Fall Film Preview
Twenty-five-year-old Tony Bui is another young filmmaker sure to win a fair share of attention this fall. His debut, Three Seasons, makes outsider filmmaking history — it's the first American-financed film to be shot in Vietnam since the end of the war. The picture snakes together four narratives for an unflinching look at post-war life; Harvey Keitel stars as an ex-GI in search of his daughter.
Veteran filmmaker Jonathan Kaplan (The Accused) takes a more xenophobic route in exploring the plights of Americans in Asia in Brokedown Palace. Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale team up as two high-school friends whose Thailand vacation warps into a nightmare when they're accused of drug trafficking — and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
As the title hints, things are a little more, well, pleasant for Reese Witherspoon and The Ice Storm's Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville (October 16). The pair tumble into their TV set and bring their '90s Technicolor hipness to the black-and-white schmaltz of a '50s sitcom. This boob-tube adventure will surely stir comparisons to The Truman Show — summer's finest outsider flick — as well as much pointy-headed talk about its literal media immersion.
A dramatic commentary on our culture's tendency toward sensory overload is Irwin Winkler's At First Sight (November 20). Based on a true story, it's the saga of a blind man (Val Kilmer) who undergoes experimental surgery to restore his sight, only to be plunged into chaos when he joins the world of the seeing. Mira Sorvino and Kelly McGillis play the women in his life.
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