Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) never breathed a word of his affair with young actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones) until his dying day. Told from Nelly’s perspective, Fiennes’ sweeping romantic drama reveals a life of compromise in which Dickens’ insistence on discretion demanded that she remain, for all intents and purposes, invisible and unfulfilled.
Re-teaming once again after The Buddha of Suburbia, The Mother and Venus, director Roger Michell (Persuasion, Notting Hill) and writer Hanif Kureishi send a British academic couple in their early 60s (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, both superb) to Paris for a fraught anniversary weekend. Devoid of cliché, this brilliantly written drama also features an hilarious Jeff Goldblum in support.
Filmed in Cumbria, and taking as its subject the 500-year-old building process that remains the dominant method of construction in the upland areas of Great Britain, this is a celebration of tradition from Kelvin Brown and Jacob Robinson.
An unsettling moment is caught on an iPhone as a plane is about to take off. Listen closely—the mystery deepens.
Mark Cousins (A Story of Film) continues his fascinating and highly entertaining personal exploration of cinema history with this delightful look at the onscreen representation of kids from the silent era through today. "A nimble and distinctive cine-essay featuring a mosaic of clips… One of the most beguiling events at Cannes…"—Guardian
Two mobsters, one old and one young, get to talking as they wait in a car park for a mysterious appointment. As they converse, each suspects the other is hiding something, and sooner rather than later the truth will come out…
Genre-bender Ben Wheatley’s deranged, magic mushroom-fueled vision of the English Civil War climaxes with a "sequence of pure psychedelic freefall and freakout [that’s] one of the most captivating, hypnotic and beautiful things you’ll ever see on a cinema screen."—Time Out. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Karlovy Vary 2013.
Whatever happened to the values of cooperation and support that were instilled in Britain during WWII? This rare documentary from Ken Loach seems like the film he was always meant to make. "Rousing and saddening… [It] works all at once as a lament, a celebration and a wake-up call to modern politicians and voters."—Time Out
A tour de force of directorial precision and control, Joanna Hogg’s unnerving drama dissects the marriage of two middle-aged artists (Viv Albertine, of 1970s punk legends The Slits, and Turner Prize-nominated artist Liam Gillick) as they prepare to vacate their gleaming modernist digs. "A brilliantly chilly portrait of a couple, a home, and an unspoken horror…"—Guardian
Oliver Hockenhull’s eye-popping documentary is a lively, in-depth analysis of psychedelic drugs in light of current scientific and cultural knowledge. He examines the validity of psychedelics as adjuncts to therapy, as crucial but neglected taboo medicines and as paths to consciousness. Note: The Oct. 1 matinee will be the alternate Understanding Psychedelic Medicines "pop version." See viff.org for details.
UK, France, Portugal
"The [Cannes] festival’s most brilliant movie was Jean-Luc Godard’s The Three Disasters… 3D as you have never seen it before… A masterpiece, the first movie of the cinematic future.”—Film Comment. Peter Greenaway’s and Edgar Pêra’s parts of this trilogy are pretty eye-popping too! Special 3D Presentations.
UK, France, Germany, Afghanistan
Holding vigil at her husband’s side, a devoted Muslim (famous Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani) discovers unexpected empowerment. As she expresses her frustrations and desires, new possibilities present themselves in her war-torn city. Atiq Rahimi’s adaptation of his novel proves a "poetic and politically charged allegory."—Screen. Winner, Best Actress, Abu Dhabi 2012.
Forget the Troubles and get your "Teenage Kicks" instead! Set in 70s Belfast, Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s exhilarating biopic celebrates the gregarious godfather of Northern Irish punk. "An impassioned, funny and monumentally likable myth-making comedy."—Time Out
In 2008, 18 climbers from a party of 24 reached the summit of the world’s second-highest mountain, the treacherous K2; 48 hours later 11 were either dead or had simply vanished. What happened? Nick Ryan weaves together found footage, eerie reenactments and interviews with survivors to try and solve this tragic mystery.
Artist and architect Susumu Shingu has had a lifelong “dialogue with the wind and with water.” Now he wants to create wind-powered communities. Thomas Riedelsheimer (Rivers and Tides) documents this combination of passionate environmental story and moving exploration of creativity with characteristic eloquence and lustrous imagery.
UK, USA, France, Mexico
Gliding with the grace of a boomerang, Juan Carlos Martín’s documentary circles back through artist Gabriel Orozco’s career, tracing how the Mexican modernist’s drawings, photographs and sculptures became so influential. And every time the camera returns to Orozco, we see an artist wrestling with precisely what a career retrospective signifies.
UK, India, Norway
One of the great cinematic pairings—Bergman and Ullman—comes vividly to life in Dheeraj Akolkar’s vibrant documentary, aided immeasurably by the radiant Liv Ullmann’s on-screen narration. Beautifully rendered excerpts from their films and candid reminiscences complete a lovely picture.
The saga of Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot is well-known by now, but the lives of the three brave young women beneath the balaclavas much less so. Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin change that with this smart and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the group. "The most important film at Sundance this year."—Moviemaker Magazine Winner, Special Jury Prize: World Cinema - Documentary, Sundance 2013.
A visually stunning celebration of the artistry and idiosyncrasy of Megan Boyd, the reclusive Scot whose intricate, hand-tied fishing flies made her a legend to anglers and artisans alike. An amalgam of breathtaking painted animation and reverential musings regarding the allure of fly fishing, Eric Steel’s enchanting documentary is "an elegant and fascinating delight…"—Screen
UK, Denmark, Greenland
A truly memorable documentary about the cycles of life in the remote northwest coastal Greenland village of Niaqornat. The remaining 59 citizens, most of them Inuit, are on thin ice, their traditions jeopardized by climate change and the influence of the outside world. Sarah Gavron directed this "beautiful, austere movie."—Observer