Film Club: The Lookout, The Namesake, The Hoax, Color Me Kubrick
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
We're going to review four new movies this week, and we begin with The Lookout . The Lookout is written and directed by Scott Frank, who's become know for writing screenplays like Out of Sight and Get Shorty . In the movie The Lookout , we meet Chris Pratt. He's the son of wealthy parents, and a high-school hockey star, who suffers a serious brain injury in a car accident. He suffers memory problems and he struggles with many simple cognitive tasks. He works as a janitor in a small bank, and he lives with a blind man who helps and mentors him.
Chris is tormented by memories of the car accident, which was his fault, and he suffers tremendous feelings of helplessness. One day, Chris is approached in a bar by a former high school classmate who talks him into helping him rob the bank where he works. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Chris, and Jeff Daniels as his blind roommate Lewis.
The Lookout opens this Friday.
The Namesake tells the story of a family with ties in the U.S. and in India. It begins with an arranged marriage between two Indian people: A lovely young woman with a talent for music and a shy young scientist. The scientist has moved to New York, where he's in graduate school. And he brings his young Indian bride to what she initially sees as a lonely land of ice and snow.
Eventually, the two come to love each other. And they raise two children, who grow up as typical American kids. The Namesake explores the modern immigrant experience of having a foot in two different cultures. And it explores the dramatic differences between life in India and America. The Namesake is directed by Mira Nair, who brought us Mississippi Marsala and Monsoon Wedding. It stars, among others, Kal Penn, who's known for his role in the goofy guy-comedy Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.
The Namesake is currently playing in area theaters.
The Hoax is a new movie starring Richard Gere. It tells the story of one of the most audacious acts of fakery in recent American history; one that its perpetrator, writer Clifford Irving, very nearly pulled off. In 1971, Irving convinced publisher McGraw-Hill that he had permission to write an authorized biography of the mysterious Howard Hughes. In fact, the wealthy recluse never gave Irving such permission, and had never spoken with him. But Irving duped the publisher with his brazen lies and by successfully forging Hughes's handwriting. He received close to a million dollars in advance money for the book.
Eventually, Hughes came out of hiding to expose the fraud, and Irving spent time in jail. The film is directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who also directed Cider House Rules. Richard Gere plays Irving. Alfred Molina plays Irving's accomplice, Dick Suskind.
The Hoax opens at Landmark's La Jolla Village Cinemas on April 6th.
Color Me Kubrick: A Tru…ish Story
Color Me Kubrick is similar to the movie Hoax , in that it is based on the true story of a con man. But unlike Clifford Irving, the main character in Color Me Kubrick is a small-time con man. He's a Londoner named Alan Conway. And he manages to bilk people for money and favors by claiming to be Stanley Kubrick. Alan really knows very little about the American film maker, aside from the fact that he's famous and he lives in England. Yet he's so successful in putting on airs that his Kubrick act keeps him in money, good liquor and sex for a good while.
Like Irving, he's eventually exposed as a fake. And he responds by falling back on a new con game: He feigns mental illness.
Color Me Kubrick is currently playing at Landmark's Ken Cinema.
- Beth Accomando, KPBS film critic.
- Scott Marks, film critic for the Gay and Lesbian Times .
End Music: Oh, Calcutta! by The Meters, from the album Look-Ka Py Py (1999)