Thursday, January 29, 2009

What, When, Where this Weekend - Medicine for Melancholy, Serbis, Taken, The Uninvited

What, When, Where is a weekly guide to select screenings, discussions and events in the NYC-area of interest to screenwriters. Have an event you'd like to see listed here? Give us a heads-up at

Opening this week...

MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, written and directed by Barry Jenkins

Premise: A love story of bikes and one-night stands told through two African-American twenty-somethings dealing with the conundrum of being a minority in a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco.

Playing: IFC Center

This reportedly takes place over the course of 24 hours and rarely branches beyond the two main characters. I love small movies like this - deep, but focused. I'm in.

Cinematical has an exclusive clip.

SERBIS, written by Armando Lao and Boots Agbayani Pastor, dir. by Brillante Mendoza

Premise: A drama that follows the travails of the Pineda family in the Filipino city of Angeles. Bigamy, unwanted pregnancy, possible incest and bothersome skin irritations are all part of their daily challenges, but the real "star" of the show is an enormous, dilapidated movie theater that doubles as family business and living space. At one time a prestige establishment, the theater now runs porn double bills and serves as a meeting ground for hustlers of every conceivable persuasion.

Playing: Angelika

A lot of good buzz around this one, too. I'll check it out.

TAKEN, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, dir. by Pierre Morel

Premise: A former spy relies on his old skills to save his daughter, who was kidnapped by slave traders during her vacation in Paris.

Playing: All over.

Luc Besson! Liam Neeson doing... badass things! This'll be a Netflixer.

THE UNINVITED, written and directed by the Guard Brothers

Premise: After her mother's death and her subsequent hospital stay, Anna Rydell returns home to be with her sister and her father, who has become engaged to Rachel, her mother's former nurse. During her first night back, Anna is visited by her mother's ghost, who reveals that the new woman in her father's life is not who she pretends to be, leading to a fateful confrontation between the women of the house.

Playing: All over.

Despite the lies you may have hear, this is actually a remake of the Korean film Tale of Two Sisters, and NOT an adaptation of the 1998 song by Alanis Morissette.

In any case, it's another Asian horror remake. Reviews are rather negative. It's a shame, because the original was scary if excruciatingly slow. When will these end?? Not since Verbinski took on The Ring (which I felt was better than the original, even after seeing Ringu first) have any of these been any good.

Have foreign horror producers figured out yet that if they churn out just about any horror slop they'll be able to sell the remake rights to Hollywood, no questions asked?

What are you doing/seeing this weekend?