|February 26, 2009
A triptych of first-class films for March’s Cine Club
‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers’, ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ and ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’ comprise this month’s programme
With the hangover of the Oscars still upon us, and another golden statue for Spanish acting, the Cine Club of Alcalá de Henares brings you its programming for the month of March. It will comprise three films that were very well received by the critics, all directed by renowned filmmakers. This is cinema far removed from popcorn consumerism, with diverse backgrounds and sensitivities; from Asia to the United States to Europe.
All the screenings will be made in original version with subtitles in the Teatro Salón Cervantes of Alcalá, twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays in two sessions (18:30 and 21:00).
March will begin with ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers’, the film that captivated the jury of the San Sebastián Film Festival two years back and won the Concha de Oro. The complex father daughter relationship between Mr Shi, a retired widower from Peking, and Yilan, his only daughter, who lives in the United States and has just divorced is a melange of silences, secrets and concealed affection. Shi is confronted by linguistic and intercultural problems in an unfamiliar environment, while the past bubbles close to the surface and influences the conduct of the characters in the present. These are the features of this intimate film delicately shot by Wayne Wang, the director of ‘Chinese Box’ and ‘Smoke’. ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers’ will be screened on the 4th and 5th of March.
The next feature film was described by El País’s much feared critic Carlos Boyero as “the most sombre, lucid and tragic American film for a very long time”. He was talking about ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’, directed by a venerable octogenarian filmmaker; the American Sidney Lumet. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney and Marisa Tomei form a quartet of fantastic actors in this explosive 'thriller'; film noir with a complex plot we should not divulge too much of here. ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ confronts brothers from a middle-class background. To overcome problems and pay off debts they decide to rob their parents’ jewellery store. The two sessions of this film will be screened on the 11th and 12th of March.
‘I’ve Loved You So Long’
Cine Club will bring March to a close with the screening of ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’, by French filmmaker Philippe Claudel. The action revolves around Juliette, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. After fifteen years in prison without any contact with anyone from her family, she is let out and moves into the home of her younger sister, Léa. Some things make Juliette feel rejected while others bring her closer to beginning her existence anew. The burdens of the past separated her from Léa but the present has the potential to reinstate the broken relationship. ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’ is the first film by French writer Philippe Claudel (1962). It will be screened on the 25th and 26th of March in the Teatro Salón Cervantes.