31 March-7 April. A film festival dedicated to the best recent films from Africa. It is the fourth edition of this interesting initiative, which includes selected films just presented at the "Festival of African, Asian and Latin-American Cinema" in Milan. Films come from all over the African continent including Burkina Faso, Morocco, The Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Angola.
The Cooler. This tough and sentimental genre film feels like a B movie from 1956 with a dirty mouth. Bernie Lootz (William H. Macy) has such terrible luck that a Vegas casino owner named Shelly (Alec Baldwin) uses him as a "cooler": no sooner does Bernie join a crap game than anyone with a hot hand immediately begins to lose. But then Bernie falls in love with a young cocktail waitress, Natalie (Maria Bello), and his magic suddenly shifts: now everyone around him wins, which is big trouble for Bernie. The writer-director Wayne Kramer keeps the colour scheme of this Runyonesque fable harsh and bright the night tones of Vegas, seen from its underside. The movie is set in sordid casinos and the kind of green-walled motel room in which fornication takes place in the adjoining room at a colossal volume. The crude and the petty desperation of "The Cooler" are immensely enjoyable as atmosphere, and the actors attack their roles with relish. The New Yorker