Saturday, April 9th @ 11:30 AM
|| BUY YOUR SESSION ONE
RAINBOW PARTY by Eva Sigurdardottir (United Kingdom/Iceland)
Remember how awful pre-teen girls were? How is it that so much evil is jam-packed into these under-developed creatures? Rainbow Party is a reminder of why you hated (or loved) middle school so much. Caution: don’t wear bright colored lipstick to the screening. Please.
A SHORT GUIDE TO RE-ENTRY by Anwar Boulifa (United Kingdom)
Re-adjustment into society ain’t what it’s cut out to be, even if you’re young, dapper, quick with your words, and full of potential. People like this are quickly lost in the frazzle of their turbulent personalities and need a roadmap to follow to stay in control. A Short Guide to Re-Entry is more like a gesture, not a roadmap, for those who find themselves in a perpetual tumbleweed of trouble.
HORSEFACE by Marc Martínez Jordán (Spain)
Shot like a fever dream in which a young man makes a terrible discovery on his birthday and the world he thought he knew begins evaporating around him. When watching Horseface, it feels as if we are gathering around for a yearly viewing of old family movies—you can almost see dust motes pirouetting in the projector light while the tape pops and hisses behind you—but this relic is a Lynchian nightmare. Stark and memorable, Horseface is for those that prefer their comedy dark and their horror quietly absurd.
SEMILIBERI by Matteo Gentilioni (Italy)
Measured and confident, Semiliberi is a moving portrait of a four-person cell in a women’s prison. We witness their struggles to maintain some semblance of decency and happiness when the burdens of the outside world follow them in. Anchored by a stoic lead performance, Semiliberi pulls back the curtain on this otherwise hidden world to reveal a microcosm filled with moments of feminine beauty, wit, sacrifice and strength.
MAYDAY RELAY by Florian Tscharf (Germany)
At this moment we can’t see the forest for the trees but in the decades to come we may look back on the refugee crisis that is unfolding on a global stage as one of the defining political, nay, human dilemmas of our time. Mayday Relay wisely takes the opportunity to weave a morality play from these delicate threads. Focusing solely on the relationship between a father and daughter at sea, the concise screenplay and tight pacing give it the touch of a stage play. Not one second is wasted.
THE CUT by Jeroen Pool (United Kingdom/Netherlands)
Taking the knife to one’s hair can be a harrowing experience, yet it can also be intensely liberating, ritualistic, and hypnotizing. It often is all of these things at once. The Cut studies the world and philosophies of Italian hairdresser Rodrigo Mikascisti through a microscope, giving the viewer a magnificently detailed view of the physicality of cutting hair while also demonstrating the importance of hair styling as individual expression. His words will be echoing in your ear the next time you find yourself in that chair.
CORD by Pablo Gonzalez (Colombia/France/Germany)
Equal parts Stalker and Requiem for a Dream, the Cord is uncomfortably nestled within the Venn diagram of erotic thriller, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic nightmare. Following an unspecified cataclysmic event that has rendered sexual contact too dangerous to attempt, we are introduced to a small group of survivors living in a permanent winterscape and struggling to capture some form of erotic release. Czuperski is a mechanic who creates jury-rigged devices explicitly to serve these ends and after meeting a nymphomaniac who craves what he sells they form a warped romance akin to 50 Shades of Grey penned by H.P. Lovecraft. A strong stomach is advised for this one.
Saturday, April 9th @ 2:10 PM
|| BUY YOUR SESSION TWO
LAST TRAIN HOME by Ansgar Glatt (Germany)
Here’s what your mom always told you: be nice and mindful of how you treat others. Here’s what she didn’t tell you: people whom you treat with the smallest regard will come back to haunt you. Put the two together and you’ve got a life lesson processed and wholeheartedly
understood with a major case of the creeps in Last Train Home.
HEADLOCK by Garreth Stover (USA)
You’ve heard the old adage before: ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’ However, Headlock will surely scramble those humanist Internet meme clichés that come to mind when you hear that quote. Beginning with an explosive act of violence and moving backwards chronologically, this film aims to tear down your suppositions about the domestic lives of two men and contemporary American race relations. In the late reveal, we discover that Headlock’s worldview is a sinister one but in ways that you will likely not expect.
LORNE by Jesse Leaman (Australia)
Loneliness gets to everyone. Some more than others. Lorne will render you hyper-aware of your reclusive tendencies to boot. After all, you find out most about yourself when you’re alone.
PERSPECTIVES by Johannes Kizler (Germany)
It’s difficult to speak about the two-minute long Perspectives without giving too much away. It begins and ends as two entirely different entities but they remain linked by an important thread, and the moment when that realization hits you is what the film hopes to sear into your subconscious. Your reactions may be entirely different from those watching next to you, but one thing is certain: Perspectives is made to provoke, and provoke it does.
LOVE/ME/DO by Martin Stitt (United Kingdom)
The most important factor in any relationship is balance, whether it is of love, power, money, practicality, or idealism. Equilibrium must be delicately maintained across these tangled axes. Love/Me/Do explores the constant shifts of imbalance and realignment that occur over the course of any relationship, magnified for the two central lovers of this film who hail from different families, social classes, and ideological camps. But more importantly, Love/Me/Do poses the question of whether a bond can be forged, deep and permanent, that can keep two people together when they have such different backgrounds and beliefs. The answers that this tense, wonderfully acted psychodrama provides are subtle yet thrilling.
Saturday, April 9th @ 3:50 PM
|| BUY YOUR SESSION THREE
THE IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION by Michael Geoghegan (United Kingdom)
Don’t talk to Sinead of The Immaculate Misconception about how it feels to disappoint your parents. She’s been there, done that, and – by way of an unexplainable immaculate impregnation – can bet you a high school girl’s supply of glaring schadenfreude and the Catholic church’s cute bigotry that she’s had it worse than you.
STYX INN by Zhan Wang (USA)
Allow Styx Inn to decide if you’re tough enough to handle one of the most taboo yet imperative subjects to cover: depression and suicide. If your sensibilities are keen on the topic, you may nod towards the film’s artful literal representation of people in need. And if you’re not, learn how to take a punch or two because Styx Inn will hit you in the gut.
THE OLD MAN AND THE BIRD by Dennis Stein-Schomburg (Germany)
The Old Man and the Bird holds steadfast a dreamy concoction of inner warmth and the emptiness of lonely. It’s just how you imagined yourself to be, all old and in the cold – ethereal and beautiful, surviving, living out your days independently in your unalloyed, purest, isolated element.
VANITAS by Oscar Spierenburg (Netherlands)
A shortened laymen’s version would say that Vanitas touches on the ugliness of the art restoration world, wherein replication scandals rock this highly regarded system to its rotted core. But for protagonist Sarah, there is a lesson to be learned alongside the scandal. She is in arguably the most formative and beautiful stages of her budding adult life, and with that territory is the discovery that right and wrong isn’t so black and white but more like an unscrupulous yet adaptive compromise.
Saturday, April 9th @ 7:20 PM
|| BUY YOUR SESSION FOUR
THE WAY OF TEA by Marc Fouchard (France)
Showing kindness towards hateful people is akin to the tortoise telling the hare to take a chill pill before he implodes: it’s better said than done, and sometimes just grabbing him by the collar and giving him a piece of mind is far more effective, not to mention satisfying. Yes, it’s much easier to combat hatred thrown our direction with choice whiplash words and a rock hard fist. But even in the midst of chalkboard-scraping intolerance, Arabic grocery store owner Malik of The Way of Tea finds a way.
BALCONY by Toby Fell-Holden (United Kingdom)
Elements of love and friendship reach a complicated boiling point in Balcony. Thank goodness there are other things to blame in life for these said complications. So how about we all point our fingers at bigotry? Racism? The least bit of attempts at understanding? General jerk behavior all around? If that variety of ugliness doesn’t exhaust you enough, Balcony’s variety of it will.
THE RUNNER by Justin Berardi (USA)
Talk about guilt taking over! A fatal car crash left a young boy dead, a grown man wifeless, and not much purpose left for this guy but to run, run, run. There is no dialogue in The Runner but that’s the intriguing part: imagery, facial expressions, and body language are all that’s needed to understand everything that’s going on, everything emotion that’s felt.
PATRICK’S DAY by Terry McMahon (Ireland)
Each of the four central characters in the Patrick’s Day—a schizophrenic young man, his domineering mother, a suicidal flight attendant and a haunted, darkly comic police chief—are carrying a lot of baggage. This film is uncompromising in its examination of this baggage, none more so than the titular Patrick, as well as in its Irishness. Mental illness is more prevalent in the world around us than we would like to admit, and for that reason the glimpse that Patrick’s Day provides us into the heart and mind of someone cursed with schizophrenia is not only heartbreaking, it is necessary. We feel his doubts, fears, confusion, and hope on a visceral level. But above all, it is a remarkable story of a love crossing seemingly impossible boundaries that demands your attention.
Written by Cooper Hardee and Dara Kim