Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present 35th anniversary screenings of writer-director Juzo Itami’s delectable comedy, Tampopo, which has developed a strong cult following in the years since it first captivated audiences. The basic story is simple enough. A truck driver and his friends come to the aid of a noodle shop owner’s widow and help her to refine and perfect her ramen dishes. But several quirky subplots and other tasty asides interrupt and enrich the central narrative.
As in other classic movies about food, the noodle dishes themselves are lovingly photographed to whet the audience’s appetites. Beyond that, puckish humor and eroticism add flavor to this savory melange. As Hal Hinson declared in the Washington Post, Tampopo is “a rambunctious mixture of the bawdy and the sublime…perhaps the funniest movie about the connection between food and sex ever made.”
Indiewire’s David Ehrlich added, “Itami’s fiercely beloved film unfolds like a prix fixe tasting menu of strange comic delights.” Writing in Film Comment, Michael Sragow said, “Tampopo creates a culinary empire of the senses while entertaining an audience like crazy.” And the Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang wrote, “Tampopo is above all about the romance of food, and the joyous, agonizing devotion and hard work required to tease out its manifold mysteries.”
1982 is a life-affirming coming-of-age tale set at an idyllic school in Lebanon’s mountains on the eve of a looming invasion. It unfolds over a single day and follows an 11-year-old boy’s relentless quest to profess his love to a girl in his class. As the invasion encroaches on Beirut, it upends the day, threatening the entire country and its cohesion. Within the microcosm of the school, the film draws a harrowing portrait of a society torn between its desire for love and peace and the ideological schisms unraveling its seams.
In his debut feature, director Oualid Mouaness delivers an ode to innocence in which he revisits one of the most cataclysmic moments in Lebanon’s history through the lens of a child and his vibrant imagination. The film demonstrates the complexities of love and war, and the resilience of the human spirit.
1982 won the Cannes Film Festival’s youth sidebar CANNES CINÉPHILES prize PRIX CANNES ECRANS JUNIORS 2021, the Toronto International Film Festival’s NETPAC AWARD, a FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at El-Gouna International Film Festival, and the UNICEF 2021 prize among numerous others. It was also Lebanon’s official submission to the 92nd Academy Awards and holds the Murex D’Or, Lebanon’s Best Feature Film honor of the last two years.
|Mouaness will participate in Q&As after the 7:20 PM screenings at the Royal Friday-Sunday, June 24-26, Tuesday, June 28, and Thursday, June 30. Director Aya Tanimura will moderate on the 25th, journalist Seth Abramovitch on the 26th, director Natalie Jones on the 28th, and producer Sara Mohazzebi on the 30th.|
In OFFICIAL COMPETITION, which we’ll open June 17 at the Royal before expanding it around the county in the subsequent weeks, Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas star as two egomaniacs commissioned by a millionaire to make a movie together in a sharply comedic skewering of wealth, art, and pride. Asked to describe his film, co-writer-director Gaston Duprat, replied with laughter, “I see it like one of those little ankle-biting dogs nipping at your heels. That’s it.” Banderas said, “The film has very bad blood. It rebels against stupidity.”
“Wondering just how far this film will go is half the fun, and directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat choose their moments to push the tone from sharp observational comedy into absurdity.” ~ Anna Smith, Deadline Hollywood Daily
“For viewers willing to go with the flow, the film serves up roughly two hours of sharp reflections deliciously wrapped in entertaining antics.” ~ Lovia Gyarkye, Hollywood Reporter
“Seeing Cruz and Banderas show off their comedic chops is definitely a pleasure, and the farcical final scenes will leave viewers on a high.” ~ Nicholas Barber, indieWire
“Banderas and Martínez play their catty thesps dead straight to generally hilarious effect.” ~ Philip De Semlyen, Time Out
In the acerbic teen comedy TAHARA, which we’re opening June 17 at our Glendale, Santa Monica and Encino theaters, a funeral becomes a battleground between best friends Carrie Lowstein (Madeline Grey DeFreece) and Hannah Rosen (Rachel Sennott, breakout star of Shiva Baby). When their former Hebrew school classmate commits suicide, the two girls attend her funeral as well as the “Teen Talk-back” session hosted by their synagogue, designed to be an opportunity for them to understand grief through Judaism. Hannah, more interested in impressing her crush Tristan (Daniel Taveras), convinces Carrie to practice kissing with her, unlocking feelings that turn Carrie’s world upside down. Emotions heightened, the scene develops into a biting depiction of unrequited crushes, toxic friendships, and wavering faith, which ComingSoon.net calls “one of the most original films in the coming-of-age subgenre in a long time.”
“Offers a blistering, authentic view of the teen experience in America, with a refreshingly different setting in the Jewish community.” ~ Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots
“Tahara has a personal vision behind it, commanding writing and terrifically layered performances from Madeline Grey DeFreece and Rachel Sennott” ~ Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth
Jess Zeidman, writer and executive producer: “I started this script when I was 19 and terrified of not being a teenager anymore. I had lived my entire life, it seemed, longing to be a teen and the idea that I could no longer claim that identity forced me to reconsider what my identity was. I knew I was Jewish. I knew I was queer. I knew I wanted to make movies. So I immortalized this feeling in a script and convinced person after person to believe in it.
“Once I had convinced a team of people, we did something I really didn’t think we could do: convince the staff at my childhood synagogue, Temple Beth El in Rochester, New York to let us make the movie there. And generously they agreed.
“We filmed around daily services and religious school classes. We put up sound blankets as the temple was under construction the entirety of our shoot and the walls were excavated to remove the decades worth of asbestos. We had $100,000, 15 days, and three lights: two real and one made out of a sheet pan. And despite this (or maybe because of it), we – and an incredible team of determined, young, and endlessly innovative filmmakers – made the movie we wanted to make. We made TAHARA.”
Director’s statement by Olivia Peace: “Working on this film has given me space to begin to unpack some of the bizarre and hilarious, and unique traumas that came with navigating high school. I was lucky enough to make it to the other side, but I see that as no small miracle, especially coming from a time and place that lacked knowledge of queer representation both in real life and in media. This is a film overwhelmingly inspired by the real teens I see on Instagram — those who are not influencers. Its development involved taking a hard look at the occasionally toxic ways that young women are taught to be in community with one another. Bending genres and exploring mediums and style is a big part of what queerness means to me. And this is a very queer film. TAHARA excites me for many reasons, but a big reason I love this film is because it aims to acknowledge the important ties between the communities we exist in and the insidious closets that they force people to operate out of. And then, over the course of one chaotic day, it shows us that it’s possible to speak your truth and break out.”
An official selection at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, BFI London, and the Sundance Film Festival, sci-fi punk musical NEPTUNE FROST opens June 10 at the Monica Film Center and NoHo 7. Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision, a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has explored in his work, notably his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing. Co-directed with the Rwandan-born artist and cinematographer Anisia Uzeyman, the film takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective.
From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry. Set between states of being – past and present, dream and waking life, colonized and free, male and female, memory and prescience – NEPTUNE FROST is an invigorating and empowering direct download to the cerebral cortex and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends.
“Dizzyingly inventive… [Displays] fierce originality and punk iconoclasm.” —Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
“Groundbreaking… utterly unprecedented.” —Michael Sicinski, Mubi Notebook
“Brimming with ideas… [Williams’] ambition is palpable.” —Tambay Obenson, Indiewire
“Visionary.” —Valerie Complex, Deadline
“A future cult classic in the making.” —Dustin Chang, Screen Anarchy
“A sensory delight… makes the looks on “Euphoria” seem conventional.” —Jude Dry, Indiewire
“A work of cinema that makes all other contemporary films seem quaint. Groundbreaking… utterly unprecedented.” – MUBI Notebook
“An exciting musical. Its ideas are playful as well as passionate. A polyrhythmic experience, aligned to Black film storytelling traditions.” – The Playlist
“A gorgeous, unclassifiable hacker love story set against the backdrop of a dreamlike Rwanda, it conjures a mythical sense of postmodern identity in poetic sci-fi terms that would make Octavia Butler proud.” – IndieWire
Things being what they are, it’s a relief to look away from hard news to cinema news, and there’s a lot of it as the world’s most prestigious film festival wraps up this weekend having screened some reportedly wonderful movies. A selection of press about films most likely coming soon or soonish from Cannes to a Laemmle theater near you before year’s end or in early 2023:
L.A. Times: Justin Chang compiled a promising list of 12 films he’s looking forward to seeing at Cannes, including David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future,” which we’re opening June 3, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Broker,” and Claire Denis’ “Stars at Noon,” about which he wrote, “Claire Denis (“Beau Travail,” “35 Shots of Rum”) has been one of the world’s great filmmakers for decades, which is why it’s bewildering that she hasn’t competed at Cannes since her great 1988 debut, “Chocolat.” But she finally cracked the competition a second time with this romantic thriller adapted from a Denis Johnson novel; it stars Joe Alwyn and Margaret Qualley and unfolds against the tumultuous backdrop of the 1984 Nicaraguan revolution. It’s Denis’ second new movie of 2022 after “Both Sides of the Blade,” which won the directing prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. (Coincidentally, that movie stars Vincent Lindon, who happens to be the president of this year’s Cannes competition jury. Hmm … )”
“30West and WME handled domestic rights to the comedy, which stars Woody Harrelson as a rabid Marxist who is the captain of a cruise for the super rich. According to insiders, the asking price was close to $8 million. Several top-tier buyers, including A24, were circling the movie.
“Sweden’s leading contemporary filmmaker and producer, Östlund was previously at the festival with “Force Majeure” in 2014 and “The Square,” which won the Palme d’Or in 2017. “Triangle of Sadness” marks his English-language debut.
“Variety’s Peter Debruge called the film “wickedly funny,” writing: “There’s a meticulous precision to the way [Östlund] constructs, blocks and executes scenes — a kind of agonizing unease, amplified by awkward silences or an unwelcome fly buzzing between characters struggling to communicate.””
The New York Times‘s Manohla Dargis: “In “Scarlet,” the director Pietro Marcello bridges time through the story of a World War I veteran and his daughter. The dead still litter the fields when Raphaël (Raphaël Thiéry, an astonishment) hobbles back home, returning to a small village with few friendly faces. His wife is dead and his baby girl, Juliette, is being cared for by a local woman, Adeline (the marvelous Noémie Lvovsky), who lives in a small enclave outside the village. There, Raphaël — a talented craftsman who works with wood — nestles into a tiny homey community and painfully tries to resume something like normal life, despite his harrowing losses.
““Scarlet” is a fascinating, slippery movie filled with lyrical beauty, acts of barbarism, moments of magic and unexpected hope. The first half focuses on Raphaël, a huge, lumbering man with a jutting brow and hands the size of hams. As Juliette grows (and is eventually played by Juliette Jouan), the narrative center of gravity shifts from father (a product of the 19th century) to daughter (a woman of the 20th). As he did in “Martin Eden,” Marcello takes an expansive, visually adventurous approach to a story about people and the historical forces that define, imprison and sometimes liberate them. I’m still grappling with the movie, and am eager to see it again.”
“The studio that also shepherded the “Normal People” actor’s Directors’ Fortnight entry “God’s Creatures” has acquired North American rights for Charlotte Wells’ well-liked Critics’ Week entry “Aftersun,” IndieWire has learned. A source close to the film’s production confirmed that the studio bought rights to release the drama in the U.S. and Canada in a deal in Cannes on Monday. The buy is said to be in the mid-seven-figure range. (The news was later confirmed by A24.)
““Aftersun,” a standout from the Critics’ Week sidebar that annually promotes first- and second-time directors, stars Mescal as a father on a melancholy holiday with his 11-year-old daughter Sophie, played by Francesca Corio, in Turkey in the late 1990s. Sophie, in the present day, is reflecting on the holiday they shared two decades prior. Memories real and imaginary collide, filling the gaps between mini-DV footage as Sophie tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t. The film stars filmmaker, actress, and choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall (“Ma”) as the adult version of Sophie.