‘Keep the Change’ looks at love in its own unique way

‘Keep the Change’ looks at love in its own unique way

“Keep the Change” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman, Will Deaver, Nicky Gottlieb, Gabe Rhodes, Dylan Rothbein, Dorsey Massey, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Christina Brucato, Anna Suzuki, Sondra James. Director: Rachel Israel. Screenplay: Rachel Israel. Source material: “Keep the Change,” short film (2013). Web site. Trailer.

It’s been said that love knows no bounds. But how widely are most of us willing to apply that notion? Does that include only the limited sorts of romantic circumstances with which we’re most familiar? Or are we capable of envisioning it on a broader scale, applying it to scenarios that aren’t neatly compartmentalized into tidy little boxes? For those who have special needs or who represent constituencies outside the mainstream, we may not readily consider their situations and requirements, even though the need is just as valid – and viable – as it is for the rest of us. Those are among the issues explored in the inventive new romantic comedy, “Keep the Change.” (more…)

‘A Quiet Passion’ surveys the evolution of an artist’s worldview

‘A Quiet Passion’ surveys the evolution of an artist’s worldview

“A Quiet Passion” (2017). Cast: Cynthia Nixon, Keith Carradine, Jennifer Ehle, Catherine Bailey, Duncan Duff, Emma Bell, Rose Williams, Benjamin Wainwright, Joanna Bacon, Annette Badland, Jodhi May, Eric Loren, Simone Milsdochter, Trevor Cooper, Stefan Menaul, Sara Louise Vertongen, Noémie Schellens. Director: Terence Davies. Screenplay: Terence Davies. Web site. Trailer.

Geniuses are often misunderstood during their lifetimes. Their eccentricities and alternative viewpoints frequently draw criticisms – sometimes even ostracism – from contemporaries who fail (or refuse) to understand and appreciate them for what they are. In later times, their contributions to humanity often seem patently (and obviously) brilliant. But, in getting to that point, we must first examine how they arrived at their insights, assessing the influences that helped to make them who they were and what their accomplishments are, ideas explored in the engaging, fact-based biopic, “A Quiet Passion,” available on DVD, Blu-ray disc and video on demand. (more…)

‘Loveless’ exposes the perils of self-absorption

‘Loveless’ exposes the perils of self-absorption

“Loveless” (“Nelyubov”) (2017). Cast: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov, Marina Vasileva, Andris Keyshs, Aleksey Fateev, Nataliya Potapova, Artyom Zhigulin, Aleksandr Sergeev. Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev. Screenplay: Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev. Web site. Trailer.

How we treat those close to us often speaks volumes about how we care about others in the wider world, even if the parallels aren’t patently obvious. The compassion, caring and courtesy – or lack thereof – that we show them is quite telling, even if we can’t or don’t want to see it for ourselves. Whether such concerted attentiveness or deliberate slights occur on an individual or collective scale, their presence and expression are nevertheless undeniable, as seen in the troubling new Russian drama, “Loveless” (“Nelyubov”). (more…)

‘The Party’ brings us face to face with our innate selves

‘The Party’ brings us face to face with our innate selves

“The Party” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall. Director: Sally Potter. Screenplay: Sally Potter. Web site. Trailer.

Celebrations are supposed to be festive occasions, times for us to enjoy ourselves and recognize the accomplishments of others. They’re a good time to let our hair down, to open ourselves up to others and, one would hope, to have a good time. But sometimes we might expose our inner selves a little too much at these events, revealing more than we originally may have planned. So it is for the guests at the darkly satirical new comedy of ill manners, “The Party.” (more…)

‘The Insult’ searches for resolution in a world on the edge

‘The Insult’ searches for resolution in a world on the edge

“The Insult” (“L’insulte”) (2017). Cast: Adel Karam, Kamel El Basha, Camille Salameh, Diamond Bou Abboud, Rita Hayek, Talal Jurdi, Christine Choueiri, Julia Kassar, Carlos Chahine, Georges Daoud, Elie Njeim, Rifaat Torbey. Director: Ziad Doueiri. Screenplay: Ziad Doueiri and Joëlle Touma. Web site. Trailer.

Oftentimes, when people quarrel, they’re not really debating about what they claim they’re arguing about. In many instances, there are issues beneath the surface that are the actual source of the conflict, most of which are far removed from the problem at hand. These proxy disputes provide a buffer against the real issue coming out, either because we don’t recognize the true root of the disagreement or because we’re not ready to deal with it. However, if genuine resolution is to come about, it’s imperative to cut through the clutter to get to the heart of the matter, an undertaking explored in the new Lebanese drama, “The Insult” (“L’insulte”). (more…)

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