Int'l Film Festival starts Friday
Following is an alphabetical film list with synopses (based on material from the U Film Society) and show times for the Seventh Rochester International Film Festival, which will be presented Friday through Thursday at the Chateau 14 Theatres, North Broadway &; 37th Street.
The program is subject to change; check www.rochestermn.com/community/rifg or call the Chateau Theatres at 536-7469 for information.
"Breaking the Silence" (China)
The film examines the plight of women and disabled people in China and stars award-winning international star Gong Li as a struggling mother of a deaf son. Directed by Sun Zhou.
5 p.m. Sunday
A psychologist, Daniel, who's father died before he was born, is having some mother-son issues. It seems mom wants to redecorate the attic so Daniel, age 29, can live there forever. He's not so sure. When he finds a necklace with the inscription "Janne," he begins a probe that gets under the surface. Directed by Pal Jackman.
7:30 p.m. Friday
"The Endurance" (USA)
One of the best man-against-nature sagas ever told, taken from the name of the ship, seen above, "The Endurance" tracks Ernest Shackleton's 1914 voyage to the Antarctic , using raw footage taken from expedition photographer Frank Hurley. (Not the IMAX version.) Directed by George Butler.
12 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m. Monday; 2 p.m., 10 p.m. Tuesday; 12 p.m., 4 p.m. Wednesday; 2 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m. Thursday
"Ephemeral Town" (Greece)
In the tradition of legendary Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, "Ephemeral Town" tracks Andreas' journey to the island where his deceased mother lived. He finds the island changed and the memories of its few original inhabitants fragmented and unreliable. He works to reconstruct his mother's life and the history of the island with the help of a temporary community of foreign refugees camped in a tent city on the island. Together, they rebuild history. Directed by Giorgos Zafiris.
2:20 p.m. Saturday
This tale of the wild lives of the people of Reykjavik, particularly the dysfunctional Bardal family, deftly walks the thin line between comedy and tragedy with a torrent of lust and madness below the frigid surfaces. Co-produced by prolific Icelandic film deity Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. Directed by Ragnar Bragason.
8:40 p.m. Sunday; 6 p.m. Tuesday
Tony, a 25-year-old hard-bitten, streetwise, tough cookie, plans to rob a government lottery office in Madrid, with the help of her boyfriend Juanjo and a drug-addicted criminal duo, Maxi and Moco. They find the perfect cover and escape in a frantic road trip through southern Spain, in this modern-day "Thelma and Louise." Directed by Miguel Hermoso.
5:50 p.m. Saturday; 8 p.m. Wednesday
"Good Hands" (Latvia)
The Estonians and Latvians join hands in this jointly produced Baltic comedy about love and theft centering on light-fingered Margita. She takes anything and everything that's not nailed in place, until Riga police track her across the border in Estonia, where she finds herself looking after an entire household, including three suspicious men and a small boy. Directed by Peeter Simm.
12:30 p.m. Sunday
Winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, "Kandahar" follows an Afghani-born Canadian journalist's attempt to rescue her sister who is imprisoned by the Taliban. Using nonprofessional actors, and filmed in refugee villages and on smugglers routes on the Iran-Afghan border, the making of "Kandahar" posed daily threats to its crew. Directed by Moshen Makhmalbaf.
2 p.m., 10 p.m. Monday; 12 p.m., 4 p.m. Tuesday; 2 p.m., 10 p.m. Wednesday; 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m. Thursday
Three years after leaving for Sydney without telling a soul, local rowdy Eddie (nicknamed Mullet, after the fish nobody likes to eat) returns as a rather charming guy to his sleepy New South Wales coastal town, much to the chagrin of everyone who knew him, including his parents and ex-girlfriend. Tension mounts and hope persists in this forgiving portrait of small-town life. Directed by David Caesar.
4 p.m. Saturday
"Nora" (Ireland, Germany)
Based on the passionate love affair of writer James Joyce and his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle, "Nora" captured the heart of Ireland and the author who best exemplifies its roaming hills. Nominated for too many awards to mention, and starring Susan Lynch ("Waking Ned Devine" and "The Secret of Roan Inish") as the headstrong Nora, and Ewan McGregor ("Moulin Rouge," "Trainspotting" and "Star Wars: Episode 1") as Joyce. Directed by Pat Murphy.
7:50 p.m. Saturday
This splendid portrayal of love and loss is about the one-time widely known Dutch writer of children's books, Nynke van Hichtum, who was forced to put aside her literary aspirations to fulfill the traditional roles of housewife and mother. After a nervous breakdown, she returns to her life and writing, during turn-of-the-century Dutch Frisian culture. Directed by Pieter Verhoeff.
9:30 p.m. Friday
At the 24th Japan Ensemble Competition, a talented student quartet is in the middle of its performance. They are led by Akio, a gifted but rebellious musician, whose professor forced him to participate in the competition in order to graduate. The performance goes along smoothly until it nears its climax and embarrassingly falls apart. Three years later the four, having gone their separate ways, meet up again and decide to enter a contest in which the winner gets 4 million yen. Director Joe Hisaishi, who composed "Princess Mononoke," is one of Japan's leading music directors and is a prolific composer known for his strong, unique style and search for artistic perfection.
2:30 p.m. Sunday
"Queen of Dust" (Germany)
This documentary centers on three middle-aged cleaning women's search for happiness in Berlin. In their hearts, they carry pride for doing their jobs well and the many dreams long shattered by the demands of reality. Directed by Judith Keil, Antje Kruska.
12:30 p.m. Saturday
This children's film tells of 10-year-old Regina, who wants to go camping with her school friends, but her widowed mother can't afford to send her. Soon, she hatches a plan with her friend Peter to get her mother and his father to marry, using her special vocal powers. And Regina and Peter find themselves at the beginning of an unforgettable adventure. This film's powerful music is by lyric composer Sjon, whose music for Lars von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark" was Oscar-nominated. Directed by Maria Sigurdardottir. (Suitable for children; in English.)
10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sunday
"The River" (Finland)
This stylish pastiche centers on the lives of the residents of a small mill town. The varied and interwoven stories and universal themes of humanity recall Robert Altman's "Short Cuts". Directed by Jarmo Lampela.
6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday
"7 Days in Tehran" (France/Iran)
This film is about the making of a documentary by a French film crew, led by exiled Iranian filmmaker Reza, who went to Tehran to document the lives and times of Iranian youth during political reforms in the country. The youths' hunger for change impresses the French team, who become increasingly personally involved with the film project and the city. Directed by Reza Khatibi.
7 p.m. Sunday
After eight years together, Gerard breaks up with Helene, while sitting in the Orly airport cafeteria, waiting for their flight to Buenos Aires and their new life together. He hands her luggage to her and leaves. Stunned and distraught, Helene finds herself at the airport with no money or resources, and soon ventures on a journey to reclaim her life.
10 p.m. Saturday; 8 p.m. Tuesday
-- Andrea Faiad