The same, but different

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead

Ed Harris and Annette Bening in The Face of Love. © 2013 IFC Films.

• The truth will out. The surprise in romantic drama The Face of Love (due out on the 18th) is that it takes so long to arrive. Annette Bening plays Nikki, a designer still grieving the loss of her husband Garrett (Ed Harris) five years earlier. One day, she spots a dead ringer for Garrett and tracks the stranger down to the local university. After some embarrassing awkwardness, she enrolls in his art class. Tom (also played by Ed Harris) finds Nikki’s flirtatious and freaky fascination with him somehow alluring. Nikki, meanwhile, doesn’t want to do anything that will break the increasingly fragile illusion. Bening and Harris work well together and manage to paper over some of the gaping holes in the story: such as how Tom and Garrett – the latter who we see in vignetted flashbacks – could be so alike. The chic, sun drenched LA backdrop somehow adds to the sense of normalcy of the situation, but the pay-off is too slow in coming and an interesting late change in the film’s tone into psychodrama territory is a case of too little, too late.

Whenever sci-fi fans talk about David Lynch’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune, it is in tones of regret about missed opportunity. A new documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune (due out 4th), asks what if instead of David Lynch’s 1984 flop, cult Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky had adapted Dune for the big screen? In 1975, Jodorowsky had lined up a stellar cast: Orson Welles, Mick Jagger and David Carradine. Even Salvador Dali and the director’s own 12-year-old son Brontis were apparently on board. There was a soundtrack by Pink Floyd and art by the era’s big talents H.R. Giger and Jean “Moebius” Giraud. However, after two years and 3,000 storyboards, financing didn’t happen. Directed by American Frank Pavich, the head-trip of a film includes some unseen realizations of Jodorowsky’s vision and interviews with the director himself, now in his 80s.

Anyone interested in the idea of capitalism being more “conscious” and “caring” should check out the hour-long documentary Not Business As Usual, which profiles a number of local entrepreneurs trying to fashion businesses that balance social values with the profit motive. The doc, directed by Lawrence Le Lam and written by Rik Klingle-Watt, seems to be an advocacy vehicle for its producer, the business accelerator Institute B. But there’s a lot to like and learn as entrepreneurs candidly share their struggles and successes. You can watch the doc for free on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/83898645) or better still catch a special screening and panel discussion at Vancity Theatre on the 8th, 6.30PM.

The annual Reel 2 Real Film Festival (www.2014.r2rfestival.org) returns to Vancity Theatre from April 4-11. Aimed at six to 19-year-olds, the festival program is a real mix.

Robert Alstead is making Running on Climate, runningonclimate.com

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