A Cat in Paris,directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
An animated French language comedy-drama in which a family discovers their house pet is living a surprising double life. Zoe is a seven-year-old girl traumatized by the death of her father, a police detective who was on the trail of Victor Costa, a powerful underworld boss. Ever since the passing of her father, Zoe has been mute, and her mother Jeanne, also a detective, has been working hard to track down Costa and the killers and bring them to justice. However, it turns out a criminal is hiding right under their noses -- while Zoe sleeps, her beloved pet cat Dino slips out of the house at night and serves as a companion and assistant to Nico, a suave burglar who has robbed some of the wealthiest and most elegant homes in Paris. One night, Zoe follows Dino as he spends the night on the town, and as she crosses paths with Nico, she finds herself in the clutches of a handful of ruthless gangsters. The film received an Academy Award nomination in 2012 as Best Animated Feature. A.O. Scott, in his New York Times review, called this "a nifty little caper."
Chicken With Plums, written and directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Nasser-Ali Khan appears to care more about his career than his family, but there is more to him than just the surface. After his beloved violin breaks, he sets out to replace it with his son's help. But when he cannot replace the instrument, he decides that the only solution to his sorrow is death. As he lies in bed waiting to die, his wife provides him with delicacies, such as chicken and plums, to help him find a reason to live again.
The Day He Arrives, written and directed by Sang-soo Hong
A film director who no longer makes films, Seongjun, arrives in Seoul to meet a close friend. When the friend doesn't show up, Seongjun wanders the city aimlessly. He runs into an actress he used to know, shares a drink with some film students and against his better judgment, heads to his ex-girlfriend's apartment. The next day goes very much like the last; Seongjun meets the actress, has drinks with friends, and falls for woman who looks remarkably like his ex-girlfriend. Each new day plays out like a flimsy copy of the previous one, but only Seongjun knows why. Infused with a playfulness and dry wit that recalls the films of Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer, The Day He Arrives is a delightful meditation on relationships, film making, and the unknowable forces that govern our lives. In Korean with English subtitles.
Fear and Desire, by Stanley Kubrick
This 35mm restoration of Kubrick's 1953 debut film features a plane carrying four soldiers crashes in a forest behind enemy lines in an unnamed country. Desperate to escape, the group plans to build a raft and travel up the river into allied country. However, they are sidetracked by a local woman who stumbles across them in the woods, and the nearby presence of an enemy general who one member of the group is determined to kill. Kubrick didn't liked the film much, calling it "a very inept and pretentious effort" but others, including the the reviewer from UK's Uncut Magazine are more generous.
The Heineken Kidnapping, directed by Maarten Treurniet
Amsterdam, 1983. Alfred Heineken, one of the world's wealthiest brewers and arguably the most influential man in Holland, is kidnapped by a gang of young hoodlums and held for ransom. Chained to the wall of a cold, cramped cell for 21 grueling days, the business magnate is subjected to humiliation at the hands of the kidnappers. But when the ransom is paid and Heineken is set free, he embarks on a personal vendetta to find his captors and exact revenge. This film caused some controversy in Holland. Willem Holleeder, one of the Netherlands' best-known gangsters went to court Thursday to stop the release of the film in which he played a key role, claiming it misrepresents him. Anthony Hopkins is set to star in an upcoming British version of this film, scheduled for release next summer.
My Son John, directed by Leo McCarey
Re-release of the 1953 film by legendary director Leo McCarey took on this controversial and infamous drama about a conservative religious couple (Helen Hayes, Dean Jagger) that suspects their oldest son to be a communist. The arrogant and intellectual young man (Robert Walker), a worker in a federal agency, returns home from a long absence spouting pro-communism doctrine and deriding the beliefs of capitalism and religion. Things become very serious when an FBI agent (Van Heflin) shows up to tell the horrified parents that their son may be an enemy spy. Robert Walker died at age 32 due to adverse reaction to prescription drugs and before My Son John production was finished. Leo McCarey received a 1953 Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story.
Natural Selection, written and directed by Robbie Pickering
Having discovered that her dying husband has an illegitimate child living in Florida, a devout Christian housewife leaves her sheltered world on a mission to reunite father and son. Peter Travers in his Rolling Stone review calls this "a small gem of an indie movie."
Small Apartments, directed by Jonas Åkerlund
A man is surrounded by strange events and odd neighbors in this adaptation of Chris Millis' novel. When a clumsy deadbeat accidentally kills his landlord, he must do everything in his power to hide the body, only to find the distractions of lust, the death of his beloved brother and a crew of misfit characters, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Reviews have run the gamut from "delightfully quirky" to irritating. Take it home and judge for yourself.
Well Diggers Daughter, directed by Daniel Auteuil
Twenty-five years after rising to international acclaim in Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring, Daniel Auteuil returns to the world of Marcel Pagnol for his first work as director with this celebrated remake of the 1940s classic. Auteuil stars as the eponymous well-digger Pascal, a widower living with his six daughters in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I. His eldest, Patricia , has returned home from Paris to help raise her sisters, and Pascal dreams of marrying her off to his loyal assistant Felipe . But when she's impregnated by a wealthy young pilot who promptly abandons her for the frontlines, Pascal is left to contend with the consequences.