Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., July 25
Water & Power
Richard Montoya directs the film version of his own play about a pair of handsome Latino brothers — dubbed "Water" and "Power" by their father as children — who have done bad on their way to making good. Water (Enrique Murciano) is a state senator, while Power (Nicholas Gonzalez) is a star detective with the LAPD. The action follows the pair through one violent, drug-fueled, calamitous night when the past comes calling in that haunting way that it has. Visually, Montoya makes the most of his break from the boards; the overhead shots of Los Angeles have more urgency and import than usual, and there is good use of shadow for the sake of mood. But the mystical-mythical narration of this "story of fathers, sons, and holy ghosts," courtesy of a wheelchair-bound chronicler, serves as a constant reminder of the stagy source, as does dialogue like "We've told so many lies, bro, we forget which ones have turned back into the truth." Gringo Clancy Brown almost steals the show in his brief turn as The Man. 2013.
- Interview with Water & Power writer-director • May 1, 2014