A riveting, completely original anti-biopic from one of our favorite filmmaker duos, whose revisionist crime film, Helen is an ingenious gem. Molloy & Lawlor’s first foray into documentary explores identity and space while playfully dissecting the very nature of cinematic language. And it’s funny!
This is the feature debut of Bhutanese director Dechen Roder, and all signs point her being a talent to follow. Enriching the relationship between a detective and a femme fatale, her film upends noir expectations, all the while being closely rooted in local culture and vibrantly photographed. A gem.
Let this intriguing title lure you into the mysterious world of this modern, feminist take on the vampire horror film set in Iran! Shot in crisp B&W cinematography, this is an invigorating reappropriation of a genre usually known for undermining women as the ultimate victims. No more, time’s up!
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.
A story about greed, politics and the land grab of the century, ZIPPER chronicles the battle over an American cultural icon. Small-time ride operator, Eddie Miranda, proudly operates a carnival contraption called the Zipper in the heart of Coney Island’s gritty amusement district.
Through the childhood memories of Agustín Goiburú’s children, Paz Encina traces the life in exile and disappearance of a dissident of Paraguay’s dictatorship. Absence imbues the poetic images of this evocative documentary, conveying the impact of the violent, political past on the personal present.
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.
Ten years after the sublime Sleepwalk, Driver followed it with this oneiric, jazz-infused ghost story. Set in a small port town and haunted by a host phantoms (one played by the always brilliant Marianne Faithfull!), When Pigs Fly is a completely beguiling invocation of the unresolved past.
Dog Lady finds in the outstanding performance of Verónica Llinás (also co-director) an enigmatic, quietly potent screen presence able to challenge the pillars of our society without need of words. One of El Pampero collective’s most recent triumphs.
This Golden Bear winning short film is a crime-drama-meets-indie-ghost-story(!), with its own irresistibly peculiar way of looking at the world. Set in a suffocating suburban setting, its story might unravel like a video game, yet its emotions are deeply anchored to reality.
With her usual self-deprecatory playfulness, Sophie Letourneur crafted this delightful gem starring Louis Garrel. Shot during the Locarno Film Festival, this comedy full of refreshing candor and wit follows three unashamed women more interested in potential flings than high-brow flicks.
Set in an emblematic holidaymakers’ destination since the early XX century, Ostende is both a delightful observational comedy and a minimalistic detective story of Hitchcockian undertones. Laura Citarella’s debut, also produced by the New Argentine Cinema’s Mariano Llinás.
Billed as the most controversial Berlinale Golden Bear in history, Adina Pintilie’s fearless investigation of intimacy and sexuality persuasively invites the spectator to participate in its exploratory narrative. A treatise on bodies and our perception of the Other that won’t leave you indifferent.
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.
As in all great journeys, the characters of Ena Sendijarević’s award-winning debut won’t be the same after this adventure. Vibrantly nodding to Jarmusch’s beloved Stranger Than Paradise, this stylized, offbeat road movie glows with pastel-colored melancholy, Balkan humor and teen self-discovery.
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.
Curses and endless night engulf this hypnotic film and the drifting woman at its center. One of the great New York filmmakers of the “No Wave” generation, the feature debut by Sara Driver is a jagged maze of puzzles with an irresistible dreamlike flow. Featuring cinematography by Jim Jarmusch!
A true auteur on the U.S. indie scene, Josephine Decker’s second feature (which was funded partly on Kickstarter!) unfolds like an atmospheric and erotic dream. Decker reworks the psychodrama of Bergman and the impressionism of Malick into an utterly unique, intensely primal experiment.
This Soviet rarity, Esfir Shub’s ingenious compilation epic on the Russian Revolution, is an ecstatic grab bag: archival collage as national history, as political and social critique, as exposé, as celebration. Footage not to be found elsewhere, and arranged to make a point—with vigor!
Retracing her ancestry back to Japan’s southern island of Amami Ōshima, Naomi Kawase touchingly set this meditation of youth in her family’s originating community. Calling it her own masterpiece, Kawase envelops one in a rare distillation of nature and existence painted upon a canvas of pure calm.
A landmark work in experimental surrealist animation, Suzan Pitt’s short has more ideas than even some features! Brilliantly mixing hand-drawn animation with stop-motion, Asparagus is resplendent with evocative ideas on femininity, interiority, and the body. A truly singular piece of cinema.
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.
From one of the luminaries of the contemporary arthouse, Claire Denis, whose elliptical, hypnotic films are a rich and unique sensory experience. This, Denis’ own version of a vampire tale, may be her darkest vision, unforgettably scored by the Tindersticks and starring Vincent Gallo.
Starring Bergman regulars Bibi and Harriet Andersson (no relation), Mai Zetterling’s The Girls is a tragicomedy, at once tender and ironic, about how much (or how little) women’s roles have changed. A union of Swedish icons and a key work of 60s feminist cinema, screened all too rarely.
Based on a Brechtian script by Kathy Acker and starring New York underground legends like Nan Goldin and Cookie Mueller, Bette Gordon’s trailblazing New York indie powerfully inverts the gendered conventions of the erotic thriller, foregrounding women’s sexual fantasies in grimy, downtown New York.
Ray and Gilbert’s fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. The man’s peculiar physical affliction, an eye that never closes even when he sleeps, makes it impossible for the two friends to plot an escape.
The winner of the Grand Prix and Best Actress prizes at Berlin, Everyone Else confirms German director Maren Ade as a great new talent. Ade’s film is deeply immersed in its characters, exploring the nuances of relationships and situations with incredible, rich insight.
Set in the colonialist homes of ‘30s India, renowned writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras cast Delphine Seyrig as a diplomat’s wife haunted by imperialist guilt and the anguishing emptiness of opulence. Notably, the film eschews sync sound, advancing its narrative through various off-screen voices.
Before her Cannes Competition debut Sibyl, the young French filmmaker Justine Triet (In Bed With Victoria) transitioned from documentary filmmaking with this acclaimed, prizewinning short fiction film: an all-night urban comedy-drama, full of spirit and starring the great Laetitia Dosch.
Having since gone on to compete at Cannes and Tallinn, it was with Artificial Paradises that young Mexican filmmaker Yulene Olaizola announced her substantial talent. A prizewinner at Tribeca, this is a sincere narrative debut that subverts the typical addiction tale.