open­ing this week

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images -

Lars von Trier’s con­tro­ver­sial film ar­rives in Santa Fe, and if you don’t want to feel left out in con­ver­sa­tions about cin­ema in 2009, it’s worth a look. Fol­low­ing the death of their child, a cou­ple (Willem Dafoe and Char­lotte Gains­bourg) re­treat to the woods and bru­tally abuse each other. Whether you think von Trier is a misog­y­nist hack or a film­mak­ing ge­nius, this film will add fuel to your ar­gu­ment. It’s too silly and crude to be ef­fec­tive art-house fare, but the haunt­ing vi­su­als of the for­est make for a solid hor­ror movie. 104 min­utes. Not rated (con­tains ex­plicit sex and graphic vi­o­lence). CCA Cin­e­math­eque, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker) See re­view, Page 52.


Di­rec­tor Jared Hess ( Napoleon Dy­na­mite) re­turns for his third film and — sur­prise, sur­prise— it’s a dry af­fair about ex­treme out­siders. Ben­jamin (Michael An­garano) is a high school stu­dent who sub­mits a story to a con­test that will be judged by his idol, fan­tasy au­thor Che­va­lier. The story is stolen by Che­va­lier, and a ri­valry breaks out. Rated PG-13. 89 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. (Not re­viewed)


Mor­gan Free­man cap­tures the dig­nity, the com­pas­sion, the wis­dom, and the sports-fan en­thu­si­asm of Nel­son Man­dela in di­rec­tor Clint East­wood’s beau­ti­fully crafted movie. It’s an ac­count of the strat­egy used by the new South African pres­i­dent (fresh from 30 years in prison) in 1994 to bring to­gether a coun­try riven with post-apartheid re­sent­ment and fear by fo­cus­ing on the na­tional rugby team’s pur­suit of the World Cup. Pre­dictably feel-good but filled with sub­tle touches, char­ac­ter ob­ser­va­tions, and fine per­for­mances, par­tic­u­larly by Matt Da­mon as the team cap­tain. Rated PG-13. 134 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola. (Jonathan Richards) See full re­view in next week’s Pasa.


This fol­low up to 2006’s Paris, je t’aime brings the same con­cept— a lineup of direc­tors tackle short films within a sin­gle city— to the Big Ap­ple. The direc­tors of th­ese 10 shorts in­clude Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Fatih Akin, and Natalie Port­man, and the cast boasts Hay­den Chris­tensen, Or­lando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Shia LaBeouf, and many more. Rated R. 103 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. (Not re­viewed)


Dis­ney’s re­turn to tra­di­tional (not com­puter gen­er­ated) an­i­ma­tion is also the com­pany’s first an­i­mated fea­ture star­ring African Amer­i­can char­ac­ters. In­spired by the Grimm


broth­ers’ fa­ble, “The Frog Prince,” this mu­si­cal takes place in the French Quar­ter of New Orleans, where a girl named Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) kisses a frog prince and turns into a frog her­self. Ulp! Rated G. 95 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Not re­viewed)

Di­rec­tor/co-writer John Woo de­tours from the mar­tial arts/ gang­ster oeu­vre and trains his lens on a bat­tle from Chi­nese dy­nas­tic his­tory in this sweep­ing, action-filled war epic. When a power-hun­gry war­lord from China’s north­ern ter­ri­tory plans an at­tack on two rebel leaders and their out­num­bered armies to the south, he grossly un­der­es­ti­mates their cun­ning and re­solve. Loosely based on the 14th-cen­tury novel Ro­mance of the Three King­doms, Red Cliff is more a med­i­ta­tion on an­cient Chi­nese bat­tle strat­egy than a thor­ough char­ac­ter study or his­tory les­son. Rated R. 148 min­utes. In Chi­nese with sub­ti­tles. The Screen, Santa Fe (Rob DeWalt). See re­view, Page 52.


Fraud of the con-chords: Je­maine Cle­ment in Gen­tle­men Bron­cos,

at Re­gal DeVar­gas in Santa Fe

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