Now Showing July 28

Le Grand Alibi, The Borrowers and other listings

Now Showing July 28


Almost a century after their first publication, Agatha Christie’s novels (which include ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, ‘The A.B.C. Murders’ and ‘And Then There Were None’) continue to be reprinted at a constant pace. With over two and a half billion books sold across the world, she has set records – and only the Bible and the works of Shakespeare have more readers than Christie. To mark the 120th anniversary of the author’s birth, one of her most well known works was chosen to adapt into a film. ‘The Hollow’, critically acclaimed as not only a detective story but also as a love story, has been brought to the big screen with an amazing cast made up of France’s leading actors. It’s an enthralling human drama, filled with coolly devised tricks, intricate psychology and romantic manoeuvrings between men and women, all told with a touch of Christie’s gentle sense of humour.

The setting of the story is a grand mansion situated in a small village in France and surrounded by the tranquil and beautiful French countryside. At the house, a group of nine men and women are enjoying themselves at a lavish party, until a shot rings out and a woman’s scream is heard…

The hosts of the party are the residents of the mansion, a politician and his wife, and the man who was killed is their guest, psychoanalyst Pierre. Pierre was a brilliant doctor, but he also held a dangerous allure for the women in his life. Not only was Pierre’s wife at the party, but also present was a woman he had an affair with in the past, his current girlfriend and his former lover who is pressing him to rekindle their relationship. All those present at the party, including those who come to know all the circumstances surrounding Pierre, have a motive for killing him, be it love and jealousy or hatred and unhappiness – but everyone also has an alibi.

Pascal Bonitzer, the popular screenwriter who has worked with the likes of Jacques Rivette and André Téchiné, steers this production. Bonitzer interweaves a light touch of humour into the more sombre themes of murder and hatred, taking ‘Le Grand Alibi’ back to the origins of stylish French cinema. The presence of the detective Hercule Poirot, who appears in the original novel, has also been boldly removed. The director adopted this approach from Christie herself, who removed Poirot from the story when she adapted it into a play. Amongst the cast are Lambert Wilson (who is active in Hollywood and appeared in the ‘Reloaded’ and ‘Revolutions’ instalments of ‘The Matrix’ series), Anne Consigny (who has been nominated for Best Actress at the César Awards), and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. With a host of the top stars of both new and not-so-new French cinema appearing alongside each other, this is definitely a film worth catching.

Le Grand Alibi

France, 2008
Japanese title: Karei naru Aribai
Opened: July 17
Director: Pascal Bonitzer
Cast: Miou-Miou, Lambert Wilson, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Anne Consigny
Distributor: Albatros Film

The Last Airbender

This is the newest film from director M. Night Shyamalan, known for The Sixth Sense and Signs. In the ‘Airbender’ world, a balance is maintained between four kingdoms: Air, Water, Earth and Fire. An uprising from the Fire nation threatens it with destruction, and only one boy, known as the ‘Airbender’ has the power to bring harmony back to the world. The spectacular images – from the same team that worked on ‘The Lord of the Rings’– are truly amazing.

USA, 2010
Japanese title: Airbender
Opened: July 17
Director: M Night Shyamalan
Cast: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, Jackson Rathbone
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Japan

The Borrowers

‘The Borrowers’(c)2010 GNDHDDTW

This latest film from Studio Ghibli is based on the novel ‘The Borrowers’, by Mary Norton, but transposes the setting into present day Japan. The main character is Arrietty, one of a group of miniature people who borrow things from the human world in order to live. The film follows the story of the friendship that develops when Arrietty meets a human boy.

Japan, 2010
Japanese title: Karigurashi no Arietty
Opened: July 17
Director: Hiromasa Yonebashi
Cast: Mirai Shida, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Tomokazu Miura, Shinobu Otake, Keiko Takeshita, Kirin Kiki
Distributor: Toho

Harold and Maude

This is the re-release of an early film from ‘Coming Home’ director Hal Ashby. It’s a refreshingly original tale of a 19 year-old boy, whose morbid hobby of acting out fake suicides (and attracting the attention of his neighbourhood), and his meeting with – and eventual parting from – a 79 year-old woman who is intent on making the most of her remaining time on earth.

USA, 1971
Japanese title: Harold to Maude: Syounen ha Niji wo Wataru
Opened: July 17
Director: Hal Ashby
Cast: Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer
Distributor: Nihon Skyway/Adansonia

By Misawo Kasuya
Translated by Virginia Okno
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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