Fellow Film Club Members:
Welcome to June, and our latest CSL screenings. We picked three DVD selections this month, so there will be an extra screening this Saturday, June 7, 2008. From Bhutan, and Germany, we have (2) diverse and spiritually uplifting cinema experiences. The Bhutan film was picked by Chiko Faria as her outgoing producer’s gift. The German film was picked by TFC member, Mohsen Mirghanbari.
On this Friday, June 6, 2008, we will screen KING OF THIEVES (2004). Czech director and writer, Ivan Fila, who primarily works in Germany, had interviewed some children who had experienced abduction and forced criminal activity. He felt that it was a modern version of OLIVER TWIST, and worked hard to get this film made. As a small independent film, he found it difficult to finance—even running out of funds with more than half the film still to complete. It took him two more years to raise the money and finish the film. He auditioned all over Europe to find his two juvenile leads, and then had them work with a circus trainer for months to develop their skills. Ivan Fila had a big hit with his film, LEA (1996). KING OF THIEVES was well received on the film festival circuit, but was not seen or reviewed much internationally. So it is an independent gem of a movie that we can add to our cinematic experience.
KING OF THIEVES, aka KONIG DER DIEBE (2004) Directed by Ivan Fila @ 101 minutes—in German with subtitles. The film stars Lazar Ristovski, Iakov Kultiasov, Katarina Thalbach, and Julia Khanverdieva. Two amateur “circus kids” from a poor Ukrainian village, are sold to a circus artist who promised them a career in the West—but instead he smuggled them into Berlin and separated them. The girl is forced into a life of prostitution, and the boy becomes a petty criminal. As harsh as this plot sounds, the movie ends on an up beat. It is an interesting blend of fable, fairy tale, and urban nightmare.
Then as a bonus feature, and an extra treat, this Saturday, June 7, 2008, at CSL we will screen TRAVELLERS AND MAGICIANS (2003). Director/writer Khyentse Norbu brought us that lovely Tibetan film, THE CUP (1999). Norbu has been trained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, considered the reincarnation of a Buddhist saint—but he also studied politics and filmmaking in America. He was a consultant to Bernardo Bertolucci on LITTLE BUDDHA (1993), filmed partially in Seattle. MAGICIANS takes place in the majestic land-locked Himalayan nation of Bhutan—the first feature film to come out of that country—which was the prototype setting for LOST HORIZONS (1937).
TRAVELERS AND MAGICIANS (2003) Written and directed by Khyentse Norbu @ 108 minutes—in Dzongkhu/Bhutanese with subtitles. The film stars Tsewang Dandup, Sonam Lhano, and Lhakpa Dorji. A young government official, who feels trapped in his Bhutanese village, yearns to travel all the way to America. While hitchhiking, he falls in with a group of fellow travelers. The story is a sometimes humorous, sometimes discomforting “collision” of the traditional and the modern. Why would one want to escape Shangri-La? Tagline: “the bitter and the sweet of temporary things”.
So join us hearty movie-loving members at the Center for Spiritual Living, located at 206 North J Street, in Tacoma. On Friday night, June 6th, Roger has promised there will be soup and fellowship, as per usual, in the kitchen. He will begin serving at 6:00pm for all who want to arrive early. A short film will start promptly at 7pm, and KING OF THIEVES will screen immediately afterwards.
For the second screening, on Saturday, June 7th, there will still be social gathering before the feature, TRAVELLERS AND MAGICIANS—that members can bring food and libation for if they wish, but the soup will not be served. Same schedule will apply for the screening—7pm a short film, and the feature immediately afterwards. This will be a landmark weekend for TFC, and I hope to see as many of you as can attend at one or both screenings.