CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

 
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Friday, May 8, 2009
by Lewis Beale / Newsday (MCT)

Forty-three years, six TV series, 10 feature films, numerous video games and hundreds of novels later, Star Trek is still with us. Director J.J. Abrams’ film, opening Friday, is an origins story, in which the young Kirk and Spock meet, fight, bond and eventually take over the running of the Enterprise. Not surprisingly, fans have been salivating over the imminent arrival of Star Trek for at least a Vulcan year.


Not that everything Trek has been a wild success. The films, in particular, have been a wildly mixed bag of sci-fi fun and ponderous, futuristic philosophizing. Here are some of the best and worst…


Tagged as: star trek
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Monday, Apr 20, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

The Girlfriend Experience
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Glenn Kenney, Peter Zizzo
Opening: 22 May 2009 (New York / Los Angeles)
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures


 


Plot summary: Set in the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election, The Girlfriend Experience is five days in the life of Chelsea (adult film star Sasha Grey in her mainstream film debut), an ultra high-end Manhattan call girl who offers more than sex to her clients, but companionship and conversation—“the girlfriend experience”. Chelsea thinks she has her life totally under control—she feels her future is secure because she runs her own business her own way, makes $2,000 an hour, and has a devoted boyfriend (Chris Santos) who accepts her lifestyle. But when you’re in the business of meeting people, you never know who you’re going to meet…


The 20th film from Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh, The Girlfriend Experience is a sexy, gorgeously shot time capsule from the not-too-distant past. [Magnolia Pictures]



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Monday, Apr 20, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

JULIA
Director: Erick Zonca
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Saul Rubinek, Kate Del Castillo, Aidan Gould, Jude Ciccolella, Bruno Bichir, Horacio Garcia Rojas, Gaston Peterson, Mauricio Moreno, Kevin Kilner, John Bellucci, Ezra Buzzington, Roger Cudney, Eugene Byrd, Sandro Kopp
Opening: 8 May 2009 (limited)
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures


 


Plot summary: Julia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from her friend Mitch, who tries to help her. But she shrugs him off, as her alcohol-induced confusion daily reinforces her sense that life has dealt her a losing hand and that she is not to blame for the mess she has made of it.


Glimpsing imminent perdition, and after a chance encounter with Elena, a Mexican woman, Julia convinces herself – as much in panic and despair as for financial gain – to commit a violent act. As the story unfolds, Julia’s journey becomes a headlong flight on a collision course, but somehow she makes the choice of life over death. [Magnolia Pictures]



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Friday, Apr 17, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Every Little Step
Director and Producer: James D. Stern & Adam Del Deo
Opening: 17 April 2009
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics


 


Plot summary: Every Little Step explores the incredible journey of A Chorus Line, from ambitious idea to international phenomenon. Through 15 years of continuous performances from the ‘70s to ‘90s and a revival beginning last year, A Chorus Line has touched generations around the world with stories so poignant, they could only have come from truth. The film compares and contrasts the original musical with the current revival. It investigates the societies in which they’ve debuted, and why the themes are so timeless and universal. 


The film goes behind the scenes with exclusive interviews and footage of the revival’s audition process, revealing the dramatic journey of the performers, and unfolding the story of life imitating art. The real dead-of-night conversations in a dance studio that inspired A Chorus Line were recorded to audio tapes which have been locked away for decades. The filmmakers, James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, were granted unprecedented access. Interviews, then and now, with the creative minds who shaped A Chorus Line and the cast who realized it provide fascinating insights and reveal the truths behind the genesis of the show.  [Sony Pictures Classics]



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Thursday, Apr 16, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Moon, directed by Duncan Jones and starring Sam Rockwell, appeared at the recent Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca film festivals and now opens in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on June 12th.


Plot synopsis from Sony Pictures Classics:
It is the near future. Astronaut Sam Bell is living on the far side of the moon, completing a three-year contract with Lunar Industries to mine Earth’s primary source of energy, Helium-3. It is a lonely job, made harder by a broken satellite that allows no live communications home. Taped messages are all Sam can send and receive.
 
Thankfully, his time on the moon is nearly over, and Sam will be reunited with his wife, Tess, and their three-year-old daughter, Eve, in only a few short weeks. Suddenly, Sam’s health starts to deteriorate. Painful headaches, hallucinations and a lack of focus lead to an almost fatal accident on a routine drive on the moon in a lunar rover. While recuperating back at the base (with no memory of how he got there), Sam meets a younger, angrier version of himself, who claims to be there to fulfill the same three year contract Sam started all those years ago. 
 
Confined with what appears to be a clone of his earlier self, and with a “support crew” on its way to help put the base back into productive order, Sam is fighting the clock to discover what’s going on and where he fits into company plans.



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