5 October (dir. By Martin Kollár)
The subtle and nuanced diary-essay 5 October by Slovakian cinematographer and director Martin Kollár follows his brother on a journey he embarks unto before a life-threatening medical operation. Kollár explores a big theme in highly a private project touching upon the topic as modern man´s place in the world and life.
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A Decent Woman (dir. By Lukas Valenta Rinner)
Section: Free Spirit
Austrian director Lukas Valenta Rinner working in Argentina debuted by dry, witty and deadpan Parabellum following a rag-tag group of ordinary Buenos Aires residents taking survivalist lessons and preparing for an eventual event of an apocalypse. Rinner sense for the absurd, his personal vision and style and an amusing socio-psychological portrait of middle-class earned him Special Jury Prize at Jeonju Film Festival and anticipation what will come next. His sophomore feature A Decent Woman has already started making buzz on the festival circuit as “nudist drama” following a housemaid working for a secluded community who finds liberation in the next-door secluded community, a nudist swinger club.
Album (dir.by Mehmet Can Mertoglu)
This Romanian New Wave-looking Turkish dramedy by newcomer Mehmet Can Mertoglu who considers himself more of a cineaste than filmmaker examines the taboo subject in the contemporary Turkish society, adoption. A childless couple stages pregnancy while awaiting the right bundle of joy to enter their household. Mertoglu opts for droll angle to approach the theme operating in the mode of subtle and absurd comedy while never undermining the severity of the subject. The question while he refers to himself as a cineaste answers Album`s unconventional formal approach, the director called a “stream-of-consciousness”
Dogs (dir. by Bogdan Mirica)
Bogdan Mirica contributed another film into the New Romanian Wave chest. Dogs, his first feature-length outing, returns to the recurring theme of morality in Romanian cinema although unlike his predecessors, Mirica relocates the conflict outside the borders of a town, into a countryside among vast and sparsely inhabited fields. Setting and theme remind of Szabolcs Hajdu´s eastern Mirage though Mirica´s moral eastern profits from invisible but pulsating tension and power struggle. City boy Roman inherited grandfather´s land. Finding little to no interest, he decides to sell it and skeedadle however grandfather´s skeleton jumps out of the closet. A parallel to young generation´s finding about parents and grandparents collaboration with former regime unobtrusively emerges as Roman finds out about pap´s career of a crime lord and the land´s essential role in smuggling activities. Mirica juices out the minimalistic set-up to the max leading to a cruel showdown tweaking the genre conventions to fit into his musing on good and evil. The bone-bare poetics and rawness wipe out any traces of saccharine retaining nothing but cold-blood cynicism. Evil always wears a human face.
Godless (dir.by Ralitza Petrova)
In tune with Mirica´s Dogs, Godless provides another concentrated shot of cold-blood Eastern European cynicism leaving no opportunity for catharsis or redemption. Debuting Bulgarian director Ralitza Petrova puts on display a moral decay in Eastern European dystopia. When care workers exploiting dementia-stricken elders, local authorities falling into the ever-widening net of corruption or burning stigmas from the previous regime are not enough, dilapidating blocks of concrete, ramshackle interiors and the general apathy pepper the viewing experience of the moral thriller reeking of hopelessness.
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Park (dir.by Sofia Exarchou)
Section: Competition 1-2
Kids of the Greek New Wave. Sofia Exarchou´s awaited debut feature Park reminds of Larry Clark films although similarly to Ralitza Petrova, Exarchou makes great use of space storytelling, genius loci, juxtaposing the decaying Olympic Village in Athens with a second-tier seaside resort. The filmmaker observes bodies of the young generation, the lost generation, colliding, partying, copulating in close shots when the language of physicality takes over the language itself. Although considerably less nihilistic than Godless, Exarchou delivers a harsh testimony on the generation robbed of future.
Radio Dreams (dir.by Babak Jalali)
A deadpan take on uprootedness and alienation. An ordinary day in a small radio station for Afghans and Iranians in san Francisco. First Afghanistan´s rock group Kabul Dreams is about to meet their idols, Metallica. The radio owner attempts to cash on the opportunity, an intention colliding with his way too idealist employee Mister Royani caught in the tug-of-war of art versus commercialism. Absurd humor including.
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The Darkness (dir.by Daniel Castro Zimbrón)
Section: International Competition
“The Earth has stopped spinning and days have stopped passing by. One toxic, dense fog covers the forest immersed in eternal twilight. Argel has spent his life, with his two siblings, locked inside the basement of their father's old cabin. Their father keeps telling them that a wild beast wanders in the forest’s depths.” The sophomore feature by Mexican filmmaker Daniel Castro Zimbrón, not lot has been revealed about the film starring Alejandro Jodorowsky´s son, Brontis. Since We Are the Flesh (Read the review ) was such a riot, why don´t give this one a shot?
Playground (dir.by Bartosz M.Kowalski)
Section: 1-2 Competition
A debut feature by Polish director Bartosz M. Kowalski who steps into rather a Hanekenian territory examining the nature behind crimes committed by children and their pathology. An awfully young children. At the last day of school, 12-year old Gabrysia decides to confess a love for her classmate who shows up with his best buddy. An intimate meeting goes awry ending into Gabrysia´s humiliation while the two boys continue into committing a crime in an unexpected turn of events. Based on true events that rattle Poland, Kowalski´s Playground promises a disturbing viewing experience.