Frederick Wiseman is 80-years old and still making fantastic documentaries. It has been 43 years since his first documentary Titicut Follies. And Boxing Gym is a new masterpiece from this legendary filmmaker. The film takes place in Lord’s Gym in Austin, Texas. The boxing gym was founded sixteen years ago by Richard Lord, a former professional boxer. People of all ages, ethnicities and social classes train at the gym. Lord’s Gym is a real American melting pot. Boxing Gym skips the “talking-heads” approach, choosing to observe straight from the gym. Due to its observational approach, the film manages to capture the mood and the feel of the gym in a way few other documentaries achieve. Boxing Gym lets the audience think and feel for themselves and lets the pictures tell the stories.
Frederick Wiseman (b. 1930) has been making documentaries for over forty years. He made his debut with the documentary Titicut Follies in 1967 and since then has made 39 different documentaries and short films, such as Domestic Violence (OIFF 2001) and La Danse – The Paris Opera Ballet (OIFF 2009).
The story follows inveterate loner Jean-François. He lives alone in a village in Quebec with his 12-year-old daughter Julyvonne (the actor’s real-life daughter, Philomène Bilodeau). Julyvonne is not allowed to attend school with the other children of the village. In between his various odd jobs, Jean-François devotes all his energy to his overprotected daughter, until some unexpected events jeopardize the fragile balance that defines their relationship. At times wickedly funny, the film is a beautiful, contemplative story about two people trapped in a desolate stasis. The film won the award for best director at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival, where Emmanuel Bilodeau also won the prize for best male actor.
Denis Côté (b. 1974) won the Golden Leopard in 2005 at the Locarno International Film Festival for his film Drifting States. Three years later, in 2008, he won the Silver Leopard, this time for his film All That She Wants. Côté has been a prominent figure in the Quebec indie and low budget film scene for years.
Freakonomics is the highly anticipated film version of the phenomenally bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Like the book, the film examines human behavior with provocative and sometimes hilarious case studies, bringing together a dream team of filmmakers responsible for some of the most acclaimed and entertaining documentaries in recent years. Freakonomics is economic detective work, social theory and investigative journalism all at their most compelling, and is deeply unorthodox in its approach.
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Gravy (Jesus Camp, 2006), Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (OIFF 2005), Taxi to the Dark Side (OIFF 2007), Seth Gordon (King of Kong, 2007), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight, 2005), and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, 2004).
The American indie movie’s enfant terrible is back! Kaboom is a wild, engaging movie in the vein of the 90s trilogy Totally F***ed Up, Doom Generation and Nowhere. Southern California. Art student Smith is casting long looks after his buff surfer roommate Thor. Meanwhile, his friend Stella begins an intriguing relationship with the mysterious Lorelei. A party sees Smith pairing up with the free-spirited London. Happiness and the liberal taking of hallucinogenic drugs ensue, and Smith’s grip on reality begins to slip. Has he witnessed a gory murder, or was it all just a chemically induced Technicolor dream? Dream or reality – his and his friends’ lives are about to change – and seemingly also the fate of the planet as well.
Gregg Araki’s (b. 1959) debuted directorially with Three Bewildered People in the Night (1987), which he followed up with Doom Generation (OIFF 1995), Nowhere (OIFF 1997), Mysterious Skin (OIFF 2004), and Smiley Face (OIFF 2007), among others.
Mikhael Hers’ first feature film takes us to August in a Paris suburb. Seven friends are gathered to spend a week in the city where they grew up. The city is empty and the days pass by under a deep blue sky. Each of them has a reason to be there: some still live there, some come back to see their family, some are searching their childhood, some want to escape boredom or are searching for love. During the carefree life of the holidays, the serious parts of reality also become apparent. They are all becoming aware of the fact that the moments they are sharing may be the last ones. Beautiful and evocative.
French filmmaker Mikhael Hers (b. 1975) has produced, written and directed several shorter films, many of which has been awarded, including Montparnasse (OIFF 2009). Memory Lane, released this year, is his first full length feature film.
Two angry young men explode in a spree of violence and vandalism in this drama from director Omori Tatsushi. Kenta and Jun grew up together in an orphanage and regard one another as family. They have been knocked around all their lives and have no real direction in life. Kenta has a brother who is serving time in prison for sexually abusing children. One day he decides to bust him out of jail. They hit the road for Hokkaido. Along the way they pick up Kayo (fantastic Ando Sakura, Love Exposure), a young woman who is easily intimidated. They leave a trail of destruction in their wake as they advance towards the prison, taking turns manhandling their new accomplice along the way.
Tatsushi Ômori (b. 1970). He worked as assistant director for Sakamoto Junji and Izutu Kazuyuki before working for producer/director Arato Genjiro on Akame 48 Waterfalls (2003). In 2005, he made his directorial debut with The Whispering of the Gods (OIFF 2006).
This year’s Mexican submission for the Academy Award is a heartbreaking drama with prize-winning actor Javier Bardem. Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children in the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. Uxbal, a conflicted man and devoted single dad, attempts to reconcile with a past love and secure a future for his children as his own death draws near. Working as a shady businessman, he helps Chinese and African immigrants find illegal jobs. His previous line of work as a drug dealer still haunts him and leaves him guilt-ridden. To further complicate matters, his bipolar and mostly absent wife works as a prostitute. Uxbal’s story brings a more linear narrative than Iñárritu’s previous films, though the director’s critique of modern society is no less acute. His partnership with cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto ensures that the visual styling is strong.
Alejandro González Iñárritu (b. 1963) is the first Mexican to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. His previous feature films Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003) and Babel (2006) have gained critical acclaim worldwide.
After Love Exposure (2008), Sion Sono is by far the leading cult hero in new Japanese film. He maintains his charm and wit, but where love dominated the director’s heart in Love Exposure, desperation is the trait that dominates Cold Fish, in which one of Japan’s most bloody crimes is depicted. Shamato manages a tropical fish store. His second wife does not get along with her stepdaughter Mitsuko. One day, caught shoplifting in a supermarket, Mitsuko is saved by Mr. Murata, a man who is in the same business as her father and who offers her a job. This is the beginning of a journey into horror - but the film is also a well-made satirical comedy on the drive for success in Japan.
Sion Sono was born in Toyokawa City, Japan. Selected filmography: The Room (1994), Suicide Club (2001), Love Exposure (2008).
Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as two unlikely companions who are thrown together on a road trip that turns out to be as life-changing as it is outrageous. Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife’s due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side, his best intentions go completely awry when Peter suddenly is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) – on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars and numerous friendships, as well as Peter’s nerves.
Todd Phillips (b. 1970) is from Brooklyn, New York. Due Date is his 11th film. Amongst his prior films are Road Trip (2000), Old School (2003), Starsky & Hutch (2004) and Hangover (2009). He is currently working on The Hangover Part 2 (2011).
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OIFF is showing a special screening of this Polish-Norwegian film to mark the festival’s 20th anniversary. Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski reaffirms his position as one of Europe’s best filmmakers. Essential Killing received the Special Jury Prize in Venice, and Vincent Gallo won an award for best actor, for his excellent interpretation of a very physically demanding role. It was the first time since 1986 that a Norwegian film entered the main competition in Venice. The film is very current, and brings to mind the war in Afghanistan and other recent wars. It starts in a desert-like landscape, soldiers are hunting a suspected terrorist (Vincent Gallo), who gets captured, interrogated and tortured. An accident during his transport to an unnamed, secret European prison, gives him an opportunity to escape. His flight, with helicopters, soldiers and dogs on his heels, and his desperate fight to survive in a icy cold winter landscape without food or proper clothing, can also be seen as a metaphor for the fight for personal freedom. Large parts of the snow covered winter scenes were filmed on Enebakk outside Oslo. The Norwegian actors Nicolai Cleve Broch and Stig Frode Henriksen have parts in the movie, which is one of the year’s best.
Jerzy Skolimowski (b. 1938) is a Polish director, scriptwriter, and actor. His filmography includes The Departure (1967), Moonlighting (1982) and Four Nights With Anna (2008).
A suspense-filled glimpse into the dark corridors of political power, Fair Game is an action-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson (Naomi Watts), whose career was destroyed and marriage strained to its limits when her covert identity was exposed by a politically motivated press leak. As a covert officer in the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division, Valerie’s work involved identifying the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the United States declared war. Her husband, diplomat Ambassador Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) was hired by the CIA for a fact-finding mission as part of into the investigation. When the Bush administration ignored his findings and used them to support the call to war, Joe contradicted the White House in The New York Times, igniting a firestorm of controversy.
Doug Liman (b. 1965) is an American film director and producer best known for The Bourne Identity (2002), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and Jumper (2008). Fair Game competed for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
This year’s winner of the prestigious Un Certain Regard-section in Cannes. Hong Sang-soo follows up Like You Know It All (OIFF, 2009) with a keen eye for everyday incidents and encounters, told with humour, warmth and charm. Filmmaker Cho Moon-kyung plans to leave Seoul for Canada. Just days before his departure, he meets a good friend for drinks. Soon they discover that they both have visited a small mountain town recently. Taking turns, they tell their story of the visit under the condition that they only stick to the pleasant memories, never realizing that they were in the same place, at the same time and with the same people. Still their paths never cross.
South-Korean Hong Sang-soo’s (b. 1960) directorial debut The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996) won several international awards, and he has been a regular at international film festivals since. Selected filmography: The Power of Kangwon Province (1998), Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (2000), Tale of Cinema (2005), Woman on the Beach (2006), and Night and Day (2008).
Last Night is a romantic drama that revolves around a happily married couple, played by Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington, who are each tempted to stray, as the husband travels on a business trip with a desirable colleague (Eva Mendes) while the wife encounters her past love (Guillaume Canet) at home. Newcomer Massy Tadjedin directs. Last Night was the closing night film at the Toronto Film Festival.
Massy Tadjedin was born in Tehran, Iran and studied English Literature at Harvard University. Her writing credits include Leo (2002) and the screenplay for The Jacket (2005). Last Night is her first feature film and her directorial debut.
Based on the 1958 “ballet in sneakers” choreography of Jerome Robbins and created by dancers from the New York City Ballet, NY Export: Opus Jazz has no dialogue and no discernible story, and yet it powerfully conveys the mood of what it must feel like to be young and beautiful and living in New York City. Using real New York locations and shooting in widescreen 35 mm, directors Lipes and Joost always provide visually interesting spaces for their dancers to move in, or even just to pose in. The dancers, dressed in street wear, are all stunning. Once they start to move, the film comes to life and the camera constantly prowls around and above them, dazzling us with remarkable views. The 46-minute film of the ballet performance itself is followed by a 15-minute documentary by Matt Wolf and Anna Farrell, who recount the history and significance of the original piece by Robbins.
Jody Lee Lipes (b. 1982) directed the documentary Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be the Same (OIFF 2009). He is also the DP on Tiny Furniture, also showing at this year’s festival. Henry Joost co-directed Catfish (2010), which also is screened at OIFF 2010.
Eight French Christian monks lead a quiet existence in an old monastery in the remote Algerian mountains. The majority of their lives are spent praying and singing trying to get closer to God. But the monks also serve a vital function to the locals, for instance in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and general science. The film is based on a true story and takes place in the mid 90s. Due to threats from local extremists, Algerian authorities advise the monks to return to France. After careful deliberation, the monks decide to stay, out of respect for their vocation and their function in the community. Of Gods and Men is a quiet but intense story about keeping faith with the good even when evil seems to have the upper hand.
Xavier Beauvois (b. 1967) is both a director and actor. The Frenchman has previously won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival for Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die (1995). He has also made The Young Lieutenant (2005) and Villa Amalia (2009).
How well do you really know the people you regard as your friends? What do you really know about what is hidden behind the outer façade? How far are you willing to go to retain the harmony of the group? A stylish drama about four young people sharing an apartment: a driven yuppie, a naive college kid, an aspiring actress, and a heavy-drinking illustrator. Like us, they all share just a tiny fraction of their inner self with the outer world, so when a mysterious fifth person suddenly appears in the apartment, nobody thinks to ask who he is or why he is there. But gradually, as reports of brutal attacks on women in the neighbourhood begin to crop up, suspicions and paranoia find fertile soil, and begin to grow.
Isao Yukisada was born in 1968 in Kumamoto, Japan, and laid the foundation for his film career as assistant director to Shunji Iwai. His directorial debut came in 1998 with Open House. Selected filmography: Sunflower (2000), Go (OIFF 2002), A Day on the Planet (2004), Year One in the North (2005), and Into the Faraway Sky (2007).
Evelyn is in love with Albert, who is in love with Arthur, who in turn loves the girl who is being a drama queen and who is in love with the man driving a cabriolet. Then there is the Night who is in love only with herself, and Death who only loves once. It would take a very deep breath to manage to kiss everyone and a lot more time not to offend anyone.
Louis Garrel (b. 1984) is a French actor. He made his breakthrough as an actor in The Dreamers (OIFF 2003), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. He regularly appears in films by French director Christophe Honoré, including My Mother (2004), In Paris (2006), Les Chansons d’amour (2007), and La belle personne (2008).
The Frenchman Quentin Dupiex (better known as the musician Mr. Oizo) went to California to make his second movie. The result was Rubber, a movie about a murderous car tire with psychotelepathic abilities that comes alive and goes on a killing spree. The film has an outrageous, bizarre playfulness and may roll into movie history as a cult classic. Don’t think a car tire can be dangerous and scary? Wait and see.
Quentin Dupieux is originally a filmmaker, but started composing music for his films. His breakthrough came in 1999 with the smash hit “Flat Beat”, which was used by Levi’s in a commercial. Rubber is his second feature after Steak (2007).
This is the sequel to Catherine Breillat’s last film Blue Beard, which also takes place in writer Charles Perrault’s fairy tale world. The movie has an elaborate and ornate visual style, as if it is crafted from a beautifully illustrated book of fairy tales. Behind this seemingly innocent wrapping is a rather controversial story that explores the twilight zone between fairy tales, dreams, and sexual fantasies.
Catherine Breillat (b. 1948) is a Paris-based filmmaker and writer. She became famous for her distinctively personal films on sexuality, gender issues and sibling rivalry. Selected filmography: Romance (1999), which made headlines with its graphic sex scenes, Fat Girl (2001), Sex is Comedy (OIFF 2002) and Blue Beard (2009).
Isaac (de Oliveira’s grandson, Ricardo Trepa) is a young photographer who falls in love with the recently deceased Angelica (Pilar López de Ayala). He has been summoned by her family in the middle of the night to take her final photograph. When he looks at her through his viewfinder, she becomes animated, moving and smiling at him. This continues to the degree that Isaac withdraws from the real world, and is fascinated with things that are considered outdated. Returning to the Douro River where he made his first film at the end of the silent era, de Oliveira tells a tale of an impossible love and metaphysical passion that defies reason. The oldest working filmmaker in the world – de Oliveira will be 102 years old on December 11 – continues to produce engaging and original cinema.
Manoel de Oliveira (b. 1908) has directed no less than 56 movies during his long life, and has since 2001 been the longest active director in the world. OIFF has previously screened Journey to the Beginning of the World (OIFF 1997) and Porto of My Childhood (OIFF 2001).
Just like Julie Bertuccelli’s wonderful feature debut Since Otar Left, The Tree centers around women who are forced into coping with both loss and a rocky mother-daughter relationship. On a barren plain stands a lone, majestic tree. By the tree stands a house. And in that house lives Dawn with her husband and four children. When her husband suddenly dies, Dawn shuts down emotionally and her children not only lose their dad, but in many respects also their mother. Dawn’s plucky daughter Simone decides to stay happy instead of wallowing in grief, and finds her salvation in the tree, which soon becomes a place from where she can talk to her father. And the tree responds. When her mother starts a relationship with another man, nature takes over the house. The Tree is the beautiful and mysterious story of a family in mourning, graced by the wonderful performances of Charlotte Gainsbourg and the rapidly rising star Morgana Davies.
Julie Bertucelli (b. 1968) has worked as Assistant Director for directors such as Otar Iosseliani, Krystof Kieslowski, and Bertrand Tavernier. Her first feature film, Since Otar Left (2003), won the Grand Jury Prize of the Critic’s Week at Cannes Film Festival. The Tree is her second feature film.
There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston each year. And most of the robbers live in the 2.5 square kilometres neighbourhood of Charlestown. One of them is Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), but he is different than his colleagues. Doug had the chance for success, to not follow in the criminal footsteps of his father. Instead, he became the leader of a gang of brutal bank robbers that take pride in stealing what they want and disappearing without a trace. He has wanted to retire for a while, but getting out has proved to be difficult. This is because his best friend Jem (Jeremy Renner, Oscar-nominated for The Hurt Locker (OIFF 2008)) is a loose canon that frequently causes trouble, and because he has fallen in love with the hostage (Rebecca Hall) from his last robbery. Mad Men-star Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) plays the roll as FBI-agent Adam Frawley. Ben Affleck has also written the screenplay, which is based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan.
Ben Affleck (b. 1972) is better known as an actor (Dogma, Pearl Harbor and many others), although he has a diverse career. Together with his friend Matt Damon, he wrote Good Will Hunting, for which they won an Academy Award. He has previously directed and written the screenplay for Gone Baby Gone (OIFF 2007).
Bor, Serbia, once the largest copper mine in the country, is now nothing but the biggest hole in Europe. Toda and Stefan are best friends and skaters who together spend their first summer as high school graduates together. Stefan is going to Belgrade to the university in the fall. Toda says he wouldn’t apply to university even if he had the money. They spend time shooting “Jackass”-like videos they call Crap and hanging out with Dunja, who is back from France for the holidays, and get into a quiet battle for her attention. Awarded best film at Sarajevo Film Festival. The director, Nikola Lezaic, will be present at all three screenings.
Nikola Lezaic (b. 1981, Bor, Serbia) studied film directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. He has directed several awarded short fiction and documentary films. Tilva Ros is his feature film debut.
The easy, playful romance enjoyed by Paul and Raluca seems idyllic, but it faces one major obstacle: Paul is married. A chance encounter between Paul’s wife and Raluca ignites suspicions and recriminations, and the incendiary secret is reluctantly drawn into the spotlight. Unfolding in exquisitely observed detail, Tuesday, After Christmas continues the tradition of taut, subtle drama that has become the hallmark of contemporary Romanian cinema.
Tuesday, After Christmas is the Rumanian director’s fourth film. He has already won critical acclaim for his previous efforts, and is seen as an important part of the Rumanian new wave. Filmography: Furia (2002), The Paper Will Be Blue (2006), and Boogie (2008).
A middle-aged man dies in the street, leaving his widow and three children destitute. The devastated family is confronted not only with his loss but with a terrible challenge – how to survive. For they are cannibals. They have always existed on a diet of human flesh consumed in bloody ritual ceremonies… and the victims have always been provided by the father. Who will do the hunting now that he is gone? Who will lead them? How will they sate their horrific hunger? The task falls to the eldest son, Alfredo, a teenage misfit who seems far from ready to accept the challenge. But without human meat the family will die. Shocking, bloody and deeply moving, We Are What We Are is a remarkable reinvention of the horror genre – a visceral and powerfully emotional portrait of a family bound by a terrible secret and driven by their monstrous appetite.
Jorge Michel Grau (b. 1973) attended Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, Mexico’s national film school. We Are What We Are is his first feature film.
What I Love the Most charts a series of conversations between two friends hanging out together during a summer holiday. The two women discuss friends in Buenos Aires, gossip about what is happening in the town and make plans for the days ahead. As one of the women finds herself drawn to a local boy, the other struggles to come to terms with the repercussions of a terrible loss. The relationship between them is tested by elements and emotions neither can entirely control. Pilar Gamboa and María Villar offer outstanding performances as the two friends drift apart without entirely grasping the complexity of the situation they find themselves in. A fixed camera observes the shifting dynamics between the two women and the locals they come into contact with. The director is attending this year’s festival.
Delfina Castagnino (b. 1981) is considered one of the most exiting directors in new Argentinean cinema. What I Love the Most is her first feature film.
Legendary choreographer Pina Bausch makes her final filmed appearance in this engrossing documentary, which tracks a group of German teens over the course of a year as they learn the moves of Bausch’s daunting dance, Kontakthof. With the venerated instructor as their guide, the students develop the intense physical skills required and also discuss the emotional strides they have made, both in the studio and in daily life. OIFF 2010 also screens another other documentary about the choreographer and her company Tanztheater Wuppertal, entitled Pina Bausch.
Anne Linsel is an art and cultural journalist and publicist with a diverse background from art, TV and radio. Co-director and director of photography Rainer Hoffmann has done both stills, TV and commercials. This is their first documentary together.
As the world remembers John Lennon on what would have been his 70th birthday and the 30th anniversary of his death, the film LENNONYC takes an intimate look at the time Lennon, Yoko Ono and their son, Sean, spent living in New York City during the 1970s. Following the breakup of the Beatles, Lennon and Ono moved to New York City in 1971, where Lennon sought to focus on his family and private life. During that time he created some of the most acclaimed songs and albums of his career. As much as New York made an impact on Lennon and Ono by offering them an oasis of personal and creative freedom, so too did they shape the city. Includes lots of new material. OIFF has the Nordic premiere of this movie, the day after its premiere in USA.
Michael Epstein is the director and producer of several acclaimed documentary films: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996), Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (OIFF 1999), and None Without Sin (OIFF 2003).
Martin Scorsese has, in collaboration with film critic Kent Jones, directed Letter to Elia, an intensely personal portrait of filmmaker Elia Kazan. Seeing On the Waterfront and East of Eden as a young man growing up in Little Italy, was a life-changing experience for Scorsese. The realization that there was an artist behind the camera, someone “who knew me, maybe better than I knew myself.” In Letter to Elia he takes us on an impassioned tour of Kazan’s life and career, from the theatre stage to Hollywood’s A-list, to the blacklist of the fifties and beyond. And in the end this is as much a documentary about Scorsese’s own career as it is about Kazan’s.
Martin Scorsese was born and raised in New York City, and made his first feature Who’s Knocking at My Door (1967) following his graduation from NYU Film School in 1966. Kent Jones is an internationally recognized critic and filmmaker. He and Scorsese have collaborated on several documentaries, including one on Italian Cinema, My Voyage to Italy (1999). He is the Director of The World Cinema Foundation.
“I’m living proof that things go wrong in America and I’m also living proof that things can go right,” says Merle Haggard. Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself, a candid documentary about the country music legend, who is often called “the poet of the common man,” tells it like it is. The film features interviews friends and fellow musicians including Robert Duvall, John Fogerty, Billy Gibbons, Kris Kristofferson, Keith Richards, Tanya Tucker, Don Was, and Dwight Yoakam, among others. The hardscrabble people with whom he was raised, his juvenile delinquency and incarcerations, still form his creativity and perspective. Filmmaker Gandulf Hennig followed Haggard with his camera for the past three years – at home on the ranch and on his concert tours.
Gandulf Hennig has made Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel (OIFF 2004). Hennig is a Berlin-based filmmaker and musician who now lives in Los Angeles. Guest OIFF 2010, present at all screenings.
Bear witness to German artist Anselm Kiefer’s alchemical creative processes in the personal universe he has built at his studio estate in the South of France. In 1993 Kiefer left Germany for La Ribaute, a derelict silk factory where he began constructing a series of elaborate installations. Comprising 48 buildings, it is a labyrinth of tunnels, bridges, lakes and towers. Traversing this landscape, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow offers an unusual portrait of one of today’s most significant artists. The multi-layered narrative captures both the dramatic resonance of Kiefer’s art, and the intimate process of creation. The raw materials he employs in his paintings and sculptures – lead, concrete, ash, acid, earth, glass and gold, enter into a relationship where creation and destruction are interdependent. In this peculiar landscape of caves, woods and concrete towers assembled like card houses, we are given privileged access to Kiefer’s last days at La Ribaute prior to his move to Paris, where he now lives and works.
Sophie Fiennes (b. 1967) has made Hoover Street Revival (2003), The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006) and VSPRS Show and Tell (2007).
The choreographer Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater Wuppertal are known the world over. Wherever she went, she and her company were triumphantly received. But it was not always so. Because Pina Bausch, who took up the post of ballet director in Wuppertal in 1972, developed, together with her dancers, a new, unusual and original body language, a far cry from classical ballet. In the early days the audience (and most critics) were irritated and confused. Tumultuous scenes in the audience were not unusual. In Anne Linsel’s film Pina Bausch speaks extensively about the beginnings of the Tanztheater and the inescapable path she felt she had to follow, despite all the difficulties and injuries. Also, some of her dancers, the set designer Peter Pabst and the costume designer Marion Cito, all of whom have been with Pina Bausch for decades, talk about working with her. Pina Bausch died 30 June 2009.
Anne Linsel is an art and cultural journalist and publicist with a diverse background from art, TV and radio. Co-director of Dancing Dreams (OIFF 2010)
A Mexican hit man speaks: he has killed hundreds of people, is an expert in torture and kidnapping, and for many years was a commander of the state police in Chihuahua. He even received some training from the FBI. He has lived in Juárez and has moved freely throughout Mexico and the US. At the moment there is a contract on his life, and he lives as a fugitive, though he is still free and has never been charged with any crime. The film takes place in a motel room by the US/Mexico border. The sicario is highly intelligent, very articulate and all too believable. The film stems from Charles Bowden’s essay The Sicario published in Harper’s Magazine in 2009.
Gianfranco Rosi graduated from New York University Film School. He has produced, directed and photographed several documentaries. Below Sea Level (2008), which he also photographed and produced, premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won several awards.
In the remote Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, just 1000 kilometers from the North Pole, politicians from around the world came to celebrate the opening of the world’s first global seed bank. After years of difficult negotiations and searching for the right spot, this was deemed to be the safest place on earth. Eventually, 4,5 million seed samples will be stored in this vault and ensure the continued existence of biodiversity. But is the dream of global food security achievable? By 2050 temperatures worldwide are expected to rise by at least two degrees. This will result in a thirty percent drop in food crop production. By this time, the global food demand will have doubled. How will we feed the world? In Seed Warriors we hear from the scientists behind this ambitious project and the reality of the fight against hunger. OIFF is also screening this film at The Globalization Conference (Oslo Kongressenter, Youngstorget) on 19 November.
Mirjam von Arx (b. 1966, Zürich, Switzerland), has worked as a journalist and a documentarian for several years. She has made Shooting Stars (1997), abXang (2003) and Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse (2007), among other films. This is her first co-production with Katharina Von Flotow.
Star Trek meets Buena Vista Social Club in this psychedelic western musical as Welsh pop legend Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) takes us on a pan-continental road trip in search of his long lost Patagonian uncle, the poncho-clad guitarist René Griffiths. In 1880, following a controversial horse race that led to an unresolved death, Gruff Rhys’ family split as Dafydd Jones took his young family to join the burgeoning Welsh community in Patagonia, South America. There was to be no contact between the families for almost a century when in 1974 René Griffiths arrived in Wales with his Celtica Latina, Latin-infused Welsh love songs, becoming an overnight sensation. Director Dylan Goch follows Gruff Rhys on a tour that takes in the theatres, nightclubs and deserted teahouses of Wales, Brazil and the Argentine Andes as he discovers what became of his family, the Welsh Diaspora and its musical legacy.
A long-time collaborator of Super Furry Animals, Dylan Goch made his directorial debut with the documentary American Sasquatch (2004), in which he followed the band for three years on tour in the Americas.
The directors Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara spent ten years making this documentary, resulting in an intimate portrait of singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt and his band The Magnetic Fields. The movie explores Merritt’s songwriting and recording process as well as his personal and professional relationship to his fellow band member and manager Claudia Gonson. Strange Powers is a serious and rare look at an artist who has stayed out of the limelight while having one of the most engaging and confounding bodies of work in the contemporary American songbook. The director Kerthy Fix is one of this year’s festival guests and will be present at all the screenings of this film.
Kerthy Fix started as a production assistant on Richard Linklater’s Slacker. Fix is currently working on a tour-documentary about the radical feminist group Le Tigre. Gail O’Hara is an American moviemaker, editor-in-chief, photographer and the owner of a record label. She started the American magazine chickfactor. O’Hara made the cover for The Magnetic Fields’ album 69 Love Songs.
A chance meeting between Adrian Grenier, known from the TV series Entourage, and the 14-year-old paparazzo photographer Austin Visschedyk one night out on the town in Los Angeles, grabbed the attention of Grenier. Impressed by the fast-talking and faster-snapping teenager, he decided to turn the camera on the boy and find out more about him. But he soon finds the project turning into a personal challenge, as he is forced to take responsibility for his influence on his subject’s life. As the kid succumbs to the lure of fame, Grenier sets out to understand what makes that lure so powerful, and hopefully create something more authentic between them than the existing relationship of mutual exploitation.
Adrien Grenier is an American actor, musician and director. He is best known for his role as Vincent Chase in the HBO series Entourage, but he has also been making a name for himself as a documentary director. In 2002 he filmed a personal road trip in which he met his father for the first time. The film became the documentary Shot in the Dark.
In 1964, the island ferry Nordby was launched in Denmark. Three decades later it was taken out of service and sold to the Nigerian football player Jonathan Akpoborie, who played for the German Bundesliga. The striker wanted to give something back to the village where he was born and raised. He gave the ship his mother’s name, Etireno. Soon after, Nordby was caught off the coast of West Africa, it’s crew suspected of human trafficking, specifically child slavery. The footballer was sacked from his job at the Wolfsburg soccer club, but he was never proven guilty. The film reconstructs the events of this story and raises questions such as – what happened to the children on board the ship – how did the future for the Togolese girl Adakou turn out, what has and will become of Nouman, the boy from Benin – what became of Jonathan Akpoborie?
Heidi Specogna (b. 1959) worked as a lecturer in the Berin Art Academy until she graduated in 1994. Her documentary The Short Life of José Antonio Gutierrez (2006) was selected by the Sundance Film Festival.
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within features never before seen footage of William S. Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues including Patti Smtih, John Waters, Genesis P-Orridge, Laurie Anderson, Peter Weller, David Cronenberg, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, and Sonic Youth. The film investigates the life of legendary Beat author and American icon, William S. Burroughs. Born the heir of the Burroughs’ adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems and self. William Burroughs was one of the first to cross the dangerous boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and write about his experiences. Eventually he was hailed the godfather of the Beat Generation and influenced artists for generations to come. However, his friends were left wondering, did William ever find happiness? This extremely personal documentary breaks the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time. Narration by actor Peter Weller, soundtrack by Sonic Youth and Patti Smith among others. Director Yony Leyser is coming straight from the premiere in New York to Oslo International Film Festival and will be present at all the screenings of his film.
Yony Leyser (b. 1986) Chicago, USA. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is his feature film debut.
Is it possible to feel rich without possessions? Can you live happily without money? In the documentary Living Without Money, we meet the German woman Heidemarie Schwermer (68) who made a deliberate choice to live without money 14 years ago. One day she canceled her flat, donated all of her belongings and started a new life based on exchanging favours – without the use of money. The experiences she made totally changed her outlook on life. Today she is living an interesting and adventurous life, which is very much related to living in the moment without worrying about the future. She is constantly on the move and always trying to help others find their path towards a more simple and harmonic life. The reactions against her are many and various. While some get angry and call her a parasite, others think she is a visionary and a great source of inspiration.
Line Halvorsen har worked as a director and editor on more than 20 documentaries and travel series for Norwegian and international television since 1997. She made the documentary A Stone’s Throw Away (2003) about the Palestinian conflict, and USA vs Al-Arian (2007).
|Thu||25.11.2010||19:00||Eldorado 3||Buy a Ticket|
An Iranian family comes to Norway and Lillehammer during the early 90s. The family is welcomed with open arms by a population preparing for the 1994 Winter Olympics. But once the games end and the city turns back to its old self, people are no longer as friendly as they seemed. 1994 is a dark comedy about xenophobia, culture and how to cope in a new country. OIFF will show this film in a special, free screening. The director will be attending.
Kaveh Tehrani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1978. He has attended Lillehammer University College and the University of Oslo, where he has completed a degree in film and comparative literature. He also studied at the European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark.
This is a detailed and humorous account of a failed bank robbery: a single take where over 96 people perform a meticulous choreography for the camera. Incident by a Bank recreates an actual event that took place in Stockholm in June 2006; it is both an observation in real-time and a study of how people act and react to the unexpected. Incident by a Bank won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 2010.
Ruben Östlund, Sweden, made several documentaries before his feature debut The Guitar Mongoloid (2004). His following movie, Involuntary (2008), was selected for Un Certain Regard in Cannes.
John's Gone is a fever dream comedy from the world of John soon after his mother passes away. He sells things online, cheats off dollar stores, needs friends but settles for strangers, has roaches, and is prematurely thrust into the cruel wasteland that is the world around him. One can only say that John's Gone.
Joshua (b. 1984) and Ben Safdie (b. 1986) are based in New York. OIFF has previously shown Joshua Safdie’s feature debut, The Pleasure of Being Robbed (2008). The brothers are also represented at OIFF 2010 with their first directorial collaboration Go Get Some Rosemary.
|Sun||28.11.2010||17:00||Gimle||Buy a Ticket|
As You Read This is a 30-minute long short film uncompromisingly depicting the last three days in the life of a woman, Eva. We observe her inside her apartment, through an almost static camera. OIFF will show this film in a special, free screening with the director attending. World premiere.
Jannicke Låker (b. 1968, Norway) lives and works in Berlin. She studied at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art 1993-1998. Låker is one of the few Norwegian artists who consistently works with video. She is mostly known for her uncompromising treatment of taboos such as shame, guilt, immodesty and mental abuse. Låker has exhibited at Whitney Museum in New York, Modern Museum in Stockholm, Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo, among others. She was a OCA-grantee at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin in 2006. Låker’s works have been presented at several international film festivals. She was nominated for the ARTE Award at Hamburg International Film Festival 2009 and received the Terje Vigen Award and the Film Critics Award for Sunday Mornings at the Norwegian Short Film Festival 2008.
A boy learns to play the piano in a universe of absurdity. An exploration of cartoon violence and experimental comedy.
David O’Reilly (b. 1985) is an Irish animator based in Berlin. He won the Golden Bear in Berlin for Please Say Something (2008).
West German terrorist Norbert Kröcher was arrested in Stockholm on March 31, 1977. He was leading a group planning to kidnap Swedish politician Anna-Greta Leijon. A number of suspects were arrested in the days following. One of the people arrested was Kröcher's ex-girlfriend, “A”. This is her story…
Jonas Odell is one of the founders of Filmtecknarna. He specializes in making films mixing live action and various mixed media animation techniques. OIFF has previously screened ten of his animated shorts.
Each night the only border-crossing between India and Pakistan on a 1000 km stretch becomes the sight of an extraordinary event. Thousands of people gather to witness the ritual closing of the border, after which the masses get as close as possible to the gate to greet their former neighbours.
Supriyo Sen lives and works as an author and director in Kolkata. His previous works include the documentaries Way Back Home (2003) and Hope Dies Last (2006).
Oscar-nominated actor Casey Affleck in his directorial debut together with fellow Oscar-nominee Joaquin Phoenix blow the roof off of conventional filmmaking in this unique and groundbreaking experimental project. Joaquin gives a powerful performance as JP, an out-of-control Hollywood celebrity who commits career suicide in announcing that he is retiring from acting while at the top of his game, to become a hip-hop star. JP shuts himself off from the protection and better judgment of his agent, manager and publicist, and sets out on a jaw-dropping journey into a decadent frenzy of sex, drugs and outrageousness, as he tries desperately to break away from his old celebrity persona to develop his rap career. Mired in self-doubt and harsh criticism from the media, he struggles to find his identity.
Casey Affleck (b. 1975), Ben Ben Affleck’s younger brother, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007). I’m Still Here is his directorial debut.
What do you do when the person you have met on the Internet seems so interesting that you do not get enough just by texting, chatting, or searching for them online? When the pictures and status updates on Facebook are not enough, you try to see if the cyber image matches reality. In the US, this means a roadtrip with buddies that are there to support and observe, and just experience it with you. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking product of our time, the film was one of the most talked about at this year’s Sundance festival.
Henry Joost has also made another film at this year’s festival, NY Export: Opus Jazz, which he directed together with Jody Lee Lipes. Ariel Schulman has participated in a previous festival, with a role in the film The Pleasure of Being Robbed (OIFF 2008).
This entertaining, emotional and star-studded documentary tells the story of one of the most talented and versatile singer-songwriters in pop music history, a man The Beatles dubbed their favorite American musician. With Harry Nilsson telling most of the story in his own words and voice – using recordings taken from his unpublished oral autobiography – the director paints a detailed and revelatory portrait of an extraordinary artist. With over fifty Nilsson recordings, in addition to rare or never-before seen film clips, home movies and photos.
John Scheinfeld is a director, writer and producer of a wide variety of documentaries. Selected filmography: The Divine Bette Midler (2005), The US vs. John Lennon (2006), Norman Lear’s TV Revolution (2008).
Bill Skarsgård (brother of Alexander and son of Stellan Skarsgård) stars as a young man on the cusp of manhood who escapes his troubled home to work at a summer resort, but somehow finds himself caught up in one of the most scandalous criminal cases of 1970s Sweden. In this affectionately constructed period piece based on actual events, Martin escapes his troubled family life and alcoholic father by working in the idyllic Stockholm archipelago. He falls in love with his boss’s daughter, and is shown increasing trust as he becomes more involved with the shadier sides of the business venture. Behind Blue Skies is rich in detail, with a bounty of intriguing characters and a genuine feel for the period.
Hannes Holm (b. 1962) has worked in television and directed seven feature films, five of which were collaborations with Måns Herngren. Selected filmography: Adam & Eva (1997), Klassfesten (2002), Every Other Week (2006), Wonderful and Loved by All (2007).
For years, townsfolk have been terrified of the backwoods recluse known as Felix Bush (Robert Duvall). People say he’s done all manners of unspeakable things – that he has killed in cold blood, that he’s in league with the Devil, that he has strange powers. And so they avoid him like the plague. Then, one day, Felix rides to town with a shotgun and a wad of cash, saying he wants to buy a funeral. It’s not your ordinary funeral for the dead Felix wants. On the contrary, he wants a living funeral, in which anyone who ever has heard a story about him can come to tell it. Sensing a big payday in the offing, fast-talking funeral home owner Frank Quinn (Bill Murray) enlists his gentlemanly young apprentice, Buddy Robinson (Lucas Black), to win over Felix’s business. Buddy is no stranger to Felix’s dark reputation, but what he discovers is that behind Felix’s surreal plan lies a very real and long-held secret that must get out. As the funeral approaches, the mystery only deepens.
Aaron Schneider has a long career as a cinematographer for both film and television. His short film Two Soldiers (2004) won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. Get Low is his first feature film.
After months of being alone, sad, busy, sidetracked, free, lofty, late and away from his kids, Lenny (Ronald Bronstein), 34 with graying, frazzled hair, picks his kids up from school. Every year he spends of couple of weeks with his sons Sage (Sage Ranaldo), nine, and Frey (Frey Ranaldo), seven. Lenny juggles the boys and everything else all within a Midtown studio apartment in New York City. He ultimately faces the choice of being their father or their friend, with the idea that the two weeks must have as much content as six months. In these two weeks, a trip upstate, visitors from strange lands, a mother, a girlfriend, magic blankets, and complete lawlessness seem to take over their lives. The film is a swan song to excuses and responsibilities; to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it’s like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult.
Joshua (b. 1984) and Benny Safdie (b. 1986) are based in New York. Go Get Some Rosemary is their first directorial collaboration. The Pleasure of Being Robbed screened at OIFF in 2008. The brothers are also represented at OIFF 2010 with the short John’s Gone (2010).
12 years after making his third controversial film, Happiness (OIFF 1998), Todd Solondz returns to that same universe. We meet again the three sisters from the original, Joy, Helen, and Trish. Trish has met a new man at the same time as her paedophile ex-husband is released from jail, Joy still suffers through horrible dates in the same restaurant booths and Helen’s aspiring career as a Hollywood screenwriter is unfulfilled. Life During Wartime is Solondz at his absolute best, as he portraits family tragedies with enormous sympathy, warmth, and respect for his characters. Life During Wartime has won several prizes, among them the Golden Osella for Best Script at the 2009 Venice Film Festival, where it also acheived a Golden Lion nomination.
Todd Solondz (b. 1959) has made several critically acclaimed and controversial films: Welcome to the Dollhouse (OIFF 1996), Happiness (OIFF 1998), Storytelling (2004) and Palindromes (2004).
A young man dies of a heroin overdose in an abandoned house in Baltimore. On the eve of his funeral, family and friends gather to commemorate his life. Their shared memories paint a portrait of a community hanging in the balance, skewed by poverty, city living, and a generational divide, united in their pursuit of a new American Dream. Putty Hill treats the lives of the working class with both realism and respect. “If there’s an independent cinema, this is it, and if there’s a new director, here he is” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker.
Matthew Porterfield studied film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and teaches screenwriting and production in the Film & Media Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University. His first feature, Hamilton, was released theatrically in 2006. Putty Hill is his second feature film.
Forget everything you’ve heard about Santa Claus. It’s all lies. In the Kourvantunturi mountains of Finland, scientists have dug deep into the earth. “Seismic research» they claim, but a series of bizarre incidents leads the locals to understand that something completely different is at hand. Soon, the heavily guarded secret of Christmas will be revealed. The real Santa Claus is someone you need to believe in. He knows that you have been bad. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is based on ideas from earlier short movies by Jalmari Helander that have acquired a cult status on the Internet. Helander has further developed the mythology of the Finnish Santa Claus, and created a furious action thriller about this usually jolly character with elements of fantasy, horror and adventure. Norwegian actor Per Christian Ellefsen plays one of the main characters, and will be present at the first screening.
The Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander (b. 1976) has enjoyed a successful career as an award-winning director of television commercials. He has also made several popular short films available on the Internet. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is his first feature film.
Fasten your seatbelt, hang on for dear life, and prepare yourself for one of the wildest cinematic events of the year! First-time director Takeshi Koike and laterally creative Katsuhito Ishii (Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl, OIFF 1999) jointly declare war on the senses, and serve up the most souped up car chase movie ever! Bursting with so much energy and controlled chaos that it at any moment is just a hair away from reducing screen and theatre to a flaming inferno of burned rubber and pulverized car parts!
Takeshi Koike has an animation career that stretches back to the mid-80s, including such titles as Wicked City (1987), Ninja Scroll (1993), Dead Leaves (2004), and Memories (1995). Redline is his feature film directorial debut.
This year’s winner of the most distinguished prize at the Venice Film Festival, the Golden Lion prize for Best Film, is Sofia Coppola’s fourth feature length film, Somewhere. The jury’s president, Quentin Tarantino, described the unanimous choice in the following manner: “This was a film that enchanted us from our first screening. Yet from that first enchanting screening, it grew and grew and grew in both our hearts, in our analysis, in our minds, and in our affections.” Somewhere is about Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a single, hard-living Hollywood star in the midst of an existential crisis. His 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) suddenly appears on a surprise visit. The film is partly based on Coppola’s own experiences as a young girl traveling with her father, Francis Ford Coppola. Her portrayal of the father-daughter relationship is subtle, quiet, restrained, at times humorous, and ultimately heartbreaking.
Sofia Coppola (b. 1971) has written and directed a number of award-winning films, including Marie Antoinette (2006), Lost in Translation (OIFF 2003) and The Virgin Suicides (1999). She was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Director for Lost in Translation.
From first-time writer/director David Robert Mitchell comes The Myth of the American Sleepover, a poignant and tender coming-of-age drama. This story follows four young people on the last night of summer – their final night of freedom before the new school year starts. The teenagers cross paths as they explore the suburban wonderland they inhabit in search of love and adventure – chasing first kisses, elusive crushes, popularity and parties. While looking for the iconic teenage experience, they discover the quiet moments that will later become a part of their youth they look back on with nostalgia. The cast, which consists primarily of hitherto unknown teenagers from the suburban Detroit neighbourhood where Mitchell himself grew up, won the Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Cast at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year.
David Robert Mitchell (b. 1974) has written two short films: Wide and Open Spaces (2003) and Virgin (2002). The Myth of the American Sleepover is his first feature-length film.
We are scum! We are barbarians!
Jean-Gabriel Périot (b. 1974) has directed several short movies. He has developed his own editing style, with archives and images from the net.; something between documentary, animation, and experimental film. OIFF has previously screened 200000 Phantoms (OIFF 2007) and Even if She Had Been a Criminal (OIFF 2007).
A one-minute spot made for this year’s BAFICI (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema).
Gastón Solnicki (b. 1978, Argentina) has previously directed the documentary Süden (OIFF 2008).
KNUT ÅSDAM – SPECIAL PROGRAM (ABYSS, OBLIQUE, TRIPOLI) Abyss portrays an urban reality characterised by migration and change – the movement of people, the movement of money and power, and the drift of the imagination. Filmed in East London, including the 2012 Olympic construction site, the film is set within spaces of the modern city – markets, gyms, parking lots, parks, squares, streets, and stores. The main character, O, negotiates her material world but the city’s economical, political and social demands appear to have been absorbed into her movements, speech, and psychology. The film drifts between a material world and its psychological effects.
Knut Åsdam (b.1968, Trondheim) is one of Norways most internationally recognized younger artists. He uses film, video, photography, text, sound and architecture in his works. Life in todays urban society is a theme he frequently returns to. He has exhibited at established venues like Tate Britain, Venice Biennial, Museum of Modern Art New York and Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and his film works are screened at international film festivals. Meet Åsdam before and after the screening.
KNUT ÅSDAM – SPECIAL PROGRAM (ABYSS, OBLIQUE, TRIPOLI) In Tripoli, North Lebanon are the remains of one of the world’s most distinctive building projects: an international expo center, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1966 and abandoned at the outbreak of civil war in 1975. In a style moving between architectural documentary and theatre, the film describes both the place and the undercurrent of violent history that has set the site in a state of incompleteness and decay. The modernist ruins appear naive and out of joint, and function as a monument to a now distant optimism in the Middle East.
Knut Åsdam (b.1968, Trondheim) is one of Norways most internationally recognized younger artists. He uses film, video, photography, text, sound and architecture in his works. Life in todays urban society is a theme he frequently returns to. He has exhibited at established venues like Tate Britain, Venice Biennial, Museum of Modern Art New York and Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and his film works are screened at international film festivals. Meet Åsdam before and after the screening.
KNUT ÅSDAM – SPECIAL PROGRAM (ABYSS, OBLIQUE, TRIPOLI) Oblique is filmed entirely on a train as it moves through the continuous mass of a city and its suburbs, a setting which gives form to a heterotopia – a space of otherness, which is neither here nor there, that is simultaneously physical and mental. In this suspended generic space, a targeted but sometimes absurd narrative plays itself out as a linguistic reaction to the time and space. The journey through the regions built from old and new economies is a journey through old and new social realities, where economic progress and slum development go hand in hand.
Knut Åsdam (b.1968, Trondheim) is one of Norways most internationally recognized younger artists. He uses film, video, photography, text, sound and architecture in his works. Life in todays urban society is a theme he frequently returns to. He has exhibited at established venues like Tate Britain, Venice Biennial, Museum of Modern Art New York and Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and his film works are screened at international film festivals. Meet Åsdam before and after the screening.
This funny and sometimes embarrassing feature is written, directed and starred by Lena Dunham, one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. Aura is a charming, but also spoiled, overly dramatic and an oversharing girl. She returns home from her Midwest liberal arts college to her artist family’s Tribeca loft with nothing to show for but a film studies degree, a failed relationship, and an absurd YouTube movie that has 357 hits. Her successful mother and popular and hipster sister’s busy lives make her feel even more lonesome and inadequate. She takes a job as a hostess at a restaurant and falls into relationships with two self-centred men while struggling to define herself. Dunham nails the anxieties of feeling unremarkable, but the bold, stylish movie she has made reveals the confidence of a natural-born filmmaker. Tiny Furniture is beautifully photographed on a Canon Digital SLR, and the entire cast – both amateur and professional – give sophisticated performances. Awarded best film at the SXSW Film Festival.
Lena Dunham (b. 1986) graduated from Oberlin College in 2008, where she studied creative writing. Her first feature was Creative Nonfiction (2009). She has made two web series and writes about film for various publications. She is currently preparing a TV series for HBO that she is producing with Judd Apatov.
An uncut shot of a journey taken to discover the various layers of the relationship between man and nature and the different perceptions of reality within two full circles. The short film storytelling technique exploits the strength of non-diegetic sound elements and explores the freedom of framing techniques.
Ishtiaque Zico (b. 1983, Dhaka, Bangladesh) graduated in Mathematics from Dhaka University. After graduating, Zico explored filmmaking techniques by producing shorts and assisting fellow directors.
When two boys leave for a philosophical journey and only one is prepared for it, their worlds will part forever. This short has won both the Golden Leopard at Locarno and Best Portuguese Short Film at IndieLisboa this year.
Gabriel Abrantes was born in North Carolina in 1984. In 2008, his works, Olympia I and II were chosen for the IndieLisboa ’08 and Visionary Iraq won the New Talent Fnac Award. Daniel Schmidt was born in New Haven, Conneticut in 1984. He is at present developing a feature film as well as a collection of short works to be shot in Southeast Asia.
|Thu||25.11.2010||18:00||FH, Lillebil||Buy a Ticket|
The directors Sølve Skagen and Malte Wadman, who in several documentaries had supported striking workers and made fun of the Norwegian oil adventure, turned in their first feature the guns on themselves and the political left. Ja, vi elsker is about some of the private and political antics that happened on the political left in the 70s. The main character Arve Nor – a middle-aged socialist who is married with one child, and who enjoys his liquor – falls into the sea during a fishing trip. As he drowns his life flashes before him. And now that he’s about to die, he doesn’t have to hold back anymore. It’s time for settle the score with himself and everybody else.
Sølve Skogen and Malte Wadman made the documentaries Hvem eier Tyssedal? (1975) and Bravo! Bravo! (1979), before they made Ja, vi elsker (1983). Sølve Skogen has also directed Hard asfalt (1986) and Brun Bitter (1988) and the TV series Solen sønn og månens datter (1993).
|Sun||28.11.2010||21:15||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
A new masterpiece from celebrated director Mike Leigh, Another Year premiered to glowing reviews at Cannes Film Festival. We follow four seasons in the lives of middle-aged married couple Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen), their 30-year-old bachelor son Joe, and Gerri’s spinster work colleague Mary (Lesley Manville). An accumulation of encounters and mostly small events highlight Leigh's skill in taking the fabric of everyday life and turning it into something meaningful. Another Year is a gentle yet powerful film about family, friendship and ageing, balancing humour alongside its more melancholic notes. Empire calls it no less than one of the best films of the year, or ever.
The British director Mike Leigh (b. 1943) has worked with film and theater for a long time, and received an Order of the British Empire for his work in 1993. He has made among others Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999), Vera Drake (2004), and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008). He has been nominated for an Academy Award six times for his directing and writing.
|Wed||16.11.2011||21:00||Sentrum Scene||Buy a Ticket|
Oslo International Film Festival 2011 opens with a gala screening of David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method on Wednesday, November 16th. We are proud to present the Canadian director’s latest feature film. A Dangerous Method premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this fall, and has since had great success at the film festivals in Toronto, New York, London and Vienna. In his third collaboration with Cronenberg, leading man Viggo Mortensen is cast as Sigmund Freud. The promising psychiatrist Carl Jung is portrayed by Michael Fassbender. Keira Knightley plays Sabina Spilrein, the young Russian patient who will have a decisive influence on the the relationship between Freud and Jung and their work. The plot takes place in Vienna and Zürich in the years prior to World War I. Based on real events, the film tells the story about the pioneers of psychoanalysis and the conflict between them.
David Cronenberg (b. 1943). Selected filmography: Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007).
Car crashes are instant art and sculptures made in seconds. At least to a certain Buenos Aires photographer, who spends his nights driving through the city in search of capturing the perfect accident. Meanwhile, another man is trying to find a legendary cock sucker who hides somewhere in the dark rooms of a gay sex club. A man undergoes a heart transplant and wakes up with new and strange artistic powers, and a woman receives a last letter from her husband, written just before he freezes to death in one of history's most dramatic polar expeditions. Glorious Accidents tells nine different stories of death and transformation, and is a cross-cultural commissioned work initiated by the Danish film festival CPH:DOX, where ten directors from Asia, South America and the Middle East were paired with ten European directors to create ten different films. The film won one of the awards in the Orizzonti section at this year's Venice Film Festival. Co-director Marcus Lindeen is attending the festival and will be present at the screening on Friday, November 25.
Mauro Andrizzi (b. 1980, Argentina) has directed four feature films, among them En el Futuro, selected for the Venice Film Festival 2010. Marcus Lindeen (b. 1980) made his debut as a director and playwright in 2006 with the stage production of Regretters at Stockholm City Theater.
A near tragedy during the production of his currently last fiction film, Dream, affected him so profoundly that the need for calm and soul searching was overwhelming. This search eventually led him to isolate himself in a remote cabin, and to turn his probing, revealing camera on himself. “Why can’t you make movies anymore?” he asks himself. This is Arirang – both an autobiographical documentary and an intimate piece of self-therapy. Initially he takes on his own career, focusing on anecdotes and generally tangible themes, but eventually specific memories fade away in favour of more abstract emotions and yearnings. Kim proves himself a ruthless self-interviewer, and offers up a naked and honest look into the challenges of an artist’s life, as well as the pain of dissolving friendships, doubt and the feelings of failure.
Kim Ki-duk has an art degree from Paris, and worked as a screenwriter before his directorial debut in 1996 with The Crocodile. Selected filmography: Wild Animal (1997), The Isle (OIFF 2000), Bad Guy (OIFF 2002), Samaritan Girl (OIFF 2004), Time (OIFF 2006), Dream (2008).
Beats, Rhymes & Life is the story of one of the best hip hop bands in history. A Tribe Called Quest were hip hop icons and had released several popular albums, but in 1998 they suddenly split up. Personal disagreements and drama had destroyed the group from within. The rappers from Queens were groundbreaking and influential pioneers in the alternative rap scene. Their intelligent lyrics and innovative use of jazz and samples made them an inspiration for a new generation of musicians. In this documentary, director and life long fan Michael Rapaport follows the group on their 2008 reunion tour. The film gives great insight to the start and growth of hip hop in New York in the 80s and 90s, and has several new interviews with current artists inspired by A Tribe Called Quest, like Beastie Boys, Mos Def, Pharell Williams and Common. Phife Dawg will attend the screening on November 25th and perform at the after-party.
New Yorker Michael Rapaport has a long career as a comedian and actor in a number of films and TV series such as True Romance (1993), Mighty Aphrodite (1995) and Prison Break (2008). Beats, Rhymes & Life is his directorial debut.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a breathtaking new 3D documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog, follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is an unforgettable cinematic experience that provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 32,000 years ago – almost twice as old as any previous discovery. “It’s almost like watching the reinvention of the cinematic medium.” – The Guardian. Welcome to an extra screening of this film on Monday, November 28 at 9 PM.
Werner Herzog (b. 1942). Selected filmography: Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu (1978), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Lessons of Darkness (1992), Invincible (OIFF 2001), Grizzly Man (OIFF 2005) og Encounters at the End of the World (2007).
Winner of Japan’s top animation prize 2011 and adapted from a 1998 novel by Eto Mori, Colorful tackles themes not normally associated with animation. It explores these themes with both warmth and cold realism – and an unflinching eye. A sinful soul reaches purgatory in the afterlife, and is given a second chance to prove its worth. A young boy, Makoto, has just committed suicide, and the sinner’s soul is placed in the boy’s body. It is now up to the soul to consider its former life and recognize what his biggest mistake was, before time runs out. Parallell to this, we also learn more and more about Makoto’s life, and the tragic circumstances that led to his demise. The result is a beautiful and heartbreaking film about love, loss and regret that it is hard to remain unaffected by.
Keiichi Hara’s international breakthrough was Summer Days with Coo (2007).
An intimate vérité portrait of the life and times of Josh “Skreech” Sandoval, a 23-year-old skate legend from the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, California, Dragonslayer takes the viewer through a golden SoCal haze of lost youth, broken homes and abandoned swimming pools, set to a soundtrack of bands from indie-rock labels Mexican Summer and Kemado Records – including Best Coast, Bipolar Bear, Children, Dungen, Jacuzzi Boys, Little Girls and The Soft Pack—as well as Death, The Germs and Thee Oh Sees. “Wiseman meets Malick and punk rock in fascinating skater doc.” – indieWIRE
Dragonslayer is Tristan Patterson’s debut film, and won the prize for best documentary at SXSW in 2011.
|Thu||17.11.2011||19:00||Sentrum Scene||Buy a Ticket|
George Harrison: Living in the Material World focuses the imaginative and inspired eye of one of the cinema’s most preeminent filmmakers on one of the world’s most influential men. The film takes viewers to the musical and spiritual voyage that was George Harrison’s life, much of it told in his own words. The result is deeply moving and touches each viewer in unique and individual ways. Director Martin Scorsese traces Harrison’s life from his musical beginnings in Liverpool through his life as a musician, a seeker, a philanthropist and a filmmaker, weaving together interviews with Harrison and his closest friends, performances, home movies and photographs. Much of the material in the film has never been seen or heard before. The result is a rare glimpse into the mind and soul of one of the most talented artists of his generation and a profoundly intimate and affecting work of cinema.
Martin Scorsese (b. 1942) is considered one of the world’s greatest living directors. He is most known for masterpieces such as Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980), but has also made several music documentaries, about Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, among others.
This is the final and independent chapter in the trilogy about hate – that commenced with Love Exposure (2008) and Cold Fish (OIFF 2010) – as cult director Sion Sono sees the psycho-sexual, pseudo-feminist Japan of today. Guilty of Romance may be Sono’s most challenging movie to date. Detective Kazuko is called to the crime scene of a heinous murder. A woman has been killed and dismembered, but what Kazuko finds as she is trying to establish the victim’s identity and history, proves to be as shocking as the murder itself. A movie about sex, the power of the word, madness, death and family. A movie that mixes the genres of film noir, drama and mystery, Guilty of Romance will most certainly provoke all your senses. Sion Sono is also represented in this year’s program with Himizu.
Sion Sono feature film debut was Bicycle Sighs (1991). His big breakthrough came in 2001 with Suicide Club. Filmography: Dankon: The Man (1998), Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005), Strange Circus (2005), Hazard (2005), Love Exposure (2008), Cold Fish (OIFF 2010), Guilty of Romance (OIFF 2011), Himizu (OIFF 2011).
Based on real events Heaven’s Story focuses on characters directly affected by acts of violence. After Sato’s parents have been brutally killed, the eight-year old girl learns about Tomoki, a young man who seeks revenge for his murdered wife and son. When eight years later he still hasn’t fulfilled his promise, she decides to act on her own thoughts of revenge. Heaven’s Story tells of a complex network of human lives that are tragically connected through murder and vengeance, guilt and atonement. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival 2011. With its 278 minutes, Heaven’s Story is no short film. But do not be intimidated by the length. We consider Takahisa Zeze’s film to be one of the highlights of the festival.
Takahisa Zeze (b. 1960). Selected filmography: No Man’s Land (1991), The Dream of Garuda (1994), Kokkuri (1997), Raigyo (1997), Hysteric (OIFF 2000).
Jess and Moss, second cousins aged 18 and 12, spend a lazy summer on a rundown farm in Western Kentucky. Their families strangely absent, and with no friends their own age around, all they have are each other. The lonely summer is spent playing and exploring, bickering and sharing secrets, hopes and dreams for the future – and not least trying to understand how and why they have ended up alone. First time feature film director and writer Clay Jeter’s film is a dreamlike, lyrical experience, lovingly shot on over 30 different Super 16 mm film stocks – an impressionistic study of youthful idleness and existence. Nostalgic and beautiful, with a dark undercurrent lurking below the surface – Jess + Moss is a hypnotic, engaging experience beyond the norm.
Clay Jeter originally hails from Tennessee, and studied film at USC, where he focused on directing and cinematography. Jess + Moss is his first feature film.
|Mon||21.11.2011||17:00||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
It all starts with a scene from the legendary horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, then jumps right to footage of the Canadian electro-pop band Crystal Castles. From the very first scenes, Kids of Today is a playful and experimental film about the post-punk and new wave music in France during the 70s and 80s. The story is told through the eyes of the infamous rock critic Yves Adrien. The bizarre man claims to be dead, and then takes a group of kids on a journey around the world, from Paris to New York, Bejing, Montreal and Hong Kong, while he tells them about music and society at the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s. The border between fiction and documentary is gradually erased as the story slides between present and past, and becomes a documentary fairy tale. Featuring music by Crystal Castles, Sunn O))), Fuck Buttons, Jacques Brel, Kraftwerk, Suicide, James White, LIO, Frustration, Taxi Girl, Death Set and more.
Jérôme de Missolz (b. 1954) has previously explored the music scene of Liverpool in the film You’ll Never Walk Alone (1992) and rock music in the film Wild Thing (2010).
Japan’s industrial counterpart to David Cronenberg, Shinya Tsukamoto, is first and foremost associated with his wildly cinematical explorations of alienation and the intersection of man and machine. In his latest feature, Kotoko, he delves past the fleshy exterior and focuses on man’s innermost feature: the mind. Kotoko is a young mother with a tenuous grip on reality. In her fraying mind, terrible dangers to her son lurk around every corner. The paranoid fantasies gradually increase in strength, until she is eventually forced to give up her child, and face the imaginary terrors alone. In a desperate attempt to kickstart her body’s survival mechanisms, she grabs a knife and begins cutting herself. At the same time, a writer suddenly arrives, offering a seemingly helping hand… As expected, Tsukamoto portrays the young woman’s mental downward spiral with characteristic subjectivity and kineticism. In the role of Kotoko, singer and first time actress Cocco offers up a strong performance.
Filmography: Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989, OIFF 1992), Hiruko the Goblin (1991), Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (OIFF 1992), Tokyo Fist (1995), Bullet Ballet (OIFF 1998), A Snake of June (OIFF 2002), Vital (OIFF 2004), Nightmare Detective (2006), Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2010).
The paperless fugitives and immigrants in a camp in the French harbour town of Calais were in the media’s spotlight for a short period before they disappeared completely. This documentary has also largely gone under the radar, and undeservedly so: director Sylvain George’s film, often experimental in form and shot in black and white, deals with the destinies of young and middle-aged men from North Africa and the Middle East, their search for a better life in the UK, and just how far they are willing to go to keep their identities hidden. Filmed from 2007 through 2009, George never hides where his sympathies lie and he lets the fugitives freely express their anger and fears. In return, he is allowed to see the lives of people with nothing left to lose, resulting in a film where the camera captures a feel reminiscent of the media coverage of a war zone, and in which the audience can get a personal feeling of fleeing and avoiding arrest. George is very much present in the roughest situations as we take part in a powerful cinematic experience. Sylvain George won Best International Film at the Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Film with this remarkable film.
Sylvain George (b. 1968) studied philosophy and worked as a social worker until he turned to filmmaking in 2004.
|Sun||27.11.2011||19:00||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
With the Internet surpassing print as the main news source and newspapers all over going bankrupt, Page One: Inside The New York Times chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. It gives us a close look at the vibrant cross-cubicle debates and collaborations, tenacious jockeying for on-the-record quotes and skillful page-one pitching that produce the “daily miracle” of a great news organization. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of journalists continuing to produce extraordinary work under increasingly difficult circumstances. At the heart of the film is the burning question on the minds of everyone who cares about a rigorous press: what will happen if the fast-moving future of media leaves behind the fact-based, original reporting that helps to define our society?
Andrew Rossi grew up in New York City. He graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School. His first feature film was Eat This New York (2004), and after that he made Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven (2007). This is his third film as director, producer and cinematographer.
In 1994, three American teens – the so-called “West Memphis Three” – were convicted for killing three children in an alleged satanic ritual, in West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, while Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin got life imprisonment. The directors have followed this case for years and have made two previous films about it: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations. There is no physical evidence that the three were guilty of murder. In August this year, after 18 years behind bars, the three pleaded guilty according to a little known law known as the “Alford plea”, allowing them to plead guilty while still maintaining their innocence. They were set free the same day. Welcome to an extra screening of this film on Monday, November 28 at 7 PM.
American documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have received wide critical acclaim and cult status amongst their fans since their first film cooperation, My Brother’s Keeper (1992). They have worked together on nine films since, among them Some Kind of Monster (2004), the documentary about the band Metallica.
Have a troublesome body to get rid of? There’s always a solution to such problems in Katsuhito Ishii’s latest film, manga adaptation Smuggler. Three guys in a pickup truck are more than willing to help – for the right amount of money. One of the three is not there entirely by choice, however. Failed actor Kinuta is up to his neck in yakuza debt, and takes a shady loan. To pay it back, he is forced to help hard man Joe and his leprechaun-like sidekick in their body-smuggling business. Life is about to become interesting for them the day they are hired to transport the body of a murdered yakuza boss. More than anything, Smuggler comes across as a mash up of Ishii’s own Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl, and Takashi Miike’s Ichi the Killer. Actor Masanobu Ando will attend the festival.
Katsuhito Ishii started his career as director of commercials, before transitioning to feature films with Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl (OIFF 1999). His list of features includes: Party 7 (2000), The Taste of Tea (2004), Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005), Scenery (2008), and My Darling of the Mountains (2008).
This is a love story, and a portrait of two lives that illustrate the transformative powers of both love and art. Marie Losier brings to us the most intimate details of Genesis’s extraordinary, uncanny world. In warm and intimate images captured handheld, Losier crafts a labyrinthine mise-en-scène of interviews, home movies, and performance footage. The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye documents a truly new brand of Romantic consciousness, one in defiance of the daily dehumanization of the body by the pervasive presence of advertising and pornography, conveying beauty, dignity and devotion from a perspective never before seen on film. Tragically, Lady Jaye died in 2007, leaving Genesis devastated, though resilient. Since then, he has incessantly pursued his physical ideal: a perfect mirror of Lady Jaye’s incomparable beauty.
Marie Losier (b. 1972) is a French filmmaker and curator working in New York City. She has made a number of film portraits on avant-garde directors, musicians and composers such as Mike and George Kuchar, Guy Maddin, Richard Foreman and Tony Conrad.
A new comedy from one of Asia’s most original filmmakers. As in many of Hong San-soo’s previous films, this is also a film about a South Korean director’s life – and this is a turbulent one. The protagonist of this film is the anxious Yoo Seongjun, a film director whose career is in the dumps. He is now teaching film in a small province far away from the epicenter of the film industry, but during a visit to Seoul, he proves that old habits die hard – unlike his career. He drinks, he fights, cries his way into his ex’s bed, then drinks some more. His visit is anything but quiet, and numerous awkward episodes ensue as a result of his drunken binge. Director Sang-soo plays around with structure in his latest film, and with repetitive incidents and the same actors in several roles he brings forth a sense of confusion: Is it the same day, or are Yoo’s days and experiences so repetitive and weird that it’s all a result of his drunkenness?
Hong San-soo’s (b. 1960) directorial debut The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996) has won several international awards, and he has been a regular at international film festivals since. Selected filmography: The Power of Kangwon Province (1998), Tale of Cinema (2005), Night and Day (2008), Like You Know It All (OIFF 2009), and HAHAHA (OIFF 2010). The Day He Arrives is his 12th film.
The Guard is a comedic fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption. Director John Michael McDonagh’s feature debut, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, follows two policemen who must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang – one, an unorthodox Irish policeman (Brendan Gleeson, Gangs of New York) and the other, a straitlaced FBI agent (Don Cheadle, Ocean’s 11, 12 og 13; Hotel Rwanda). An unlikely friendship develops between the two as they work the case, shot against the epic grandeur of Ireland and accompanied by an inventive soundtrack from Americana/alternative country band Calexico, leading to an explosive finale.
This is John Michael McDonagh’s first feature as director. He has previously written and directed the short film The Second Death (2000) and written the screenplay for Ned Kelly (2003).
|Thu||24.11.2011||21:00||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
The backdrop for video artist/director Lech Majewski’s fascinating and ambitious film is the painting The Way to Calvary (1564) by the Flemish painter Bruegel. In his masterpiece, Bruegel transferred the crucifixion of Christ to his own time, with the Spanish militias’ brutal repression of the protestant reformation. In the painting, Jesus is hardly visible, and the viewer must make an effort to even see him – a reflection of Bruegel’s personal philosophy that historical events would happen without much attention: “When big events happen, we do not see them”, he said. Despite a stellar cast, including Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling, and Michael York, it is the art that is this film’s true star, a fact Majewski makes the most of in this portrait of daily life in 16th century Antwerp. As The New York Times put it: “An inspiring, alluring meditation about imagery and storytelling, the common coin of history, religion and art.”
Lech Majewski (b.1953) has directed Wojaczek (1999) and Angelus (2000). In the US he directed The Gospel According to Harry (1992), and co-produced Basquiat (1996).
From idea to finished film it took about nine years for The Prodigies to see the light of day. Using modern 3D and motion capture technology, and French cult novel Les enfants rois as point of departure, first time director Antoine Charreyron has created a dark and kinetic answer to Hollywood’s superhero movies. Jimbo Farrar has always been a boy with special powers, but is committed to the psychiatric ward when his parents die under mysterious circumstances. A sad end behind bars seems to be his destiny, until an elderly man claiming the same kind of powers one day comes to his rescue. Years later, Jimbo is now a teacher and leads a program to find more prodigies with untapped powers. He finally finds five of them, but the night of their first meet, in Central Park, ends in tragedy, and the five swear an apocalyptic revenge on their attackers and the world in general. Can Jimbo keep their rage in check and avert catastrophe?
Antoine Charreyron studied law and computer science, and came to the world of cinema through computer games, where he acted as director on several large and small titles (including one of the Tomb Raider games). He assisted Matthieu Kassovitz as second unit director on Babylon A.D. (2008). The Prodigies is his first feature film.
The American dream home that literally went up in smoke. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth follows the birth, life and death of America’s first large urban housing project in St. Louis. It all began as a haven for families with low incomes, where they could live in beautifully designed homes. As time went by, economic investment disappeared, and slowly but surely the project began to lapse. Before it was blown up by the city, the complex had evolved into an abandoned, decayed and lawless neighborhood. Destroyed by a dramatic and planned explosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and decision makers. The movie explores the social, economic and legal issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, and the neighborhoods where they lived, while the film also follows the personal and poignant stories from several of the neighborhood’s residents. The director and producer Chad and Jaime Freidrichs are festival guests.
Chad Freidrichs worked for four years to complete The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. He has previously made the documentaries Jandek on Corwood (2003) and First Impersonator (2006).
Roque is a young student struggling to find his path, and after changing his major at university three times, he arrives in Buenos Aires to pursue yet another degree. He is however, more interested in pursuing girls than attending classes, but this changes when he sees his professor’s assistant Paula, speak during a demonstration. He decides to win her over, and turns on the charm. He enrolls in her class, and becomes a member of her new political party, Brecha. It turns out that what Roque lacks in political convictions, he makes up for with his energy and intuitive understanding of political coalitions and alliances, which proves valuable for the party. Santiago Mitre’s dynamic film, with footage from authentic demonstrations, brilliantly reveals the workings below the surface in the world of student politics. A highly entertaining drama, in which the director uses the university as a metaphor for the political manipulations of today’s society.
Santiago Mitre was born in Buenos Aires. He wrote and directed his debut short film El Escondite in 2002. He co-wrote the feature films Lion’s Den (Leonera) (2008), Carancho (2010), and also co-wrote and co-directed the feature El Amor – Primera Parte (2010). This is his solo feature debut as writer, producer and director.
Both the Jury’s Grand Prix and the critics’ award at the Berlinale went to Béla Tarr’s latest movie. The German philosopher Nietzsche witnesses a horse getting whipped on a trip to Torino in 1889. He holds his arms around its neck to protect it as it collapses. Just days later, Nietzsche is diagnosed with a serious mental illness, and is bedridden, not uttering a word for 11 years and until his death. But what happened to the horse? That’s the story of Tarr’s new masterpiece. It is a detailed study of the daily lives of the family who owns the horse, and depends on it for their livelihood. The family’s repetitive chores are portrayed in a wind-blasted landscape shot in shades of grey. The story becomes an intense demonstration of the relationship between routine and anguish. At the same time, the minimalistic form creates extra tension as things out of the ordinary begin to happen. An eerie sense of doom develops. The infamous director, Béla Tarr, has declared this movie his farewell to cinema.
Hungarian Béla Tarr (b. 1955) has established himself as an uncompromising director, renowned for his challenging formal experiments. Earlier works include Damnation (1988), Satan's Tango (1994) and The Man from London (2007).
Winner of this year’s Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Film Festival, this movie is based on the novel Tokyo Park by Yukiya Shoji. We meet the amateur photographer and university student Koji, who likes to take pictures of people in the parks of Tokyo. Out of the blue, he is asked to spy on a client’s wife and take pictures of her and her newborn baby. He is asked to send pictures to the husband who suspects his wife being unfaithful. He takes the job without fully understanding the consequences, a decision that changes his relationship to life and women. With several scenes from different parks in Tokyo, the film shows a new side of the city. References to film history has a prominent role, especially Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966). At once pleasurable, extrovert and surreal.
Shinji Aoyama (b. 1964) received two awards in Cannes for Eureka (2000). Other significant works include Desert Moon (2001), Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? (OIFF 2005), and Sad Vacation (OIFF 2007).
Haunted by their own directionless lives, two young girls are reunited when they visit their ailing grandmother. Her descriptions of a dream filled with fear and desire, where she is a judge during the Inquisition, force the girls to a heightened consciousness where they have to confront their own heritage of oppression. Palaces of Pity is a film about culturally inherited fear in Portugal, which is linked to political and social oppression during the Inquisition and the fascist regime. It will be screened together with Liberdade, directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty.
Gabriel Abrantes (b. 1984) has made several short films, among them A History of Mutual Respect (OIFF 2010) (also co-directed by Schmidt), which won the prize for Best Short at Locarno 2010. This is Abrantes’ fourth film. Daniel Schmidt (b. 1984) has directed films such as Teen Opera (2009) and For Crying Out Loud (2008). He and Abrantes are currently developing a tragicomedy concerning adoption crises and aid politics in Haiti and Brazil.
Urbanized is a feature-length documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policy-makers, builders, and thinkers. Over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking. The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are quickly becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities. Director Gary Hustwit attends the first screening of the film at Sentrum Scene.
Gary Hustwit made his directorial debut with Helvetica (2007), which marked the beginning of a design film trilogy, followed by Objectified (OIFF 2009), and that concludes with Urbanized.
“I’m not going to be able to make records when I’m dead. I’m not dead right now, so I want to make records.” Just before he was about to turn 30, controversial musician Jay Reatard was found dead in his own home in Memphis. Just months prior to his death, filmmakers Ian Markiewicz and Alex Hammond interviewed Reatard for a short promotional film. The young musician was an icon in garage rock, and toured the world with big names like the Pixies and Beck. In spite of Reatards public profile as a provoking punk musician, Markiewicz and Hammond got to know a very reflected man, who shared candid stories from his turbulent life. Better than Something combines these last interviews of Reatard with old footage of live performances, along with new interviews with his friends and family, to give a sad but moving insight to his life. The film gives a intimate portrait of a complicated man, with a short but eventful life, that ended just as he appeared to be overcoming his demons.
Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz are both based in New York, with backgrounds in documentary filmmaking. They have previously been directors and cinematographers on documentaries that have been screened at several festivals, such as Raindance and SilverDocs. Their credits include The Rolling Stones – Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out! (2009) and Dominic Dunne: After the Party (2008)
|Sun||27.11.2011||21:00||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
After having escaped from a cult and its manipulative, charismatic leader (John Hawkes, Me and You and Everyone We Know (OIFF 2005), Deadwood, Winter’s Bone), Martha, excellently portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen, tries to find her way back to living a normal life. She seeks refuge at her estranged sister and her husband’s house, in hope of some stability and security, but the paranoid feelings that the former cult members may be following her, won’t let go. Through flashbacks we see her in what seems to be happy moments in the cult, but hard labour in the fields, forced sex with the cult’s leader, and a strong need to belong, blinds her and leaves a highly confused young woman. Outside the cult, the line between reality and fantasy gets blurred, and her life starts to spin out of control. Director Sean Durkin’s complex psychological relationship to his characters, combined with the use of landscapes as metaphor, is reminiscent of the early films of Terrence Malick. Durkin won the award for Best Director at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film has fantastic cinematography by Jody Lee Lipes, whose earlier works comprise Afterschool by Antonio Campos (also producer of MMMM) and Tiny Furniture by Lena Dunham, both previously screened at OIFF.
Sean Durkin has previously made the short films Doris (2006) and Mary Last Seen (2010). Martha Marcy May Marlene is his feature film debut.
Short film Liberdade sketches episodes in the relationship between the domineering Chinese immigrant Betty and her Angolan boyfriend with lavishly cinematic panache. Travelling through spectacular locations in and around Luanda, Angola, the two adolescent lovers navigate through the complications of their burgeoning identities. Liberdade will be screened together with Palaces of Pity, directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt.
Gabriel Abrantes (b. 1984) has made several short films, among them A History of Mutual Respect (OIFF 2010) (also co-directed by Schmidt), which won the prize for Best Short at Locarno 2010. Benjamin Crotty (b. 1979) is a visual artist and his work has been featured in France, Iceland, Portugal, Switzerland and the US. He co-directed the short Visionary Iraq (2009) with Abrantes, which won the New Talent Fnac Award at the IndieLisboa Film Festival.
A group of childhood friends join the National Guard as soon as they graduate from their rural high school. In need of money to go to college, their reasons for joining are practical and banal; a recruiter’s promise of a fat signing bonus and tuition, and the absence of any other career plans. Thus begins a four year journey from teenagers in a Northern Michigan town, to soldiers looking for roadside bombs in Afghanistan, and 23-year-old combat veterans trying to start their lives again. Where Soldiers Come From is a film about growing up, and about how a town and its people are affected by a distant war. The director has a storyteller’s grasp of the defining detail; the carefree dive into Lake Superior, a cake iced with thanks for the boys’ upcoming service, and the Army educator who, shepherding recruits through a month’s perfunctory training, can’t pronounce the name of Afghanistan’s president. Offering no commentary, Courtney positions herself as an observer, yet her choice of moments to capture leaves us in no doubt where she stands. Director Heather Courtney is a festival guest and will be present at both screenings for Q&A.
Heather Courtney’s work often focuses on complex social justice issues through the telling of personal stories. Filmography: Los Trabajadores/The Workers (2001) and Letters from the Other Side (2006).
|Sat||26.11.2011||19:00||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
Paddy Considine is an experienced actor, but also the screenwriter for Dead Man’s Shoes (2004). As a director he debuts with a piece of hard-handed British social realism. Joseph is lonely, unemployed and struggles both with alcohol and his aggression. After a rage fueled rampage gets him into trouble, he seeks shelter in charity shop, where he meets Hannah, a deeply religious, self-effacing woman. Together they make Tyrannosaur a movie that may sometimes be hard to watch, but also has its tender moments. Both of them hopelessly trapped in insufferable lives, but see in each other a means of escape. Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman delivers two of this years most outstanding performances, which they both received awards for at Sundance Film Festival.
Paddy Considine (b. 1973) has acted in movies like 24 Hour Party People (2002), Dead Man’s Shoes (2004), Cinderella Man (2005), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Tyrannosaur is his directorial debut.
Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour follows iconic feminist electronic band Le Tigre on their 2004–2005 international tour across four continents and through ten countries. Supported by a community of devoted fans and led by outspoken Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Le Tigre confronts sexism and homophobia in the music industry while tearing up the stage via performance art poetics, no-holds-barred lyrics, punk rock ethos, and whip-smart wit in this edgy and entertaining documentary. The film features never before seen live performances, archival interviews, and revealing backstage footage with these trail-blazing artists.
Kerthy Fix directed and produced Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields (OIFF 2010). She was a guest at our festival last year.
|Thu||24.11.2011||19:15||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
A love story is both a physical and emotional tale, one that can be deeply personal and heartbreaking for an audience to experience. Director Drake Doremus' film Like Crazy beautifully illustrates how your first real love is as thrilling and blissful as it is devastating. When a British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for her American classmate (Anton Yelchin) they embark on a passionate and life-changing journey only to be separated when she violates the terms of her visa. Like Crazy explores how a couple faces the real challenges of being together and of being apart. Like Crazy won awards for best film and for best actress (Felicity Jones) at this year’s Sundance Festival.
Drake Doremus har previously directed films like Spooner (2009) and Douchebag (2010). He’s screened several of his films at major film festivals, and has won awards at Sundance and Sonoma Valley Film Festival, among others.
The Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth has provoked audiences world wide for 40 years. Who is he? Director Truls Lie challenges the Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth (73) to reflect on why he made over 40 documentaries, spent 20 years in Haiti, and lived his life as an observer. Leth’s films are prominent aesthetical works, as we see in The Five Obstructions with Lars von Trier (OIFF 2003) and The Erotic Man (2010). Lie’s enquiry on Leth chapters into three levels – desire, doubt and despair. Leth is the main example of the modern observer. He is both a seducer and always ready to be seduced. He is the aesthetic, but he is always in doubt as an artist, and existentially often in despair. He strives to create, or else he would drown, as he says. Haiti’s chaotic society and recurring catastrophes (as the earthquake in 2010) also remarkably lessens Leth’s own inner chaos. Read also about Jørgen Leth’s short film classic The Perfect Human (1968), which will be screened before The Seduced Human. Director Truls Lie attends the festival.
Truls Lie (b. 1957) has previously been the owner and editor of Morgenbladet, and editor and publisher of the Nordic edition of Le Monde diplomatique. He is the editor of DOX European Documentary Film Magazine. The Seduced Human is his debut as a film director.
Ahmed is the oldest of five sons. His family are refugees from the Russian/Chechen war and now reside on the outskirts of Oslo. Ahmed’s father is the undisputed head of the household and dreams about returning home. Soon to be 13, Ahmed is beginning to question his role as the son with most responsibility and is beginning to figure out his own dreams about the future. Ahmed’s story is a unique glimpse inside the four walls of a Chechen family living in Norway. Director Ritchie Cavander-Cole and Kari Anne Moe and Anita R. Larsen from the production company are festival guests and are attending the screening on Saturday, November 26.
Ritchie Cavander-Cole (b. 1973) graduated from the Film and TV academy in Oslo as a documentary director. Ahmed – Almost 13 is his directorial debut.
Zanyar Adami was only five years old when he was sent to Sweden all by himself. His parents were guerilla fighters struggling in the mountains of Kurdistan. One year later they managed to escape the war and join their son. Zanyar’s father, Taher, has never broken the silence about his past. Instead, he does everything he can to forget the war, the torture and the murder of his brother. When Zanyar realizes he is to become a father, he tries to dig up his family’s history, but his father Taher wants to keep it buried. Finally Zanyar decides to confront him.
Zanyar Adami is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Gringo, Swedish periodical about immigrant culture. The Guerilla Son is his first major movie project. David Herdies is a co-founder of Filmfront STHLM. He has worked with film in many forms, from art and music videos to documentaries.
|Fri||25.11.2011||20:30||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
PREMIER Director’s statement: “If ordinary life back home is becoming increasingly virtual what about traveling, is it still a way to strive for authenticity? No. Traveling is the most advanced form of role playing game. Because the game is your life and the character you’re playing is you. Camus, in his writing is talking about the actor and is using the traveler as the worst form of acting. Because the traveler is making a theater of his life. Violence of Silence is created in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, the mood still lingering in the air, and when the generation of the great depression arrives here the filmmaker gathers, like a vampire: the nihilistic, the beautiful, and the absurd. To create a discussion between this triangle of moods. The movie is in flux between nature and grace, and so never ends. The movie is not made for us, but is a portrait of us, for future generations. Be self-conscious. Be very self-conscious. What kind of ordinary sins wouldn’t hit you like Sisyphus’s rock if left alone on alien shores or fields? How dependent are you not?” Be sure also to catch Skylstad’s exhibition Jaded Inept at the gallery OSL contemporary, Nov. 24–Dec. 22, 2011, www.oslcontemporary.com. We regret to announce that director Kristian Skylstad will be unable to attend the premier as planned.
Kristian Skylstad (b. 1982) is a visual artist, writer and filmmaker. Violence of Silence and his first film, Kerry Is Gay (2005) comprise the first two installments in a trilogy. Violence of Silence took him four years to complete. Skylstad is now preparing his third film, which will take place in Burma, Sumatra and the US.
Productive provocateur Sion Sono, who memorably stirred up things at last year’s OIFF with ice cold serial killer drama Cold Fish, is back with an incredibly topical film. The script for what was originally intended as a straight adaptation of Furuya Minoru’s thriller manga Himizu was already written, when the T?hoku quake, and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, hit Japan. Shaken and inspired, Sono returned to his keyboard and weaved the topical events into the script. Fifteen year old Sumida is abandoned by his mother, who takes off with a lover, leaving him only a note urging him to “Never give up!”, a failing boat rental business, and a violent, drunken father. His dreams for the future fade away. Classmate Keiko, who has got a bit of a crush on Sumida, struggles with much of the same problems. When the father one night turns violent one too many times, Sumida can no longer contain his suppressed rage… A dark masterpiece, with powerful, price winning (Venice 2011) acting turns from young Sometani and Nikaid?. Himizu is a film that lingers long in your memory. Sion Sono is also represented in this year’s program with Guilty of Romance.
Sion Sono feature film debut was Bicycle Sighs (1991). His big breakthrough came in 2001 with Suicide Club. Filmography: Dankon: The Man (1998), Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005), Strange Circus (2005), Hazard (2005), Love Exposure (2008), Cold Fish (OIFF 2010), Guilty of Romance (OIFF 2011), Himizu (OIFF 2011).
Jørgen Leth about his short film classic from 1968: “A beautiful young couple acts as demonstration objects. We'll see how a person becomes, by virtue of the roles assigned to it. It all takes place in a bright demonstration room with dissecting lighting. The film is a document – or a meta-document – of life in Denmark year 1967. It shows the model of The Perfect Human, created by our wishful thinking, as they are expressed in different ways in our everyday lives, and this model is, in my opinion more representative of future tendencies in society, than even the most sober sociological report on life in Denmark.” This short will be screened together with The Seduced Human, Truls Lie’s documentary about Jørgen Leth.
Jørgen Leth (b. 1937) is a Danish poet and film director that has directed more than 40 films. He was a key figure in the avant garde milieu in Copenhagen in the 1960s. Selected filmography: The Perfect Human (1968), Life in Denmark (1971), 66 Scenes from America (1981), and The Five Obstructions with Lars von Trier (OIFF 2003).
Intense, beautiful and dreamy, Inni is Sigur Rós’ second concert film. Their first film, Heima (OIFF 2007), followed the band as they held a series of unannounced concerts in their native Iceland. While Heima focused on the bands roots, acoustic performances and the Icelandic landscape, Inni focuses on the stage performance itself. The filming was done over two nights in London in 2008, and is also combined with older concert footage. The film is monochromatic, and has a very special style, thanks to director Vincent Morisset. The original footage was done digitally, but Morisset has continued to manipulate it further to achieve the desired effect. All the footage was reshot on 16 mm film, then reshot again, sometimes through prisms and other objects. The result is an intimate, innovative and playful concert film that shows the stage performance as it is experienced by both the audience and the band. Caution – strobe lighting and flashing images are used during Sigur Rós’ live performance footage.
Vincent Morisset is a Canadian director, known for his interactive productions and new ways of telling stories. Morisset is responsible for all web productions for the band Arcade Fire. His previous work includes Arcade Fire’s interactive music videos and the music documentary Mroir Noir (2008).
|Wed||23.11.2011||19:00||FH, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
We Were Here visits San Francisco during the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, when its flourishing gay community is hit with an unimaginable disaster. It is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. It explores how the city’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic. Though a San Francisco-based story, this remarkable film extends beyond San Francisco and beyond AIDS itself. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination. The film is rough and truly heartbreaking, but the stories presented by the remarkable individuals interviewed will leave the audience not only in tears, but at the same time elevated and filled with hope.
David Weissmann and Bill Weber have previously directed the award-winning documentary The Cockettes (2002).
In a big beautiful house, in a magical overgrown garden, tiny 14 year-old Arrietty lives with her equally tiny parents. The house is owned by an old lady who is ignorant of her secret tenants. Everything the family owns are things they have made of borrowed items. They only borrow a little at a time, so nobody will notice. But living in hiding is not always easy. Their anonymous life ends abruptly when Arrietty is discovered by a young boy. This Japanese animation was inspired by Mary Norton’s book series The Borrowers. The founders of legendary animation Studio Ghibli had been contemplating an adaptation of the book for 40 years before the project was actually realized. Released in Japan in 2010, Arrietty won the award for best animated film at the Japan Academy Prize the same year.
Hiromasa Yonebayashi has worked as an animator for Studio Ghibli since 1997, and has previously worked on films such as Spirited Away (2001). In addition to Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli is also famous for films such as My Neighbour Totoro (1998) and Princess Mononoke (1997). Arriety is Yonebayashi’s directorial debut, which made him the youngest director at Studio Ghibli.
Julia and her twin sister both suffer from a incurable eye disease. When Julia’s sister is found dead in the basement, everyone assumes it was suicide. Everyone except Julia. She begins to investigate her sister’s death, and a sneaking feeling of being observed creeps up on her, but she sees no one. Is her imagination getting the best of her, or is her sister’s mysterious killer toying with her? This is yet another horror/fantasy story produced by Guillermo del Toro and the team behind The Orphanage (2007), with a very believable Belén Rueda as the main character Julia, but despite lush and fantastic set designs, this film is by far more chilling than The Orphanage, and often reminiscent of Brian de Palma’s handiwork.
Guillem Morales was born in Barcelona, Spain. He made his directorial debut with the short film Back Room (1999). His other films include Gracia exquisita (2000), Upside Down and Divadlo (both 2002). His feature film debut came with The Uncertain Guest (2004). This is Morales’ second feature.
Laurence Anyways is a unique film experience. It is a story about love and sexuality. A man and a woman in Montreal, Canada in the 90’s. About a man trying to save his relationship with his fiancée after he discovers that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body. Transsexualism had and still has a whiff of taboo around it.
Melvil Poupaud (Laurence), Suzanne Clément (Fred) and Nathalie Baye (mother of Laurence) all deliver strong performances. The film’s photography is evocative and seductive. An eclectic music selection, from Fever Ray and Depeche Mode to Beethoven and Erik Satie helps in organic ways.
Under Xavier Dolan's direction, based on his own script, we are invited into an unusual love story, told in a stylish way, with a firm, imaginative grasp. That he is only 23 years old, and already filming his fourth film is impressive. Xavier Dolan has with his latest film already established himself as one of today’s best directors.
Xavier Dolan (b. 1989) has worked as an actor since he was 6. He made his directorial debut with I Killed My Mother (OIFF 2009) at 19, followed by Heartbeat (2010). All of his movies has been screened at different selections at the Cannes Film Festival.
Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has chosen to make his latest film in Japan. And his Tokyo scenes are glorious, with good help from the Japanese cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima, who has won prizes for his photo for Takeshi Kitano and Isao Yukisada.
An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo. She knows nothing about him, he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of just twenty four hours, bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter. Like Someone in Love is a minimalistic and beautiful film in Kiarostami’s typical style.
The Iranian director, poet and photografer Abbas Kiarostami (b.1940) has won prizes at festivals all over the world. Some of his most well-known movies are Close-Up (1990), Through the Olive Trees (1994), Taste of Cherry (1997), and The Wind Will Carry Us (1999).
|Thu||22.11.2012||21:00||Filmens Hus, Lillebil||Buy a Ticket|
This year’s winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival! Pieta is an ambitious violent drama that borrows its title from Michelangelo's famous sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the dead Christ in her arms. It may sound like an odd combination, but director Kim Ki-Duk blends capitalism-bashing, religion and violence so brutal some audience members have left during the screening of this film about loan shark Lee Kang-do.
Lee Kang-do displays everything except pietà – grace – in his cash collection business. One day a woman claiming to be his mother shows up, leading to some dramatic events in his life. Kim Ki-Duk has said that with this film he wanted to discuss how money and success destroy that which is pure and create relationships of hatred between people.
Kim Ki-Duk (b. 1960) is most known in Norway for the film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003). Oslo Film Festival has earlier shown The Isle (OIFF 2000), Bad Guy (OIFF 2002), Samaritan Girl (OIFF 2004), 3-Iron (OIFF 2005). Time (OIFF 2006) and Arirang (OIFF 2011). Pieta is his 18th film.
|Wed||21.11.2012||23:00||Sentrum Scene||Buy a Ticket|
The director of In Bruges is back with a successful and wild comedy with a star cast. Colin Farrell plays Marty, a screenwriter who struggles to find the inspiration to finish his screenplay called Seven Psychopaths. His best friend Billy is an unemployed actor who steals dogs and then collects a reward for returning them. He shares this doggy-napping business with the religious and ex-violent Hans, and one day the two manage to accidentally steal a small Shih Tzu belonging to Charlie, a dangerous gangster. This should provide enough inspiration for Marty’s screenplay, if he survives the chaos he gets mixed up in. Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie’s films seem to be stylistic role models for Seven Psychopaths. The film is full of cool movie references, and won the Audience Award at the International Film Festival in Toronto.
Martin McDonagh (b. 1970) is an Irish playwright, screenwriter and director. He has won many prizes, including an Academy Award, for his first short Six Shooter (2005) and his first feature film In Bruges (2008).
If you’ve seen one of photographer Gregory Crewdsons photos, you’ll never forget it. He doesn’t just “take” a photo – he creates them over weeks of preperation. Crewdsons makes unique, surreal and incredibly intricate pictures which can be described as one-frame films of american suburban life. Filmmakers like David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock are some of his main sources of inspiration. Crewdson directs every scene, taking care of the smallest of details, uses special effects and large technical crews.
Director Ben Shapiro has followed Crewdson for ten years, and in this documentary he gives us a unique insight into the photographer's thoughts, ideas, motivation and methods. We get to hear him reflect on his childhood and inspirations, and we get to take part in some of his epic productions where he sets houses on fire, shuts down city streets and builds huge sets – all in the pursuit of the perfect picture of a not so perfect world.
Ben Shapiro is a New York-based director and cinematographer. His previous work has been shown on TV, major film festivals and at museums like New York's MoMa. Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters is his first feature-length documentary. Ben Shapiro is a guest at this years festival.
Cult director Don Hertzfeldt has taken his animated short film trilogy about the character Bill and edited it together into this award winning feature film. In the film we follow Bill’s seemingly mundane life, narrated through humourous and dramatic anecdotes by the director himself. The story takes a darker turn when we realise that Bill might suffer from a serious mental disorder.
The first film in the trilogy, Everything Will be OK premiered in 2006, and was followed by I am so Proud of You (2008) and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012). All three films have won a number of awards and received rave reviews. Hertzfeldt has become known both as an outstanding storyteller, but also for his very special style of animation. He makes his films with an antique 35mm camera, and It’s Such a Beautiful Day shows what Hertzfeldt does best: his naïve and simple drawings, his use of old-fashioned animation techniques and his dark sense of humour.
Don Hertzfeldt (b. 1976) is a filmmaker based in California. Hertzfeldt only works with animation and is known for his special style. He has won nearly 200 awards for his films, and Rejected (2000) was nominated for an Academy Award. It’s Such a Beautiful Day is his first feature film.
Cosmopolis is an adaptation of Don DeLillos novel by the same title from 2003. Cronenberg’s direction is very faithful to the novel. The dialogue is almost straight from the text. The important scenes in the white limo are recreated visually impressive, a symbol of wealth, but also a claustrophobic frame, trapped as if in a coffin. His regular photographer Peter Suschitzsky gives the film an incredible visual look. Composer Howard Shore adapts to the amount of dialogue, and the synth contributions in collaboration with Emily Haines (Metric) are very good.
New York is in turmoil; the age of capitalism is drawing to a close. Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a high finance golden boy, dives into a white limousine. While a visit from the President of the United States paralyses Manhattan, Eric Packer has one obsession: getting a haircut at his barber's at the other end of the city. As the day goes by, chaos sets in, and he watches helplessly as his empire collapse. Also he is sure someone is going to assassinate him. When? Where? He is about to live the most decisive 24 hours of his life. The result is a black comedy, an almost hypnotic journey towards a strong finish.
David Cronenberg (b. 1943) is known for films such as Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007) and A Dangerous Method (OIFF 2011).
|Sun||25.11.2012||20:00||Filmens Hus, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
Amour won the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, just three years after receiving it for The White Ribbon. The elderly couple Georges (Trintignant) and Anne (Riva) are retired music teachers living in Paris. When Anne suddenly becomes ill, and gradually succumbs to her illness, she makes Georges promise that he won’t send her away, but will care for her himself. Their lifelong relationship is severely tested. How are you supposed to deal with your roles, life and relationship changing so dramatically? What do you do when the one you love no longer is the same? Can love handle this? The French acting legends Trintignant and Riva masterfully show us the couple's frustrations, daily struggles and tender moments, while Hanekes direction and script explores old age and illness with a realism that is both moving and brutal at once. Amour is an excellent film from a filmmaker who continues to gaze fearlessly, unblinkingly into the human soul.
Michael Haneke (b. 1942) was born in Munich and grew up in Austria. He made his first film in 1989. His features include 71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls (OIFF 1994), Funny Games (1997/2007), La Pianiste (2001), Le Caché (2005) and The White Ribbon (OIFF 2009). He is one of seven directors who have won the prestigious Palme d’Or twice.
Japanese anime at its best! After her fathers death, young Momo and her mother moves to a remote and quiet island. In a state of grief, she clings to an unfinished letter her father left her. Not long after they’ve arrived at the island, strange things start happening. Things disappear, and Momo starts hearing noises from the attic. Who is making the noises, and what is the meaning behind the mysterious letter from her father? Annoyed because her mother won’t believe her, Momo decides to explore what is really happening. This is the start of a supernatural and magical journey, where Momo meets weird creatures and discovers the story behind her father’s letter.
Director Hiroyuki Okiura worked on this film for seven years, and it shows: the film is beautifully made, with details and backgrounds that really shine. Okiura has also written the screenplay for this film. A Letter to Momo is a beautiful film that deserves to be seen on the big screen.
Hiroyuki Okiura (b. 1966) is a Japanese director and animator, who is known for his detailed animation. A Letter to Momo (2012) is his third film as a director. His debut film, Jin Roh (OIFF 1999), won the Minami Toshiko Award at the 2000 Yubari Film Festival.
Kyle Henry’s Fourplay consists of four short stories around sexual dilemmas and relationships. A lesbian choir singer has a secret crush on the pastor’s wife. When the couple go out of town, they ask her to dog-sit for the weekend. As she sleeps in their bed, she experiences intense sex dreams about the object of her affection.
A couple reaches a turning point in their relationship during a visit to the backroom of an adult shop. An insecure and far from well-endowed man has a surreal experience in a very sexually charged public restroom. And a transgender prostitute lends a hand to a paraplegic man in a beautiful and extraordinary story of tenderness. This film contains sexually explicit scenes.
Kyle Henry's feature debut Room (2005) premiered at both Sundance and Directors’ Fortnight. Fourplay is his anthology-of-shorts follow up, again with Michael Stipe and Jim McKay as executive producers.
Richard Williams is best known for his work as the animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), but his creative animation work can also be found in many film title sequences, commercials, logos and more. Everything was a basis for further experimentation and learning, but also to raise money for his dream project.
His film had the working title The Thief and the Cobbler, and its story was based on 1001 Nights. Williams wanted this to become his own personal masterpiece – an epic reinvention of animation. For nearly thirty years Williams worked tirelessly on the film. Director Kevin Schreck has interviewed people who worked on the film with Williams. These interviews have been combined with previously unseen scenes, artwork and rare archival footage, to tell the story of this unique film, and the director who was obsessed with it. This is the fascinating story of the greatest animated film, that was never made. Inspiring, beautiful and poignant.
Kevin Schrek is an American director, based in New York. Persistence of Vision (2012) is Schrecks second feature film. His first documentary, The World According to David Liebe Hart, premiered in 2010.
James Franco and famous Disney actresses Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens tops the cast in Harmony Korine’s new film, Spring Breakers, which could prove to be just as groundbreaking as his debut, Gummo, was 15 years ago.
Best girlfriends Faith, Candy, Brit and Cotty attend the same college. They decide to go to Florida to celebrate the traditional Spring Break, and rob a fast food shack to fund the adventure. Once in Florida they get arrested for drug possession at a party and end up in jail. White trash-gangster Alien (James Franco) helps the four bikini-clad girls out of the courtroom, but in return he expects them to do a job for him, of course.
Spring Breakers is an ironic look at the American Dream and the teen quest of finding yourself - which turns out to mostly be an excuse for outrageous partying, including alcohol, sex and drugs. The film features a score by the popular electronic artist Skrillex.
Harmony Korine (b. 1973) is an American screenwriter and director. He became known for writing the script to the movie Kids (Larry Clark 1995), and has also directed the movies Gummo (OIFF 1997), Julien Donkey-Boy (OIFF 1999), Mister Lonely (OIFF 2007) and Trash Humpers (OIFF 2009).
This year’s Nobel Laureate in Literature, Mo Yan, wrote the novel Red Sorghum in 1987. The same year this film adaptation was made. It was Zhang Yimou’s directing debut, and the film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. This was also Gong Li’s first acting role.
Set in northern China in the late 1920’s, a group of men is carrying a young woman on a sedan chair through the desert landscape. The woman is 18-year old Jiver, who is to be married off in exchange for a donkey. The groom is the aging Li, a liquor trader. This is the start of a long and epic family saga. The film is a very visual experience, with a colorful and rich imagery.
Zhang Yimou (b. 1951) is a Chinese director, producer, actor and author. Movies like Ju Dou (1990), Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Not One Less (1999), Hero (2001) and House of Flying Daggers (2004) have made him one of the most well-known Chinese directors in the western world.
After his successes Falkenberg Farewell and The Ape, Jesper Ganslandt returns with Blondie, an almost aggressive family drama with darkly funny undertones. Three sisters, all adrift and in crisis, reunite at their childhood home as their domineering mother arranges her big birthday party.
Ganslandt’s latest film is filled with drama and laughter, with strong and varied performances from an all star cast of Swedish female actors.
Jesper Ganslandt (b. 1978) has previously directed Falkenberg Farewell (2006) and The Ape (OIFF 2009).
Keanu Reeves takes us on a journey through the world of cinema, looking at both the past and the future. Since the beginning of filmmaking, the standard format has been just that: film. Over the last 20 years a new form of digital filmmaking has developed and revolutionised the term “film”. Via in-depth interviews, Reeves explores the development and consequences this evolution has had for filmmakers like James Cameron, David Lynch, David Fincher, Martin Scorcese, Steven Soderbergh and Christopher Nolan, to name a few.
“For a film geek this movie is absolute heaven, a dream symposium in which directors, cinematographers, editors, and a few actors gather to opine on the details of their craft. It is worth a year of film school and at least 1,000 hours of DVD bonus commentary” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times).
Christopher Kenneally has been working in the movie business since the late 90’s. He has previously made the documentary Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating (2004) and the short Looking Out for Number One (2009).
Joe Brainard’s (1941–1994) many drawings, collages, assemblages, and paintings, as well as his short essays and verbal-visual collaborations, were celebrated during his lifetime. His evocations of memory and desire perhaps found their greatest expression in his memoir-poem I Remember. The poem’s standardized format admits an incredible variety of images and feelings: “I remember Greyhound buses at night… I remember candy cigarettes like chalk… I remember leaning up against walls in queer bars…”
Filmmaker Matt Wolf’s archival montage combines audio recordings of Brainard reading from the poem, as well as an interview with his lifelong friend and collaborator, the poet Ron Padgett. The result is an inventive biography of Joe Brainard, and an elliptical dialog about friendship, nostalgia, and the strange wonders of memory.
Matt Wolf is the director of the documentary Wild Combination (2008) about the avant-garde cellist and disco producer Arthur Russell. The film screened at OIFF 2008, and Matt Wolf was a guest at the festival.
Rafa won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. Rafa is 13 years old. He lives in a small apartment in a southern suburb of Lisbon with his mother, his sister and his nephew. One summer night, Rafa learns that his mother has been arrested by the police. On the motorcycle of a friend, he crosses the bridge of April 25th and goes to the city center police station to see her and wait for her release. Night falls. Rafa has decided not to return home without his mother.
João Salaviza (b. 1984) is from Lisbon. His film Arena (OIFF 2009) won the Short Film Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Whateverest is a documentary about the unlikely inspiration behind a dance tune produced by Todd Terje called Inspector Norse. “Inspector Norse” is the internet alias of Marius Solem Johansen, a failed musician living in a small town, producing dance videos and drug recipes for YouTube.
The music video to Inspector Norse, based on clips from this short, won Best Dance Video – Budget at the this years UK Music Video Awards.
Kristoffer Borgli’s (b. 1985) music videos have screened at festivals all over the world, earning him prices from the Canadian International Film Festival and the Norwegian Spellemann award, and his short film collaboration with The Golden Filter screened at the SXSW short film competition.
“We are responsible for our dreams. This is the ultimate lesson of psychoanalysis – and fiction cinema.” The makers of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema return with The Pervert's Guide to Ideology. Philosopher Slavoj Žižek and filmmaker Sophie Fiennes use their interpretation of moving pictures to present a compelling cinematic journey into the heart of ideology – the dreams that shape our collective beliefs and practices.
The philosophical provocateur Slavoj Žižek is the star of the film. He examines film clips from more than 20 films that help him click through capitalism, fascism, consumerism, Stalinism, religion and more. Fiennes follows the successful method from the first film, which physically inserts Žižek into recreations of famous movie sets. This time including films like A Clockwork Orange, Taxi Driver, The Sound of Music, Titanic, Brazil, The Last Temptation of Christ, Jaws, Zabriskie Point and many more. Learn a lot, and have a really good time in the cinema.
Sophie Fiennes (b. 1967) has previously made Hoover Street Revival (2003), The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006), VSPRS Show and Tell (2007), and Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (OIFF 2010).
21-year old Jane lives in California’s San Fernando Valley, spending her days getting high with her dysfunctional roommates, Melissa and Mikey, while caring for her Chihuahua Starlet. Sadie is an elderly widow going through life alone tending to her flower garden. After a confrontation between the two women during Sadie’s yard sale, Jane discovers a large sum of cash hidden in an object from Sadie’s past. She tries to befriend the older woman in an attempt to solve the dilemma she’s in, and as their relationship grows, secrets emerge.
Dree Hemingway (daughter of Mariel and great-grandchild of Ernest) gets her breakthrough performance in this film. The film had it’s premiere at SXSW and its international premiere at Locarno Film Festival this year.
Sean Baker was co-creator of the cult television series Greg the Bunny (with Seth Green and Sarah Silverman) and has since written and directed Take Out (2004) and Prince of Broadway (2008).
|Sun||25.11.2012||12:00||Filmens Hus, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
Master of suspense Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s lastest film is a chilling tale based on Minato Kanae’s novel Shokuzai. Originally made as a TV series, Penance shows Kurosawa’s continuing mix of arthouse and genre films. Through five chapters we get to know Asako, whose daughter Emili is brutally murdered at a young age. Her four best friends all saw the killer’s face, but insist that the shock of the event has wiped their memory clean. Fifteen years later the murder remains unsolved, and all the girls have grown up deeply scarred. But Asako's thirst for revenge has grown and she is determined to make the girls pay for their sins.
As Asako tracks the girls down, we see how the guilt has impacted their lives, and in the final chapter we learn what actually happened that fateful day – leading to events beyond what Asako ever could have expected. Penance was without doubt the best of the Japanese movies shown at this year’s Venice Film Festival. NB: Ticket price kr 150,-
Kiyoshi Kurosawa was born in Kobe and studied film at Rikkyo University. His directorial debut in 1983 was Kandagawa Warriors. A string of continually improving films followed: Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl (1985), Eyes of the Spider (1997), Cure (1998), Charisma (1999), Seance (OIFF 2001), Pulse (OIFF 2002), Bright Future (OIFF 2003) and Tokyo Sonata (2008).
Alan Turing’s name is unknown to most people despite him being one of the most important figures of the 20th century. Turing was instrumental in the development of the computer age, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, and his work decoding the German naval code during World War II helped save millions of lives. Many today place Turing alongside great thinkers such as Newton, Einstein and Darwin – yet few know his name, and even fewer his tragic story. Instead of being recognized, Turing was persecuted for being homosexual in a time where this was forbidden. In 1952 he was convicted and forced to undergo chemical castration. Two years later, at age 41, he committed suicide with cyanide.
Codebreaker is a drama-documentary detailing the highs and lows of Turing’s life, from his groundbreaking work, through the government’s persecution, and to his death in 1954.
Clare Beavan is an Emmy Award-winning drama and documentary director and producer, with 20 years experience. Her work has been broadcast on major networks in the United States, the United Kingdom, and throughout the world. Her credits include Lee Strasberg: The Method Man (1998), The Prince, the Showgirl and Me (2004), and Simon Schama’s Power of Art (2006).
|Wed||20.11.2013||19:00||Filmens Hus, Tancred||Buy a Ticket|
Tom at the Farm is the fourth film directed by rising star Xavier Dolan, an intense psychological thriller. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it received the Critic's Award for the best film in competition. The film is based on a play by Michel Marc Bouchard. Dolan plays with the conventions of the genre, and has created a challenging and interesting story. The director hold his cards close to his chest, and makes sure we’re never quite sure what will happen next. Tom at the Farm tells an intriguing story of loss and grief, but also desire and duplicity. Tom (played by director Dolan), travels out to the countryside to take part in his lovers funeral. When he arrives he suddenly discovers that their relationship has been a secret, and that nobody knows who he is. His boyfriend’s homophobic brother, Francis, is the only one who knows Toms story. Francis starts a sadistic and psychological game - forcing Tom to prolong his stay, and pretend he is someone else. Gradually, it becomes clear to Tom that Francis may not let him leave.
Xavier Dolan (b. 1989) is an actor and director from Montreal, Canada. His debut as a filmmaker was with the film J’ai tué ma mère (OIFF 2009), which won a total of three awards at the Cannes Film Festival. His last film, Lawrence Anyways (OIFF 2012), won several awards including at the Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes.
When their parents suddenly die in a car crash, Bianca and Thomas’ world is turned upside down. However, some of Thomas’ shady friends have a plan that could secure the teenagers future. They want Bianca to visit and seduce the former movie star and hermit Maciste (Rutger Hauer), so they can gain access to the aging man’s hidden fortune. When a unique friendship develops between the actor and the girl, Bianca discovers that it the mission will be far more difficult to complete than she first thought. Il Futuro is an atmospheric psychological thriller, showcasing director Alicia Scherson’s striking visual style. The plot is based on the writer Roberto Bolaño’s novel Una novelita lumpen.
Alicia Scherson (b. 1974) is a director from Chile. Her debut was with the film Play (2005), for which she won the award for best director at the Tribeca Film Festival. Il Futuro is her third feature film.
Similar to the time travelling debut Primer, Shane Carruth’s second feature is a dreamy, atmospheric, intellectually challenging exercise. A suspenseful, mysterious, romantic and supremely original film, wrapped in a gorgeous film language, mostly done by Carruth himself (he is also Upstream Colors’ screenwriter, cinematographer, composer, editor, etc.). The wide spanning life cycle of a mysterious microorganism touches a multitude of unconnected lives and pushes two people together. Kris’ life is turned upside-down the day a small-time thief drugs and infects her with this microscopic, uninvited guest. Unaware of what has happened, unclear forces eventually pull her into the gravitational field of another, infected person, and together they try to find safety and answers in a post-infected, chaotic world.
Shane Carruth (b. 1972) is an American film writer, director, and actor. He debuted with the prize-winning science-fiction film Primer (OIFF 2004). Upstream Color is his second feature.
Oscar-nominees Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this thriller that asks the question of how far would you go to protect those you love? During the Thanksgiving celebration the Dover and Birch families experience every parent's nightmare. The two daughters of the families never return after having been allowed to go out and play. The mentally handicapped Alex Jones owns a van seen near the scene, but is instantly checked out of the investigation by Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal). The reason is lack of evidence and Jones' low IQ. Keller Dover (Jackman), Anna deeply religious father, isn’t so sure and starts his own brutal and shady investigation. Director Villeneuve takes the classic thrillers genre's traits and uses them sophisticated and elegantly to create an uncomfortable and thrilling film.
Canadian Denis Villeneuve (b. 1967) is a multiple award-winning director and writer. His previous work includes August 32nd on Earth (1998), Maelstrom (2000), Next Floor (2008) and Polytechnique (OIFF 2009). His last movie Incendies (2011) was nominated to an Oscar for best foreign movie. Prisoners is his sixth feature, and the first he has made in Hollywood.
|Wed||20.11.2013||17:00||Filmens Hus, Lillebil||Buy a Ticket|
When Franck witnesses a murder, he knows he can never tell anyone what he has just seen. The reason is that he is hopelessly in love with the killer. Now he has to keep his secret, while the murder investigation starts, and he starts a relationship with the man the police are trying to track down. The story in Stranger by the Lake unfolds over a few, brief summer days by a French lake, where gay men gather to swim, and meet other men. Director Alain Guiraudie has made a gripping and complex film, which he has described as a “naturalist thriller”. The films explicit sex scenes have given the film a lot of publicity, while its psychological drama has earned its very positive reviews. Stranger by the Lake gives us a glimpse into the taboo gay cruising scene, while exploring universal themes like sex, death, morals and loneliness. The film won the award for best director at Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.
Alain Guiraudie (b. 1964) is a French director and screenwriter. Since 1990 he has directed 10 feature and short films. Previous films include That Old Dream That Moves (2001), for which he won a Prix Jean Vigo, and Jean-Luc Godard named as that year’s best film at the Cannes Film Festival.
Following a shootout that left his two partners respectively dead and paralyzed, chief detective Carl Mørck is assigned to the newly established Department Q, a department for old, terminated cases. The department consists only of himself and his new assistant Assad. Although they get explicit orders to only read and sort through the cases, only a single day passes before Carl’s stubborn nature throws them headfirst into the mystery of Merete Lynggaard’s disappearance; a well-known female politician who vanished five years ago from a passenger ferry. The only witness is her brain-damaged brother who was found on the car deck, screaming at the top of his lungs. The case was put to rest as an apparent suicide. Unconvinced by this explanation Carl and Assad venture on a journey that will take them deep into the undercurrent of abuse and malice that lurks beneath the polished surface of Scandinavia. The Keeper of Lost Causes is based on Jussi Adler-Olsen's novel of the same name. It has been translated into many languages and has so far sold over 8 million worldwide.
Mikkel Nørgaard (b. 1974) studied directing at the Danish Film School. He has directed television series like Clown (2005-2009) and several episodes of the award-winning political drama Borgen (2010-2011). Nørgaard's feature debut Klown (2010) became a huge success in his home country. The Keeper of Lost Causes is his second feature film.
Matt and Owen are the school’s two biggest film geeks, equipped with a huge repertoire of references and equally stunted skills in social circles, making them the natural favorite target of the school halls’ local gang of roving bullies – The Dirties. The solution for the two is to release some of the pressure through a film class project – an escapist, Tarantino-inspired revenge fantasy, where they cast themselves as hardboiled vigilantes that blow their enemies away in a hail of red-hot bullets. Harmless and openly amateurish, obviously, but the school reacts negatively anyway, and shuts down the project. That sets off a process where fantasy and reality increasingly begins to merge… The Dirties is a funny and thought-provoking “mockumentary”, with an engagingly authentic look, from a filmmaker that rightly can be described as young and promising. The winner of several prices from various film festivals, including the main prize at this years Slamdance festival, and the Next Wave Award at Austin Fantastic Fest.
Matt Johnson is from Toronto, Canada and first made a name for himself with the cult web series Nirvana the Band Show. The Dirties is his first feature film.
The year is 1980. The place is some generic hotel. The occasion is the annual computer chess tournament. Gathered in one of the hotel’s conference rooms is a group of dedicated nerds, eager to conquer the big challenge: can any of them create a computer program clever enough to beat a human chess master? The real challenges soon prove to be more substantial, however. How will they tackle the challenges of social interaction, for instance? Especially with the surprise appearance of a woman among them? And what happens when the new age couples therapy group next door begins to cross paths with the computer chess guys? Things soon turn really weird… Computer Chess fondly takes us back to a bygone era; past times’ low resolution, monochrome video images lovingly emulated with today’s high-resolution video technology. The time machine ride writer/director Andrew Bujalski brings us along on is both playful and humorous, but also very definitely a touching one. A warm and decidedly human tale about how we all are searching for a kindred spirit.
Andrew Bujalski (b. 1977) studied film at Harvard. His feature film debut was Funny Ha Ha (2002), which he followed up with Mutual Appreciation (OIFF 2006) and Beeswax (OIFF 2009, with Andrew Bujalski as guest at the festival.). Computer Chess is his fourth feature.
"None of those I have assisted in the last three years want to die, they all want to live… It’s just they can’t make it". Under the cover name of Miele, Irene (Jasmine Trinca) works as a modern angel of death. She’s part of an illegal network that helps terminally ill patients perform euthanasia. One day she delivers her deadly drugs to a new “client”, Grimaldi (Carlo Cecchi), only to discover that he isn’t dying but, in fact, depressed. The meeting with Grimaldi brings about a crisis for Irene, as she has to reconsider her moral and rules. She doesn’t want to be responsible for his suicide, and from that moment their lives are unwillingly linked together in a way that changes Irene’s life forever. In Valeria Golino’s directional debut we get a strong film, with brilliant acting and beautiful cinematography. Miele has won several awards, including at the Italian Golden Globes, Brussel European Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.
Valeria Golino (b. 1965), is an Italian actress and director. Golino has over the past 30 years acted in a number of Italian and international films, including Rain Man (1988) and Frida Kahlo (2002). Miele is her directorial debut.
The filmmakers behind Manakamana are associated with The Sensory Ethnography Lab, an experimental laboratory at Harvard University that is working with innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnography. They have already distinguished themselves as one of the most innovative in film documentation after a few films. Manakamana consists of 11 portraits of travellers on the cable car to Manakamana Temple in Nepal. The Super 16 camera is stationary and films everybody sitting in the seats on the 10-minute journey up or down the valley. Some sit silent in thought, others are chatting with their fellow travellers. The little cable cars are a non-place. The modern, imported means of transport are in stark contrast to the nature and culture outside the windows - one of the most impressive valleys of Trisuli Gorkha in Nepal and the traditional Manakamana Temple. The film is the result of a more complex and dramatic backdrop than what catches the eye in the final result. The film won the Pardo d' oro Cineasti del presente in Locarno this year.
Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez are both Harvard-educated. They have previously directed short films separately, and Manakamana is the feature film debut for both of them.
A hotel room late at night: a young man is carried from the room unconscious on a stretcher. A woman and a man remain in the room where all three of them obviously had spent some time together. Only then, when the ambulance attendants have left, do the other two realize that there is a hidden camera in the room and what happened has been recorded. Was it an accident? A love triangle? A drunken brawl or just something completely different? One after the other, the three people involved are questioned separately by two interrogators whom we hear but never see. Who are they? Why did they end up together? Was it something illegal? Something perverse? Who is the manipulator? The victim? Who are the interrogators? And what right do they have to demand answers? Dirty Young Loose will be screened together with Lene Berg's Kopfkino at the OIFF 2013.
Lene Berg (b. 1965) studied film at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm. She has directed two feature films En Kvinnas Huvud (1997) and Kopfkino (2012) as well as more than fifteen video-projections and shorter films.
The title of Lene Berg’s film Kopfkino literally means mind film. Kopfkino was filmed over the course of two days in Berlin with a set of exceptional characters. The basic concept is simple: eight women exchange stories about their work which is to fulfil theirs clients’ sexual fantasies. Seated behind a long table the women are dressed as various female clichés: a schoolgirl, a circus director, a general or a princess. They recount in their own words their experiences without any direct intervention by the director, but the situation in which we observe them is staged. We are on a film set. Real experiences and actual stories come together in a universe of illusions, fictions and fantasies. Kopfkino was first presented as a part of a big solo show at Henie Onstad Art Center. Kopfkino will be screened together with Lene Berg's Dirty Young Loose at OIFF 2013.
Lene Berg (b. 1965) studied film at Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm. She has directed two feature films En Kvinnas Huvud (1997) and Kopfkino (2012) as well as more than fifteen video-projections and shorter films.
The term 'teenage' is fairly new, coined in the US in the 20th century after World War II, where thousands of teens had been shipped out to fight and die in Europe, marking a permanent intergenerational conflict. Matt Wolf's film is a vivid collage of archival material, filmed portraits and the voices of 1950's teens through their diary entries. Based on punk author Jon Savage's book, accompanied with a post punk soundtrack, by Bradford Cox (Deerhunter), Wolf expertly describes the birth of the iconic, cool, and ever-rebellious teenager, whose rebellion has changed throughout the years, but permanently impacted today's society, culture and politics.
Matt Wolf is the director of the documentary Wild Combination (2008) about the avant-garde cellist and disco producer Arthur Russell. The film screened at OIFF 2008, and Matt Wolf was a guest at the festival. Later I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard (OIFF 2012).
Frauke Finsterwalder's debut film is filled with vicious observations and Sharp comments, tons of irony and pitch black humour from beginning to end. In this version of Germany the sun always shines and everyone is happy, polite and beautiful - until they reveal their darker sides and we learn just how short the distance between the idyllic and the infernal really is. An anthology which takes us on a journey through a surreal Germany where we meet numerous characters bound together through family or mere coincidences - the policeman in a bear costume, the documentary filmmaker unable to find an interesting story, the pedicurist who collects dead skin from an ageing client, the wealthy couple who refuse to sit in a German car, the history student who's uninterested in the class trip to a concentration camp, and the man training a raven in the forest.
Frauke Finsterwalder (b. 1975) has previously directed the short film 0003 km (2005) and the documentaries Weil der Mensch ein Mensch ist (2007) and Die große Pyramide (2010).
Egress is a narrative set in a gas station in the edgelands of Oslo. The main characters work at the bottom of the oil company hierarchy and are engulfed in the everyday and the dark economic and psychological shadows of their society. Egress is the story of a young woman who deals with her every day work situation with independence and stubbornness in her work and life in the periphery of the city. The film shows relationships between control and independence, about labour, class and work, but it is also a poetic film about a socially insecure edgeland of the city—and about a psychological flipside or cost of the everyday, somewhere near the bottom of the huge economic ladder of the oil industry which secures Norway's stability. Egress' world is a world of social instability and economic insecurity as part of a society undergoing major changes. Egress is shot entirely on "location" in Oslo's Groruddalen, mainly between an apartment complex and a gas station. The film is an experimental fiction built up from documentary material which mixes the environment- and character-based to talk about contemporary society.
Knut Åsdam (b. 1968) is one of Norways most internationally recognized younger artists. He uses film, video, photography, text, sound and architecture in his works. Life in todays urban society is a theme he frequently returns to. He has exhibited at established venues like Tate Britain, Venice Biennal, MoMA New York and Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville Paris, and his flms are screened at international film festivals. OIFF has previously screened Oblique, Abyss and Tripoli (OIFF 2010)
Prologue to the Great Desaparecido is a short, introducing the next film by director Lav Diaz: The Great Desaparecido. In this film project he wants to uncover the truth and history behind the Philippino revolution. The revolution started on the 21st August 1896, after 325 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines. One year later the revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio sentenced to death, but his body was never found. His wife searched for him in the mountains for thirty days. Diaz has a clear personal style, with long and slow takes, black & white, and extensive use of the landscape. Prologue was created to finance his next project, but works perfectly as an independent work of art.
Lav Diaz (b. 1958) is a critically acclaimed Phillipino director. A recurring theme in his films is the social and political challenges of his native country. He’s also well known for the length of his films, some up to 11 hours long. He has won a number of international awards for his films, and his films been selected at film festivals in Venice, Cannes, New York and many more around the world.
A little girl reflecting on the great questions of life.
Tove Undheim was educated from The Norwegian Film School and Oslo National Academy of Fine Arts. She has written and directed several short films that has been shown in galleries, at film festivals and on TV.
Bruce LaBruce, the enfant terrible of cinema, is back with what may be his most tender film to date. A film about love, rebellion and freedom. 18-year-old Lake realises after an embarrassing episode by the public pool that his fascination for older men is deeply rooted. He questions whether his fixation is sexual, something that may be a problem in his relationship with his girlfriend Desiree, but when he is offered a job in a nursing home, he immediately accepts. Here he meets Mr. Peabody, and the two find in each other something they've both been missing. When Lake discover the nurses drug the residents, he decides to bust Mr. Peabody out of the facility, and together they drive towards the ocean Mr. Peabody dreams of seeing one last time before his time is up. A satirical look at the fixation on youth in gay culture. A different kind of romantic comedy.
Bruce LaBruce (b. 1964) is a Toronto based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He has directed and starred in three feature length movies, No Skin of my Ass (1991), Super 8 ½ (1994) and Hustler White (1996). He has also written and directed three art/porn features, Skin Flick (2000), The Raspberry Reich (2004) and L.A. Zombie (2010), and the independent feature Otto; or up with Dead People (2008).
When Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, MD, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill have problems of their own: they’re trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby, just home from her first year of college. A story of family revelations, people finding each other and letting each other go, looking for love where they’ve found it before and, when that doesn’t work, figuring out where they might find it next. “I used to be darker, then I got lighter, then I got dark again / Something too big to be seen was passing over and over me.” – Bill Callahan
Matt Porterfield (b. 1977) is the writer/director of Hamilton (2006) and Putty Hill (OIFF 2011). He studied at NYU, lives in Baltimore, MD, and teaches screenwriting, theory and production at Johns Hopkins University.
A new masterpiece from portuguese Miguel Gomes who last year impressed with Tabu. On January 21st 1975, in a village in the north of Portugal, a child writes to his parents who are in Angola to tell them how sad Portugal is. On July 13th 2011, in Milan, an old man remembers his first love. On May 6th 2012, in Paris, a man tells his baby daughter that he will never be a real father. During a wedding ceremony on September 3rd 1977 in Leipzig, the bride battles against a Wagner opera that she can’t get out of her head. Director’s Statement Redemption is a film that resulted from my recent passing through Le Fresnoy School as a tutor. I wanted it to be intimate, almost confessional, composed exclusively of archive images, many of which are super8 and therefore convey a unipersonal, anonymous, private dimension... And, simultaneously, I wanted it to be the very opposite of what I just stated.
Miguel Gomes (b. 1972) is from Portugal and worked as a film critic and film theorist before he started making films himself. His previous feature films The Face You Deserve (2004), Our Beloved Month of August (2008), and Tabu (2012) which won FIPRESCI Award in Berlin in 2012.
The Forester is a collaboration between the musician, composer and producer Susanna, the contemporary music ensemble neoN and the filmmaker Claus A. Breda-Gulbrandsen. Breda-Gulbrandsen has with Susanna and Ensemble neoN’s recording of the 15 minutes long three-part suite The Forester, managed to make a film to be both absorbed and moved by. In the movie the forest is the surroundings for strong encounters and attempts at making connections, at the same time it is a place for wandering, loneliness, silence and meditation. The film illustrates the floating borders between the state of consciousness and unconsciousness, between the realistic and magical. The movie is filmed in Buskerud, mainly at small places like Sandsvær and Lyngdal, and the actors is picked from the directors own environment in Kongsberg.
Claus A. Breda-Gulbrandsen (b. 1975) is an artist based in Kongsberg, Norway. He is educated at the Art Academy in Trondheim, Norway, and works as a filmmaker besides being a teacher in film at Buskerud Folkehøgskole. Breda-Gulbrandsen has made several very special music videos for the Norwegian artist Susanna/Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, shown in the program of the short film festival in Grimstad. The Forester is his second short film.
Sion Sono is not a director known for pulling his punches, and with his latest film he’s clearly aiming to topple Takashi Miike himself from the cult throne. Blood, action and wild antics are to be expected – Why Don’t You Play in Hell?! Crashing this party are The Fuck Bombers – a talentless group of wannabe filmmakers who enthusiastically grab the chance fate has tossed their way: the opportunity to capture the inevitable, bloody yakuza battle that is about to erupt. "Make a damn good movie, even if it's the only one!" Success among fans in Venice. A hit at Midnight Madness in Toronto, and The Audience Award at Austin Fantastic Fest. Let's Party!
Sion Sono the filmmaker got his start in the fertile, experimental Super 8-environment of the PIA Film Festival. Following a few short films, his feature film debut was Bicycle Sighs (1991). His big breakthrough came in 2001 with Suicide Club and its notoriously gory opening sequence. Filmography: Dankon: The Man (1998), Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005), Strange Circus (2005), Hazard (2005), Love Exposure (2008), Cold Fish (OIFF 2010), Guilty of Romance (OIFF 2011), Himizu (OIFF 2011).
An angry miner revolts against the corruption of his village leaders. A migrant worker at home for the New Year discovers the infinite possibilities a firearm can offer. A pretty receptionist at a sauna is pushed to the limit when a rich client assaults her. A young factory worker goes from job to job trying to improve his lot in life. Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: that of an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence.