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Marina Antunes [Film Festival 09.08.10] Canada movie news

The Vancouver International Film Festival is my baby. In its 29th year, this is the event I look forward to every year. The lists I've kept through the year come out and I eagerly look through the list of titles in search of those little gems and every year VIFF responds with a huge assortment of titles. This year's festival is no different.

Some of the titles we're most eagerly anticipating include Tsumetai Nettaigyo’s Cold Fish (trailer), Gareth Edwards’ Monsters (trailer, review), Jo Sung-Hee’s apocalyptic road movie End of Animal, Carl Bessai’s Repeaters (trailer) and Xavier Dolan's Heartbeats (trailer, review).

There's loads more so be sure to check the titles (so far) after the break. Many more to be announced in the coming days.


Altitude (Kaare Andrews), B.C.
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A weekend getaway aboard a small plane turns deadly for a rookie pilot and four teenage friends. Minutes after take-off, the aircraft is climbing out of control into the heart of a mysterious storm. Unable to get their bearings or contact the ground, the group realize they are locked in combat with a terrifying supernatural force.

Amazon Falls (Katrin Bowen), B.C.
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Director Katrin Bowen's candid and chilling first feature delves into the belly of the mythical beast that is Los Angeles. Bowen goes beneath this sunny façade to expose the legions of dream-chasers whose realities are far from glamorous.

Breaking the Silence: Burma's Resistance (Pierre Mignault, Hélène Magny), Quebec
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Two filmmakers’—Pierre Mignault and Hélène Magny—secret and dangerous journey into the heart of a nation ruled by an oppressive and violent military regime reveals the strength of the Burmese people on both sides of the border, and their unprecedented dedication to the cause of freedom.

Curling (Denis Côté), Quebec
Jean-François (Emmanuel Bilodeau) is a lonely single father, protective of his daughter and afraid of life outside their small, cloistered world. As she approaches adolescence, tensions between and around the pair come to a boil. Denis Côté's mysterious, poignant film captured the Best Director and Best Actor awards at Locarno 2010.

A Drummer's Dream (John Walker), Ontario
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John Walker's latest documentary features a rare and unique assembly of some of the greatest drummers in the world. Explosive talent, passion, humour and irresistible personality come together in a magical setting when they create a profound and unforgettable experience. Featuring Nasyr Al-Khabyyr, Dennis Chambers, Kenwood Dennard, Horacio "El-Negro" Hernandez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Mike Mangini and Raul Rekow.

Everywhere (Alexis Durand-Brault), Quebec
Poster & stills
Jim (Patrick McKenna) is a three-time divorcée, looking for security in his newfound relationship with Isabelle. By succumbing to the benefits of phone technology, Jim regains self-assurance, but his ethically questionable acts test the boundaries of intimacy.

Guido Superstar: The Rise of Guido (Silvio Pollio)
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Director Silvio Pollio plays Guido, an Italian stallion with more bravery than brains, who gets more than he bargained for when he's hooked into going undercover against Canada's drug underworld. Suspense, slapstick and plenty of delicious plot twists soon follow...

Heartbeats (Xavier Dolan), Quebec
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Like multiple Cannes prize-winner I Killed My Mother , Xavier Dolan's more confidently stylish sophomore effort garnered the Prix de la Jeunesse at the French festival, as well as the grand prize in Sydney. Dolan and Monia Chokri star as inseparable friends who both fall for the same handsome young man...

Hope Builders (Fernand Dansereau), Quebec
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Fernand Dansereau, the Jutra Tribute award-winning director, returns with a fascinating look into freshly seeded grassroots activism by following a grade 6 class from La Farandole school in McMasterville, Québec, as they participate in a research-action project.

Incendies (Denis Villeneuve), Quebec
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Jeanne and Simon journey from Montréal to the Middle East, hoping to fulfill their mother’s cryptic last request: to deliver letters to a father believed dead and a brother unknown. Director Denis Villeneuve poetically lays bare two lives and a legacy shattered by war.

Leave Them Laughing (John Zaritsky), B.C.
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Director John Zaritsky delivers a perfect balance of rawness and exuberant humour. This musical-comedy about the nearness of death is unique and compelling, drawing its audience deep into a story of suffering and pain while liberating us with laughter.

Love Shines (Douglas Arrowsmith), B.C.
Douglas Arrowsmith directs this candid portrait of Ron Sexsmith recording his 12th studio album while engaging with the legendary musician's paradox: low record sales, amidst awards and praise by luminaries like Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Feist and Daniel Lanois, all of whom appear here.

Love Translated (Julia Ivanova), B.C.
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Dreaming of beautiful, yet dutiful brides, men from all over the Western world travel to Odessa to meet women courtesy of Julia Ivanova's doc explores motives on both sides of this dubious exchange, in which many paying customers come up empty-handed—and sometimes empty-hearted.

Mammalian (Frank Wolf), B.C.
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Frank Wolf and his buddy Taku brave a 2,000 km Arctic canoe journey from Yellowknife to Rankin Inlet, revealing the harshness and the beauty of Canada’s largest wilderness area, and the troubling changes rapidly sweeping the North.

Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames (Adam Reid), Ontario
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What if life and death are not divided against each other but are instead part of a mysterious, harmonious whole? That's the thesis and the challenge of Adam Reid's enlightening documentary about spiritual intellectual Marion Woodman.

Mighty Jerome (Charles Officer)
Charles Officer's documentary chronicles the life and legacy of athlete Harry Jerome, using archival footage, personal interviews, stylized re-enactments and a contemporary soundtrack to examine the determination of a gifted Canadian athlete on a mission to please a country that misunderstood him.

MODRA (Ingrid Veninger), Ontario
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Lina and Leco are restless, confused teenagers on a trip to Slovakia in Ingrid Veninger's tender snapshot of youth coming to an end. A subtle, heartfelt film of unspoken feelings and gradual revelations.

Mourning for Anna (Catherine Martin), Quebec
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Paralyzed by grief after the murder of her daughter, a woman retreats into the splendour and solitude of rural Québec, where she will form a new bond and undergo a special kind of healing. A quietly powerful film from Catherine Martin.

A Night for Dying Tigers (Terry Miles), B.C.
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In 24 short hours, Jack heads to prison. Push comes to shove in a fireworks display of family dysfunction during his farewell dinner in this acutely observant, appallingly funny third feature from Terry Miles, director of VIFF 08 hit When Life Was Good .

Repeaters (Carl Bessai), B.C.
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Three addicts in a rehab clinic come to discover that they are living the same day over and over again. Carl Bessai's film uses this story conceit to explore the paradoxes of addiction; the film is a philosophical meditation in thriller format.

Route 132 (Louis Belanger), Quebec
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Director Louis Belanger (Gaz Bar Blues) introduces us to Gilles and Bob, who hit the scenic route for a little crime spree, planning to take advantage of the backward provincials. What could possibly go wrong?

Snow and Ashes (Charles-Olivier Michaud), Quebec
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Blais Dumas, a war correspondent, awakens from a coma in a hospital room to find that his collaborator David has not come back with him. In Charles-Olivier Michaud's award-winning debut feature, the story slowly unfolds in a series of flashbacks that shed light on the events that led to David's disappearance...

Two Indians Talking (Sara McIntyre), B.C.
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In director Sara McIntyre’s comedic narrative, two First Nations cousins await an impending road block. Though they were raised together, on the same reservation, their banter and debate remind us that those on the same side of a cause can have radically different perspectives.

Uncle Brian (Nick McAnulty), Ontario
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Nick McAnulty's debut feature is a brutally funny mix of sex, violence and alienation. Daniel MacLean as Brian discovers the downside of burning bridges and that sometimes saying you're sorry just isn’t enough.

When the Devil Knocks (Helen Slinger), B.C.
Film website
An astounding cast of characters shares the confines of one woman’s mind. Helen Slinger uses footage taken over years of therapy to uncover dozens of “alters,” a life-long battle with Dissociative Identity Disorder and the extraordinary strength of a fragmented self.

Whirligig (Chaz Thorne), Nova Scotia
After yet another failure, Nicholas Sinclair (Everwood's Gregory Smith) manages to track down his parent's new home in Nova Scotia, in spite of their evasive efforts.... Director Chaz Thorne has created a sardonic and highly entertaining coming-of-age story about a young man whose misguided attempts at growing up eventually pay off.

Winds of Heaven (Michael Ostroff), Ontario
Film website
This is a must-see, possibly one of the best films ever made about our province, these forests, and our history as newcomers. It's the story of Emily Carr and what inspired her: the love of the people, the places, and the love of art. Hats off to everyone involved in this project; it is, for us, a very important story well-told, and surely for everyone, a sight to behold.


Fathers&Sons (Carl Bessai), B.C., Canadian Images Opening Gala
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Sharply realistic and exuberantly funny, Carl Bessai's film combines four stories about grown men and their dads. Spanning different Canadian cultures and juggling a cast of finely drawn characters, this is a warm, boisterous comedy.

Score: A Hockey Musical (Michael McGowan), ON, Anniversary Gala
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Michael McGowan's latest film combines musical numbers with Canada's national sport. Stars include music icon Olivia Newton-John alongside a slew of Canadian talent, including Marc Jordan, Nelly Furtado, Hawksley Workman, George Stroumboulopoulos, and Evan Solomon.

Barney's Version (Richard J. Lewis), ON, Opening Gala
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Based on Mordecai Richler's prize-winning comic novel--his last and, arguably, best--Barney's Version is the warm, wise and witty story of an unlikely hero—the unforgettable Barney Panofsky (played perfectly here by Paul Giamatti).


In the Wake of the Flood (Ron Mann), ON
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In 2009, writer Margaret Atwood’s dedication to the preservation of bird life produced a creatively eco-friendly book tour. Veteran documentarian Ron Mann's rare and intimate look at a national treasure reveals Atwood’s personal drive, and the value of fiction and bird song.

An Ecology of Mind (Nora Bateson), B.C.
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Nora Bateson celebrates her anthropologist-father Gregory Bateson, whose work in cybernetics, semiotics and epistemology continues to challenge us to see our lives within a larger system. With A Simple Rhythm (Tess Girard, ON), Tess Girard's absorbing look at (and listen to) synchrony and chaos, and the universal vibrations that connect us all.

Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie (Sturla Gunnarsson), ON
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Ecologist and scientist David Suzuki serves as veteran filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson's subject in this thorough, deep-reaching account of the Canadian icon's life. Gunnarsson shows how Suzuki's relationship with his father and the family's internment during WWII gave Suzuki a sense that history matters and helped shape his critical thinking as an "outsider." Also see: Severn, The Voice of Our Children, about the important work done by Suzuki's daughter.


Aurora Romania/France/Switzerland/Germany, Dir: Cristi Puiu
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Cristi Puiu's first film since The Death of Mr. Lazarescu stars the director himself as a troubled engineer whose secret plan methodically unfolds as Bucharest day turns into night. A stunningly shot and uncompromising work from a contemporary master.

R U There? Netherlands, Dir: David Verbeek
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When a professional videogame player Jitze (Stijn Koomen) is sidelined by a sore arm and meets Min Min (Ke Huan-Ru), a beautiful, older woman who works as a masseuse (amongst other things), cyber love blossoms. Unfortunately in David Verbeek's original drama, the couple's online avatars are far better suited than their corporeal selves...

Biutiful Spain/Mexico, Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
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"Built around a magnificent performance by Javier Bardem [Best Actor co-winner at Cannes] as a Barcelona low-life coming face to face with his own mortality... Another of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's grandiose meditations on life and death, parents and children, the supernatural [and] the interconnectedness of the universe... " - Salon

My Joy (Schastye moe) Russia, Dir: Sergei Loznitsa
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When a truck driver named Georgi breaks down in a rural Russian backwater, he is drawn into the tapestry of village life, where a veritable encyclopedia of vice is being enacted on a daily basis. Wonderfully acidic, Sergei Loznitsa's portrait of Mother Russia is "a devastating critique of Russian society..." - Variety

The Tree (L'arbre) Australia/France, Dir: Julie Bertucelli
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In the wake of her husband's sudden death, Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her four kids are left to make sense of life without their father/spouse. But when eight-year-old Simone becomes convinced that her father is living in the Moreton Bay fig tree that towers over their house, the prosaic and the supernatural meet amongst its leafy branches...

Carancho Argentina, Dir: Pablo Trapero
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"Carancho" means vulture, and it is a fair descriptor of Hector Sosa (Ricardo Darin), who makes a living pushing life insurance on accident victims. When Hector falls for a beautiful ER doctor with troubles of her own, the pair set out to beat the system. But - according to director Pablo Trapero - the system, as always, has other plans...

October (Octubre) Peru, Dir: Daniel Vega, Diego Vega
When two sad and solitary souls are joined together via the unexpected appearance of a new born, something of a minor miracle unfolds. While Clemente searches for the baby's mother (an erstwhile prostitute), his neighbour Sofia gradually discovers her latent maternal instincts. Winner, Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, Cannes 2010.

The Light Thief (Svet-ake) Kyrgyzstan/Germany/France/Netherlands, Dir: Aktan Arym Kubat
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Director Aktan Arym Kubat also stars in his warm, gentle comedy about an electrician in the remote Kyrgyz mountains who both helps his neighbours "borrow" electricity and serves as the town psychologist. A "mix of poetry, naiveté and documentary... that works thanks to the director-actor's profound humanity..." - Hollywood Reporter

Rubber France/USA, Dir: Quentin Dupieux
Official Website
Quentin Dupieux's film concerns the adventures of an anthropomorphized rubber tire that comes to murderous life in the desert and, via telekinesis, begins to exact bloody retribution on humanity. One of the stranger films to emerge from Cannes this year...

Poetry (Shi) South Korea, Dir: Lee Changdong
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Lee Changdong follows Secret Sunshine with another portrait of a woman who can't quite cope with her immediate reality. Mija (veteran star Yun Junghee, back from retirement) is bringing up her grandson in a new dormitory town outside Seoul. On impulse, she joins a poetry-writing class and tries to see things through fresh eyes. But then she discovers that her grandson is probably guilty of a serious crime... Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes 2010.

Hahaha South Korea, Dir: Hong Sangsoo
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You know how it is in Hong Sangsoo movies: two old friends get drinking together and swapping experiences. In this case, what they don't realize is that they were in the same place around the same time... Starring the sublime Moon Sori as a tour guide. Prix d'Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2010.

Chantrapas Georgia/France, Dir: Otar Iosseliani
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A filmmaker-within-a-filmmaker provides the genial gist of Otar Iosseliani's cinematic doppelgänger Nicholas, whose fictional life mirrors that of the actual Georgian director. A wry and farcical take on the innate self-regard of artists, as well as a profound meditation on creative freedom, French snobbery and Soviet-era censorship.

Our Life (La nostra vita) Italy/France, Dir: Daniele Luchetti
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Elio Germano shared the Best Actor award at Cannes for his powerful performance as a brash and money-hungry construction worker forced to come to grips with his life and family after his wife dies in childbirth. Veteran Daniele Luchetti (My Brother Is an Only Child) brings a sense of immediacy and vibrancy to this potent drama.

You Are All Captains (Todos vos sodes capitans) Spain/France, Dir: Olivier Laxe
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The "cinema of in between" finds a new star in Oliver Laxe, whose debut fiction-documentary hybrid was crafted with the help of street children in his home base of Tangiers. A mysterious, whimsical and unique creation that won the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes.

Dear Prudence (Belle épine) France, Dir: Rebecca Zlotowski
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After the death of her mother, lonely young Prudence (the gifted Léa Seydoux) discovers the underground culture of street-bike racing in the Parisian suburb of Rungis, with unforeseen consequences. "[A] bona fide [Cannes] Critics' Week discovery from Rebecca Zlotowski... a subtly impressionistic exploration of adolescence on the brink..." - Film Comment

The Princess of Montpensier (La princesse de Montpensier) France/Germany, Dir: Bertrand Tavernier
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"A young noblewoman is torn between passion, duty, companionship and ambition, each quality personified by a different man, in [Bertrand Tavernier's] compelling period drama. Like its heroine [newcomer Mélanie Thierry], Tavernier's visitation to 16th-century France has both beauty and brains..." - Variety

View Trailer
The first Thai film to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes, VIFF regular Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul's work uses the eponymous elderly character's final days to launch us on a journey through Thai history and symbolism.

"Not just the best film of the [Cannes] festival; it makes everything else in competition... look slapdash, lazy, hollow." - Slant Magazine

CERTIFIED COPY France/Italy/Belgium, Director: Abbas Kiarostami
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Juliette Binoche (Best Actress, Cannes) is an antique-shop owner in romantic Tuscany who strikes up a relationship-or is it just a "copy" of a relationship-with an English author (opera singer William Shimmel) in Abbas Kiarostami's first feature made outside of Iran. A playful "art film" drama anchored by the joint mastery of Kiarostami and Binoche.

OF GODS AND MEN France, Director: Xavier Beauvois
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A French brotherhood stationed in Algeria holds off Islamic fundamentalists with the strength of its faith... Based on a true story, Xavier Beauvois' classical drama stars Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale, and is close to perfection. It captured the Grand Prix at this year's Cannes festival.

A SCREAMING MAN France/Belgium/Chad, Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
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The country of Chad has been in a devastating state of civil war for more than 30 years. When Adam, who proudly reigns over the pool in an upscale hotel, is replaced in his job by his own son, a civil war of another type breaks out. Faced with pressure from the government, Adam commits an act of betrayal... Winner, Prix du Jury, Cannes 2010

ANOTHER YEAR UK, Director: Mike Leigh
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"Mike Leigh's latest contemporary, North London-set drama about an interconnected set of family and friends is almost about nothing at all, and yet it gently juxtaposes the big issues of everyday life: loneliness and love, selfishness and kindness, birth and death. Arguably Leigh's tautest, most likable effort since Secrets and Lies..." – Variety

HEARTBEATS Canada, Director: Xavier Dolan
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Like multiple Cannes prize-winner I Killed My Mother, Xavier Dolan's sophomore effort garnered the Prix de la Jeunesse at the French festival, as well as the grand prize in Sydney. Dolan and Monia Chokri star as inseparable friends who both fall for the same handsome young man.

ARMADILLO Denmark, Director: Janus Metz
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Janus Metz's gripping documentation of reality at the frontlines of battle in Afghanistan started a firestorm in Denmark and resulted in a government inquiry into whether Danish soldiers broke the rules of engagement by their all-too-human actions. A vital counterpoint to Restrepo, and an important part of a growing re-evaluation of political goals... Winner, Grand Prix, Cannes Critics' Week 2010.

TAMARA DREWE UK, Director: Stephen Frears
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When attractive celebrity journalist Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) returns to her rural English village after the death of her mother, the men fall all over themselves... "A charmingly entertaining film that sees director Stephen Frears in relaxed and funny form and... Arterton delivering a sweet and smart performance. It is a fresh and witty film..." - Screen International

CARLOS France, Director: Olivier Assayas
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Edgar Ramirez channels Brando via Che in Olivier Assayas' celebrated five-hour-plus globetrotting biopic of the notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal-it's a historically essential and wholly entertaining big-screen spectacle that never stops moving. Special Presentation pricing.

I WISH I KNEW China, Director: Jia Zhangke
Film Clip
Master director Jia Zhangke's eloquent Shanghai elegy recreates the hustle, the drama, and the music of that fabled, romantic Eastern city's glorious history. From glamorous art deco gangsters to modern-day literary idols, interviews and cityscapes bring cosmopolitan ghosts to vivid life.

INSIDE JOB USA, Director: Charles Ferguson
Film Clip
The financial crisis of 2007-10 that gave rise to losses in the trillions of dollars and kicked the global economy into the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression could have been avoided. Charles Ferguson (No End in Sight) makes the dizzying Byzantine complexities explicitly clear in his riveting and profoundly important documentary.

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Completely compiled from official Romanian state propaganda, Andrei Ujica's masterful third film in a loose trilogy is a galloping, globetrotting reinvention of found-footage filmmaking, showing Nicolae CeauÅŸescu as the Great Dictator wanted himself to be presented. The parades in North Korea alone are worth the price of admission.


AFTERSHOCK Tigers Gala Presentation China, Director: Feng Xiaogang
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The most popular Chinese blockbuster in history. After the giant 1976 Tangshan earthquake, a survivor struggles to heal the traumas that haunt her and her children. Master storyteller Feng Xiaogang creates an epic for the ages: an adventure-disaster movie and family-political melodrama in one extraordinary package.

13 ASSASSINS Japan, Director: Miike Takashi
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Miike Takashi plays it straight with a terrific action-adventure set in late feudal times. Righteous nobles decide to act against the shogun's sadistic and dissolute brother; Yakusho Koji assembles a crack team of assassins to ambush and kill him in a film that crosses Seven Samurai with A Touch of Zen.

COLD FISH Japan, Director: Sono Shion
Official Website
Set in the bizarre world of tropical-fish retailing, Sono Shion's outrageous thriller claims to be based on fact. A harried husband and father is coerced into merging his shop with a larger rival's but finds himself drawn into a web of gruesome murders and splattery corpse-disposals. Not for the faint-hearted!

THE FOURTH PORTRAIT Taiwan, Director: Chung Mong-hong
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A mom selling sex, a disturbing stepfather, and several strangely childlike adult companions lead a young abandoned boy through a gripping series of adventures. A major film from Chung Mong-hong, this stunningly shot, mysteriously entrancing tale is the outstanding Taiwanese film of the year.

MUNDANE HISTORY Thailand, Director: Anocha Suwichakompong
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Winner of a Tiger Award in Rotterdam, Anocha Suwichakompong's debut feature starts out as a study of the relationship between Ake, son of a wealthy but stern father and confined to a wheelchair by a road accident, and his working-class male nurse Pun. Then suddenly the perspective shifts to the cosmic...

OKI'S MOVIE South Korea, Director: Hong Sangsoo
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Fresh from the Venice Festival, Hong Sangsoo's second film of the year presents itself as four linked shorts, but actually tells one deliciously convoluted story of a romantic/sexual triangle between a college professor and two of his students, one female, one male. As ever in Hong's films, much soju is drunk, many home truths are uttered and male vanity is shot down in flames. With two bonus shorts.

PINOY SUNDAY Taiwan, Director: Ho Wi-ding
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Ho Wi-ding's prize-winning first feature is a tale of two Filipino workers who lug a giant red sofa across Taipei. A picaresque road movie, a thoughtful comedy about displacement and an offbeat Taipei city story.

Winter Vacation China, Director: Li Hongqi
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Poet-novelist-cineaste Li Hongqi spins a comatose comedy of seriously slack kids and their oblivious parents in small town Inner Mongolia with a devilishly sharp wit buried under the saddest, dead-pan humour imaginable. Brilliant, unnerving, hilarious.


CHECKPOINT ROCK: SONGS FROM PALESTINE Spain, Directors: Javier Corcuera, Fermin Muguruza
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That music often flourishes despite - and maybe because of - desperate times is brought home with joyous and affecting force in Javier Corcuera and Fermin Muguruza's journey through the Palestinian music scene. From uncannily soulful singers to rappers to classical musicians, the vivacity on display puts paid to any preconceived notions of life under occupation.

RIDE, RISE, ROAR USA, Director: David Hillman Curtis
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David Hillman Curtis' boundlessly energetic concert film captures David Byrne at his musical and theatrical peak while detailing the collaborative process that makes the performances come alive. "Stop Making Sense is a tough act to follow, but David Byrne gives his younger self a run for his money with Ride, Rise, Roar." - Hollywood Reporter

RIO SONATA France, Director: Georges Gachot
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Brazilian great Nana Caymmi's languid voice - and turbulent personal life - are the stuff of legend and gossip. Georges Gachot intimately chronicles her many ups and downs, showing how - more than her personal relationship with Gilberto Gil - her peerless musicianship has ensured her place as one of Brazil's most influential singers.

WAGNER & ME UK, Director: Patrick McGrady
Noted actor and writer Stephen Fry's love for the music of Richard Wagner - and, as a Jew, his attempts to reconcile this love with Wagner's Nazi associations - serve as the focus of Patrick McGrady's dazzling, emotional whirlwind of a documentary. Wit as sharp as ever, Fry visits Russia and Switzerland - and even gets backstage access at the Bayreuth festival.

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The late, great Liam Clancy, the last surviving member of The Clancy Brothers, who vaulted to fame in the 60s singing bittersweet Irish ballads and outselling The Beatles, recalls moments both storied (the Civil Rights movement) and tragic (the alcoholism that almost destroyed his career) in director Alan Gilsenan's warmly affectionate documentary.

REJOICE AND SHOUT USA, Director: Don McGlynn
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Don McGlynn has made films about musicians as diverse as Glenn Miller and Howlin' Wolf, and in this, his most ambitious film to date, he uncovers the progression in gospel music over the course of two centuries. A rousing combination of rare vintage clips, probing interviews and fantastic music will, indeed, make you want to rejoice and shout.

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"The thing that makes you really want to watch a Magnetic Fields documentary - aside from the fact that it's about a brilliant band... - is that the genius behind Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt, is so prickly... in interviews that no journalist has ever gotten an accurate picture of him." - The Stranger. Until now... Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara direct.

DANIEL SCHMID Switzerland, Directors: Pascal Hofmann, Benny Jaberg
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Daniel Schmid made documentaries and dramas, directed plays and operas, and collaborated with Fassbinder. Pascal Hofmann and Benny Jaberg's deeply affectionate documentary captures the ineffable mystery of the creative process through Schmid's oeuvre. "Brilliant, funny, stirring, self-deprecating, idealistic, diva-ish - a worthy salute to Schmid..." – Strangeflowers

THE WOODMANS USA, Director: C. Scott Willis
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C. Scott Willis's documentary sheds light on a fascinating figure. "The photographer Francesca Woodman had all the markings of becoming the next big art star: precocious talent, beauty, charisma, a driving ambition and a work ethic to match... Almost 30 years after her suicide at age 22, the art world remains transfixed..." - The New York Times

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"Tamra Davis has surpassed the art world's expectations with [this] definitive documentary, that superbly sets out the life and times of [Basquiat] with never-seen-before first-hand footage of the artist; source and anecdotal interviews and quotes from almost every player in the 1980s art scene in New York..." - Moving Pictures

WASTE LAND UK/Brazil, Director: Lucy Walker
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Renowned artist Vik Muniz takes us into the world of the catadores - the inhabitants of the world's largest landfill outside Rio who recycle trash for a living - and his three-year artistic collaboration with them. Lucy Walker's powerful film won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at Sundance 2010 and the Panorama Audience Award at Berlin 2010.

SNOW WHITE France, Director: Angelin Preljocaj
A major stage event in France, this is a tremendously sophisticated dance film set to the sublime music of Mahler and the otherworldly costumes of Jean Paul Gaultier. The age-old tale of a beautiful girl and a wicked queen undergoes a profound reinvention; choreographer Angelin Preljocaj seemingly achieves the impossible by focusing on the more complex emotions at the heart of the story.

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Legendary choreographer Pina Bausch's most enduring work Kontakthof ("Contact Zone") is given lusty new life through the addition of surging adolescent hormones in Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffman's gorgeous documentary. Forty high-school students investigate the complex rituals of social dance, sex and desire under Bausch's inimitable direction.

TURN IT LOOSE UK, Director: Alistair Siddons
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It's a b-boy battle royal in the heated heart of Soweto, as 16 of the world's most explosive dancers - all of them kids with touching stories from different parts of the world - compete for the title of world champion. With little attention paid to the the limits of the human body, Alistair Siddon's riotous documentary reinvents physical possibility.

PALIMPSEST Hungary, Director: János Domokos
"My father used to teach philosophy here and these young people from Hungary are making a film about him." Part reminiscence, part city symphony, János Domokos' film accompanies an old woman around Moscow. It is a heartbreakingly lovely evocation of her city of Rachmaninov and philosopher Gustav Spet, who she knew well.


BUSH LEAGUE USA, Dir: Cy Kuckenbaker
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The players on the Tony Bombers football team in Zokolere, Malawi, serve as a microcosm for Cy Kuckenbaker's on-the-ground look at social progress - and the lack thereof - in that Malawian village. The team's engaging players shed light on their issues and concerns while the film as a whole captures the frustrations faced by Westerners trying to "do good."

KINSHASA SYMPHONY Germany, Dirs: Claus Wischmann, Martin Baer
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Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer's film shows how people living in one of the most chaotic cities in the world - Kinshasa, in the war-riven Democratic Republic of Congo - have managed to forge one of the most complex systems of human cooperation ever invented: a symphony orchestra. "An ode to joy." - The Economist

A PLACE WITHOUT PEOPLE Greece/Tanzania, Dir: Andreas Apostolides
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In the name of "conservation" the vast Serengeti plain in Tanzania has been made off-limits to the very Massai who have historically populated and lived from it. Andreas Apostolides' cogent documentary examines the growth of nature reserves and tourism there, and the social ramifications for the country's indigenous peoples.

RAINDROPS OVER RWANDA Rwanda, Dir: Charles Annenberg Weingarten
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At the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda, the bodies of Tutsis murdered during the genocide are left unburied as a powerful reminder of the violence that claimed the lives of 800,000 people. Director Charles Annenberg Weingarten travels throughout the country with survivor Honore Gatera to discover how Rwandans are working to forgive and move forward.

SHOOTING WITH MURSI UK, Dirs: Ben Young, Olisarali Olibui
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More extraordinarily "exotic" than Leni Riefenstahl's Africa, this unique work has co-director Olisarali Olibui patrolling his tribe's ancient lands in SW Ethiopia with a Kalashnikov in one hand and a camera in the other, documenting the inter-tribal rivalries and threats of encroachment on the Mursi's traditional lands from a consummate insider's point of view.

TOGETHERNESS SUPREME Kenya, Dir: Nathan Collett
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Nairobi resident Nathan Collett's debut feature focuses on three young adults from three different tribes, all living in Kibera, Kenya, East Africa's largest slum, and getting caught up on the 2007 post-election violence that saw Kibera as a flashpoint. An insightful humanist drama full of startling authenticity, made with locals in key roles both in front of and behind the camera.

ZANZIBAR MUSICAL CLUB France/Germany, Dirs: Philippe Gasnier, Patrice Nezan
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Given the island nation's place at the crossroads of the spice route, Taarab, the music of Zanzibar, reflects two millennia of cultural exchange between East and West. Philippe Gasnier and Patrice Nezan's stirring documentary uncovers a world fed with Arabic tones, Latin rhythms, Indian melodies and African drums.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

Clips from Love Shines are available here:

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