Thursday, June 28, 2007

Evening out?

Evening comes out this weekend, and it scares me.
It looks so good in the trailers and advertisements. It’s got an incredible cast of the best actresses. And it’s directed by Hungarian Lajos Koltai.
Stars include: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close.
That’s what scares me. Everytime I see ads for a movie with that many top-notch folks working on a movie, it’s guaranteed to be terrible.
Examples: Gangs of New York and The Score.
Gangs was even nominated for an Academy Award – Sheesh! Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz and Leo DiCaprio all directed by Martin Scorsese. My wife and I actually booed afterward.
The Score stole $15 from my wallet. Robert De Niro, Ed Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando. It was completely unintelligible.
So, I’ll go to see Evening, but I’ll be picking out from behind my hands.
What are the worst movies you’ve seen that appeared to have amazing promise? Any of you regulars have a comment? Margaret, Leo, Heather, Lisa Gail, Beth, Joe?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This Just In: DVD Releases

Chased (Perseguido), 1993, Mexico
After witnessing a murder, a teenage skateboarder becomes the target of a merciless gang. The thugs chase the boy all over town in an attempt to silence him forever, but somehow he keeps dodging their increasingly ridiculous schemes. Starring Roberto Trujillo, Nelly Godoy and Hernán Casariego, Leopoldo Laborde's comedy gives a nod to filmmaker Juan Orol (the Ed Wood of Mexican film).

A Good Death Beats a Dull Life (Hijas de Su Madre: Las Buenrostro), 2005, directed by Busi Cortés, Mexico
In the Buenenrostros family, the women are in charge. Facing life in their Mexico City apartment complex with romance and laughter, along with a little death, they interrupt their clandestine business deals only for the occasional love triangle. It's a good thing the neighbors are on their side. Pilar Ixquic Mata, Lumi Cavazos, Marta Zamora and Jesús Ochoa star in this wickedly dark comedy from director Busi Cortés.

A Dedicated Life (Zenshin Shosetsuka), 1994, directed by Kazou Hara, Japan
Venerated filmmaker Kazou Hara trains his lens on author Mitsuharu Inoue -- whose sociopolitical novel Chi No Mure earned high praise from literary critics -- in this compelling documentary filmed as he copes with terminal cancer. From Inoue's communist beliefs to his controversial works, Hara paints a double-edged portrait of a maverick writer admired by students and peers -- who was also a brazen liar and shameless skirt chaser.

Child Murders (Gyerekgyilkosságok), 1993, Hungary
Set in Budapest, this drama reveals the emotional and physical abuse endured by children including motherless Zsolt (Barnabás Tóth), who is the sole caretaker of his ill grandmother. For better and worse, Zsolt's entire world changes when he helps a gypsy woman. Co-starring Mari Balogh, Ildikó Szabó's stark black-and-white drama earned the Fipresci Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

Frankenstein Conquers the World (Frankenstein vs. Baragon), 1965, directed by Ishirô Honda, Japan
Wrongly accused of destroying the countryside, a 20-foot-tall mutant dukes it out with the true culprit -- the giant reptile Baragon -- in this classic 1964 Japanese monster movie from Ishirô Honda, director of the original Godzilla. When Frankenstein's heart gets a dose of radiation from the Hiroshima bomb, the organ grows into a giant monster-boy destined to battle nasty Baragon.

The Law and the Fist (Prawo I Piesc), 1964, directed by Jerzy Hoffman, German
At the end of World War II, a group of Poles move to what was once German-occupied territory and must defend their rights and property from opportunistic villains disguised as officials in this modern drama with a classic Western story line. In the end, a lone hero steps up to run the bad guys out of town and save the day. Filmmaker Jerzy Hoffman's drama stars Gustaw Holoubek, Wieslaw Golas and Zofia Mrozowska.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Paprika Showing, Free to New Members!

Join FWSCI Filmies for a showing of the Japanese anime film Paprika at 6 p.m., Friday, July 13, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Tickets are $7 for adults and can be purchased through FWSCI offices at

New Members Attend Free
Anyone joining FWSCI through Filmies between now and July 13 will receive a free ticket to the movie.
Click here to join FWSCI online or here by mail. Remember to write/type Filmies in the “Recruited by” blank.

For reservations, email Felecia Bouyer at or call 817.392.2650

Dr. Atsuko Chiba is a genius scientist by day, and a dream warrior named PAPRIKA by night. In this psychedelic sci-fi adventure, it will take the skills of both women to save the world...
In the near future, a revolutionary new psychotherapy treatment called PT has been invented. Through a device called the “DC Mini” it is able to act as a “dream detective” to enter into people’s dreams and explore their unconscious thoughts. Before the government can pass a bill authorizing the use of such advanced psychiatric technology, one of the prototypes is stolen, sending the research facility into an uproar.
In the wrong hands, the potential misuse of the devise could be devastating, allowing the user to completely annihilate a dreamer’s personality while they are asleep.
Renowned scientist, Dr. Atsuko Chiba, enters the dream world under her exotic alter-ego, code name “PAPRIKA,” in an attempt to discover who is behind the plot to undermine the new invention.
Paprika was directed by Satoshi Kon and is based on the literary works of Yasutaka Tsutsui. The film was an Official Selection of the New York Film Festival. The film opened in New York on May 25 and Los Angeles on June 1.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hungary & Korda Studio Get Raves

The opening of Korda Film Studio in Budapest at a former military installation is wowing Hollywood and the film world.

Variety touts the operation as top of the line. And with the opening late last year of the Stern Studio Film Studio and Media Center in Pomaz, north of Budapest, Hungary is attracting attention.

Now, California-based Raleigh Studios is opening of an office in Hungary offering production services. The studios offer local crews and craft, facilities and English-speaking keys, plus 24/7 connection to its North American operations.

Korda is currently host to Guiermo del Toro’s Hellboy II, which began shooting in early June.

Caboodle, a Hungaran website reports:

"We are very proud that one of the world's largest studios and most famed directors who recently won three Oscars with his movie 'Pan's Labyrinth' have chosen the Sándor Korda Film Studio as shooting location for their new movie," said László Krisán, director of Korda Filmstúdió Kft.

The filmmakers are currently building the film's large sets and plan to begin shooting in June. The first "Hellboy" was released in 2004. "Hellboy 2" is expected to be released at the end of next summer.

The "Hellboy 2" production team will use the four studios, and storage and workshop centers that were completed at the Etyek studio for the first phase of the investment.

The second phase of the investment, including a 21-meter-high water studio for shooting underwater scenes, will be finished by December. It also will be possible to open one of the studio walls to incorporate the Etyek landscape into films. The total area of the studios will be 6,500 square meters and cost €91 million to build.

Krisán said the production will be carefully separated from ongoing construction so work on the film is not disturbed.

The studio also acts as a community liaison for filmmakers, providing assistance with accommodation, opportunities for recreation in the area, and finding available manpower.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thanks big brother!

Carlos Cuaron
Carlos Cuaron is directing the first film by Cha Cha Cha, the partnership recently created by Mexico’s film heavyweights Gonzalez Inarritu, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. The three directors struck a deal this year with Universal Studios to produce five films for $100 million.
The film Rudo y Cursi (Rough and Course) is a comedy starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, who were last paired in the 2001 breakout Mexican film Y Tu Mama Tambien. The storyline features two soccer-playing brothers in a life-long rivalry. Y Tu Mama Tambien was also written by Carlos Cuaron and directed by Alfonso.
Filming began three weeks ago in Cihuatlan. The movie also stars Guillermo Francella and Ivan Esquivel.

On a side note, I watched The King, starring Bernal and William Hurt last night. Great, creepy movie. Not sure why it never generated any buzz. Bernal is a really amazing actor. I have yet to see him in a bad movie.

Luna & Bernal

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Palm of Your Hand

White Palms (Fehér tenyér), a Hungarian film about the competitive lives of gymnasts, opens this week in New York.
The film tells the true stories of gymnasts ranging from behind the Iron Curtain in the ‘80s, to current-day Canada.
The interesting angle is the actors and director are all gymnasts, and the stories unfolding on screen were derived from interviews about their own personal lives.
Director Szabolcs Hajdu (photo below) relays the story of his life as a young gymnast and features a warts-and-all story about his family life as an athlete under communist rule. His brother, Miklós Zoltán Hajdu, is also a gymnast and stars as a modern-day trainer who arrives in Canada from a stint in Cirque du Soleil to train a self-absorbed gymnast, played by Olympic gymnast Kyle Shewfelt.
The New York Times describes the movie this way: “An athlete recalls his troubled youth while helping to coach a talented but headstrong youngster in this drama from Hungarian filmmaker Szabolcs Hajdu. Miklos Dongo (Miklos Zoltan Hajdu) is a world class gymnast who competed in the Olympics before taking on his current career as a performer with Cirque du Soleil. Miklos has been hired to help coach some contenders for the Canadian Olympic team, and finds himself working with Kyle Manjak (Kyle Shewfelt), an unusually talented young man whose mood swings make him difficult to work with. As Miklos tries to help Kyle focus his talents and come to terms with his demons, he finds himself frequently looking back on his own early career as a gymnast in Hungary.”
Director Hajdu said it was difficult to coax some of the rougher, unpleasant scenes out of his brother and Shewfelt. Hajdu said neither wanted to relive some of the scenes they told him about during the interview/writing process. Once he had his screenplay completed, he didn’t share upcoming scenes with the two actors/gymnasts, for fear of scaring them from the project.
In the end all sequences of the movie are juxtaposed throughout, rather than told in a chronological order. The harsh training methods of the communist program appear grim against the more coddling style of Western athlete training. Yet the prima donnas of the Western system don’t fair to well against the dedicated communist athletes.

Szabolcs Hajdu

This Just in: New DVDs

This week is a slow week for releases. In fact I couldn’t find anything from our seven Sister City countries. However, I’m posting info on a film from South Africa that might appeal to folks with interest in Mbabane, Swaziland. Films from Swaziland are few and far between, but the culture in surrounding South Africa can be similar.
Notice the difference in the two Max and Mona posters (above and below). The top one looks very Western and marketing driven, or like an indie film poster. At least that's my take.

Max and Mona, 2004, directed by Teddy Mattera, South Africa
Max (Mpho Lovinga) is a professional funeral mourner who wants to escape his small village and study medicine in the city. But when he suddenly finds himself responsible for some of his uncle's debts and Mona, the village's sacred goat, he must shelve his schooling and use his mourning talents to raise money. Max teams up with a shady funeral director, a transvestite and his uncle's beautiful neighbor to fend off the unsavory debt collectors.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Top German Films

What exactly does that mean? As in the United States the top grossing films aren’t necessarily the top artistic films. But just because a film is a top income producer, doesn’t mean the film is terrible either.

The Filmies met last night and watched a presentation on recent German films. Here’s a quick overview of the presentation.

Thanks to everyone who made it out to Rahr Brewery for our June Filmies meeting. Next month we’ll be gathering for a showing of the anime film Paprika at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Lives of Others
2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film
7 2005 Lolas, including Best Film & Director
No. 6 Grossing Film 2006
Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring: Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Muehe, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Thieme

Four Minutes (Vier Minuten)
2006 Gold Lola
2006 Best Actress Lola - MonicaBleibtreu
Directed by Chris Kraus II
Starring:Monica Bleibtreu, Hannah Herzsprung, Sven Pippig, Richy Mueller, Jasmin Tabatabai

Grave Decisions (Wer Wer früher stirbt ist länger tot)
2006 Best Director Lola
No. 7 Grossing Film 2006
Directed by Marcus H. Rosenmueller
Starring: Fritz Karl, Jurgen Tonkel, Julie Ronstedt, Markus Kroier, Saskia Vester II

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
2006 Silver Lola
No. 1 Grossing Film 2006
Directed by Tom Tykwer
Starring: Ben Whisaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Corinna Harfouch

The Thief Lord (Der Herr der Deibe)
No. 10 Grossing Film 2006
Directed by Richard Claus
Starring:Vanessa Redgrave, Caroline Goodall, Alexei Savle, Aaron Johnson IV

Seven Dwarfs (7 Zwerge)
No. 3 Grossing Film 2006
Directed by Sven Unterwaldt Jr.
Starring: Otto Waalkes, Boris Alijnovic, Gustav-Peter Wohler, Ralf Schmitz, Martin Schneider

Hui Buh
No. 5 Grossing Film 2006
Directed by Sebastian Niemann
Starring: Michael Herbig, Christoph Maria Herbst, Heike Makatsch, Ellenie Salvo Gonzalez, Nick Brimble

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This Just In: New DVDs

Silk (Guisi), 2006, directed by Chao-Bin Su
A team of paranormal researchers investigates the strange death of a Canadian scientist, a case that yields just one clue: a photo of a boy in an empty room. The team soon discovers that the boy is actually a ghost, and using the latest technology, they physically capture his spirit. But as they unlock the secret of his death, the researchers realize that there's a much more powerful supernatural force at work.

Id (Ido), 2005, directed by Kei Fujiwara, Japan
A string of gruesome accidents in an isolated town seems to be tied to a wanted murderer, until a local woman is implicated in the violent death of a factory manager. The murderer and the woman realize they share a powerful connection, making it clear that there are mysterious forces at work. This psychological thriller examines the id -- the subconscious force that taps our deepest desires -- and asks what happens when it can't be controlled.

Late Ozu: Early Spring (Soshun), 1956, , directed by Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
Acclaimed Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu explores the bleak hopelessness of the white-collar corporate world in this postwar tale of marriage, infidelity and passion. In an attempt to break out of a mind-numbing daily routine, an ordinary office worker embarks on a risky affair with a stenographer, all the while hoping that his colleagues -- and his wife -- never find out.

Late Ozu: Tokyo Twilight (Tokyo boshoku ), 1957, directed by Yosujiro Ozu, Japan
In this black-and-white drama, acclaimed Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu shines a light on the dark side of sisterhood, exposing shame and family secrets in postwar Tokyo. While living at home with their aging father (Chishu Ryu), two sisters (Setsuko Hara and Ineko Arima) face shocking revelations, the most profound of which is that their mother -- whom they long assumed to be dead -- may still be alive.

Late Ozu: Equinox Flower (Higanbana), 1958, directed by Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
In his first color film, acclaimed director Yasujiro Ozu explores the tension between modern romance and family tradition in postwar Japanese society. A prosperous businessman (Shin Saburi) with a reputation for doling out sound, objective relationship advice to his friends finds it difficult to practice what he preaches when his oldest daughter (Ineko Arima) announces her engagement to a man he doesn't like.

Late Ozu: The End of Summer (Kohayagawa-ke no aki), 1961, directed by Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
In his penultimate film, acclaimed Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu examines the relationship between an aging father (Ganjiro Nakamura) and his three caring daughters (Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa and Michiyo Aratama), who needlessly worry that he'll spend the rest of his life alone. Little do they know that dad is anything but solitary, having recently reconnected with his former mistress.

Late Ozu: Late Autumn (Akibiyori), 1963, directed by Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
Acclaimed director Yasujiro Ozu explores the flipside of the traditional mother-daughter bond in this touching family comedy set in postwar Japan. Reluctant to marry and leave her widowed mother (Setsuko Hara) all alone, a dutiful daughter (Yôko Tsukasa) resists selecting a suitor. But her late father's friends, who are eager to see both women happy, insist on stepping in to play matchmaker.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Munich Film Festival 25th Anniversary

This June marks the 25th Anniversary of the Munich Film Festival. The Festival runs June 22 through June 30.

In celebration we’re focusing on award-winning or top box office German films tomorrow – 6 p.m., June 12 – at the Filmies gathering at Rahr Brewery. (See details at the right)

Hope you can make it!

As for Munich, obviously there are lots of German films making their debut and many U.S. films. Additionally 10 films from our Sister City countries will light up the screens.

If you’re near Munich, check out the festival. If not, hopefully some of these will make it to a festival or DVD player near you.

Here are the films representing Italy and Mexico.

Born & Bred – Argentina, Italy

Gardens in Autumn – France, Italy, Russia

The Missing Star – France, Italy, Switzerland

Napoleon & Me – France, Italy, Spain

Our Country – Italy

Salty Air – Italy

Salvatore – This is life – Italy

The Session is Open – Italy

Sodom Carnaval – Mexico, Spain

Two Embraces – Mexico

Friday, June 8, 2007

Nugroho takes Australia

Scene from Opera Jawa

Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho (left) is a special guest of the Sydney Film Festival this weekend.

Nugroho’s work has debuted at film festivals globally from Cannes to Seattle. His Opera Jawa will play Sunday and Monday in Sydney.

"Garin Nugroho is a very talented and prolific filmmaker. He has created many movies that have won international awards and created great interest in Indonesian film," said Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer. "This is another example of the ongoing and exciting cultural collaboration between Australia and Indonesia in many areas of the arts," he said.
You can see Nugroho’s work as part of a traveling film series across the United States this year. His Of Love and Eggs (Rindu kami padamu) is part of The Global Film Initiative, which played at the Museum of Modern Art in New York last year.

Additional articles:
Screening the Past
Indonesia Now

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Grant in Madonna film

Swaziland’s Richard E. Grant is taking a roll in Madonna’s first film directing project.

The low-budget comedy is called Filth And Wisdom and is based on Madonna’s life experiences. Hmm. That doesn’t really narrow the topic down, does it?

Media reports quote Maddona saying, "I am happy to confirm I am working hard on a new project, directing my first short movie. While I cannot tell you more about it for now, I am happy to officially reveal its title: Filth And Wisdom. "I will finish this in time to go back to the recording studio in July. I hate to be such a tease, but you know how I am."

Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie is a well-known British filmmaker. The Ritchies and Grant apparently know each other socially.

Grant made his directorial debut last year with the film Wah-Wah. An in-depth article in the Courier Mail gives the low-down on all things Grant.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Awakening Japan

Naomi Kawase

The recent Cannes Film Festival win by Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase has at least one newspaper calling for increased emphasis on Japanese culture on film.

We’d support that.

The Japan Times online article went as far as saying, “Sending a steady supply of high-quality films overseas to festivals and commercial theaters alike will prove a wise move in the long run.”
The article laments the fact that arthouse films from Japan have a bigger following outside the country than inside the Land of the Rising Sun. I’m sure U.S. filmmakers feel the same.

Anyway, I wouldn't exactly call the Japanese film industry dead.

Perhaps it’s appropriate that Kawase’s film is called Mogari no Mori (The Mourning Forest). Maybe attention from this great honor will encourage Japan and Japanese artists to rise to the occasion and offer the world more great films.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

This Just In: New DVD Releases

The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai (Hatsujô kateikyôshi: sensei no aijiru ), 2003, directed by Mitsuru Meike, Japan
When call girl Sachiko Hanai (Emi Kuroda) gets shot in the head, she not only survives, she emerges with psychic powers and a genius IQ. Soon, the slut turned brainiac is living a life of danger, having unwittingly walked off with George W. Bush's finger. With the president's fingerprint all that's needed to launch a nuclear missile, just about every spy in the world is after the digit -- and Sachiko -- in this surreal sexploitation romp

Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (San daikaijû: Chikyu saidai no kessen ), 1964, directed by Ishirô Honda, Japan
Three-headed mutant dragon Ghidorah goes nose to nose with Mothra, Godzilla and Rodan in director Ishirô Honda's classic Japanese monster flick. Released from a meteor that crash-landed, Ghidorah rampages through Tokyo, with Mount Fuji becoming the climactic battleground for a four-beastie smack down when Mothra, Godzilla and Rodan show up. Yosuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Akiko Wakabayashi and Takashi Shimura head the cast.

Invasion of Astro-Monster (Kaijû daisenso ), 1965, directed by Ishirô Honda, Japan
Aliens from Planet X borrow Godzilla and Rodan, claiming the monsters can help eradicate the ferocious triple-headed Ghidorah. But the extraterrestrials actually intend to invade Earth. Now, American astronaut Glenn (Nick Adams), his fellow space traveler Fuji (Akira Takarada) and brilliant inventor Tetsuo (Akira Kubo) must stop the sinister plot. Directed by Ishirô Honda, this classic sci-fi adventure co-stars Jun Tazaki and Kumi Mizuno.

Monday, June 4, 2007

New Film Sheriff in Town

Tom Huckabee, Lone Star International Film Festival Director
The Lone Star International Film Festival has named Tom Huckabee as its new festival director. The industry insider from Fort Worth has returned to the city of his roots to work on the festival.
Huckabee was executive producer on Frailty (2001), writer of Deep in the Heart (1996), executive consultant on The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) and writing, directing and producing for various TV programs.
Huckabee is taking on the task of bringing Hollywood and the indie world of film to Fort Worth for the film festival Nov. 8-11, 2007. Lone Star is seeking film submissions for its film competition.
Meanwhile Fort Worth Sister Cities International is presenting a sidebar during the festival focusing on film from our seven Sister City countries: Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Swaziland. If you’re an indie filmmaker or film distributor from these countries contact us at
Huckabee was feted in Fort Worth last Thursday in a mobile celebration that moved from the T&P Station Lofts, to the Flying Saucer and finally winding down at 8.0 in Sundance Square.
Make plans now to join us for the festival and film series this November 2007.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Playing this Weekend in North Texas

Get out and see a movie. Particularly if it's raining AGAIN. Here are films from or about our seven Sister City countries playing locally:

Black Book
Angelika, Dallas
Award-winning Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven directs “Black Book”, an epic World War II thriller based on the real life story of Rachel, a Jewish refugee who escapes to Holland and joins the Dutch resistance to seek revenge on the German Nazis who destroyed her life. When she falls in love with a Gestapo officer, Rachel must walk the line between friendship and enemy status during a time of heightened paranoia and chaos.

Magnolia Theater, Dallas
Working nine to five is a real killer, but office outings can be even worse. A coach lurches out of bustling Budapest, heading for the mountainous border. Aboard are seven employees of international weapons manufacturer Palisade Defence, global suppliers of innovative weaponry for the past 75 war-torn years. The lucky group is being treated to a team-building weekend at the company's newly-built luxury spa lodge. But things quickly go awry as the colleagues find their corporate weekend is sabotaged by a deadly enemy. Forget office politics, only the smartest will survive this bloody office outing! Directed and co-written by Christopher Smith (Creep).

The Lives of Others
Inwood Theater, Dallas
In East Berlin, five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) of the secret Stasi police is given the mission to spy on a celebrated writer and actress couple (Sebastian Koch, Martina Gedeck) for the German Democratic Republic. But Wiesler's loyalty begins to erode as his immersion in "the lives of others," in love, literature and freethinking, makes him acutely aware of the shortfalls of his own existence. Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Winner of 7 German Film Awards including Best Director and Outstanding Feature Film. Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

Coming Soon

Golden Door
Magnolia Theater, Dallas (June 15)
The classic tale of coming to America is turned into a wondrous and magical experience in writer/director Emanuele Crialese's (Respiro) romantic fable. Driven by fantastic dreams and confronted with shocking realities, one man makes an epic odyssey in search of a brand new world. On a perilous steamship journey from his Sicilian village, the widower Salvatore Mancuso (Vincenzo Amato) encounters the ravishing, mystery-shrouded Englishwoman Lucy (Charlotte Gainsbourg, The Science of Sleep)—as the Old World literally collides into the New with seductive results. Amid a harrowing crossing, an unexpected love story unfolds all the way to the halls of Ellis Island, where both Salvatore and Lucy will stop at nothing to make it through the Golden Door to the America of their imaginations.