A seriously weird animation which plays on two meanings of "wait": "wait on (someone)" and "to wait (for something)." Yamada himself says "it might be a criticism of nuclear power." Award for Excellence, Image Forum Festival 2014. Tony Rayns
Thrust into the role of stand-in mother at the age of 15, Georgina dwells sardine-like with a handful of energetic rugrats—her five younger siblings—in a social housing condo at the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. Teodora Ana Mihai’s astute documentary gracefully paints a portrait of love and resilience. Winner, Best International Feature, Hot Docs 2014; Best Documentary, Karlovy Vary 2014.
The nomadic Badjao tribe are citizens of the sea, subsisting for centuries on the spoils of their compressor-diving expeditions. Eliza Kubarska‘s poetic documentary follows 10-year-old Sari as he sets out on his first fishing trip and is initiated into his people’s traditions and lore. "A mythological tale of wonder and water…"—DOX. Winner, Special Jury Prize: International Feature, Hot Docs 2014.
Companionship can be a funny thing… Or a tragic thing… Or an unsettling thing… These short films tell the stories of characters who are tormented by affairs of the heart, hopelessly entangled with one another or left yearning for such complications (be they romantic or otherwise). Featured films: The Acting Teacher, Burnt Grass, Dead Hearts, Hard Card, Hole, Howard & Jean, Life’s a Bitch and Withering Heights
Skipping across South Sudan in a plane he built himself, uncompromising Oscar-nominated documentarian Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) reveals how the world’s newest country is being carved up by foreign multinationals and missionaries. “A surreal, moving, infuriating and persuasive argument that in South Sudan there’s nothing ’post’ about colonialism.”—The New York Times. Winner, Special Jury Prize: Cinematic Bravery, Sundance 2014.
Two brothers share the scars of an untold history that has driven them to existential extremes.
Thanks to a lottery windfall, Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig) is free to follow her wildest whims. Unfortunately, her Borderline Personality Disorder-determined impulses lead her to quit her meds and launch a cable access talk show. Shira Piven’s outrageous dramedy hands Wiig her best role since Bridesmaids while delivering a cautionary tale about the debilitating side effects of a meteoric rise to celebrity status.
The meteoric fall of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is luridly rendered and lent enthralling velocity by Abel Ferrara in this debauched, sexually explicit sensory assault starring a magnificently vile Gérard Depardieu as gluttony personified. "A bluntly powerful provocation that begins as a kind of tabloid melodrama and gradually evolves into a fraught study of addiction, narcissism and the lava flow of capitalist privilege."—Variety
In a drought-ravaged Oregon of the near future, a teenage girl (Haley Lu Richardson) resourcefully defends her working well. Production designer Tom Hammock (You’re Next) seamlessly transitions to director, combining elements of gritty Westerns and post-apocalyptic thrillers into an immaculately realized, utterly nightmarish tale of survival. "The Well doesn’t need a gimmick—it’s as brutal and beautiful as genre flicks get…"—LA Weekly
Yan, Simon, Roxanne, Maxime and his sister Lily are in their early 20s and absolutely anything seems possible. They’ve been friends forever and the future is bright. Then, on a lovely summer’s day, Yan dies in a car crash… Director Julie Hivon follows their desperate attempts to make some kind of sense of life without Yan.
"Young people today are too often found in a space of social homelessness, where we are invisible in public discourse, and the value of our lived experience is reduced to teenage weirdness." A poetic statement of what youth need.
Fierce rhythms and ferocious humour drive Damien Chazelle’s riveting film about an ambitious jazz drummer (Miles Teller, overdue for stardom) pushed beyond his breaking point by an instructor who takes tough-love to extremes (J.K. Simmons, elemental). "Unique, personal, transfixing and transforming… A pedagogical thriller and an emotional S&M two-hander."—Film Comment. Winner, US Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic; Audience Award: US Dramatic, Sundance 2014.
Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars) plays the insecure suburban daughter of a seriously disturbed mother (Eva Green, unforgettable) who disappears without a trace in Gregg Araki’s skewed and provocative 80s-set drama. "Araki… seizes on White Bird as a chance to explore familiar issues of body image, sexual awakening and extreme family dysfunction with his trademark mix of uneasy seduce-and-repel tactics."—Variety
The sun rises and sets, but we make lights of our own. Three sharp vignettes by a veteran avant-garde director… with a sci-fi punch line. Tony Rayns
Jean-Marc Vallée follows up on the Academy Award-winning Dallas Buyers Club with this powerful adaptation (by Nick Hornby, no less) of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir. The perennially underrated Reese Witherspoon is better than perfect in the role of the author, a woman who, following the death of her beloved mother (played wonderfully by Laura Dern), seeks to vanquish her demons by hiking 1,800 kms of the Pacific Crest Trail.
For sheer entertainment value, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this outrageous anthology film. One of Cannes’ most buzzed about discoveries, Damián Szifrón’s third feature plays like a calling card from a preposterously talented newcomer, it’s so chock-full of crazy ideas and verve. “Delicious, horrible, scary and scabrous… Szifrón brings off a very difficult trick: making something genuinely funny and genuinely scary at the same time."—Guardian
Three of the 270,000 kids living on the streets of Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa are the focus of Ventura Durall’s moving and complex portrait of survival and solidarity. Daniel, 9, lives in an abandoned car with Yohannes and Habtom, both 12. They scrounge, thieve and evade the violent gangs that surround them. Eventually, they decide to journey to their respective villages for the first time in years…