of critics praised the movie for solid performances, some silly comedic characters and for revealing some interesting information about Hamilton’s early life.
Source Code (12)
“Source Code” is a sci-fi-action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga, the film sees either U.S. army captain Colter Stevens or schoolteacher Sean Fentman looking for the bomber of a commuter train.
“Beleaguered Castle” is the name of the project headed by a walking-stick toting mad scientist who has devised a way for people to be transported into other people to relive the last eight minutes of their lives.
Sounds complicated? Well it is.
This translates to Captain Stevens reliving the final moments of schoolteacher Sean in an effort to find the person who will, later that day, detonate a dirty bomb in downtown Chicago.
Only the second film by Director Duncan Jones, who was praised for his first film “Moon” (2009), the film has received positive reviews and promises to keep you engaged, even if it leaves you perplexed about who is who and what is happening.