By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
Locations:Edwards Island Cinemas, screens 3-6, 999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach Regency Lido Theater, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach Radisson Hotel, 4545 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach For the full film festival schedule, visit www.newportbeachfilmfest.com. Tickets may be purchased at the website or by calling (949) 253-2880. Most screenings are $10.
THURSDAY, APRIL 15The Laws of Attraction. World premiere of this romantic comedy starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore as two high-powered, bickering attorneys on opposite sides of a case involving an Irish rock star's divorce. They head to Ireland to hunt down depositions, and at a wild party they get good and liquored up and wake up the next morning to find themselves as man and wife. Hijinx, as they say, ensue. (7 p.m., Edwards Big Newport; festival opening night gala immediately follows at Radisson Hotel. $80 for screening and gala.)
FRIDAY, APRIL 16Mind-Bending Shorts. Go and get your mind bent by some short films. Hey, what else are you going to do on a Friday morning at 11 a.m.? One film on the bill, Chapman student Xavier Janghoon Lee's Jill, concerns a man who receives an eye transplant and begins experiencing memories that are not his own. (11 a.m., Edwards Island 4) My Wife Maurice (Ma femme ... s'apelle Maurice). French farce in which a millionaire, desperate to prevent his mistress from stealing away his money, devises a complex plan in which a man will pose as his wife. Frankly it all sounds pretty lame, so the odds are that an American remake is already under way. (11 a.m., Lido Theater) The Gentleman Don La Mancha. Don Quixote re-imagined as a contemporary drama set in a small town on the Texas-Mexico border. (11:15 a.m., Edwards Island 3) Getting' Your Shorts In A Twist. You see what they've done there, with the pun? This is humor, of a sort. The lineup includes Boris Schaarschmidt's German suspense short Wet Shave, about a barber who is about to close his shop for the evening when two strange and unsettling customers appear. (11:30 p.m., Edwards Island 6) Cala, My Dog! In the China of 1995, a "One Dog Per Family" policy is strictly enforced. Dogs are seized from owners without special pet permits, and unless those owners can pay hefty fines the dogs are put to death. This drama follows one family whose dog is seized and their frantic efforts to get the poor pooch back before it's too late. (noon, Edwards Island 5) Smorgashorts. The first of this year's shorts programs with a regrettably punnish title. Prepare yourself, for there will be many more to come. The fare in this batch includes Jacob Akira Okada's Curtis, about an artist coping with AIDS, and Chapman student John Dolan's The Martyr. (1 p.m., Edwards Island 3) The Letter. A documentary about the controversy that ensued when Mayor Larry Raymond of Lewiston, Maine, sent an open letter to the 1,110 newly arrived Somalis in town asking them to tell other Somalis not to move to the town as resources were already strained to the breaking point. (1:30 p.m., Lido Theater) Side-Splitting Shorts. Once your mind has been bent, go and have your sides split. Just be sure to check with your HMO first to make sure you're covered for this sort of thing. The lineup includes Rob Meltzer's I Am Stamos, in which an actor finds himself on the bad side of former Full House star John Stamos. (1:30 p.m., Edwards Island 4) Frazetta: Painting with Fire. Documentary portrait of Frank Frazetta, the temperamental illustrator whose sword-wielding trogs and busty wenches have graced book covers and movie posters as well as the chests of countless prison inmates and the sides of many Chevy vans. (1:45 p.m., Edwards Island 6) A Bedtime Fairy Tale for Crocodiles (Cuento de Hadas para Dormir Crocodiles). Ignacio Ortiz Cruz's drama follows Arcangel, a man who discovers that the men of his family are cursed to die of insomnia. Now Arcangel is determined to save his son from the same fate, but to do so he'll have to pay a terrible price. (2:30 p.m., Edwards Island 5) Mosku: The Last of His Kind (Mosku: Lajinsa viimeinen). The epic tale of "Mosku" Aleksi Hihnavaara, a legendary figure in northeast Lapland, along the Russian border. We follow him from his childhood in a logging camp, to his adventures as an adult, protecting the reindeer that are the main source of food for the locals. (3:15 p.m., Edwards Island 3)
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