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Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekly Faves

This week is the worst week for new releases so far. There is seriously NOTHING. Unless you're excited for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Empire or Swing Vote... then good luck with those. So here are a couple documentaries that I'm really excited for that are out in theaters... in New York and L.A. And probably not where you live. So you and I can't see them yet. But maybe these trailers will whet your appetites for some summer non-popcorn movies. (Bios from Rotten Tomatoes)

American Teen

American Teen is the touching and hilarious Sundance hit that follows the lives of four teenagers - a jock, the popular girl, the artsy girl and the geek – in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future.

Filming daily for ten months, filmmaker Nanette Burstein (On the Ropes, The Kid Stays in the Picture) developed a deep understanding of her subjects. The result is a film that goes beyond the enduring stereotypes of high school to render complex young people trying to find their way into adulthood.

Man On Wire

August 7, 1974--A young Frenchman named Philippe Petit steps out on a wire suspended 1,350 feet above ground between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. He dances on the wire with no safety net for almost an hour, crossing it eight times before he is arrested for what becomes known as “the artistic crime of the century.”

In the months leading up to his clandestine walk, Petit assembles a team of accomplices to plan and execute his “coup” in the most intricate detail. How do they pull it off? Moving between New York and his secret training camp in rural France, Petit and his team plot every detail. Like a band of professional bank robbers, the tasks they face seem virtually insurmountable. But Petit is a man possessed; nothing will thwart his mission to conquer the world’s tallest buildings.

Unfolding like a delicious heist film, Man on Wire brings Petit’s extraordinary adventure back to life with visceral immediacy ripened with post-9/11 nostalgia. In candid interviews, Petit and all the key participants relish this chance to tell their story. Buoyed with eye-catching archival footage, clever dramatizations, and delightful visual effects, filmmaker James Marsh, like his daring subject, pulls off an astonishing coup.

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