Minimalism diffuses potential power in psychological drama 'Loneliest Planet'
Less-is-more seems to be the prevailing philosophy behind The Loneliest Planet. In this exercise in narrative and emotional minimalism, Russian-born American filmmaker Julia Loktev has the nerve to go slow, revealing her story in tiny gestures, instead of conventional action or pages of dialogue. Audacious in design and intent, the film starts out like an adventure about a young couple on a backpacking holiday across an exotic landscape (the vast and splendid Caucasus Mountains in Russian Georgia). But Loktev uses her enormous canvas to zero in on the psychology of inner space as the couple discovers worrying secrets in each other and themselves.
Lives entwine across the ages in dense, yet visionary 'Cloud Atlas'
Who will win the Best Makeup award at next year's Oscar festivities? You can bet on the talented team from Cloud Atlas, the ambitious, visionary saga of love, loss, greed, slavery, and redemption through the ages, co-written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer.
‘Chasing Mavericks’ wins high marks for its story, cinematography and illuminating the legend that was Jay Moriarity
Hollywood and the surfing communities viewpoint have not always portrayed the surf culture as one of honor and prestige. Surfing is a right of passage from the time you step into the water your first time. The line-up changes; never are two waves the same or two surfers. It has an unwritten set of codes that if you truly surf—you know what I mean—that we follow and enforce. There is always a pecking order, no matter how long you surf or how good you are. There is a veritable math equation that takes place when one of the boys paddles out.
‘Chasing Mavericks’ star Jonny Weston rides the Hollywood wave and brings surf icon Jay Moriarity to life
Only a handful of Hollywood films shot in and around Santa Cruz—and that are about the town for that matter—have managed to excite locals with quite the fervor of Chasing Mavericks, which hits theaters Friday, Oct. 26.
Funny script, extreme blood, in genre satire 'Seven Psychopaths'
Irish playwright Martin McDonagh made a splash—albeit a bloody one—with his first feature, In Bruges. A twisted tale of two Irish hitmen on the lam in the ancient Belgian city of art and culture, it had moments of appalling violence, yet it was also a scathingly funny, and fiercely moral morality play about violence, vengeance and redemption. I personally badgered many people who would not normally watch anything so brutal to go see it, on the strength of its witty script, anti-violence message, and insanely entertaining performances from Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes.
Pacific Rim Film Festival promotes cross-cultural understanding
The aloha spirit returns to Santa Cruz when the 24th annual Pacific Rim Film Festival unspools this week. Inspired by the Hawaii International Film Festival, and dedicated to cross-cultural understanding around the theme "When Strangers Meet," the six-day event runs Oct. 19-24, offering 20 films from countries all around the Pacific Rim at five venues countywide.