Movies I have little to say about, but will gather them here in a gaggle of mini-reviews for the sake of order

Saturday, January 8, 2011 4:43 PM By Simon

Lila Says, about a teenager wasting away his time in an Arab ghetto in Marseilles with his mother, unemployed and with no prospects, when a provocative young white girl moves in with her aunt. Naturally, the two get it on.

A pleasant enough romance, aided mostly by the charismatic performance of Vahina Giocante as Lila. Mohammed Khouas is okay, pretty good, but it's the kind of unspectacular performance that, with time away from it, can be mistaken for flat. The subplot, wherein main character Chimo distances from his friends, who start harassing Lila, shows up intermittently, with no great enthusiasm until the end, where the director Ziad Doueiri suddenly remembers them, and gives them something randomly horrible to do. Well, not random, but the three and the plot are so underdeveloped it's...yeah. So.

24 City, directed by Jia Zhangke, is a quasi-documentary, quasi-narrative, quasi-quasi-quasi everything, following three generations of workers in Chengdu, as a state-owned factory makes way for a modern apartment complex.

Not terribly sure if the interviews were real or just actors reciting composite lines of thousands of interviewees, but they're all kind of heartwrenching in their own way. I cried, dude. For totally.

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