A lawyer who specializes in representing rape victims, Anne (Léa Drucker) maintains a typically bourgeois existence with her wealthy businessman husband and their two daughters. However, when her surly, 17-year-old stepson Théo (Samuel Kircher) moves in with the family, he and Anne begin a taboo romance that threatens to upset the balance of her life. Having betrayed both her family and her principles, Anne finds herself in a rare position of weakness in direct contradiction to her morals.
Last Summer is Catherine Breillat’s triumphant return to the festival circuit after a decade-long absence—and she does not disappoint. Although the film is nominally a remake of the 2019 Danish drama Queen of Hearts, the French provocateur asserts her directorial personality from frame one. Never one to shy away from discomfiting material, Breillat explores every facet of the thorny power dynamics between Anne and Théo, denying the viewer any clean lines of identification. In Last Summer, as in the rest of Breillat’s boundary-pushing oeuvre, the real transgression lies in the filmmaker’s refusal to look away.
Léa Drucker, Samuel Kircher, Olivier Rabourdin, Clotilde Courau, Angela Chen, Serena Hu
In French with English subtitles
Friday October 06
René Ezra, Caroline Blanco, Clifford Werber
Saïd Ben Saïd
Catherine Breillat, Pascal Bonitzer
François Quiqueré Lma
Dubbed “the bad girl intellectual of French cinema” by Amy Taubin of the Village Voice, writer-director Catherine Breillat seemingly has courted controversy since her long and prolific career began. While still in her teens she published her first novel, the erotic L’Homme facile, which was not sold to anyone in France under 18 years of age. Breillat’s film acting debut was in 1973’s groundbreaking Last Tango in Paris. Her own feature directorial debut, based on one of her novels, Une Vraie jeune fille, was originally shot in 1975 but through a combination of the bankruptcy of her producers and its shocking content that caused it to be banned, the film did not receive a release for 25 years.
Filmography: A Real Young Girl (1976); 36 Fillette (1988); Romance (1999); Fat Girl (2001); The Last Mistress (2007)
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Veteran director Marco Bellocchio (The Traitor) returns with a passionate historical drama about a Jewish child abducted by Pope Pius IX in 1865 on the grounds that he had been secretly baptized. This is a rich, operatic film that resonates strongly.
In an Arctic research facility, a mysterious creature is found and captured, finding unexpected love with a woman working under the organization. Portrayed through polished ballet, Creature tells the story of unfettered emotion through kinetic movement.
The Royal Hotel
In Kitty Green's harrowing follow up to The Assistant, Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) are backpacking across Australia. Running low on funds, they decide tending bar in an Outback mining town could be a lark. This proves a mistake.
In her seventies Agnieszka Holland has made a ferocious, emotionally charged film about the brutal treatment of refugees arriving over the Polish land border from Belarus. This is a vehement denunciation of resurgent fascism and utterly compelling cinema.
They Shot the Piano Player
The fate of a prodigious Brazilian samba pianist murdered in Argentina in 1976 fuels this animated docu-fiction from the team who gave us the Academy Award-nominee Chico & Rita. Jeff Goldblum voices the writer who digs into Francisco Tenório Jr's story.
I Am Sirat
I Am Sirat is a personal documentary about Sirat, a transwoman in India, who lives a dual life. While supported by a queer network of friends in Delhi, Sirat reverts to the closet at home as she’s forced to maintain a son’s familial and cultural responsibilities.
The Teachers' Lounge
When a grade 6 student is accused of theft, idealistic young math teacher Ms Nowak decides to set up a sting to find the true culprit... with disastrous results. This buzzy Berlin film festival title is an ethics master class.
Evil Does Not Exist
After the international success of Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi quietly made this small-scale independent film, a work of simplicity and grace about a rural community and the developers who want to built a "glamping" retreat in the woods.
In the heart of Buenos Aires, two bank clerks live a gray, mind-numbingly routine existence—that is, until one of them commits a crime that upends both their lives. Invigorating, precisely composed, and endlessly inventive.
Four Little Adults
Upon learning of her husband's year long affair, Juulia proposes an open marriage free of secrets. As a polyamory guide becomes their bible, Juulia falls in love with someone new, filling their journey in polyamory with love, compassion, and compromise.
Just the Two of Us
Beginning as a sunny romance, this film slowly, subtly becomes a defiant feminist drama. When Blanche meets Greg at a seaside party, she’s quickly won over by his confidence and charm, but once they’re married, he reveals a much darker side.
Close to You
In his first feature film role since 2017, Elliot Page delivers a deeply felt and nuanced performance as a young man reuniting with his family for the first time since his transition, four years earlier.
During the chaotic preparations for the birthday of her terminally ill father, a seven-year-old girl finds herself caught amid a complex adult world interspersed with a sense of change. A Buñuelian class study keyed to the interior life of a child.
About Dry Grasses
In a remote village in eastern Turkey, an art teacher enters his fourth and final year at a state-mandated teaching post, but finds himself having to navigate two tricky relationships which force him into existential crisis.
A stimulating and cathartic docu-drama from Academy-Award nominee, Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania, about a mother who lost two teenage daughters when they fled to Libya to fight for ISIS.
How to Have Sex
Sixteen-year-old Tara and her two best friends arrive to a Greek party town ready to let their hair down. But while Tara is indeed down for some summer fun, her boundaries keep getting trampled on by those closest to her.
Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World
Radu Jude takes two days in the life of a stressed Romanian p.a. and gives us an urgent, pissed off, sourly funny polemic on the state of late capitalism. Exploitation, discrimination and hypocrisy are his targets; dialectics are his dynamite.
The Monk and the Gun
On the eve of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s momentous transition to democracy in 2006, a monk sets off on a mysterious quest for his master, while an American collector arrives in a small town searching for a rare, valuable artefact.