prog: 1176

First (off)screenings

Every year we try to track down those never-before-seen films that, for some reason, are unavailable through the classic distribution networks: Films that unapologetically deal with difficult subjects or are daringly experimental, bizarre and disconcerting in their form or content. This year we have six features to present to you, sometimes paired with a short film, a small surprise before the main feature.

Michel Gondry, Leos Carax & Bong Joon-ho, 2008, FR-JP, 35mn, ov st fr & nl, 107'

"Tokyo!" is a collective film that offers three inspired visions of one of the world’s most imagination-stimulating cities. In the first part, "Interior Design" by Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), a young couple arrives in Tokyo and tries to make a life there. Ayako scours the city in search of her dream apartment while her boyfriend works as a store packer. As she starts to realize that things won’t turn out how she planned, she feels completely useless. The second part, "Merde" by Léos Carax (his first film in ten years!), is by far the most bizarre. A scary creature that lives in the sewers beneath the city terrorizes the population with sudden appearances and absurd acts. Carax’s contribution is a hilarious ode to the monsters of this world. The film finishes on a beautiful note with "Shaking Tokyo" by Bong Joon-ho ("Memories of Murder", "The Host"): a hikikomori (a recluse, someone who never leaves the house) falls in love with the pizza delivery girl. When she quits her job, he decides to go looking for her. But an earthquake spoils everything…

05.03 > 20:00 + 07.03 > 18:00

Ronald Bronstein, 2007, US, 35mm, ov st fr, 106'

New York. Keith Sontag is an obsessive sociopath, the human incarnation of anxiety. He tries to earn a living by doing all kinds of improbable things. For him, communication is a constant struggle. He’s incapable of formulating his ideas. He tries to act "normally" to satisfy social demands but is overtaken by nervous tics, frightening his interlocutors who are hardly able to tolerate his presence.
For a hundred minutes, "Frownland" brings us face to face with a guy who, in any other situation, would make us walk on the other side of the street. It’s not an easy starting point for a film, but Ronald Bronstein establishes a certain detachment from the central character, opting for a structure that’s as unbalanced as the antagonist and using form to explore his pathological suffering. Actor Dore Mann’s presence and performance (improvised!) are so impressive, and the camera is so close, that we’re forced to feel a kind of uncomfortable empathy, a "malaise" punctuated by moments of hilarity that are sure to provoke a nervous laugh. A challenging experience, disturbing in the reactions it provokes, a film that you won’t forget!

+ Nice Day for a Picnic

Monica Gallab, 2008, BE, video, no dial, , 4'

An animated loop that is both stunning and progressively oppressing, to help get you in the troubled mental state required for "Frownland".

07.03 > 20:00 + 08.03 > 18:00

Taika Waititi, 2007, NZ, 35mm, ov , 93'

"Eagle vs Shark" is a bizarre romantic comedy that portrays the coming together of Jarrod and Lily, two outsiders who share a dexterity in video games and a charming mole above their upper lip. The title is a direct reference to the costumes they wear, respectively, for a party organized by Jarrod (eagle) and attended by Lily (shark). Although Lily is able to seduce Jarrod in one night, he decides to leave her and return to his hometown, where he plans to avenge the humiliating moments he suffered as a teenager… A colorful little film in the spirit of John Waters and his "monstrous" characters, but with a light touch, like the animated interludes that dot this post-adolescent history. This is the first feature film by Taika Waititi, a young director who was nominated for an Oscar in 2003 for his short film "Two Cars, One Night".

+ Zachte Planten

Emma De Swaef, 2008, BE, video, no dial, , 10'

A little journey through a country full of softness. It will melt your heart!

12.03 > 20:00 + 14.03 > 18:00

Kanji Nakajima, 2008, JP, 35mm, ov st ang, 110'

When the young astronaut Kohei dies on a mission in outer space, his superiors decide to enact a part of his insurance policy and resuscitate him as a clone. Kohei 2 is identical to Kohei in every way, even down to his memories, including the painful memory of his twin brother Noboru’s premature death. When the clone awakens, his behavior is strange. He flees, follows his memories, leading him to a surprising discovery close to the site of his childhood trauma. "The Clone Returns Home" is a hypnotic film that tries to imagine what the laboratory result would be of an adult who retains the memory of a life he’s never lived. Kanji Nakajima is subtle, propelling the spectator into a transitory universe, suspended between distant dream and future precedent. And FYI, Wim Wenders is the executive producer of this Tarkovsky-hued piece of science fiction.

14.03 > 20:00 + 21.03 > 18:00

Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009, GB, 35mn, ov , 92'

"Bronson" is the biography of an exceptional, and yet very real, person who is currently serving a life sentence in the English prison system. Fifty-year-old Charles Bronson, born Michael Gordon Peterson, is also known as "the most violent prisoner of the United Kingdom." Arrested for the first time in 1974, surprisingly, he’s never been convicted of homicide. Nevertheless, he’s a specialist in wild boxing, and has repeatedly unleashed a fury of violence equaled in force only by his eccentricity. Although the film is reminiscent of "Chopper" by Andrew Dominik –a portrait of the psychopath Mark "Chopper" Read that Nova screened in 2001- "Bronson" ’s atypical form sets it apart. Director Nicolas Winding Refn ("Pusher" trilogy) seems less interested in establishing a biographical narrative than in studying Charles Bronson’s egocentric theatricality. Tom Hardy’s incredible acting talent literally embodies Bronson’s unique character, and his performance will leave you feeling anything but indifferent…

+ Skhizein

Jérémy Clapin, 2008, FR, 35mm, ov st ang, 13'

How crazy are we? We rarely have the chance to ask ourselves that question as precisely as Henry, the anti-hero of this short surrealist film, who perceives a 91cm difference in himself after an unfortunate collision with a meteorite.

20.03 > 20:00 + 22.03 > 18:00

Charlie Kaufman, 2008, US, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 124'

Caden –a neurotic theatre director obsessed with exotic illnesses, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman- has received a prestigious grant to finally direct the play of his dreams. Working in a giant hangar, he reconstructs New York city and even his own existence. It’s difficult to describe what follows. Fiction, memories and reality intertwine and confuse us. Several years pass and both Caden and his film progressively lose touch with reality. We recognize the Charlie Kaufman (screenwriter for "Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation", and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") touch in this labyrinth of stories and varying realities. "Synedoche" is an indulgent debut for Kaufman’s directing talent and unique logic. The result is a unique, intriguing, mysterious and completely demented "meta-film".

+ Din Of Celestial Birds

E. Elias Merhige, 2006, US, 35mm, no dial, , 14'

Using film techniques that cross the entire spectrum of filmmaking history, the director of "Begotten" and "Shadow of the Vampire" creates an enchanting vision of the mystery of creation and the evolution of consciousness.

22.03 > 20:00

lang: en
id_rubrique: 1179
prog: 1176
pos: aval