SMOKE AND MIRRORS
EL HOMBRE DE LAS MIL CARAS
2016, Film Factory, 123 min, Spain, Dir: Alberto Rodríguez

Writer-director Alberto Rodríguez reunites much of his MARSHLAND creative team for this entertaining thriller inspired by the real-life exploits of onetime Spanish secret service agent Francisco Paesa. Eduard Fernández stars as the ex-spy, who had been left out in the cold by his government and sees an opportunity to settle some scores when a former commissioner of police (Goya winner Carlos Santos) asks him to help hide embezzled millions. “Playing out like a Hispanic OCEAN’S ELEVEN, SMOKE is indeed an enjoyably breathless and spectacular walk along a high wire which seems permanently about to snap but which never quite does.” - Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter.


EGON SCHIELE – DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
EGON SCHIELE – TOD UND MÄDCHEN
2016, 109 min, Austria/Luxembourg, Dir: Dieter Berner

Egon Schiele (Noah Saavedra) was one of the most provocative artists in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century, his life and work driven by beautiful young women as an era was coming to an end. Two women in particular had a lasting impact on him – his sister and first muse Gerti (Maresi Riegner) and 17-year-old Wally (Austrian Film Award winner Valerie Pachner), arguably Schiele’s one true love, immortalized in his now-famous painting “Death and the Maiden.” This opulent historical drama employs a series of flashbacks to focus on key periods and figures in Schiele’s life, as well as the radical paintings that, despite being recognized as exceptional by both daring artists such as Gustav Klimt and art dealers, scandalized Viennese society. Cinematographer Carsten Thiele flawlessly captures the decadence and vibrancy of turn-of-the-century Vienna.


MY FRIEND DAHMER
2017, FilmRise, 107 min, USA, Dir: Marc Meyers

Filled with pathos and melancholy, this elegant character study spends a year in the company of a high school loner who would go on to become one of the most nefarious serial killers in the annals of crime. Jeffrey Dahmer’s (a heart-breaking Ross Lynch) parents are divorcing, his dad makes him change his hobbies, and his friends only want to force “dares” on him. By looking at a character for whom a lot could have been different, MY FRIEND DAHMER reminds us that monsters are not born but shaped through endless encounters with the world around them. The rest of the cast gamely match up to Lynch’s performance, including a brilliant Anne Heche as Dahmer’s equally lost-in-the-world mother.


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