Friday, August 29, 2008

Art film influx

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Support these (and other) alternative flicks

By Matt Brunson

mattwire.jpg

@2008 Jean-Louis Blondeau / Polaris Images

MAN ON WIRE

DIRECTED BY James Marsh

STARS Phillipe Petit, Jean-Louis Blondeau

TELL NO ONE

DIRECTED BY Guillaume Canet

STARS Francois Cluzet, Marie-Josee Croze

It's been a few weeks since Regal Entertainment Group elected to turn Park Terrace into an art-house theater, and so far, it's led to an embarrassment of riches when it comes to alternative offerings and foreign-language flicks. Coupled with Regal's Manor venue, this increases the chain's number of indie-friendly screens from two to eight; add to that the five screens at Ballantyne Village Theatre in south Charlotte, and local movie fans can expect to see limited-release pictures sooner rather than later - and, in some cases, movies that otherwise would have bypassed Charlotte altogether. Of course, patrons need to actually turn out to watch these movies for the implementation to succeed, and Man on Wire (at Park Terrace) and Tell No One (Manor) are both worthy of the admission price.

Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in Sundance's World Cinema - Documentary category, Man on Wire tells the amazing true story of Philippe Petit, a French high-wire walker who in the 1970s could always be found risking his life climbing and traversing high points of note (including Notre Dame and Sydney Bridge). When Petit learned of plans to construct the World Trade Center, he waited impatiently over the years for the Twin Towers to become a reality, at which point he and his supporters plotted to set up a line between the two buildings so that he could cross over with only a thin wire under his feet. Present-day interviews and modern re-enactments provide the piece with its structure, but it's the awe-inspiring archival footage that makes this a giddy watch.

Tell No One, meanwhile, is a twisty French film about a doctor (Francois Cluzet) who, eight years after the brutal slaying of his wife (Marie-Josee Croze), receives an anonymous e-mail hinting that she's still alive. Initially complex, the piece's grip loosens with the introduction of a transparent villain, but it remains an entertaining thriller bolstered by Cluzet's appropriately angst-driven performance.

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