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The Zero Theorem

Terry Gilliam's first science fiction film since "12 Monkeys" is an inventively designed but oddly inert satire on technology, God and the future of humankind.

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Tusk

It's not surprising that Smith's characterizations and dialogue lack subtlety given the type of broad comedy that Smith has practically made his brand. But somehow,…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Bold and beautiful show their Cannes-do spirit

CANNES, France -- There are no taxis to be had in the whole of Cannes. The hotel clerk, she throws up her hands in despair. One cannot walk all the way to the Moulin de Mougins, which is in the hills above town. Viola! Here is ze taxi! But it is ordered for Catherine Verret of the French Film Office. She, however, is also going to the Moulin, although first she must stop at the Martinez Hotel to see if Jeanne Moreau, the great film star, has found a ride.

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The year nobody deserved to win

CANNES, France -- Can there be a Cannes Film Festival without a winner? Is the jury obligated to award the Palme d'Or? Could they send a message by refusing to award the top prize? These and other murmurings and mutterings are growing louder, and they add up to a depressing consensus: Going into the closing weekend, there is no film that seems great enough to deserve the Palme.

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Controversial films test limits

CANNES, France -- Lolitafest, they could call it, on the basis of three controversial films about child sexual abuse that are playing at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Two of them are apparently more extreme than the much-debated "Lolita."

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Hawaii fest honors films of Pacific Rim

HONOLULU -- "Twelve Storeys," a film from Singapore about the residents of government-subsidized high-rise housing, won the Golden Maile Award here last week at the 17th Hawaii International Film Festival. Directed by Eric Khoo, the film involves three families who are affected by the suicide of a building resident. The film raises questions about the tightly controlled Singapore society, in which the government provides security, but demands control.

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Chicago Film Fest lines up eye- popping array of films

W ith a new home (six screens all at one location) and a streamlined schedule, the 33rd annual Chicago International Film Festival has programmed no less than 53 screenings on this, its opening weekend. All showings will be at the new Cineplex Odeon theaters atop 600 N. Michigan, and one way to attend the festival might be to hang out in the lobby and listen to the buzz.

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Film Center brings movie madness down from mountains

The Telluride Film Festival shares a double distinction, as one of the best of all festivals, and as one of the hardest to get to. But this weekend, instead of flying to Denver, transferring to the Montrose flight and then driving 90 minutes into the Rockies, movie lovers can simply find their way to the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute, where a selection of the Best of Telluride '97 will be playing.

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'Eve's Bayou' a remarkable directing debut

TORONTO -- Kasi Lemmons was Jodie Foster's roommate in "The Silence of the Lambs," and she was the doomed researcher in "Candyman," and one of Nicolas Cage's victims in "Vampire's Kiss." I mention these credits because they are from another, earlier life; Lemmons emerged at this year's Toronto Film Festival as one of today's most gifted young American writer-directors.

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