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Programme 2014

Wednesday 22-1

Her, Spike Jonze, USA, 5

Samantha is attentive, helpful, funny and intelligent. Well, artificially intelligent, because she is a revolutionary new operating system, blessed with the hoarse voice of Scarlett Johansson. After the flirting stage, elementary questions and reflections arise. What is the essence of love and identity? How much does the ideal lover change to match the partner? And above all: what next? Great film and maybe closer to future developments than we think.

Friday 24-1

I am not him,  Tayfun Pirselimoglu, 4

Nihat is a restaurant cleaner and leads the trivial life of a bachelor, in which regular outings with his friends and a prostitute are the sole, sad highlights. Until, that is, he starts an affair with his new colleague Ayse, an attractive young woman whose husband is serving ten years in prison. Nihat (Ercan Kesal, who played the lead in Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) discovers he looks uncannily like her husband, and in her new relationship Ayse grasps the opportunity to do everything she never used to be able to with him.

However, a dramatic event changes the curious idyll in which Nihat gradually adopts the identity and appearance of his criminal double, with due consequence.

The story, loosely based on Hitchcock's Vertigo, is presented in a cool, slightly absurdist way using calm, carefully framed and styled shots, and minimal, yet spot-on dialogue. Good film

Por las plumas, Neto Villalobos, Costa Rica, 3

Chalo is a security guard at an empty industrial site. To add excitement to his life, he buys Rocky, a fighting cock. But when he starts training it, Chalo becomes entangled in tricky, crazy situations. Cheerful debut from Costa Rica about persistence and friendship. But not a real exciting movie.

Metalhead, Ragna Bragason, Iceland, 4

Icelandic Hera was born in 1970, the year Black Sabbath heralded the birth of heavy metal with their debut album. The girl, her parents and elder brother Baldur live on a remote farm where she has an idyllic childhood until Baldur dies before her eyes in an accident.

Hera deals with her immense loss and extreme guilt in a way that frightens her parents: she becomes a passionate metalhead just like her brother, wears his old clothes and turns into a rebellious teen. Now that Hera is almost an adult, her ambition is to be a rock star, family relations are worse than ever and the broken young woman keeps getting into trouble.

The selfisch giant, Clio Barnard, UK, 5
Young teenager and his best friend are kicked out of school and start a career in scrap metal. Realistic, heart-breaking look at the British underclass, stylishly made by debut filmmaker with young actors who could only be found in England.
Sad ending when swifty and Arbor are getting electrified while stealing cables.

Saturday 25-1

Piccola patria, Alessandro Rossetto, 2
The story is about two young women: the lively, uninhibited Luisa and the dark and angry Renata. And about Luisa's boyfriend Bilal, an immigrant from Albania, and the older man with whom Renata has a relationship. It’s a story about blackmail. About rudely sensual youth and conservative elders set in their ways. About becoming what you want and what you’re willing to sacrifice for that. But I did not really enjoy this film

La Cueva, Alfredo Montero, Spain, 3

A group of Spaniards is looking for a dose of excitement and sensation on the tropical island where they are holidaying. Just like modern Robinsons, they are looking for the hidden paradise beyond the well-trodden paths of tourism. It won’t be a surprise that all of this can only end up unhappily.

On the second day of their holiday, the group innocently decides to leave the sunny beach for a hidden, dark cave. They have a camera, a torch and some water with them but they’re not prepared for the unexpected turn that their excursion takes.

A variation on the found-footage genre, in which a very realistic scenario is sketched with minimal means and well-developed characters. These are normal people in extreme conditions who have to appeal to their primaeval instincts to survive.

Monday 30-1

Cousin, Syria, Mohammad Ali Atassi, 5

A very honest and interesting portrait of the Syrian dissident Riad al-Turk, who managed to maintain his ideals through long periods of extreme harshness as a political prisoner.The Syrian dissident Riad al-Turk is a prominent critic of the Baath regime in Syria, and has spent over 17 years in prison. The film reveals a man of deep humanism who, faced with extreme harshness, also managed to keep his ideals.

On the sand, under the sun, Mohamad MALAS,  3

Short documentary about political prisoners struggling to come to terms with haunting memories, produced for the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.The film presents a reflection on the effects of prison in general and on the theatre director Ghassan Jbaii in particular. The artist used his work to come to terms with his haunting memories and regain the world outside the prison walls.

RUn nuage dans un verre d´eau, France, Srinath C. Samarasinghe, 4

Young Anna is from Romania and old Noun is from Egypt. They are neighbours in a rundown building in Paris. They share the same interest in idle news but they hate to talk about themselves. Yet, old secrets are unveiled, little by little.A curious collection of styles and genres focussed on an Egyptian film operator who passes his old age in a small apartment in Paris. A Cloud in a Glass of Water starts as a documentary: the grandson of Monsieur Noun films while the old man talks about his deceased lover and the days when he screened films during the British rule in Cairo. Then Anna, the woman next door becomes involved in the project.
From then on, the film ricochets in different directions. Fiction, biography, animation, mystery, detective story - the life of Monsieur Noun has too many stories in it to be captured in one form.

Sur la Planche, leila Kilani, Morocco, 3

After making a documentary about immigrants who risk the crossing from Tangier to Europe, the breathtaking feature debut of Leïla Kilani is also about the bitter-sweet dream of globalisation. The 'plank' of the title is a springboard, diving board and pirate plank all at once; a springboard to a richer, more materialistic system - but one that is accompanied by great danger to life.
Badia and Imane are girlfriends who peel prawns during the day in the factory and at night rob men under false pretences. In the streets, they get to know Asma and Nadal, who have jobs in the Free Zone, the European- oriented part of the city. It is primarily Badia, spiritedly played by Soufia Issami, who sees that as an opportunity to gain more wealth. She will have to raise her criminal activities to a riskier level.
Kilani provides a raw and authentic glimpse of the attempts of poor workers/petty thieves to get a better life. As moody as dynamic
film noir, in which the shots of Tangier by night contrast with the broad panoramas by daylight.

Wednesday 29-1

About Sarah, Elisa Miller, VK,4

Fascinating portrait of Sarah Lucas, who together with Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin conquered the art world as a controversial Young British Artist. Now almost 50, the artist is working on a solo show in Mexico, while smoking, drinking and reflecting on life and work. With also nice pictures and exhibition at Venica biennale 2013.

Canopy, Aaron Wilson, Australia, 4

During the Japanese invasion in 1942, the Australian fighter pilot Jim crashes in the impenetrable rainforest of Singapore. Disoriented and on unknown terrain, he has to flee the Japanese troops. The deeper he flees into the jungle, the more his fear grows.

In the depths of the jungle and close to despair, he meets a young Chinese/Singaporean soldier. Even though they can’t understand each other, the men still have a special bond and retain a spark of hope for survival.

Canopy is about the age-old battle of people against nature. It’s a war story that is not about epic fights but precisely about the psyche of a desperate man on the run. The mysterious jungle not only provides protection but, just like the Japanese soldiers, forms a dangerous enemy and threat.

The sound design that was chosen and the beautiful camera work ensure a claustrophobic and atmospheric debut film by the Australian Aaron Wilson.

Trespassing Bergman, Jane Magnusson, Sweden, 4

The home that belonged to Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) on the Swedish island of Fårö was turned into a museum after his death. Bergman, who watched three films a day, owned 1,711 video tapes: from Die Hard and Emmanuelle to Haneke's La pianiste. A number of filmmakers whose films he owned, speak about the impact the director had on them. Some travel to Fårö, to see for themselves how isolated Bergman's house was. 'If cinema is religion, then this is Mecca or the Vatican,' says Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárittu respectfully as he arrives on Fårö in the middle of the night. The films discussed run from Summer with Monika (1953) to Fanny and Alexander (1982). The directors interviewed include Woody Allen, who thinks Bergman is the best filmmaker ever, Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, Ang Lee and Lars von Trier, who has a love-hate relationship with the maestro, all of whose films he has watched.

Sorrow and joy, Nils Malmros, Denmark, 5
When filmmaker Johannes returns from a lecture one evening, he finds a house in mourning and terror. That same afternoon, his wife, a teacher, has killed their baby - not out of spite or hate, but a sense of despair and loneliness and psychosis. Johannes doesn't judge her, but tries to get to grips with all the ways he has failed her without ever meaning any harm. The pupils and their parents want her back. Only the State and its representatives need to be convinced that society needs this woman.

Sorrow and Joy is a meditation on the limits of human laws and the infinite possibilities of kindness and understanding; a deeply protestant melodrama on grace; a sum total of Malmros's life as well as his filmmaking; a perfect starting point for a voyage of discovery through a strikingly intimate cosmos in which every human being should be able to recognize at least some of himself or herself. One of the greatest films of contemporary cinema. The filmmaker was present and when announcing it happened to himself, the impact of the film got even bigger. Pity it is his last fulm.

Alan Partridge, Alpha Papa, Declan Lowney, UK, 4
Funny movie and must see it again with translation as I missed half of it. In his first feature film, the 'raconteur' gets an opportunity to finally act like a real hero. When a big media concern takes over the radio station, dismissals follow. Aging DJ Pat (Colm Meany) takes revenge by kidnapping his colleagues. But Partridge wouldn't be Partridge if he didn't grab the limelight by mixing grandiose words with rather less spectacular action in this bungling hostage drama.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - featuring the slowest car chase in action movie history - is a must-see for Steve Coogan fans, and the perfect introduction to the wondrous world of Alan Partridge.

Thursday 30-1

Hotel Nueva Isla, Javier Labrador, Cuba, 3

ATender portrait of homeless senior citizen Jorge in a disintegrating Cuba. He lives with his misty memories, dog and a dozen other vulnerable souls in a run-down former hotel. Twilight brings the end closer: of Hotel Nueva Isla, of Jorge and of a once glorious past.

In bygone days, the Nueva Isla hotel in Cuba was a place of grandeur, overflowing with life and guests. Now, it is a dilapidated ruin, with parts of the ceiling falling down and damp eroding the walls. Nevertheless, the building is still inhabited - by the aged Jorge and his faithful dog, as well as a few of his friends who find themselves homeless.

Jorge's best years were spent working as an official in a strictly governed but vital Cuba. Now, he spends his days poking around and digging - if you look carefully, there is memorabilia buried beneath the rubble. His friends have a more realistic outlook, and one by one leave the disintegrating building.

The old man is followed in tender, calm footage of his day-to-day life - ‘maintaining’ the hotel, talking to the other residents, carrying on a romantic relationship with a woman in his improvised home; with kind words and a cautious dance to music recalling an era that has gone forever.

Sacro Gra
, Gianfranco Rosi, Italy, 1

Boring movie about boring people living near a boring road in exciting Rome

, Marvin Kren, Austria, 5

In the Alps, danger looms in the form of a glacier that is transformed into a dangerous, genetically modified instrument. Climate researcher Janek, who works at an observation station in the Alps, is the first to notice that the glacier is discharging a red fluid that mutates the local animals into bloodthirsty monsters. At first, his colleagues don’t believe him, but once they are convinced he’s right, they want to keep the news at any cost from the Minister of the Environment, who has announced he is planning a visit to the station. Outside, the monsters threaten, inside people are in fundamental disagreement. And to make it all even more complex: the woman accompanying the Minister is Janek’s ex-girlfriend.

With the current climate changes, this wondrous mix of horror, comedy and melodrama is far from being an unrealistic scenario. The film itself is completely unrealistic and far over the top. But therefore very funny.

The disobedient
, Mina Djukic, Serbia, 3

The road movie takes many forms, and this romantic, playful film about growing up proves that a bicycle can also be a suitable vehicle for a life-changing journey. Lazar and Leni were best friends growing up in a village in Serbia. Years later, Lazar is living abroad, while Leni has chosen to stay on her native soil. Then Lazar returns, right as Leni’s life is at a crossroads.

It seems the perfect opportunity to take a cycling trip together through Serbia in the summer. To renew their friendship - this time as a man and a woman. But this turns out to be more complicated than their wonderfully uncomplicated youthful friendship.

In atmospheric, at times comic scenes, we follow the young duo during their adventures. They cause chaos in a fruit & veg market, crash the wedding of complete strangers and dare to be quiet together. What is the definition of their bond, now they are adults? What they don’t yet know themselves is revealed to us by an omniscient narrator.A bit too simple, but I enjoyed the film

Suzanne, Katell Quillevere, France, 4

It’s a miracle that Suzanne keeps it up for so long - living with her elder sister and father, a truck-driving widower in rural Languedoc. This passionate bouncy ball wants nothing more than to escape her stuffy bourgeois existence. Teenage pregnancy prevents her briefly, but when she bumps into the criminal Julien, that’s the start of a fully-fledged Bonnie & Clyde life. Even after an arrest and jail term, there’s no way back for her.

With plenty of pace, Katell Quillévéré tells the story of an all-consuming lust for life that pushes the limits of freedom. Twenty-five years flash past in an hour and a half, often with abrupt leaps in time. Sometimes a bit too drastic.

Friday 31-1

Swim little fish swim, Lola Bresses, US, 3

Musician Leeward can never refuse a needy person he meets on the street - he always brings them home with him. He is constantly composing nice little songs for his three-year-old daughter Rainbow. He sees the world as a magical place.

Leeward's a nice guy. Only his wife Mary now sees this a little differently. She works hard as a nurse in a hospital for the minimum wage, while he refuses to write some music for a commercial because it would undermine his artistic integrity. Their marriage, which has become a succession of irritations, is completely tipped out of balance when the young artist Lilas appears.

We all have to grow up sooner or later, seems to be the message of Swim Little Fish Swim, but this needn't mean giving up our dreams - or rather, our capacity to dream. This sketch of mores and characters shows an almost surrealist lightness of touch; even generally hyper-aggressive New York looks like a friendly, fairytale world.

Of horses and men, Benedikt Erlingson, Iceland, 5

In an inhospitable valley in Iceland, horses are just as important to the community as people. With their striking, understanding eyes, they observe the existence of the people who ride them - who, just like them, seem to live by their animal instincts. Together with the animals, the villagers brave the icy conditions - thanks in part to the local heart-warming alcohol - in the gorgeous landscape. The thickset, powerful Icelandic horses have as much character and balls as their masters.

This can lead to completely absurd scenes in this comic drama, in which sometimes horse and sometimes man comes off worst. Nonetheless, what connects man and beast is at the heart of this unusual feature debut by Benedikt Erlingsson. Both suffer the slings and arrows of love and death alike.

Erlingsson’s original story is beautifully filmed and has a rhythm all of its own, akin to the typical ‘tölt’ gait of the Icelandic horse.

Something must break, Ester Martin Bengsmark, Sweden, 2

This love story is set in Stockholm in summer, between androgynous Sebastian (who likes to dress as 'superwoman' Ellie) and Andreas, who is not gay. Together against the smoothed-over, blunted IKEA society. But not very convincing.

Surprise movie, Enemy, Denis Villeneuve, 4
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. Almost a David Lynch movie

Feel my love, griet Teck, Belgium, 4

An estimated six million people in the EU suffer from forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease. Disappearing memories of the pre-World War II generation soberly and lovingly captured by young Flemish filmmaker and camerawoman Griet Teck. She filmed the daily activities of Louise, Bes, Denise, Louisa, Betty, Rosa and Jean for four seasons as they were supervised and helped by nurses, family and others.

The film exudes an unusually clear intimacy in its focus on the faces of elderly people struggling with their loss of identity; people for whom music is the final means of expression. This has resulted in an almost anthropological film about a very serious subject: bidding farewell to life and to who you are. The fragile force of life visualised in a sincere, non-pushy, unbiased manner.