19:30 A Hustlers Diary - Oude Luxor In his second feature, Ivica Zubak explores
the clash of social classes, when petty thief Metin accidentally rolls into the circuit
of literary agents and publishers.
15:30 Gimme Danger - Cinerama 1, 3 In this documentary, Jim Jarmusch (whose feature
Paterson is also being screened at IFFR 2017) interviews his friend Jim Osterberg
(born in 1947), better known as Iggy Pop, about his influential proto-punk band The
Stooges (1967-1974, reunion 2003), which Jarmusch calls "the greatest rock and roll
band ever", thanks to tunes like I Wanna Be Your Dog and No Fun.
18:45 American Honey - Pathé 5, 4
“Anybody gonna miss you?” “Not really.” “Good, you’re hired.” This is how teenager
Star (a striking debut by Sasha Lane) begins a career as a hawker of magazines when
she leaves home and joins a motley group of young people (most of whom are played
by amateurs) as they smoke weed, sing, make love, steal, quarrel and fight their
way across the USA in a van, in the first American film by British director Andrea
Arnold (Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights).
This energetically meandering On the Road for millennials has a soundtrack rich in
hip-hop and is filmed in a hand-held, documentary style. Here, freedom is not (as
it was for Kerouac) the dream, but the enemy. Like all road movies, American Honey
is about an inner journey (along the way Star falls for her flirty colleague Jake,
played by Shia LaBeouf), meanwhile giving a rare impression of young people trying
to find their way in the underbelly of American society.
22:00 - Three Pathé 4, 3
Dr Tong Qian has a busy day ahead of her: the brain surgery this neurosurgeon performs
every day is of course life-saving. The doctor is not a god, but certainly the boss.
Until a gangster is brought in with a bullet in his head. This needs to be removed
as quickly as possible. A horde of police officers follows in the wake of the strikingly
alert patient. They want to get information about his criminal network out of him
and then throw him in jail after the doctors have done their work. But the wounded
man refuses to be operated on. How can the overworked doctor do her work among all
these fighting cocks?
The battle for control and power between the three parties degenerates into a beautifully
choreographed shootout in the hospital corridors – it is, after all, the latest film
by Johnnie To. High-speed excitement, drama and humour race through the veins of
this action thriller.
13.45 Mes nuits feront echo, 2
"Life is short, we have to keep dreaming", a woman says at the start of this sensitive
debut film. The three chapters of Still Night, Still Light are named for the searching
main characters, each of whom could use such wisdom: Eliane, a young Canadian woman
who gives piano lessons in Mexico; Romes, her gentle employer; and Pablo, Romes'
father, who whiles away his days in a nursing home. They all seem to be waiting for
something: a sign from a deceased loved one, a last good conversation.
All three of them hope to find happiness elsewhere. Eliane has swapped cold Canada
for dangerous Mexico, and Romes and Pablo are setting off together on a last trip
to China. “We try to do our best in a world we don’t control”, Romes says of his
attempts to do the right thing. He sees life as like driving a car in fog: even though
you can’t see what’s ahead, you just have to have faith.
16:00 IFFR Live - The Man - Schouwburg Grote Zaal, 5
Simon, a midlife man in designer pyjamas, tinted lenses in his spectacles, is a world-famous
artist. He is still in favour with the (younger) ladies and lives and works in an
enormous studio in an old factory in Copenhagen, with lots of assistants who take
the painting work off his hands. It’s a place where work and private life meet and
mingle. This becomes even more clear when his adult son, Casper, moves in with him.
Father and son never knew each other. To the great disappointment of Simon, Casper
is not only attractive but also an artist, and a talented one at that. Simon is suspicious.
What are Casper’s intentions? Attention, paternal love or revenge?
Charlotte Sieling skilfully augments a classic father-son drama with suspense and
humorous commentary on today’s art world. Art offers a glimpse into the soul, but
can also be a confrontational mirror. And to create great art, you have to make sacrifices.
19:00 King of the Belgians - Pathé 1 , 3
During a state visit to Turkey, Nicholas III, King of the Belgians, receives a disastrous
message which means he has to return at once to Brussels with his entourage. However,
because of a solar storm, the Turks refuse to let him go, afraid their future membership
of the EU will be threatened. The documentary maker commissioned by the queen to
capture the vitality and smile of the king conceives a way out. As the royal retinue
crosses the Balkans in a rickety bus followed by the Turkish secret service, during
the breaks Nicolas stands gazes into the distance like a visionary and works on a
speech to explain to the Belgians what a formidable statesman lives at 1, Place des
Palais in Brussels.
Makers Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth certainly haven’t lost their urge to travel,
but after the far corners of Mongolia for Khadak (2006) and the Andes in Altiplano
(2009), they found the backdrop for this comic drama almost on their doorstep.
15:30 Scumbag - Pathé 3, 2
Phil, a young wannabe DJ, works at a telemarketing company where his co-workers are
lunatics, former convicts and junkies. Not ideal surroundings for someone trying
to battle addiction and keep his girlfriend. Director Mars Roberge calls Scumbag
"a modern version of a John Osborne play" – an apt reference to the author of Look
Back in Anger, which embodied post-World War II angst.
Inspired by the fraudulent Canadian company where Roberge worked before turning to
DJing (more successfully than his character), Scumbag is a dark, DIY, take-it-or-leave-it
comedy with a musical pulse: a fragmented, MTV-video-clip form; a noisy punk and
electronic soundtrack; in-your-face, satirical energy. The film also sports an impressive
number of cameos/faces from US underground culture such as filmmaker Nick Zedd, actress
Penny Arcade, porn legends Nina Hartley and Ron Jeremy, and punk singer Keith Morris.
19:30 Sieranevada - Cinerama 2 , 3 In various guises, death is a regular visitor in
the films of Cristi Puiu. For example, in the form of the bankrupt (or at least inefficient)
Romanian health service in The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, or as a murderer who has had
enough of the complaints of his in-laws in the deliberately strung-out anti-thriller
Aurora. The way death and the ghosts of Romania past play a role in Sieranevada is
up to the viewer, but it’s always a joy to discover.
The backdrop is a small apartment in Bucharest, where a group of relatives and friends
come together to eat and drink and ritually get annoyed at each other. Through the
conversations and observations of the protagonist, a middle-aged doctor, and the
camera that moves freely through the cramped spaces, Puiu continuously changes tone
and theme and creates a darkly humorous story about the fears and frustrations of
his beloved compatriots.
9.30 The Burglar, 4
First the desert, which Yaeli has to cross when returning home from her job in a
resort on the Dead Sea. Then the distress of a break-in in her apartment, which Yaeli
shared with her mother, until her mother just disappeared, without a word. Then Yaeli’s
desperate voicemail messages, which remain unanswered. Altogether, a highly effective
reflection of the extremely disturbed condition of this teenager.
What follows could be seen as a crash course in growing up. Lihi Kornowski plays
Yaeli as a young woman who has long fenced off her emotions – perhaps out of self-defence.
After what has happened, she no longer feels bound by the usual rules. She is young,
independent and a tad reckless, so there’s nothing to stop her from doing some housebreaking
of her own in order to secretly sample other lives, to witness the things she is
missing. She doesn’t just take money, but other, more personal things, such as a
hearing aid, a lipstick that makes her a woman – she even appropriates other people’s
dreams. She can become anyone. But who is she really?
In the tautly designed The Burglar, reality, fantasy and symbolism subtly interweave.
A meeting with a kindly German geologist helps Yaeli find something to hang on to.
But then there is also the leopard in the zoo, which she secretly identifies with.
13:30 Wùlu - Cinerama 1, 4
Young Ladji has been a bus driver in Bamako, the capital of Mali, for years but misses
out on a promotion because of nepotism. So he decides to find another way of making
money – also to help his sister, who is being forced into prostitution by poverty.
He contacts a drug dealer and, together with two mates, starts running drugs. He
transports cannabis into Mali and Senegal, bringing back cocaine, and later makes
trips to Guinea and the city of Timbuctoo, all in a van with stickers of Bob Marley
and Ché Guevara on the back windows. The trips become ever more hazardous, particularly
when they pass through the desert of northern Mali, which is controlled by Al Qaida
and rebel Tuaregs. While his sister (played by singer Inna Modja) immerses herself
in a life of luxury, Ladji has to tackle corrupt soldiers and fanatical members of
Daouda Coulibaly’s overwhelming debut takes place against the backdrop of the 2012
coup in Mali, when drug smuggling brought the country to its knees and led to political
15:30 Sami Blood - Pathé 5 , 5
Inquiring teenager Elle-Marja, the daughter of a family of reindeer herders in Lapland,
dreams of escaping her nomadic existence and studying in Uppsala. But in 1930s Sweden,
her people, the Sami, face ubiquitous discrimination. "Studies have shown that your
people can’t get by in town…" she is told at the draconian boarding school where
she has been housed with her little sister. "You have to stay here or you’ll die
In her award-winning feature debut Sami Blood, Amanda Kernell sketches an intimate,
intelligent portrait of a girl who is determined to follow her dreams, in spite of
everything. She is jeered at, abused and subjected to horrific medical examinations,
but where her contemporaries cling on to their customs and traditions, Elle-Marja
chooses the path that will drive her further and further from her family and her
roots: total assimilation.
19:00 Surprise Film - Schouwburg Grote Zaal
17:00 Lemon - Schouwburg Grote Zaal, 4
Isaac is having a hard time. He doesn’t realise this yet himself, because facing
up to reality is not the strongest side of this early-forty-something from Los Angeles.
Yet after a while he can’t escape it: his girlfriend has left and isn’t coming back.
And if you only get cast in commercials about diseases, it’s difficult to maintain
that your acting career is going places.
In her feature debut, Janicza Bravo sketches a humorous and revealing portrait of
a failure who gets deeper and deeper into trouble. Her husband Brett Gelman plays
the lead – without a trace of shame – and also co-wrote the screenplay. Bravo, whose
short film Gregory Go Boom (2013) won her the jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival,
takes her place in a long tradition of American independent filmmakers, but also
finds her own voice. Lemon is a very dry, alternatingly hilarious and alienating
tragicomedy about the possibility of failure.
19:45 Suffering of Ninko - Cinerama 7, 4
The young monk Ninko leads an ascetic existence in the Enmeiji temple, but his dedication
to a life of simplicity and sexual abstinence is made impossible by the curse that
seems to afflict him: he is irresistible to every woman (and some of the men) he
meets. Pursued by a posse of half-naked, crazed women and a mysterious, faceless
nymph, he flees high into the mountains, where he can finally discover his true nature.
With Suffering of Ninko, debut director Niwatsukino Norihiro adds a modern, headstrong
chapter to the rich tradition of Japanese ghost stories. His background as a designer
is revealed in the wonderful animated variations on classic Japanese woodcuts, Buddhist
mandalas and erotic prints, which together with sensual dance scenes, witty intermezzos
and macabre appearances by spirits form an exciting, highly individual indictment
of sexual repression.