of the World
create a stirring adventure story.
HIMALAYA: Directed by Eric Valli.
Producers, Jacques Perrin, Christophe Barratier. Executive producer, Jean de Trégomain.
Written by Olivier Dazat, Eric Valli; also Jean-Claude Guillebaud, Louis Gardel,
Nathalie Azoulai, Jacques Perrin. Cinematography, Eric Guichard, Jean-Paul Meurisse.
Editor, Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte. Original music, Bruno Coulais. Set design,
Jérôme Krowicki. Costumes, Karma Tundung Gurung, Michel Debats. Special
effects, Jean-Marc Mouligné. Frescoes, Tenzing Norbu Lama. Starring Thinlen
Lhondup, Karma Wangiel, Lhakpa Tsamchoe, Karma Tenszing Nyhima Lama and Gurgon Kyap.
Kino International Release, 2000. Not rated. 104 minutes.
Photographer and writer Eric Valli has lived in Nepal since 1983,
and he speaks the language of the people of the Dolpo, the northwest region of Nepal.
"It is a unique place," Valli said in March, when he was in Portland for
the Oregon premiere of his first feature-length film, Himalaya, an Academy
Award foreign film nominee. "It is untouched by the West," he said, adding
that it's also untouched by the Chinese who invaded Tibet in 1952. "Tibetan
culture is preserved in Nepal," Valli said. "Like Native American culture,
it's built on respect for nature and delight in the natural world."
|Despite his age,
Tinle (Thinlen Lhondup) leads a caravan across the great mountain passes.
Yak caravans bring down salt from the high plateaus of northern
Tibet to be taken to market and traded for grain in the temperate lowlands. The villagers'
survival depends on this ancient annual practice of harvesting the salt and taking
it to market across the high mountain passes. Because such undertakings are dangerous,
specific religious ceremonies are traditionally part of preparing the caravan for
the trek. The people are warm yet reserved, and modern life hasn't taken hold here.
But this year when the salt caravan arrives in the village, the
old chieftain Tinle (Thinlen Lhondup) faces a personal tragedy and a collective crisis.
His son, the tribal leader, is dead. And Karma (Gurgon Kyap), his son's friend, wants
to lead the caravan in his place. Tinle irrationally blames Karma for his son's death
and won't give his permission. Tinle is trying to protect the future of his young
grandson, Tsering (Karma Wangiel). Tribal and caravan leadership should pass to the
boy, Tinle insists, so Karma should lead the caravan only until Tsering, later called
Passang (Karma Wangiel), grows up. Karma refuses.
Generational conflict divides the village, but winter is coming, and
the caravan must leave. Karma rouses the younger men to take their yaks and follow
him, even inviting the comely widow, Pema (Lhakpa Tsamchoe), to come along with her
son. But Pema won't abandon her father-in-law. Ages-old tradition is shattered when
the young men's caravan leaves without religious blessings. After Tinle fails to
persuade his second son, Norbou (Karma Tenzing Nyima Lama), a monk, to help him,
he returns to the village determined to lead the caravan himself.
|Norbou (Karma Tenzing
Nyima Lama) and Passang (Karma Wangiel).
Valli said that in this Tibetan-influenced region of Nepal, a family
"automatically" gives a son to the monastery. "Tibetan life is like
European life 500 years ago," he said. "Solitude breeds both friendship
All of the complications of family and tribe come to bear on these
two expeditions, and Valli's exquisite, detailed knowledge of the people and the
land bring them to vivid life. Unimaginable hardships in the midst of mind-boggling
beauty characterize the journey. Valli said the highest trail was between 13,000
and 16,000 feet, and the people walked more than 1,000 miles in the making of the
film. The cinematography is stunningly realistic. The film's only special effect
is that a yak that plummets off a crumbling trail to a lake thousands of feet below
was actually made of fiberglass. Otherwise, what you see is authentic.
Valli, whose work is regularly published in National Geographic,
Géo, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian and Life,
has written several books about Nepal and made two award-winning documentaries. Most
of the film's players are nonactors. Many had never seen a film; and only one, Lhakpa
Tsamchoe, had "experience of the camera," he said, appearing in Seven
Years in Tibet.
Valli said for him the film is about the universality of generational
power struggles, courage, human dignity, tolerance and love. It is also a Western,
an adventure film and an initiation. Exposure to a life so unlike our own in a setting
more magnificent and more deadly makes for a stirring film experience.
Himalaya starts Friday, June 29 at the Bijou. Highly recommended.
of a Killer
CHOPPER (Australia): Written and directed
by Andrew Dominik. Producer, Michele Bennett. Based on Mark Brandon "Chopper"
Read's Chopper: From the Inside. Cinematography, Kevin Hayward, Geoffrey Hall.
Editor, Ken Sallows. Music, Mick Harvey. Production design, Paddy Reardon. Costumes,
Terry Ryan. Starring Eric Bana. With Kenny Graham, Simon Lyndon, David Field, Dan
Wyllie, Bill Young, Vince Colsimo and Kate Beahan. First Look Pictures, 2001. Not
rated. 94 minutes.
Read (Eric Baker) defies society and wins a cult following.
Chopper is a real-life sociopathic murderer, played here by Australian
stand-up comic Eric Bana in a brilliant, mood-switching performance destined to make
him a star. Andrew Dominik's film portrait of Mark Brandon Read in his notorious
criminal manifestation, Chopper, should have been subtitled Perverse, Homicidal
Thug or Charismatic, Violent Murderer to better give potential viewers
a real handle on what awaits them onscreen. Read, the author of nine best-selling
novels that, like Dominik's film, are self-serving explanations for various murders
he committed, has a huge cult following in Australia.
As the film opens, Chopper (Bana) watches from the maximum-security
section of Melbourne's Pentridge Prison as a perky bimbo interviews him on television.
Serving time for the bungled kidnapping of a judge, Chopper is reunited with his
best mate, Jimmy Loughnan (Simon Lyndon), and another pal in prison. Soon he malevolently
persuades them to off the leader of a rival group, Keithy George (David Field). As
soon as the deed is done, Chopper goes all long-faced and concerned, talking to the
bloodied inmate as he lies dying on the dirty floor, expressing regret that his multiple
head wounds actually hurt.
This is the pattern for all his murders. First, get someone else
to do it if at all possible. Next, go from friendly to ruthless killer to friend
again in a flash, switching roles as if they were shirts. Finally, deny everything,
blame the victim and claim self-defense. Chopper lies the way he kills -- easily
and without hesitation.
When Jimmy turns against him and actually stabs him repeatedly,
Chopper forgives him for trying to kill him while refusing to die. Chopper finally
gets released from prison on a ruse (of course!), which means the civilian population
of Melbourne is at risk of sudden violence from this madman. He especially targets
drug dealers, but he will viciously attack anyone who doesn't immediately do whatever
outrageous thing he asks of them. This even goes for Tanya (Kate Beahan), who makes
the mistake of laughing at his proposal of marriage while explaining that she's a
prostitute who works in a brothel, not his girlfriend.
Chopper is a super-violent movie about a super-violent maniac
who has no control over his homicidal impulses. So why should you or anyone want
to watch him strut around for an hour and a half, creating mayhem and murder just
because he can? Beats me. The film's popularity lies in Chopper's unpredictability,
I think. Like other film and real-life killers, Chopper exerts an unfeeling dedication
to killing that fascinates some people. That he's witty and even modest in his own
perverse manner is also attractive to some. And he becomes a particularly modern
hero for others because he gets away with feeding the authorities certifiable bullshit
and persuading them he's telling the truth.
I can't tell if Dominik, who comes to film from music video and
advertising, has any unique talent as a director or not. Chopper has its original
moments but it also panders to the most anarchic elements in society and suggests
that it's admirable for criminals to manipulate the media, law enforcement and justice
systems for their own twisted reasons. My problem with Dominik is that there's no
ethical center in his movie that stands up to Chopper's demented propositions.
Chopper opens at the Bijou on June 29.
Films open the Friday following date of EW publication unless
A.I.: Steven Spielberg directs this film, based loosely on
a project of the late Stanley Kubrick and a story by sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss.
In a future filled with environmental catastrophes, Haley Joel Osment plays an 11-year
old android aware of his own existence who wants to become a boy. Sexy star Jude
Law plays a sex toy. Also stars Frances O'Connor and William Hurt. PG-13. Cinemark.
Angel Eyes: Luis Mandoki's romance between a cop (Jennifer
Lopez) and a mysterious man (Jim Caviezel) also stars Sonia Braga. LA Weekly calls
it a "sappy love story," and blames scriptwriter Gerald DiPego who "plots
himself into a dead end where the only way out is to have the lovers each deliver
life-changing, soul-purging monologues." R. Movies 12.
Chopper: Andrew Dominik's fictionalized tale of a real-life,
notorious Australian murderer with a cult following is based on Mark Read's autobiographical
best-selling novels. Dominik's neutrality is misleading; if he'd called it "Homicidal
Thug," then everybody would get it. Ultra-violent film with no ethical center.
Not rated. Bijou. See review.
crazy/beautiful: John Stockwell directs this high school
drama starring Kirsten Dunst as the sexy, rich daughter of a California congressman
and Jay Hernandez as the poor Hispanic boy she loves. PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Himalaya: Beautiful adventure film shot in the high mountains
of Nepal stars courageous, talented nonactors from the Dopol region of the country.
Directed by Edward Valli, a documentary filmmaker, writer and National Geographic
photographer, it's a glimpse into a culture and people with universal values we recognize.
Highly recommended. Review includes interview with director. Not rated. Bijou. See review.
Tailor of Panama, The: John Boorman's film, based on a John
le Carré novel, stars Pierce Brosnan as a bored British agent who puts the
moves on Catherine McCormack while tying his fate to a British ex-con (Geoffrey Rush)
married to Jamie Lee Curtis. Surprisingly well-done, it's highly recommended. R.
Movies 12. See
Trumpet of the Swan: In its Eugene premiere, this animated
film based on E.B. White's classic tale stars voices of Jason Alexander, Dee Baker,
Mary Steenburgen, Reese Witherspoon and Carol Burnett. G. Movies 12.
Wizard of Oz, The: This original Judy Garland musical picture
features some high-tech improvements such as a remastered soundtrack and a digitally
restored picture. Directed by Victor Fleming, the film is based on the children's
classic novel by L. Frank Baum. G. 10 am 7/4 only. Movies 12.
Animal: Wimp Marvin (Rob Schneider) becomes a super
cop after surgery following an accident leaves him with animal organs. Now, his instincts
are taking over, and it isn't a nice picture. Luke Greenfield makes his directorial
debut; also stars Coleen Haskell. PG-13. Cinemark.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Disney animated tale directed
by Beauty and Beast team, Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale. A museum cartographer
named Milo finds a map to Atlantis and heads an expedition to the lost land. Voices
include Michael J. Fox, James Garner and Leonard Nimoy. PG. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Baby Boy: John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood ) goes
back to the same inner-city L.A. neighborhood for this drama about a misguided 20-year-old
(Tyrese Gibson) resistant to the commitments of real life. With Omar Gooding and
Ving Rhames. Cinemark.
Blow: Ted Demme directs Johnny Depp as George Jung, now
in prison, but in the 1970s the first American to import cocaine from Carlos Escobar's
Colombian cartel to the U.S. Based on book by Bruce Porter, movie also stars Penelope
Cruz, Ray Liotta, Rachel Griffiths and Paul Reubens. R. Movies 12.
Cast Away: Tom Hanks learns to survive when his plane crashes
and he washes up on a remote tropical island. Helen Hunt is the girlfriend he left
behind. Intimate direction by Robert Zemeckis, a lean script by William Broyles Jr.,
and an edgy performance by Hanks. Highly recommended. PG-13. Movies 12. See review.
Chocolat: Lasse Hallström's 2000 film stars Juliette
Binoche (best actress nom), Johnny Depp and Judi Dench (supporting actress nom).
A sexy, free spirited woman causes a scandal in a small church-going town when she
opens a chocolate shop. PG-13. Movies 12. See review.
Crocodile Dundee in L.A.: Simon Wencer directs the return
of the old Aussie fave played by Paul Hogan, with Linda Kozlowski as the love interest.
PG. Movies 12.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Ang Lee's cinematic masterpiece
and Academy Award-winning foreign film 2000, this romantic fantasy set in ancient
China involves intrigue, poison darts, a pirate of the dunes, a witch, a magic sword,
fabulous women fighters and beautiful, ballet-like martial arts that transcend gravity.
Stars Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun Fat, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. Superlative! PG-13.
Movies 12. See review.
Dish, The: Australian technicians manning the Southern Hemisphere's
largest radio telescope save the day on June 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong walks
on the moon. Stars Sam Neill, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long and Patrick Warburton. Highly
rated docudrama is highly recommended. PG-13. Bijou. See review.
Dr. Dolittle 2: Eddie Murphy is back as the good doctor,
but the animals have changed. They've become activists who plan to go on strike to
save their forest in Steve Carr's new film. And they're hungry for sex advice. PG.
Cinema World. Cinemark.
Driven: Sylvester Stallone in a racetrack action picture
directed by Renny Harlin. PG-13. Movies 12.
Enemy at the Gates: During the siege of Stalingrad during
WWII, a Soviet sniper (Jude Law) is pursued by a Nazi assassin (Ed Harris). Also
stars Joe Fiennes, Bob Hoskins and Rachel Weisz. Flawed, but well worth seeing for
Harris' performance. R. Movies 12. See review.
Evolution: David Duchovny and Julianne Moore star in an
Ivan Reitman summer comedy about pterodactyls and meteors. PG-13. Cinema World.
Fast and The Furious, The: Undercover cop (Paul Walker)
infiltrates gang-like LA street racing teams in Rob Cohen's action-adventure that
also stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight). PG-13. Cinemark.
Joe Dirt, The Adventures of: Comedy directed by Dennie Gordon
stars David Spader as a dunce who's on a quest to find the parents who dumped him
at the Grand Canyon when he was 8 years old. PG-13. Cinemark.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: Angelina Jolie plays the video
game action heroine, and Simon West directs. Also stars Jon Voight and Iain Glen.
PG-13. Cinemark. Cinema World.
Memento: Written, directed by Christopher Nolan, based on
his brother Jonathan's story. Stars Guy Pearce as a man whose memory loss following
a crime in which his wife was raped and killed propels him toward vengeance. With
Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano. Question the film's skewed reality at every opportunity.
R. Bijou. See review.
Mexican, The: Comic road movie stars Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts
and James Gandolfini in a mobbed-up escapade south of the border. Has its moment,
but murder isn't really all that funny. R. Movies 12. See review.
Moulin Rouge: Director Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom,
Romeo and Juliet) sets this fabulous dramatic musical extravaganza in the
summer of love, Paris, 1899. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor make a great romantic
pair, and John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent and Richard Roxburgh are excellent players.
Everybody wants to work at the all-singing, all-dancing Moulin Rouge shows. Very
highly recommended. PG-13. Cinemark. See
Pearl Harbor: Director Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer's
$135 million WWII epic stars Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale, with
Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Voight, Dan Aykroyd and Alec Baldwin. Spectacle, yes. Romance,
no. Tediously unoriginal, overstuffed turkey. Cinemark 17. See review.
Recess: School's Out: Animated Disney film's about a plot
to create permanent winter, thus doing away with summer vacation! G. Movies 12.
Save the Last Dance for Me: Talented white girl from small
town (Julia Stiles) enrolls in an inner city high school in New York where she falls
for a popularAfrican American boy (Sean Patrick Thomas) who also loves to dance.
PG-13. Movies 12.
Shrek: Computer-animated fairy tale (by DreamWorks' Pacific
Data Images, makers of Antz) stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
and John Lithgow. Entertaining and funny for kids and grown-ups. PG. Cinema World.
Swordfish: John Travolta plays a C.I.A. spook who persuades
a sexy colleague (Halle Berry) and a hacker (Hugh Jackman) to help him steal $9 billion.
AP reviewer says after the first 10 minutes, this fish begins to smell. Directed
by Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds). R. Cinemark.
Use the links provided below for specific show times.
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
Cinema World 342-6536 | Valley River
Springfield Quad 726-9073 |
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway
Movies before 12:30 are Sat. Sun. only. $1.50 all shows all days.
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Releases subject to change. Available the Tuesday following date of
EW publication, sometimes sooner:
Body, The: Elvis Mitchell's review in The New York Times
is undoubtedly funnier than this feeble adventure film itself. A Jerusalem shopkeeper
digging a basement discovers a body that may be that of Jesus, and all sorts of folks
come out of the woodwork. John Wood plays a cardinal, Antonio Banderas is an archaeologist
and former military spy working with archaeologist Olivia Williams. Directed by Jonas
McCord, the film also stars Derek Jacobi. Mitchell's best line: "'God has no
place in politics,' Matt says, in a touching display of naïveté; perhaps
his time in military intelligence left him unaware of the Crusades and the Spanish
Dracula 2000: Wes Craven's modernization of Bram Stoker's
1897 novel stars Gerard Butler, Johnny Lee Miller, Christopher Plummer and Jennifer
Head Over Heels: Single woman who lives with four models
gets a makeover and a new boyfriend. All's well 'til the girls discover him committing
a crime. Stars Monica Potter and Freddie Prinze Jr. PG-13.
Malena: Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, this WWII tale set
in an Italian village centers around a beautiful woman, Malena (Monica Bellucci),
whose husband is off fighting for Mussolini. School boys fantasize about her, and
jealous wives of the men of the village hate her. After her husband dies, Malena
is vulnerable to their gossip, and worse matters yet. Critics say film is saved by
thoughtful ending. R. 94 minutes.
Snatch: Writer, director Guy Ritchie's (Lock, Stock &
Two Smoking Barrels) comedy features an ensemble cast in the wild tale of a diamond
heist gone sideways. It's a rollicking ride through London's gangster world starring
Benicio Del Toro (Traffic), Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Jason
Statham and Stephen Graham. R. See review.
Wedding Planner, The: San Francisco wedding planner (Jennifer
Lopez) meets the man of her dreams -- a handsome pediatrician (Matthew McConaughey)
who saves her from a near-fatal collision. PG-13.
Next week: Beyond Suspicion, Double Take, Down to Earth,
Monkeybone, The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking
at Her, and Thirteen Days.
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