includes three movies from internationally renowned directors from around the
world. There's a controversial movie about the struggle between the
Palestinians and the Israelis, a frothy comedy about the struggle between the
sexes, and an exceptionally bloody movie about the struggle between samurais.
Artist turned director Julian Schnabel has only made four
feature films, but those movies have racked up a total of five Oscar
nominations. His last movie, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,"
received near-universal acclaim and wound up on Yahoo! Movies' Modern Classics
list. All his movies have moments of
intense, almost hallucinatory beauty that only a painter's eye could bring to
the screen. For his latest movie, "Miral," Schnabel tells the tale of a
Palestinian girl, Miral (Frieda Pinto), who struggles between the indignation
over the Israeli army's actions against her people during the first Intifada
and her longing for peace. Read more about the movie and the filmmaker
Francois Ozon, one of France's most popular and prolific
directors, clearly likes working with strong leading ladies. In movies like
"Swimming Pool" and "Under the Sand" he worked with art house legend Charlotte
Rampling, and for his 2002 work "8 Women," he cast just about every major
actress in French cinema, from Emmanuelle Beart to Isabelle Huppert to
Catherine Deneuve. In his latest release, Deneuve and Ozon pair up again to
make this frothy comedy about the battle of the sexes. Deneuve plays the
perfect housewife of a brutish, flagrantly sexist tycoon. When he falls ill,
contrary to all expectations, she takes over the business and makes it thrive.
Think of it as a Gallic take on "Legally Blonde." Gerard Depardieu also stars.
If you've seen movies like "Ichi the Killer" or "Audition,"
you know what a Takashi Miike movie is like: unhinged, surreal, and
spectacularly violent. Miike's latest movie is a big-budget remake of Eiichi
Kudo's 1963 samurai epic starring Yakusho Koji ("Babel", "Memoirs of a Geisha"). For the first
half of the movie you would be forgiven for thinking that Miike might have
decided to dial back on his trademark cinematic excesses. The film seems as
quiet and restrained as a Mizoguchi movie. But when a brutalized, limbless
peasant girl gets thrust in front of the camera about 20 minutes in, you know
you're in Miike-land. The unfortunate woman was presented to the movie's hero,
Shimada, as the handiwork of a certain sociopathic lord who looks poised to
take a senior role in the Shogunate. Vowing to stop him at all costs, Shimada
gathers twelve fellow samurai to take on this upper-class twit, along with his
army of 200 men. What follows is about an hour of pure, sustained carnage.
Think of it as "Seven Samurai" meets "The Wild Bunch" meets Peter Jackson's
"Brain Damage." Available on VOD this weekend.
See the trailers for 'Miral' and 'Potiche':