In a year that celebrates the closed-mouth, open-eyed history of film by handing a Best Picture nomination to Michel Hazanavicius’ silent masterpiece The Artist, it seems only appropriate that we’d get another film from Finnish writer-director Aki Kaurismäki. Throughout his distinctively oddball indie film career (Leningrad Cowboys Go America, Drifting Clouds, The Match Factory Girl, The Man Without a Past), Kaurismäki has always shown a greater kinship to the silent film technicians of yesteryear than to the media-savvy moviemakers of today. His latest effort, the alternately gritty and whimsical modern fairy tale Le Havre, plays out like a politically minded remake of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.
The first thing everyone points out about FOX’s new series “Alcatraz”—and I guess I’m doing it, too—is that it’s another mysterious, island-based sci-fi series from producer J.J. Abrams (who gave us a little thing called “Lost”). Unless the guy announces he’s rebooting “Fantasy Island” next, I wouldn’t get too worked up about the man’s creative obsessions, though.
Instituto Cervantes continues its Latin American film series this week at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. On Thursday, Feb. 2, the Bank of America Theatre at the NHCC (1701 Fourth Street SW) will screen the 2005 Ecuadorian film Anytime Soon (Esas No Son Penas). It’s the story of five women from Quito, buddies as teens, who reunite to visit an ailing friend after 15 years. Think The Big Chill, but with fewer hippies and more of an accent. The film screening is free and will be presented with English subtitles. Show gets underway at 7 p.m. Get there early to guarantee a seat.