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Film Festival Favorites

Film Festival Favorites

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Revisited

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 2009

What happens to film characters after the film is made, has had its run in the theaters and been filed away in our memories? To find the answer, Zanussi takes the young star of With a Warm Heart and sends him to interview the carachters of Zanussi’s past films.

Charlie's Country

Rolf de Heer Australia, 2013

Charlie’s Country explores ongoing repercussions in contemporary Australia – the film is a slow indictment of the colonialist relationship between white law and Indigenous people.

Something, Anything

Paul Harrill United States, 2014

In the wake of a life-altering tragedy, Peggy, a seemingly typical Southern newlywed, confronts a profound spiritual crisis and sets out on a quest to discover a higher purpose. Without knowing what she seeks, Peggy jeopardizes her marriage, career, and friendships to find fulfilment.

The Second Game

Corneliu Porumboiu Romania, 2014

A deceptively simple set-up: the director and his father watch a 1988 football match which the father refereed, their commentary accompanying the original television images in real time.

She's Lost Control

Anja Marquardt United States, 2014

Fiercely independent, Ronah works as a sexual surrogate in New York City, teaching her clients the very thing they fear most – to be intimate. Her life unravels when she starts working with a volatile new client, blurring the thin line between professional and personal intimacy in the modern world.

The Fire

Juan Schnitman Argentina, 2015

Perhaps one of the most intoxicating portraits of the “neither with nor without you” romantic scenario, The Fire is a tale of self-destructive love taking place over the course of 24 hours in Buenos Aires, in which every instant is filled with the utmost intensity and passion. Entrancing.

For the Plasma

Bingham Bryant, Kyle Molzan United States, 2014

Helen, a young forest lookout, invites Charlie to come live and work with her. But this is an odd job in an odd Maine village, for Helen soon explains she can predict financial movements by looking at footage of the forest.

Little Feet

Alexandre Rockwell United States, 2013

Determined to see “the river,” two young children living in Los Angeles leave home to embark on a magical urban odyssey, in the marvelous new film by American indie icon Alexandre Rockwell (In the Soup).

Low Tide

Roberto Minervini United States, 2012

This award winner at Venice from Italian-born, Texas-based director Roberto Minervini points its sensitive camera at a nameless 12-year-old venturing through his town in solitude. Wonderfully casting non-professionals, the boy projects the loneliness and abandonment he faces to great effect.

Mold

Ali Aydın Turkey, 2012

Basri, walks every day for miles along the tracks working as a railroad watchman. His only thought is finding his missing son. 18 years ago, while the boy was at the university in Istanbul, the police took him into custody for anti-government activities. Then, he mysteriously disappeared.

Land of My Dreams

Yann Gonzalez Portugal, 2012

After many years of absence, Bianca and her mother meet again in Porto. Together, they will hit the road with their stripping show, running after lost time, impossible love and strange fantasies…

Tectonics

Peter Bo Rappmund United States, 2012

Landscape documentarian Peter Bo Rappmund followed the path of water in his first film and here traces the U.S.-Mexico border. In an era where rhetoric overwhelms the (meta-) physical aspects of the border, Rappmund surveys a national divide with acute precision.

Sentimental Education

Júlio Bressane Brazil, 2013

Áurea, a solitary teacher, starts a singular relationship with a young man with whom she has a chance encounter. A sensitive soul, she finds herself attracted to his moving beauty which compels her to lose herself…

The Grand Bizarre

Jodie Mack United States, 2018

From MUBI regular Jodie Mack comes a tour de force, sui generis globetrotting textile documentary in the form of a 16mm abstract animated (and musical!) feature. An entrancing experience that is as much about the creation and circulation of fabric as it’s about the pure pleasure of color and design.

Delphine

Chloé Robichaud Canada, 2019

Winner of Best Canadian Short Film at TIFF, this moving short from director Chloé Robichaud (Sarah Prefers to Run) evocatively captures the sensitive tensions of teenage society. Succinctly probing the politics at play in school, the film holds a mirror to the ways society can resemble adolescence.

The Mouth of the Wolf

Pietro Marcello Italy, 2009

A breakthrough work of docu-fiction, Pietro Marcello’s The Mouth of the Wolf expertly balances various timelines with archival research to explore the relationship between two wayward souls trying to find themselves. A collage of visual memories, hauntingly suspended between dreams and and reality.

Crossing the Line

Pietro Marcello Italy, 2007

A breakthrough for Italian auteur Pietro Marcello (Martin Eden), this timeless travelogue hauntingly uncovers the dreams and hurdles of the working class while being occasionally disrupted by the turbulence of the outside world. Winner of the Pasinetti Doc Award at the Venice Film Festival.

Crosscurrent

Yang Chao China, 2016

Cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing (In the Mood for Love) deservedly took home an award from Berlin for his gorgeous 35mm photography in Chao Yang’s beguiling and deeply romantic drama. Poetic and richly evocative, life’s quest for contentment finds a great allegory in this river journey.

Tip Top

Serge Bozon France, 2013

Available to rent
Film Festival Favorites

After a 6-year wait for his follow-up to the wonderfully eccentric, tender WWI musical La France, director Serge Bozon returned in fine form with this burlesque detective film comedy starring oddball duo Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Kiberlain, investigating racial tensions in a small French town.

Workers

José Luis Valle Mexico, 2013

The fiction debut from Chile-born director José Luis Valle, this deadpan comedy is an impressive masterclass in emotional subtlety and sense of timing. Minimalist in capturing the inner worlds of each character, Workers offers a biting, urgent commentary on the alienating ethics of modern labor.

Two Shots Fired

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 2014

Rejtman’s comeback 11 years after The Magic Gloves did not disappoint. Taking a suicide attempt as the starting point and surprising us at every turn, Two Shots Fired is a fascinating and subversive exercise in comedy: its sophisticated storytelling, dark humor and deadpan beauty are just genius.

Creepy

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan, 2016

Genre maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse) taps into his skill with policier and horror films for this thriller cleverly blending domestic vulnerability and unsolved crime. Throw credibility out the window and embrace the film’s tingling sense of unease and the uncanny as the story twists and turns.

The Strange Little Cat

Ramon Zürcher Germany, 2013

It’s a soft and sunny Sunday afternoon in Berlin, where three generations of a family gather in a flat for an evening meal. There are hectic preparations in the kitchen.
This sequence of family scenes complete with cat and dog creates a wondrous world of the everyday.

Around the World When You Were My Age

Aya Koretzky Portugal, 2018

A parent and child meet across eras, countries, and memories in Aya Koretzky’s enchanting documentary about her Japanese father’s exceptional globetrotting adventures in the 1970s. As her father’s life blooms before the filmmaker, we see how, decades before, the world blossomed for the young man.

Lamb

Yared Zeleke Ethiopia, 2015

The very first Ethiopian film to play Cannes, Yared Zeleke’s debut feature Lamb is a complexly tender vision of childhood under poverty. An enveloping, humble story nestled in the calming landscapes of rural Ethiopia—this is a rare modern film thoroughly invested in the power of the natural world.

White Sun

Deepak Rauniyar Nepal, 2016

The aftermath of Nepal’s civil war. Deepak Rauniyar’s sophomore feature explores intergenerational difference between royalists and Maoists, as told through the perspective of a family torn asunder by varying ideology. An essential portrait of family and necessary allegory of a nation on the mend.

Homo sapiens

Nikolaus Geyrhalter Austria, 2016

Niklaus Geyrhalter’s extraordinary Homo Sapiens is a film of perplexing intensity. Halfway between documentary and science fiction (isn’t everything these days?), it portrays the state of the world after humanity’s collapse as you’ve never seen it before.

The Border Fence

Nikolaus Geyrhalter Austria, 2018

Set amid a sunny Alpine landscape, this gripping nonfiction work from Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Homo Sapiens) reveals the roots of the refugee policy debate. Interviewing local citizens, The Border Fence explores modern Europe, living locally, and the near future of the current migration crisis.

Hermia & Helena

Matías Piñeiro Argentina, 2016

Camila, a young Argentine theater director, travels from Buenos Aires to New York to attend an artistic residency to develop a Spanish translation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Upon her arrival, she begins to receive a series of mysterious postcards.

The Pretty Ones

Melisa Liebenthal Argentina, 2016

Winner of the Bright Future Award at Rotterdam, director Melisa Liebenthal places herself at the center of this candid essay film. Interviewing childhood friends about their shared coming-of-age experiences, The Pretty Ones interrogates the construction of femininity and its relationship to images.

Fragment 53

Federico Lodoli, Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli Liberia, 2015

Comprising interviews with seven different men of varying rank about atrocities they committed (or ordered) during the Liberian Civil War, this frank and frequently disturbing documentary examines the nature of modern violence and an essentialist concept of warfare.

The Wounded Angel

Emir Baigazin Germany, 2016

The second film from Emir Baigazin (Harmony Lessons) on growing up in Kazakhstan, The Wounded Angel shares the same cinematographer as Holy Motors, Yves Cape. As visually stunning as it is uncompromising, this study of adolescence charts a country that is not for young men.

Il Solengo

Alessio Rigo de Righi, Matteo Zoppis Italy, 2015

A group of elders gathers in a hunting lodge and recalls the life of Mario “de’ Marcella”, a man who lived in a cave over 60 years of his life. Why he chose to live a solitary existence is unknown. Perhaps it had something to do with a mysterious and tragic event of his childhood.

Neon Bull

Gabriel Mascaro Brazil, 2015

Neon Bull captures the world of Brazil’s vaquejada rodeo tradition through a sensual, intimate, and realist style—finding grace in the mundane, unearthing tenderness within the bestial. The human is never far from the animal in this meditative, scintillating slice-of-life portrait of a community.

Weirdos

Bruce McDonald Canada, 2016

Nova Scotia. 1976. The weekend of the American Bicentennial. 15-year-old Kit is running away from home, hitchhiking with his girlfriend Alice to move in with his estranged mother (Molly Parker) and, hopefully, to find himself.

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: async AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY

Stephen Nomura Schible United States, 2018

As a special treat after our release of Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is this sensorial immersion into a rare concert experience. Watch the great composer perform the debut of his latest musical masterpiece, with accompanying video imagery by Shiro Takatani and experimental filmmaker Takashi Makino.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

Stephen Nomura Schible United States, 2017

Stephen Nomura Schible’s wonderful feature debut is a revelatory exploration of Ryuichi Sakamoto, his work, environmentalism, and the incredible album async. This lovely and graceful exploration offers a rare glimpse into the artistic process of the renowned musician.

The Great Wall

Tadhg O'Sullivan Ireland, 2015

The Great Wall moves across fortified landscapes, pausing with those whose lives are framed by borders. Moving inward toward the seat of power, the film holds the European project up to a dazzling cinematic light, refracted through Kafka’s mysterious text; ultimately questioning the nature of power.

Closeness

Kantemir Balagov Russia, 2017

This powerhouse debut by Kantemir Balagov, a student of master Aleksandr Sokurov, delves into the fraught relationships of the small Jewish community inside the Caucasian city of Nalchik. Darya Zhovner’s performance as a young woman seeking freedom from a confining world is fierce and unforgettable.

Occidental

Neïl Beloufa France, 2017

In a boho Parisian hotel, two sexually and politically ambiguous Italians romp through a succession of blatantly artificial set pieces, stoking the prejudices of staff members and guests. Outside, riots rage and protesters march, threatening to spill into the feverish atmosphere gathering indoors.

London River

Rachid Bouchareb United Kingdom, 2009

After travelling to London to check on their missing children in the wake of the 2005 terror attack on the city, two strangers come to discover their respective children had been living together at the time of the attacks.

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Lourdes

Jessica Hausner Austria, 2009

Christine is a lonely, almost entirely handicapped woman who goes on a life-changing journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains. Not that she believes in miracles—it just happens to be the only way to get out and about.

The Young Lieutenant

Xavier Beauvois France, 2005

Before he won acclaim for Of Gods and Men, French actor-turned-director Xavier Beauvois scored with this excellent, layered police drama, featuring an award-winning performance from Nathalie Baye.

The Return

Andrey Zvyagintsev Russia, 2003

A master of seething family tensions, Andrei Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless) made waves right from the start with this auspicious debut film. Evocative of early Polanski, this haunting trip won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and marked him as a rising star of Russian cinema.

The Color Wheel

Alex Ross Perry United States, 2011

Before Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth, and Her Smell, indie director Alex Ross Perry grabbed our attention with this wonderfully acerbic second feature. An uproariously abrasive, fast-paced comedy road movie about a hyper dysfunctional brother-sister duo, shot on gorgeous 16mm B&W film.

The Day He Arrives

Hong Sang-soo South Korea, 2011

A film director who no longer makes films, Seongjun arrives in Seoul to meet a close friend. When the friend doesn’t show up, Seongjun wanders the city aimlessly for three days, grabbing drinks and meeting women, with each day playing out like a version of the last.

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The Supplement

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 2002

Fearing the mediocrity of a life focused only on material gain, Filip is torn between devoting himself to serving God or helping humanity as a medical doctor. Although conflicted over his spiritual needs and his love for Hanka, he withdraws to a mountain retreat, which might cost him Hanka forever.

Ashes

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Thailand, 2012

Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul was challenged to make a short film with the unique hand-cranked film camera, the LomoKino. The result, Ashes, is something strange and special: part sideshow, part movie, part diary—all cinema.

L

Babis Makridis Greece, 2012

The protagonist, aged 40, lives in his car and receives his family at fixed times. His employer is a rich narcoleptic who can’t drive. The driver provides him with special honey. But when an even better driver comes along, he loses his job and decides to look for another means of transport.

Jess + Moss

Clay Jeter United States, 2011

Shot on grainy film stock at the director’s family home, Jess+Moss is true American independent cinema, gorgeously shot and sound-scaped to capture the feeling of hazy childhood memories sliding away. A provocative, mesmerizing trip that premiered at Sundance.

Mommy, I'm Scared

Reha Erdem Turkey, 2004

Reha Erdem’s Mommy, I’m Scared is a dark comedy unafraid to challenge social constructs, particularly patriarchal ones. Erdem ties together the threads of interconnected and intertwining narratives between friends, family members and neighbors in Istanbul to reflect on the nature of being human.

Psychohydrography

Peter Bo Rappmund United States, 2010

Described by Thom Andersen as an “electronic Rothko,” American landscape documentarian Peter Bo Rappmund has a unique process of “animating” thousands of digital images with neighbouring sounds, which captures the essence of America’s distinct geography.

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