Cinebanter

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Friday, June 08, 2007

WAITRESS Show Update

Good news—our technical difficulties have been resolved and we are back up and running.

Episode 31, WAITRESS, will be available on June 13.

In the meantime, here are a few more capsule reviews from Tassoula, who is currently attending the Seattle International Film Festival.

2 DAYS IN PARIS (romantic comedy)

Fans of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset will be delighted by the return of Julie Delpy in this film, which lands her in Paris portraying half of another bantering couple. This time she's paired up with former real-life boyfriend Adam Goldberg who plays her American boyfriend coming home with her to Paris to "meet the family." His germophobia and her past relationships create a comedic landscape that the two travel effortlessly upon, throughout the course of the film.

Goldberg is at his funniest as Jack, balancing the right amount of physical comedy with the timing of his sarcastic lines; Delpy is both a sweetheart and a spitfire as Marion, who you alternately question and adore. In the Q & A with Goldberg (see photo below) at SIFF, he explained that Delpy, who also directed the film, created a pleasantly collaborative atmosphere on-set, which probably explains the great on-screen chemistry between all the actors.

I only hope we see more from this gifted filmmaker.




2 DAYS IN PARIS premiered in the US at the 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival earlier this month. It will be open in limited release nationwide August 10.













GRIMM LOVE (German title: ROHTENBURG) (drama/thriller)

Years ago a man in Germany was imprisoned for cannibalism and murder after he met a willing participant on the Internet, killed him and ate him. This film is inspired by that story and is told through the journey of grad student Katie (Keri Russell) who is researching the killer, Oliver Hartwin (Thomas Kretschmann).

Fascinating as the story is, even I (who has a high tolerance for the bizarre) was sickened by the film's apparently accurate portrayal of the act. I wish that the filmmakers had left more to the imagination and explored further why both gentleman were driven to be aroused by such a heinous practice. We get more background on the 'victim' than we do the killer and even that isn't altogether satisfying.

The dialogue is also borderline campy for such a horrific topic and takes away from the effect of the outcome.

GRIMM LOVE screened at the 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival last month.

AMERICAN SHOPPER (documentary)

The nicest surprise for me so far at the festival has been this hilarious documentary.

Set in my college town of Columbia, Missouri, the story follows the quest of an insurance agent to launch the first-ever "National Aisling Championships" in the local Schnuck's grocery store.

What is aisling? Well, it's a sport/theatrical exercise that the agent created to bring pride to the city of Columbia. Never mind the fact the town boasts three respected institutions of higher learning—he wanted to invent something that the regular citizens could participate in and have fun with.

And darned if he didn't do just that.

We see the evolution of the idea come to (comedic) fruition from his initial meetings with the grocers to the actual day of the competition, which featured over 20 finalist competitors presenting their decorated shopping cart and accompanying routine to a panel of judges—and dozens of shoppers. Along the way you get to know quite a bit about the cast of characters who chose to participate and watch how they formulated their theme ideas, strategies and choreography. It's all presented in a cleverly edited, warmly funny way that will leave you shaking your head in happy disbelief.

You have to see it to believe it.

AMERICAN SHOPPER will screen at the 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival on June 10 at 1:30 p.m. For tickets, click here.

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