Culture » Film



The Wedding Song (NR)

Strand Releasing

This under-the-radar find, which recently made the rounds of the international film fest circuit, is a lovely little coming-of-age film from Tunisia that takes place during the country's Nazi occupation. Two 16-year-old girls who have been best friends since forever are now each engaged to be married. The first, Myriam (Lizzie Brocheré), is a Sephardic Jew and the other, Nour (Olympe Borval), is a Muslim. The story follows their lives as they grow older, sadder and more divided by their differences, which come to light in a hateful environment. Writer-director Karin Albou (Little Jerusalem) gives the two leads ample space to explore those feelings, and her organic direction contributes to the sense that hope is still within grasp for the girls. The result is as suspenseful as anything put out Stateside lately. — Justin Strout


Damage (R)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

WWE champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is John Brickner, fresh out of prison and looking to make amends to those he's wronged. That's very commendable, of course, but when the little girl of the man he killed in self-defense needs a heart transplant to the tune of $250,000, he does what any self-respecting, honorable man would do: He infiltrates the world of underground fighting, bustin' skulls and crackin' ribs for big money. The film's script seems nonexistent and the pathos forced, but the fight scenes are nicely choreographed and the villains are entertainingly cartoony. (See the hulking dude with his teeth filed to points.) It's watchable, but, like any movie starring a former wrestler, Damage straddles the line between gritty drama and campy action quite clumsily. — Louis Fowler


British Invasion: 5 DVD Box Set (NR)

Voyage Digital Media

Though it could be argued this DVD box set devoted to the British musical invasion of the 1960s should've included Chad & Jeremy or Peter & Gordon before the later-breaking Small Faces, there's no argument its treats are myriad from the smooth, buttery soul of Dusty Springfield on the first DVD to the smooth, buttery pop of Gerry & the Pacemakers and Herman's Hermits on the second and third. The Small Faces give it the rock as well as a raucous energy, a sense of fun, and a candor that makes theirs the most illuminating of the four main DVDs. (The fifth contains additional Hermits and Springfield performances and interview footage with several of the musicians.) But each disc reinforces what a remarkable time in rock music history the era was, and what wonderful contributions each of these artists made. — Lynne Margolis

ROT: Reunion of Terror (NR)


Six friends receive invitations for a mini-reunion at a secluded cabin, only to find themselves picked off, one by one, in various gruesome ways. Sounds familiar, right? Of course it does: It's virtually the same plot found in every other Z-grade straight-to-video horror flick released in the past 20 years. But while the story is familiar, ROT actually manages to rise above many by displaying actual filmmaking competence. Director Michael Hoffman Jr. creates a creepy, haunting atmosphere, displaying a preference for suspense over gore. Add to that an out-of-nowhere, triple-twist ending that is more socially relevant than anyone could have expected, convincingly pulled off in an all-of-a-sudden powerhouse performance by L.J. Green. It's a treat to be surprised by something that should have been rote, and reaffirms my faith in low-budget filmmaking. — Louis Fowler

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