Tonight at Filmfest: Café de los Maestros, Un-Natural State, and More was originally published on City Desk on Apr. 21, 2009, at 1:43 p.m.
35 Shots of Rum: Your recommended apéritif before watching 35 Shots of Rum.
Tonights highlight’s include steamy tango, Sri Lankan handballers, and Eleanor Holmes Norton. (What a film that would make!) Plus, in case you missed yesterday’s showing, Cruzando. Check it, people:
Machan, based on the true story of the Sri Lankan National Handball Federation. Think Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, except without the dick jokes. Aaron Wiener says Machan “leaves the viewer refreshed and petrified of large German handballers.” 8:15 p.m. at E Street Cinema.
Un-Natural State, a documentary on D.C.’s woeful lack of congressional representation. Jule Banville gives it a thumbs-up: “The cinematography will make you both recognize your city and see it in a new, flattering light. Deft, fun edits move what might be a Beltway-only interest into one that might actually hold the attention of the ‘real America.’” That means you, Virginia! 6:30 p.m. at the E Street Cinema.
Café de los Maestros, an uneven but visually striking tango doc. The film, says Tricia Olszewski, “may fail in its apparent effort to be the Buena Vista Social Club of this passion-driven art, but the music is the message.” 7 p.m. at the Avalon.
Cruzando, about a grown son who crosses from Mexico to Texas to visit his absentee dad, now on death row in Huntsville. “[F]irst-rate camera-work and incredible pacing,” writes Mike Riggs. “Every scene in Cruzando is either comically tragic or tragically comic, thanks to a fine balance between deadpan humor, strife, and creeping magical realism.” 8:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema.
35 Shots of Rum, a plotless flick about daddy-daughter relations. Aaron Wiener: “If you do not count yourself among the segment of the population that derives great pleasure from watching a father and daughter hug repeatedly, you might consider skipping 35 Shots of Rum.” 8:30 p.m. at the Avalon.
Scratch, about a mysterious videotape that leads Joanna to question the motives of her double-agent husband, Jan. Hilary Crowe calls it “plodding”: “Expect long, artsy shots of the harried heroine smoking, moping, and watering plants in deep contemplation.” 8:45 p.m. at the Avalon.