Stealth Attack

Director Michael Moore begins his reconnaissance mission in bella Italia armed only with an American flag in his delightfully funny new documentary Where To Invade Next (USA) 2015.

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This one-person venture plus the requisite film crew is undoubtedly a bargain compared to the huge Pentagon budget and no lives were lost in its execution. However, the value of what he brings back is priceless and of benefit to many rather than just the few war profiteers currently benefiting from the endless wars and bloodshed funded by US taxpayers.

The openings of the film are strategically scheduled to impact the 2016 primary election campaign.

Moore makes one embarrassing mistake, confusing Slovakia and Slovenia. Aside from that slipup, I highly recommend it. Most of the treasure he uncovers has surprising origins.

Where To Invade Next opens 12 February 2016 in over 200 US theaters lncluding: Angelika, Kips Bay, and Lincoln Plaza in New York, Westlake Village in Los Angeles, River East in Chicago, Sundance Houston in Houston, Bijou at Crossroads in San Antonio, Angelika Carmel Mountain in San Diego, Look Cinemas Evolution in Dallas, Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Tinseltown 20 in Jacksonville, Metreon, Sundance Kabuki, and Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco.

See Where To Invade Next for a complete listing.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Greek Giant

Film director and screenwriter Theo Angelopoulos (1935-2012) was a major force in world cinema.

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Several of his 14 dramatic features were grouped as trilogies: Trilogy of History, Trilogy of Silence, Trilogy of Borders, and Trilogy of Modern Greece.

My introduction to his work was a 1975 film, The Traveling Players, about a troupe of itinerant actors performing in villages throughout the country during one of many Greek dictatorships. While I understood the general thrust of the story, I undoubtedly missed the fine details because there were no English subtitles during its screening. I left during intermission.

I enjoyed his 1984 film, Voyage To Cythera, about an old man who returns home after a long absence only to realize he can no longer live in the place he left.

Landscape In The Mist (1988) is another one of my favorites. It follows the adventures of two young children who set out to find their father living somewhere in Germany.

Exile is a familiar theme in modern Greece because many of its people left to escape political persecution or poverty. Austerity and high unemployment forces young people to work abroad, while ongoing war brings ever more refugees through the country on their way to richer northern nations.

Angelopoulos died four years ago after being hit by a motorcycle driven by an off-duty policeman. He was making a film about the Greek economy at the time. The Other Sea was never finished.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Hard Choices

The Measure Of A Man directed by Stephane Brizé (France) 2015 is a gritty drama about a man faced with difficult decisions in an economically austere environment.

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After being laid off from a factory, he was advised to complete a retraining course that didn’t lead to another job. He struggles to support his family and hold on to his home.

He’s hired as a security guard in a large store, spending much of his workday scrutinizing possible shoplifters. Drawn deeper into the personal dramas of others caught within the harsh realities of contemporary economic hardship.

The film screened last month during the San Francisco Film Society annual French Cinema Now fall festival.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Valley Fever

Fans of Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu will undoubtedly by drawn to Valley Of Love directed by Guillaume Nicloux (France) 2015 because the two leading actors are the stars of the film.

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However, audiences might be surprised or even challenged by the casual pace of the action. It seems closer to real time rather than the short fast edits most audiences are used to. As if one is watching a documentary. Somewhat reminiscent of early Warhol films.

It screened on the final day of the 2015 French Cinema Now mini-festival sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Movie Maker

Mia Madre directed by Nanni Moretti (Italy/France) 2015 was inspired by the death of his mother during the production of his last film.

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The lead role is played by Marghereta Buy while he has a minor part as her brother. It weaves together two stories: the making of a movie about the turmoil following the sale of a factory that will ultimately lead to a mass firing of its workers and the personal trauma surrounding the impending death of a loved one.

It was the closing film during the recent New Italian Cinema festival sponsored by San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Atheist Dilemma

God Willing directed by Edoardo Falcone (Italy) 2015 begins in a contemporary bourgeois Roman home where things are not going well. However, after a surprise declaration of one family member, matters become even worse. In a desperate effort to regain order, the arrogant surgeon father attempts to expose a charismatic priest he blames for the unacceptable life path of his son.

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The film was one of the highlights of the recent New Italian Cinema festival sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society. Next week French Cinema Now will take place at the Vogue Theatre. Information and tickets at San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com