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Eugene Weekly : Movies : 10.19.06


This Weeks Movie Reviews:

Half Nelson Directed by Ryan Fleck. Written by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Cinematography, Andrij Parekh. Music, Broken Social Scene. Starring Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie. THINKFilm, 2006. R. 106 minutes.

Half Nelson opens to a pulsing alarm clock, a sound that Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) can't seem to hear. It's the first of many such wake-up calls in Half-Nelson that go unnoticed or simply ignored. Read more...


Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles Directed by Zhang Yimou. Screenplay by Zou Jingzhi, based on a story by Zhang Yimou, Zou Jingzhi and Wang Bin. Cinematography, Zhao Xiaoding. Starring Ken Takakura, Shinobu Terajima, Li Jiamin, Qiu Lin, Jiang Wen and Yang Zhenbo. Sony Pictures Classics, 2006. PG. 108 minutes.

Breaking from the high-flying spectacle of his Hero and House of Flying Daggers, director Zhang Yimou ventures into quieter territory with Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, a story of fathers and sons, forgiveness and connection. Gou-ichi Takata (Ken Takakura) is a fisherman in a remote Japanese village, solitary in a tiny, beautiful house, the first of many striking settings against which the nearly silent figure stands. News comes from Tokyo; his son's wife, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), calls to say that the younger Takata, Ken-ichi (Kiichi Nakai), is seriously ill. Father and son have been estranged for years, but when Takata learns of his son's unfinished work he sees a chance for redemption: Ken-ichi had spent time filming folk opera in China, but never caught one specific opera as sung by a particular performer. Read more...


9/11: Press for Truth Directed by Ray Nowosielski. Based in part on The Terror Timeline by Paul Thompson. The Disinformation Company Ltd., 2006. Not rated. 125 minutes.

The ambitious 9/11: Press for Truth follows two central stories, that of the so-called "Jersey girls," New Jersey women widowed on 9/11 who had questions about their husbands' deaths and were instrumental in the formation of the 9/11 Commission, and that created by author Paul Thompson, whose The Terror Timeline uses stories from numerous sources to paint a larger picture of the events of 9/11 than is often presented. Thompson, whose timeline began as a website before being published in book form, pieces together story after story, offering a composite that will either seem familiar or shocking, depending on your level of media saturation. There are a few embarrassing shots of administration members bumbling their way through press conferences and interviews, but the film isn't meant for a laugh; it's much more interested in how evidence stacks up, for example, against Pakistan. Read more...


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