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Cinequest 2005
Cinequest's 15th anniversary
Capsule reviews (part 1)
Capsule reviews (part 2)
Capsule reviews (part 3)
Ben Kingsley
Harold Lloyd
Suzanne Lloyd Q&A
'Charlie the Ox'
'Missionary Positions'
Festival schedule
Preview (from February 2)

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Cinequest 2005 Capsules

A critical guide to the documentaries and features at this year's Cinequest


Our reviewers are Metro staffers Richard von Busack, Michael S. Gant, William Dean Hinton, Stett Holbrook, Todd Inoue, Vrinda Normand, Matt Reed, Jeanne Schuster and Claire Taylor, plus independent San Francisco film critic Jeffrey M. Anderson. Stay tuned next week for more coverage of the screenings and special events at Cinequest.

* = Recommended

Documentaries

* Amazing Grace
(61 min.; U.S.) The week Jeff Buckley was found dead, in 1997, U2 played a sold-out show at the Oakland Stadium. During the encore, Bono quietly sang the chorus of Buckley's "Hallelujah" a cappella to a hushed crowd and dedicated it to the singer. Not many people outside of Europe and Australia knew of the American roots-rocker, but as Bono displayed, he had the respect of an international audience. To many, Buckley's name was boiled down to a news blip—a singer/songwriter who disappeared after going for a refreshing dip in a Memphis river. Amazing Grace provides the full story behind the rocker with a four-octave voice who was a throwback to Dylan, Young and Springsteen. Using a mix of performance footage, news clips and a long, informative sit-down interview, the documentary shows a singer blessed with a blindingly powerful voice at odds with an industry that rewards image over talent. For anyone who loved Buckley, or has opinions on the star-making machine, Amazing Grace is recommended. (TI) (Mar 9, 7:15pm, C12; Mar 12, 5:15pm, SJSU-UT)

Emmanuel's Gift
(70 min.; U.S.) Using interviews within a visual style that captures the vibrant culture of West Africa, Emmanuel's Gift takes the viewer on one man's uplifting personal journey to nudge his country into the 21st century. Emmanuel Ofusu Yeboah was born with a deformed leg in Ghana, where the physically disabled—2 million people, 10 percent of the population—are second-class citizens. He is bright and athletically gifted, but tradition confines him to a minimal life on the edge of society. To raise awareness, in July of 2002 Emmanuel rides a bicycle 600 kilometers across Ghana. Invited by the Challenged Athletes Foundation in San Diego to participate in a 56-mile bicycle charity ride, he connects with like-minded Americans. With a new prosthetic leg, he returns to Ghana to continue his crusade to change society's perceptions of the disabled and to work for a Bill of Rights that will help them become fully functioning members of the community. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey. (Yeboah will appear in person after the screening.) (JS) (Mar 5, 2:30pm, C12; Mar 6, 7:15pm, REP; Mar 10, 5pm, C12)

I, Curmudgeon
(96 min.; Canada) A great title buoys an otherwise confused documentary featuring interviews with malcontents and troublemakers. Some of the subjects (Harvey Pekar, who has raised resigned crabbiness to an art form; Fran Lebowitz; Cintra Wilson) embrace their inner grump with a dash of vinegar and Tabasco. Some of the other people filmmaker Alan Zweig talks to aren't so much true curmudgeons gleefully railing against society's pretensions as they are depressed and in need of some Xanax. Too often, Zweig mistakes bitterness and irritability for social rebellion. A real curmudgeon—I.F. Stone, say—is actually happy to rain imprecations on the heads of hypocrites and posers. The least appealing figure is Zweig himself, who maunders about his own life's failures to the point of abject patheticness. (Despite what the program promises, curmudgeon extraordinaire Larry David doesn't appear in the film.) (MSG) (Mar 6, 6:30pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 8, 9:15pm, C12)

* Maid in America
(56 min.; U.S.) Of the more than 100,000 domestic workers reportedly tidying homes and raising children in Los Angeles, the majority of them are undocumented immigrants from Latin America. Maid in America shines a spotlight on this underrepresented workforce, focusing on the struggles and growing organizational support structure and, most importantly, the bonds created between the women and their employers. One family—an affluent couple and a first-grader—openly reveal the insecurities and the advantages of having a $10-an-hour nanny who has become part of their extended family. Maid in America shows women traveling to and from jobs and support services, and in one woman's case, across the border to reunite with the family she left in Guatemala. Empathetic in tone, Maid in America reveals the faces, motivations and emotions previously hidden behind the apron. (TI) (Mar 5, 2:30pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 6, 2:15pm, SJSU-UT)

The Ritchie Boys
(92 min.; Germany/Canada) During World War II, many men who emigrated from Europe to the United States joined the American army to fight against the Nazi regime. The armed forces found that those speaking German, French and other European languages could be of use in the POW interrogation process. These men were trained at Camp Ritchie in Maryland. This documentary depicts their unique service through vivid and poignant first-hand accounts, as well as stock footage and still photographs, some never before seen on film. Despite a lack of formal military training—and without bearing arms—these veterans stood on the front lines and fought the war through verbal means. The Ritchie Boys shows their bravery in the face of enemies who were once their neighbors and friends. (CT) (Mar 9, 6:45pm, C12; Mar 10, 9:30pm, C12)

The Search for the Captain
(62 min.; U.S.) In this well-produced documentary that smells of peppy propaganda for San Jose, Erin McEnery (daughter of former Mayor Tom McEnery) tells the story of a bronze statue that divided the city. In 1987, her father commissioned the figure of Capt. Thomas Fallon, who raised the American flag during the Mexican-American War. McEnery's "innocent" effort to "bring history to life" (according to his daughter) ignited a storm of controversy, with Latino groups creating a furor about the icon they compared to Hitler. Political squabbles kept the completed artwork in storage until 2002, when Mayor Ron Gonzalez finally freed the guy on his horse (he stands near the Julian Highway 87 offramp). The film entertains with clever editing, although it falters with a biased conclusion. (VN) (Mar 5, 3:15pm, REP; Mar 7, 9:30pm, C12)

Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party
Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party
(87 min.; U.S.) Inside every clown, they aver, beats the heart of a tragedian. And in a close corollary, every character actor wants to grab center stage and hold it. The name Stephen Tobolowsky may not click, but one glimpse of his fleshy jowls and arching chrome dome and you'll recognize him from innumerable movies and TV shows (Garfield, Groundhog Day, Adaptation and, most memorably, as Tor, the natural healer who advises George to cure his rash with cramp bark on an episode of Seinfeld). He is born raconteur, and director Robert Brinkmann has recorded him at length during the course of one of his famous discursive birthday bashes. The actor delivers some funny anecdotes about his career, but too many of his stories grow to shaggy-dog length without much of a punch line. Eventually, the unintended moral is that character actors are best in small doses. (MSG) (Mar 5, 7:30pm, C12; Mar 6, 5:15pm, REP; Mar 11, 5pm, C12)

Features

Campfire
(95 min.; Israel) Flash back to 1981; Rachel (Michaela Eshet), a 42-year-old Jewish widow, hopes to move with her two teen daughters into an experimental West Bank settlement, but the girls would rather stay put. While Rachel tries to better her chance of getting in by marrying one of two potential blind dates, her youngest, Tami (the remarkable Hani Furstenberg, from Yossi and Jagger), learns a terrible lesson after acting on an innocent crush. Directed by Joseph Cedar, Campfire leaves politics in the distant background or treats them with matter-of-fact nonchalance, focusing instead on his tender, occasionally devastating coming-of-age story. The film wraps up rather abruptly and a little too neatly, but Campfire still roars effectively. (JMA) (Mar 3, 7pm, CAL; Mar 7, 3pm, C12; Mar 8, 7:30pm, C12)

* Dark Arc
(99 min.; Canada) A dark lark by Vancouver filmmaker Dan Zukovic. The film tells the très against-the-grain story of a jaded modern-day Viscount (Zukovic). This "visual epicure," a wealthy, laudanum-swilling dandy, hires a nonsexual escort (Sarah Strange) to imprint herself visually on a meek graphic artist (Kurt Max Runte). Her signature mark is a vulvic pink squiggle, which renders her victim as helpless as Gregory Peck in Hitchcock's Spellbound whenever Peck saw those parallel lines. Dark Arc wishes to smell of brimstone, but the plebeian nose may only detect art-school flatulence. If Zukovic hadn't had a sense of humor, the movie would have been as beautiful but doomed as the protagonists. The director certainly demonstrates a facility for the charged image, using the grayness of the British Columbian skies as an arresting background for the shocking-pink-clad temptress. Strange is every bit as decadent as Angelina Jolie wishes she was. Do not see this movie sober. (RvB) (Mar 10, 9:15pm; Mar 11, 7pm, both at SJSU-UT)

* Days of Santiago
(83 min.; Peru) It's hard not to think of De Niro's Travis Bickle when watching Santiago, this movie's taxi-driving namesake, move through modern-day Lima as he observes the decadence around him with a quiet rage. A recently demobilized Peruvian soldier, he can't understand why society is so indifferent to his six years of service spent chasing down Ecuadorians and terrorists, as well as the odd villager. His navy acquaintances drift into crime while he tries school, clubbing and girls. But Santiago is mystified when he can't make a connection, and he drifts into disaster on his own, eventually losing control over his violent urges. A well-crafted and well-acted film that, while similar in many respects to Taxi Driver, is also original and real. (MR) (Mar 4, 8:45pm, C12; Mar 6, 1pm, CAL; Mar 8, 9:30pm, C12)

The Dry Spell
(74 min.; U.S.) John Erick Dowdle's feature follows the rambling mind of Josey as he narrates for 70-straight minutes with slam-poet style the tale of his lacking love life and the relationships of his past. Josey (Chip Godwin) pines for his ex, Laura, pines for the girl reading a book at the coffee shop, but mostly pines for the pleasures of sex—and he never stops talking about it, ever. Every detail of his fumbling attempts to find his "true love" is visually recounted. It's like being stuck next to that woman on the train who never quits complaining about her "problems" to anyone who will listen (and even those who won't). Josey's thoughts are humorous at times, but the heart of the story is bogged down with an overkill of language, leaving one to wonder if Josey's mouth is the real victim of the dry spell. (CT) (Mar 4, 7pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 6, 9pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 9, 5:15pm, SJSU-UT)

The Fittest
(88 min.; U.S.) Tire salesman Freddy (Jason Madera) can't get his wife (Angela Grant) pregnant, causing a chill in his marriage. When he starts an affair with the office slut (Christina Caparoula), it drives his wife into the arms of his despicable boss (Joshua Crook). The solid performances sustain our interest even when characters spin off into insanity, and the imaginative digital video cinematography gives the movie an appropriately scrubbed, suburban look. Yet co-writer/directors Jeffrey and Joshua Crook craft this black comedy with a great deal of blackness and little comedy. They take aim at brave targets like infertility and infidelity but stray a good distance from the bull's-eye. (JMA) (Mar 8, 9pm, C12; Mar 9, 7:15pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 11, 5pm, C12)

* From the Land of Silence
(70 min.; Iran) Living with a violent, mostly absent father, two boys fend for themselves in an Iranian wasteland. One steals fuel from salt trucks and sells it back to the drivers, the other sells the opium meant for the family's addicted camels. Eschewing the patient, painterly style of other Iranian films, this impressive effort from director Saman Salur (The Wind Will Comb Your Tresses) goes directly for a ground-level realism; you can almost smell the grimy diesel, feel the oppressive desert heat and taste the arid white salt drifts. Yet these boys are still boys, and as a break, the film sometimes shows them stealing off to play, sculpting with clay, building a tire fort or riding a prized bicycle. (JMA) (Mar 3, 5:15pm, C12; Mar 4, 5:30pm, C12; Mar 6, 4:15pm, C12; Mar 9, 5:15pm, C12))

Grace
(89 min.; U.S.) As his sister, Gabby, suffers with Lou Gehrig's disease, Jessie must come to terms with her impending death. Jessie (Kyle Ingleman) watches, frustrated, as his parents pretend Gabby will still be able to go out to the slopes at Christmas and his brother-in-law deals with his own pain through alcohol and temper tantrums, often aimed at Gabby. All the while, no one is concerned with how his Gabby feels—even the film is told through Jessie's eyes, with rare moments spent on the other characters in the film. While a slow pace could suit a movie about a subject as painful as Lou Gehrig's, ultimately, director Anthony Scarpa lets Grace lag, feeling more drawn out than Gabby's death itself. (CT) (Mar 5, 6:45pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 6, noon, SJSU-UT; Mar 11, 2:45pm, C12)

Hank Williams First Nation
* Hank Williams First Nation
(92 min.; Canada) A road-trip buddy movie spliced with cheerful episodic scenes of Native American life in northern Alberta. Three men get on the bus to Nashville, and why they are making the trip is not exactly clear—just a whim and a curiosity to see if Hank Williams really is, in fact, dead and buried in Tennessee. "It's a little nuts, but what have you got to lose," remarks one of the road trippers of the journey. But going along for director Aaron James Sorensen's ride is breezy fun, and so are the periodic glimpses of life back home. (MR) (Mar 3, 7pm, C12; Mar 5, 4:30pm, C12)

Listening to the Voice of a Wind
(93 min.; U.S.) Sunny California, the lights of Las Vegas and the wintry aurora borealis of Alaska provide the settings for three stories, each of which follows a Korean prostitute named Gina. In the first story, a young and frightened Gina is smuggled into the United States and put to work as a streetwalker. Her first trick, with an abusive and egotistical detective, takes a predictably violent turn. In the second story, Gina is a Vegas hooker with an especially foul mouth and a penchant for ice cream. The third and final episode shows Gina as a drifting, washed-up call girl with a smoker's hack and a drinking problem, looking for the northern lights and perhaps a new life in rural Alaska. All three stories are too self-consciously noirish and left me wondering why the characters are made to do and say the things they do. Even nihilism can be uninteresting. (MR) (Mar 5, 7pm, C12; Mar 7, 9:30pm, REP)

The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess
(93 min.; Canada) Based loosely on a true case from 1995, this film quickly takes off in a distinctly nonrealistic direction. When juror Gillian Guess (Joely Collins) sleeps with the accused in a murder case, she earns scandalous infamy overnight. Her story appears in flashback through an impressive This Is Your Life-type phantasmagoria of pastel-colored cartoons, music videos and streaming digital imagery. Supported by this druggy glitz, director Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo) almost succeeds in commenting on fame and why people stoop to such desperate and cruel means to get it, but the film loses its soul during the ride. Despite copious character history, the real Gillian and her desires are rarely revealed. (JMA) (Mar 4, 9:30pm, C12; Mar 6, 1pm, C12; Mar 7, 5pm, C12)

Maladaptive
(93 min.; U. S.) He loves her. But she loves him. He loves somebody else, you just can't win. A painful rip-off of a J. Geils tune, you say? Nope. It's the goofy plot of this chatty bore, which secretly aspires to be a Woody Allen film set in San Francisco. For those who care, Emily is a thirtysomething fooling around with a high school student. When that uninspired fling goes sour, she moves in with a married friend who's professed love for her. There's also a parallel story about Emily's ex, who also can't find the right mate. First-time-feature writer/director Adam Chin wants us to consider why some of us continually seek Mr. Wrong. That's tough to do when he's delivered a tone-deaf script. Lines like "We never do it anymore" and "Why don't you like me enough" sound flatter in the film than they do on the page. About midway through the film, one of the characters asks, "Do you know what hurts? We lack passion." No. What hurts is sitting through this ill-conceived mess. (WDH) (Mar 5, 9pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 7, 7:15pm, SJSU-UT)

Manual for Love Stories
(84 min.; Brazil) One can only deduce a pattern. Cinequest 2004's since-forgotten opener was a movie about the young filmmaker (played by the guy who plays the psycho brother from Six Feet Under) who was opposed in his scheme to make a movie by a villain (played by the guy who plays Satan in Constantine). Cinequest 2005's opener, a step-by-step cinematic diagram about how to make a rom-com, also reflects the film festival's mission to address the problem of the struggling filmmaker. What's in Manual for Love Stories for the nonfilmmaker? Not much. The movie is a heavily narrated and silly Brazilian import that must have been favored by an audience too rich to appreciate City of God. The script probably looked like fun on paper, but it's not especially cinematic—and its model, Chuck Jones' short, Duck Amuck, is superior in every aspect. Whenever the cast starts to stray from the conventions, a narrator keeps correcting the behavior of the main characters—a fashion photographer, her Mr. Darcyish boss and the devilish woman called Lilith who once had her claws in said boss. Parodying the clichés of the romantic comedy and then remorselessly delivering every last one of them can only arouse a trapped feeling. Manual for Love Stories tries to energize itself with some slapstick, including the most tragically mistimed pie-facing since Godard got the Marie Callendar facial at Cannes. And unfortunately, Denise Fraga is no Sonia Braga. (RvB) (Opening night, Mar 2, 7pm, CAL)

On the Outs
* On the Outs
(84 min.; U.S.) On the Outs follows the troubled lives of three young women from the same tough Jersey City neighborhood. There's Oz (Judy Marte), a street-smart crack dealer whose family and personal life are careening out of control. Good-girl-turned-bad Suzette (Anny Mariano) falls for a neighborhood thug who threatens to drag her down with him. And then there's Maisol (Paola Mendoza), a single mother and crackhead who fights to regain custody of her daughter. Directors Lori Silverbush and Michael Skolnik spent time with Jersey City girls to research the film—and it shows. The movie crackles with authenticity and bitter realism brought to life by the three women's outstanding performances. The intertwining stories are bleak, and it seems there's no way out for these young women, but with hearts broken and lives shattered, they struggle on. On the Outs is the kind of movie that will linger in your mind for days. (SH) (Mar 3, 7:15pm, REP; Mar 6, 9:15pm, REP; Mar 7, 5:15pm, SJSU-UT)

* Raging Cyclist
(U.S.) A quite funny short about an epic struggle between a foolish bicyclist and a demon of the Almaden Valley bike paths. Ephraim Joseph is seriously amusing as the dippy victim of a hooded, sword-wielding demon (William Gharapetian). Left half-dead by the roadside, the cyclist becomes impotent and hallucinatory. Masked weirdos menace him at the parking lot of the Albertson's at Meridian and Redmond. In the backroom of Campus Bicycles, occultists explain the story of a "Devil Hunter" ("Not a hunter of devils, but rather, a devil who hunts"). Everything leads to a showdown between a hero and a demonic soul eater atop Castle Rock in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In a forcefully directed action scene, these figures fight to the death while a turkey buzzard shrieks dubbed-in warning cries from the pitiless heavens above. Talented 23-year-old Almaden Valley filmmaker Sean McCarthy has some 50 short films under his belt, as well as the feature-length movie Last Days in the Suburban Jungle. Shows with Compartment. (RvB) (March 4, midnight, C12)

Rain Inside the Umbrella
(120 min.; India) In R. Parthepan's quasi-New Wave Bollywood romance, the camera pitches and flashes and dips and swings, its motion suddenly smashed to a halt by maniacal machine-gun editing. Crediting himself as "director of emotions," Parthepan also stars as a humble taxi driver who is suddenly swept off his feet by the shockingly gorgeous Mitha Madu. She grabs his heart and cruelly crushes it days later when he learns that she's the host of a cable show and he was only the unwitting subject of an on-air experiment. Now he plans to kill himself unless she intervenes. Parthepan cranks up the usual Bollywood fare by several intense notches, but a few minutes on this Tilt-a-Whirl are worth two hours of any normal movie. (JMA) (Mar 3, 12:30pm, C12; Mar 6, 5pm, CAL)

* Set Point
(90 min.; Estonia) A murder outside a cafe draws together a discontented wife (who might have been the real target), the disaffected mistress of the dead man, a naive young passerby and a corrupt police detective assigned to the case. When it turns out that the adulterous cop is on the verge of divorcing said wife, the coils of this satisfyingly noir plot start to tighten. A pair of blunt-headed thugs, a sexy secretary, some high-fashion drug dealers and a high-stakes car chase add to the fun factor. Even better is the setting: the medieval capital of Estonia, where the worn stone walls of the past war against a post-Soviet population looking for capitalistic kicks. (MSG) (Mar 5, 8pm, CAL; Mar 7, 5pm, C12; Mar 12, 6:45pm, C12)

Sunnyvale
Sunnyvale
(80 min.; U.S.) Ricardo is a self-declared loser. But somehow this porn-watching, junk-food-eating homebody finds himself juggling three women. But as each demands more of his time and his newly discovered sexual prowess, his recently acquired female riches start to wear him down. Writer, director, producer and lead actor James Ricardo attempts to take a racy and humorous look at modern romance in Sunnyvale, but the acting and dialogue are wooden. Perhaps the script is a wry attempt to skewer the banality of coupling and love, but it comes off as tedious and unfunny. (SH) (Mar 4, 9pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 5, 4:30pm, SJSU-UT)

* Terrorists
(72 min.; U.S.) First-time writer/director Jay Martel's script teeters on the brink of insanity—a grad student visiting small-town America to research a giant stool (as in a piece of furniture) is mistaken for a terrorist. Martel dabbles in clichés like donut-eating cops but saves his movie by heading into uncomfortable territory. The bumbling police chief inadvertently lists in a press release all the knowledge required to build a homemade bomb. The chief's neurotic girlfriend decides to become the grad student's sleeper cell. The acting is subpar, but Terrorists is one of the few films where self-conscious acting actually helps, providing a nervous energy that adds to Martel's gonzo attitude. (WDH) (Mar 3, 7pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 4, 11:15pm, REP)

Uno
(103 min.; Norway) David is having a terrible week. His dying father and mentally retarded brother make life at home difficult. He enjoys his job at the local gym, but must deal with the owner's idiot drug dealer son. These elements come to a head on the same night, causing David's friends to turn against him and forcing him to inherit a drug debt. Uno sets up a potent, grimy world populated with meaty thugs, stolen guns and brutal dogs. Writer/director Aksel Hennie also stars as David, warming several moments with his vulnerable screen presence without overdirecting himself. Yet the story's major hole is that everything could have been avoided if David had merely opened his mouth. (JMA) (Mar 5, 7pm, C12; Mar 10, 7pm, C12)

Verflixt Verliebt
(92 min.; Switzerland) While studying in Switzerland, an Argentinian biology student, Milo (Pablo Aguilar), pretends to be a famous filmmaker to impress an actress (Sandra Schlegel) he has seen in a local play, going so far as to raise funds and begin directing a film. But problems arise as cameras disappear and a love triangle develops. The entire calamity is shown through documentary footage and surveillance cameras. Milo is a hugely frustrating character, completely lacking in common sense. The supporting characters are made even dimmer so that Milo can come across as credible. Writer/director Peter Luisi wraps his movie with moldy, oversaturated contrivances, lifted from Living in Oblivion, The Blair Witch Project and many other indies, without any fresh twists. (JMA) (Mar 4, 1pm, C12; Mar 9, 4:15pm, C12; Mar 11, 4:45pm, C12)

* Warsaw
(104 min.; Poland) A kind of Nashville relocated to Poland, Warsaw follows a disparate band of outcasts through 24 hours in that wintry city. Orphan Pawel (Lukasz Garlicki) arrives looking for a job, but instead finds the newly single Klara (Agnieszka Grochowska), while blonde Wiktoria (Dominika Ostalowska) hitches a ride that leads to a dangerous underworld meeting. Writer/director Dariusz Gajewski cross-cuts to other characters, from an old man who has forgotten his address to a humble father searching for his lost daughter. A series of neat, sometimes comic observations, the film leaves itself wide open for an audience to fill in the blanks with deeper meanings. The crisply edited Warsaw beautifully uses the snowy cityscape, especially through its superior deployment of colorful nighttime lighting. (JMA) (Mar 4, 9pm, C12; Mar 6, 9:15pm, C12; Mar 8, 4:30pm, C12)

Wilderness Survival for Girls
Wilderness Survival for Girls
(80 min.; U.S.) Three teenage girls head to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of drinking, smoking pot and dishing juicy gab. Soon they begin to argue and get scared, screaming with every false alarm. Apparently, there was once a murder in these here parts, and now a strange man has suddenly appeared at their door. Directed by Eli Despres and Kim Roberts, the film appeals to a young, cynical audience with its Scream-like attitude and aggressive, abrasive talk as two naive virgins and one promiscuous misanthrope learn grown-up life lessons. This routine work scrounges up all the conceivable horror-movie rudiments, from the car that won't start to the cell phone that won't work. (JMA) (Mar 5, 9:30pm, C12; Mar 12, 11:30pm, C12)

* The Works
(91 min.; U.S.) Things aren't going well for Victor. They are so bad, in fact, that he isn't even allowed to quit his job. The resignation committee at MCORE, where he is an accountant, says he is under contract but can take an extended vacation as soon as he finds a replacement. In the meantime, he must put up with an obnoxious supervisor, leaky pipes in the men's bathroom (where he is forced to set up an office) and a growing attraction to the building's moody plumber. There's dark but playful humor between the office cubicles as an Orwellian voice urges employees to keep their workspaces clean and reminds them that busyness is the key to happiness. A mysterious executive in a wheelchair provides plot twists and justifications and eventually takes Victor under his wing. (MR) (Mar 8, 7:15pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 9, 9:15pm, SJSU-UT; Mar 11, midnight, C12)


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From the February 23-March 1, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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