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SFS bonus screening at GV Grand: Nine Lives (members only)

What Nine Lives - NC16 (Sexual References) (110 minutes)
Please note the last minute change of venue to GV Grand. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
When 28 March 2007 (Wednesday), 9:45 pm
Where Golden Village Grand (Great World City)
- Great World City shopping centre

Free admission but members only -- flash your membership card to go in. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating.


Wednesday, 28th March 2007
Cocktail reception from 7.30pm
Screening at 9.45pm

(NC16 - Sexual References) (110 minutes)

Brought to you by Las LiLas School and Singapore Film Society

The Hollywood Reporter has this to say about the film:

Writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's NINE LIVES is a bold film both in its storytelling strategies and its filmmaking logistics. Here are nine stories focusing on nine women. Each is a snapshot, a moment in time from which audiences must infer the totality of that life. And each vignette is shot in real time. The camera never stops rolling in a single location.

Of course, some vignettes are more powerful than others. Sometimes the authorial hand is evident. But the sustained energy of each continuing tracking shot gives the film a pleasing dynamism, and most vignettes attain a beguiling poignancy. The film, which acquisition execs first saw here at Sundance, should perform well in upscale specialty venues that attract college students and young professionals. The name cast is a huge plus.

In reality, Garcia's career has pointed toward NINE LIVES all along. A self-described miniaturist, Garcia has gone the vignette route in each of his previous pictures - THINGS YOU CAN TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HER (five stories) and TEN TINY STORIES (10). This time each stands alone, although characters from one can drift into another, often in ways that cause you to re-examine the previous story. Garcia keeps you on your toes as new characters and dilemmas appear every 10 to 12 minutes. One forgets how infrequently movies turn into such an adventure.

The first episode introduces Garcia's theme. Sandra (Elpidia Carrillo) is in prison. Her only desire is to speak briefly to her visiting daughter. These women, Garcia declares, are all trapped by situations and predicaments in life, some of their own making and others out of their control.

Married and pregnant Diane (Robin Wright Penn) confronts an old flame (Jason Isaacs) while on a mundane supermarket excursion. In her case, Holly (Lisa Gay Hamilton) wants confrontation with a stepfather, who all but ruined her life -- and it may be very messy.

A seemingly innocent social occasion turns into an unwanted True Confessions for Sonia (Holly Hunter). Teenage Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) becomes a human pinball, bounced back and forth between her wheelchair-bound dad and long-suffering mom, who don't much care to speak to one another.

Lorna (Amy Brenneman) unwisely attends the funeral of her ex-husband's wife only to discover her own inadvertent role in the woman's suicide. Ruth (Sissy Spacek) ventures from married life for a tryst in a sad motel.Unexpected comedy emerges from anxiety over imminent, life-altering surgery for Camille (Kathy Baker). Finally, Maggie (Glenn Close) makes an annual pilgrimage to a gravesite with daughter Maria (Dakota Fanning).

The rigorous ballet between actors and a crew operating the smooth Steadicam comes off without a noticeable hitch. Actors never break from character; indeed, nearly all show remarkable skill in how they move and out of precious moments of epiphany or insight. Garcia and cinematographer Xavier Perez Grobet seldom wind up with an awkward frame or missed object. Each vignette has a wonderful flow.

There are minor flaws: The Sandra/prison sequence is inconsequential. The Sonia/True Confessions vignette feels contrived. Maggie and Maria's cemetery visit is a tad skimpy. But it is in the cumulative weight of these small tales that the film achieves its emotional impact. Garcia has told you a lot about these women's lives using only the slenderest of story threads.