Cinema of Our Time
Cinema of Our Time comprises the year’s most innovative and exciting cinematic developments from around the globe. With a selection of works from more than 30 countries—including of all the major film producing nations—Cinema of Our Time is the place to see the very best films from the leading auteurs of our time, award winners from the most prestigious film festivals such as Cannes and Berlin, and exclusive premieres of some of the most highly anticipated features that will hit cinemas next year.
Films in this Series
So much can happen in a year. For instance, your mom can transition from female to male. Such is the case in Sophie Hyde’s provocative, authentic and refreshingly modern coming-of-age tale. Handled with care and restraint, “(this) accessible narrative experiment boasts breakout talent in front of and behind the camera.”—Variety. Winner, Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic, Sundance 2014.
Memorial Necropole Ecumenica, the world’s tallest cemetery, allows the dead to be laid to rest amongst the clouds.
After personal problems send free spirit Cristina (Sophie Alexander-Katz) scurrying for the comforts of her family home, her taciturn ex-addict brother’s relationship with a new girlfriend threatens the orphan siblings’ fragile peace… "Sibling rivalry is kept at a low, slow simmer in [Marcelo Tobar’s] fractiously intimate family drama… Thanks to flinty performances… it’s a film of subtle but not insubstantial emotional rewards."—Variety
Lyrical, sensual and poetic, yet grounded in a bracing naturalism that speaks to Brazilian documentarian Gabriel Mascaro’s roots, August Winds tells the tale of a young couple who discover a skull while diving for octopus. It’s a prismatic evocation of seaside life in the rural tropics. "…a beautiful meditation on life and death… a striking accomplishment…"—Indiewire
Incisively and with great compassion, Jaime Rosales sketches the lives of Spain’s lost generation through the relationship of Carlos (Carlos Rodríguez) and Natalia (Ingrid García Jonsson). "An intelligent, bracing study of Spanish twentysomethings doomed to unemployment and disillusion… Brilliant, challenging… [The] whole film is an audacious leap into real lives and real experiences… A powerful and heartfelt film."—Guardian
In a vibrantly depicted Havana, 11-year-old Chala industriously cares for carrier pigeons and dogs on his apartment balcony. Trouble is, there’s easy money in dog fighting. The most important champion in his life however is his aging teacher, Carmela (the marvelous Alina Rodríguez), a woman who refuses to let the boy fall between the cracks and endures government reprisals as a result. Director Ernesto Daranas demonstrates equal bravery in confronting Cuba’s social ills. Winner, Audience Award, Málaga 2014.
Guided by Dominik Graf’s skilled directorial hand and anchored by remarkable performances, the tale of writer Friedrich Schiller’s notorious love triangle with the Lengefeld sisters is woven into a sophisticated, sprawling costume drama full of fervour and resonance. “A work of unimposing power, Beloved Sisters renders its minimal story on the grand scale of a three-hour epic with quaint elegance.”—Film Comment
Newcomer Garrett Wareing goes toe-to-toe with Dustin Hoffman in this rousing story of a determined, angel-voiced loner who clashes with the strict choirmaster of the prestigious American Boychoir School. Acclaimed director François Girard (The Red Violin) uses the sublime choral performances to heighten the spiralling drama in this fierce battle of wills. Kathy Bates, Eddie Izzard and Debra Winger also star.
After contemptuously gaming the system through uproarious (if inconsequential) scams, a true 21st-century man-child (Joshua Burge) becomes convinced that he’s about to be collared. As paranoia sets in, he goes on the lam and Joel Potrykus’ (Ape) unflinching Buzzard transforms into “an affecting character study. It’s a fearless and moving exploration of a man whose smug ambivalence masks an inner rage…”—Film Comment
Balancing sharp comedy and commentary, Fellipe Barbosa’s well-observed film charts the increasingly disparate fortunes of a Brazilian bourgeoisie family. While father Hugo (Marcello Novaes) shamefully conceals his bankruptcy, his teenage son Jean (Thales Cavalcanti) experiences the exhilaration of defiance and self-discovery. Of course, coming of age also means finally seeing the unjust world for what it is.
The magnificent David Gulpilil quietly dominates Rolf de Heer’s heartfelt portrait of contemporary Aboriginal life. Gulpilil drew on his own troubles while co-writing the story of down-on-his-luck Charlie, squeezed on all sides in his Arnhemland community. "The third film collaboration between Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil is a majestic work."—Sydney Morning Herald. Winner, Best Actor, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.
Holding their hardline substitute teacher (Igor Samobor) responsible for the suicide of an emotionally vulnerable classmate, a Slovenian secondary class stages a revolt. Rok Bicek orchestrates the ensuing chaos masterfully, crafting an engrossing cautionary tale concerning herd mentalities and the exploitation of tragedy. "Group dynamics are dissected with chilling precision…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Best Film (International Film Critics Week), Venice 2013.
Thirty years after achieving the zenith of his career in grease paint, an acclaimed actor returns from self-imposed exile for one last show in Prague. Reunited with his former partners, he and his colleagues attempt to restage their greatest performance, stave off old rivalries and ensure that time doesn’t have the last laugh. Viktor Tauš’ poignant film reminds us that tragicomedy is the lifeblood of clowning.
Passionate and utterly compelling, Hüseyin Karabey’s beautifully crafted film is founded in political absurdity. When the Turkish military surrounds a Kurdish village, takes alleged rebels into custody and demands the return of nonexistent guns, a little girl and her grandmother set off in search of a weapon—any weapon—that might earn her father’s freedom. Breathtaking vistas and nerve-wracking suspense await. Winner, Audience Award, Istanbul 2014.
Eloquent and engrossing, George Ovashvili’s fable-like drama unfolds on a tiny island that emerges each summer from a river between warring Georgia and Abkhazia. For the skillful elderly peasant who plants its amazing corn crop and his nubile granddaughter, it’s soon the site of a desperate struggle for survival. "A master class in emotionally charged minimalism…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Crystal Globe, Karlovy Vary 2014.
In parts of Ethiopia, tradition calls for a man to abduct his wife-to-be, sometimes without her consent. When 14-year-old Hirut (Tizita Hagere) resists and ends up killing her abductor, the death penalty awaits. Enter Addis Ababa lawyer Meaza (Meron Getnet) determined to present a case for self-defense… Based on a true story, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s debut is "a quiet and powerful drama."—Hollywood Reporter
Lech Majewski’s follow-up to The Mill and the Cross is another visually ravishing tale, this one about a poet coping with the car-accident deaths of his beloved and best friend. "[Like The Mill…], the visuals are again striking and the theme of death deeply examined… Again there is a strong feeling that the stakes are high—a dialogue with God, a struggle for the soul…"—Hollywood Reporter
Shot in one bravura take, Shahram Mokri’s blackly comic, coolly inventive art/horror mash-up follows two sinister cooks and a group of students camping at a lake… "The camera’s complex choreography creates fissures in time, piling on stories within stories that trap viewers in an increasingly ominous… nightmare."—Variety. Winner, Special Orizzonti Award for Innovative Content, Venice 2013; Muhr Asia Africa Special Jury Prize, Dubai 2013.
Echoing The Hunt’s psychological intensity, Ruben Östlund’s riveting drama features another desperate man whose world crumbles around him. After an avalanche at a ski resort in the Alps, a family’s narrow escape is overshadowed by husband/father Tomas’ cowardice in the clutch. It seems that running for his (own) life is a slight his wife Ebba just can’t shake. "Precisely calibrated… Visually stunning… Emotionally perceptive…"—Variety
Hungarian director/ringmaster György Pálfi (Hukkle) turns an apartment building into seven rings of carnivalesque hell in this stunner. Pálfi essays the grotesqueries of modern life through stories that run the gamut from social realism to sci-fi. “It’s thrilling to see a director in such clear command of the cinematic medium operating in such a playfully stylized way.”—Variety. Winner, Best Director, Karlovy Vary 2014.
It’s Christmas in Bogotá and 10-year-old Eric has been sent to live with his impoverished handyman father. When a wealthy client takes pity on them, and invites them to stay at her family’s country villa over the holidays, tensions and discomfort soon begin to crackle, exposing the gap between Christian charity and the starker realities of the class structure. "An engrossing, sensitive and admirably nuanced social drama."—Hollywood Reporter
Populated by gorgeous misfits and propelled by effervescent pop songs, this jubilant musical from Belle & Sebastian lynchpin Stuart Murdoch comically depicts a critical juncture for three Glaswegians when it seems they’ve no other option than starting a band. “It’s warm and generous… Even non-believers will acknowledge the film’s utter sincerity… It means what it says.”—Guardian. Winner, Special Jury Prize: Ensemble Acting, Sundance 2014.
A hugely enjoyable black-and-white homage to the Nouvelle Vague set against 1999’s student demonstrations in Mexico City, Alonso Ruíz Palacios’ debut focuses on teenaged Tomás, his slacker older brother and their search for a folk-music icon who once made Bob Dylan cry… Playful and charming, it’s "full of life and related with intelligence and a sense of humour."—Slant. Special Jury Mention: Best New Narrative Director, Tribeca 2014.
Benny and Joshua Safdie’s (Daddy Longlegs) corrosively energetic mélange of documentary and fiction draws on the life of real junkie Arielle Holmes (playing a slightly fictionalized version of herself) as she tries to score while obsessing about her boyfriend. Adding scripted scenes featuring real drug dealers and denizens of the neighbourhood, the brothers have fashioned something powerful and sui generis.
Imtiaz Ali’s drama is anchored by A.R. Rahman’s forceful score and Alia Bhatt’s amazing turn as a kidnapped heiress. "Abduction paradoxically results in liberation for both the sheltered daughter of a rich industrialist and her hardened-criminal kidnapper in… this Bollywood road movie, which intertwines dark social issues and blithe romance [and succeeds] thanks in part to relative newcomer Alia Bhatt’s endearingly cockeyed performance."—Variety
There are echoes of VIFF 12 standout Neighbouring Sounds in this anxiety-fuelled thriller. As increasingly odd events unfold in an affluent Buenos Aires suburb, anxiety escalates, setting the stage for an intoxicatingly tense climax. Benjamín Naishtat “invokes a sinister vibe [and] dramatizes the point at which desire for safety sublimates into paranoid acquiescence.”—Film Comment. Winner, Grand Prize, Jeonju 2014; New Directors Prize, San Francisco 2014.
Set in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Christchurch earthquakes, Gaylene Preston’s docudrama tells the true stories of New Zealanders picking up the pieces and fully earns its tagline: "It’s the aftershocks that run the deepest." Real news footage and recreated disaster sites are seamlessly blended in a moving tale of survival that “certainly pulls no punches.”—New Zealand Herald
“The restless spirits of Portugal’s post-colonial underclass stumble dazedly though the wilds of Horse Money, the latest—and in some respects the most striking—of director Pedro Costa’s hallucinatory bulletins from the Lisbon slum known as Fontainhas… [A] strange, hauntingly beautiful effort… [It] defies classification as readily as it reimagines the possibilities of cinema…”—Variety. Winner, Best Director, Locarno 2014.
A hit-and-run accident splinters this drama into three distinct chapters, each unfolding from a different character’s perspective. The involving, overlapping structure recalls Kieślowski and summons bold performances from a uniformly brilliant cast (headlined by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi). "This slick, stylish fusion of class critique and murder mystery confirms Paolo Virzi as one of Italy’s more dynamic directors."—Variety. Winner, Best Actress, Tribeca 2014.
Having just won “Citizen of the Year” in his sleepy Norwegian community, an unassuming snowplough operator (Stellan Skarsgård) now wants his pound of flesh from the vegan gangster who murdered his son. Hans Petter Moland’s bloody, farcical crime thriller is "a rip-roaring revenge tale… Moland’s tongue is planted firmly in his cheek… but there’s a transfixing solemnity underlying the black comedy."—Hollywood Reporter
Intimate yet expansive, clear-eyed yet deeply personal, [this] marks an irresistible feature debut for writer-director Maya Forbes. Drawing on a tough but rewarding chapter of her own childhood, during which she and her sister were raised by their bipolar father while their mother went to grad school, Forbes brings a marvelous warmth and specificity to this story of a mixed-race family struggling to survive, aided considerably by one of Mark Ruffalo’s richest, most appealing performances.—Variety
Lisandro Alonso returns with a gorgeous, 19th century-set existential exploration. Viggo Mortensen is a Danish engineer who heads into the Patagonian wilderness in search of his missing daughter. "This hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film… a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself."—Variety. Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2014.
Nagesh Kukunoor’s raw, powerful and deeply disturbing drama about sex trafficking and child prostitution in Andhra Pradesh packs a wallop, in no small part due to the performance of Monali Thakur as the 14-year-old heroine Lakshmi. "The film belongs to singer-turned-actress Thakur. [Her] portrait of ravaged innocence will haunt you forever."—NDTV. Winner, Audience Award: Best Narrative Feature, Palm Springs 2014.
This surely cements Andreï Zvyagintsev’s standing as Russia’s leading filmmaker. Initially, its subject—a dispute between a garage owner and a small-town mayor—seems modest in scope. However, this is undeniably a major work: an angry lament for a nation in thrall to endemic corruption. "A tragedy of biblical proportions [but] also a stingingly effective pitch-black comedy."—Indiewire. Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes 2014.
Narcissists tangle and barbed tongues draw blood in this savage comedy from The Color Wheel’s Alex Ross Perry. When an arrogant novelist (Jason Schwartzman, making snipe sing) takes a literary titan as a mentor (Jonathan Pryce, emulating Philip Roth), he’s encouraged to devote himself fully to his favourite muse: himself. Of course, self-involvement rarely begets self-discovery. “A clever, nasty piece of work…”—Film Comment
Two young Colombian brothers, stymied by a dearth of legitimate job opportunities, decide to run drugs up the coast in a fishing boat… "Shot on location in and around Buenaventura, the movie has a frantic, gritty energy attuned to its characters’ frustrations… It’s a fierce snapshot of reckless behavior enacted by helpless men."—Indiewire. Winner, Best New Narrative Director; Audience Award runner-up, Tribeca 2014.
Acclaimed director Mike Leigh and perennially unsung actor Timothy Spall are at the heights of their considerable powers in this enthralling account of visionary J.M.W. Turner’s final years. "As successful in its tiny details as it is in its epic amplitude [it works] as a warts-and-all portrait of the painter and his circle, and as a large-scale evocation of Victorian England."—Screen. Winner, Best Actor, Cannes 2014.
Based on the life of French musician Raymond Borremans, who moved to West Africa in the 20s and tried to compile an encyclopedia of The Ivory Coast (he got to "N" before dying in 1988), this poetic semi-documentary is beautiful and revelatory. Nigerian novelist/poet Ben Okri co-wrote the script, director Peter Krüger authored the striking visual style and the great Michael Lonsdale embodies Borremans’ spirit.
Ricardo Silva’s controversial, disturbing and unclassifiable film features interviews (and, be warned, much more) with various marginal characters existing on the fringes of Tijuana, Mexico. "[An] utterly transfixing fiction-documentary hybrid… The total lack of delineation between staging and real life [adds] an additional layer of fascination… Mesmerizing…"—Slant. Winner, Cineasti del presente Award, Locarno 2014.
Dubliner Christina Noble (Deirdre O’Kane) travels to Ho Chi Minh City to better the lot of street children and war orphans. Is the fighting spirit coursing through her Irish veins a match for widespread corruption and indifference? Stephen Bradley offers "a joyful and rousing affirmation of the human spirit that will resound widely."—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Audience Award: Best World Narrative Feature, Nashville 2014.
An impromptu tryst between two horses serves as the catalyst for further dark comedy in this celebration of equine grandeur and human eccentricities. Benedikt Erlingsson’s debut is every bit as rugged, otherworldly and striking as its Icelandic backdrop. “A hugely enjoyable film from the wild side of the wild side… [It] deserves its cult status.”—Guardian. Winner, Best New Director, San Sebastián 2013.
Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze’s (My Nikifor) amazing drama is exquisitely designed and replete with stunning musical sequences. "Spanning most of the 20th century… [this] ravishingly beautiful biopic commemorates the life and works of Bronisława Wajs, the first publicly feted female poet from Poland’s travelling gypsy minority… Every frame is a painterly masterclass in light and shadow."—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Istanbul 2014.
Wilhelm Sasnal—whose paintings hang in MOMA and Paris’ Pompidou—has a second life, alongside his wife Anka, as a director; their Parasite is a haunting, gorgeously made evocation of contemporary Polish alienation. Centred on a lonely old man and a troubled younger mother (with baby) who move in together, this formally daring work has both a rare immediacy and an aching sense of compassion.
This droll and appealing dramedy, set in a picturesque (if run-down) fishing village in northwest Iceland, focuses on dry alcoholic Hugi who’s trying to cope both with the feelings he still has for his ex-wife and a visit from his hard-drinking father… "One of the best up-and-coming young European directors, [Sigurðsson] has crafted a revealing, amusing and intelligent film to be cherished."—Screen
Director Christian Petzold and muse Nina Hoss follow Barbara with this brilliantly acted drama about a facially disfigured camp survivor, Nelly (Hoss), in 1945 Berlin, who receives reconstructive surgery before searching for her husband. When she finds him (Ronald Zehrfeld), he doesn’t recognize her—but, believing Nelly dead, enlists her in a plan to inherit his wife’s money… Echoes of Vertigo redound in this haunting work.
John Boorman’s (Point Blank, The General) gently comic follow-up to the Oscar-nominated Hope and Glory chronicles the travails of the director’s alter-ego, Bill (Callum Turner), a young man conscripted into the army with the prospect of the Korean War hanging over him. That he never gets further than a Home Counties barracks is just one of the ironies sprinkled over this richly allusive career-capper.
Forsaking a traditional honeymoon, newlyweds Peter (Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser) and Chloe (Olivia Thirlby) book passage on a research vessel bound for Antarctica. As seasickness sets in, romantic bliss sours and Scott Cohen’s astonishingly assured, elegantly shot debut sets course for troubled, Polanski-indebted waters. "A quiet stunner of a drama…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Grand Jury Prize: Best New American Cinema, Seattle 2014.
Rightfully billed as “a crazy quest for sanity,” Signe Baumane’s animated memoir spins her troubling family history into a rich fantastical tale. Delving into her grandmother’s mysterious death as well as Baumane’s own struggles with inherited illness, “the film explores with wit, surreal invention and insight something left far too often undiscussed.”—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Karlovy Vary 2014.
Beginning with an assassination that makes it obvious why our protagonist (Abdoul Karim Konaté) is called "Run," Philippe Lacôte’s alternately oneiric and ultra-realistic coming-of-age tale is mesmerizing cinema. "Run makes one young man’s picaresque adventures into a magical realist microcosm of the Ivory Coast’s recent history… The current hotness of African cinema just got a little hotter."—Hollywood Reporter
While identities and genders are alluringly fluid in Ester Martin Bergsmark’s narrative debut, the desire for connection is unrelenting. Initially trepidatious to explore a feminine side, Sebastian—who sometimes prefers to be called Ellie—falls hard for Andreas, a straight man. But when Andreas proves a fast friend but reluctant lover, Ellie rushes to the fore. Winner, Hivos Tiger Award, Rotterdam 2014.
Nil Malmros draws on an incident from his own life—due an array of tragic circumstances, his wife killed their baby—to forge an intense, empathetic and bracingly intelligent drama. "The images have a sober, self-effacing beauty, the acting is subdued, and the fatal deed itself is never shown… Sorrow and Joy is a… melodrama about grace—a small miracle in today’s cinema."—Film Comment
Dietrich Brüggemann’s conceptually daring story of a devout teenager’s trials is eloquently told in 14 chapters, each a masterful single take. As Maria becomes a “warrior of Christ,” the film proves itself both a condemnation of fundamentalist religion and a testament to faith. “While stark, it’s far from chilly—Brüggemann has a sense of humor about his subject matter.”—Village Voice. Winner, Best Screenplay, Berlin 2014.
A dutiful civil servant (Eddie Marsen, superb) whose job it is to thanklessly—and often fruitlessly—try to locate next of kin is inspired to finally start living by the daughter (Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt) of a recently deceased neighbour. Uberto Pasolini’s latest is dry and sardonic comedy at its best. “Resonant and life-affirming, Still Life is a tonic for the soul.”—Empire. Winner, Horizons: Best Director, Venice 2013.
Iran’s premier female filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad returns with this brilliantly constructed tapestry of intersecting stories and characters from different levels of Iranian society. All struggle against the strictures of contemporary Iranian life; all find some solace in love… "The characters of my… films are still alive to me… Tales returns to the characters of my previous films under today’s circumstances."—Bani-Etemad
Alê Abreu’s animated odyssey follows a young boy as he journeys from the country into a towering metropolis in search of his father. Awaiting him is a world where music gives birth to birds, cities float in the sky and good and evil clash in a riot of colour. “A simple, universal parable… An enchanting visual treat…”—Variety
The 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy—and the arrest of her American flatmate, Amanda Knox—sparked a media circus. Michael Winterbottom revisits the case and explores what it’s like to be a filmmaker tackling a salacious story while struggling to retain your integrity. Daniel Brühl and Kate Beckinsale star in this investigation that dances in and out of the shadowy zone separating documentary and fiction, truth and lies.
Dima (Artem Bystrov), an honest plumber, discovers a fissure in the foundation of an apartment building that could bring the whole thing down upon the 800 residents—within 24 hours. Yuri Bykov’s electrically paced work has Dima fighting the clock—and a plethora of corrupt officials—to avert disaster. "A distressing moral drama, gripping thriller and scathing sociopolitical portrait of Russia rolled into one."—Hollywood Reporter
A Lithuanian paramedic makes his own macabre fun (and some fast cash) by devising an office pool that allows his coworkers to bet on whether a patient will survive. As this dubious lark evolves into an Internet sensation, director Ignas Jonynas’ striking, inventive visuals plunge us into the morass enveloping our morally wounded anti-hero. Winner, Special Jury Prize, Warsaw 2013.
The story of an idealistic teacher who becomes convinced that one of her five-year old charges is a prodigious poet, Nadav Lapid’s second feature (Policeman was in VIFF 11) invites myriad questions about life and art, words and meaning, and the perceptual boundaries between adults and children. Elusive, haunting and ultimately disturbing, this is a drama you’ll be replaying in your mind long afterwards.
The extraordinary life of South American hero Simón Bolívar (the mesmerizing Édgar Ramírez, Carlos) is given appropriately epic treatment in Alberto Arvelo’s sumptuously mounted period piece. Beginning in the early 1800s and spanning 30 years in the great revolutionary’s struggles to free South Americans from the yoke of Spanish occupation, Arvelo’s impressive achievement is a rousing and entertaining corrective to Bolívar’s relative anonymity in North America.
Decamping to the countryside, three siblings discover an alcoholic squatter holed up in their late mother’s cabin. Given that the local police chief is the intruder’s brother, an escalating blood feud becomes unavoidable. "Kafka meets Kaurismäki… [Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s film] is a caustic critique of small-town corruption and croneyism in contemporary Kazakhstan. It is also poetic, surreal and visually arresting."—Hollywood Reporter
Droll and seductive, Matías Piñeiro’s romantic drama revolves around young theatre director Victor (Julián Larquier Tellarini), working on a radio adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost in Buenos Aires, who gets caught up in the lives of the five actresses he’s directing… "The film underlines the fluidity of romantic attachments… bringing to mind the complexity of the amorous allegiances in the Bard’s work."—Hollywood Reporter
Five neighbourhoods, five different rooftops, five tragic stories. With these tales, veteran director Merzak Allouache takes the pulse of Algiers, a city rife with crime, teeming with intrigue and reeling from the clash of cultures. Allouache’s view is at once panoramic and intimate: he reaches across the city and pulls us close to its people. “Confident, composed and full of contemporary relevance.”—Filmmaker
Bizarre circumstances makes reluctant bedfellows out of American con artist Chester (Viggo Mortensen) and Athens hustler Rydal (Oscar Isaac) in Hossein Amini’s absorbing 60s-set adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel. As they evade the authorities, Chester’s wife (Kirsten Dunst) finds herself torn between these seductive charlatans. “An elegantly pleasurable period thriller, a film of tidy precision and class.”—Telegraph
A monstrous case of manipulation lies at the heart of Daniel Rodríguez Risco’s stylish psychothriller. Obsessed with having a child, 45-year-old widow Silvia (Vanessa Saba) tricks the naïve Mercedes (Mayella Lloclla) into accepting a room in her home and arranges a meeting with young handyman Jaime (Manuel Gold). When Mercedes gets pregnant, Silvia will stop at nothing to claim the baby…
An entrancing coming of age story, this is a superb companion piece to Alice Rohrwacher’s remarkable debut, Corpo Celeste. Drawing on Rohrwacher’s own childhood, it’s the tale of a young girl forging her identity while her beekeeper father attempts to sidestep financial ruin. "A wistful but no-tears swan song… The tone hovers mysteriously between dream and reality…”—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Grand Prix, Cannes 2014.
Beautifully wrought and meticulously controlled, Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ taut drama follows a bullied man as he wrestles with the moral implications of revenge… "A terrifically tense first half culminates in a truly brilliant scene… [and it] all ends with a dramatic pop as sharp as the first of only two gunshots in this menacing, morally agnostic film."—Guardian. Winner, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Sundance 2014.
Marion Cotillard gives her rawest performance as a woman desperately trying to save her job and discovering the meaning of solidarity and self-worth. "A tense dramatic situation and a subtly magnificent central performance… add up to an outstanding new movie from the Dardenne brothers: impassioned, exciting and moving—a Twelve Angry Men of the 21st-century workplace."—Guardian. Winner, Sydney Film Prize, Sydney 2014.
One of the New Argentine Cinema’s mainstays, Martín Rejtman returns with this funny, deliberately episodic study of 18-year-old flute player Mariano (Rafael Federman) and his circle of friends and family. "A nearly uncategorizable seriocomedy whose string of non-sequiturs oddly mimics life’s implausibilities… There’s a great deal of humor built in to the characters, whose instability has a certain endearing quality."—Variety
A college dropout gets mixed up with a malicious con artist in Alex R. Johnson’s atmospheric Texas-set thriller. As it shifts perspectives and delivers shocks, it demonstrates dexterity fit for a barn dance and a sucker punch that would do any barroom brawler proud. “A cult following could be in the offing, and crime-movie aficionados will want to seek it out…”—Variety
Garnering audience awards all over the festival circuit, Richie Adams’ true indie is a beautiful, soul-stirring drama that brings together the city of New Orleans and the jazz that made it famous with the story of a haunted neuroscientist trying to help the declining jazz singer (The Help’s Aunjanue Ellis, remarkable here) he discovers singing in the streets.
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
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
"Two young women serving out their military service as office workers on a remote desert army base play out the inanity and insanity of military bureaucracy in… Talya Lavie’s aptly titled black comedy… [The film], full of unexpected twists and turns, inventively recasts conflict in decidedly non-heroic, absurdist white-collar terms…"—Variety. Winner, Best Narrative Feature, Nora Ephron Prize, Tribeca 2014.