Daily Archives: November 12, 2004

An Affair At Akitsu

Adapted from a novel by Shinya Fujiwara, this early feature (1962) by Yoshishige Yoshida follows a love affair that serves as a metaphor for postwar Japan. With Mariko Okada, Yoshida’s wife. In Japanese with subtitles. 113 min.… Read more »

About Baghdad

Shot in July 2003, this collectively made video documentary is by far the most comprehensive account I’ve seen of how Iraqis view the U.S. war and occupation. The main interlocutor, a poet and novelist with an Iraqi father and an American mother, doesn’t conceal his opposition to President Bush, but the spectrum of positions is unusually broad, from plenty of pro-American people to Iraqis who’ve never forgiven the U.S. for its support of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. Most of the credited filmmakers have both Middle Eastern and American roots, which may help to explain why this national portrait shows a country as divided as the U.S. is. In Arabic with subtitles. 89 min. (JR)… Read more »

After The Sunset

Pierce Brosnan isn’t playing James Bond this time around, but the setting (Paradise Island in the Caribbean) and the Playboy-like sensuality (concentrated on Salma Hayek and Naomie Harris) seem drawn from the same commercial/colonial fantasy. Brosnan’s a jewel thief resting up from his last score, Hayek’s his girlfriend and sometime assistant, Harris and Woody Harrelson are a cop and an FBI agent trying to snare him, and Don Cheadle is a suave local gangster. It’s silly adolescent stuff, but director Brett Ratner and screenwriters Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg serve it up gracefully. PG-13, 100 min. (JR)… Read more »

About Baghdad

Shot in July 2003, this collectively made video documentary is by far the most comprehensive account I’ve seen of how Iraqis view the U.S. war and occupation. The main interlocutor, a poet and novelist with an Iraqi father and an American mother, doesn’t conceal his opposition to President Bush, but the spectrum of positions is unusually broad, from plenty of pro-American people to Iraqis who’ve never forgiven the U.S. for its support of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. Most of the credited filmmakers have both Middle Eastern and American roots, which may help to explain why this national portrait shows a country as divided as the U.S. is. In Arabic with subtitles. 89 min. Sat 11/13, 5 PM, and Mon 11/15, 6 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.… Read more »