opening this week
CELEBRATING CHEKHOV The retrospective of Russian and Soviet films based on or adapted from Anton Chekhov’s writing continues with Karen Shakhnazarov’s 2009 modern imagining of Ward No. 6, in which the director of a mental ward becomes a patient. The series runs through February. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and 21, only. Not rated. 83 minutes. In Russian with subtitles. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed) KILLING KASZTNER: THE JEW WHO DEALT WITH NAZIS Rudolf Kasztner, a Hungarian lawyer who succeeded in saving the lives of thousands of his fellow Jews during the Holocaust (including a trainload of almost 1,700 in 1944), was later vilified in Israel as a traitor and murdered by a right-wing assassin in 1957. The principal rap against him was that he negotiated with Adolf Eichmann and left too many Jews unsaved. A fascinating look at this complex man and the stillsmoldering argument about his legacy. Director Gaylen Ross and Santa Fe resident Tom Margittai, who was a passenger on “Kasztner’s train,” attend
February 19 - 25, 2010 7:15 p.m. screenings on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19 and 20. Not rated. 120 minutes. In English and Hebrew with subtitles. The Screen, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) See story, Page 36. THE LAST STATION Over the latter part of his life, Leo Tolstoy was known not just for his great novels but also for the philosophy of pacifism, egalitarianism, and celibacy to which he gave his name. Michael Hoffman’s movie comes down against celibacy, and he has a soft spot for private property as well. The movie shows the epic struggle between the writer (Christopher Plummer) and his wife of almost 50 years (Helen Mirren). The third point of the triangle is the calculating Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), who is more Tolstoyan than Tolstoy and wants the copyrights of his work for the public domain. Rated R. 110 minutes. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) See review, Page 38. OSCAR-NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORT FILMS 2010 Three quirky, brief, and forgettable films— France’s French Roast, Ireland’s Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, and Spain’s The Lady and the Reaper — are anchored by two gems, including the return of the belovedWallace and Gromit. Don’t bet against Aardman Animation’s Nick Park, who has won four Oscars for his work, and whose latestW& Gfilm— A Matter of Loaf and Death (from England)— is every bit as charming and funny as his others. Less wholesome is France’s Logorama, which is unlike any Oscar-nominated short I’ve seen. In a world built from and populated by corporate logos, Ronald McDonald is a violent outlaw on the run. Logorama is not suitable for children, but it is the final film in the program, so you can bring the kiddies to seeWallace and Gromit and leave before Ronald breaks out the machine gun. Not rated. 101 minutes total. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker) OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2010 A mixed bag, in order from most compelling to least: USA and Denmark’s Coen brothers-esque The New Tenants is a beautifully shot and superbly acted film, in which two men move into an apartment building full of drama. Australia’s Miracle Fish is a haunting tale of a poor boy and one terrible day at his school. Ireland’s The Door, about a desperate father during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, manages to feel like an entire feature film in just 17 minutes. Sweden’s Instead of Abracadabra is a comedy about an aspiring magician that is similar in theme and style to the work ofWes Anderson. USA and India’s Kavi, intended to raise awareness of slavery in the modern world, is better as a message than as a movie. Not rated. 101 minutes total. In various languages. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker) SHUTTER ISLAND Martin Scorsese tackled horror with 1991’s Cape Fear. Now, he and his current go-to actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, bring Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel to life. The story centers on two U.S. marshals who investigate the disappearance of a patient at an island hospital for the criminally insane, only to find themselves trapped there during a hurricane and a riot. Rated R. 138 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; DreamCatcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed) THE WHITE RIBBON This is a beautifully shot, meditative portrait of what appears to be a pastoral village in 1913-1914 Germany. As it is a film from Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke ( Caché), life in the burg is anything but idyllic. The director’s examination of generational conflict and a country on the brink of war isn’t lamenting the loss of innocence but arguing that we are never innocent. It won the Palme D’Or at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival and is nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Rated R. 144 minutes. In German with subtitles. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker) See review, Page 38. THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD In conjunction with Santa Fe Art Institute’s 25th anniversary, global hoaxters The Yes Men come to town for a talk, performance, and screening of this, their latest filmed
record of their culture-jamming exploits. Expect high jinks with Housing and Urban Development and Halliburton; antics with ExxonMobil; buffoonery with the BBC; and a lot more. 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, only. Not rated. 90 minutes.
Santa Fe. See story, Page 30.
Lensic Performing Arts
Buns of clay: A Matter of Loaf and Death, part of the Oscar-Nominated
Animated Short Films 2010 program at The Screen in Santa Fe