This week Cornell Cinema is offering an eclectic, but incredibly enjoyable selection of film. Ranging from Italian romance, to short films from around the world, make sure to stop by Cornell Cinema for a great lineup that makes me almost happy to be back writing papers.
After Midnight At the beginning of After Midnight, directed by Davide Ferrario, the narrator comments that “Today audiences only care about characters,” but that things may have been better when movies were about places. Following in that tradition, most of the film revolves around Turin, Italy’s Museum of Cinema. Working there is Martino (Giorgio Pasotti), the museum’s shy custodian who houses an inner love for cinema. Martino usually spends most of his night watching Buster Keaton films and walking around the cavernous museum. One night, he is actually visited by Amanda (Francesca Inaudi), who is running from the police after a rather “greasy” altercation with her boss. Amanda, who is yearning to find a way out of her wrong-side-of-the-tracks lifestyle, and the lonely Martino suddenly form a surprising bond. However, all of this conflicts with Amanda’s boyfriend and professional car thief, Angel (Fabio Troiano). Eventually, a Jules and Jim (which is also playing at Cornell Cinema on September 12, 2005) reminiscent relationship evolves between the three. Fresh thinking, well filmed, and funny, After Midnight is one of the most touching and enjoyable films I have seen in a long time. The film manages to showcase a smart and heartfelt love story without getting bogged down like so many other romance flicks out today. After Midnight is a must see for anyone who has a love of the magic of movies, or for someone simply looking for a great love story.
Oscar Nominated Shorts 2005 I have to confess, this was my first time watching a collection of short films. However, I was deeply impressed by the surprising effectiveness of these film novellas, which often manage to make a more powerful point in 5 to 25 minutes than their much longer peers. The collection of short films deemed the best by the Academy Awards devotes a surprising amount of attention to children. One such film is Taika Cohen’s Two Cars, One Night, which highlights a short exchange between two children waiting for their parents outside a small restaurant in New Zealand. The film’s simplicity is part of its power. At the end of the children’s conversation, nothing really has happened, but the audience feels incredibly touched. Simplicity is the key to another film, Birthday Boy, which shows a young Korean youth playing around his village during the Korean War unaware of the seriousness of the war raging around him. Another film dealing with children selected is Wasp (one of this year’s Oscar-winners). The film searches for humanity in a very unsympathetic single mother seeking freedom from her children. In Little Terrorist, a Pakistani boy mistakenly stumbles across the border into enemy India and must face the major differences and similarities between the two nations.
Not all the films have to deal with kids. Ryan (which also received an Oscar), a film dedicated to the monumental Canadian animator Ryan Larkin is an amazing exploration into the effectiveness of computer animation. Gopher Broke is a comedic tale about an overly ambitious (and hungry) gopher. 7:35 in the Morning is one of the most daring (and entertaining) adventures into dark comedy I have seen in a long time, while Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher is a successful mix of the adventure of Indiana Jones with the spirit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the political incorrectness of South Park.