p2Clooney Q&A >George Clooney talks “MichaelClayton” and his return to Dubai.Bollywood boom >Multiplexes and home video aredriving India’s cinema surge. p6The films >“Michael Clayton” leads theroundup of festival fare. p12The officialpublication ofThe DubaiInternationalFilm Festivalhollywoodreporter.com/dubai[ Day 1] Sunday, December 9, 2007from DubaiA chanceto bridgeculturesBy Kevin CassidyHH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum;President, Dubai Civil AviationAuthority; Chairman, Dubai Airports;Chairman & CEO, Emirates Group;Honorary Chairman, DIFFIam pleased and proud to welcomeyou ahead of the start ofthe 4th Dubai International FilmFestival. In today’s world, cinema isan important vehicle in bridginggaps between people from differentcountries and cultures.The medium of film entertains,engages and informs us of the diversityin the world around us. TheDubai International Film Festival,therefore, has always believed inusing cinema and the talent withinthe industry as beacons of facilitatinggreater understanding andacceptance.It is our sincere endeavour tocontribute to the dialogue that promotespeace and tolerance on theinternational stage.With the 4th Dubai InternationalFilm Festival, I am confident thatfilm lovers and our distinguishedguests from abroad will enjoy thegrand showcase of Arab and internationalcinema the managementhas lined up.I hope you are inspired andenthused to join the movement ofglobal voices and participate instimulating cross-cultural conversationwith your fellow festivalgoers.I offer my best wishes to everyonefor an unforgettable festivalexperience and memorable stay inDubai.•Festival aims to open doorsWhen the Dubai InternationalFilm Festival gets under way today,it will mark a major step forward inthe evolution of what has quicklybecome the region’s premiere filmevent.The increasing profile of theDIFF — which is only in its fourthedition — also signifies progress inachieving the organizers’ goal ofdrawing some much needed attentionto a thriving local film sectoroften overlooked on the internationalfilm scene.“The festival is an instrument toshowcase Arab cinema,” said SimonField, artistic director, internationalprogramming. “It’s a way of nurturingthat cinema and helping acinema culture grow in the region.We are bringing in a local publicand an international audience to seea very broad range of Arab cinema.”See OPENER on page 14ReelSlickHollywood primes thepump for oil moneyfrom the MideastFOCUSBy Georg SzalaiIn the most recent season finale of HBO’s“Entourage,” a fictional Middle Easternmoneyman named Yair Marx emerged as apossible financial savior of a movie produced bythe show’s protagonist, Vincent Chase.Vinnie turned down the money, but when theepisode aired in September, HBO’s sister companyWarner Bros. Entertainment was quietly negotiatingits own real-life infusion of Middle East funds.The studio struck a multibillion-dollar strategicalliance with Abu Dhabi Media Co., a new entityformed by the emirate, to create feature films andvideo games and to build an entertainment infrastructurein the region.Warners isn’t alone in seeing capital frompetroleum-rich investors flow in. Sony, NewsCorp., Time Warner and Disney all have receivedinvestments from the region. Other top mediaSee MIDEAST on page 10Principal sponsorsSupported byPresenting sponsorsIn association with
Day 1Sunday, December 9, 2007The last time GeorgeClooney was in Dubaihe was shooting 2005’s“Syriana,” which earnedhim a best supportingactor Oscar. This time, hebrings with him the legalthriller “Michael Clayton,”which serves as the opening-nightfilm at the DubaiInternational Film Festival.The busy Clooney, who isreceiving Oscar buzz forthis film too for his role asa law-firm fixer, recentlytalked with CharlesMasters of The HollywoodReporter about his latestproject and returning tothe Middle East.The Hollywood Reporter:“Michael Clayton” writer-directorTony Gilroy says he had a toughtime getting his script in front ofyou. How did you eventually cometo get on board?George Clooney: Iread it very early on andI thought it was great.But when you read a script and youthink it’s really good, you knowthere’s a lot of dangerous traps in it… you know, with a turn of a screw,this isn’t a very good film. It’s a greatscript, but it’s easily screw-up-able.So the idea of a first-time directorwasn’t my … I thought that thisrequired a very mature filmmaker,which it did. Then I was busy doing“Good Night, and Good Luck” and“Syriana” and a lot of other projects,and I was really loaded down at thatpoint. So I read the script andthought it was great and said, Nah,I’m not really ready to jump intothose waters again. And then(Steven) Soderbergh, about a yearlater, when things started to calmdialoguedown for me work-wise, said, “Yougotta meet with Tony.” And was like,OK, and I met with Tony, and wehad eight hours where we stayed atmy house and just hung out, and bythe time he left that afternoon,I was in. Soderberghkept saying: “He’s agrown-up.” And that wasexactly the take you get. You spend10 minutes with Tony and you realizehe’s a grown-up. For an actor ina movie like this, it really is whatyou’re looking for, somebody thatknows exactly what they want in amovie. A lot of people give you goodrap, but you never know whetherthey’ll be able to do it or not. But hehad a really good rap that I boughtand he really delivered. I mean, he’smuch, much more than a first-timedirector by a long shot.THR: Seeing the result, do you feelthe gamble paid off?Clooney: For me, it wasn’t agamble once I’d met Tony andspent time with him. From that“There’s something good aboutjust getting into that neighborhood(Dubai proper) and being able tobe around people that certainly havedifferent views than you.”point on, it’s just whether it’s goingto be a well-made movie or a wellreceivedmovie, you know? But youfelt as if the experience was going tobe good. So the gamble was sort ofdone by the time I’d met him. Iwasn’t worried because the screenplaywas really good, and that’s whatreally protects you. I’m really proudto be a part of the outcome of thisfilm because I think it’s a really wellmadefilm. I think it’s smart. There’sa period of time when you get thekeys to the kingdom and you get todecide what films get made andwhat films don’t, and you get heldresponsible for that. So you try touse that the most, you know, you tryto pick the best projects you possiblycan while you get that, because itdoesn’t last for very long.THR: What are your expectations inpresenting the film here in Dubai?Clooney: I’m sure it’s going to beover-the-top in terms of opulence.That would seem to be the mainthing. I think to me the great sort ofselling point is that in Western culture,and particularly in Americanculture, we have to get back to thesort of cross cultures of Muslim andArab communities. You have to findEgypt, and the UAE, and places thatare more moderate so that we canstart to find some common thingsthat we all can talk about, and artscan do that a lot of times. Music has
Day 1 Sunday, December 9, 2007 dialogue: Clooneydone it before, film has certainlydone it, television has done it. Waysto just start to remember that we allhave this commonality between us.THR: So you think the Dubai festivalhas hit on a good idea?Clooney: I think it is a good idea.When we were dealing with Darfur,we went to Egypt, because youknow it’s the largest Arab country,but it’s also a moderate (country).It’s not a theocracy, necessarily. Weneeded places where we could say,let’s open up a discussion aboutthings. And have an open discussionwhere we’ll disagree maybe, orat least be able to find some commonground, without it being justabsolutes. We’ve created some ofthat in the United States, obviously,by our actions in Iraq and ouractions over the years, and they’vecreated it as well. So it’s trying tofind places where we have moderates,places to be able to be able totalk about not just our cultures butalso specific issues like Darfur.THR: On that point, it’s interestingthat the DIFF was launched as an initiativeaiming to be a cultural bridgeafter the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and itcomes from the Arab side.Clooney: It’s an interesting thing.Dubai stands out as this sort of LasVegas without the gambling or thebooze. It’s sort of this thing that’salmost manufactured. They don’treally have the oil anymore, sothey’ve built an infrastructure. Butwhat’s interesting about it, in a wayyou think it’s not really part of theMiddle East. And then you walk outof the door and swim in the PersianGulf and realize that this is still verymuch a part of that.THR: You shot here for “Syriana.”Do you like the region?Clooney: I do like the area. Ihaven’t been to very many places thatI don’t like once you get to experiencethe culture. Dubai is trickybecause it really is like going to a bigentertainment area. It’s like going toOrlando for Disneyland or going toLas Vegas, you know, a place that’sreally created for tourism. It is its No.1 staple. And so it’s always trickybecause you’re not really getting ataste of the society when you’regoing to a five-star hotel or a sevenstarhotel. It’s not very real. But wewent shooting in Dubai proper andwe got out and spent time with a lotof the people and it was at a fairlyvolatile time, it was in 2003. There’ssomething good about just gettinginto that neighborhood and beingable to be around people that certainlyhave different views than you.THR: According to what you canread on the Web, you’re attached tonumerous future projects. Which ofthem are for real?Clooney: You can ask me any ofthem. I don’t really have any. I didthe voice for “The Fantastic Mr.Fox” with Wes Anderson, I’ve got“Leatherheads” coming out on April4. Those are in the can. “The Persuaders?”I’ve never even heard of it,literally. “Suburbicon” is a Joel andEthan (Coen) movie that I talkedwith them about acting in about 10years ago, and I always tried to convincethem to make the film, but I’venever been involved as a director onthe film at all. “The Playgound Project?”This is the absolute first I’veever heard of it. We have a play (writtenby Beau Willimon) that we’regetting adapted (with Warner Bros.)called “Farragut North” thatLeonardo (DiCaprio) is in on, and isworking on, and I think that couldbe a project — if we can get thescreenplay to work — that I’minterested in directing. We have avital statsGeorge ClooneyFilm in Dubai: “Michael Clayton”(opening night film)Date of birth: May 6, 1961Nationality: AmericanSelected Filmography:Michael Clayton (2007), Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), The Good German(2006), Syriana (2005), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Ocean’sTwelve (2004), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), Confessions of a DangerousMind (2002), Ocean’s Eleven (2001) The Perfect Storm (2000), O Brother,Where Art Thou? (2000), Three Kings (1999), Out of Sight (1998), ThePeacemaker (1997)Notable Awards: Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting“Syriana” (2005), Golden Glober for Best Performance by an Actor,Comedy/Musical for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000)“Syriana”project — it’s actually a comedyabout something that happened duringthe Iranian hostage situation —where six people in the embassy gotout and were hiding at the Canadianembassy and the CIA used Hollywoodto fake a film company and gointo Tehran and get these guys out.It’s a pretty funny story. We don’thave a title yet. That’s one that Grant(Heslov) and I are going to write thescreenplay on.THR: What about spy thriller “TheTourist?”Clooney: We do have that one. Wejust got it, so it needs a little work,but that’s one I’m actually interestedin. Grant got the option for thebook. I just read the screenplay. Itneeds some work, but it’s one thatthere’s real potential in to do sort ofan interesting spy thriller. I’d star,but it’ll always depend on the screenplayand how it comes out becausethese are those kind of movies that, ifyou do them really right, it is a MattDamon film, it’s the “Bourne” films.If you do them wrong, it’s all themovies I’ve done before. (Laughs)THR: Talking of Matt Damon, hejust bumped you off the top of theSexiest Man Alive poll in Peoplemagazine.Clooney: Yeah, I was a little hurt bythat, but if it had to go to anybody,I’m just glad it went to Matt. Ifyou’re going to give up the crown, itshould go to one of your friends. Thefun part for me was how embarrassedhe was about the whole thing.THR: This week marks the 300thepisode of “ER.” Is that a fondmemory?“Michael Clayton”Clooney: Sure, nothing but a fondmemory. I don’t have a career withoutit. It’s that simple. It’s that random.When you see people talkingabout big hits now and they’ll say22 million people watch this show,we had 45 million at a time. Rerunswere averaging 30 million. It wasthe juggernaut of all juggernauts, soto be on that rocket ride for fiveyears was really an amazing experience.I think most actors’ wish is todo the most creative things youcould do, and “ER” was incrediblycreative, so it didn’t matter if it wasfilm or television — the mediumdidn’t matter.THR: You’re no doubt aware of thecase of the British teacher beingjailed in Sudan for allowing herpupils to name a teddy bearMohammed. What sort of impactdo you think that will have on sympathiestoward Sudan in the light ofyour actions on Darfur?Clooney: I think of course extremismin any world is always a mistake,and the idea that this woman wouldbe punished for something asridiculous as that is beyond ourcomprehension in the Westernworld. Although I will say that theattention that it has gotten in someways is frustrating when you think,here is a woman who was looking at40 lashes, which is a terrible thingand completely unjust, but there’sseveral hundred thousand peoplewho’ve been killed over there andaren’t getting that kind of attentionin the media. News, especiallybroadcast news, has become moreand more about what people wantto talk about rather than what theyshould be talking about. •
special report:indiaDay 1Sunday, December 9, 2007“Taare Zameen Par”By Nyay BhushanThe Indianfilm sectoris experiencingunprecedentedgrowth, and itmay just begetting startedIndiaMoveon theWhile it is universally accepted that the Indian film business is experiencingunprecedented overall growth, there are key developmentswithin the industry that are particularly noteworthy.Indian cinemas will admit 4 billion moviegoers a year by 2011, accordingto new report “Cinemagoing India” from U.K. analysts Dodona Research.“On the basis of current plans, in 2011 half of all the screens in the countrywill have been built or re-equipped within the past five years,” Reportauthor Katharine Wright says. “Even at its height, the European and NorthAmerican multiplex boom did not match this scale of investment.”With 3.7 billion tickets sold in India compared with 1.4 billion in the U.S.in 2006, market potential is ripe for between 2,000–3,000 new multiplexquality screens, according to a recent joint study by consultants A T Kearneyand industry body Confederation of Indian Industry.The study, titled “The New Economics of the Indian Film Industry: Creativityand Transformation,” adds that the Indian film industry is expectedto touch $4.5 billion–$5.1 billion in value terms by 2011 (from $1.8 billionin 2006), reflecting a 25% annual growth.Another hot growth sector is the previously overlooked home video segment,which ignited more than a year ago when New Delhi-based Moser Baer— the world’s second-largest optical storage disc manufacturer — launched itsMumbai-based home video division by acquiring almost 7,000 domestictitles, from Hindi Bollywood films to regional cinema. Moser Baer unleasheda never-seen-before price war with DVDs priced from 82 cents, possibly thecheapest in the world. By contrast, established competitors were typically sellingDVDs for $7.
Day 1 Sunday, December 9, 2007 7special report: indiaExpectedly, prices have nowdropped to compete with Moser Baer,which could wean customers awayfrom pirated product. With India’scurrent installed base of 13 millionDVD players expected to touch 50million by 2010, opportunities alsoare seen in the rental business. One ofthe many aggressive players is SouthIndia-based DVD rental companySeventymm.com, whose advisorsinclude Eric Meyer, co-founder andformer CIO of Netflix.A recent joint report byPricewaterhouseCoopers and industrybody Federation of Indian Chambersof Commerce and Industryshowed that home video increased itsmarket share a whopping 65%, from$97 million in 2005 to $158 millionin 2006. An annual growth rate of31% is projected to take this segmentto $609 million by 2011. Moreover,the share of home video in the overallfilm pie is expected to grow fromcurrent levels of 8% to 14% by 2011.Given India’s overall robust economicgrowth, with average GDPgrowing at more than 6%, as in otherindustry segments, entertainment isbecoming attractive for foreigninvestors. The A T Kearney-CIIstudy states that the Indian entertainmentindustry has witnessed foreigninvestment of $1 billion over the lastthree years via major internationalfunds such as 3i, Warburg Pincus andD. E. Shaw, among others. SaurinDoshi, a partber at Mumbai-based AT Kearney India says, “We predictthat additional foreign investment inentertainment could touch between$1 billion-$2 billion over the nextfour years.”Indian players are also eyeinginternational markets consideringthat foreign box office revenues aregrowing — seven of the top fourteenforeign films released in the US wereHindi titles that each grossed anaverage of over $2 million in 2006.Another hot growth area is animation,which is expected to touchtotal revenues of $869 million by2010 (compared to $354 million in2006), according to a report byIndian software and services industrybody NASSCOM.From a creative perspective theacceptance of domestic animationcontent is breaking new ground, asseen in 2005’s hit feature “Hanuman,”based on the story of theIndian elephant god. Its sequel,“Hanuman Returns,” is ready forrelease jointly produced by Mumbai-basedPercept Picture Co. andSouth-India based animation studioToonz Animation.“Domestic content will be a keydriver for animation which will helpthe industry evolve from being astrong outsourcing base to developinghome grown stories,” says ToonzAnimation CEO P Jayakumar.Similarly, VFX and post-productioncompanies are also gettingaggressive. Recently, MumbaibasedVFX company Prime FocusGroup bought out two US-basedcompanies, Post Logic Studios andFrantic Films VFX, for $43 million.Says PrimeA recent joint reportby PricewaterhouseCoopersand industrybody Federationof IndianChambers ofCommerce andIndustryfinds thathome videoincreased itsmarket share awhopping 65%in 2006.Focus CFO NishantFadia:“Manpowercosts are betweenfour to six timeshigher in theU.S. than inIndia and wehope to capitalizeon this advantageby outsourcingwork here viathese acquisitionswhile gainingaccess tointernationalmarkets.”Elsewhere, inMay 2006,Prime Focusbought a 59%stake in London-based post facilityVTR Group for $8.47million.As in any other film industries,the spotlight ultimately falls onscreen talent. While Indian starsrarely cross-over beyond their massiveaudiences, some are beginningto attract Hollywood’s attention.For instance, striking Indian actressand 1994 Miss World Aishwarya Raiwill be seen in the next “Pink Panther”installment with Steve Martin.Additionally, LA-based talentagency Brillstein EntertainmentPartners recently signed Indiansuperstar Hrithik Roshan, while inAugust BEP signed former MissIndia-turned-actress Celina Jaitley.Says BEP manager Jai Khanna:“We are primarily focused on findingHrithik international projectswhich will obviously includeHollywood, but we are also interestinginternational films that areassembled through independentfinancing.”•SharperUFO Moviez Co-ChairmanRaaja Kanwar.ImagePerhaps it’s the advantageof having the world’smost prolific film industry:India is now home to theworld’s largest installed baseof digital cinemas (at over700), an impressive numbergiven that the technologywas only introduced over thelast couple of years.About 17,000 new D-cinema screens worldwide are forecast tobe in place by 2010, according to U.K. research agency ScreenDigest. India seems poised to lead the growth in D-cinema penetrationgiven that, at about 10,000 screens, this is one of theworld’s most under-screened markets, with only 12 screens permillion people compared to 117 in the US.“Digitization will lead to expansion of large scale exhibition networksand multiplex chains into non-urban cities as well,” saysSaurine Doshi, parter at Mumbai-based A. T. Kearney India. “Thisis going to alter the balance of power with large production housesand force the production houses to embrace corporatization.”Indeed, while Hollywood still debates issues related to D-cinemastandards set by industry technical body DCI (Digital CinemaInitiative), the cost advantages of an alternative non-DCI compliantsystem has fueled D-Cinema growth here thanks to domesticcontent, given that India produces more than 1,000 films annually.Leading players include Mumbai-based United Film OrganizersMoviez (918 screens), E-City Digital (101) and Chennai, SouthIndia-based Pyramid Saimira (371). By 2011, these three companieswill expand their networks to cover more than 5,000 screens.“In India, the biggest films go for a maximum of 600 screensin the opening week,” UFO Vice Chairman Raaja Kanwar says.“Digital cinema has the potential to provide a medium budget filma release of 1,000 screens at affordable prices.”Kanwar feels that DCI-approved equipment, which costs about$125,000, is not viable in India. “India is perhaps the only countrywhere we can create our own solutions to adapt to such a pricesensitive market because the Indian box office doesn’t dependon Hollywood (which only commands a 4 per cent share),”he says.Indiaspearheadsdigital cinemarevolutionBy contrast, Qube offers a DCI-compliant system as Real ImageMedia Technologies Director Jayendra Panchapakesan explains:“Our system follows international standards which means we canalso export our Qube server to foreign markets.”However, Qube also offer an alternative MPEG2 system whichcompetes against UFO. “Its for the market to decide whichsystem is better and they can co-exist but the fact is that digitalcinema is here to stay”, Panchapakesan says.— Nyay Bhushan
Day 1 Sunday, December 9, 2007 8screenings< monday >1 p.m. 33 Days, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates,(Content Advisory: 15+; bloodycasualties)1 p.m. Emirati Voices 2,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates2 p.m. 4 Months, 3 Weeksand 2 Days, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates, (ContentAdvisory: 18+; strong sceneof sexual violence)2:15 p.m. War Dance,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates2:30 p.m. The Diving Bell &The Butterfly, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 18+; nudityand sex references)3 p.m. CartouchesGauloises, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates3:15 p.m. Takva, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates3:30 p.m. Full Bloom/www.Gilgamesh. 21,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates (Content Advisory:18+; strong language)3:45 p.m. Control, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates3:45 p.m. Slingshot, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 18+; stronglanguage, sex and violence)5 p.m. The Season of theHorse, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates5 p.m. AmericanEast,Souk Madinat Theatre5:30 p.m. 6 OrdinaryStories/Words in the Wakeof War, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates5:30 p.m. Faro, Goddessof the Waters, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates5:45 p.m. Nuits d’ Arabie,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6 p.m. A Story of the RedHills, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates6 p.m. Unfinished Sky,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6 p.m. Bee Movie, Children’sGala, Madinat Arena6:15 p.m. A Promise to theDead, CineStar Cinemas, Mallof the Emirates6:45 p.m. To Sleep With Anger,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates, (Replaces screeningof Falling From Earth)7:45 p.m. Getting Home,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates8 p.m. The Banquet (FreeEvent: No Tickets Required),Screen on the Green, DMCAmphitheatre (Content Advisory:18+; frequent, very bloody violence)8:15 p.m. No Country for OldMen, Souk Madinat Theatre(Content Advisory: 18+; strongviolence and strong language)8:30 p.m. Riza, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8:30 p.m. Encarnacion,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates8:45 p.m. Short FilmsCompetition 1, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8:45 p.m. Confessionsof a Gambler, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 18+; stronglanguage)9 p.m. Chihwaseon, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates9 p.m. Seventh Heaven,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates (Content Advisory:15+; brief sexuality)9 p.m. Night Shadows,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates (Content Advisory:18+; nudity and brief sex)< tuesday >12 p.m. Stellet Licht, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates12 p.m. Maria’s Grotto/SoyPalestino, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates12:30 p.m. USA vs. Al-Arian,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates12:30 p.m. Recycle, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates12:45 p.m. Captain Abu Raed,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates2:30 p.m. It’ s a Free World,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates2:45 p.m. Shadow of Absence,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates3 p.m. Encarnacion, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates3 p.m. Takva, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates3:15 p.m. Seventh Heaven,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates (Content Advisory:15+; brief sexuality)3:15 p.m. Meisie, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates3:45 p.m. Getting Home,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates5:15 p.m. Slingshot, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 18+; stronglanguage, sex and violence5:45 p.m. Full Bloom/www.Gilgamesh.21,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates (Content Advisory:18+; strong language)5:45 p.m. Out of Coverage,Souk Madinat Theatre6 p.m. A Gentle Breeze in theVillage, CineStar Cinemas, Mallof the Emirates6 p.m. Burned Hearts,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6 p.m. Surya, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates6 p.m. And I Saw Stars,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6:30p.m. The 11th Hour,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6:45p.m. The Princess ofNebraska, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates7:45p.m. Emirati Voices 1,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates8 p.m. Whatever Lola Wants,Gala, Madinat Arena8 p.m. Gypsy Caravan(Free Event: No ticketsrequired), Screen on the Green,DMC Amphitheatre8:15 p.m. Thousand Years ofGood Prayers, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8:15 p.m. Frozen, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8:30 p.m. Taj Mahal: AnEternal Love Story, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 18+; bloodyviolence and gruesome scenes)8:45 p.m. Juju Factory,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates8:45 p.m. Battle for Haditha,Souk Madinat Theatre (ContentAdvisory: 18+; strong war violence)9 p.m. The Season of theHorse, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates9 p.m. Short FilmsCompetition 2, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates9:15 p.m. Made in Egypt,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates< wednesday >12 p.m. Emirati Voices 1,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates12 p.m. Unfinished Sky,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates12:15 p.m. A Gentle Breeze inthe Village, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates12:45 p.m. Me, The Other,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates12:45 p.m. Girls, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 15+; stronglanguage and brief sexuality)12:45 p.m. A Promise to theDead, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the EmiratesDay 1Sunday, December 9, 2007T O N I G H TOpeningNight Gala:“Michael Clayton”Madinat Arena8 p.m.Starring: George Clooney,TIlda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson,Sydney PollackDirected by: Tony Gilroy1 p.m. Ladies, Women,Citizens, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates2:30 p.m. Burned Hearts,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates2:30 p.m. Secret Sunshine,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates3 p.m. Flight of the RedBalloon, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates3 p.m. Arabian Nights: ShortFilms, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates3 p.m. 6 Ordinary Stories/Words in the Wake of War,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates3:15 p.m. Out of Coverage,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates3:15 p.m. Whatever LolaWants, Souk Madinat Theatre3:45 p.m. Making Of, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates5 p.m. A Story of the Red Hills,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6 p.m. Loins of PunjabPresents. CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates(Content Advisory: 18+; mildsexual language and content)6 p.m. The Trap, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates6 p.m. USA vs. Al-Arian,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates6 p.m. Things We Lost In TheFire, Souk Madinat Theatre(Content Advisory: 18+; druguse and strong language)6:15 p.m. Khalass, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates6:15 p.m. The Fisherman’sDaughter, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates6:30 p.m. Faro, Goddess ofthe Waters, CineStar Cinemas,Mall of the Emirates6:30 p.m. Surya, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8 p.m. War Dance, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8 p.m. AIDS Jaago (Gala),Madinat Arena8 p.m. Before the Rain (FreeEvent: No tickets required)Screen on the Green8:30 p.m. Michou D’Auber,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates8:30 p.m. AHA!, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8:45 p.m. El Bano del Papa,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates8:45 p.m. Recycle, CineStarCinemas, Mall of the Emirates8:45 p.m. Gone Baby Gone,Souk Madinat Theatre9 p.m. Captain Abu Raed,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates9 p.m. AmericanEast,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates9:15 p.m. Emirati Voices 2,CineStar Cinemas, Mall of theEmirates
Day 1 Sunday, December 9, 2007 10newsMideastContinued from page 1—execs say they are open to such deals, suggestinga new pipeline soon could bring a gusher of oilmoney to the industry.“If an opportunity to obtain financing from theregion comes up, we may do it,” Viacom presidentand CEO Philippe Dauman told The HollywoodReporter. Dauman was among the media playersat this week’s UBS investor conference who mentionedthe trend and told stories of Gulfregion financierswho recently pitched themselves as possiblepartners.“These are very sophisticated financial peoplewho have shown they will make smart deals,”Dauman said. “They make deals with leaders inindustries, and we see ourselves as a leader inentertainment.”As the Dubai International Film Festival kicksoff Sunday, more oil money likely will comeflooding into the media and entertainment space.Flush with cash from soaring fossil fuel prices,Middle Eastern investors are moving to diversifyholdings by parking money overseas. Mediacompanies are attractive thanks to depressed valuationsand the weak U.S. dollar.That, combined with Hollywood’s enduringsexiness and a desire by some Gulf-region governmentsto develop alternate industries beforeoil reserves deplete, has led Dubai and fellowemirate Abu Dhabi to boost their entertainmentinvestments. There also is developing interestfrom Qatar.Buzz about petrol investment is on the rise ata time when the flow of private-equity money,which recently has played such a prominent rolein entertainment, has dried up amid the globalcredit crunch.The region will expand at a compound annualgrowth rate of 9.6% over the five-year forecastperiod, PricewaterhouseCoopers projects, on parwith its prediction for gains in Asia. PwC predictsa 13.3% increase in Pan-Arab ad spending in the2007-11 period and a 4.4% improvement in consumer/end-userspending on entertainment.By comparison, PwC forecasts a U.S. compoundannual growth rate of 5.8% in the sameperiod.No wonder that U.S. sector biggies have startedpushing into the Gulf.Among others, CBS Corp. is considering anentry into the billboard market in Dubai. Viacomhas launched MTV Arabia, and the company andits partner Arab Media Group — the largestmedia firm in the Emirates — will start NickelodeonArabia next year. It also is contributingto a theme park in Dubai.CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves saidthis week that his team has received inquiriesfrom the region about financing opportunitieswith the company’s recently launched film unit.“A couple of investors have approached usfrom there — along with a lot of others — butwe have made no decisions” on how to financeCBS Films’ initial slate, he said.NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zuckerechoed his peers, saying “we are continuing tobe open to the possibility” of capital inflow fromthe Middle East.Passive investorsMost petrodollar entertainment deals to datehave fallen into two core categories: quiet minorityinvestments in entertainment companies anddeals that help a Gulf country develop its mediainfrastructure inreturn for financingcontent and allowingaccess to the fastgrowingMideastmarket.Super-rich individualsand so-called sovereignwealth fundsaffiliated with Gulfregiongovernmentshave driven the passiveinvestments,which account for themajority of moneyflow to date.Prince Al Waleedbin Talal of Saudi Arabia,the nephew of theSaudi king whoranked 13th on this year’s Forbes list of the world’sbillionaires, has spent a chunk of his $20 billion networth, taking significant stakes in such mediagiants as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., TimeWarner and Disney.The prince is believed to still hold all threestocks, but disclosures have been rare and rudimentary.He generally has been “a totally passiveinvestor,” according to one source with knowledgeof the prince’s dealings. But in 2004 and’05, he supported Murdoch against a possiblethreat from John Malone’s Liberty Media.Similarly, Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed binRashid Al Maktoum took a stake last month inSony Corp. via an arm of investment firm DubaiInternational Capital. The size of the investmentmight be as much as $1.5 billion.Sony is “a compelling investment case, consistentwith our mandate of supporting premierglobal companies,” said Sameer Al Ansari, executivechairman and CEO of Dubai InternationalCapital. He praised the Sony brand, and aspokesman for DIC cited geographic diversificationand Sony’s undervalued stock as other reasonsfor the investment.Home improvementGulf countries also have stepped up efforts tobring entertainment production and distributionto the region in return for providing fundingand access.Warners’ deal with Abu Dhabi, the largest ofthe booming United Arab Emirates, is the prototype.The partnership is driven by real estate developerALDAR and the Abu Dhabi Media Co., anew government agency, and includes a $500million feature film fund and a $500 millionvideo game fund. It also covers the developmentof a theme park, a hotel and multiplex cinemas aswell as the build-out of key infrastructure.In addition, Warner Bros. Pictures Internationalwill work with Abu Dhabi Media to developa slate of Arabic-language films for local andPan-Arabic distribution. The chairman of AbuDhabi Media, Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei,said, “This agreement will put Abu Dhabi at thecenter of the world’s entertainment map.”Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have stated theirintention to parlay petroleum wealth into becominga regional hotbed for media and entertainment.“They have become rich from oil and arelooking to do things that relate to non-oil opportunitiesin their own countries,” one entertainmentlawyer said. “They want to diversify beforeoil dries up.”Petro-plexA Warner Bros. rendering of a theater planned as part of its recent billiondollardeal with oil-rich Abu Dhabi to develop films, video games and localinfrastructureBret Saxon, co-founder and chairman of InsomniaMedia Group, which recently received $550million from Egypt-based asset management andbrokerage firm Borak to fund movies and makeacquisitions, said he regularly hears the word“diversification” when he travels to the Gulf. “It’sa post-oil plan they are developing,” he said.Insomnia’s deal doesn’t require that films beshot in the Gulf region beyond the first production,which Saxon said is a war epic partly set inthe Mideast that will be shot in Egypt, Moroccoand Los Angeles. But the build-out of local productioncapabilities clearly is a goal of Mideastfinanciers, and they might be willing to take along view of their return on investment.“Unlike traditional private equity, theseinvestors have a much longer investment horizon,which matches up well with the entertainmentindustry,” said Wade Layton, managing director atfinancial services firm CIT Communications,Media & Entertainment.However, pure film slate financing deals,which have been popular with private-equityfirms, so far have not been so appealing for Arabmoneymen even though some of the mogulsmention them as a possibility.Culture concernsThe rising profile of Arab media financiersprompts some to wonder when — rather than if— cultural and other conflicts will emerge in caseswhere Mideast money has more than a passiverole in entertainment ventures.Hal Vogel, a longtime media analyst and presidentof Vogel Capital Management, believesthat for Mideast investors, “there’s plenty ofmoney around, there’s a need to diversify, andthere’s a desire to become respected and have aninfluence on global political thinking and culture.The last point is where the problemsstart.”The kind of product that will come out of theWarners-Abu Dhabi relationship will be particularlyinteresting in this respect. The partnershave yet to announce any film projects but coulddo so by year’s end.Warners chairman and CEO Barry Meyer toldThe Reporter in announcing the deal that thepartners will “of course honor local tastes andsensibilities,” signaling that cultural sensitivitieswill be a focus area.Said Viacom CEO Dauman, “We see the MiddleEast as another emerging market with significantopportunities.”Correspondent Mark Evans in Dubai contributedto this report.
Day 1Sunday, December 9, 2007make it for $10 million and stillcouldn’t get it made. I went on aprivate equity tour and met a wholebunch of (financiers) over the years.I just finally couldn’t do it.THR: So what changed?Gilroy: At one point I was workingwith Steven Soderbergh and I gaveit to him and said, “I am beggingyou to get me a meeting.” He wasthe prime mover. And I startedhounding George for a meeting,calling everybody I knew who knewhim. Then finally I got the meeting.That was in February 2005. I flew toLos Angeles and went to his houseon a Sunday morning in a massiverainstorm and had this huge meeting.It was like a 9-, 11-hour meeting.And at some point in the conversation,we started talking aboutcasting; we started talking collaborativelyabout making the movie.THR: And then you knew he was in?Gilroy: Sometimes you knowsomething really fundamental ishappening. But I had to sit behind‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ and‘The Good German.’ I had to waitabout six months.Tony Gilroy spent years working as one of Hollywood’s leading screenwriters, most notablyadapting the “Bourne Identity” series of pictures, before venturing behind the camera on“Michael Clayton.” Now that “Clayton” is drawing acclaim throughout the world, it seems as ifit must have been an easy film to get financed. But, as Gilroy told The Hollywood Reporter’sStephen Galloway on the eve of “Clayton’s” Dubai screening, it nearly didn’t get made at all.THR: It took you six years to getthis picture greenlighted. Why?Gilroy: It would have been a loteasier to get a different kind of filmoff the ground. It would have beeneasier to raise four times the moneyand do an action picture, because Ihad written a bunch of them andthat was my current brand. Studioslike first-time directors on actionpictures because they become collaborations,in a way, between theproduction people and the secondunitand the director. There weresome other offers that came alongthe way, but none of them interestedme that much.THR: Weren’t there other screenplaysthat you wrote yourself andalso wanted to direct?Gilroy: There was another project,“Wild Kingdom,” about thepaparazzi, but that didn’t cometogether, ultimately because of me: Iwasn’t committed in the insane waythat you have to be committed topush something all the way through.THR: And you were that committedwith “Clayton”?Gilroy: Yes. I never gave up.THR: Why?Gilroy: It was a simple enough(project) that I knew I wouldn’t justbe hanging on and getting throughit. I have mastery in my other job asa writer; there is nothing that reallyscares me — I can do everything. Iknew I wasn’t going to be able toreplicate that as a director, but Iwanted to have some aspect ofbeing able to swing every day. Thiswas simple enough and the materialwas rich enough that I could dothat. I didn’t want to make a firstfilm that was just a starting point.THR: What was the process you followedto get it going?Gilroy: It took the first couple ofyears to write and hang in there.Then I tried the movie star route — Iknew if I could get a movie star to doit for nothing it would get made; butyou waste an incredible amount oftime waiting for people to pass. Youare begging them to pass quickly! Wewere dangled by a number of people.THR: Including George Clooney?Gilroy: I couldn’t even get Georgeto read it at the beginning, andwhen he did he very mercifullypassed quickly — he was the onlyone who did! Then I tried to getthe budget down. It had always sataround $20 million, but we tried toTHR: When you got to shoot thefilm at long last, how did it go?Gilroy: We were extremely wellprepared. I had plenty of time toprepare — to make sure of all myhires, check out locations, get mycrew.THR: Nothing went wrong?Gilroy: Nothing could go wrong.We didn’t have any margin oferror.•vital statsTony GilroyFilm in Dubai: “MichaelClayton” (opening night film)Nationality: AmericanFilmography: Director:Duplicity (pre-production);Screenwriter: The BourneUltimatum (2007), The BourneSupremacy (2004), The BourneIdentity (2002), Proof of Life(2000), Bait (2000), Armageddon(1998), The Devil’s Advocate(1997), Dolores Claiborne (1995)Notable Awards: Venice FilmFestival Golden Lion nominationfor Michael Clayton
Day 1 Sunday, December 9, 2007 12review: synopsisDay 1 Sunday, December 9, 2007 13news“Shoot On Sight”Shoot On Sight is a fictional political thrillerbased on London Police order to shoot suspectedterrorists after the July 7th 2005 Londonbombings, that resulted in racial profiling.The Film is a riveting drama that unfolds theturmoil in the life of Tariq Ali, a Muslim policeofficer at Scotland Yard. Commander Ali, bornin Lahore and married to an English woman, istasked to investigate the police shooting of asuspected Muslim terrorist on the LondonUnderground. Distrusted by both his superiorsin the police, and his fellow Muslims, he findshis inquiry hampered from all sides.When evidence surfaces pointing to the slainman’s innocence, as well as the existence of aterrorist cell operating in his own backyard,Tariq must face the realization that sometimes,the right decision is the hardest one to make.The film was entirely shot in London and is currentlyin post production. Film starcast includesBrian Cox, Greta Scacchi, Naseeruddin Shah,Om Puri, Stephen Greif, Ralph Ineson, Sadiefrost, Gulshan Grover, Laila Rouass, MikaalZulfiqar and India Wadsworth. Shoot On Sightis expected to release world-wide in early 2008.“Mongol”Directed by Sergei Bodrov (Prisoner of theMountains, The Nomad), Mongol is the epicstory of a young Genghis Khan and how eventsin his early life lead him to become the legendaryconquer and father of Mongolia. The film willstar Tadanobu Asano (Zatoichi) as GenghisKhan and will be produced by Sergei Selyanov,Anton Melnik, and Bulat Galimgereyev. Bodrovpenned the script with Arif Aliyev. Mongol iscurrently in production and is scheduled forrelease in 2008.“Surya”Once upon a journey, 10 contemporary storytellersof different cultures create an imaginaryepic story. They each draw on their own styleand own language to prolong the life of a namelesshero. The aromas of cultures, the taste ofwords and the perfume of travelling carry usfrom one storyteller to the next.Like an epic story, this film oscillates betweenimagination and reality, the inner world and theoutside world, documentary and fiction.This impressionistic film is the outcome ofan overland odyssey by public transport fromdusk to dawn, through Europe and Asia (Belgium,Slovakia, Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan, Iran,Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Vietnam).An audio-visual performance whereimagination and creativity travel across borders.“Season of the Horse”“Season of the Horse,” a small-scale dramaabout a Mongolian horseman dealing with theproblems of modernization, has the potential tobe an art house success.The story revolves around the problems thatnomadic Mongolian horsemen are facingbecause of the Chinese government’s attemptsto urbanize the region. The vast grasslands usedto be owned by no one, so the horsemen couldmove around and graze their livestock at will.But the government has recently been fencingoff the land and parceling it out to villages. The“Michael Clayton”For the last seven years, screenwriter TonyGilroy has meticulously constructed theBourne trilogy, a superb series that seeamnesia victim Matt Damon dashingthrough increasingly thrilling episodes todiscover his identity as basically a bad guy.In “Michael Clayton,” his directingdebut, which he also wrote, Gilroy hasreduced his formula to a single film: Theeponymous Michael Clayton (GeorgeClooney) hurries through increasingly dangerousepisodes to learn what he probablyalready knows, that by doing the dirty workof pond scum he is little more than a badguy himself.Gilroy creates strong characters and situationsthat resonate with tension as Claytoncomes to grips with his profession.Maybe all large corporate law firms haveguys like Michael. He calls himself a “janitor.”He is a lawyer, but his “niche,” as theManhattan firm’s co-founder Marty Bach(Sydney Pollack) so delicately puts it, is toclean up messes by the firm’s motley clients.While driving back from a cleaning job inupstate New York, Michael unaccountablystops on a lonely road to observe a trio ofhorses. Suddenly, his car blows up. Someonehas tried to kill him!Backtrack four days. Near the conclusionof a six-year class-action suit against anagrochemical client, the firm’s top litigator,Arthur Evans (Tom Wilkinson), who is onthe road and about to pull off a pretrial settlement,suffers a movie-attorney meltdown:Like Al Pacino in “... And Justice For All,”horsemen are being encouraged to give up theirtraditional nomadic way of life and settle down.The problem is that they don’t have the necessaryskills — or the desire — to take up an urbanlifestyle. This is leading to a kind of mass despair.Arthur discovers that his client is guilty asHell, and he wants to make amends. A manic-depressiveand off his meds, he is switchingsides.Michael rushes to the Midwest to rescuemad Arthur from lock-up. Arthur slipsfrom his custody and gets back to Manhattanwhere he holes up in his loft and makessurreptitious phone calls to a female plaintive.Meanwhile, Michael’s own life is infreefall. A serious gambling addict, he hasdecided to gamble instead on a restaurantventure, which his alcoholic brother has runinto the ground. He owes $75,000 to someapparently bad guys and makes a devil’s bargainto turn the Arthur situation around fora bailout by the firm.The agrochemical company’s chief counselKaren Crowder (Tilda Swinton), so anxiousand overwhelmed by her knowledge ofthe firm’s culpability and, by implication,her own shortcomings, panics. She hiresshady characters to take care of loose-cannonArthur. Following this much morenoxious type of cleaning job, the shadycharacters can’t help noticing Michaelsnooping around to learn the truth behindhis friend’s demise. Thus, the maladroit carbomb.All of this cloak-and-dagger melodramamakes Michael question what kind of manhe has become in the firm’s “niche.” “Whatare you?” asks Arthur. “You know exactlywhat you are,” spits his cop-brother inanother scene. •Ning Cai — who wrote, directed and stars —tells the story by concentrating on difficultiesbetween herdsman Wurgen and his hardpressedwife. New government regulations aremaking it hard for Wurgen to make a living inthe age-old way of herding livestock. His wifewants him to sell his horse and use the cash tosend their young son to school. He refuses,wishing to cling to the ancient ways that heloves. Finally he succumbs to his wife’s wishes —but is then outraged to see the horse being usedin a performance at a disco. Wurgen reclaims hishorse with the help of a painter of Genghis Khanmemorabilia but ultimately has to give up his traditionalway of life.“Diving Bell and theButterfly”The astonishing true-life story of Jean-DominicBauby — a man who held the world in his palm,lost everything to sudden paralysis at 43 years old,and somehow found the strength to reboundfrom his adversity.The story first touched the world in Bauby'sbestselling autobiography The Diving Bell andthe Butterfly, then in Jean-Jacques Beneix’s halfhour1997 documentary of Bauby at work,released under the same title, and, 10 years afterthat, in this Cannes-selected docudrama, helmedby Julian Schnabel (Basquiat) and adapted fromthe memoir by Ronald Harwood (Cromwell).The Schnabel/Harwood picture follows Bauby’sstory to the letter — his instantaneousdescent from a wealthy and congenial playboy andthe editor of Elle Paris, to a bedbound, hospitalizedstroke victim with an inactive brain stem thatmade it impossible for him to speak or move amuscle of his body.This prison, as it were, became a kind of “divingbell” for Bauby — one with no means ofescape. With the editor’s mind unaffected, hisonly solace lay in the “butterfly” of his seeminglydepthless fantasies and memories.Because of Bauby’s physical restriction, he onlypossesses one channel for communication withthe outside world: ocular activity. By moving hiseyes and blinking, he not begins to interact againwith the world around him, and — astonishingly— authores the said memoir via a code used tosignify specific letters of the alphabet. In Schnabel’spicture, Mathieu Almaric tackles the difficultrole of Bauby; the film co-stars EmmanuelleSeigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny andPatrick Chesnais.“4 Months, 3 Weeks and2 Days”Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu’s InCompetition entry “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2Days” is a harrowing tale of the grim lengths towhich two young women will go to end anunwelcome pregnancy in a totalitarian society.Set in the shabby rooms of rundown buildingson neglected city streets, the film casts anunblinking eye on life in the last years of communismin Romania. Its story of desperation forcedon two hapless youngsters indicts a regime thatwas as callous as it was empty.The title describes the exact length of time thatscatterbrained Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) has leftthings before seeking an abortion. But she liesabout it, not only to her considerate roommateOtilia (Anamarie Marinca) but also more dangerouslyto the abortionist recommended by a fellowstudent.Tolerant and generous, Otilia not only helpsGabita find the money for the procedure but alsogoes to meet the man who’s going to do the job.He’s a coolly nasty piece of work named Bebe(Vlad Ivanov) who complains about all thearrangements and describes unfeelingly just whatis going to happen.Having paid for a room in a seedy but expensivehotel and with her body clock ticking, Gabitais willing to put up with almost any indignity inorder to solve her problem short of the singlemotherhood that would drive her to disgrace andpoverty.“Before the Devil KnowsYou’re Dead”After a long series of artistic missteps, SidneyLumet, 83, makes a smashing return to formwith this bleak crime thriller that shows off theveteran director’s many strengths. Pungentlyatmospheric, brilliantly textured and featuringsuperb performances from every performer inparts big and small, “Before the Devil KnowsYou’re Dead” might not quite rank with classicslike “Dog Day Afternoon” and countless otherfilms by Lumet, but it does make thrillingly clearthat he’s still at the top of his game.Kelly Masterson’s expert screenplay relates arelatively simple story of a small-scale robberygone horribly wrong in complex fashion. Withits constant time shifts and depictions of thesame events from varying perspectives, it recallsthe director’s own earlier caper flick “TheAnderson Tapes,” though this is a far moremelodramatic and elemental tale. •