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Weekend Watch: Cannes’ 2010 Hard-Hitting Armadillo and Jury Winning A Screaming Man Top Choices

The calm before the blockbuster storm. This weekend’s offerings are mostly limited releases from notable film festivals. For starters we have the the critically-acclaimed Amardillo, A Screaming Man and The Princess of Montpensier making their post-Cannes debuts.

The calm before the blockbuster storm. This weekend’s offerings are mostly limited releases from notable film festivals. For starters we have the the critically-acclaimed Amardillo, A Screaming Man and The Princess of Montpensier making their post-Cannes debuts. And if that isn’t your cup of tea there’s always The Imperialists Are Still Alive! and The Double Hour, as choices because other than that, I wouldn’t put much stock in studio fares like Wes Craven’s reboot-rehash Scream 4.

U.S Indie 

Atlas Shrugged: Part I – Paul Johansson – Rocky Mountain Pics.

This questionable adaptation of Ayn Rand’s free-market manifesto is short on acting, story and production value.
With computer-generated bullet trains and dystopian cityscapes, more suited for the syfy channel, this film from
first-time producer John Agialoro was dead on arrival. Just ask Casey Jones.

: 27% : 29.8%

The Conspirator – Robert Redford – Roadside Attractions.

Redford’s period piece tells the true story of three men and one woman who were
hanged for their involvement in Lincoln’s assassination. Described by most critics as a heavy-handed and a preachy history lesson, don’t look for too many thrills in this courtroom drama, which explores a
really fascinating time in American history that most of us probably never knew about.

: 54% : 53.9%

Footprints – Steven Peros – Paladin

This small forgettable indie in the vein of Mulholland Drive tries to pay tribute to Old Hollywood and movie magic
but ultimately fails with its stagey aesthetics and narrative theatricality. Limited release.

: NA  : NA

The Imperialists are Still Alive! – Zeina Durra – IFC

Fun, compelling and widely meandering. Screened at 2009 Sundance, Zeina Durra’s atmospheric debut feature is an alluring and paranoid journey into the effect ‘the war on terror’ has had on the everyday lives of several Manhattanites. Imagine Chan is Missing crossed with Issac Mizrahi’s Unzipped. Here’s our interview with Zeina.

: NA% : 65.7%


A Screaming Man – Mahamat-Saleh Haroun – Film Movement

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes last year, Haroun’s modern fable
delves into the personal and political upheavals experienced by a father-and-son in war-torn Chad.
Their fractious relationship serves as an unflinching portrait of the psychological fall-out of an endless civil war.
Highly recommended. Opened Wednesday at the Film Forum.

: 76% : 70.6%

The Double Hour – Giuseppe Capotondi – Samuel Goldwyn

The movie, which won its stars, Ksenia Rappoport and Filippo Timi, awards at the 2009 Venice Film Festival is
a mediation on grief and guilt masquerading as a mesmerizing romance/thriller/psychodrama. Fans of Guillaume
Canet’s 2006 hit Tell No One will especially love this noir puzzler.

: 69% : 81.1%

The Princess of Montpensier – Bertrand Tavernier – Sundance Selects

Based on a novella by Madame de Lafayette, this sweeping historical dramance feels all to real in Tavernier’s latest costume extravaganza. A princess caught between duty and love might sound titillating but amid bloody battles and court intrigue it’s enough to kill anyone’s passion. Included in the Main Comp during a weak Cannes year.

: 76% : 76.4%


Armadillo – Janus Metz – Lorber Films

Received by wide critical acclaim at several film festivals, this Danish war documentary, which
won him the Grand Prize at Cannes, recounts the harrowing year he and DP Lars Skree spent embedded with a Danish
infantry company operating in the Nato-led ISAF. Described as an action film with the veracity and intimacy found in last year’s Restrepo, Armadillo should be required viewing for anyone interested in the exploration of war and its toll on the human condition.

: 76% : 72.4%

Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja – Billy Corben – Magnolia

From the creators of Cocaine Cowboy comes this SXSW doc about the proliferation of pot smuggling in 1970’s Florida. In sharp contrast to the brazenly violent Scarfaces of the 1980s, Miami’s marijuana smugglers were cooler, calmer, and for the most part, fishermen. This paints a vivid portrait of Miami’s pot smuggling culture through three of the city’s most colorful stories. Here’s our interview with “Bobby Tuna”.

: 52% : 62.2%


Rio – Carlos Saldanha – 20th Century Fox.

The makers of the hit Ice Age bring us RIO, a comedy adventure about a domesticated Macaw who never
learned to fly. A colorful visual palette and wonderful cast make this beautifully animated film a pleasure-full
escape for the family. Will RIO finally usurp the unsinkable Hop? We’ll see. Wide release.

: 66% : 66.3%

Scream 4 – Wes Craven – Dimension

Though it doesn’t generate the same pulse tingling excitement of the original, Scream 4 does manage to offer up
a couple of new scares, but overall it fails in its attempt to reboot this tired slasher franchise from the legendary
Wes Craven. Despite its flaws its built-in demographic of the disengaged will hardly notice–Hey as long as
they get their blood quota who cares? Expect moderate to heavy box office return. Wide release.

: 52% : 57.4%

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