Planetarium (Zlotkowski, 2016): France

Viewed by Larry Gleeson
screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-10-31-35-amWriter/Director Rebecca Zlotkowski ( Grand Central,  Belle epine) presented her latest work Planetarium , a mixture of drama, fantasy and mystery, to a rousing ovation at the Sala Darsena Theatre during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. In attendance with Zlotkowski were two of the film’s  stars, Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp, who teamed up to portray the infamous American Barlow sisters, believed to possess the ability to connect with ghosts. Zlotkowski bases her film on a trio of 19th century American sisters who played an important role in the creation of spiritualism, the Fox Sisters.

The film opens with a plush, sensuous cabaret scene with Laura Barlow, played convincingly by Oscar-winning (Black Swan) Natalie Portman , exhorting a rather attentive audience to pay attention to and to witness a medium, Kate Barlow, played refreshingly by Lily-Rose Depp (The Dancer, Yoga Hosers) as she will communicate with the other side. Young Kate Barlow begins breathing as a drum beat permeates. As Kate’s breathing intensifies so does the drum beat until a connection is mad with the ritualistic feel of

Posted at 5pm on 10/12/16 | 35 comments | Filed Under: Films read on

The Young Pope (Sorrentino, 2016): Italy

Viewed by Larry Gleeson.

Writer/director Paolo Sorrentino unleashed a pilot of the first two episodes of a new, fictional, ten-part series titled, “The Young Pope,” at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

Jude Law plays the primary character, Lenny Belardo, aka Pius XIII, the first American Pope in history. Young and charming, his election appears to be the result of a simple yet effective media strategy orchestrated on behalf of the College of Cardinals. But appearances can be deceptive. And above all, in the place and among the people who have chosen the great mystery of God as their guiding compass. The place is the Vatican and the people are the hierarchical leaders of the Catholic Church. And, young Lenny Belardo, raised in an orphanage, proves to be the most mysterious and contradictory of them as Pius XIII. Shrewd yet naïve, ironic and pedantic, primeval yet modern, melancholy and ruthless, doubting yet resolute, Pius XIII is evoking a God he can give to mankind. And to himself.

Sorrentino is bound to shock the sensibilities of some of his Catholic viewers with the imagery in the opening sequence. He opens

Posted at 2pm on 10/11/16 | 21 comments | Filed Under: Films read on