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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - March 5, 2016

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
March 5, 2016

 

Disaster! opens on Broadway on March 8 at the Nederlander Theatre. My comments will appear in next week's column.


 

Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA are presenting press screenings for New Directors/New Films March 16-27. Under the Shadow, by Babak Anvari, UK/Qatar, 2016, is a horror movie about a djinn, a supernatural spirit, who invades the apartment of a mother (Narges Rashidi) and her young daughter in Tehran. All sorts of horrible things happen to the two of them. And, believe me, it will leave the viewer on the edge of his seat. For people who like scary films, they will enjoy it.


 

The Apostate,/El apostata, by Federico Veiroj, Spain/France/Uruguay, 2015, is about a young man, who wants to leave the Catholic Church in Madrid. I have not the slightest idea what his problem is. Just do not attend church. However, apparently his family is ashamed of him, and he seems, anyway, to be a mental case. We are forced to view him frontal nudity, not a pleasant sight. He is unattractive, and has uncombed hair, and wears the same dirty clothes daily, plus he dreams of naked people, both men and women. It is ridiculous film.


 

Thithi, by Raam Reddy, India/USA, 2015, is a wonderful film, one of the highlights of the festival. It takes place in a small village in India, where three generations of a family hold a thithi, a funeral for the 100-year-old grandfather, a nasty old man. The family consists of greedy men, who want to acquire his property, which belongs by tradition to the eldest son. That elderly son is an alcoholic, who enjoys walking and drinking. He becomes friendly with shepherds, who tend to flocks of sheep, and joins them. His son then claims that he has died, so that he could inherit the property. The film is full of eccentric characters, who are delightful to watch. It is also educational for the life in a rural Indian village is revealed. It is one of the most enjoyable films that I have seen this year.


 

Neither Heaven Nor Earth, (formerly titled The Wakhan Front)/Ni le ciel ni la terre, by Clement Cogitore, France/Belgium, 2015, takes place in Afghanistan, where French soldiers are protecting a mountain village. While that is a realistic view of the boredom and horror of war, the film becomes a supernatural tale as soldiers begin to disappear. Apparently, the djinn is at work in Afghanistan as well as in Tehran. Although, the story becomes unbelievable, the acting is excellent, the atmosphere is realistic and the futility of Europeans and Americans trying to solve the problems of that country are self evident. It is a fine film.


 

Nakom, by T.W. Pittman & Kelly Daniels Norris, Ghana/USA, 2016, is the second wonderful film of the festival. It takes place in Ghana, where a medical student is forced to return to his village, after the death of his father. The family wants him to remain in the village as head of the family. There are problems galore and one sees the conflict between tradition and the desire to pursue a modern life. Everyone in the film is terrific. Like Thithi, it is also educational for the life in a rural African village is revealed
 

Kill Me Please,/Mate-me por favor, by Anita Rocha da Silveira, Brazil/Argentina, 2015, is also a horror movie about teenage girls obsessed with sex and murders of young girls in Rio de Janeiro.

 

The world wide epidemic of young people obsessed with the internet is seen in the film. Bea (Valentina Herszage) and her brother, who sit by the computer all day long when at home, are representative of the new generation. The language is vulgar, the scenes are depressing, but it is realistic view of life today in every country.


 

Life After Life/Zhi fan ye mao, by Zhang Hanyi, China, 2016, is another supernatural tale about a wife who died and returns as a spirit to inhabit the body of her young son. The reason for her return is that she wants a tree removed from her courtyard and buried elsewhere. We watch leisurely as the father and son wander around the countryside to try to get help unsuccessfully and end up removing the tree themselves. It is a quiet, simple tale.



The Fits
, by Anna Rose Holmer, USA,2015, is about an 11-year-old girl (Royalty Hightower) training to be a boxer. She sees a group of dancers, called the Lionesses, and decides to join them. It takes place in Cincinnati, mainly in a gym. Gym enthusiasts may enjoy watching the young girls go through the motions. By the way, many of the young girls collapse from a mysterious illness. Had that theme been explained, it might have been a more interesting film.


 

Evolution/Evolution, by Lucille Hadzihalovic, France, 2015, takes place on a small island inhabited by strange women and young boys. The boys are taken to a hospital, where strange experiments are performed on them. A 10-year-old named Nicholas is the subject of this horror film, which I found tasteless and disgusting, with no redeeming purpose whatsoever.


 

Lost and Beautiful/Bella e perduta, by Pietro Marcello, Italy/France, 2015, is another weird film, combining real people with commedia dell'arte characters, one of whom rescues a buffalo calf that talks to him. It also concerns an abandoned palace in Southern Italy looked after by a local shepherd named Tommaso, who died while the director was making the film. and the film is dedicated to him. This film has a convoluted plot that most of the viewers will not be able to understand. But I did feel sorry for the calf,

 

I Promise You Anarchy/ Te prometo  anarquia, by Julio Hernandez Cordon, Mexico/Germany, 2015, is a grim and depressing picture of Mexico City. I married my first wife in Mexico City in 1956, and we lived happily together for 39 years in both that city and New York City, before she passed away. I am glad she did not see this repulsive film, which again has no redeeming virtue. It is a squalid tale of two worthless young boys, who spend their days on skateboards, hustling people to donate blood to gangsters for money, indulging in illegal drugs, having sex and using vulgar language. I am forced to believe that many of these new filmmakers of this series have serious mental problems.
 

 

Leslie Margherita and Robert Cuccioli were two of the performers at the CT's Shakespeare on the Sound Gala at an exclusive private club.


 

Author, entrepreneur, life changer Shalina Vadhera held a wonderful reception for the launch of her Power Beauty Living at the United Nations Millenium Hotel, One United Plaza.
 

 

03-05-16 Author. Entrepreneur. Life Changer Shalina Vadhera at the launch of Power Beauty Living at United Nations Millenium Hotel. One UN Plaza. Monday night 02-29-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey reuben

03-05-16 Leslie Margherita and Robert Cuccioli performed at CT's Shakespeare on the Sound Gala at a private club. Monday night 02-29-16..  Photo by; Aubrey Reuben

03-05-16 Author. Entrepreneur. Life Changer Shalina Vadhera at the launch of Power Beauty Living at United Nations Millennium Hotel. One UN Plaza.
Monday night 02-29-16

03-05-16 Leslie Margherita and Robert Cuccioli performed at CT's Shakespeare on the Sound Gala at a private club. Monday night 02-29-16.
The club does not want to be named.

 

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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