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Only the strong survive

May 9

Etoiles: Dancers of

For the record:

12:00 AM, May. 16, 2003 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday May 13, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Release date -- “Marooned in Iraq,” a drama from Wellspring, will be released May 23. The May 4 Summer Sneaks issue of Sunday Calendar incorrectly listed the film as coming out May 9.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday May 16, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Iraq film -- “Marooned in Iraq,” a drama from Wellspring, will be released May 23. The May 4 Summer Sneaks issue of Sunday Calendar incorrectly listed it as May 9.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday May 18, 2003 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part E Page 2 Calendar Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Release date -- “Marooned in Iraq,” a drama from Wellspring, will be released May 23. The May 4 Summer Sneaks issue of Sunday Calendar incorrectly listed it as May 9.

the Paris Opera Ballet

Documentary

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First Run

The idea: Weaves together footage of the troupe, founded in 1713 by Louis XIV, on the road, in rehearsal and in scenes from classic ballets.

Director: Nils Tavernier.

So? Tavernier is son of French cineaste-turned-filmmaker Bertrand.

A Family Affair

Comedy

Small Planet

With: Helen Lesnick, Arlene Golonka, Barbara Stuart, Michelle Greene.

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The idea: Woman returns home to San Diego from New York, seeks new girlfriend.

Writer-director: Lesnick.

So? Sharp observations.

Manic

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Drama

IFC

With: Don Cheadle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Bacall.

The idea: Psychologist tries to help an ensemble of troubled youngsters overcome their demons.

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Writers: Bacall, Blayne Weaver.

Director: Jordan Melamed.

So? Dusty, as in on the shelf awhile.

The Man on the Train

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Drama

Paramount Classics

With: Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday.

The idea: Unexpected encounter between a retired poetry teacher and a crook leads them both to contemplate the road not taken.

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Writer: Claude Kotz.

Director: Patrice Leconte.

So? Fateful longing.

Marooned in Iraq

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Drama

Wellspring

With: Shahab Ebrahimi, Faegh Mohammadi, Allah-Morad Rashtian.

The idea: Kurdish musician enlists his two sons in an effort to rescue his ex-wife from the chaos of Iraq after the Iranian war.

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Writers: Bahman Ghobadi, Fairbor Kamkari.

Director: Ghobadi.

So? Coincidentally topical.

Only the Strong Survive

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Documentary

Miramax

With: Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Rufus Thomas and others.

The idea: Catching up with soul singers of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

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Directors: D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus.

So? The amazing legacy of a musical moment in time.

The Shape of Things

Drama

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Focus Features

With: Rachel Weisz, Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol, Frederick Weller.

The idea: Tale of love and art in college setting focuses on two couples.

Writer-director: Neil LaBute, based on his play.

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So? The sting of truth, delivered as only LaBute does it.

May 15

The Matrix Reloaded

Sci-fi action

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Warner Bros.

With: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Bellucci.

The idea: Freedom fighters continue rebellion against the Machine Army.

Writer-directors: The Wachowski brothers.

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So? Future tense.

May 16

L’Auberge Espagnole

Comedy

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Fox Searchlight

With: Romain Duris, Cecile de France, Audrey Tautou, Judith Godreche.

The idea: Young Parisian gets an education in life when he spends his senior year in Barcelona.

Writer-director: Cedric Klapisch.

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So? The French loved it.

Chi-Hwa-Seon

(Painted Fire)

Drama

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Kino International

With: Choi Min-sik, Ahn Sung-ki.

The idea: Nineteenth century Korean painter Jang Seung-ub pursues art through hedonism.

Writers: Im Kwon-taek, Kim Yong-ok, Min Byung-sam.

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Director: Im.

So? Im tied for best director with Paul Thomas Anderson last year at Cannes.

Cremaster 3

Avant-garde

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Palm

With: Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, Aimee Mullins.

The idea: Protagonist Barney’s adversaries include the Order of the Rainbow for Girls and two New York rock bands.

Writer-director: Barney.

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So? Arty films by art-world cult figure.

Down With Love

Comedy

Fox

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With: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Paulson, Tony Randall.

The idea: She’s sworn it off, he doesn’t need it.

Writers: Eve Ahlert & Dennis Drake.

Director: Peyton Reed.

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So? Homage to Rock Hudson-Doris Day romps.

Friends and Family

Comedy

Regent

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With: Greg Lauren, Christopher Gartin, Tony Lo Bianco, Anna Maria Alberghetti.

The idea: Gay couple tries to conceal the truth (they’re mob enforcers) from parents.

Writer: Joseph Triebwasser.

Director: Kristen Coury.

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So? Friend or faux?

Pokemon Heroes

Animated adventure

Miramax

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With: Voices of Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart, Rachel Lillis, Maddie Blaustein.

The idea: A mysterious city on water and two new Pokemon figures.

Writers: Hideki Sonoda, Jim Malone.

Directors: Kunihiko Yuyama, Malone.

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So? Fifth grade.

Spellbound

Documentary

ThinkFilm

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With: Harry Altman, Angela Arenivar, Ted Brigham, April DeGideo, Neil Kadakia, Nupur Lala, Emily Stagg and Ashley White.

The idea: Fourteen-year-olds compete in the National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeff Blitz.

So? F-a-s-c-i-n-a-t-i-n-g.

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The Trip

Drama

TLA Releasing

With: Larry Sullivan, Steve Braun, Alexis Arquette, Jill St. John.

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The idea: Politically mismatched gay couple navigates political and social changes of ‘70s and ‘80s America.

Writer-director: Miles Swain.

So? Patronizing and stale.

May 21

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Tycoon

Thriller

New Yorker

With: Vladimir Mashkov.

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The idea: Idealistic academic makes a killing in post-Soviet business scheme, becomes richest man in Russia -- and a target for assassination.

Writers: Alexander Borodianski, Pavel Lounguine, Yuli Dubov, adapted from the novel by Dubov.

Director: Lounguine.

So? Ruthless, cynical, blunt.

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May 23

On_Line

Drama

Indican

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With: Josh Hamilton, Harold Perrineau, Isabel Gillies, John Fleck.

The idea: An erotic Web site is the hub of activity in the streaming-video story of some peculiar Net denizens.

Writers: Andrew Osborne and Jed Weintrob.

Director: Weintrob.

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So? Seems rather dial-up in a broadband world.

Respiro

Drama

Sony Pictures Classics

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With: Valeria Golino, Vincenzo Amato, Francesco Asisa, Veronica D’Agostino.

The idea: Free-spirited young mother raises eyebrows among the locals on a small Sicilian island.

Writer-director: Emanuele Crialese.

So? That’s Italian.

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The Sea

Comedy

Palm

With: Gunar Eyjolfsson, Hilmir Snaer Guonason, Helene de Fougerolles, Kristbjorg Kjeld.

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The idea: Icelandic patriarch summons his children to a difficult homecoming.

Writers: Baltasar Kormakur, Olafur Haukur Simonarsen.

Director: Kormakur.

So? Kormakur made his international rep with “101 Reykjavik” in 2000.

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Sweet Sixteen

Drama

Lions Gate

With: Martin Compston, William Ruane, Annemarie Fulton, Michelle Coulter, Gary McCormack.

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The idea: Scottish teen plans for a new start upon his mum’s release from prison.

Writer: Paul Laverty.

Director: Ken Loach.

So? High art, low life.

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Bruce Almighty

Comedy

Universal

With: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Baker Hall.

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The idea: God hands TV reporter an unusual assignment: play God.

Writers: Steve Koren & Mark O’Keefe, Steve Oedekerk; story by Koren & O’Keefe.

Director: Tom Shadyac.

So? High uplift potential.

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May 30

A Decade Under the Influence

Documentary

IFC

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The idea: Casts an eye on the revolution in filmmaking in the 1970s, the age of Coppola, Scorsese, Altman, et al.

Directors: The late Ted Demme and Richard Lagravenese.

So? The elders are interviewed by disciples such as Neil LaBute, Nick Cassavetes and screenwriter Scott Frank.

Finding Nemo

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Animated adventure

Walt Disney

With: Voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush.

The idea: Overprotective father fish undertakes an epic search for his son.

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Writer-director: Andrew Stanton.

So? No. 5 for Pixar, which so far is four for four.

Gigantic (A Tale

of Two Johns)

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Documentary

Cowboy Pictures

With: They Might Be Giants (John Flansburgh, John Linnell).

The idea: Chronicles the 20-year saga of the eccentric alt-pop duo.

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Director: AJ Schnack.

So? Appearances by Janeane Garofalo, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, etc.

The Italian Job

Action

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Paramount

With: Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton (against his will), Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Seth Green, Frankie G.

The idea: Double-crossed thief tracks former partner to L.A.

Writers: Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Donna Powers & Wayne Powers; based on the 1969 film written by Troy Kennedy Martin.

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Director: F. Gary Gray.

So? High-speed high jinks.

Together

Drama

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United Artists

With: Liu Peiqi, Chen Hong, Wang Zhiwen, Chen Kaige.

The idea: Violin prodigy and his father move from small village to big-time Beijing.

Writers: Kaige, Xue Xiaolu.

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Director: Kaige.

So? Sentimental journey.

Wrong Turn

Thriller

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Fox

With: Jeremy Sisto, Eliza Dushku, Desmond Harrington, Emmanuelle Chriqui.

The idea: Kids become fast food when they stumble into West Virginia wilderness.

Writer: Alan B. McElroy.

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Director: Rob Schmidt.

So? Stan Winston creature feature.


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