When Under the Skin director Jonathan Glazer makes a film — this is only his fourth feature in 23 years — it’s always essential viewing. And so it proves with this free adaptation of the 2014 novel by the late Martin Amis. Indeed, when it premiered in Cannes earlier this year The Times called it “a landmark movie, hugely important,” while The Hollywood Reporter described “a devastating Holocaust drama like no other.” Sandra Hüller (who also stars in Anatomy of a Fall at VIFF this year) plays Hedwig Höss, mother of five, wife to Rudolph (Christian Friedel). They live in an idyllic villa, a river running alongside the bucolic garden, literally a stone’s throw from Rudolph’s place of work — he’s Camp Commandant at Auschwitz. Hedwig’s concerns are domestic, and most of the film takes place within the home; Glazer opted to use ten fixed cameras within this space, operated by remote control, to remove authorial judgment from the mise-en-scene. Of course that choice in itself implies a kind of judgment, and The Zone of Interest offers an account of moral solipsism which is both chilling and unforgettable, all the more so for its scrupulous restraint.
Grand Prize of the Festival, FIPRESCI; Best Composer, Cannes 2023
Saturday September 30
Reno Antoniades, Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen, Tessa Ross, Ollie Madden, Daniel Battsek, David Kimbangi
James Wilson, Ewa Puszcyńska
Photo by Mica Levi
After completing art school and a degree in Theatre Design, Jonathan Glazer landed a job making film trailers. This led to music videos, TV commercials and art projects. Glazer’s feature directing debut was Sexy Beast in 2000. He went on to co-write and direct Birth in 2004 and Under the Skin in 2014.
Filmography: The Zone of Interest (2023); First Light (2020); Strasbourg 1518 (2020); Under the Skin (2013); Birth (2004)
Galas & Special Presentations
See more films in this series:
Ansi meets Holappa, and these two lonely souls feel they are meant for each other, but Fate may have other ideas... Aki Kaurismäki crafts a poignant and pertinent comedy which picked up the Jury Prize at Cannes.
When lawyer Anne begins a taboo affair with her 17-year-old stepson, the balance of her life is threatened. In an exploration of power dynamics, Last Summer lures you in and refuses to shy away from discomfort.
The Old Oak
The local pub is virtually the last community gathering place in an impoverished northern town. when an influx of Syrian refugees stokes xenophobic backlash, TJ, the bar's owner steps up and help the newcomers -- to the anger of some of his regulars.
Rohrwacher's first feature since Happy As Lazzaro is an exhilaratingly wild, mysterious, rough and tumble tale of a disheveled English tomb raider (Josh O'Connor) living with a roisterous group of Italian bohemians: singers, smugglers and petty thieves.
The Promised Land
In this enthralling period melodrama set in mid-18th century Denmark, Mads Mikkelsen tries to establish a farm on the gritty Jutland heath land, but must contend with the enmity of a ruthless local landowner. From the director of A Royal Affair.
Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe
A celebration of Canada's favourite children's show, Mr. Dressup, which built a legacy of kindness, patience, inclusiveness, and creativity, all while enriching the lives of five generations.
Anatomy of a Fall
When Samuel is found dead outside his alpine cabin it's clear he fell from the attic. But did he jump, or was he pushed? Justine Triet became only the third woman to win the the Palme d'Or at Cannes, for this thoroughly engrossing courtroom drama.
The Zone of Interest
Glazer's chilling, scrupulously restrained account of the domestic life of Rudolph Höss (Christian Friedel) and wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) never takes over the wall separating their idyllic villa from his work -- the Concentration Camp at Auschwitz.
Legendary ballet dancer Karen Kain chose to direct Swan Lake at the National Ballet of Canada as her swan song. Chelsea McMullen's thrilling backstage documentary shows the grueling physical and emotional toil required to produce artistry at this level.
Haunted by disturbing memories Jeanine allows her repressed trauma to reshape the present as she re-enters the opera world in order to remount her former mentor's most famous work, Salome. Atom Egoyan's latest is a fractured mirror of abuse and catharsis.
In a poignant and piercing critique on homophobia, Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda explores the tension between a schoolboy and his teacher from various vantage points. This is a moral mystery tale, complex and gratifying.
I'm Just Here for the Riot
Vancouver, June 15, 2011. Hours after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, rioters laid waste to blocks of downtown. In this absorbing documentary, Kathleen S. Jayme (The Grizzlie Truth) and Asia Youngman revisit that chaotic night.
A Normal Family
During a fancy dinner with their wives, two brothers with divergent moral principles learn of a disturbing situation involving both their teenage kids. In the fallout of this dreadful discovery, the families are faced with an unimaginable choice.
The Boy and the Heron
Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki returns from retirement with an enchanting swansong, the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.
Priscilla Beaulieu (Cailee Spaeny) is just 14 when she meets Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi, Euphoria) on a US military base in Germany, 1959. Courteous, respectful and a little sad, he sweeps her off her feet. But this fairy tale romance is an illusion.
Set in France in 1885, and photographed like an Impressionist painting, this sublime foodie film surveys the intuitive, intimate partnership between famed gourmand Dodin (Benoit Magimel) and his beloved cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche).