Short Subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Page 2 of 5

NOWHERE IN AFRICA (R) This year's Best Foreign Language Oscar winner follows a bourgeois Jewish family as they flee 1937 Germany to eke out an existence on the Kenyan savannah. Director Caroline Link reveals much of the film through the eyes of a 5-year-old girl, who finds Africa to be a place of endless wonders even as she sees the pressures of refugee life undermine her parents' marriage. Link never loses sight of the film's intimate, complicated relationships even when they're flung against panoramic landscapes and buffeted by the tides of history. Aug. 20, 7 p.m. Goethe Institut Inter Nationes, 1197 Peachtree St., Colony Square. $4. 404-892-2388. --CH

PAINTED FIRE (2002) (R) Choi Min-sik plays Ohwon, the raging bull of 19th century Korean painting in Kwon-taek Im's biopic. It can be hard to keep up with the film's fast-paced recap of Ohwon's life, or what makes his placid landscapes so brilliant. But the film candidly depicts Ohwon's tempestuous sex life and political tribulations, while the director's painterly location shots and close attention to sound -- you can hear the whoosh of every brushstroke -- lets us see the world through the artist's eyes. Aug. 14, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. --CH

PEACH CITY SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (NR) The three-day independent filmmaking event features educational panels and screenings of shorts and feature films, including the crime drama Blue Hill Avenue and the bittersweet road movie Road Dogs. Aug. 15-17. GSU Student Center, 33 Gilmer St. Screenings range from free to $15. 404-508-4612.

PROMISES (NR) A sad, revealing look at the seemingly insurmountable Israeli-Palestinian conflict as seen through the eyes of seven children ages 9-13 from both the Israeli and Palestinian side, this Academy Award-winning documentary shows how segregating Jew and Arab is the first step in creating lifelong enemies. Aug 15-21, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565. --FF

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975) (R) The cult classic of cult classics, the musical horror spoof follows an all-American couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) to the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a drag-queen/mad scientist from another galaxy. It's all fun and games until Meatloaf gets killed. Dress as your favorite character and participate in this musical on acid. Midnight Fri. at Lefont Plaza Theatre and Sat. at Marietta Star Cinema.

ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) (NR) Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for playing a princess who runs away from her palace to fall in love with reporter Gregory Peck. Written by blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo but credited for nearly 40 years to his "front," Ian McLellan Hunter. Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. Aug. 19, 8 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. $7. 404-881-2100.

TREMBLING BEFORE G-D (NR) Shot in six countries, this documentary explores the dilemma faced by Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, and must reconcile their religious convictions with their sexual orientations. Interviewees include the world's first openly gay Orthodox rabbi and a gay, Hasidic married couple still in the closetAug 15-21, Cinefest, GSU Student Center, Suite 211, 66 Courtland St. $5 ($3 until 5 p.m.). 404-651-3565.

VIENNA ACTIONISTS (NR) Eyedrum presents the avant-garde films of the pioneering performance and body art group of the 1960s. Aug. 14, 8 p.m. Eyedrum. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. $5. 404-522-0655.

AMERICAN WEDDING (R) The third slice of American Pie trilogy finds Jason Biggs' pie-fornicator preparing to walk down the aisle with Alyson Hannigan's flute-fetishist. As bellowing Steve Stifler, beetle-browed Seann William Scott hogs the screen time without showing much comedic ability beyond making faces and raising his voice. But Biggs and Hannigan remain charmingly horny, and compared to Pie 2, American Wedding showers gags in quantity, even if their quality can be a crap shoot. Sometimes literally. --CH

BAD BOYS II (R) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up again with decidedly unfunny results as a couple of Miami cops fixated on busting an Ecstasy-smuggling kingpin in this uber-violent sequel to the 1995 original. Director Michael Bay (Armaggedon, Pearl Harbor) ropes in viewers with all the thrills and kills, but the excruciating dialogue and ridiculous body count could make it a more fitting sequel to Commando than to Bad Boys. --Andrew Stewart

THE BREAD, MY SWEET (NR) Scott Baio of "Charles in Charge" fame provides a surprisingly effective grown-up performance as rising executive bound by ties to his old Pittsburgh neighborhood. It's nice to see a film about Italian-American culture where they're not trying to whack each other, but Bread takes a half-baked turn to melodrama when Baio proposes to a virtual stranger (Kristin Minter) to please her dying mother (Rosemary Prinz). The film's shamelessness with both ethnic stereotypes and soap-operatics eventually cancels out its street-level charms. At Madstone Theaters Parkside. --CH


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