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Film Movement: English Language Films [12 Discs] [DVD]

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$139.99
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Overview

Synopsis

Anytown, USA
As the mayoral race heats up in a small New Jersey suburb, the mud starts to fly and the political tempers start to flare. With three candidates vying for the same position in a two party system, the race is on to see who's the best man for the job. As if the race wasn't already interesting enough, the fact that two of the three candidates are legally blind makes this election one of the most unique in the entire country. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Wilby Wonderful
The residents of Wilby, Nova Scotia, learn the importance a day can make as scandal weighs heavily on their conscience in the sophomore feature from Canadian playwright-turned-filmmaker Daniel MacIvor. Suicidal Dan Jarvis (James Allodi) is longing to find a reason to live, and as Buddy and Carol Franch's (Paul Gross and Sandra Oh) marriage falls to pieces, single mom Sandra Anderson (Rebecca Jenkins) seeks male companionship to relieve the strain of raising a child alone and unlucky painter Duck MacDonald (Callum Keith Rennie) struggles to overcome his own nagging problems. On the horizon, a shocking revelation threatens to change the way the residents of the small town view both themselves and their neighbors, but how will the people of Wilby deal with such a major problem when they can't even work out their own issues? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

He Died With a Felafel In His Hand
Danny (Noah Taylor) is a young man seemingly used to chaos, but he soon discovers that the fates are more than capable of dishing out more than he can handle in this offbeat Australian comedy. By his own count, thirtyish Danny has found himself sharing living quarters with one or more friends more than four dozen times in the past; one might imagine this would make him immune to roommate problems, but that soon proves not to be the case. While sharing a house in Brisbane with a handful of sloppy guys -- and one woman, Sam (Emily Hamilton), who ought to know better -- Danny finds himself obsessing over his most recent relationship, which crashed and burned six months before. The arrival of Anya (Romane Bohringer) picks up Danny's spirits, until he discovers she's dating Sam; this sets off his impulsive instincts, and too much spending (and too much damage to his rented house) forces Danny to high-tail it to Melbourne. Sam soon follows, smarting from a break-up with Anya, and she ends up sharing a flat with Danny. Danny's money management skills have not improved a bit, and he is soon on the run to Sydney, where he and Sam find themselves crashing with Nina (Sophie Lee), an actress with an eating disorder, and her gay friend Dirk (Francis McMahon). Just as Danny and Sam seem to be getting settled, Anya arrives, looking to reconcile with Sam; things get complicated for Danny, and he ends up moving in with Flip (Brett Stewart), an old friend with a severe drug problem. He Died With A Felafel In His Hand was adapted from the popular novel by Australian author John Birmingham. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

MINE
Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating natural disasters to ever hit the United States, claiming over 1,800 lives and causing an estimated 82.1 billion dollars in damages in August 2005. But people weren't the only victims of the storm; while rescue efforts attempted to evacuate families in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and other regions hit by Katrina, most were forced to leave their pets behind, and after the worst of the storm had passed, animal welfare workers from around the country traveled to the South and saved nearly 15,000 dogs and cats who were left behind. Many of these pets were adopted by new families who gave them loving homes, but this led to an unexpected dilemma -- when the former owners made their way back home to rebuild their homes and their lives, they wanted to be reunited with the pets that they'd raised and cared for. The new masters, however, were often reluctant to give up the pets that they'd come to love, leading to an emotional tug of war between two households who had a strong emotional connection to the same animal. Filmmaker Geralyn Pezanoski explores how many pets were ignored during the Katrina debacle and how some of these survivors are caught in the middle of angry custody battles in the documentary Mine, which received its world premiere at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Marion Bridge
Thee adult sisters are forced to face the scars of their past as they wait at their mother's deathbed in this drama written by noted Canadian actor Daniel MacIvor. Agnes (Molly Parker) grew up in Sydney, a small town in Nova Scotia; hoping to get away from memories of an unhappy childhood, Agnes moved to Toronto, where she found more than her share of disappointments. When Agnes receives word that her mother Rose (Marguerite McNeil) is in failing health, she returns to Sydney for the first time in years, where she's met by her sisters, Theresa (Rebecca Jenkins), who has been turned bitter by a bad divorce, and Louise (Stacy Smith), who prefers withdrawing into herself to dealing with the outside world. As the four women attempt to make peace with one another, Agnes decides it's time they faced several unpleasant truths, including the abuse they faced at the hands of her father. The first directorial effort from Wiebke Von Carolsfeld, Marion Bridge was screened in competition at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival as part of the "Perspective Canada" series. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Falling Angels
Canadian filmmaker Scott Smith directs the black comedy Falling Angels, based on the novel by Barbara Gowdy and adapted for the screen by poet and author Esta Spalding. Set in the late '60s and filmed on-location in Saskatchewan, this dark family drama focuses on the three teenaged daughters of the Field household. Callum Keith Rennie plays Jim Field, the loud-mouthed, domineering patriarch who has intimidated his wife Mary (Miranda Richardson) into a catatonic state of alcoholism and depression. Norma (Monté Gagné) is the oldest, most responsible daughter; she is overburdened and preoccupied by events from the past. Middle child Lou (Katharine Isabelle) chooses the rebellious path in order to escape her father's unreasonable demands. Youngest daughter Sandy (Kristin Adams) aspires to maximum femininity, engaging in an affair with an older, married man (Mark McKinney) in the process. Falling Angels was shown at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

A Simple Curve
A belated rite of passage finds tensions rising between an idealistic father and his increasingly independent son in this family drama that proves it's never too late for a little teenage rebellion. Twenty-seven-year-old Caleb (Kris Lemche) and his father, Jim (Michael Hogan), have always seemed more like old friends than father and son. An easy-going father who dodged the American draft to forge his own future by founding a carpentry shop in British Columbia's Kootenays, Jim and Caleb spend the days crafting a variety of fine products, but lately the bills have been stacking up and tensions between father and son rising. Now faced with the very real possibility of their business failing as a result of direct competition with mass produced particle board products and Jim's misguided perfectionism, the family business teeters on the verge of bankruptcy until the arrival of Jim's old friend Matthew (Matt Craven) instills Caleb with a much needed dose of pragmatism. Though Jim has long voiced disapproval of Caleb's proposal to open a luxury fishing lodge that may bring in more money and keep the family business afloat, Caleb decides to take his fate into his own hands and finally strike out on his own. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

August the First
First-time director Lanre Olabisi's relentless and devastating family drama August the First observes the calamities that erupt for the deeply dysfunctional Ibirinde clan, when they gather to celebrate son Tunde's high school graduation. Matters in the household are already problematic enough - Rhonda, the mother, slips headfirst into alcoholism; Simisola, Tunde's older sister, distances herself emotionally; and Ade, the oldest son, bombards Tunde with a relentless barrage of criticisms - but the arrival of long-estranged father Dipo is what truly ignites the powder keg. As the night unfurls, Dipo's most unwelcome appearance unveils long-buried hidden agendas and dark, twisted secrets from the past that ultimately tear the Ibirinde family to shreds. Ian Alsup, D. Rubin Green and Joy Merriweather co-star; Olabisi co-authored the script with Shawn Alexander. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Bomber
Shane Taylor, Benjamin Whitrow, and Eileen Nicholas star in writer/producer/director Paul Cotter's bittersweet family drama tracing one veteran's efforts to make amends for the destruction he caused during World War II. Lovelorn art school graduate Ross is still down in the dumps when his eighty three year old father announces plans for a family road trip to Germany. Back in the war, Ross' father accidentally bombed a small German town. He's regretted the mistake ever since, and now he's determined to visit the town and offer a formal apology. But getting to Germany won't be easy, because it's been years since father and son have exchanged a kind word. Along the way, father and son both learn some important lessons that will help them to be better, more compassionate people in the future. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Morlang
Everything seems to be going right for Julius Morlang (Paul Freeman, best-known as the villainous Rene Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark). He lives with his beautiful young girlfriend, Ann (Susan Lynch of From Hell), in a lovely cliffside home on the Pacific coast of Ireland. His once-stagnant art career is undergoing a resurgence and his agent (Eric van der Donk) tells him, "You seem a little happier. It's in your work." But things begin to fall apart when someone breaks into his home and ransacks it, leaving a cryptic message. Through flashbacks the audience discovers the truth about the death of Ellen (Diana Kent), Julius' wife of 15 years. Julius soon finds his new life with Ann threatened by a malevolent figure from his past. The basic premise of Morlang, Tjebbo Penning's directorial debut feature, was inspired by a television news story. Penning's film won awards for Best Lead Actor (Freeman) and Best First Film at the 2001 Cairo International Film Festival. It was also shown in competition at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

Choking Man
A man finds himself caught between several worlds -- rough real life and a number of parallel fantasy lands -- in this blend of drama and fantasy. Jorge (Octavio Gómez Berríos) is a painfully shy young man from Ecuador who has immigrated to the United States. Jorge keeps body and soul together by washing dishes at a greasy-spoon diner in a Queens, NY neighborhood that's dominated by a wide variety of fellow immigrants. Jorge spends most of his days at work being harassed by Rick (Mandy Patinkin), the diner's owner, and loud-mouthed manager Jerry (Aaron Paul). One of the only people at the diner who shows any kindness to Jorge is Amy (Eugenia Yuan), an Asian waitress, and Jorge has become deeply infatuated with her. However, Jerry also has his eyes on Amy, only adding to the tension between him and Jorge. As Jorge struggles to escape his grim circumstances, he passes into a variety of alternate realities, ranging from a pastel-colored wonderland ruled by animated bunnies to a grassy sylvan landscape past a fence. Choking Man was written and directed by Steve Barron, best known for his groundbreaking work in music videos; the film received its world premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Alexandra's Project
Rolf de Heer's psychological thriller Alexandra's Project captures a turning point in a very unhappy marriage. Steve (Gary Sweet) and Alexandra (Helen Buday) have two children and numerous grievances against each other. After a birthday in which Steve received a birthday cake and a raise at his job, Steve arrives home to find his family is gone and a videotape awaiting his viewing. On the tape, Alexandra lists all of her frustrations and begins to strip for the camera. She then reveals that she suffers from breast cancer. Before the now emotionally reeling Steve can recover, he learns that Alexandra has paid to have the neighbor he hates change the locks in the house. Steve is trapped inside with little to do but think about what he has done to his wife, and his only company is the video that continues to provide disturbing information. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

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