World in Motion

Lovers of the Arctic CircleAna and Otto knew they were meant for each other even before his father set up housekeeping with her mother. The suggestion of incest fuels their passion. Director Julio Medem inscribes their tortured romance in a landscape that blends fire (Spain) and ice (Finland), but the film becomes merely decorative in the second hour. (AT) April 7 and 8

SitcomThe introduction of a white laboratory rat into a conventional French suburban family unleashes a horde of repressed desires— from incest to transvestism to murder. François Ozon follows his creepy, perfectly structured short feature See the Sea with a film that's more baroque and more conventional. It's preceded by Sara Sugarman's Anthrakitis, a disturbing glimpse of old age seen through the eyes of a fearless filmmaker. (AT) April 9 and 11

Leaf on a PillowOne of three street-kid movies in the festival (see also Barrio and Trans), Garin Nugroho's film looks at the plight of homeless children in the teeming back alleys of Jogjakarta. Indonesian star Christine Hakim, who also produced, plays a maternal figure to the young scamps (all nonprofessional actors), who meet horrible fates with depressing predictability. Heartfelt as it is, the film is undermined by its schematic, heavy-handed feel. (DL) April 10 and 11

Orphans in a storm: Douglas Henshall and Stephen McCole
New Directors/ Newfilms
Orphans in a storm: Douglas Henshall and Stephen McCole

Details

'New Directors/New Films'
At the Museum of Modern Art
March 26 through April 11

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TransJulian L. Goldenberger's depiction of a 16-year-old Florida kid with nowhere to run is The 400 Blows of the '90s. Goldenberger has an extraordinary sense of place and he gets an emotionally complicated, haunting performance from Ryan Daugherty. The score by Fat Mama and her Transworld Orchestra is brilliant. That Trans was relegated to the experimental section at Sundance is proof of how calcified that festival has become. (AT) April 10 and 11

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