Thursday, August 21, 2008

Flickers #4: The Fish Fall in Love, in St. Petersburg; 007 and Potter Bumped Back; Pinellas Filmmakers Society

Well, they probably fall in love all over the world, too ...

The Fish Fall in Love, a drama from Iran, the latest movie in the Global Lens Film Series, plays Friday (Aug. 22) at 8 p.m. at The Studio@620 in downtown St. Petersburg.

The film, which began making its way around Europe in 2006 (playing the Rotterdam Film Festival that February), is the directorial debut of Ali Raffi, a veteran theater, film and television performer, stage director and educator who now teaches at Tehran University. The screening will be followed by a discussion of the movie led by University of Tampa professor Andrew McAlister.

Here’s a synopsis, provided by the Global Film Initiative:

Atieh's singular passion is food, and her small but popular restaurant on the sleepy Caspian coast is her pride and joy. But when Aziz, her former fiancé, appears after a twenty-year absence, the women believe he has intentions of closing the restaurant, so Atieh prepares his favorite dishes, one after the other, in a desperate effort to convince him otherwise. Loosely based on the Persian fable of Shahrazad and the Thousand Myths (A Thousand and One Nights), director Ali Raffi uses the language of food to paint a richly textured portrait of life and love on the northern coast of Iran.

Variety reviewer Jay Weissberg, who translated the film’s title as When Fish Fall in Love, wrote, “the scrumptious food … makes for a more substantial meal than the pleasant, though old-fashioned bit of feel-good fluff that contextualizes the dishes …” Here’s the full review.

EyeWeekly reviewer Liz Clayton was more generous. Click here for her review.

ADDENDUM: Lance Goldenberg, for one of his final reviews in Tampa Creative Loafing, of course was all over this film, calling it "a fairy tale, no use arguing that, but with a prickly, real-world underbelly." Here's his complete review.

And here's a short clip from The Fish Fall in Love. The dialogue is in Persian, with English subtitles. For more information on this film, others in the Global Lens Film Series, and the Gasparilla Film Festival, visit the festival’s site.

Admission is $8, and free for members of the Gasparilla Film Festival. Members should make their reservations 24 hours in advance, through the festival office. The Studio@620 is located at 620 First Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. Phone: (727) 895-6620. Email:

The Global Lens Film Series, presented by The Studio@620 in partnership with the Gasparilla Film Festival, the Global Film Initiative, and the University of Tampa, continues on Sept. 12 with The Bet Collector, from the Phillipines; Oct. 3, with two films from Argentina; and Oct. 4, with films from India, China and Indonesia. For the complete schedule, go here.

Entertainment Weekly boldly put Daniel Radcliffe on the cover of the magazine's Fall Movie Preview -- c'mon, enough Harry Potter already! -- and then the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was suddenly bumped back from Nov. 21, 2008 to July 17, 2009.

EW, in its Aug. 14 story on the switcheroo sounded a tad, uh, defensive, about the turn of events, even resorting to the old hey-we're-not-the-only-ones-with-eggs-on-our-faces" routine:

"In an irony sure to set blogger hearts beating giddily, the film graces the cover of EW’s new fall preview issue, which hits stands today. EW and Warner Bros. share a parent company, but they clearly do not share, you know, important friggin’ information. A Warners publicist stressed that word about the rescheduling had only just come down today — which is most likely true, given that the Half-Blood teaser trailer is already in circulation. As of tomorrow, it will run with the new animated Star Wars movie, almost certainly still trumpeting a fall release date. The Potter movie is also on the cover of the fall preview issue of the British film magazine Empire."

EW's special double issue, dated Aug. 22/29, also offered a "fuzzy" release date -- Nov. 7 -- for Quantum of Solace, the next Bond picture (see Flickers #3). As of today, the new 007 movie will be released in North America on Nov. 14.

According to the official PR on the release-date bump: "The strategic move places the highly-anticipated James Bond adventure one week closer to the prime movie-going holiday window and takes advantage of last week’s decision to move the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Hey, EW, I thought you guys had the inside line on all this stuff!

Also from the press release - a note about the real (fake) royalty members' special access to the premiere of the movie featuring the fake (real) double agent.: "Prince William and Prince Harry will attend the world premiere of the 22nd 007 adventure on Wednesday, October 29th 2008 in London. The film will begin its worldwide roll out on October 31."

The Pinellas Filmmakers Society meets this Friday (Aug. 22) at 6 p.m. for a networking event at Indie Studios in downtown St. Petersburg. For all the details, visit Tampa Film Fan or go to the society's official site.

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