Category Archives: Uncategorized

John Turturro Weekend @ the Angelika Dallas – Part 2

November 20, 2007

John was nice enough to take a minute between trying on cowboy hats, making the social rounds in our cafe and watching his film on the big screen to sit down with us for a brief one-on-one interview and a behind-the-scenes look at ROMANCE AND CIGARETTES. Watch the video below.

[QUICKTIME http://www.angelikablog.com/_Content/JohnTurturro.mov 320 257]

John Turturro Weekend @ the Angelika Dallas – PART 1

The Angelika Dallas was invaded this past weekend by one Mr. John Turturro, an impressively talented, accomplished writer/director who happens to be opening several movies with us in the near future. Turturro arrived Saturday evening to screen his film, ROMANCE AND CIGARETTES, as part of the USA Film Festival and in anticipation for its opening on 11/30 at the theater.

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The film, which he wrote and directed back in 2005, is a totally unique, down and dirty musical-drama-romantic comedy set in a manic working class world. Produced by the Coen brothers, ROMANCE AND CIGARETTES stars an impossibly cool array of actors, including James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Mandy Moore, Bobby Cannavale, Aida Turturro, Mary-Louise Parker, Christopher Walken and Elaine Stritch.

Turturro also has a part in fellow New Yorker Noah Baumbach’s new film, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, which opened extraordinarily well this past weekend at the Angelika New York. The film, which also stars Nicole Kidman and Jack Black, opens December 7 @ the Angelika Dallas.

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Manohla deems SOUTHLAND TALES a “Critic’s Pick”

November 15, 2007

Revered New York Times critic Manohla Dargis calls director Richard Kelly’s SOUTHLAND TALES a “funny, audacious, messy and feverishly inspired look at America and its discontents”, and proclaims that the film “has more ideas, visual and intellectual, in a single scene than most American independent films have in their entirety…”.

Dargis is not one to dish out such high praise on a regular basis, so it goes without saying that SOUTHLAND TALES is not to be missed! The film is playing now @ the Angelika New York and opens this Friday, 11/16 @ the Angelika Dallas. Click here to read the full review,
and check out the trailer below.

[QUICKTIME http://www.angelikablog.com/_Content/Trailers/southlandtales.mov 320 257]

PERSEPOLIS – perfect for any crowd.

November 13, 2007

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The French have always known that great animations features were not only for the kiddie- matinee set (the phenomenal grosses for RATATOUILLE proved to be a slam dunk in France), so it should come as no surprise that this stunning black and white animated adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel (or what the intellectuals call â??comic booksâ?) about a young Iranian woman’s coming of age is such an unalloyed delight. This French feature has already won critical acclaim in film festivals from Cannes to Toronto, and will appeal to all ages – even the ones that can’t read the subtitles – either because they haven’t mastered English yet or because they left their bifocals at home.


Read one of PERSEPOLIS’ many glowing reviews here.
The film opens Christmas Day @ the Angelika New York & January 18 @ the Angelika Houston. Don’t miss it!

Q&A with KITE RUNNER star Khalid Abdalla

November 9, 2007

Khalid Abdalla was nice enough to hang out and answering some questions from our audience after last week’s screening of THE KITE RUNNER. Check it out below, and don’t miss THE KITE RUNNER, opening 12/14 @ the Angelika Plano.

[QUICKTIME http://www.angelikablog.com/_Content/Khalid.mov 320 257]

Q&A with War/Dance directors

November 8, 2007

Directing and real-life duo Andrea Nix and Sean Fine sat down with us to answer a few questions about their upcoming film WAR/DANCE. This powerful documentary about refugee children in Uganda is already generating Oscar buzz, and opens tomorrow, 11/9 @ the Angelika New York. Don’t miss it!

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Tell us a bit about War/Dance in your own words. What do you think will attract audiences to the film?
We hope you fall as hard for the kids in War/Dance as we did. Itâ??s been a labor of love for us. If you know nothing about the war in northern Uganda, let us take you inside the lives of three kids who have been greatly affected, in their own words. To us this film is a really about a journey and at the end of the film, youâ??ll realize that this is not as much a film about war as it is about the resilience that gets them through it all. . If you love powerful cinematography, this is a very cinematic experience, if you love stories about the triumph of the human spirit you will really love this film, if you like films that take you into worlds you would otherwise never experience, this film will drawn you in, but we also predict that at the end you will feel a connection and familiarity to three kids that walking in, you would think you would have nothing in common with. We hope that whatever draws you to the movie theatre, you will be impacted by this movie and encourage others to see it (and since a portion of the proceeds go back to the kids, your helping just by buying a ticket).

You both have production, writing and other filmmaking experience behind you, but made your directorial debuts with War/Dance and later won the directing award at Sundance. How did that feel?
We have produced and directed for broadcast for the last ten years, but never made something for the theatre, so our first screening at Sundance was our first public screening of the film, and the first time we sat with an audience and watched something we have made. Itâ??s an overwhelming experience to watch an entire theatre full of people all intently watching the story you have been putting together for the last year and a half. We were actually quite emotional and a little terrified, but when they gave a standing ovation after the epilogue updated where the kids are now, we realized that the audience connected with the kids and we had done our jobs. The award was unexpected and we were quite moved to receive it.


What about directing challenged or surprised you?
There are a lot of challenges when trying to make a film like this. On the one hand you have the danger element of filming in a war zone with a three to four person crewâ??unmonitored ever-present rebel activity ranging from abduction to bloody ambushes. And when you also add the health risk of living in one of the most cut off refugee camps in Ugandaâ??a place where were overcrowding has led to dysentery, cholera and malaria that take a 1,000 lives per week. And on the other hand we faced the challenge of telling the story of the effects of war on children in an entirely new way. We decided that to make the most impact we wanted to tell a story through the childrenâ??s eyes, neither adult, nor narrator would interpret the kids experiences, just the kids own voices, in their own language. To achieve the level of intimacy needed, we decided to live in the camp during the entire production, which went against military law in northern Uganda. We had to live in Patongo displacement camp so the people, and more importantly, the children in the film could get to know us. We wanted the children to feel comfortable with us and safe. To make the childrenâ??s stories the most powerful we wanted a very direct line of communication between the children and the audienceâ??from interviews where the kids are looking directly into the lens to having the camera only feet away during some of their most emotional moments. We wanted the film to touch people, to bridge the distance between the audience and our characters, people they initially think they have nothing in common with. To us human connection is the most powerful tool to evoke change.
The biggest surprise was probably how effective these kids were at telling their own story. We took a risk when we adopted this approach since we werenâ??t sure if they would be articulate enough to convey their story. Only when we returned home and did the full word for word translation were we fully blown away on the power of their stories and the courage it took to share them.


There is so much horror going on all over Africa currently, what with the Darfur genocide, the AIDS epidemic, and numerous civil wars. What led you to zero in on the children of Uganda?
Frankly the shock about knowing nothing about it. When you donâ??t know about a twenty year war thatâ??s devoured 30,000 kids abducted as child soldiers, thereâ??s something wrong. And we wanted to try to give a voice to kids that the most of the world would never have heard from.

You lived in one of the childrenâ??s refugee camps during the making of War/Dance. What was that experience like?
There was no way to make this film without living in the camp but that being said, northern Uganda is a very dangerous place to shoot. You are constantly under the threat of attack from rebels you will never see, and during filming, kids were abducted and vehicles ambushed a few times in and around the camp. The rebel presence, disease and lack of electricity put personal and technical stress on this kind of production but the thought that always balanced out this experience was that, unlike the people who live in these camps, the crew got to home.

Much of the buzz around War/Dance focuses on how you highlight the indestructible power of the childrenâ??s spirits. Were you surprised by how much hope these children of war are able to maintain?
Yes, these kids are such survivors that it really moved us that they were not surviving by emotionally shutting down, but by connecting to the music and dance that had always had great meaning to their tribe.

War/Dance is being released at a time when several other pertinent documentaries about African turmoil are also making the rounds, including Darfur Now and Angels in the Dust. Do you think the trend will have a political impact and help to end some of the continentâ??s turbulence?
Yes, or else we wouldnâ??t have made this film. We have trust in peopleâ??s reactions to basic injustice and the fortune that we live in a country that has the means and influence to actually DO something about ending conflicts that inflict such trauma.

What do you most want audiences to take from the War/Dance?
Leaving the theatre we hope you canâ??t stop thinking about these kids and want to spread the word to others since tickets sales help the kids in the film and others like them.

The Sneak is back and break-dancing in the mirror…

November 6, 2007

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The prospect of PLANET B-BOY, a full length feature documentary about break dancing, was certainly daunting for this old codger, (true age a secret) but once this fascinating, incredibly entertaining “Dancing with the Stars” for the hip hop set began I was hooked! Some of the routines I would swear were CGI productions, and I had to ask – could real life kids actually do that stuff with their bods? Not only are dance routines spectacular and beautiful, the back stories about an international world championship meet were truly touching. How do these kids, most from backgrounds not too conducive to artistic endeavor, create such intricate choreography combined with startling athleticism? I know that the history of Hip Hop/Graffiti/Punk movies have quick fades but if one is ever to succeed, this one is it. Watching this by myself I was applauding every set, and I can only assume that an audience of young people will be dancing in the aisles. Terrific!

Who’s @ the Angelika?

Khalid Abdalla, star of the highly anticipated upcoming film THE KITE RUNNER, was on hand at the Angelika Dallas this weekend for a Q&A. The film is based on Khaled Hosseini’s acclaimed best-selling novel, and Abdalla plays Amir, a young Afghan-American man who decides to return to his home country following the fall of the Taliban. Variety calls the film a “poignant, intimate epic”, and there was no shortage of praise from our audience after this weekend’s screenings. Check out the photos of Abdalla at the Angelika below and don’t miss THE KITE RUNNER, opening 12/14 @ the Angelika Plano.

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RAPE OF EUROPA producer purchases recovered WWII photo albums

November 5, 2007

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The New York Times recently ran a story about the discover and recovery of two original photo albums documenting art that was looted by the Nazis during World War II. Interestingly enough, THE RAPE OF EUROPA co-producer Robert Edsel purchased both albums and immediately donated them to the National Archives.


Click here for the full story.
THE RAPE OF EUROPA opens this Friday, 11/9 @ the Angelika Dallas.