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Announcement ………………… 4 Six Biggest Movies ……………. 6 Festival de CANNES …………. 12 In Theater Now …………………. 19 Movie Reviews …………………... 21 Post Card from Israel ………… 26 Entertainer of the Month …… 27

Little Bonobo's Book Cafe©

Monte Pictures was originally founded by Javier Serrano in 2007. Monte Pictures© is the subject to the founder’s passion: to establish a film company. Monte Pictures© runs independently through monthly newsletters composed by the founder and his editor-in-chief Julia Wieczorek.

It gives me great pleasure and a great sense of privileged to expose the works of an aspiring young writer Jessica Green. Jessica, a native of California, currently resides in United Kingdom as a freelance editor and an aspiring writer. Recently, she obtained her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at University of Sussex, England and completed her undergraduate degree from University of California, Santa Barbara where she majored in English. Her blog Little Bonobo’s Book Café highlights many of her accomplishments as an aspiring writer. Through her blog, she posts reading, writing, and other literature-related works that indulges any reader of all ages the understanding of critical thinking, grammar/ writing sources, group discussion interaction, etc. Monte Pictures© encourages its members and avid readers to participate through Jessica’s blog, as you have done for us. We wish the absolute best for Jessica as she embarks on her unforgettable journey. To contact Jessica Green, please email your inquires to bonoboedit [at] gmail [dot] com

© 2009 Monte Pictures. We acknowledge all photographs images, and icons are subject to their original owners. Monte Pictures© was created to express, entertain and educate members of Monte Pictures© the variety of film selections available. We do not sell our newsletters nor accept donations of any kind; we are neither a corporation nor nonprofit organization.

This newsletter is dedicated to Julia, and you, the reader.

Every Movie Starts Here

Six Biggest
Movies of the Summer

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Dir. David Slade
Eclipse is the third film in the Twilight series, based on the bestselling novels by Stephanie Meyer. The series tells the story of Bella Swan, a teenager who moves to the town of Forks and falls in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen. In continuation to New Moon, Edward and Bella discuss the complications of becoming an immortal vampire. Bella expresses her aversion about the idea of marrying so young, though Edward refuses to change Bella until they’re married. All the while newborn vampires attempt to reek havoc on Forks forcing the vampires and werewolves to fight together. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Launter reprise their roles in this entertaining, adrenaline inducing, and illuminating special effects feature.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Taylor Launter

The A-Team
Dir. Joe Carnahan Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Wilson

One of the most anticipated films of this year, the A-Team delivers an action-packed blockbuster film. The film follows the same basic plot as the show, of course updated for current events. The A-Team is a group of four elite soldiers with contrasting skills and personalities. Currently serving in Iraq, opposed to Vietnam in the television series, The A-Team carry out secret missions and tasks for the United States government. Following the original television series’ success, this newly adapted feature does not disappoint.


Toy Story 3
Dir. Lee Unkrich Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, and Ned Beatty

Toy Story 3 joins the series as one of the most successful animations of all time. Andy, now 17 years old, has outgrown his toys and is preparing to move to college. He decides to take Woody with him and packs the other toys in a garbage bag, intending to store them in the attic, but Andy’s mother puts the bag on the curb believing this is just a bag of trash. This adventurous and fun-loving animation will definitely win the audience. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their roles as Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

Dir. Philip Noyce Starring: Angelina Jolie, Live Schreiber, Chiwetwel Ejiofer

Salt is an American action thriller film starring Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt. Wrongly accused of being a sleeper agent, Salt is on the run to clear her name as the CIA believe she is plotting to assassinate the President of the United States. Angelina Jolie’s performance as Salt rivals against Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

Iron Man 2
Dir. Jon Favreau Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle

There are some sequels that are good and there some sequels you tell yourself, why? Iron Man 2 falls under the category of good sequels. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark. The story unfolds: Stark has revealed his identity as Iron Man and declines to hand over the technology to the U.S. Government. Meanwhile, Ivan Vanko, portrayed by Mickey Rourke, has duplicated the technology and built new weapons that are superior to Stark’s.

Dir. Christopher Nolan Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
It seems director Christopher Nolan is becoming a much better writer/director as he progresses. Have you seen The Dark knight? Of course, you have. Inception is utterly brilliant, mesmerizing, and has all the qualities of a summer blockbuster film. Leonardo DiCaprio is Dom Cobb, a man who specializes in the subconscious by stealing his clients’ ideas while trying to also implant new ones. Don’t be surprised if Inception receives an Oscar nomination or two.


The 63rd annual Cannes Film Festival was held from May 12 to May 23, 2010, in Cannes, France. The Festival de Cannes, known as the most recognized film festivals worldwide, was founded in 1946. This year’s jury president for the international competition, American film director Tim Burton, and other members of the jury were composed of actors, directors, screenwriters, and composers. They included Kate Beckinsale, Emmanuel Carrère, Benicio de Toro, and Alexandre Desplat. The Palm d’Or award, the most prestigious award in the festival, has acknowledged films across the globe from South Korea to the United State and France to Southeast Asia. This year the award was won by Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, a Thai film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, it is the first Asian film to win the Palm d’Or since 1997. French film Of Gods and Men was the runner up as it won the Grand Prix award.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was the worthy winner of the most prestigious international award: the Palm d’Or (Best Film) at the Cannes Film Festival. The President of the Jury Tim Burton and the Jury selections chose wisely on a film that deals with emotions, life experience, and past lives. Weerasethakul’s visionary film has all the characteristic styles: quiet, mysterious, and magical that makes this movie-going experience impeccable. Perhaps it’s the wordless opening that allures the audience into the nature of film, the performances and the colors that captivate brilliantly on screen. Boonmee is a middle-aged man, in need of a kidney transplant, who has relocated to a remote forest to end his days as he recalls many past lives through mystical flashbacks. Through his revealing flashbacks, we are encountered by his dead wife and lost son. Boonmee searches for meaningful answers through reincarnation and past experiences that leaves the audience to sympathize with Boonmee, but feel no regret towards his character. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives offers heartbreaks, and elements of life that are unpredictable in nature.

Dir. Mathieu Amalric Starring: Mathieu Amalric

On Tour

Dir. Abbas Kiarostami Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell

Certified Copy

Best Director
In the year of the French, On Tour is a French comedy directed, written, and starred by Mathieu Amalric. The story unfolds as Amalric a producer who brings an American Neo-Burlesque (New Burlesque) cast to France. Amalric, internationally known for starring in 2007, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, captures the Best Director award for On Tour.

Best Actress
One of France’s greatest actresses of all time, Academy Award® winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient; Supp. Actress) is unforgettable. The story is set in Tuscany, Italy and focuses on a French art gallery owner, played by Juliette, who together with a man she just met pretends to be her long-married husband.

Dir. Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu (Mexico) Starring: Javier Bardem, Blanca Portillo


La Nostra Vita
Dir. Daniele Luchetti (Italy) Starring: Raoul Bova

Best Actor
The collaboration of director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, producers Alfonso Guarón and Guilermo del Toro and actor Javier Bardem provides a unique universal of Mexican and Spanish cultures in a single film. In Biutiful, Javier Bardem portrays a man who is involved in illegal activity and is confronted by an old childhood, who is now a police officer. In response to Javier’s mesmerizing performance, he shared a Best Actor award at Cannes Film Festival alongside with Raoul Bova.

Best Actor
Even though La Nostra Vita lost the Palm d’Or to Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, its star Raoul Bova won a Best Actor award, sharing the prize with Javier Bardem. In this unconditional feature film, La Nostra Vita (Our Life) is about a construction worker with two kids, who after the sudden death of his wife tries to provide for his family by setting himself up as a shady building contractor.

festival de Cannes

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Dir. Mike Newell Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Sir Ben Kingsley

We've watched Jake Gyllenhaal progress as a good actor over the years. There's no doubt that Jake is capable of starring in a lead role, but for some reason this film lacks his acting abilities and focuses more on physicality. When it comes to blockbuster films, acting is less required as explosions, violence and sex are characters of its very own. In Prince of Persia, based upon the same title, these qualities reflect the outcome of the film. Grade: C Dir. Michael Patrick King Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon Who would have expected a Sex and the City 2? Set two years later from the first film, Carrie (Parker) and the girls meet up which turns out to be a flashback to how Carrie first meets Samantha (Cattrall), Charlotte (Davis) and Miranda (Nixon) in 1986 in New York City. If you’re a fan of the original television series, then you won’t be disappointed from the perhaps last installment of Sex and the City series. Grade: C

Sex and the City 2

Dir. Ridley Scott Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett Forget about Disney’s animation version of a fox portraying Robin Hood or Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In this newly updated version, director Ridley Scott teams up with Russell Crowe (Gladiator) in this highly anticipated action film. In this version, Robin Hood and his men return to their homeland to restore order from the vicious and ruthless Sir Godfrey. Grade: B -

Robin Hood

Movie Reviews

Donnie Darko
Directed by Richard Kelly; 2001 Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore
In a world of unimaginative chaos, the surrealism and metaphysics in Donnie Darko captivates a genre of its very own. We learn the beginning of the film that Donnie is afflicted with a mental illness. Like many psychological thrillers, the premise of the film suggests that Donnie is predicting the end of the world, though the plot leads to many possibilities, including time travel, and the marvelous use of special effects that illuminates perfectly on screen. The core in the film is the encounter between Donnie and his imaginary and demonic-looking rabbit, which delicately whispers to Donnie and prompts him to commit crimes in the neighborhood. The audiences are allowed to consider Donnie as your average and ordinary young man, possessed with deception, troubled by complexities of philosophy, fear and loneliness. The film explores the relationship between reality and illusion, as Donnie continues to be haunted by this sinister imaginary rabbit. The essential conflict in the film would undoubtedly spark a discussion about the difference between reality and illusion, and the complexities of fear. Donnie challenges the school on its renewed philosophy that, in its superficial presentation, fear should be confronted and avoided, and is suspended from the school. We learn that everyone in the town is actually terribly afraid, and the ideology of “fear philosophy” becomes meaningless. But that’s for us to decide. We learn at the end of the film that Donnie in fact was not hallucinating, and no one in the film has thought his philosophy was adequate. Though the film does have a sense of originality in its plot, and the shots of Donnie’s maniacal eyes are enough to frighten the viewer, the conclusion of the film was not as monumental one would hope for.

Million Dollar Baby
Directed by Clint Eastwood; 2004 Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman
Million Dollar Baby may appear to be a movie about boxing, however this deeply intimate story prevails personal triumph, choices, and the courage and discipline to fulfill ambitions. The legendary Clint Eastwood not only stars in Million Dollar Baby, but produces and directs with such brilliance. Frankie (Eastwood) and Eddie (Morgan Freeman), trainers well past their prime, have a history of collaboration filled with melancholy and past glory. When newcomer Maggie (Hilary Swank) appears in their gym, Frankie immediately refuses to train her because she’s a girl. At first, we assume and accuse Frankie to be sexist, but we come to learn he is afraid to take responsibility for a woman getting hurt. Eventually, Maggie persuades and convinces Frankie to take her under his wing and she becomes a dominating force in women’s boxing. The acting in the film is superbly crafted. Perhaps this is the reason why the film garnered four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director (Eastwood), Actress (Swank), and Supporting Actor (Freeman). Eastwood, Swank and Freeman’s performances are possibly their best roles to date, creating classic character drama. The beauty of Million Dollar Baby is that it doesn’t need to educate the audience about boxing. Instead, the storyline and excellent dramatization absorb the emotions of the performances to the audience. Thanks to delicate direction by Eastwood, a fantastic script (Paul Haggis; who also directed Crash) and excellent acting all around, Million Dollar Baby takes its rightful place among the greatest boxing movies ever.

The Great Debaters
Directed by Denzel Washington; 2007 Starring: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker In recent history, there have been films that truly inspired moviegoers across the globe. One example, is 1989, Dead Poet Society. Fortunately, in today’s market, there are independent films that still maintain its reputation. Denzel Washington stars and direct (his second feature) in this superbly acted, witty dialogue, meaningful historical event, and powerful ethical messages in The Great Debaters. While this may not be a classic feature, it does stand strong with audiences and critics alike. Racism and radicals are the central themes in The Great Debaters; fortunately, we’re not expected to feel pity nor sorrow for the characters, but the hope for equality, as the film is set in 1930’s Texas. Melvin Tolson (Washington) is a professor at Wiley College in Texas. As he attempts to unify the local sharecroppers with his strong public speaking abilities and radical political views, he also coaches the debate team at the college, hand-picked by him each year. The team consists of Samantha Booke (Jurnee Smollett), the first woman ever to make the team, Henry Lowe (Nate Parker), a rebellious and outspoken student who spends most of his time on the isolated lake, and James Farmer Jr. (Forest Whitaker), a 14 year-old student who worries about the inequality he constantly witnesses. The Wiley team sets out to become the first colored debate team to debate against white colored schools. Going undefeated during their first nine debates, the team is invited by Harvard to challenge their prestigious group.

The ongoing anticipation, violence and racism that The Great Debaters examines is its greatest development, one that almost overshadows the student’s goals of debating with Harvard elites. Witnessing the many injustices of 1930’s Texas toward colored people fuels Henry, Samantha and Farmer Jr. to challenge the esteemed Harvard team, but it affects each character differently: Farmer struggles over misinterpreting acceptable actions of upholding peace, Henry pretends to accept the viewing of a burning lynched body, but cracks under the tormenting imagery, and Samantha battles her feelings for Henry and his mistakes with liquor.

The names that are in the film may escape your notice initially, but a slight smattering of history should have your memory jogged. The names are notable in history, and this delightful film captured the spirit of the times remarkably well. While his methods for teaching them may have been questioned, the students always knew where they stood with Tolson, and with each other. Smollett and Parker exude confidence, and tacit calm, with a hint of ire beneath their composed outward appearances. Forest Whitaker, who plays James Farmer, Jr., is excellent in a breakthrough performance. His character undergoes a lot of troubling circumstances, but they all end up shaping him into the person he was.

Funny Games
Directed by Michael Haneke; 2007 Starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt Funny Games, an English-language remake of the 1997 film of the same name and director, is a psychothriller game initiated by Paul and Peter (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) against a vacationing upper class family. With the overlay music cutting from a peaceful classical song to a heavy-metal rock song it only explains the disturbance from the family’s normal vocation. The movie begins intensively as Ann, George and Georgie (Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Devon Gearhart) are just settling in at their cabin when Peter drops by to borrow several eggs. We are expected that he is under the ruse that they are staying next door with mutual friends. Ann is at first pleased to help then quickly gets irritated as Peter drops the first batch of eggs and knocks her cell phone into a sink of dishwater. He finally leaves with more eggs than expected only to have Paul return to demand more eggs since the family dog made Peter drop the second batch. Ann’s patience becomes rattled by the fact that they refuse to leave. Up until that moment the scenes are normal and tranquil, then with one fell swoop of a golf club the movie turns into an uncomfortable “game” that Peter and Paul play out with horrific friendliness, always polite and courteous. The director (Michael Haneke) weaves a tale of panic, helplessness, desperation and hope that audience will find uncomfortable.

Match Point
Directed by Woody Allen; 2005 Starring: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Scarlett Johansson Woody Allen returns to his imperative themes of relationships, infidelity, and life choices. Fortunately, Allen’s direction and mastery writing-style combined both thriller and romantic elements to indulge the audience in a modern version of 1987’s Fatal Attraction. However, Match Point is no Annie Hall but Allen manages to create originality, suspense, and eroticism between the characters that creates a state of frenzy. The story revolves around tennis pro Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who decides to give up his ambitions to become a championshiplevel player. For his day job Chris instructs at a high-end luxury club near London where is introduced to Tom (Mathew Goode), son of a wealthy business executive (Brian Cox), Tom’s intelligent, yet dumbfounded sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer), and Tom’s irresistible and sexy girlfriend Nola (Scarlett Johansson). Chris persuades Chloe into marrying him, thus creating a possible financial stability and class to live a luxurious lifestyle that he so desperately wants. However, intimacies arise when his one night fling with Nola becomes obsessive and neurotic leaving the audience in astonishment.

over which he has no authority. In effect, the whole story of Kane is being told through flashbacks. With the use of flashbacks, Welles offers the audience the opportunity to doubt Kane’s perspective. Additionally, flashbacks act like untrustworthy storytellers whose own opinions and interpretations influence Kane’s accuracy because the cast doubts Kane’s recollections. With these particular innovations, Welles leaves the audience with a lot of questions regarding Kane’s character as a complicated man who asks for sympathy. Lastly, shadows plague the people in Kane's life because he is truly not happy.

Citizen Kane
Directed by Orson Welles; 1941 Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore Have you ever wondered what is the greatest movie ever made? Majority of film critics, film historians and moviegoers alike would agree that Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane is perhaps the greatest film ever made. Citizen Kane is presented with Kane’s obituary newsreel, which expresses to the audience his upbringings, purchase of a newspaper, first marriage, political defeat, second marriage, betrayal, and the infamous Xanadu. Of course, the chronic life of a fictionalized Charles Kane is based on the real life newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. However, what makes Citizen Kane enthralling in terms of filmmaking? Orson Welles uses light and shadow in Citizen Kane to enhance the mood of the film and give the audience a constant emotion of the characters surrounding Kane. Recognizably, deep focus photography illuminated a ground-breaking filmmaking technique in Citizen Kane. Its mastermind Gregg Toland (Director of Photography) placed the characters in frame and created a foreground focus. Having an exceptional ability to combine lighting, composition, and his camera lens, Toland managed to produce the desired effect and showcase overlapping actions. With deep focus photography, the audience has a clear view of the space Kane controls and the space

Deep focus photography: the visibility of four characters in one frame

After one failed marriage, he marries Susan and eventually she is surrounded by Kane's shadow at a high angle shot when she becomes dissatisfied with their lonely life in a mausoleum of a house (Xanadu). The audience knows early on that Charles Kane will never measure up to the man he proclaims for himself. Citizen Kane has influenced generations of filmmakers with its many technical innovations, and Welles' use of stark, and often mysterious, symbolism to depict the human triumphs and tragedies of the very great, but terribly flawed life.

Greetings from


(Left: Ronit Elkabetz, Lior Ashkenazi)

Late Marriage
Dir. Dover Kosashvili; 2001 Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Ronit Elkabetz Languages: Georgian-Hebrew Undeniably entertaining and warm hearted, Late Marriage tells a powerful story of family traditions and intergenerational conflict within Israel’s Jewish-Georgian society. Most importantly, Late Marriage proves that the appreciation of Israeli cinema has yet to be known worldwide due to the lack of theatrical release. Writer/director Dover Kosashvili conveys attributes in Late Marriage that illuminates impeccably onscreen by maintaining family customs, traditions and obligations that have begun to diminish over the decades. The film

unfolds as Zaza (Lior Ashkenazi), a 31year-old Georgian-Israeli PhD student at Tel Aviv University, family is trying to arrange a marriage for him within the Georgian community. When Zaza arrives to the home of a possible match with his mother and father he is clearly unenthusiastic and discovers the young woman is still in high school. Surprisingly, after he drops his parents off at their apartment building, Zaza drives to a nearest pay phone and calls his girlfriend Judith (Ronit Elkabetz), a 34-year-old Moroccan-Israeli divorcée who he is secretly dating without his parents’ knowledge. Zaza must choose between family tradition and his love.

Entertainer of the Month

Amy Adams

You’ll find Amy Adams film performances simply irresistible. Born in Italy and raised in the states, Amy Adams has over ten years of acting experience under her belt in the film industry. She is notably known for her versatile acting methods from comedic to dramatic performances such as 1999, Drop Dead Gorgeous; 2007, Enchanted; and 2008, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day to 2000, Cruel Intentions 2; 2002, Catch Me if You Can; 2009, Sunshine Cleaning; and her most widely known performance in 2009, Julie & Julia. However, Amy has scored two Oscar nominations, one for her sensitive, yet perky performance in 2005, Junebug (Best Supporting Actress); and second, her mesmerizing, yet quiet and disturbed performance, alongside Meryl Streep, in 2008, Doubt (Best Supporting Actress).

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