Due to the small selection of films in the following sections, we have decided to choose what sessions we would like to see in each of them. With picks from Leos Carax: The Last Romantic, New Hollywood Comedy, Next Gen and the Shorts, enjoy this feature preview of the MIFF programme. Stay tuned for more!
A Berlinale and César award winning feature – the latter for Julie Delpy’s breakout performance – Carax’s sophomore effort contains strong turns from Delpy, Denis Lavant, Michel Piccoli, and Juliette Binoche, as well as an innovative aural and visual style, and an intense central romance.
Premiering to rave reviews at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Leos Carax’s return to feature filmmaking after an almost 13-year-long absence is certainly worth the wait. A love letter to cinema featuring a stunning central performance from Denis Lavant and some breathtaking sequences, Holy Motors is a preposterous and exceptional film.
NEW HOLLYWOOD COMEDY
Harold and Maude | dir. Hal Ashby | USA
A dark existentialist comedy revolving around the relationship between a young man intrigued with death and a 79-year-old woman who shares his fascination of attending funerals. Shown against the context of the Vietnam War, Harold and Maude contrasts the alienated youth of the time with the optimistic older generation that lived through the horrors of the early 20th century.
Modern Romance | dir. Albert Brooks | USA
We are big fans of Brooks’ debut film Real Life (it even featured in our Hidden Gem section), so to see his romantic comedy Modern Romance as part of the MIFF programme is exciting. Extremely funny and incredibly insightful, this is a definite watch.
First Position | dir. Bess Kargman | USA
This multi-award winning documentary follows six young performers who hope to pursue their dreams by succeeding at one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where hundreds in the final round compete for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts. Given only five minutes to prove they deserve a chance, the film explores the stress, practice, discipline and pain involved in working towards becoming a professional ballet dancer, all while navigating through childhood. This looks like a thoroughly interesting film.
Kauwboy | dir. Boudewijn Koole | NED
The recipient of the Best First Feature and Generation Kplus Grand Prix awards at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Kauwboy is a tender and bittersweet portrait of a ten-year-old boy longing for the family structure he once had while finding solace in a friendship with an abandoned bird. Beautiful cinematography and sensitive handling make this a strong candidate in the Next Gen section.
SHORT FILM PROGRAMS
This program contains Don Hertzfeldt’s exceptional It’s Such a Beautiful Day, which uses an array of mixed-media to tell the story of a man with acquired brain damage, alongside Disney’s whimsical silent film Paperman featuring a mix of traditional black-and-white and fluid computer animation. Both are must-sees.
Outside the Law Shorts
While inconspicuous at first glance, this program features a number of strong central performances. Michael Fassbender fans: look no further than John Maclean’s BAFTA-winning short Pitch Black Heist. Alongside Sophie Miller’s Spine, starring Lucas Pittaway (Snowtown), this is a thrilling selection of efforts.
Hopefully this list helps decide your picks in the sections. If you have already bought tickets to any films in Leos Carax: The Last Romantic, New Hollywood Comedy, Next Gen or Shorts, we would love to know your choices and your most anticipated in each category!