THE FESTIVAL’S FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
Selection from among the most spectacular films recently premiered at the most remarkable international festivals to dazzle the local audience and guests of the city alike. These are the titles that have already been or potentially will be awarded with prestigious prizes and praised by experts and audiences.
It’s not just the drawings. Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture. Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds post-war Helsinki rampant with homophobic persecution, and men around him even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specialising in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhabitations. His work – made famous by his signature Tom of Finland – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.
It’s not the dog. A dark, starkly funny story of a single dog and the many different people she touches over her short lifetime. Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip. After leaving Dawn, Wiener-Dog encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter – all longing for something more. Solondz’s perversely dark comedy offers an appallingly honest look at the American experience, brought to life by its allstar cast.
“Can I hug you? Just hug you. Can I?” Oleg is a young gifted paramedic. His wife Katya works at the hospital emergency department. She loves Oleg, but is fed up with him caring more about patients than her. She tells him she wants a divorce. The new head of Oleg’s EMA substation is a cold-hearted manager who’s got new strict rules to implement. Oleg couldn’t care less about the rules – he’s got lives to save. His attitude gets him in trouble with the new boss. The crisis at work coincides with the personal life crisis. Caught between emergency calls, alcohol-fueled off-shifts, and search for a meaning in life, Oleg and Katya have to find the binding force that keeps them together.
“I want to make films that trigger a positive crisis within yourself, films able to make you face your essential self.” A. Jodorowsky Santiago de Chile, during the thrilling years of the 40s and the 50s. Alejandrito Jodorowsky, aged twenty, decides to become a poet against the will of his family. He is introduced in the inner circle of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde of the time and meets Enrique Lihn, Stella Diaz, Nicanor Parra and many other promising but anonymous young writers who will become the masters of Latin America’s modern literature. Totally immersed in this world of poetic experimentation, they live together as few have dared to live before: sensually, authentically, freely, madly.
His wife, his trumpet and it’s snowing in New York. On a snowy night in February 1972, celebrated jazz musician Lee Morgan was shot dead by his wife Helen during a gig at a club in New York City. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts those who knew the Morgans. This feature documentary by Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin is a love letter to two unique personalities and the music that brought them together. A film about love, jazz and America. There are different strands of newly filmed material in the documentary – the interviews, some memory visuals, and the 16mm material that illustrates Helen’s story.
A life more cinematic than life? Ismaël Vuillard makes films. He is in the middle of one about Ivan, an atypical diplomat inspired by his brother. Along with Bloom, his master and father-in-law, Ismaël still mourns the death of Carlotta, twenty years earlier. Yet he has started his life over again with Sylvia. Sylvia is his light. Then Carlotta returns from the dead. Sylvia runs away. Ismaël rejects Carlotta. Driven mad by these ordeals, he abandons the shoot for his family home in Roubaix. There, he lives as a recluse, besieged by his ghosts.
So much more than a period piece. The debut feature by accomplished theater director William Oldroyd relocates Nikolai Leskov’s play Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District to Victorian England. Florence Pugh is forceful and complex as Lady Katherine, who enters into an arranged marriage with the domineering, repressed Alexander (Paul Hilton), and must contend with her husband’s even more unpleasant mine-owner father (Christopher Fairbank). In this constrictive new milieu, she finds carnal release with one of her husband’s servants (Cosmo Jarvis), but there are profound consequences to her infidelity. Boasting deft performances by an outstanding ensemble cast, Lady Macbeth is a rousing parable about the price of freedom.
A manifesto of manifestos. Homage to the beauty of artists’ manifestos. Cate Blanchett in 13 distinct, must-see vignettes that incorporate timeless, influential and emotional manifestos from 20th century art movements. From anchorwoman to homeless man, from Pop Art to Dogma 95, a chameleonic Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms herself like never before. Rosefeldt weaves together history’s most impassioned artistic statements in this stunning and contemporary call to action. The film draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists and other artist groups, as well as the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers.
We’re in the same dream. A slaughterhouse in Budapest is the setting of a strangely beautiful love story. No sooner does Mária start work as the new quality controller than the whispers begin. At lunch, the young woman always chooses a table on her own in the sterile canteen where she sits in silence. Her boss Endre is also the quiet type. Tentatively, they begin to get to know each other. Recognising their spiritual kinship, they are amazed to discover that they even have the same dreams at night… This story of two people discovering the realm of emotions and physical desire tells about the fears and inhibitions associated with opening up to others, and about how exhilarating it can be when you finally do.
What drives people to kill? Today hunting in Africa is something even an average person can afford. And in a certain sense, for many hunters from the Western world, Russia or China, it has become normal to travel to Africa once or even several times a year, and to go hunting daily. As a rule that means shooting two animals a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Some determinedly searching for trophies, others to enjoy. Even if every prey comes at a price, they always find a way to legitimize their own actions. The director wanted to show both how hunting is organized – what‘s involved in it – and what those who hunt experience emotionally.
It seems as if the richness of Zweig’s conflicted identity is created right then and there – on the big screen. Each one of us, even the smallest and the most insignificant, has been shaken in the depths of his being by the almost unceasing volcanic eruptions of our European earth. I know of no pre-eminence that I can claim, in the midst of the multitude, except this: that as an Austrian, a Jew, an author, a humanist, and a pacifist, I have always stood at the exact point where these earthquakes were the most violent.“ Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday The years of exile in the life of Stefan Zweig, one of the most read German-language writers of his time, between Buenos Aires, New York and Brazil. As a Jewish intellectual, Zweig struggles to find the right stance towards the events in Nazi Germany, while searching for a home in the new world.
The eighties, summer, Italy, swimming pools and intellectuals. “I asked myself if I wanted to create a piece that was a sort of conversation between the storyline, the characters, and the medium, or if I just wanted the characters and the story to flow. And I said to myself: ‘Step back! Have faith in these people and this setting.’ So I chose to make the movie in the most lighthearted and simple way. I think it’s probably the movie I made with the most calmness, applying in a very specific and literal way my motto, that we should live with a sense of joie de vivre,” the director Luca Guadagnino tells Variety about the film based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman. It tells of rare and deep feelings, of coming of age, of romance and of romanticism, of prejudice and lack thereof.
An intriguing and romantic thriller about a young woman who has just left her religious family on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. Thelma (Eili Harboe) falls in love and at the same time discovers that she possesses frightening and inexplicable supernatural abilities. She is confronted with tragic secrets of her past and the terrifying implications of her powers.