CWC D: Darezhan Omirbaev w/ Djamshed Usmonov. Kazakhstan. 85 mins. Thursday, September 6, 6:30 pm VARSITY 4; Thursday, September 6, 6:30 pm VARSITY 5; Saturday, September 15, 1:30 pm VARSITY 2; Saturday, September 15, 1:30 pm VARSITY 3. Rating: NNN
A charter member of the Kazakh new wave and the subject of a festival spotlight just three years ago, Omirbaev opens up his Bressonian sensibility in this Central Asian road movie.
On the way to visit his dying mother, a hipster filmmaker spends a lot of time with his foot on the gas, contemplating. But the countryside is intriguing and the people he meets on the way inviting. The road is not straight, the trip not short. Fortunately, Omirbaev has a keen cinematographer's eye, and you really get into the rhythm of The Road. But the characters are less interesting, despite the sardonic world view of the protagonist.PE
CWC D: Alkinos Tsilimidos w/ David Field, Syd Brisbane. Australia. 84 mins. Thursday, September 6, 9:45 pm VARSITY 2; Thursday, September 6, 9:45 pm VARSITY 3; Saturday, September 8, 3 pm UPTOWN 2. Rating: NNN
Not a remake of the 76 Christopher Plummer policier shot in Toronto's Eaton Centre, this Partner is the name of a racing greyhound with a dodgy background and an even less promising future. Foisted on a pair of no-hope chancers (Field and Brisbane) by the Ozzie mob under conditions that are never explained, the dog is supposedly the pair's ticket to the big time. Shooting fly-on-the-wall-style, director Tsilimidos (Everything, Everything) tells this very black comedy with an eye for squalor. And the off-camera mistreatment of animals is downright disturbing. Exactly what goes down in this film is hard to interpret, since the two Strines are drunk for most of the picture. Folkie Paul Kelley provides an appropriately Dylanesque soundtrack commentary. SD