It’s this time of the year again where Cork is delighted to present a huge collection of films and other events for the 61st Cork Film Festival supported by the locals of Cork – the Corkonians.
For those who don’t know what it is: The Cork Film Festival is an audience festival,which attracts spectators from all over the world. There will be a widely varied compilation of different types of film-genres: thriller, family, comedy, documentary and so on..
Here are a few suggestions:
Saturday 12 November
After Spring: Zaatari, the second largest refugee camp in the world, is home to over 80,000 Syrian refugees (half of whom are children) including 5,000 Zaatari-born babies. After Spring examines life for Syria’s ‘lost generation’ in the artificial city that has developed within the camp. A portrait of immeasurable hardship and unstoppable resilience.
The unknown Girl: A new film from the Belgian brothers is always an event, and this is both dramatically compelling and an apposite commentary on today’s Europe. Young doctor Jenny is appalled to learn that failing to answer the surgery’s buzzer may have triggered events leading to the death of the African unknown girl, and sets off to investigate.
Slash: Slash is your everyday story about a teenage boy who writes erotic fan fiction about his favorite science fiction hero and learns hard-won truths about life in the process. Ok, perhaps it is not such an everyday story, but this is an exceptionally touching and amusing coming-of-age-drama.
Sunday 13 November
Out of Innocence: Those who remember the 1980s will feel chills of recognition at Out of Innocence’s plot – a link is wrongly made between the secret birth of a stillborn baby and the brutal murder of another, found 50 miles away. This is a timely film, a sour reminder of an oppressive and misogynistic era.
The Apology: ‘Comfort Women’ was the term used for young women and girls from across Asia taken from their homes by the Japanese army during WWII and forced into sexual slavery. After the war they were discarded, and today the few remaining survivors, who are in their nineties, still fight courageously for an official apology from the Japanese government. The ‘grandmas’, as they are fondly known, grapple with their traumatic pasts, face stigma and derision, and continue to fight for justice with a warmth of heart and dignity that is both heart-wrenching ans inspirational.
Frantz: In a small German town, in the immediate aftermath WWI, Anna mourns her fiancé Frantz while living with his parents. She spies a stranger leaving flowers on Frantz’s grave, learns the men were close friends, and relishes his memories of her beloved.But the relationship becomes complicated, as Anna’s sorrow begins to lift, and the pair becomes increasingly attached.
Monday 14 November
Untouchable: This measured documentary examines the divisive issue of sexual offence legislation in the USA. With empathy for for victims and an understanding of rational fears, Feige’s debut documentary also turns a questioning eye on these laws – which some might call draconian – by looking at pariahs forced to live on the margins of society.
Amateur teens: Europe is convulsing with its triple fear that boys are learning about sex from watching pornography, immigrants are ruining society, and young people are desocialising because of internet addiction. This adroit feature debut is timely then, and skillful in the way in which it stitches these three sensitivities into a modern day tragic warning to us all.
Paths of the Soul: This utterly unique film casts non-professional actors to play 11 villagers who undertake a one year pilgrimage to Lhasa ad the Holy Mountain to atone and enlighten their souls. The 2,000 km walk is compounded by each of them having to stop every few yards to prostate themselves – to ‘kow-tow’ – in an act of piety, as trucks and cars whoosh by.
Tuesday 15 November
Overnight Flies: Eddie, a 65-year-old Sudanese man, lives on a remote Swedish island. Surrounded by screaming birds and carrying a silent past, he wanders around in nature, trying to find meaning in his displacement. Despite his circumstances, Eddie looks for the miraculous in the overlooked present time.
The Lovers and the Despot: This compelling and bizarre tale seems beyond belief. In 1978 Kim Jong Il ordered the kidnap of a famous South Korean actress and her prominent filmmaker ex-husband. With unprecedented audio recordings of the dictator himself The Lovers and the Despot recounts this surreal period in North Korea, and the couple’s daring escape.
You’ll Never Be Alone: When Pablo is hospitalised in a brutal homophobic attack, his father Juan must leave the quiet stability of his life and reposition himself in a world where he must make up his own rules to save his son. Inspired by the true story of the murder of openly gay Chilean man Daniel Zamudio by neo-Nazis, which shocked the whole of Latin America.
Wednesday 16 November
Wolf and Sheep: A touching and beautiful hybrid of enacted drama and observational documentary. Deep in rural Afghanistan, young boys and girls tend the goats and sheep for the village. Stories – especially of the Kashmir Wolf, a tall, female, green fairy – are passed down. This is a truly unique portrait of cultural traditions in stunning and calm landscapes just before chaos and war.
Eldoardo: Luxembourg is a small country in the heart of Europe, composed of 46% of foreigners, the majority being of Portuguese descent: Fernando, a middle-aged man, arrives in a new country to escape the financial crisis in Portugal, while the ex-con Carlos, who is on the eve of fatherhood, battles with chronic unemployment. Jonathan, an adolescent with schooling difficulties struggles to find his place in life, whereas Isabel has fled a violent past and tries to start over. The hopes and disillusions of four Lusophone immigrants collide over a period of three years in this meditative and often dreamlike documentary – in a chimeric land of plenty called Luxembourg.
The High Sun: The High Sun shines a light on three love stories, in neighbouring Balkan villages bristling with inter-ethnic hatred. It is a film about the fragility – and intensity – of forbidden love. The same two (wonderful) actors play three different parts each, in stories set on the eve of the conflict, in the immediate aftermath, and a decade later.
Thursday 17 November
Bobby Sands: 66 Days: This artistically bold film revisits the final months of Sands and his eight co-hunger strikers in the so-called H Block of Long Kesh Prison. Brendan J Byrne’s richly visual film – on which he collaborated with the Irish writer and public intellectual Fintan O’Toole – posits that his resistance was more the act of a dissident artist, than a soldier.
The Space In Between: Marina Abramović and Brazil: Marina Abramović travels through Brazil on a personal journey of healing, spirituality and artistic inspiration. Comprised of poignant encounters with healers, sages and spiritual rituals, this mixture of road movie and spiritual thriller explores the limits of art and spirituality for one of the most important artists of our time.
The Salesman: Their Tehran apartment block on the brink of collapse, a couple is obliged to move into a shabby nearby flat. Soon an unfriendly visitor comes calling and there is an eruption of violence. This is a film of unnerving, slow-burning suspense, locking the viewer in a realm of simmering domestic tension, elegantly rendered by Academy Award®-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation). Courtesy of Artificial Eye.
Friday 18 November
Zazy: Zazy is 18, and has begun interning for a tailor in Trentino. In this small town in provincial northern Italy, Zazy meets Marianna (Petra Hultgren.) German Marianna is 40, as wealthy as she is elegant, and holidaying in Trentino with her children. Zazy discovers Marianna may be romantically involved with her boss, and when he goes missing after a trip with Marianna, Zazy and her boyfriend Tomek (Paul Boche) start a blackmail scheme. Soon enough a sadistic power play ensues.
LoveTrue: Director Alma Har’el changed documentary rules with Bombay Beach, blending real and staged footage, set to the emotionally lifting music of Beirut. That approach is again deployed to hypnotic, powerful effect, as three stories of imperfect love – with tribulations and shocking revelations – are intertwined, accompanied by emotionally resonant music from Flying Lotus.
Creepy:Takakura is a former police detective and criminal psychologist who moves with his wife to a quiet suburban town seeking peace and quiet. However, he begins to suspect that his neighbour Nishino is a psychopath who comes into people’s households and takes over their lives in this unsettling psychological thriller.
Saturday 19 November
Rock Dog:From the Academy Award® nominated writer/director of Surf’s Up, and the co-director of Toy Story 2, comes the charming family animation adventure, Rock Dog. An all star cast voicing the lovable characters, including Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Matt Dillon and Sam Elliott. Bodi, a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, is expected to become the next village guard to a group of fun-loving, countryside sheep, but fears he doesn’t have the passion to assume the role. Everything changes when a radio literally falls out of the sky and Bodi hears a song that opens his heart to a musical world he must explore. Courtesy of Altitude
Born in Syria: Since civil war started in Syria in 2011, an estimated nine million Syrians have fled their homes, half of them children.
The Dreamer: Young Sebastian and his gang of petty criminals break into industrial buildings to steal. After accidentally injuring his friend Jaen in a fight, he no longer has a place to turn. He turns to Jaen’s younger sister Emilia and dreams and plans for their escape but soon becomes unable to distinguish between reality and fiction.
Sunday 20 November
Blazing Saddles: Definitely a contender for one of the least tasteful movies of all time is this comedy masterpiece of Mel Brooks. The nonsensical plot – tangled, shaky and silly – doesn’t matter here. What does is the opportunity to see on the big screen, for the first time for many, the late great Gene Wilder in one of his most accomplished and polished comedy roles; Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr (*not* ‘Hedi’); Brooks himself chewing the scenery as Governor William J Lepetomane; Madeline Kahn as the Marlene Dietrich-esque Lili von Shtupp; Mongol knocking out a horse; and, of course, that baked beans scene. The low comedy masterpiece with everything, there’s even a pie fight.
Sunset Boulevard: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, an aging silent film queen, and William Holden as the struggling writer who is held in thrall by her madness, are two of the silver screen’s most memorable characters, in this truly cinematic classic. From the unforgettable opening sequence through to the inevitable unfolding of tragic destiny, the film is the definitive statement on the dark and desperate side of Hollywood. Erich von Stroheim as Desmond’s discoverer, ex-husband and butler, and Nancy Olson as the bright spot in unrelenting ominousness, are equally celebrated for their masterful performances.
Cardboard Gangsters: Starring, and co-written, by John Connors, director Mark O’Connor’s drama is an uncompromising, authentic examination of the cyclical nature of gangland crime in contemporary Ireland.
For further information about the whole programme and booking tickets: http://corkfilmfest.org/
The movie descriptions are copied from the original Cork – Film – Festival Website.