A delightful dramatic comedy, a buddy picture, and, for good measure, a heist film. Curmudgeonly old Frank lives by himself. His routine involves daily visits to his local library, where he has a twinkle in his eye for the librarian. His grown children are concerned about their father’s well-being and buy him a caretaker robot. Initially resistant to the idea, Frank soon appreciates the benefits of robotic support – like nutritious meals and a clean house – and eventually begins to treat his robot like a true companion. With his robot’s assistance, Frank’s passion for his old, unlawful profession is reignited, for better or worse.
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In 1997, Osama bin Laden declared war on the USA and Pulitzer Prize winning CNN correspondent Peter Arnett embarked on a mission to locate and interview him. A War Story follows the dramatic events leading up to the interview and the Kiwi journalist’s horror on 9/11, as he recalled bin Laden’s veiled threats.
WORST FRIENDS is the story of two childhood friends who are forced to re-think their friendship as adults. When Jake (Richard Tanne) is injured in a car accident, the only person willing to take care of him is his childhood friend Sam (Noah Barrow). With the aid of a tough-as-nails physical therapist (Cody Horn), Sam helps Jake recuperate, but when Sam’s high school crush (Kristen Connolly) enters the picture, old habits and bitter rivalries resurface, threatening to tear their friendship apart.
Three women are sent by steamboat to an undisclosed jungle prison called “The Home of Lost Souls”. Here they experience the usual beatings, whippings, cat fights and humiliations. The butch warden has a deal on the side with a local pimp who forces them to dance in bikinis at a nightclub and sexually service the patrons. Tired of cages, rape, torture and rats, the girls kill the resident snitch and escape into the jungle.
After Yu’s mother dies his father, a priest, only seems to take solace in the confessions of his sons sins causing Yu to partake in various ‘sinful’ activities to appease him. This is a teen love story as only the Japanese could bring us, complete with up-skirt photography, cross dressing, and bloody gore.
Starting from childhood attempts at illustration, the protagonist pursues his true obsession to art school. But as he learns how the art world really works, he finds that he must adapt his vision to the reality that confronts him.
The ostensibly simple story of a sympathetic veteran teacher giving Italian lessons to a weekly class of diverse immigrants is given infinitely more depth and complexity by the manner in which director Daniele Gaglianone renders his story. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, truth and artifice, and between documentary and drama, Gaglianone has created a film within a film. You see the apparent artifice of Gaglianone’s crew using professionals, including the noted film actor Valerio Mastandrea as the teacher, interlinked with ‘real’ immigrant protagonists, studying the language to improve their chances of employment and of gaining a permanent residence permit. Thus in the course of the lessons there is simultaneously the painful and upsetting relation of the students’ personal stories but also humour, as they interact and share their humanity, bridging cultural differences, united in their striving to make a better life for themselves. (Source: LFF programme)