prog: 1324

First (Off)screenings

A selection of offbeat and non-conformist films, made with an independant spirit. Contemporary cinema that stands out by its approach or by its subject.

Air Doll

Kûki ningyô

Hirokazu Kore-Eda, 2009, JP, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 126'

Hideo, alone and bitter, tries to overcome his solitude with the help of a blow-up doll named Nozomi. He tells her everything, dresses her and makes love to her, and leaves her with a peck on the cheek every morning. After he’s gone to work, Nozomi comes to life. She dons her waitress costume and goes for walks through the neighborhood, discovering the world with childlike curiosity.
What is it to live when your existence depends on the breath of another? "Air Doll" is a small and poetic urban fairy tale about solitude and what it means to be human. This daring contemporary version of Pinocchio with a touch of otaku is not a sure-fire guarantee for success, but we’re talking about a Hirokazu Kore-Eda film here. He’s already proven his filmmaking prowess in classics like "Nobody Knows" and "Still Walking", all while having created beautiful fantasy films like "After-Life". Korean actress Bae Du-Na ("Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance", "The Host") depicts Nozomi with convincing plasticity.

04.03 > 19:00 + 06.03 > 18:00

Dominic Murphy, 2008, GB-US-HR, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 90'

It’s a hot 1956 in the muggy depths of southern West Virginia. Jesco is born to Birty Mae and Donald "D Ray" White, a renowned mountain dancer. In the hopes of putting his gas-sniffing son back on the straight and narrow track, D Ray tries to pass on the tradition and teach his son to mountain dance, which is a kind of Appalachian tap dance that made D Ray a celebrity. But little Jesco isn’t strong enough to face his demons and winds up in one institution after another, running away each time. While on the run again one day, his father is brutally killed for nothing. In honor of his father, Jesco dedicates his life to mountain dancing in various bars in the company of his great love Enid. But he keeps hearing little voices in his head and can’t control his violent impulses. The tense build-up can only lead to a dramatic end.
"White Lightnin’" is based on the real life "dancing outlaw" Jesco White, but takes a few narrative liberties which turn it into the ultimate white-trash film. After a few notable television appearances, several documentaries about Jesco have been created, including one recently concocted by the talented members of Jackass.

+ The Comic That Frenches Your Mind

Bruce Bickford, 2008, US, video, ov , 5'

In preparation for Bruce Bickford’s visit on March 11th, here’s a big sticky tongue-tickle in the brain, drawn by the genius animator. Something you have to live!

05.03 > 20:00

The Ape


Jesper Ganslandt, 2009, SE, 35mm, ov st ang, 81'

Krister wakes up covered in blood and has a quick moment of panic before going to work. The camera follows him, describing the dark, bleak day that ensues. A tense, confused character in a world frustratingly regulated by social norms. A stressed and desperate man who seems to have just committed an act of irreparable dimensions. The film’s disturbing subject and narrative voices pushes the audience into the horrifying depths of an intolerable person, muted by stress, anxiety and self-hatred.
The screenplay concentrates on the events following a catastrophe, after crossing to the other side, where nothing makes sense anymore. The typically Scandinavian approach to the subject takes us to the heart of a hard and ruthless society where a misaligned and sick individual can no longer just go through the motions, for whom the palliative effects of sports, family and consumerism no longer suffice. By the director of "Falkenberg Farewell".

+ Oedipus

Capucine, 2008, JP-FR, video, no dial, , 7'

The history of cinema revisited by a capuchin monkey! Difficult to believe it, but the Research Center on Animal Language in Osumi has developed different techniques enabling monkeys, who are very close to humans, to "direct" movies. The result is an inherently extraordinary audiovisual project. Also worth seeing: the documentary "Capucine" about the laboratory’s work, to be screened on March 21.

06.03 > 20:00 + 13.03 > 18:00

The Blood of Rebirth

Yomigaeri no chi

Toshiaki Toyoda, 2009, JP, 35mm, ov st ang, 83'

After "Blue Spring" (2001) and "Nine Souls" (2003), director Toshiaki Toyoda returns with a fantastic, dream-like film inspired by a kabuki legend. In a stylized, medieval time "when demons ruled over the human race", a renowned masseur finds himself forced into serving a wild and merciless tyrant, the ultimate "bad guy". A battle beyond life and death, with psychedelic and surprising scenes, and dialogue and settings that oscillate between the Japanese saber, Conan, and Xena. A curious gem that will delight fans of the genre, with a twist! Twin Tail’s music and the radical aesthetic will, without a doubt, divide and dumbfound audiences.

+ Asomnie

Yann Bertrand & Damien Serban, 2009, FR, video, no dial, , 6'

An enigmatic journey through a world where humans are artificially kept from sleeping and project their nightmares into reality. Although it was created using mobile phones, this short film has a remarkable visual quality, with surprising special effects.

06.03 > 22:00

In the Attic: Who has a Birthday Today?

Na pude aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny?

Jirí Barta, 2009, CZ, 35mm, ov st fr & ang, 74'

The most recent feature film from Czech master Jirí Barta created in 1985. Despite the success of his first feature film "Krysar", he was unable to find enough financial support for his second project "Golem". Jirí Barta’s talent found its way to the screen anyway, through his own animation style, much like his compatriot Jan Svankmajer. "In The Attic" is a perfect illustration of his incredible imagery and desire to push the boundaries of originality, artistry and social relevance in the Czech animation tradition.
A group of old toys are brought to life through stop motion animation. An old iron becomes a radiator, a faded postcard turns into a landscape and chess pawns enjoy a train ride. These toys appear in an open suitcase and come to life. They go on a search for their owner, who has been captured by "the head", the bust of a dictator that controls the obscure world of the room next door. The visual and aesthetic force of "In The Attic" will delight both children and adults!

+ Naïade

Nadia Micault & Lorenzo Nanni, 2008, FR, video, no dial, , 12'

Ava rules a swamp full of faerie-like creatures. A strange character observes this luxurious kingdom in secret, hoping to find a way to save his ailing twin brother.

13.03 > 20:00 + 14.03 > 16:00

David Russo, 2009, US, video, ov st fr & nl, 100'

After being pathetically laid off, Dory gets a job as a janitor in a large biscuit company. There his colleagues are weird like him, and he adopts a new social life full of excess. They devour an insane quantity of biscuits that induce strange side-effects: they end up pregnant and giving birth to bizarre creatures that turn their lives into one uncontrollable trip. This debut feature film is an absurd comedy that takes visual risks. The original effects create an atmosphere that lends itself to a variety of narrative tangents. A delirious combination of totally new situations and images that cater to the characters’ trippy journeys, with a cast of young actors who seem to take advantage of the film’s free spirit.

14.03 > 20:00 + 20.03 > 18:00

Cory McAbee, 2009, US, 35mm, ov st fr, 61'

"Stringray Sam is not a hero, but he does do the things that folks don’t do that need to be done"

There are Westerns, sci-fis and musical comedies, and then there’s "Stingray Sam", a cinematographic UFO in 6 episodes, created by Cory McAbee ("The American Astronaut") and his gang from the Billy Nayer Show. This burlesque fable tells the story of two convicts: the cowboys Stingray Sam (Cory McAbee) and his sidekick the Quasar Kid (Crugie). These two accomplices try to win their freedom and pay their debt to society in an intergalactic voyage to save a young kidnapped girl. The film is divided into six chapters, punctuated by "informative" animated sequences that might remind you of Terry Gilliam’s animations for the "Flying Circus". So put on your cowboy boots, buckle your safety belt and prepare the olive pit spittoon, you’re about to embark on a journey to the heart of the universe!

+ Next Floor

Denis Villeneuve, 2008, CA, 35mm, no dial, , 11'

Eleven aristocrats meet on the top floor of a building to enjoy a luxury dinner that quickly turns into gastronomical carnage. An allegory for class struggle spiced with a good dose of black humor.

18.03 > 20:00

Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, 2009, BE, 35mm, no dial, , 90'

"Amer" is the cinematographic tale of a woman’s life, from childhood through adolescence to womanhood. The film is fragmented, the minimalist storyline progresses by ellipses and only shows the most essential scenes, free from dialogue. "Amer" is above all a sensorial experience. No story to serve as a pretext, simply 90 minutes for the eyes and ears to absorb it all. Soft close ups, penetrating stares, caresses and chills emanating from the screen, seduction and fear, eroticism and death. A debut film directed by expert hands clad in black gloves....

In the presence of Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani and other members of the film crew

+ Lucía

Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña & Niles Atallah, 2007, CL, video, ov st ang, 4'

Lucía whispers in our ears, tells us terrifying stories that haunt her as she falls asleep, hiding beneath the covers. Her chilling voice fills us with dread as her bedroom comes to life and her fear turns to flesh. The first in a series ("Luis, Lucía y el lobo"), "Lucía" is a true stop-motion animation oeuvre. Don’t miss the "sequel" on March 21!

19.03 > 20:00

Special Screening

Repo Chick

Alex Cox, 2009, US, video, ov , 85'

Anarchist, iconoclast and outsider: Alex Cox is a filmmaker with real passion and a unique independent spirit. Despite ongoing conflict with Universal Studios surrounding their intention to film a big-budget science fiction film called "Repo Men", vaguely inspired by Cox’ cult classic "Repo Man" (but minus the director!), Cox has been able to shoot "Repo Chick", presented especially at Nova for you tonight! Wealthy bad-girl Pixxi is a repo chick who gets mixed up in a devious kidnapping plot that threatens to wipe out the city of Los Angeles. The film is shot almost entirely on green screen, and since it is still "in progress", it will be screened for free! Should there be some Euros burning a hole in your pocket, however, you can offer to donate the price of a ticket to a non-profit chosen by Alex Cox.

Presented by Alex Cox

20.03 > 24:00

Luis Nieto, 2009, FR, video, ov , 45'

"Capucine" takes us from Alsace, France, to the Research Center on Animal Language in Osumi, Japan, following the development of an experiment ten years in the making: the ¼dipe project, a study on how to transmit cinematographic language and codes to capuchin monkeys. One of the more talented specimens, Capucine, could be considered the first simian director in filmmaking history! The documentary follows the project’s evolution and goes behind the scenes of Capucine’s short film "¼dipe", which will also be screened during Offscreen. Using high-tech equipment, this little monkey constructs a short film out of pre-existing footage that has been made available in a database containing several million archived and indexed video files. All the equipment was ergonomically designed for use by primates. Capucine simply had to react to her imagination’s desires, resulting in a surprising mix where "A Trip to the Moon" by George Méliès meets scenes from the Donkey Kong arcade game by S. Miyamoto.

Note: A similar project was recently launched with chimpanzees in Great Britain, undoubtedly inspired by professor Yamamoto’s work: 

21.03 > 19:00


Ordinary People

Vladimir Perisic, 2009, FR-RU-CH, 35mm, ov st ang fr & nl, 80'

The title adequately depicts the film’s story and the sober, discrete directing choices. A young Serbian soldier gently begins another day in his small brigade. Without really knowing how or why, the group is taken away in a bus. The young recruit visibly has enough time to worry about his mission and about how to integrate into the group as they travel to an isolated farm inundated with sunlight. Once arrived, they still have no idea what their assignment is supposed to be. Vladimir Perisic follows this brigade of soldiers with extreme realism as they enter situations that seem disarmingly simple at first but are actually extremely complex in terms of their implications, absurdities and horrors. The banal, extreme violence makes the atmosphere even heavier. A perfectly controlled film that establishes a connection between the audience and these ordinary people with bone-chilling ease.

+ Luis

Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña & Niles Atallah, 2008, CL, video, ov st ang, 4'

Who is this ghostly Luis that Lucía meets in the forest? While he whispers his wild thoughts to us, the walls write his story. A somber piece that brings decomposing objects, furniture and grime to live in an extremely impressive series of animated, frame by frame shots. Breathtaking.

21.03 > 20:00

lang: en
id_rubrique: 1329
prog: 1324
pos: aval