Shane Carruth's Upstream Color.
Peer into the week ahead at Film Society of Lincoln Center with trailers from some of our upcoming films. Shane Carruth's long-awaited followup to Primer is returing to Film Society oon Friday for a week-long run. Upstream Color was a favorite out of Sundance and made only a short festival run afterward, including at the 42nd New Directors/New Films. Art of the Real documentary Lost and Sound brings together art and science in a film by partially deaf filmmaker Lindsey Dryden. Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn star as Robin Hood and Maid Marian in Robin and Marian, an "updated" version of the tale. And out of Old Ghosts, New Dreams: The Emerging Cambodian Cinema, which starts Friday, are two new features Dancing Across Borders and A River Changes Course.
Upstream Color (Opens Friday!)
Writer/Director: Shane Carruth
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig
An anticipated title at the Sundance Film Festival last January, Upstream Color centers on a man and woman who are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.
"The story elements were coming together for about a year," writer/director Shane Carruth told Deadline. "I was stripping the central characters of so much of their subjectivity it became horrific and emotional. The characters are meeting at the crossroads of being broken down. So I became very passionate about it for three concerted months."
Lost and Sound (Wednesday at 6:30pm, Art of the Real)
Director: Lindsey Dryden
Lost and Sound is a film by a partially deaf filmmaker who took on the project after the future of her own hearing was unclear. The documentary follows music critic Nick Coleman, dancer Emily Thornton and pianist Holly Loach over two years as they journey deep into sound and silence. The feature makes use of original animation, intimate filming, a rich musical soundtrack, which at times reveals what deafness actually sounds like, and insight from the world's top neuroscientists, including New York Times bestseller Dr. David Eagleman.
Noted Film Society programmer Marian Masone: "What appeals to me most about Lost and Sound is the beautiful confluence of art and science. Graphics of how the brain works, for instance, are pretty stunning, and the experts Lindsey uses to explain the physiology of how we hear are not only knowledgable but fascinating. And the film's subjects are so compelling—each one learns to experience the feel of music in their own way."
Robin and Marian (Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm, Family Films)
Director: Richard Lester
Cast: Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw, Richard Harris
Sean Connery plays Robin Hood, who is not aging gracefully. He returns exhausted from the Crusades to woo and win Maid Marian (Audrey Hepburn) one last time. Film Society programmer Isa Cucinotta explains: "In this funny, touching follow-up to the legendary tale, Robin returns to Sherwood Forest after 20 years, only to find that the Sheriff of Nottingham is still persecuting Marian and his his friends!"
Noted Roger Ebert back in the mid-70s: "No matter what the director and the writer may think, Connery and Hepburn seem to have arrived at a tacit understanding between themselves about their characters. They glow. They really do seem in love. And they project as marvelously complex, fond, tender people; the passage of 20 years has given them grace and wisdom."
Dancing Across Borders (Saturday at 9:30pm, Old Ghosts, New Dreams: The Emerging Cambodian Cinema)
Director: Anne Bass
Subjects: Sokvannara 'Sy' Sar, Anne Bass, Peter Boal, Philip Glass
While traveling to Angkor Wat in January, 2000, filmmaker Anne Bass encountered a 16-year-old boy who moved her immensely with his amazing and apparently natural ability as a dancer. Bass had been a longtime devotee of dance and felt moved to give this boy the opportunity to leave his home and follow a dream he likely hadn't imagined. Traveling from the countryside of Southeast Asia to the halls of New York's School of American Ballet and later to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, the film gives a behind-the-scenes look into the world of dance and chronicles an intimate portrait of a boy who was discovered and later realized the talent he possessed.
The New York Times called the film a "delight" but noted the cultural disconnect that inevitably arises from such an arrangement: "Even if you don’t know your pliés from your battements frappés, the dance sequences in Dancing Across Borders are a delight. More problematic, perhaps, is a true-life narrative about a wealthy white woman (Anne Bass, a prominent Manhattan patron of the arts) who plucks a happy teenager (Sokvannara Sar, known to everyone as “Sy”) from his home in Cambodia and installs him in the School of American Ballet in New York."
A River Changes Course (Friday at 7:15pm, Old Ghosts, New Dreams: The Emerging Cambodian Cinema)
Director: Kalyanee Mam
Twice a year in Cambodia, the Tonle Sap River changes course, transforming life along its banks. Working in an intimate, vérité style, filmmaker Kalyanee Mam (Director of Photography for Oscar-winning doc Inside Job) spent two years in her native land following three young Cambodians struggling to overcome the crushing effects of deforestation, overfishing, and overwhelming debt. A breathtaking and unprecedented journey from the remote, mountainous jungles and floating cities of the Cambodian countryside to the bustling garment factories of modern Phnom Penh, the film traces a remarkable and devastatingly beautiful story of a country torn between the rural present and an ominous industrial future.
The Huffington Post noted in its Sundance review: "Kalyanee Mam’s bold new documentary, A River Changes Course, shot in a breathtakingly beautiful, cinéma vérité style, breaks new ground in presenting the lives of Cambodians marching from their ancient culture into a globalized economy."