NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI
2018, GKIDS, 70 min, Dir: Kaku Arakawa

In 2013, film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki suddenly announced his retirement at the age of 72. But he couldn’t shake his burning desire to create. After an encounter with young CGI animators, Miyazaki embarked on a new endeavor, his first project ever to utilize CGI. But the artist, who had been adamant about hand-drawn animation, confronted many challenges. The film even faces the danger of being canceled. Can an old master who thinks he’s past his prime shine once again? This documentary goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film using CGI.


LORO
2018, IFC Films, 150 min, Italy/France, Dir: Paolo Sorrentino

Director Paolo Sorrentino reunites with his THE GREAT BEAUTY star Toni Servillo to peer behind the curtain of recent Italian politics. Billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi (Servillo) was first elected to lead the Italian government in 1994 and his lengthy, corruption-ridden tenure has resulted in a tax-fraud conviction, so there’s more than enough material for a juicy biopic. But as the title - which translates as “them” - suggests, this film is less focused on the ex-prime minister than on his sycophantic retinue. Released in two parts in Italy, the film won four Nastro d’Argento awards including Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Elena Sofia Ricci). “Sorrentino’s mastery of the unexpected visual shock is deliciously in evidence from the moment the title appears.” - Jay Weissberg, Variety.


EL ANGEL
2018, 118 min, Argentina/Spain, Dir: Luis Ortega

Dubbed “the Angel of Death” by the Argentine press, Carlos Robeldo Puch has spent the last 46 years in prison; this sexually charged true-crime story stars Lorenzo Ferro as the baby-faced killer. Though from a comfortable family, Carlos thinks of himself as a born thief and is soon drawn to high school classmate Ramón (Chino Darin), whose father is an ex-con. The two young men quickly graduate from theft to murder. “A stylish period piece boasting solid performances, colorful visuals and a terrific vintage soundtrack.” - Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter.


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