In theaters today, OKA! is an adaptation of the memoir of an ethnomusicologist from New Jersey, Louis Sarno, who moved to the remote forests of the Central African Republic to record the music of the Bayaka Pygmies over 20 years ago, fell in love and stayed.
Kris Marshall (Love Actually) gives a fine performance as the ethnomusicologist, but it’s the local Bayaka ensemble cast and the lush African rainforest that are worth your attention here. The plot is familiar—a capitalistic politician wants to destroy the Bayaka’s forest home to make way for a logging company’s expansion—but don’t be quick to dismiss this as another Fern Gully rip-off. The beauty of this film is in the moments that aren’t trying to move the plot along—children singing in perfect syncopated rhythm together, a group of women making music in a river using the water as their only instrument, and the documentary-worthy wildlife shots.
The Movie:War Horse, Steven Spielberg’s take on the battlefields of World War I, and The Adventures of Tintin, his second December release, based on the popular Belgian comics.
Why Go? For the director’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s acclaimed book, and the international hit play; the 3-D performance-capture Tintin was produced at Peter Jackson’s WETA Studios in New Zealand.
The Movie: David Fincher’s cinematic version of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was shot on location in Sweden and stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.
Why Go? It is the long-awaited English-language treatment of the grisly crime novel. Added value: an original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
If you found yourself tearing up at the end of the last Harry Potter movie this summer, fear not, Muggles! For those utterly addicted to the Harry Potter universe and those who simply want to tour a piece of movie-making history, the franchise lives on. Tickets are available beginning October 13, 2011 for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter, at Leavesden, opening in Spring 2012. Tack on an extra day to a London visit and bring your broomstick for this insider’s look.
The Bollywood blockbuster of the summer, Zindagi Na Milegi
Dobara(You Only Live Once) is a cinematic love letter to Spain, following
three buddies on an epic bachelor trip that takes them from Barcelona to
Seville and beyond. But lest you jump to the inevitable comparisons, the Indian Hangover it is not—ZNMD (as it's now called) has a lot less raunch, a lot more soul, and plenty of beautifully shot musical sequences.
For megastars Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay
Deol, filming was an epic adventure all its own—they spent three months on the
road and even re-created Buñol’s famed Tomatina festival (with 16 tons of tomatoes!)
and the running of the bulls, in Pamplona. Granted, these events don’t appear in
the film in chronological order, but this is Bollywood after all, so defying logic goes
with the territory—especially if it creates scenarios "ripe" for spectacular
For his new documentary, Life in a Day, director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) teamed up with YouTube users to create a crowd-sourced 90-minute snapshot of 24 hours around the world. T+L checks in.
Q: Why did you make the film? A: To look at the nuanced details of people’s existences in different places. Instead of the Pyramids, you see a graveyard in Cairo, where people actually live.
Q: Did any of the videos make you want to travel? A: There’s footage from Angola of women singing as they grind corn. I would go just to hear that music.
Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to know a city’s best-kept secrets is to talk to its artists. I recently connected with one of Montreal’s rising stars—award-winning filmmaker and musician Daniel Isaiah, who's signed, appropriately, with music label Secret City Records.
Well, that’s one way to cure boredom! Stuck, the viral short film sensation created by Joe Ayala and Larry Chen, depicts the twosome’s epic adventures during an overnight layover in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, including but not limited to wheelchair races, sneaking in a beer at a deserted bar, and a wet paper towel fight in the bathroom. Chen and Ayala, who are professional automotive photographers, released the video last month, prompting questions about the apparent lack of security in the terminal.
In between blockbusters at the drive-in this summer, catch up with these two insightful journey documentaries. Airing on mun2 and iTunes digital download,Harlistas: An American Journey profiles Latino Harley Davidson motorcyclists as they take their hogs to the highway.
It's not often a film evokes the spirit of a city the way John Turturro's Passione captures the musical exuberance that pulses through Naples, Italy. We're not talking opera, but a blend of genres that reflects the cultures of the city's invaders as well as its more recent immigrants. Greeks and Spaniards, Arabs and Americans, Turks and French—their songs and melodies have thrived, mixed, and married in a cultural petri dish warmed by the southern Italian sun. And that, in a nutshell, is the whole point of the movie.