We’re now in the final two days of San Jose’s Cinequest Film Festival. It’s been a good year for thrillers at Cinequest, and you can still see Lead Us Not Into Temptation, Dose of Reality and Chaos, as well as the German dark comedy gem Oh Boy. Check out my CINEQUEST 2013 page for comments on these films, plus another 20 or so that I’ve seen.
In the theaters, I recommend The Gatekeepers, a documentary centered around interviews with all six surviving former chiefs of Shin Bet, Israel’s super-secret internal security force; these are hard ass guys who share a surprising perspective on the efficacy of Israel’s war on terror. The Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) documentary
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God is now playing on HBO; it explores the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of priest abuse from a Wisconsin parish to the top of the Vatican (and I mean the top). I admire Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller Side Effects, starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Quartet is a pleasant lark of a geezer comedy with four fine performances. The charmingly funny Warm Bodies has made my list of Zombie Movies for People Who Don’t Like Zombie Movies. The drama Lore is about the innocent children of monstrous people, but its intensity is so unrelenting that it wearies the audience.
I haven’t yet seen the Chilean historical drama No (with Gael Garcia Bernal), which was nominated for the 2013 Foreign Language Oscar and opens widely today. Nor have I seen Emperor, with Tommy Lee Jones as Gen. Douglas MacArthur leading the American occupation of Japan. You can read descriptions and view trailers of upcoming films at Movies I’m Looking Forward To.
You can still catch the Academy Award winning Argo, as well as Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook. To ride the momentum of director Ang Lee’s surprise Oscar win, Life of Pi is now out again in 3D, which I recommend. The Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Picture, Amour, is brilliantly made and almost unbearable to watch.
My DVD of the week is still Undefeated, last year’s Oscar winner for Best Documentary.