Two winners today (Sunday, October 9)
How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? Spain, 74 min.
The life and works of the prolific Manchester-born architect Norman Foster, designer of (among dozens of other works) the spectacular Millau Viaduct and London’s Millennium Bridge. Brought up in working-class Levenshulme during the Second World War, Foster followed his artistic and mechanical bents into architecture. And a good thing, too. His work is spectacular (I know, I used this overworked word again, but it fits). Another great contribution from Manchester. (Now, if only we had the Beatles. . . . )
A Separation. Iran, 123 min.
Another winner from Iran. Simin is anxious to leave Iran, but her husband Nader clings to the responsibility of caring for his demented father. Each agrees to a divorce, but the sticking point is the custody of their 11-year-old daughter. Things get even more intense when the father’s hired caregiver, a pregnant Arab woman, claims Nader knocked her down stairs, causing a miscarriage. That constitutes murder in the view of Iran’s creaky legal system — a mixture of modernity and ancient traditions (which include the concept of blood money). The dramatic timing in this film is perfect.