Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 5th 2015 Contents Husbands and Wives
make very good cinema
Easter Sunday and the miracle of the
excellent programming by cable and
DirecTV continues into the fourth month
of the year! Today s Also Rans include
the best American thriller BC on TV
has seen since The Silence of the Lambs
(Prisoners, 2.35 pm FoxAct), a terrific
Bruce Dern vehicle he pushes to its limit
(Nebraska, 12 noon HBO), a very good Tom Hanks vehicle that happens to
be a ship (Captain Phillips, 3.45 pm HBO), the definitive scare-you-swim-
less movie (Jaws, 5 pm FoxCl), the second of the Frank Miller crime comic
adaptations that s every bit as good as the first (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,
4.20 pm, 6.20 pm Fox1), a tense thriller with strong performances (Labour
Day, 11.15 am, 1.15 pm Fox1) and a star-studded comedy that s kept the guffaws
going into the third generation (Little Fockers, 4.45 pm FoxCom). Guitar
music lovers get another chance to hear Jeff Beck (Live in Tokyo, 2 pm DTV)
and Judi Dench lovers get another chance to see her do her magic (Philomena,
1.05 pm Fox1). The Catholic diehards who feel they should suffer through
an appropriate Easter Sunday film should enjoy the sackcloth and ashes of
a Biblical epic that really is not very good, even with Richard Burton in the
lead (The Robe, 11.45 am FoxCl).
TODAY'S BEST FILM:
Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen/ 1992/ USA/ Comedy-Romance-
Drama/ 108 mins/ R for language and a scene of sexuality), 8.20 am Cinemax.
Watch this if you liked Elegy, Cassandra s Dream or The Kids Are All Right.
Perhaps Woody Allen s most enduring middle-period film, it features everything
he s best at: cutting, perceptive, often hilarious dialogue; sympathetic, unhappy
characters stumbling painfully through life; and the artistic repackaging of
his own emotional irresponsibility as independence of character. Inspired,
like all his films, by his own life, it was released at the same time as his very
public break-up with Mia Farrow---they play one another s spouses in the
film---and the real life drama resulted in his best box office results. Very, very
good cinema, whatever you might think of him---and her---as real life husband
Gladiator (Ridley Scott/ 2000/ UK-USA/ Action-Adventure/ 155 mins/ R
for intense, graphic combat), 5 pm Turner Classic Movies. Watch this if you
liked Braveheart, Kingdom of Heaven or 300. Ridley "Black Hawk Down"
Scott s gladiator film deserves to capture the word itself as title: it is the
definitive modern version of Spartacus; and won Oscars for Best Picture,
Lead Actor (Russell Crowe), Costume Design, Visual Effects and Sound.
Nearly three full hours whiz by with the viewer letting his or her breath out
only in the quieter moments, while admiring John Mathieson s cinematography.
Incredibly, it screened for general audiences in Trinidad cinemas, causing
intense unhappiness for the young children dropped off at the cinema: in
the first few minutes, a severed head is thrown through the air to land and
roll with blood spattering; not for kids at all, even if adult cinephiles might
admire the DP s handiwork in the shot.
The Heartbreak Kid (Farrelly Bros/ 2007/ USA / Comedy/ 116 mins/ R
for strong sexual content, crude humour and language), 7.20 pm Cine Canal.
Watch this if you liked The 40-Year-Old Virgin, There s Something About
Mary or Borat. It s hard to spot a flaw in what is probably the Farrelly Brothers
most perfectly realised film (with due and, um, heartfelt apologies to Mary).
A water---no, an airtight---script, impeccable pacing, astonishingly good comic
performances and immaculate direction make it very hard to beat. It s Farelly
Bros so it s very, very crude, of course, and definitely not for anyone who
thought Dumb & Dumber and the Jackass movies are offensive. Ben Stiller
is, without question, the funniest white man in America (discounting British
imports like Sacha Baron Cohen and the Ricky Gervais Posse).
*Starred films have been chosen in the last three months. Scheduled
Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt April 5, 2015
A Trifecta of the Week's Best Films on the Box
The local children s feature film Sally s Way has
been accepted into the Festival International du
Film PanAfricain de Cannes in the famous "festival
city" between April 29--May 3. In its 12th year, the
festival screens 50 films from more than 30 coun-
tries, and typically attracts over 5,000 visitors.
Sally s Way is in the process of being translated
"We recognise that our sustainability over time as
filmmakers and content creators is inter-dependent
with the visionary investment of the public and
private sectors. It s thanks to the T&T Film Co,
Angostura family brands: Bitters and LLB, and the
Ministry of Trade, that we now have proof of concept
with our inaugural film attracting international oppor-
tunities," writer and director Joanne Johnson said in
a press release about the film s upcoming screeing.
Developing the children s film component of the
local arts-based NGO Brown Cotton Outreach (BCO),
Johnson has researched and outlined a three-year
start-up phase which includes long-term strategies
for sustainability. Along the way, each success presents
new opportunities that grow the mission, scope of
works; and the costs.
She contends that, along with the other executive
producers Tracy Farrag and Louris Martin Lee-Sing,
and other stakeholders in the sector, BCO Film is
now very well poised to help rectify the dearth of
meaningful, original content for the Caribbean family.
Johnson believes the process works well to develop
creative maturation and the kind of professional
capacity required to interact on a world stage. By
applying for a 150 per cent tax rebate certificate of
cultural authenticity from the Ministry of Arts and
Multiculturalism; compiling a number of hefty pro-
posals and grant applications that had to meet very
specific criteria for assessment and accountability;
then having to respond to questioning by international
juries, and integrate feedback from local committees
required a sustained and patient focus over the three-
year period of making this one film.
Working with a relatively modest budget, and
investing years of "sweat equity" herself, she especially
credits the generous and collaborative spirit of the
local professionals who invest their own time, talent
and passion towards getting local projects like Sally s
The film received the Global Zoom Feature Film
Prize at its world premiere in January at the 2015
Children s International Film Festival Seattle. The
Northwest Film Forum s coveted prize is awarded
annually by a children s jury ages eight to 14, a bullseye
win with their target audience.
At the premiere in Seattle, Alyssa Highly, who
plays the film s title character Sally, was "poised and
mature beyond her years in all her interactions,"
according to Liz Sheppard, the festival director. Shep-
pard described Alyssa as "a gifted and ambitious
young actress" and the Northwest Film Forum has
extended a summer scholarship for Alyssa to attend
a film making camp, and recommended her for an
additional scholarship at an acting school in the city.
Johnson also forged a new working relationship
with US-based Capestany Films. Award-winning
filmmaker Scott Capestany, who specialises in family
content, was interested because of the sincerity of
the film. "I am very excited to be collaborating with
Joanne on our upcoming children s television pilot
and series, The Adventures of Sammie Drake. Having
seen Sally s Way, I know she will bring a magical
touch with a rich, cultural and adventurous spirit to
the storytelling experience."
Sally's Way goes to Cannes
Sally's Way team: Louris Joanna Martin Lee-Sing, left, Joanne Tracy Farrag, Alyssa Highly and Joanne
Johnson in January during a trip to the 2015 Children's International Film Festival Seattle.
PHOTO COURTESY BCO FILM
YouTube: Sally's Way Film
Russel Crowe in Ridley Scott's Gladiator.
"We recognise that our sustainability over time
as filmmakers and content creators is inter-
dependent with the visionary investment of
the public and private sectors..."
WRITER AND DIRECTOR JOANNE JOHNSON
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