On a cold winter’s night in modern Tehran, a couple of young lovers run into a serious problem, and they have just a few hours to come up with a solution. They go from hospital to hospital in search for help, but none of the hospitals will admit the young woman and provide her with the medical attention she desperately requires. While they try hard to find a way to solve the problem, they have to hide what is happening from their parents. Moreover, their relationship is facing a crisis and will suffer dire consequences. Caught between conservative traditions and modern day desires, the couple must face their uncertain future. Continue reading
It’s 1992. Young Dina lives in a remote mountain village where life is strictly governed by centuries of tradition. Dina’s grandfather has promised her to David, who is returning from the war. But with him comes a comrade-in-arms, the handsome Gegi, and Dina falls in love. Is it possible to defy the firmly established order? Continue reading
What do the films Casablanca, Blazing Saddles, and West Side Story have in common? Besides being popular, they have also been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” by the Library of Congress and listed on the National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures.
For more than two decades, since the passage of the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, the Librarian of Congress [sic]–with input from the public and advice from the National Film Preservation Board–has selected 25 films every year to add to the Registry. The current list of 550 films includes selections from every genre: documentaries, home movies, Hollywood classics, avant-garde, newsreels, and silent films; and these movies tell us much about ourselves and the American experience–shining light on not just what we did, but what we thought, what we felt, what we imagined, what we aspired to…and the lies we told ourselves. Continue reading
Following a long prison term, 30 year-old Céline must find a place in society. Hiding her past, she introduces herself with a new identity to get work for a trial period in a hotel. Céline finds herself endlessly walking a tightrope between truth and fiction. When she meets Idir, despite the threat of being unmasked, Céline falls in love and finds herself a prisoner to her own lies. But how can one live without taking risks? Continue reading
Alejandro, a first-year student and Sofia, a final thesis student, meet at the University and build a relationship in which he falls in love while she just wants to satisfy his sexual desires. Over time, Alejandro’s teenage behaviors will provoke the rejection of Sofia who must think about how to solve her future. In the end, everyone should discover what they really need. Continue reading
Radically rethinking the tired talking-heads template, Tsai Ming-liang’s latest digital experiment turns the human face into a subject of dramatic intrigue. Comprised of a series of portrait shots of mostly anonymous individuals (Tsai devotees will no doubt recognize his long-time muse, Lee Kang-sheng), the film shrewdly deemphasizes language while reducing context to a bare minimum. In their place, the beauty and imperfections of each face take center stage. Accompanied by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s soundtrack of dynamically modulating drone frequencies, Tsai’s subjects variously speak, stare, and, at one point, sleep as the camera quietly registers the weight of personal history and accumulated experience writ beautifully across every last pore and crevasse.
—NYFF Continue reading
Manhood-measuring contests — in every imaginable sense of the phrase — are taken to brazenly literal extremes in “Chevalier,” the long-awaited third feature from Greek multi-tasker Athina Rachel Tsangari. Markedly different in focus and emotional temperature from her 2010 breakthrough, “Attenberg,” this committedly deadpan comedy of manners, morals and men behaving weirdly boasts a contained conceit seemingly ripe for unfettered absurdism: On a luxury yacht in the Aegean Sea, six male acquaintances embark on a rigorous series of personal and physical challenges, mercilessly grading each other to determine who is “the Best in General.” That Tsangari resists escalating the conflict, counting on subtle political insinuations to emerge as these perplexing social Olympics wear on, will leave as many viewers enervated as amused, but it’s an expertly executed tease. Continue reading