Tag: 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days

News flash from Hollywood — it’s raining!

We Southern Californian’s are easily freaked out by this occasional phenomenon where water inexplicably falls from the skies. It’s a good thing so many of us like to ski or snowboard up at Big Bear or Tahoe, or there’d be a vast wave of weather-related depression unsettling the entire area. Of course, those of us who live on hillsides have something to worry about, but since L.A.-area seasons are basically labeled as “fire” and “flood,” it’s not like this is a surprise. Still, a good chunk of the town is going off to Park City, Utah for Sundance and its sisters festivals, where you actually need boots and overcoats and stuff like that.


And now, here’s the big movie news, assuming this half of the state doesn’t simply slide into the ocean or anything overnight.

* Jolly Carl DiOrio writes on THR’s Heat Vision blog that Warner Brothers is trying to decide whether or not to do a 3-D retrofit on Louis Leterrier’s upcoming version of “Clash of the Titans.” This 3-D madness for genre films has been spreading. Some months back, “The Cabin in the Woods,” a collaboration between TV cult king Joss Whedon and his one-time staff writer, Drew Goddard (“Cloverfield“), was delayed from February 2010 to January 2011 to three dimensionalize the meta-horror film — and perhaps help stabilize Universal’s depleted coffers by delaying the marketing costs for eleven months.

* Despite some of the setbacks the Weinstein Company has been suffering lately with a number of commercial disappointments and too few hits and some layoffs, they’re still bringing in new people for acquisitions prior to tomorrow’s Sundance kick-off, writes La Finke.

* Meanwhile, over at CinemaBlend, Josh Tyler contemplates the possible 3-D status of “Ghostbusters 3.”

Johnny Depp
* In case you haven’t heard it already, no, Johnny Depp will not be starring in Terry Gilliam’s upcoming second attempt at filming his “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”

* The Oscar’s announced their nine film short list for the foreign language film category today. It’s basically a bunch of movies you have almost no chance of having seen, or even heard all that much about, if you’re not a pretty serious film festival goer — and Michael Haneke’s Golden Globe winning dark period drama, “The White Ribbon.” Even the folks at The Playlist had only seen “Ribbon” and were only familiar with a total of three of the films.

If an outstanding foreign film you’ve seen recently is not on the list and you’re wondering why, you can likely blame the extremely byzantine and highly politicized rules in this category, which involves countries selecting official entries, which often exclude seemingly obvious choices. Romania’s “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” was an extraordinary work that recently made it to the top of many Best Of lists for the entire past decade. It was not nominated last year, — along with two other widely acclaimed non-English-speaking movies of 2007, “Volver” and “Persepolis.” At least the latter film was nominated in the animation category.

4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Sometimes simple, ordinary life can be more terrifying than any horror or suspense film – especially if you’re living under a dictatorship that seeks to manipulate the personal lives of its citizens. Christian Mungiu’s remarkable film won the top prize at Cannes and multiple critic’s prizes, wowed international audiences and created a small uproar when the Academy failed to shortlist it for the Foreign Language Oscar, and it’s obvious why. While “4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days” only alludes to the extreme Cold War-era anti-contraception and anti-abortion policies of ultra-Stalinist Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, the film details with bird’s eye view directness its destructive consequences on two college students (Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu), when one becomes pregnant and they circumnavigate the emotionally and physically dangerous road to an abortion before Ceauşescu’s bloody 1989 downfall.

Using very long takes and no music at all, Mungius’ film draws the viewer in with the simplest and most relatable of situations and the purest filmic minimalism, milking suspense and something like abject terror via convincing, seemingly banal dialogue, and remarkably low-key performances from its two young female stars alongside an astonishingly believable ensemble cast. Generating unbearable tension and suspense from a situation which feels utterly real, this is not necessarily a film for everyone and it’s not necessarily always easy to watch for any of us. Still, once you start watching it you’ll have a hard time stopping. Nothing here plays out as expected and few films in recent years have generated such tension from the mundane details of life in a political and social pressure cooker, which, it turns out, has more in common with life here in the mostly free world than any of us would like to think.

Click to buy “4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days”

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