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License to Reel

[whitespace] Going Nomad Riding the Ship of Steel: Damian Young cruises the asphalt byways of Manhattan in Art Jones' 'Going Nomad.'

Cinequest offers tributes to proven talents and forum for newcomers

By Richard von Busack

CINEQUEST IS MEANT to celebrate new work instead of old, but this year's festival hosts an unfortunate amount of derivative young filmmakers, working seemingly exclusively in one of three categories. They're doing gangster pictures without any wider experience of gangsterism than going to the movies. They're doing love stories with only hypothetical experience of the opposite sex. They're doing tales of filmmakers struggling to make films, without any experience of the blending of talents that a great film usually includes.

You never know whether to blame low-quality independent films on lack of life experience or lack of literacy--maybe it's both. So many budding filmmakers think that an understanding of visuals is everything, even though many first-time films are shot like plays.

If there's one message the films in Cinequest offer, it's the lesson that few talents are able to do everything. Almost all of the best movies include a mix of the writer's art, the cinematographer's art, the actor's art and the musician's art. Rarely, rarely, are these artists just one individual.

This year's Cinequest is most exciting in the way it brings out older masters: Rod Steiger, the actor whose antihero in Dr. Zhivago was informed with an understanding of Dostoevsky, whose various villains have all been a combination of massive physical force and pitiable moral weakness. Vilmos Zsigmond worked on some of the quirkiest shoestring films of the 1960s before photographing some of the most well-regarded films of the subsequent 30 years. And the documentary A Turning of the Earth about the making of The Searchers reminds a new generation of viewers of the power of John Ford and John Wayne. Imitating the letter of classic films is a mistake; it's the spirit of them that can lead the new artists to better work.

Recommended films are starred.


*A Turning of the Earth
The Searchers is the most complex John Wayne movie; it X-rays Wayne's persona, just as In a Lonely Place took apart the mask of Bogart. This documentary about the classic John Ford Western is the result of some 20 reels of outtakes from The Searchers compiled into a day-by-day analysis of the film as it was made. Actor Patrick Wayne and screenwriter John Milius are interviewed, and both will be in attendance with director Nick Redman. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 9:30pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Rod Steiger *Rod Steiger: Maverick Legend
This tribute to the acting great includes a screening of No Way to Treat a Lady (1968; U.S.; 108 min.), Steiger's answer to Kind Hearts and Coronets. Steiger dons seven disguises as a New York City serial killer with a bit of a mother complex. He enjoys a cat-and-mouse game with a police detective (a refreshingly laid-back George Segal). The detective's own aggravating mom (Eileen Heckart) forces him into a sneaking sympathy for the killer. The film co-stars Lee Remick and sinister short-person Michael Dunn (the real Dr. Miguelito Loveless from The Wild Wild West; Kenneth Branagh himself can be no substitute in the new version!). Steiger will be in attendance. (RvB)

Feb. 27 at 3pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

*A Conversation With Gabriel Byrne
Actor Gabriel Byrne is Mr. Celtic Twilight; his air of wordless sorrow shields a nugget of rage in a number of films. The actor has grounded films from Miller's Crossing and The Usual Suspects to the 1994 version of Little Women; in addition, he produced the dark but charming children's film Into the West. (RvB)

Feb. 27 at 8pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

*Vilmos Zsigmond: A Master of Light
The great cinematographer--Close Encounters of the Third Kind, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Deer Hunter--appears at a special event that includes a screening of Deliverance. Online exclusive: Richard von Busack interviews Zsigmond about the art of film photography, working with Steven Spielberg and more.

Feb. 28 at 2pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Thursday, Feb. 25

Angel's Dance
(U.S.; 102 min.)
"One in the heart and one in the head." That's the tip on assassination that hit man Stevie "The Rose" Rosellini (James Belushi) gives to his young student Tony "The Rock" Greco (Kyle Chandler). The completely predictable crime movie Angel's Dance seems to have taken one in the head and one in the heart; it's heartless, and it isn't very bright, either. Belushi, in the middle of a long Steven Seagal parody, shows off his impressive collection of aloha shirts as he gives Tony Nietzsche-flavored lessons in becoming a hit man.

Part of Tony's training is to bump off a total stranger named Angel Chaste (played by chipmunk-cheeked psycho-betty Sheryl "Laura Palmer" Lee). Angel has her problems. She's a mortician who lives in a cemetery, and she long ago went baby-doll-fondling nuts. Plus she likes to tell imaginary dirty stories in the confession booth about men "unveiling the supple curves of my body." But soon after the first attempt on her life, Angel wises up, and gets a blonde wig, a little black dress and a big gun. "Friedrich would be proud," Rosellini says, seeing the Nietzschean transformation in Angel. Directed by David L. Corley. (RvB)

Feb. 25 at 7pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Friday, Feb. 26

American Cowboy
(U.S.; 52 min.)
"Horses don't care if you're straight or gay--they're gonna buck you." Gene Mikulenka, an award-winning rodeo performer, faces the end of his career after his leg is shattered by a Brahma bull. This free-form documentary by Texas' Kyle R. Henry profiles a brave, headstrong and sometimes irritable rider who comes out of the closet on camera. Mikulenka's partner, Stephen Bigelow, is among the interviewees; through him we get an idea of Mikulenka's tenderer side. Graham Parsons' song "One Hundred Years From Now" takes on added poignancy, used here to suggest a future of more acceptance for gay people. It's double billed with Packing Heat, Canadian director Wendy Rowland's documentary on female gun fanciers. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 5:30pm at Camera 3.

*Cleopatra's Second Husband
(U.S.; 92 min.)
The dark tone of director Jon Reiss' work is apparent in Cleopatra's Second Husband, a sometimes intense horror story about a recessive worm named Robert (Paul Hipp). The meek photographer is pushed to desperation by Hallie (Bitty Schram), his castrating wife, and two house sitters who won't leave. Sexual chemistry is provided by Radha Mitchell, memorable as the provocative, blasé culture-vulturette in High Art. See full-length story. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 9:15pm and Feb. 28 at 7:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

*Full Moon
(Switzerland-Germany-France; German, English subtitles; 124 min.)
It's odd to call a film about disappeared 10-year-olds whimsical, but the darkly charming Swiss mystery Full Moon has elements of lightness and magic that create a compelling contrast to its sad plot. On the morning after a full moon, a boy named Toni vanishes on his way to school. Gradually, we learn that 12 other children disappeared on the same day. Soon, all the parents receive identical letters, each in their own children's handwriting, with a cryptic message: "We want the earth on earth."

Although it centers on Toni's mother, Irene, and Wasser, the kindly detective who becomes obsessed with the case, Full Moon also spotlights the other parents as they descend into paranoia, mania and bitterness. The climax, a live TV broadcast during which the parents address their children, is utterly surreal, as each uses the camera for pleas, proselytizing and recriminations. One gets the sense that what's at work in Full Moon is supernatural, not criminal, and director Fredi Murer does a wonderful job blending the mystical with the tragicomic. (MG)

Feb. 26 at 7pm and Feb. 28 at 5pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Goodbye, 20th Century!
(Macedonia, with English subtitles; 86 min.)
Often imaginative but barely coherent millennial trifle by Macedonian directors Aleksandar Popovski and Darko Mitrevski. (If only this midnight movie could borrow the ad campaign of the famous Argentinian fraud Snuff: "From Macedonia, where life is cheap!") The film begins in 2019 and then flashes back to 1900. The last half takes place at a funeral on New Year's eve 1999.

In the postmillennial wilderness, a tribe gathers for an execution. Kuzman, a man punished with immortality for an act of sacrilege, is shot by firing squad. He cannot die until he reads his fate on a wall hidden below the Glass City. (To get to the wall, he has to fight Batman's nemesis the Joker, called, to protect copyrights, the Man With the Green Hair.) After the explanatory flashback to 1900, we attend a boring wake-cum-millennium party that is busted up by a punk rocker and his moll, who kill the ensemble to the tune of Sid Vicious' cover version of "My Way." (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 11:30pm at Camera 3 and March 2 at 9:45pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

See full-length review.

Feb. 26 at 11:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

*Mindbenders: Shorts Series
One of the best films in Cinequest--maybe the best--is a short by San Francisco director Jay Rosenblatt titled Human Remains. It has the perfection only a short film can aspire to. The subjects of this only slightly fictionalized documentary are tyrants: Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Franco and Mussolini. Almost all of the footage is newsreels of the monsters in repose, lounging, exercising, relaxing, dimpling at little girls. The images are slowed to a crawl so you can get a good long look at the dictators. Over the segments, Rosenblatt has actors speaking in the native tongues of the tyrants, with translation. Each narration track offers first-person accounts of the dictator's tastes, physical weaknesses and tragedies: Hitler admitting to a fondness for chocolate eclairs and the Gary Cooper movie Lives of a Bengal Lancer; Stalin telling of his anger at his daughter's promiscuity. All five liked movies, which gives them complicity with the viewer.

Rosenblatt evokes the ordinary spirits that caused such extraordinary torment--to the world and to themselves. Human Remains is a monster movie. As in all the best monster movies, the horror is sharpened by the glimpse of humanity underneath the monstrosity. Seven other shorts complete the program. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 7:30pm and Feb. 28 at 9:15pm at Camera 3.

Next Time
(U.S.; 97 min.)
Set in L.A. during the days leading up to the Rodney King riots, Next Time is an incredibly sweet but terribly earnest movie about a friendship between Matt (Christian Campbell), a naive 19-year-old white boy, and Evelyn (Jonelle Allen), a tough, sassy 38-year-old black woman with a lifetime of regrets. They meet in their local laundromat. At first she's wary of his friendly overtures, and his attempts to prove he's not racist are maddeningly awkward. But gradually, over successive Saturdays, the two grow close.

Director/writer Alan L. Faser's film is structured like a play, consisting almost entirely of Matt and Evelyn's laundromat conversations. Both performers are very likable, especially the gorgeous Allen, who plays Evelyn with a wonderful mix of rage and vulnerability, impatience and deep kindness. Everyone who walks into the laundromat and interacts with the two is an example of a type, though: the gun-toting teenage thugs, the abused prostitute, the spaced-out homeless man. Next Time hammers away at its "can't we all just get along?" message with the didacticism of an after-school special, but ultimately its good heart and sympathetic characters make up for its political heavy-handedness. (MG)

Feb. 26 at 1pm and March 2 at 6:15pm at Camera 3.

OK Garage
(U.S.; 86 min.)
What a disappointment! Director Brandon Cole has taken two of the best actors in indie films and done absolutely nothing with them. The usually fabulous Lili Taylor stars as Rachel, a schoolteacher who gets ripped off by the OK Garage when her car breaks down. The owner of the OK Garage, meanwhile, sells copies of his wealthier customers' car keys and addresses to an Irish gangster. In a bizarre, nonsensical performance, Will Patton plays Rachel's neighbor Sean, some kind of writer who carries small lizards in his pockets and mutters and rolls his eyes like a movie-of-the-week serial killer. John Turturro is wasted as Johnny, who falls for Rachel--his character is charmless, mean and neurotic, and Rachel's reciprocation of his meager affections is inconceivable. (MG)

Feb. 26 at 7:15pm and Feb. 28 at noon at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Running for Bogota
(U.S.; English and Spanish, with English subtitles; 51 min.)
This documentary focuses on the race between two candidates for the Colombian congress. The Christian Democratic, affluent, Europeanized Claudia Vasquez is running her own campaign. Her rival is a famous, ageless 62-year-old singer named Leonor Gonzalez Mina, a.k.a. "La Negra Grande." The format of the documentary is almost like dueling political TV commercials.

The personal styles and histories of the two are contrasted, but neither has strong ideas of how to handle Colombia's violence, poverty and near civil-war conditions in the countryside. Is that the point--that both women are running on their personalities? Director Odile Isralson didn't shape the material; the documentary isn't enlightening. It's billed with Forward, Always Forward, Iris Morales' documentary about the Young Lords, a Latino paramilitary group of 1960s New York that united against crime and injustice. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 3:15pm and March 1 at 7:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

The Traveller From the South
(Iran; English subtitles; 90 min.)
In director Parvaz Shahbazi's slowly paced Iranian neo-realist film, a scruffy young man (Reza Moghadam) starts up a friendship with an old widow in uncertain health. Seeing Traveller From the South, it's apparent how some Iranian films groomed for the export market work. Examples: The White Balloon (maybe red would have been too suggestive?) and the as-yet-unreleased Children of Paradise. Poor as the characters are in those lauded films, they have strivings that are satisfied. Traveller From the South is a much less picturesque view of Teheran than anything previously seen here. The incidents show harried, squabbling interactions with authority and property, and the surprisingly unsentimental ending has a wintry, lonely feel to it. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 3pm and Feb. 28 at 10am at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

We All Fall Down
(Italy; English subtitles; 88 min.)
Twenty-two-year-old virgin Walter (good-looking Valerio Mastandrea) prowls the boring streets of Turin waiting for something interesting to happen. In quick, jaggedly edited episodes, Walter exhausts his possibilities. He works a refugee center as part of community service to stay out of the army; he attends philosophy classes that he hates; he hits the discos. Drugs aren't an option--"They cost too much." Finally, he hits bottom, wearing a red blazer and patrolling the aisles of an Italian version of a Target store.

We All Fall Down is the modern bildungsroman, Jay McInerney style, complete with the impossible parents (catatonic mom; evil dad who has affairs). Walter makes some witty remarks occasionally. The key word is "occasionally." If you're going to act like Hamlet, have something interesting to say. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 5:15pm and Feb. 28 at noon at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Wilbur Falls
(U.S.; 95 min.)
A sweeter, more empathetic (but less funny) Heathers; it's especially impressive because writer/director Juliane Glantz was only 21 years old when she finished it. The film follows the tribulations of Renata Devereaux, a junior high outcast who turns into a confident, smart and gorgeous high schooler seeking revenge on the kids who made her younger life hell. Her first shot at payback, though, goes utterly awry, and a jock named Jeff ends up drowned. Will Renata go to Harvard, or will she go to prison? That question infuses the movies with suspense, but unlike other dark comedies that ask the audience to root for a killer, Renata isn't at all gleeful about getting away with anything--in fact, her persistent guilt is the only thing that implicates her. A sequence in which Renata takes the most popular girl in school, pregnant with Jeff's baby, for an abortion is particularly well done, capturing a whole spectrum of anxiety, pathos, giddiness and unexpected bonding. (MG)

Feb. 26 at 5:15pm and March 1 at 9:45pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

With Friends Like These

*With Friends Like These ...
(U.S.; 93 min.)
Word is out that Martin Scorsese is preparing his version of the Al Capone story; the news electrifies a group of actors who have had nothing but ethnic stereotypes to batten themselves upon for the last few years. (Surveying the ensemble at a party, a cruel TV producer, played by Bill Murray, sums them up: "Every goombah hit man, every Jew lawyer, every Irish mug ... this is an elephants graveyard.") Johnny (Robert Costanzo), Dorian (Jon Tenney), Steve (Adam Arkin) and Armand (David Strathairn) nearly ruin their friendships competing for the Scarface role.

The dramatic part of the finale falls through: although Strathairn has made good money playing slippery people, he certainly doesn't look like the Mafia heir he's suspected of being. The comedy is stretched out, but it's knowing and funny. The cast includes Scorsese (playing himself), Beverly D'Angelo, Elle Macpherson, Michael McKean, Lauren Tom and Laura San Giacomo. Directed by Philip K. Messina. (RvB)

Feb. 26 at 9:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Saturday, Feb. 27

Camp of Fallen Women

*Camp of Fallen Women
(Slovak Republic; English subtitles; 100 min.)
Czechoslovakia 1949: prostitutes are rounded up and sent to a re-education camp to learn domestic skills. The camp is built on the site of a concentration camp; some of the uniforms still have Stars of David sewn on to them. But the camp has more in common with Stalag 13 than Treblinka. Against the viciousness of a spying, sadistic secret policeman (Jozef Vajda) conspire a gloomy, comical doctor, a grandfatherly commandant and Ria, the smartest of the internees (she's played by a gorgeous actor named Mahuelena Bocanova--sort of a Cool Hand Luca). The film threatens to become a women-in-prison picture, especially when Ria starts acting like a predatory lesbian. Fortunately, director Laco Halama is less interested in exploitation than in a richly told story. (RvB)

Feb. 27 at 5:30pm and March 2 at 1pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Going Nomad
(U.S.; 97 min.)
Aimless New Yorkers chatter about their various short-order jobs: toll taker, wrestler, fry cook. The central figure is El Cid Rivera (Damian Young), a gangly, balding thirtysomething whose real vocation is as an "asphalt nomad." Cruising the 900 miles of Manhattan roads late at night in his "ship of steel" (a '70s vintage gold Lincoln Continental), El Cid (named after Charlton Heston's epic hero) dreams about someday actually leaving the island. His reveries and travails (including an unlikely romance with a female cop) are interwoven with musing monologues by various late-night motorists.

The film achieves a certain urban poetry in the Ben Katchor vein as it follows the floating movement of El Cid's boat through the river of night lights on the city's avenues (he's like Travis Bickle without the rancor), but Going Nomad is hampered by a tedious running metaphor on gravity as a force of emotional bondage. The actors are undistinguished, especially Young, a Hal Hartley veteran who doesn't have the spark necessary to carry director Art Jones' conceit. Leading a disastrous bus tour of Manhattan tourist attractions, El Cid looks like Kramer on the J. Peterman tour--but with none of the antic humor. (MSG)

Feb. 27 at 7:45pm and March 2 at 5:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Fragments: Jerusalem
(Israel; 180 min.)
Filmmaker Ron Havilio has worked on this ambitious project for 12 years, and he has a suitably ambitious subject for the story: the history of Jerusalem over the past 500 years as told through his own family's roots. Havilio will be in attendance.

Feb. 27 at 5:30pm at Camera 3. The $15 ticket includes admission to the closing-night party at Art-Tech Gallery, 89 S. First St.

The Party Crashers
(U.S.; 77 min.)
Stuffed with indie and action clichés and lacking both energy and narrative coherence, Phil Leirness' Party Crashers still manages a few amusing moments. The familiar plot deals with three cute, good-natured but down-on-their-luck guys out for one big score. In a fairly inexplicable ransom scheme, they crash a chi-chi soiree attended by a publishing heiress in an attempt to milk $5 million from her parents (why they didn't just kidnap her without a few dozen of her friends is never quite explained).

Our felons are decent guys, though, so they urge the party to continue, and gradually the guests get used to socializing with machine guns pointing at them. Cleverly, The Party Crashers focuses on how in L.A. all the attendees are in the midst of crisis. The girls at the party treat the gunmen like celebrities, and everyone involved harbors hopes of parlaying their involvement into book and movie deals. This conceit is a nice touch in a film that otherwise never overcomes its weak screenplay and general listlessness. (MG)

Feb. 27 at 1:15pm and March 1 at 5pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

(Hungary; English subtitles; 136 min.)
If there was ever a surefire movie plot, this is it: a good-looking woman married to lumpish small-businessman; young drifter hired on as assistant; love and murder the inevitable conclusion. Yes, it's The Postman Always Rings Twice, made into two American versions and also filmed by Antonioni and Visconti. Hungarian director Gyorgy Feher helms this adaptation from a script co-written by Bela Tarr, a filmmaker unknown in the West but championed by Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum (see his essay "A Bluffer's Guide to Bela Tarr" in Placing Movies). (RvB)

Feb. 27 at 10am and March 1 at 9:45pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Sunday, Feb. 28

*Cleopatra's Second Husband
See Friday for capsule.

Feb. 28 at 7:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Home Page

Home Page
This shot on video documentary profiles Justin Hall, Swarthmore student and twenty-something proprietor of a much-hyped webpage "compared favorably," says his mesmerized video-biographer Doug Block, "to Ginsberg and Kerouac." (Sample of Hall's poetry: "some mirth at my presence/though not on the part of the one so far/funky person I noticed/a short haired weird shoe wearing woman.") Through his friendship with web-commentator Howard Rheingold, Hall becomes the toast of Multimedia Gulch. Home Page is the artistic equivalent of overinflated web stocks on the Dow Jones. Only tormented cyber-preppie Carl Steadman, co-editor of the web 'zine Suck, puts the web in perspective. A stretch in the company of the HotWired evangelicals is like an hour listening to your neighbor talk about his new power drill. It's only a tool, dammit! And the un-edited, narcissistic, stream-of-consciouness love poetry flashed seen here is, to use Ian Frazier's phrase, full of emotions a mile wide and an inch deep. These people all need some fresh air, and so will you after you see this. (RvB).

Feb. 28 at 4:30pm at Camera 3.

*In the Navel of the Sea
(Philippines; Tagalog, English subtitles; 114 min.)
It looks like a tropical paradise, this island in the Philippines that's the subject of In the Navel of the Sea. In the sleepy 1950s, little has changed in decades. But as the narrator, Pepito (Jomari Yllana), says, "The island holds many secrets, secrets that speak of a dark power and people whose wrath, if incurred, is to be feared." Voodoo, lesbianism, abortion and prostitution complicate the picturesque life here. The restless narrator loses his father and is dragged into his mother's business as a midwife. When Pepito falls in love with an Americanized teacher, what's left of his contentment comes to an end. Director Marilou Diaz-Abaya's work is the finest Philippine film ever seen in our area; this vision of a simpler past is never compromised by simple-minded nostalgia. (RvB)

Feb. 28 at 4:45pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

*Mindbenders: Shorts Series
See Friday for capsule.

Feb. 28 at 9:15pm at Camera 3.

*Out of Season
(U.S.; 98 min.)
As this sweet lesbian romance begins, a tough, cocky and restless city girl, Micki (Carol Monda), arrives in the tiny beach town of Cape May to take care of her dying uncle. From the moment she first sees the gorgeous Roberta (Joy Kelly), an ex-Air Force officer and a cook at the local diner, we know that they're going to fall in love--even though Micki's brusque sarcasm initially alienates everyone she meets. The key to their relationship is Micki's kindly uncle, a close friend of Roberta's, who subtly schemes to bring the two lonely women together. Despite a slightly hackneyed storyline, Jeanette L. Buck's Out of Season is quite affecting, and Kelly and Monda are terrific at expressing these weathered, guarded women's passions and vulnerabilities. (MG)

Feb. 28 at 7pm and March 1 at 3pm at Camera 3.

The Trio
(Germany; English subtitles; 97 min.)
Zobel (Gotz George) and his daughter, Lizzie (Jeanette Hain), are nomadic pickpockets who roam from city to city in their beat-up Pace Arrow RV. As this gang practices it, picking pockets is a three-handed art, requiring a thief, a distracter and a third person to run off with the wallet. Zobel's boyfriend, Karl (Christian Redl), is the third in this trio, but he's sick of life as a smalltime criminal. After a theft goes wrong, Karl is gravely injured by a car. Since Zobel and Lizzie need a new partner, they recruit a young thief named Rudolf (Felix Eitner), and both father and daughter fall in love with the young man.

Hermine Huntgeburth's film is an uneasy blend of nerve-racking farce, crime story and screwball comedy. George, the son of the famous German actor Heinrich George (of Metropolis), changes his character from smart criminal to mushy, pleading lover with unlikely speed. However, as the elfin thief Lizzie, Hain has her moments, especially necking with a pickup at the disco and liberating his wallet as she kisses him. (RvB)

Feb. 28 at 10am and March 1 at 5:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Monday, March 1

The Party Crashers
See Saturday for capsule.

March 1 at 5pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Tuesday, March 2

*Camp of Fallen Women
See Saturday for capsule.

March 2 at 1pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Conceiving Ada
See full-length review.

March 2 at 5:30pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Going Nomad
See Saturday for capsule..

March 2 at 5:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Goodbye, 20th Century!
See Friday for capsule.

March 2 at 9:45pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Home Page
See Sunday for capsule.

March 2 at 8pm at Camera 3.

The Trio
See Sunday for capsule.

March 1 at 5:15pm at the UA Pavilion Theatres.

Wednesday, March 3

Scrapbook Scrapbook
(U.S.; 110 min.)
Curt (Justin Urich) feels overshadowed by his elder brother Andy (Eric Balfour). When Andy steals Curt's girlfriend (Keili Lefkowitz), the little brother joins a crowd of young toughs who pick fights and t.p. principal Jenkins' house. Will Curt squeal on his new buddies once the trouble gets out of hand? Scrapbook is a technically proficient film, though it's only a few curse words away from an after-school special. This first feature by director Kurt Kuenne has some elements of style, as in one scene of an argument in a car, unheard but pantomimed through the windshield. And as the bad boy Jake, Chadwick Palmatier steals the show. Despite these good qualities, the script is all too facile with a moral dilemma that is a cinch to resolve. Kuenne, stretched too thin, also wrote and produced the film and composed the music for the soundtrack. (RvB)

March 3 at 5pm at Camera 3.

Reviewers: Michael S. Gant (MSG), Michelle Goldberg (MG) and Richard von Busack (RvB).

Details: Cinequest runs Feb. 25-March 3, with screenings and workshops at Camera 3 and the UA Pavilion Theatres in San Jose. Full festival passes are available for $180-$195. The opening-night gala is $40; closing night is $30; the workshops and tributes are $10-$25; regular screenings are $7.50/$6.50. Tickets are available through TicketMaster, or call 408/295-FEST.

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From the February 25-March 3, 1999 issue of Metro.

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