One of the hits of VIFF last year, this tale of Icelandic sheep farmers beset by disaster is a sleeper hit. Gummi and Kiddi are siblings and neighbours who have not spoken to each other for decades, but when one of their flock goes down with disease the stakes go sky high. The film is funny, raw, and surprisingly lean. It begins as absurdist comedy but winds up closer to existential tragedy.
Winner of the Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor awards at the Fajr International Film Festival, Bodyguard has proven a big commercial hit in Iran, a breakthrough for the director of 2004’s Bitter Dream.
Bodyguard, which stars some of the biggest stars of Iranian cinema – including Parviz Parastuyi, Merila Zarei, Babak Hamidian, Mahmoud Azizi, Amir Aghayi and Sheila Khodadad – tells the story of Heidar, a bodyguard for the country’s high officials and a moral idealist, who is led to suspicion and doubt the more he faces the dark challenges of his position.
It’s been too long since Tarantino made a twisty, chronology-challenging crime movie, so Dennis Hauck has made one for him: Too Late is a jazzy film noir-throwback set in contemporary LA, with the terrific John Hawkes as a private eye sucked into a very personal murder investigation… A cinemphiliac’s dream, shot in long, labyrinthine takes and released exclusively on 35mm, the artfully-structured Too Late plays knowing riffs on mystery movie tropes and finds room for genre favourites like Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner), Natalie Zea (Justified), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) and Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Deathproof).
Anna Rose Holmer
On the surface The Fits is a simple story about an 11-year-old girl joining a local dance group, but this mesmerising film is truly about bodies, movement, individualism and the group. The title puns on physical fitness, fitting in (Toni’s brother boxes in the gym next door to the rehearsal space, and Toni works out there too), and the unexplained physical spasms that befall several of the dancers.