“CineVegas Presents at the Brenden” will bring a series of independent and art house films to Las Vegas that might not have otherwise played in town, launching a year-round partnership with Brenden Theatres at the Palms Casino Resort that will give these movies two-week runs each.
“The Brenden Theatres has been a tremendous partner to the CineVegas Film Festival every June, and we are thrilled to have the chance to work with them throughout the year,” said CineVegas Artistic Director Trevor Groth. “We have seen such a demand to play these kinds of independent and art house films in Las Vegas, and we are honored to be able to show them at the Brenden Theatres.”
In addition, CineVegas, the Brenden Theatres and Simon Restaurant & Lounge at Palms Place are offering an exclusive dining opportunity to anyone who purchases a ticket to any of the “CineVegas Presents at the Brenden” films. Moviegoers just need to sign up for the Brenden Theatres Rewards Card when they purchase their tickets, and when they show their card at Simon, they will receive a decadent prix fix menu for only $40, available daily from 6pm – 8pm.
The series will kick off on Friday, March 6 with James Gray’s TWO LOVERS, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May. Set in the insular world of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, TWO LOVERS is a classic romantic drama, with Joaquin Phoenix giving a raw and vulnerable performance as Leonard, a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents (Isabella Rossellini and Moni Monoshov), Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard’s staid world, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family’s dry-cleaning business. Leonard becomes deeply infatuated by Michelle, who seems poised to fall for him, but is having a self-destructive affair with a married man. At the same time, mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra. Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision – between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love – or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him.
On Friday, March 20, the series continues with Steven Soderbergh’s CHE, which also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May. The film will be played in two parts and a separate ticket will be required for each part. In 1956, Fidel Castro led a band of 80 rebels to Cuba, including Argentine physician, Marxist, soldier, Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Benicio Del Toro). Nation-less, strapped for resources and fueled only by determination, the group engages in swift, bloody battle to free the Cuban people from the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Che and his soldiers wrestle the nation’s resources and affection from Batista’s grasp. Though considered a hero by some, Che becomes a hugely controversial figure. At the height of his fame and power, he disappears. Entering South America incognito, Che recruits another band of guerilla fighters in the harsh Bolivian jungles. They embark upon a mission to spark revolution throughout Latin America.
Matteo Garrone’s GOMORRAH, winner of the Grand Prix at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, will be shown beginning Friday, April 3. Power, money and blood: these are the “values” that the residents of the province of Naples and Caserta confront every day. They have practically no choice, and are forced to obey the rules of the “System;” the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a “normal” life. In GOMORRAH, five stories are woven together in this violent scenario, set in a cruel and ostensibly invented world, but one that is deeply rooted in reality. The film is based on the controversial bestselling novel of the same name.
THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD from director Sean McGinly will play beginning Friday, April 17. A premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the film also served as the Closing Night Film for the 2008 CineVegas Film Festival. Law-school dropout Troy Gable answers an ad for a “personal assistant to a celebrity performer,” hoping it will catapult him to a glamorous career in the entertainment industry. Little does he know that performer is Buck Howard, a “mentalist” infamous for his 61 appearances on The Tonight Show, who has been reduced to a has-been magician in need of a pretty big trick to get him out of this slump. Played with perfection by John Malkovich, Buck is a bigger-than-life mix of ego, sweetness, and delusion packaged in a flamboyant style. As Troy, Colin Hanks does a remarkable job of holding his own, even when deflecting Buck’s diva-esque tantrums. In an inspired bit of casting, Tom Hanks plays Troy’s father, who ironically disapproves of show business, and Emily Blunt is the fiery publicist hired to stage the comeback of a lifetime.
About CineVegas The 11th Annual CineVegas Film Festival will be held June 10 – 15, 2009 at the Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres in Las Vegas. The CineVegas Film Festival is a platform for artists and art lovers who are drawn to the edge. Held amidst the unique, unpredictable and intoxicating environment that is Las Vegas, the CineVegas Film Festival pushes the boundaries of cinema. The Festival annually presents work by innovative, uninhibited, and renegade artists to an audience of local and national film lovers, journalists, and film industry representatives. Robin Greenspun serves as the festival’s President, Trevor Groth serves as Artistic Director and Dennis Hopper serves as the Chairman of the Creative Advisory Board. For more information on the CineVegas Film Festival, please call 888-8VEGAS8 or visit www.cinevegas.com.