Summary: “Sleep Furiously” is set in a small farming community in Wales, about 50 miles from Dylan Thomas’ fictional village of Llareggub. There is a sense in which this is a film “for” Dylan Thomas, if not a contemporary translation of “Under Milk Wood.” This is a place where Koppel’s parents- both Jewish refugees found a home. It is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small-scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanized world is dying out. Gideon Koppel leads us on a poetic journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire featuring an inventive soundtrack by renowned musician Aphex Twin.
Movie: Attack the Block
Release Date: July 29, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Screen Gems (Sony)
Director: Joe Cornish
Screenwriter: Joe Cornish
Starring: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, Flaminia Cinque, Joey Ansah, Lee Nicholas Harris, Chris Wilson, Terry Notary, Maggie McCarthy, Jacey Sallés, Adam Leese, Sammy Williams, Karl Collins, Jumayn Hunter, Danielle Vitalis
Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Summary: From the producers of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” comes “Attack the Block,” a fast funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London tower block into a fortress under siege, and a weapon wielding teenage thugs into heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space.
Movie: The Woman with the 5 Elephants
Release Date: July 20, 2011 (NY)
Studio: A Cinema Guild Release
Director: Vadim Jendreyko
Screenwriter: Vadim Jendreyko
Starring: Svetlana Geier, Anna Götte, Hannelore Hagen
Summary: A poignant and inspiring new documentary by Vadim Jendreyko. The 5 elephants in question are Dostoyevsky’s great literary works, all of which have been translated by the octogenarian Svetlana Geier, considered the world’s most masterful translator of Russian literature into German. The filmmaker visits with a woman whose fascinating, dramatic life story has been colored by some of the most violent events in 20th century European history: Stalin’s purges of the kulaks (responsible for her father’s death) and the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine (ultimately responsible for saving her life and leading to a university education in Germany).
A rigorous intellectual whom we’re privileged to watch parse the language, word by word, with her colleague (sometimes with great, dry humor), she warms the screen with the depths of her dignity and humanity. Language as a civilizing force is the thread that runs through Geier’s life, and it illuminates every minute of the film. Interestingly, Geier reveals her human failings at those moments when the filmmaker points out to her, however gently, the irony that her good fate was made possible by the Nazis’ temporary conquest of her homeland. Svetlana Geier died on November 7, 2010 at age 87.
Release Date: July 6, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Lorber Films
Director: Lucas Belvaux
Screenwriter: Lucas Belvaux
Starring: Yvan Attal, Anne Consigny, Alex Descas, André Marcon, Françoise Fabian
Summary: Yvan Attal stars as a wildly attractive businessman and political mover and shaker who hops effortlessly from one chauffeured Mercedes to another, as he trades boardrooms for bedrooms. But following a brutal kidnapping, he is handcuffed, terrified, unshaven, hungry and in desperate need of 50 million euros. News of his massive gambling losses and multiple mistresses leaves his picture-perfect Parisian wife, two svelte teenage daughters and elegant grand-dame maman to consider just how much his life and liberté are worth to them.