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New Brazilian Cinema

SEDUÇÃO DA CARNE

Júlio Bressane Brazil, 2018

Júlio Bressane is a major figure of Brazil’s underground Cinema Marginal, a radical movement that developed in opposition to Cinema Novo. His recent work is an eloquent, eccentric riddle: a woman’s one-way conversation with a parrot that acts as a reflection between memory and prophecy.

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Paul Thomas Anderson United States, 2015

CORRESPONDENCES

Rita Azevedo Gomes Portugal, 2016

Affection and longing imbue the correspondence at the heart of Rita Azevedo Gomes’ poetic essay, conveyed through living tableaux in which the director’s friends read the letters, reflect, perform. Images, words, languages and sounds are woven together into an intimate, contemplative constellation.

SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY

Mary Dore United States, 2014

Mary Dore’s masterful documentary combines historical footage from the 60s with present-day interviews to form a thrilling portrait of second-wave feminism and its grassroots impact. By taking sight at the movement’s origins, the film provides a poignant roadmap for human rights organizing today.

FAGARA

Heiward Mak Hong Kong, 2019

Three sisters unite over hot pot in Heiward Mak’s colorful, deftly directed family dramedy starring the great Sammi Cheng. A divide of ages, cultures, and perspectives come to a head at their father’s restaurant, which provokes questions of legacy, family, entrepreneurship, and happiness. A gem.

SWEET BEAN

Naomi Kawase Japan, 2015

This week’s double bill focuses on the joys of cooking—and not just the sensuous pleasures of food, but its capacity to connect people. This feel-good drama by Cannes-favorite Naomi Kawase touchingly tells of heartfelt intergenerational bonds inspired by the sweet potential of dorayaki.

GIRAFFE

Anna Sofie Hartmann Germany, 2019

Next in our series of gems from the 2019 Locarno Film Festival is this multilayered, hybrid delicacy. Giraffe attempts to decipher the place of memory within globalization, interweaving the stories of real people affected by a construction project with a fictional ethnologist’s life and love.

ECHO

Rúnar Rúnarsson Iceland, 2019

In his confidently unconventional, jigsaw-like Echo, Rúnar Rúnarsson (Sparrows) pieces together a variegated portrait of contemporary Iceland: a spectrum of assorted approaches, scenes, styles, and genres that are continually surprising yet always fascinating. A highly enjoyable and humane film.

THE FEVER

Maya Da-Rin Brazil, 2019

While making documentaries in the Amazon, Maya Da-Rin developed, over six years, the idea for this film. Indigenous people’s lives and beliefs are conveyed rather than exposed in this moving, hypnotic work about a father and his soon-departing daughter. Winner of the Best Actor Award at Locarno!

A WOMAN'S REVENGE

Rita Azevedo Gomes Portugal, 2012

From auteur Rita Azevedo Gomes comes this ghostly, elegantly-shot adaptation of the 19th century classic Les diaboliques. Featuring a thrilling performance by Rita Durão, A Woman’s Revenge echoes both Manoel de Oliveira’s late-period movies and the bold filmmaking of Eugène Green.

LE WEEK-END

Roger Michell United Kingdom, 2013

A British comedy can still be funny outside of its country! The perfect example is Le Week-End, which elegantly and delightfully swerves between the feelings of hate and love, between lightness and reflection, as it follows a long-term couple rediscovering their attraction in the French capital.

OUR TIME

Carlos Reygadas Mexico, 2018

Carlos Reygadas’ cinema is one of meticulous observation and grandiose revelations. Casting himself and his real-life wife, the Mexican auteur boldly explores—with spellbinding visuals—the dark corners of relationships, dissecting patriarchy along the way. A domestic drama of majestic proportions.

THE PRESIDENT'S LAST BANG

Im Sang-soo South Korea, 2005

A dark comedy at heart, incisive filmmaker Im Sang-soo (The Housemaid) upends conspiracy thrillers in this political satire. Rather than investigating motives, the film ruffled feathers with its humor and profanity—resulting in censorship and libel suits at the time of its release.

AWAARA

Raj Kapoor India, 1951

Raj Kapoor’s watershed film belongs to the Golden Age of Hindi cinema, combining multiple genres and serving as a social critique of class in newly independent India. A milestone in introducing global audiences to Bollywood, the film also launched Kapoor’s illustrious Chaplinesque character.

AGAIN ONCE AGAIN

Romina Paula Argentina, 2019

What happens to a woman when daughterhood and motherhood overlap? Argentine actress and author Romina Paula directs and stars in this deliciously easy-going, autobiographical treatise on the uncertainties of life at 40. Existential feminism, rendered with disarming honesty, intelligence and charm.

ONCE THERE WAS BRASILIA

Adirley Queirós Brazil, 2017

Defined by its director as a work of “futurist ethnography,” this gem of Brazilian underground cinema is a dystopian sci-fi at once witty and visually thrilling. Powerfully commenting on modern-day racism, Adirley Queirós’ third film digs into the very heart of both past and present politics.

FRAGILE AS THE WORLD

Rita Azevedo Gomes Portugal, 2002

Next in our focus on Rita Azevedo Gomes is the Portuguese filmmaker’s serene sophomore feature: a strikingly stylized, fable-like story of impossible young love. Impeccably crafted, Fragile as the World is both rigorous and delicate, oscillating poetically between black and white and color.

OFFICE

Johnnie To China, 2015

Johnnie To’s glimmering, genre-bending masterpiece is a collaboration with the great Sylvia Chang, who co-stars and adapted her stage musical. A wicked intertwining of romance and capitalism, it features Chow Yun-fat and gorgeously artificial production design by Wong Kar-wai favorite William Chang.

VIVA RIVA!

Djo Tunda Wa Munga Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2010

This slick Congolese thriller from emerging director Djo Munga (State of Mind) takes us through the crime-ridden backstreets of DR Congo’s capital with electrifying pacing and a deliciously noir-soaked nihilism. Expect plenty of sex, violence, and some tightly wound performances: Viva Riva indeed!

HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA

Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov Germany, 2010

A rugged journey to the Siberian taiga, this absorbing documentary is a remarkable entry into Werner Herzog’s global explorations. Assembled by master editor Joe Bini and combined with Herzog’s marveling narration, Dmitry Vasyukov’s astonishing footage takes on a second life as ecstatic cinema.

FAKE IT SO REAL

Robert Greene United States, 2011

Closing our series on cinematographer Sean Price Williams is Robert Greene’s (Bisbee ’17) empathetic portrait of amateur wrestling. Capturing the paradoxical tenderness of the sport, the film subtly focuses on the mythmaking of wrestling and the escape it offers from the struggles of Southern life.

JOBE'Z WORLD

Michael M. Bilandic United States, 2018

Michael M. Bilandic’s chaotic comedy is a perfect descent into a bygone era of NYC weirdos. Set to Paul Grimstad’s lo-fi score, Sean Price Williams’ hazy images illuminate sublime performances from Jason Grisell and Theodore Bouloukos in this insomniac thrill ride.

LANDLESS

Camila Freitas Brazil, 2019

This visually striking film follows a group of agricultural activists fighting for protection of the land and dreaming up utopian solutions. Camila Freitas’s captivating study of land rights and the resilience of hope feels energetically supercharged by Brazil’s perilous politics of today.

THE PORTUGUESE WOMAN

Rita Azevedo Gomes Portugal, 2018

We’re thrilled to open our focus on Portuguese luminary Rita Azevedo Gomes and her sublime cinema of artifice with one of her latest marvels. This 16th century tale of a woman’s torpor, based on a Robert Musil novella, comes to life through theatrical splendour and striking, painterly compositions.

LA FLOR (PART 3)

Mariano Llinás Argentina, 2018

Upending the predictability of episodic structure, La Flor reinvents itself with formal and thematic shifts. Part 3 contains a metafiction, a remake of Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country, and a period piece, but make sure to stick around for the unmissable 38-minute long end credit sequence.

LA FLOR (PART 2)

Mariano Llinás Argentina, 2018

Moving through genres and filmmaking modes, one constant remains throughout La Flor: Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa, Pilar Gamboa, and Laura Paredes, the four remarkable actors at the heart of the film. Entertaining throughout, the second part is composed of one episode, a winding spy thriller.

LA FLOR (PART 1)

Mariano Llinás Argentina, 2018

Ten years in the making, this sublimely playful Argentinian epic is split in three parts of six episodes that each tell different stories with different genres—but the same actresses!—and introduced by director Mariano Llinás himself. A madly entertaining journey worth every minute of its runtime.

STAY AS YOU ARE

Alberto Lattuada Italy, 1978

A much-missed Ennio Morricone composed the score to this steamy Spanish-Italian sex film, starring a world-weary Marcello Mastrioanni and a young Nastassja Kinski at the height of her charms. A cult erotic drama about incest, age gaps, and absent father figures that’s very much of its time!

VILLA EMPAIN

Katharina Kastner Belgium, 2019

Some places are haunted not by ghosts, but by history. Katharina Kastner has found one: Baron Empain’s extraordinary 1934 mansion, a marvel of period design that has seen ruin and revival. With the elegance of Resnais and Raúl Ruiz, this beguiling poem of a film conjures the magic of its existence.

GOOD MANNERS

Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas Brazil, 2017

Springing from an urban legend, this ferociously inventive Brazilian “creature feature” combines sharp social observation and lesbian desire with unsettling fantasy elements. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Locarno, Good Manners is a visually exciting and boundary-pushing gem of genre cinema.

JUNUN

Paul Thomas Anderson United States, 2015

Featuring Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur, and amazing Indian artists, Paul Thomas Anderson’s one-of-a-kind documentary is an intimate, eclectic, multi-cultural, multi-musical journey. Prepare to be uplifted.