Today ist ein fantastischer day für some films von all over the world. We've got a German-Chinese film that makes UFO sightings into a source of societal commentary, an Italian-American laugh-laced drama about the complex life of a soon-to-be college student, and some made-in-Miami animated film noir. The Miami International Film Festival is only running for four more days, so if you haven't taken in any of the cosmopolitan cinema that's been plopped into our backyard over the last week, today may be a good day to get yourself a worldly ticket or two.
UFO In Her Eyes
Making its United States debut, this film is follows rural farmer Kwok Yun (Shi Ke), who lives in a provincial town Southern China. She carries on a taboo affair with the married principal of the local school. After one particularly steamy encounter with her lover, she picks up a strange stone she spots on the ground... and suddenly faints. Yun regains awakens to find herself in the company of an American man (Udo Kier) who's in poor condition after receiving a snake bite.
Believing that something very fishy is going on, Yun assists the stranger, and then goes to the local authorities to file a report of a UFO sighting. Chief Chang (Mandy Zhang) is oddly excited to hear the news; she decides to turn the sighting into a way to stimulate tourism to the village. Director Xiaolu Guo gives us a satirical look at contemporary society in this novel film. Showtime is 9 p.m. at the Coral Gables Art Cinema.
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
Making its North American premiere, this film is about James Sveck (Toby Regbo), a boy in limbo (between high school graduation and his freshman year at Brown) whose privileged life is made way too complex by all the "help" he receives from the adults who are close to him. His powerful lawyer dad (Peter Gallagher) is convinced his son is gay and that his life would iron itself out if he would just come out of the closet; his life coach (Lucy Liu) thinks jogging is the solution to all his worldly problems; his Manhattan gallery owner-mom's new marriage has just unraveled, days into its honeymoon; and his sister (Deborah Ann Woll) is nuts too.
The only place he finds serenity is in the home of his mentor and grandmother (Ellen Burstyn), who gives advice he can actually use. When he has to make a decision without her support, he grasps what it's like to really sprout some cajones. The film's based on a novel by Peter Cameron and directed by Roberto Faenza. Showtime 7 p.m. at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center.
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The Beach Chronicles AGX
This animated short film was made right here in Miami by writer/director Kevin Sharpley. It's accompanied by a tingly electronic score, and will be presented in a screening that will also showcase short films Catharsis (France, 2011, Cedric Prevost), Immune (USA, 2011, Andrew Lathrop) and Shift (USA, 2012, Juan Carlos Zaldivar). Come to this show, and you can brag that you saw three MIFF films during the festival. (You don't have to tell people you only bought one ticket.) Showtime is 6:30 p.m. at the Regal South Beach Cinema.