8:00 PM, 5th June, 2004
Intacto is a Spanish film that explores the notion of luck being an ability that people can utilise and exchange. Tomas (Sbaraglia) is the sole survivor of a major plane crash. He is approached by Frederico (Poncela) and introduced to an underground world of high stakes betting. The bets revolve around a pure test of luck for the players. The luckiest player takes all. It is generally known that "The Jew" (von Sydow), Frederico's former mentor, is the luckiest person in the world and Frederico is moulding Tomas to try and exact revenge on The Jew. Intacto is one of my favourite movies of last year. It's definitely one of those movies that you discuss with your friends afterward and everyone can have an opinion on what developed. However, what I felt was Intacto's strongest asset was its look and the set pieces. The "tests" that the lucky players perform are truly inspired and look fantastic. The scene in the forest is a particular favourite of mine.
So, if you want to see a different sort of movie, that looks great and makes you think (though you don't have to if you don't want to) then Intacto is definitely for you.
9:00 PM, 5th June, 2004
Mike Max (Pullman) is a film director who has made his name in violent action films. Caught up in his work, Mike neglects his beautiful wife Page (MacDowell). When he is kidnapped, policeman Dean 'Doc' Brock (Loren Dern) investigates, only to fall for one of Mike's actresses. This leads to yet another mystery. Mike is rescued by unlikely saviours, ponders revenge and confronts the futility of the certainties upon which he has built his life. Meanwhile, the mayhem of Los Angeles is filmed by a new satellite system managed by the melancholic Ray Bering (Byrne) whose detachment captures the passivity of those who prefer observation to engagement.
The End of Violence is director Wim Wenders's attempt to re-interpret the film-noir genre, complete with the occasional homage to the art of mid-twentieth century America. The cinematography is very good, with much use made of southern California's rich colours, pastels and bright light. Pullman's brief voice-over at the conclusion is either pure kitsch or the meaning of life in a nutshell.