Dominik Graf – Am Abend aller Tage (2017)

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On behalf of anonymous business clients, Philipp Keyser is trying to track down a missing painting. This is his chance to get back on his feet professionally. As a result, he has no qualms about using the young painter Alma in order to get closer to the painting’s owner. His search for the painting and the closeness to Alma, however, draw him into a vortex in which love and guilt are dangerously intermingled and at the center of which a picture shimmers – which might not even exist … Continue reading

Cristian Mungiu – Bacalaureat AKA Graduation (2016)

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If any additional evidence was required to confirm Cristian Mungiu as one of the leading European filmmakers of the day, here comes Graduation, his most mature film to date. This portrait of parental dilemma which erupts out of the blue but is deeply anchored in Romanian soil is a universal story which brings with it strong prospects for both prestige and market success.

The director of the Palme D’Or winning 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days and the Cannes directors award for Beyond the Hills takes an introspective and earnest approach to the story of Dr Romeo Altea (Adrian Titieni) a calm, respectable member of society. He wants the best for his daughter, Eliza (Maria Dragus), a brilliant high school student who has already been awarded a scholarship to study psychology in UK, and he will do anything in his power to keep her on track. All she has to do is pass the graduation exams. Continue reading

Maren Ade – Toni Erdmann (2016)

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The third film in 13 years from talented German writer-director Maren Ade is an expansive semi-comic portrait of grownup father-daughter awkwardness that also takes a chisel to the corporate bubble-world – and is likely to be one of the very best in this year’s Cannes competition.

‘Feelgood moments’ are, I imagine, something that Sight & Sound readers generally feel a little suspicious of. What’s more, you don’t very often encounter them in Cannes, certainly not in competition, and you certainly wouldn’t expect to come across one in the work of a highly-considered up-and-coming German auteur. Continue reading

Cristi Puiu – Sieranevada (2016)

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Somewhere in Bucharest, three days after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris and forty days after his father’s death, 40-year-old doctor Lary spends one Saturday at a family gathering in memory of the deceased.
The event does not go as planned. Discussions are heated, fierce differences of opinion arise.
Forced to face his fears and his past, and obliged to reconsider his place in the family, Lary is left with no choice but to tell the truth… (cannes) Continue reading

Carlos Saura – El Dorado (1988)

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Saura is not exactly obscure and in need of featuring, but this movie isn’t watched too often. It has bad reviews, even Vincent Canby wanted more action saying “the Amazon has never flowed so slowly” (the Orinoco is part of the Amazon system). Saura was trying to tell a story about the hispanic world, going to the 500 year anniversary of the conquista. Just like Herzog he has a tale of obsession, but much more down to earth and realistic. Boring almost, not so popular. If you’re a Herzog fan or perhaps even liked 1492, you might suffer stimulus withdrawal symptoms when watching this one. If you like historical detail and a gritty sense of realism, you may not find it a perfect movie but one that goes a long way.
–flipfink Continue reading