Last Friday we had a nice turn-out for 12 ANGRY MEN. Those who attended were moved by the power and sensitivity of the 1957 classic, based on a 1954 teleplay presented on STUDIO ONE, directed by Franklin Schaffner. This Friday, October 9, 2009, the Tacoma Film Club is excited about presenting the Russian film, “12”. This is the film that was slated to open at the Grand Theater like six months ago, but because of releasing problems it never did open, and we had to wait until it was released on DVD before we could see it. Well, the waiting is over.
“12’ (2007) was written and directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. He is known as the Russian “Spielberg”; his father was a poet, his mother was a poet, and his brother Andrei is also a film director. “12” was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film in 2008. Mikhalkov had already won an Oscar for his 1994 film, BURNT BY THE SUN. He is good friends with Russian President, Vladimir Putin. As an actor he has appeared in 46 films since 1959, many he directed as well; 21 films since 1967.
Epigraph: “Don’t look here for the truth of everyday life, but try to feel the truth of being.”
Epilogue: “ The law comes before everything, but what’s to be done if mercy comes before the law?”
Betsy Sharkey of the L.A. Times wrote, “Where Lumet’s film is lean and taut, the small jury room and hot day ratcheting up emotions, Mikhalkov has opened this up and expanded his film into a lyrical 2.5 hour saga. We become, in a sense, a silent witness as he takes us through the bucolic summer countryside and into the war-torn Chechen streets where guilt and innocence linger as heavy in the air as smoke from the firebombs that have gutted the boy’s hometown.”
Ronnie Scheib of VARIETY wrote, “ 12 expansively, dramatically, magnificently Russian, Nikita Mikhalkov’s loose remake of 12 ANGRY MEN plays like vintage jazz from a veteran band.”
Mark Savlov of THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE wrote, “ 12 is every bit as much of a moral powerhouse as its predecessors, but has the added bonus of being simultaneously intellectually riveting and, at times, almost indescribably poetic. It’s one of the elliptically lovely films that also doubles as a deconstruction of the human moral compass that I have ever seen.”
Roger Ebert of THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES wrote, “Going in we know what the story is about, how it will progress, and how it will end. Mikhalkov keeps all of that, but he has made a new film with its own original characters and stories; and after all, it’s not how the film ends, but how it gets there.” —reminding me of the ten film versions of HAMLET, and the several hundred stage versions of it over the centuries. We return to see it, already knowing the story line, because we constantly seek someone else’s fresh vision of a classic theme.
12 (2007) Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov @ 159 minutes.
The film stars Sergei Makovetsky, Sergey Garmish, Aleksei Petrenko, and Nikita Mikhalkov. Synopsis: A loose remake of 12 ANGRY MEN, set in a Russian school, 12 jurors are struggling to decide the fate of a Chechen teenager accused of killing his Russian stepfather. One juror dissents, and begins to review the “facts” of the case.
Roger Ebert wrote, “This is a powerful new film inspired by a powerful older one.”
So, do yourselves a favor and join us for a screening of “12” (2007) this Friday, October 9, 2009 at the Center for Spiritual Learning, located at 206 North J Street, on the corner of Division and J in Tacoma. Arrive early and join many of us in the kitchen downstairs, where we will be enjoying food prepared by the Phantom Director and Farishta, and warm fellowship developed by our community of film lovers over the last several years. It is always lovely when some of you also bring along some additional goodies, breads, cheeses, fruits, desserts. Please feel free to share. There will be our raffle held too, at a buck a ticket, for some lucky members to win 40% of the cash we received, and a terrific DVD from my collection; this week it is THE SOLOIST. There will be a short film shown promptly at 7pm, followed by the raffle results and my introduction of our film, “12” to be screened immediately afterward. See you at the movies!