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March ’09: In Theaters

March '09: In Theaters

The following is a list of upcoming releases for the month of March. It is subject to change, and will be updated regularly as information becomes available so please check back. If you have news on an upcoming release that should be featured here, or in future editions, don’t hesitate to contact us at editors@indiewire.com.

Also check out April and May theatrical releases.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

“12” (Sony Classics), Russia
Dir. Nikita Mikhalkov
Writer: Nikita Mikhalkov, Vladimir Moiseyenko, Aleksandr Novototsky
With: Sergei Makovetsky, Sergei Garmash
Synopsis: Update of the 1957 film “12 Angry Men,” concerning 12 Russian men who must decide the fate of a Chechen boy charged with killing his Russian stepfather.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles

Friday, March 6, 2009

Everlasting Moments (IFC)
Dir: Jan Troell
Writer: Niklas Radstroem
With: Maria Heiskanen, Mikael Persbrandt
Synopsis: Sweden, early 1900s. In a time of social change and unrest, war and poverty, a young working class woman, Maria, wins a camera in a lottery. The decision to keep it alters her whole life. The camera grants Maria new eyes with which to see the world, and brings the charming photographer “Piff Paff Puff” into her life. Trouble ensues when Maria’s alcoholic, womanizing husband, feels threatened by the young man and his wife’s newfound outlook on life. [Synopsis courtesy of IFC Films]
Opens at the American Cinematheque Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, CA

“Phoebe in Wonderland” (THINKFilm), U.S.
Dir: Daniel Barnz
Writer: Daniel Barnz
With: Felicity Huffman, Ian Colletti, Caitlin Sanchez
Synopsis: This is at once a tale of Phoebe (Elle Fanning), a young girl who is different, and a portrait of her mother (Felicity Huffman), a woman caught between trying to raise a child and striving for success in an academic career, while feeling a failure in both. It also includes an unusually gifted, but peculiar, educator–a drama teacher (Patricia Clarkson), who is directing the school production of Alice in Wonderland, which Phoebe longs to be part of. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

Tokyo! (Liberation), France, Japan, Germany, South Korea
Dir: Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax, Michel Gondry
Writer: Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax, Michel Gondry
With: Ayako Fujitani, Ryo Kase, Ayumi Ito, Denis Lavant
Synopsis: In Tokyo!, three visionary directors (Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-ho) come together for an omnibus triptych examining the nature of one unforgettable city as it’s shaped by the disparate people who live, work (and run amok) inside an enormous, constantly evolving, densely populated Japanese megalopolis — the enchanting and inimitable Tokyo. [Synopsis courtesy of official website]
Opens in New York at Landmark Sunshine

“Fados” Portugal
Dir: Carlos Saura
Writer: Ivan Dias, Carlos Saura
Synopsis: Legendary filmmaker Carlos Saura’s many cinematic depictions of music and dance from various areas of Ibero-America have enriched the scope of the musical documentary. His work expresses not only sound and movement but also the evolving story and culture of the place the music was born. Fados, his engaging recent endeavour to map the social history of a genre, follows in the tradition of Flamenco and Tango, completing his lyrical trilogy exploring three of the nineteenth century’s most enduring urban musical traditions. [Synopsis courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival]
Limited Release

Explicit Ills (Peace Arch Entertainment)
Dir: Mark Webber
Writer: Mark Webber
With: Rosario Dawson, Paul Dano, Naomie Harris, Lou Taylor Pucci, Frankie Shaw, Tariq Trotter, Francisco Burgos
Synopsis: The film follows four inter-connecting stories revolving around love, drugs and poverty in Philadelphia. Babo, an asthma ridden seven-year-old lives with his mother in the badlands of North Philly. His neighbor Demetri transforms himself into a well-read “smart” boy in order to get the girl. Michelle, a well-off art student is quick to fall into a drug induced love-affair with her dealer Jacob. Kaleef and Jill’s marriage is strained as they pursue their dreams of bringing “produce to the people” as their teenage son Heslin focuses on competing in the World’s Strongest Man competition. The lyrical and moving drama finds its core as all members come together in their fight for justice and self-discovery. [Synopsis courtesy of the film’s website]

Friday, March 13, 2009

“Sunshine Cleaning” (Overture Films), U.S.
Dir: Christine Jeffs
Writer: Megan Holley
With: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Steve Zahn
Synopsis: Once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback, Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) now finds herself a thirty something single mother working as a maid. Her sister Norah, (Emily Blunt), is still living at home with their dad Joe (Alan Arkin), a salesman with a lifelong history of ill-fated get rich quick schemes. Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime scene clean-up business with her to make some quick cash. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other…specialized situations. As they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, the sisters find a true respect for one another and the closeness they have always craved finally blossoms. By building their own improbable business, Rose and Norah open the door to the joys and challenges of being there for one another–no matter what–while creating a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family. [Synopsis courtesy of Overture Films]
Limited Release

A scene from Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Tokyo Sonata.” Image courtesy of Regent Releasing.

Tokyo Sonata (Regent Releasing), Japan
Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Max Mannix, Sachiko Tanaka
With: Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyoko Koizumi, Yu Koyanagi
Synopsis: Set in contemporary Tokyo, “Tokyo Sonata” is a story of an ordinary Japanese family of four. The father, Ryuhei Sasaki, like any other Japanese businessman, is faithfully devoted to his work. His wife, Megumi, left on her own to manage the house, struggles to retain a bond with her oldest son in college, Takashi, and the youngest, Kenji, a sensitive boy in elementary school. From the exterior the family is seemingly normal, save for the tiny schisms that exist within. The quiet unraveling of the family begins when Ryuhei loses his job unexpectedly. Facing completely unfamiliar circumstances, he decides not to tell his family and begins his lonely sojourn into the world of the secretly unemployed. [Synopsis courtesy of film’s official website]
Opens in New York at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinema

The Cake Eaters (7-57 Releasing), U.S.
Dir: Mary Stuart Masterson
Writer: Jayce Bartok
With: Kristen Stewart, Aaron Stanford, Bruce Dern, Elizabeth Ashley
Synopsis: Actress Mary Stuart Masterson makes her feature directorial debut with this drama detailing the manner in which three generations of men deal with the death of the family matriarch. Evicted from his New York City apartment, starving musician Guy Kimbrough (Jayce Bartok) makes his way back upstate for the first time in three years. Upon returning to his hometown, Guy does his best to deal with the recent death of his mother while desperately attempting to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend Stephanie (Miriam Shor) – who has since moved on and found happiness with another man. Meanwhile, as Guy does his best to win Stephanie back, his shy brother Beagle (Aaron Stanford) falls deeply in love with Friedreich’s Ataxia-stricken high school student Georgia, and their father Easy (Bruce Dern) attempts to rekindle his relationship with Georgia’s grandmother Marg (Elizabeth Ashley) [Synopsis courtesy of the film’s website]
Limited Release

Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (Magnolia Pictures), U.S.
Dir: Tony Stone
Writer: Tony Stone
With: Clare Amory, Noelle Bailey, Nathan Corbin
Synopsis: In the 11th century, Vikings, Indians, and Irish monks collide on the shores of North America in a historical epic adventure of exploration, personal glory, and religious dominance. Abandoned by a Western exploration party and stranded in the New World, two lone Vikings wade through a grand primeval landscape, struggling for survival while still in the grip of their Norse ways. [Synopsis courtesy of Magnolia Pictures]

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emperor US
Dir: Matt Tyrnauer
Synposis: Matt Tyrnauer, longtime Vanity Fair editor and writer, takes on haute couture icon Valentino, a man whose fabulous gowns have graced the bodies of the world’s most glamorous women for nearly five decades. The film was shot over two years — in Paris, Rome, London, NY, Gstaad, and aboard Valentino’s yacht — during a period when rumors of the designer’s retirement were swirling about him and partner Giancarlo Giammetti. The filmmaker had extraordinary access to these men, partners in both business and life, whose arguments over the need for more ruffles or the appropriateness of sand dunes for a runway show are inevitably reduced to the intimacy and warmth that are the bedrock of their relationship. [Synopsis courtesy of film’s official website]
Opens in New York at Film Forum

Friday, Mar 20, 2009

“The Great Buck Howard” (Magnolia Pictures), U.S.
Dir: Sean McGinly
Writer: Sean McGinly
With: Colin Hanks, BJ Hendricks
Synopsis: Law-school dropout Troy Gable answers an ad for a “personal assistant to a celebrity performer,” hoping it will catapult him to a glamorous career in the entertainment industry. Little does he know that performer is Buck Howard, a “mentalist” infamous for his 61 appearances on The Tonight Show, who has been reduced to a has-been magician in need of a pretty big trick to get him out of this slump. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

Mancora (Maya), Spain, Peru
Dir: Ricardo de Montreuil
Writer: Ricardo de Montreuil, Angel Ibarguren, Juan Luis Nugent, Diego Ojeda, Oscar Orlando Torres
With: Jason Day, Elsa Pataky, Enrique Murciano
Synopsis: A young comes to terms with his father’s suicide on a ill-fated trip to the tropical paradise of Mancora.
Limited Release

“Sin Nombre” (Focus Features)
Dir: Cary Fukunaga
Writer: Cary Fukunaga
With: Karl Braun, Kristian Ferrer, Edgar Flores
Synopsis: A social-political thriller in the tradition of American film noir, Sin Nombre is set on the border, where Mexico becomes the crucible and the fearsome gangs of today’s Mexican countryside, the gauntlet, to freedom. The stories of Sayra, a teenager living in Honduras and hungering for a brighter future, and teen gang members Smiley and Casper, for whom the Mara Salvatrucha is nearly their entire universe, become interlaced on the train to the border, a journey that will determine the future of their lives. Young Casper is already a wary veteran of the “Mara,” and his new recruit is the 12-year-old Smiley, full of bravado and looking for status. The two run afoul of the everyday violence that penetrates their world and find themselves fellow passengers with Sayra on a States-bound freight, hugging the rooftop as their precarious journey unfolds. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

A scene from Steve McQueen’s “Hunger.” Image courtesy of IFC Films.

Hunger (IFC Films), Ireland
Dir: Steve McQueen
Writer: Enda Walsh, Steve McQueen
With: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham
Synopsis: “Hunger” follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit. [Synopsis courtesy of IFC Films]
Opens in New York at IFC Center

Skills Like This (Shadow), U.S.
Dir: Monty Miranda
Writer: Spencer Berger, Gabriel Tigerman
With: Spencer Berger, Brian D. Phelan, Gabriel Tigerman
Synopsis: 25-year-old Max Solomon would like to be a writer, but has to admit he’s just not going to make it with his pen when his play, “The Onion Dance,” meets with a catastrophic reaction in its opening performance. His best buddies are Dave, who brownnoses his way to a monumentally boring mid-level sales job with no future, and Tommy, a slacker best suited for hanging out in a coffee shop and being funny. With career options like these in front of him, Max commits an impulse bank robbery–of an absolutely unique, but effective, sort. Holding a gun on his own head, he relieves interested teller Lucy of the cash in her register and rejoins his disbelieving but admiring friends. In the next three days, more unusual robberies happen and a compelling romance blooms between Max and Lucy while Dave and Tommy have their lives equally changed and Max has to question his newfound success. [Synopsis courtesy of Shadow Distributors]
Limited Release

Fri, Mar 27, 2009

Goodbye Solo (Roadside Attractions), U.S.
Dir: Ramin Bahrani
Writer: Bahareh Azimi and Ramin Bahrani
With: Souleymane Sy Savane, Diana Franco Galindo, Red West
Synopsis: Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize, ‘Goodbye Solo’ traces the brief, but life-changing friendship between a reserved, Southern good ol’ boy and a warm-hearted, extroverted taxi driver. Directed by Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop), Solo has been called “A force of nature!” by Roger Ebert and The New York Times says the film has “an uncanny ability to enlarge your perception of the world.” [Synopsis courtesy of Roadside Attractions]

“American Swing” (Magnolia Pictures), U.S.
Dir: Jon Hart, Mathew Kaufman
Synposis: Directors Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart have unearthed footage of a lost era chock full of chest hair, gold medallions, platform shoes and a multitude of penis and bra sizes. Club founders, patrons, employees, journalists and friends – including Melvin Van Peebles, Buck Henry, Ed Koch and porn legend Jamie Gillis – relate humorous and oddly sentimental recollections. Sexagenarian former regulars reminisce about the glorious (if hygienically questionable) dinner buffet, while others recount anecdotes about the pool, the “mattress room” and more. [Synposis courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival]

“Spinning Into Butter” (Screen Media), U.S.
Dir: Mark Brokaw
Writer: Doug Atchison, Rebecca Gilman
With: Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Richardson, Beau Bridges, Mykelti Williamson, Paul James
Synopsis: Adaptation of Rebecca Gilman’s play about racial tensions at a small liberal arts college.

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