Lars von Trier – Direktoren for det hele AKA The Boss of it All (2006)

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Film Description
Danish auteur Lars von Trier takes a break from his usual brand of idiosyncratic melodrama to deliver a light comedy of errors involving an actor hired to pose as the president of a company in order to perpetrate a large-scale fraud.
Probably best known for fatalistic tales of martyrdom like Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves, von Trier this time delivers a simple and hilarious morality parable. Shot on a shoestring budget, The Boss of It All tells the story of Kristoffer, a down-on-his-luck actor who lands a bizarre job at an IT firm. Ravn, the second-in-charge, has hired Kristoffer to pose as the company head, a mysterious man named Svend E., who none of the employees have ever met. Quickly it becomes clear to Kristoffer that Ravn’s goal is to sell off the company to a racist Icelander while leaving the fallout in his own hands. But things get complicated when false relationships develop between Kristoffer, or “Svend E.,” and his other employees, whose farcical reactions to the appearance of the long-absent boss include everything from screaming matches to sexual favors. Though the goofy, off-the-cuff approach may seem to be a departure for von Trier, this uproarious romp of moral ambiguity will have you rolling in the aisles. Continue reading

Óskar Jónasson – Reykjavik-Rotterdam (2008)

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Quote:
Like a fish on a dry land, Kristofer is stuck in a dull everyday routine, working as a security guard. He got fired from the freight ship he worked on, when he was caught smuggling alcohol. Faced with money problems, he is tempted to accept the help of his friend, Steingrimur, who manages to pull some strings to get his old job back. He decides to take his chances one last time on a tour to Rotterdam. Continue reading

Albert Serra – El cant dels ocells AKA Birdsong (2008)

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The sublime and the mundane run hand-in-hand in Birdsong, Albert Serra’s stunningly photographed, intensely contemplative re-telling of the biblical journey of the Magi. Much of the sublimity derives from the film’s visuals, superbly tactile black-and-white images alive to the textures of the rocky landscape, which, along with the precise gradations of lighting (each scene seems shot at the one exact moment of day when its creation was possible) and the rustling of wind on the soundtrack, imbues the barren land with a richness of meaning commensurate with the Magi’s divine mission. Continue reading

Abel Ferrara – ‘R Xmas (2001)

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In New York, in a morning close to Christmas, an upper class father and mother go in their BMW to a private school to see the play of their daughter. Then they go shopping and later they return to their fancy apartment in Manhattan. In the night, they move to a simple apartment in a dangerous neighborhood, where they prepare drugs for distribution. On the Christmas Eve, while buying the Christmas gift for their daughter, the father is kidnapped, and his wife desperately tries to raise a high amount of money to pay the requested ransom. Continue reading

Rafi Pitts – ShekarChi AKA The Hunter (2010)

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synopsis
A man turns to violence after losing those he loves most in this taut drama from Iran. Ali (Rafi Pitts) is a reformed criminal who lives in a small flat in Tehran with his wife Sara (Mitra Hajjar) and their young daughter Saba (Saba Yaghoobi). While he’s grateful for the chance to support his family honestly, Ali doesn’t much care for his job as a night watchman or the noise and stress of city life; Ali heads off to the woods and clears his mind by hunting as often as he can. One day, Ali comes home from work to an empty apartment; he has no idea when his family has gone, and when they don’t return, he goes to the police. After a long and frustrating wait, Ali learns that Sara was killed by stray gunfire during a skirmish between protesters and police, and Saba is missing and feared dead. Ali snaps and uses his hunting rifle to kill a pair of police officers; when the authorities give chase, Ali heads to the woods while the police try to find him in the forest he knows better than the city. Shekarchi (aka The Hunter) was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin international Film Festival. Continue reading