BRIDE OF THE WIND ** (R). Bruce Beresford's biopic of Alma Mahler (Sarah Wynter), wife of composer Gustav Mahler (Jonathan Pryce), views its subject as the inspiration and obsession of a generation of Viennese artists. Yet Wynter gives only a life-sized performance for this larger-than-life personality, who increasingly seems less like a feminist martyr and icon and more like an early 20th-century groupie. At least the period photography and sound are quite nice. --CH
LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER (PG-13) Based upon the popular videogame, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider continues the adventures of buxom female Indiana Jones, played by Angelina Jolie, as she travels around the world searching for the "Achilles Shield." From the frozen ruins embedded in a glacier within the Arctic Circle to a forgotten valley filled with supposedly-extinct creatures in South America's rainforests, Croft's ventures are one part treasure hunt and one part eye-candy/adrenaline rush. Iain Glen plays the film's villain, Powell, an adversary Lara inherits from her father, Lord Croft, played by Jolie's real-life dad Jon Voight.
ATLANTA FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL Running through June 16, the festival will feature more than 175 independent, original works from around the world, including 38 films from Georgia. The festival closes with Takeshi "Beat" Kitano's BROTHER, a brutal look at the rigid codes of honor in Japan's underworld, June 16 at 8 p.m. at Rich Auditorium, High Museum. Reception follows. For festival information call 404-352-4254 or visit www.imagefv.org.
CAST AWAY (PG-13) *** Director Robert Zemeckis and his Forrest Gump star Tom Hanks have created another crowd-pleaser in what begins as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe story but comes out looking like a "Survivor" spin-off. Dumped in the Pacific, Chuck Noland (Hanks) spends four-plus years on an otherwise uninhabited island, developing survival skills gradually and realistically. The plot eventually gets Hollywood-ized, but it's amazing how long Zemeckis resists commercial impulses, aside from the whole movie being such a commercial for Chuck's employer, FedEx, that failing an Oscar, it has a chance to win a Clio. Showing at the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater, June 14 at 8 p.m.-- STEVE WARREN
DRAGSTRIP GIRL/TWO-LANE BLACKTOP Dragstrip Girl features a lovely young lady obsessed with fast cars and the boys, er, MEN who drive them! Fay Spain is simply deadly in her nose-cone bra and platinum-blonde hair as she takes John Ashley, a man whose hair rivals Jack Lord's, all the way to the finish line! Next up is the 1972 cult favorite, Two-Lane Blacktop a cross-country road race with just enough artsiness and symbolism to warrant its frequent comparison to Easy Rider, yet still reveal that hippie biker-movie to be the hum-drum yawner it really is. You've got Driver (James Taylor, believe it or not) and Mechanic (Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, not hard to believe) in their hopped-up, stripped down '55 Chevy rod. Mondo Movie Nite Sunday, June 17, Starlight Six Drive-In.
THE MALTESE FALCON Humphrey Bogart is Sam Spade; Mary Astor is trouble. The definitive private detective flick was directed by John Huston. Colorful support is provided by Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. The stuff that dreams are made of, indeed. Screen on the Green, June 13 at Piedmont Park, sunset.
MY STRUGGLE Touring underground film maker JOE CHRIST, best known for his tasteless short movies, will host another Atlanta screening of his newest creation. My Struggle is the story of an inbred Amish man (Andy Miller) who kidnaps a female tourist (Cindy Basden) to use as fresh genetic stock. Joe Christ plays a struggling artist who makes his living burglarizing houses and manufacturing pipe bombs for high school students. After coming across a severely mentally challenged young woman who's been stranded in a cardboard box, the artist faces some major decisions. If you haven't already guessed, the film is a comedy. June 14 at the Somber Reptile, 842 Marietta St. Doors open 9 p.m.
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (PG-13) ***1/2 George Clooney plays an escaped convict dragging his buddies across the Depression-era Deep South in search of hidden treasure and also trying to stop his wife's remarriage in this uneven but brilliantly bizarre screwball send-up of '30s folk history and Homer's ancient epic, The Odyssey. The film features a number of Coen Brothers alums, including John Goodman (standing in for the Cyclops) and John Turturro (who almost gets turned into a frog). The title comes from Sullivan's Travels, which you should also see, dammit. Showing at the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater, Monday, June 18 at 8 p.m. -- EDDY VON MUELLER
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