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ICMF-FF6: Programmer's Thread

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beavis
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ICMF-FF6: Programmer's Thread

#1

Post by beavis »

ICMFFF5:
viewtopic.php?t=5265
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icmf ... am/beavis/

ICMFFF4:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4787
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icm+ ... st/beavis/

ICMFFF3:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4213
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icmf ... /xianjiro/

ICMFFF2:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3572
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icmff2/flaiky/

ICMFFF1:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2803
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icmf ... my_leazaq/

---

programmers spreadsheat:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1100765182

ICM list of nominated movies:
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icm+ ... ns/zzzorf/

I'm kicking off the new scouting season early again this year!!


We had little feedback on our process last time, but I think we were all happy to kick everything off early and take our time. So I'm going for that again. Next post will be the general introduction and then I'll announce my first nominations. I guess we still have a lot of candidates from last year, so even while starting early I'm going to take the first two months to do some catching up on potential candidates and then do a bigger batch. But I've already got a few obvious (re)nominations lined up!

:hug: we always will need more programmers, please join if you want :hug:
Last edited by beavis on January 4th, 2022, 8:34 am, edited 4 times in total.
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#2

Post by beavis »

Welcome to the planning stage of the 6th ICMF Film Festival!


the period we are covering this time is 2019 - 2021


We are getting the hang of this now! Last years new African slate was a huge succes that I hope we can continue. Indie, Doc and South-America continue to be in need of more attention especially. But we were really working hard on it and I think we pulled off a great festival. With cinema lockdown I still feel I am behind on everything... it is harder to really feel where the hype and the hidden gems is located... but this can also be an effect of people moving more towards streaming services, maybe. Anyway, let's generate our own hype!! Hope the forum is paying attention ;)

What is the festival about?
Typically the ICMF Film Festival will
-be held at the end of the year (November - December)
-have a total of up to 50 movies that should be available for viewing online, on streaming or on physical media for as much people as possible
-be open for casual viewing enjoyment by all, but also have jurors that will give out prices and watch the entire main slate + at least one other section
-consist of a main slate and the following sections: animation, art-house, Asia, Africa, documentary, "just before dawn" (genre), Europe, English-language independent, Latin America and LGBTQ

What do programmers have to do?
- select the best films you saw from the period 2019 - 2021, with 10,000 votes or less on Imdb, that you think should be available for home-viewing (at the time of the festival) and that did not feature in previous editions of the festival.
- then make a post in this thread saying you want to be a programmer and list a maximum of 30 of those titles (no minimum really... but more than just a couple of course)
- add a description of one or two sentences to each title (at minimum, you can make your cases as big and inspiring as you wish)
- add your titles to the programmers spreadsheet, listing the sections where you think each would be a good fit
- then from now until August we have a 8 month period to watch movies!

- It is required that a programmer watches a minimum of 8 films (1 per month average) from the entire body of proposed titles, and maybe a few more specific titles for sections that need more input towards the end (I will ask for that if and when the time comes). Besides that, you will also be on the lookout for new titles that cross your path which you can propose and discuss as nominations or suggestions in this thread.

- rate every movie you've seen in the spreadsheet on the following scale: 3 (strongly recommend), 2 (recommend), 1 (maybe...) and 0 (do not recommend)

What is the rest of the timeline?
- so from now until the end of August we watch and talk movies here, keeping score in the spreadsheet
- then we'll take a closer look at where we stand and take the month of September to complete a final list of candidates that should amply cover all sections
- at the end of September I'll open a jury invitation thread and hand them a large selection of the list we have created here (the highest qualifying movies)
- jurors will have the month of October to sign up and together pick their "main slate" from that selection
- at the beginning of November the programmers then will make the rest of the program final, this will be communicated to the forum ASAP
- I will start separate announcement threads for each section at the start of the festival

- I propose the festival to be held this year in the four weeks from Monday 14 November until Monday 12 December
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#3

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 7:37 am
:hug: we always will need more programmers, please join if you want :hug:
I actually felt a bit bummed that I could watch more of the ICMFF this year, and I've had some people suggest that my input might be valued as a programmer, so this sounds like a fun challenge.

My only reservation is that I'm a harsh rater (as you all know), and I don't want to influence the selections too much. I am excited to watch other people's recommends, but if it ends up messing up the selection process too much I wouldn't be too bothered if my votes were discarded to make things a little easier. I'm not sure about any of the other specifics yet (how many films are we supposed to see etc.), but there are definitely some films I would like to highlight.

Edit: just saw the post above, that clears things up already. Those requirements shouldn't be too much of a problem.
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#4

Post by beavis »

Availability is always tricky therefor I am holding back on nominating the amazing A Night of Knowing Nothing (India, 2021) and The Edge of Daybreak (Thailand, 2021) at this time. But they come highly recommended and if the oppurtunity to nominate them arises I probably will.

I could re-nominate all my movies of last year that didn't make it, but I'm going to exercise some restrain on that too and hold back for now on movies that will probably be struggling to make the final program again. I selected two with what I think are high chances!

1. Fourteen (US Indie, 2019)
Dan Sallitt is an important name in the US scene both as a critic and a director, he makes the combination of realistic characters and drama with absurdistic deadpan comedy work together wonderfully well. This bittersweet movie is a perfect example of that.
Image

2. It Must Be Heaven (Palestine, and other countries, comedy 2019)
For more deadpan absurdism don't look any further than director Elia Suleiman. In his signature style (his movies get better the more you've seen of them) of comedic vignettes and autobiografical elements with which he adresses the crazy state of the world in general, besides some satirical points about the politics of his country. I felt this one was maybe his best so far! Maybe he is just getting older and wiser... but it was also the first I saw in cinema, and his absurdist comedy is just really my thing. Could be a nice double-bill with About Endlessness.
Image

NEW NOMINATIONS:

3. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Romania 2021) art, maybe europe
Jude's absolute masterpiece. It is a perfect satire for our times!
Image

4. Das Mädchen und die Spinne (Switzerland 2021) europe, maybe art
Zürcher brothers followup to minor cult hit "The Strange Little Cat" follows the same pattern of close spaces with a lot of characters doing "a dance to their own music" within them. This is a cryptic but accurate description of the tightly woven choreography of people and camera that they create. There is a narrative there, but it is all about the rhytm and... music is just the only way to describe it. With deadpan anecdotes thrown in as choruses and other little florishes/details. Just pure cinematic joy! They announced a third movie that will eventually form a thematic trilogy. You don't have to see one in order to enjoy the other.
Image

5. La virgen de agosto (Spain 2019) europe
This was the first film I saw from Jonás Trueba and I immediately bought all else I could find on DVD (and there is one more on Netflix) such was the joy of discovering new talent. This is a meandering summer movie with comedic and dramatic touches, reminded me a whole lot of Rhomer and US people influenced by Rhomer like Linklater
Image

6. El perro que no calla (Argentina 2021) LatAm (female director)
Deadpan comedy, meandering, characters finding their way through life... my preferences and ideas of fun come to the fore when I list these favorite movies together. This one fits all those bills. I found the style and story structure pretty unique though. A fun little movie that dares to do things in its own way.
Image

7. Bird Talk (Poland 2019) europe, art
Xawery Żuławski had already worked with his father (the more famous Zulawski) for a while and directed a few movies of his own before he did this adaptation of the final script his father had worked on. He makes the movie his own (it is very much about a younger generation) but also pay such respects to his father's signature that I would almost like to call this the final Zulawski movie. As a big fan of the old master's works this was a no brainer for me... but I've also seen it a while back already and it is hard to re-tell the content in detail... but that confusion, and again the crazy experience of life, is where this movie and the Zulawski's are indeed all about.
Image

With three movies of 2021 coming on top I'll put extra effort in finding movies more towards the 2019 side of the spectrum. And more female directors ofcourse! (do we want to set a quota on that for ourselves?)
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#5

Post by beavis »

Onderhond wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 8:43 am
beavis wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 7:37 am
:hug: we always will need more programmers, please join if you want :hug:
I actually felt a bit bummed that I could watch more of the ICMFF this year, and I've had some people suggest that my input might be valued as a programmer, so this sounds like a fun challenge.

My only reservation is that I'm a harsh rater (as you all know), and I don't want to influence the selections too much. I am excited to watch other people's recommends, but if it ends up messing up the selection process too much I wouldn't be too bothered if my votes were discarded to make things a little easier. I'm not sure about any of the other specifics yet (how many films are we supposed to see etc.), but there are definitely some films I would like to highlight.

Edit: just saw the post above, that clears things up already. Those requirements shouldn't be too much of a problem.
welcome!

Good to have you on board. It is always good to have more people who "walk different paths", as that brings the most chances of cool discoveries. Don't worry about the ratings, with a bunch of us working together the best is still bound to get enough support. I'd love to see what you can bring to our table, especially for the Asian slate of course, but also English language independents. Be sure to pay attention to more general availability of the titles you suggest though...

And yes, our demands are not that high, so if you don't find a lot available to recommend (I doubt that) or you don't want to watch too much out of your comfort zone, just do the minimal of watching one nomination per month for the coming period, and ease along on the ride! :)
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#6

Post by Onderhond »

beavis wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 9:22 am Be sure to pay attention to more general availability of the titles you suggest though...
Yeah, that'll be the main thing to watch out for. I'm guessing home releases (DVD/BR) with English subs are considered good enough, even when they're released in Hong Kong (or other non-English speaking territories)?
beavis wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 9:22 am or you don't want to watch too much out of your comfort zone, just do the minimal of watching one nomination per month for the coming period, and ease along on the ride! :)
Haha, the reason to join up is exactly to watch more out of my comfort zone (but also more interesting stuff, and from all the options that ICM/ICMf offers, the ICMFF looks like the most fruitful choice for me). Not saying that I'm going to watch all the films, but I certainly plan and hope to see more than 1/month :)

The only questions I still have is about nominating 30 films. Is that a starter-30, or 30 max for the entire year (with later nominations counting towards that 30)?
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#7

Post by beavis »

Onderhond wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 9:29 am The only questions I still have is about nominating 30 films. Is that a starter-30, or 30 max for the entire year (with later nominations counting towards that 30)?
That is a maximum of 30
For a few of us it was just a bit restricting in the end... but I think it is good to have some restriction in place. The amount of nominations can become overwhelming!

It used to be that I opened the thread with all my nominations, but since last year I've changed my strategy. I'm opening with just a few, the ones that I want most attention to go out to. Then I'm going to do a whole lot more of watching (maybe two or three months...) and hopefully be ready to to a whole bunch more of nominating after that.

It is also not wise to wait too long with nominating things, like six months into the process or something, as people (I) tend to have clogged up watch-lists by then and your nominations might struggle to get attention.

And then again towards the very end it might be fruitfull to have a few slots in your nominations open for last moment finds and specific suggestions to fill up possible gaps in certain section-coverage. Every year there are a few of those last moment nominees that slip into the program and sometimes end up among the best of the festival!
Last edited by beavis on January 3rd, 2022, 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#8

Post by Onderhond »

Thanks, all clear now! I'll have a look around in my recent favorites tonight for my first batch of nominations. I'm guessing I'll adopt a similar strategy as you, leaving some room for extra nominations throughout the year.
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#9

Post by beavis »

I am (only) now noticing that both Das Mädchen und die Spinne and La virgen de agosto ended up in the Cahiers top 10 of last year!?!

Either "great minds think alike" or pure coincidence, as these movies were always high on my "must nominate" list after I had seen them. Just regard that as an extra endorsement (at least, I hope people still like to think of Cahiers as good endorsement ;) I love working on that ICM list, but maybe just because I watch so much of these movies anyway, like these two...)
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#10

Post by St. Gloede »

I am of course in again, will share my early nominations shortly.

Note, the sheet needs a 2022 tab. I would have set it up, but don't know the codes well enough.
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#11

Post by beavis »

St. Gloede wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 10:37 am I am of course in again, will share my early nominations shortly.

Note, the sheet needs a 2022 tab. I would have set it up, but don't know the codes well enough.
nice! looking forward to them

I also don't know how to edit the sheet much, but that will work out in time (if those who do join, fingers crossed :)) and I will update the link then. Zzzorf is on the ICM nominations list though! that link is now active and up-to-date.
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#12

Post by St. Gloede »

My early re-nominations, ranked in order of preference:

Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle / Just Don't Think I'll Scream (2019, Frank Beauvais) - Best Fit: Documentary, Arthouse
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9680914/

Image

I don't believe I have ever seen a film more suited for our forum!

In this personal and intimate essay, Frank Beauvais narrates his stale, isolated existence as he closes a chapter of his life and moves on to the next. He has been living in the outskirts of France - moving with his partner to be close to nature - now, the relationship is over - and what's more - he has suffered a close, personal loss.

His way of passing time - even when with friends, and his ill father, is to watch films. From April to October 2016 he watched 400 films - and this film is composed of shots from each of them - focusing in on details such as hands, rooms, TVs as he shapes his reality and mental state with the films he saw as a canvas - tying in his own film work - relationships and ongoing news and events - from terrorist attacks and Kiarostami's death - and cutting back to his own life - to a friend's heart attack.

The result is beautiful, contemplative examination of his life that brings out the best of what a personal essay can do. It tells a story, evokes emotion and acts as powerful lyrical and visual poetry. His voice and choices of focus is near perfect - bringing in melancholy - hope and an examination of the largely sedentary cinephile existence. 


A Metamorfose dos Pássaros / The Metamorphosis of Birds (2020, Catarina Vasconcelos) - Best Fit: Arthouse, Europe
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11625100/

Image

The Metamorphis of Birds weaves memories, stories, letters and images into a visually poetic family saga so colourful and alive it is impossible not to become entirely mesmerized. It is truly incredible how it creates such a powerful, dreamlike and hypnotizing fabric that carves out an almost unvisited area in cinema - a true borderland between documentary filmmaking and personal expression. 

It is not so much that it tests the limits of documentation and fiction/recreation - as it rarely attempts the latter. Stories are told or read from diaries, letters or the real people - even the director herself - and yet, what we are shown is first and foremost representation of what we are told - and as it creates a web of remembrances, echos, secrets, longing and connections - including a self-assessment it leaves us with more than the feeling of any kind of traditional essay. A unique, visually incredible slice of cinema unlike almost anything I have seen.


The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (2019, Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn) - Best Fit: Indie
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8230872/

Image

Stark, intimate and emotionally uneasy - The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is a raw and believable take on the aftermath of domestic violence. What sets it apart from all other films tackling the subject, is that it genuinely places you in the immediate aftermath - and never lets you go - it plays out the entire set of emotions, thoughts and discussions - however muted, or unhealthy they may be - in one singular take.

We are given a short introduction, letting us get a slight sense of two women's lives - until one of them is standing there - bloody - in the rain - with no shoes on her feet - as her partner screams - far away - barely visible at the other side of a trafficked road - and this is where our two leads meet each other for the first time.

Inspired by a real event in co-director and co-lead Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers' life - the entire set of events feel real - almost too real - from beginning to one. We are on the street as they rush away, we are in the room as Áila tries to tell Rosie to call the police - and we get to experience incredible character dynamics. Áila, supportive, suggestive, cautious, unsure - Rosie, hurt, rude, crude - lashing out - giving abuse. You can feel the unease, not just of the violence, but the conversations, mistrust and choices made. It is excellent in that it manages to get you to relate and empathize with both leads - that seemingly come from such different worlds - and live such different lives. 

What is further impressive is the effect of the single take. While single takes generally aim to either impress with extravaganza, often done for the exercise in itself - The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open never calls attention to itself. It uses singular take to place you right there with our characters, allowing the experience to feel reel and that we are there with them. 

Side note: It is worth mentioning that The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is an indigenous narrative - both our leads are indigenous women - their background is discussed and explored - and the funding comes, in part from indigenous foundations and organizations.


Acasa, My Home (2020, Radu Ciorniciuc) - Best Fit: Documentary
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11364376/

Image

This is what I wish more documentaries could be: capturing emotion, a sense of place, a sense of connection, a sense of life in all its visceral and cinematically beautiful glory. Acasa, My Home is an instantly immersive film - taking you through the weeds, following children's play, and being thrown into their midst. You can feel their joy - and at times horror - at others, ambivalence - as their home becomes more and more threatened by the outside world. The fact that the filmmaking is immersive, emotional, empathic and visceral is also to a degree necessary to truly form the idea of the sense of home, security and stability that the family actually feels - as any other method of filmmaking would instantly have turned you against them.

The children live in entirely unhealthy surroundings, and don't even appear to go to school - but the backdrop of understanding this sense of home - however odd it may be - placed in a large unbuilt, natural area in the midst of Bucharest. As child protective services, and the state, keep getting involved - we see their lives change drastically. I do not want to "spoil" how the film develops - as it has a clear narrative character - that can also feel like a character and family study - but it does go interesting places. The only slight negative is that the youngest children do get less screen time as the film continues, in favour of the arc of the father and especially the older brother - but the emotional range - and cinematic prowess is incredible.

Slight warning: In an early scene, the oldest son plays with a swan in a way that could clearly be viewed as animal abuse (he presses it down with his body). Don't worry, it appears to be unharmed, and seems merely startled, but it may be hard to watch for some.


Maryjki / Marygoround (2020, Daria Woszek) - Best fit: Just Before Dawn, Arthouse
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10132068/

Image

Half oversaturated, artificial depresso-realism - half neon nightmare, Marygoround is a visually stunning and mad trip into a menopausal woman's psyche. We follow Maria, a 50-year old, highly religious virgin working in a small grocery shop - that could easily be mistaken as a set from a Paul Vecchiali film from the 80s, with a pinch of Kaurismaki dryness. Life seems a lull, but things start to unravel and breakthrough mundanity with menopause hits, and she not only starts to get urges she never felt before.

The result is utter fantasy, mood swings, hallucinations and rasher and rasher acts - played for both comedy and horror - but never without sympathy. This 80-minute film won't fly by - rather it will click you down with utter unease as you start to feel every second - and wonder just what will happen next. It is dynamic enough to genuinely leave you surprised, and to somehow, in all its deranged madness maintain a sense of, erm, charm? This is a balancing act unlike most you've seen, and frankly, regardless of some pulpier elements, it succeeds in both styles - and marvellously well.


Eyimofe / This is My Desire (2019, Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri) - Best fit: Africa, Indie
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10365870/

Image

Eyimofe is a slow-brooding exploration of the want of a better life outside of Nigeria. It depicts poverty in Lagos is striking detail as we explore two dreams/desires, two stories - taking place in the same neighbourhood - but not intersecting beyond thematic of money, passports and a long grind as straws are clutched and dreams are put under tighter and tighter odds - is the desire of escape even worth it at the consequences they may entail?

The way it portrays power relations, be it in the form of hazardous, unrewarding work and Kafkaesque bureaucracy in our first tale - or the pressure from landlords, and the impossibility of equality and true romance in the second - or, evidenced in both - what poverty may make you do or accept - and what happens if the world around you finally cracks you.

It is interesting to compare Air Conditioner and Eyimofe as they are both so similar and so different. Both look at the lower working class and their dreams - yet the former does it with surreal, quirky overtones, comedy, magical realism and beautiful visuals. Eyimofe is far more low-key - driven by story and characters. However, it is still astute in its observations and details, as well as the slow and careful way it shows the grind of every day - and draws up distinctions on class, wealth and power. A relationship in the second tale, between a poor young woman and a relatively wealthy white American jumps into remarkably interesting psychology - and diverging realities.

P.S. Eyimofe is a shining example of a new phenomenon in Nigeria: independent productions outside of the Nollywood - and even more exciting for our festival: it is an English-language independent. 

Leaving my animation noms for now
Last year most of my animated nominations, in particular the more experimental, did not fare too well, and I will therefor not re-nominate them unless the animation slate is struggling - or we get more arthouse/experimental film fans onboard. These were my animated noms that did not make it last time around:

La fameuse invasion des ours en Sicile / The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily (2019, Lorenzo Mattotti) - Fairy tale
Circumstantial Pleasures (2020, Lewis Klahr) - Experimental
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus (2020, Dalibor Baric) - Experimental
Nos ili zagovor netakikh / The Nose or Conspiracy of Mavericks (2020, Andrey Khrzhanovskiy) - Experimental
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#13

Post by beavis »

I'll finally be watching Acasa, My Home and The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open for sure! :)
Eyimofe I would had eventually nominated myself if you didn't
And I agree that we need an essay movie like Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle in art or doc this year!! Personally I did not like this one as much as I had hoped, but I've seen some amazing cinephile love for this one, not just from you. It is a movie that really belongs in our program
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#14

Post by zzzorf »

Yay, it has begun again. I had so much fun doing this last year and found some great films I would never have found without it. Plus the appreciation I found in Gay cinema meant for a very effective first year. Now with some experience under my belt I have a better grasp on what we are looking for so I believe I will have stronger nominations this year, it might just pay to keep me away from Arthouse this year, lol. So I'm in again if you all will have me again.


As I said in the Doc slate thread my focus for now is on more diversity in the slate after the sameness of last year. I would also like to help keep the African slate strong but at the moment I am having not much luck but we do have a long time left and things will come my way.

Also with my nominations this year I am going to try a different strategy to prevent me running out of slots too early after rushing lacklustre nominations out. My plan is to nominate 1 movie per week (or at least no earlier than 7 days apart anyway). This will allow me to see the general consensus of the make-up and make decisions easier for myself to fill in any gaps that are starting to appear in slates that aren't getting more attention. Also this allows me to showcase each individual nomination a more worthy presentation to maybe garner interest from the other programmers.

As last year I have kept a list of all eligible movies I've watched here https://www.imdb.com/list/ls084726496/. While this list is mostly for my benefit it can be useful for other programmers as well as it has the scores I would give each movie if it is nominated by anyone and maybe they may even find a movie themselves to watch as a potential nomination. (note: a ? in my scores means I have downloaded it on my hard drive but have not seen it as yet).

I have already started the iCM nomination list which can be found here: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icm+ ... ns/zzzorf/

Lastly remember I am happy to help source any movie needed by any programmer if I can (and will be keeping the list in the other site I source from, for easy access), all you have to do is ask.

Here's to making the 6th year of the festival the best year it has ever had.
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#15

Post by beavis »

zzzorf wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 11:01 am Here's to making the 6th year of the festival the best year it has ever had.
yes! great to have you join again
zzzorf wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 11:01 am As I said in the Doc slate thread my focus for now is on more diversity in the slate after the sameness of last year.
A good call, and I sure won't be able to give this subject extra attention (although I did went to IDFA last year and watched IDFA highlights from the year before with this specific goal in mind) so it is good to know that at least one person is keeping tabs
zzzorf wrote: January 3rd, 2022, 11:01 am Also this allows me to showcase each individual nomination a more worthy presentation to maybe garner interest from the other programmers.
looking very much forward to that!
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#16

Post by St. Gloede »

Some films I'm considering:

Nasir (2020, Arun Karthick) - A visually beautiful, slow-brooding Indian drama with an incredible and powerful ending. Best fit: Asia

- L'Île aux oiseaux / Bird Island (2019, Sérgio Da Costa, Maya Kosa) - Bressonian semi-documentery, hood for Arthouse, Europe and possibly documentary, though it is fairly unclassfiable

- Zgodbe iz kostanjevih gozdov / Stories from the Chestnut Woods (2019, Gregor Bozic) A stunningly beautiful Slovenian film that is visually exuberant, yet somehow muted and minimalist, with fairytale elements added in. Another film that is very hard to classify but would likely be best in the Europe Slate.

- Nova Lituania (2019, Karolis Kaupinis) - An almost unreal retelling of very real Lithuanian history. A more muted non-campy 20th Century in a way. Could possibly just work in the Europe Slate.

- Otac / Father (2020, Srdan Golubovic) - A stark Serbian family drama that bears a striking resemblance to the most harrowing works on Ken Loach - family in poverty vs. the government machine. Another one that may just work in Asia.

- Droste no hate de bokura / Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (2020, Junta Yamaguchi) - Inventive Japanese low-budget sci-fi romp in one location and with a cool concept - Good for Asia or possibly JB4D as it is an all-out obvious future cult classic (though not grim or bloody)


I'm also inclined to nominate Petite maman (2021). I had thought it would have gotten a lot more attention, but it is still only at 3.550 votes ...

I am however worried about nominating too many European films. I'd say Nasir is the only likely shoo-in of these.

As we already have Radu Jude's Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn in the nomination pool I won't renominate his more divisive Uppercase Print.
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#17

Post by zzzorf »

Nomination #1

V síti [Caught in the Net] (2020)

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Preferred Slate: Documentary

Alternate Slate: European

Director: Barbora Chalupová & Vít Klusák

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary: Two documentarians exploring the world of online sexual abuse of children succeed in turning an experiment into an act of social intervention.


Wikipedia Information: Caught in the Net (Czech: V síti) is a 2020 Czech documentary film by Vít Klusák about sexual predators on the internet. The film documents three actresses pretending to be adolescent girls on social media who are contacted by sexual predators that try to seduce them and start sending them photos of their genitalia. Sexual predators appearing in the film attracted focus of police after the release of the film and at least one of them was convicted at the court. The film was crowdfunded through HitHit during which filmmakers raised 3 million Czech koruna. The film was named Best Documentary of 2020 at the 2021 Czech Lion Awards.


My Two Cents: This was a very revealing documentary. Having 4 daughters myself it was amazing to see how quick predators will work on the Internet. The whole set up for this whole experiment was very well thought out and perpetrated with great detail. The effect that this experiment had on the actresses was evident yet they handled themselves very well. But the most important thing is that this documentary had a major effect on the public conscience which made for major changes to be implemented and prison time given to offenders, exactly what you would want from this type of documentary.


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#18

Post by Onderhond »

I'll number my own nominations, that'll be easier for me to keep track of them.

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01. They Say Nothing Stays the Same [Aru Sendo no Hanashi] by Joe Odagari [Arthouse/Asia]
Source: Amazon US Rental
IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10752196/ (137 votes)

I'm really glad Amazon US has this one. It was the first film I considered for nomination, not in the least because I feel it might do well on this forum (although my track record is sketchy when it comes to that). There are several reasons to watch this film regardless. First of all, the director is Joe Odagiri, one of the most notable Japanese actors of the past two decades, in the same ball park as Tadanobu Asano and Masatoshi Nagase. Also one of the few Japanese actors with a Pan-Asian career. It's sometimes falsely branded as his first directorial effort (it's actually his second), but it makes sense for those who've actually watched Looking for Cherry Blossoms (which was throwaway fluff).

It pays being a respected actor, as it is clearly easier to build a solid team around you. Nagase, Asano, Yu Aoi and other well-respected actors make smaller appearance, veteran Akira Emoto gets a chance to shine and takes it with both hands. His performance is mesmerizing. So are the visuals, which is no surprise as none other than Christopher Doyle handled the cinematography. Score, setting & cinematography are all top notch. The film is a bit on the slow side though, but I guess people here should be able to handle that :)

I also liked the theme of the film quite a bit, although I think it may be a bit more divisive. The story of a lifelong boatman on the verge of losing his job because a bridge is being built around the bent sounds like an ideal excuse for some whining about a lack of respect for tradition and the "victims of progress", but the film takes a more Buddhist (I assume ... I'm pretty bad with religions) approach, which felt more truthful and interesting to me. There are so very light fantastical/surrealistic elements, but I think it's best fitted for the arthouse or Asia slates, as the pacing is just too slow for a bona fide genre flick and the genre bits don't really stand out, but are more drivers of/symbols for the main theme.
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#19

Post by beavis »

Loved Odagiri's debut and this one has been on my watchlist for a while now! Luckily I made Japan one of my focuses this year ;)

Now, I had thought to focus a bit on a challenge in januari, but this thread is already proving mighty inspiring again!!
at least L'Île aux oiseaux fits for Switzerland in the challenge :) (not nominated yet, but I'll watch it anyway)

The doc on Internet sex-predators also sounds like a must see, even though I usually wouldn't get excited for a doc on this topic... when it is well done I am sure it will leave me stunned and impressed
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#20

Post by beavis »

Just updated my own (watch)list of possible festival nominations
https://letterboxd.com/beavis/list/icmf ... atch-list/
(185 total at the moment, 40 watched)
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#21

Post by Onderhond »

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02. A Writer's Odyssey [Ci Sha Xiao Shuo Jia] by Ci Sha Xiao Shuo Jia [Dawn]
Source: Amazon US BR / Hong Kong BR
IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9685342/ (2.1K votes)

As beavis mentioned the ICM challenges, I think it's probably best to push this film right out of the gates. It's both sci-fi as well as fantasy, and thus would best fit the Dawn slate. I've long championed the rise of Chinese blockbusters and genre cinema, not because I'm the biggest fan, more so because I found it truly fascinating to see a nation grow from exclusively arthouse producing, to a Hollywood-matching blockbuster machine over the course of two decades. China's movie industry isn't unlike Tetsuo's final stage in Akira; an explosive and swiftly growing mass of films bursting out in all directions at once.

This film has been picking up steam outside the "Asian niches" I frequent, but I don't think the places where it has been featured show great overlap with this forum, so in that sense it's definitely a worthwhile addition. Though Chinese blockbuster films have mostly been playing catch-up (too much flakey CG and mediocre plots), A Writer's Odyssey felt like a film that doesn't just match Hollywood's blockbusters, but surpasses it. The cinematography is well above par, the CG is actually impressive and the plot is not just slightly more complex than your average Hollywood blockbuster, it also feels way more original. The latter may be purely because living in the West makes us clueless about existing Chinese IP, but that's just a welcome bonus in this case (the film is based on a novel I believe).

The film is split in two halves that slowly come together. There's one half that takes place in a near-future, where a writer is working on a classic Chinese fantasy story (the other half). You really get the best of two worlds here, though the story is quite convoluted and you have to pay attention, more so than with your average US blockbuster. I'm not sure if there would be much appreciation for a film like this among the ICMf regulars (Detective Dee also didn't too well if I remember correctly), but it does feel like a pivotal Chinese blockbuster, which is something I feel people should at least know of. When people find the time to watch Dune Pt 1 in between the latest Reichardt and Carax, I feel they should also make an effort to see this film in between the latest Bi Gan and Zhangke Jia.
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#23

Post by beavis »

zzzorf wrote: January 4th, 2022, 7:59 am The 2022 page of the spreadsheet is now live: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1100765182
and you already put in all the data too, nice!, thanks
link in the first post is updated
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#24

Post by Onderhond »

Thanks zzzorf! I've changed the slate for A Writer's Odyssey from Doc to Dawn though, not really doc material ;)
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#25

Post by zzzorf »

Onderhond wrote: January 4th, 2022, 8:42 am Thanks zzzorf! I've changed the slate for A Writer's Odyssey from Doc to Dawn though, not really doc material ;)
Yeah I realised that, I must have missed the box I was aimed at. Thanks for spotting it.
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#26

Post by filmbantha »

Count me in! I really enjoyed diving in to lots of underseen contemporary cinema last year and I'm looking forward to seeking out everyone's nominations again this year. I've resisted the urge to drop a load of Just Before Dawn nominations as my first batch and will start off slowly with a pick from last year that was only watched by one other programmer and a brand new nomination:

1. Sanctorum (2019) LatAm/Arthouse
Here is what I wrote about it last year: 'My favourite film from WOW festival is a sublime Mexican arthouse picture that is pure cinematic poetry from start to finish. The visuals are nothing short of astonishing and the backdrop of a rural village caught up in a feud between the cartel and military provides powerful social commentary. I hope this gets a release soon as this feels like the perfect fit for ICMFF. If not, I will certainly be renominating it next year should I be involved once again, this is an absolute must see.'

2. Straight Up (2019) LGBTQ
A heartfelt comedy from emerging talent, James Sweeney; who wrote, directed and stars in this wonderful film about a young gay man who tries to make a heterosexual relationship work when he meets a young lady who might just be his soulmate. Sweeney has created a very funny and astute film and has a keen eye for vibrant composition and striking imagery. Dating Amber proved a great crowd pleaser with our programmer's and festival participants last year and I feel that this is likely to elicit a similar response.

Were we thinking of adding in a column to the spreadsheet to indicate if a film was directed by a woman? Maybe this could be included after the votes column if it would be useful to have visibility of this at a quick glance?

I am diving headfirst into the 1000<400 challenge in January but will start seeking out other programmer's nominations from February onwards. Also, if any programmer wants to renominate any of my nominations that didn't make the cut last year then you are of course more than welcome to do so!
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#27

Post by zzzorf »

filmbantha wrote: January 6th, 2022, 5:41 pm

Were we thinking of adding in a column to the spreadsheet to indicate if a film was directed by a woman? Maybe this could be included after the votes column if it would be useful to have visibility of this at a quick glance?

Ask and you will receive. I may just need another eye over the nominations to make sure I tagged the right movies.
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#28

Post by beavis »

filmbantha wrote: January 6th, 2022, 5:41 pm Count me in!

1. Sanctorum (2019) LatAm/Arthouse
...this feels like the perfect fit for ICMFF. ... this is an absolute must see.'
good to have you back!
I'm adding Sanctorum to my must see list, I could not find it subbed last year i think... but it sounds too good to pass over
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#29

Post by Onderhond »

There are sub out for that one, looks like a very interesting film. Certainly one I'll be checking out soon enough :)
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#30

Post by zzzorf »

Should we send PMs to Ferg, KingInk and Xianjiro to see if they are returning this year to program? They may not have seen the thread.
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#31

Post by Fergenaprido »

zzzorf wrote: January 4th, 2022, 7:59 am The 2022 page of the spreadsheet is now live: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1100765182
Beat me to it. And I couldn't have done it better myself. :poshclap:

zzzorf wrote: January 6th, 2022, 11:15 pm Should we send PMs to Ferg, KingInk and Xianjiro to see if they are returning this year to program? They may not have seen the thread.
I've seen this thread now. :thumbsup:

Count me in as a programmer again. I'll post my first (re)nominations later this month, but I've already seen two of Gloede's films (but they're not in the spreadsheet yet)

Bird Island gets a 0 or 1 from me. The premise was promising but the output was rather dull for me, unfortunately. Saw it on Mubi in 2020.

Nova Lituania gets a 1 or 2 from me. Another interesting premise (though I really don't see any connection with The Twentieth Century), but it kind of lost its way after a while, I felt. Saw it on Mubi a few months ago.
Cinematic Omnivore 🧚‍♂️🦫
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#32

Post by zzzorf »

Fergenaprido wrote: January 7th, 2022, 1:39 am
zzzorf wrote: January 4th, 2022, 7:59 am The 2022 page of the spreadsheet is now live: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1100765182
Beat me to it. And I couldn't have done it better myself. :poshclap:

zzzorf wrote: January 6th, 2022, 11:15 pm Should we send PMs to Ferg, KingInk and Xianjiro to see if they are returning this year to program? They may not have seen the thread.
I've seen this thread now. :thumbsup:

Count me in as a programmer again. I'll post my first (re)nominations later this month, but I've already seen two of Gloede's films (but they're not in the spreadsheet yet)

Bird Island gets a 0 or 1 from me. The premise was promising but the output was rather dull for me, unfortunately. Saw it on Mubi in 2020.

Nova Lituania gets a 1 or 2 from me. Another interesting premise (though I really don't see any connection with The Twentieth Century), but it kind of lost its way after a while, I felt. Saw it on Mubi a few months ago.
Those one's from Gloede are just ones he is considering, they aren't official nominations yet
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#33

Post by Fergenaprido »

Ah, I just skimmed the posts and recognized the titles. Thanks :)
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#34

Post by cinewest »

I have seen two films from last year that would be perfect for next year’s festival.

From Africa: Night of Kings, which I thought was better than anything in African slate this past year.

From China: The Cloud in Her Room, which could slot in Asia or Arthouse. The director goes a bit overboard trying to use every style imaginable, but still crafts something compelling about early adulthood.
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#35

Post by zzzorf »

cinewest wrote: January 7th, 2022, 7:03 am I have seen two films from last year that would be perfect for next year’s festival.

From Africa: Night of Kings, which I thought was better than anything in African slate this past year.

From China: The Cloud in Her Room, which could slot in Asia or Arthouse. The director goes a bit overboard trying to use every style imaginable, but still crafts something compelling about early adulthood.
Well come join us as programmers and nominate them.

If I remember correctly you said the Festival was the best time you've had in the forum discussion wise afor a long time. Well the programmers is the only better discussion area I know of. That is unless I'm getting you mixed up with someone else?

Cloud in the Room was nominated last year but I believe Beavis (?) would be happy to see it nominated again (I've seen it to but it only gets a 1 from me).
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#36

Post by cinewest »

zzzorf wrote: January 7th, 2022, 7:17 am
cinewest wrote: January 7th, 2022, 7:03 am I have seen two films from last year that would be perfect for next year’s festival.

From Africa: Night of Kings, which I thought was better than anything in African slate this past year.

From China: The Cloud in Her Room, which could slot in Asia or Arthouse. The director goes a bit overboard trying to use every style imaginable, but still crafts something compelling about early adulthood.
Well come join us as programmers and nominate them.

If I remember correctly you said the Festival was the best time you've had in the forum discussion wise afor a long time. Well the programmers is the only better discussion area I know of. That is unless I'm getting you mixed up with someone else?

Cloud in the Room was nominated last year but I believe Beavis (?) would be happy to see it nominated again (I've seen it to but it only gets a 1 from me).
I would love to be a programmer for the festival, but I simply don't have the time, not with a full time job, marriage, and two 2-year olds. I felt lucky manage 1/3 of the films at the festival, and that was the most I had seen in a given month in quite a while.

I figured Cloud in the Room might appeal to Beavis, and I think it has quite a lot going for it despite filmmaker's attempt to try every technique he/she could think of on a small budget (much it it worked very well, though the film almost lost me early on before I found my way in). It's not plot / story driven, but rather about emotional content surrounding family and self, and life passages, and there was quite a lot that worked very well, I thought.

Night of Kings is a very different kind of film (and if I remember correctly, one that Beavis didn't like), and a very powerful, well done one to me.
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#37

Post by zzzorf »

cinewest wrote: January 7th, 2022, 8:40 am
zzzorf wrote: January 7th, 2022, 7:17 am
cinewest wrote: January 7th, 2022, 7:03 am I have seen two films from last year that would be perfect for next year’s festival.

From Africa: Night of Kings, which I thought was better than anything in African slate this past year.

From China: The Cloud in Her Room, which could slot in Asia or Arthouse. The director goes a bit overboard trying to use every style imaginable, but still crafts something compelling about early adulthood.
Well come join us as programmers and nominate them.

If I remember correctly you said the Festival was the best time you've had in the forum discussion wise afor a long time. Well the programmers is the only better discussion area I know of. That is unless I'm getting you mixed up with someone else?

Cloud in the Room was nominated last year but I believe Beavis (?) would be happy to see it nominated again (I've seen it to but it only gets a 1 from me).
I would love to be a programmer for the festival, but I simply don't have the time, not with a full time job, marriage, and two 2-year olds. I felt lucky manage 1/3 of the films at the festival, and that was the most I had seen in a given month in quite a while.

I figured Cloud in the Room might appeal to Beavis, and I think it has quite a lot going for it despite filmmaker's attempt to try every technique he/she could think of on a small budget (much it it worked very well, though the film almost lost me early on before I found my way in). It's not plot / story driven, but rather about emotional content surrounding family and self, and life passages, and there was quite a lot that worked very well, I thought.

Night of Kings is a very different kind of film (and if I remember correctly, one that Beavis didn't like), and a very powerful, well done one to me.
If you read the requirements in the first post minimal requirement is one movie watched from another programmer per month. You don't have to go all in like a couple of us do
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#38

Post by cinewest »

Though I am not a programmer, Here are some films on my list to see from 2019 forward that I haven't seen mentioned:

China:
Ascension (Kingdon, 2021) - documentary already available to stream
Jìyuántái qihào (2019) No. 7 Cherry Lane- Animation
So Long, My Son (2019)
Bu zhi bu xiu (2020)

Russia:
Il Pecato (Konchalovsky)- Life of Michelangelo by one of Russia's greatest living filmmakers
Kapitan Volkonogov bezhal (2021)
Petrovy v grippe (2021)

Europe Slate:
Those Who Remained (2019, Toth, Hungary)
Madre (2019, Spain)
Barn (2019, Norway)
Charlatan (2020, Poland)
Never Gonna Snow Again (2020, Poland)
Beginning (2020, Georgia)
Luzzu (2021, Italy)
Ich bin dein Mensch (2021, Germany)
Und morgen die ganze Welt (2020, Germany)
Hvítur, hvítur dagur (2019, Iceland)
Silent LAnd (Poland, 2021)
Il Buco (2021, Italy)
Mosquito (2020, Portugal)
DAU. Degeneratsiya (2020)
Les choses qu'on dit, les choses qu'on fait (2020)
Le sorelle Macaluso (2020)
Hytti nro 6 (Finland, 2021)
Evolution (Hungary, 2021)
Les Olympiades, Paris 13e (2021)

Latin America:
Midnight Family (2019, Mexico, documentary)
Noche de Fuego (2021, Mexico)- on Netflix
Azor (2021, Argentina)
Sin señas particulares (2020, Mexico
La Llorona (Bustamante, 2019)
La Nueva Orden (Mexico, 2020)

Documentary:
Cenote (2019)
Gunda (2020)
Roadrunner: A film about Anthony Bourdain (2021)
State Funeral (2019, Loznitsa)
Si c'était de l'amour (2020)
Futura (I) (2021)

Indie:
Mass (2021)
I Was a Simple Man (2021)
La Voz Humana (2021)

Asia or Arthouse
Labyrinth of Cinema (2019, Obayashi)
Wife of a Spy (2020)
The Disciple (2020)
The Rescue (2021)
Lunana: A Yak in the classroom (2019)
Jaddeh Khaki (2021)

Israel: Ha'berech (2021)
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#39

Post by Onderhond »

I've seen:

No. 7 Cherry Lane - 3.5* - Interesting but the animation felt a little lacking
Labyrinth of Cinema - 3.0* - Obayashi is cool, but this was a bit too much/bit too oldskool for me.
Wife of a Spy - 1.5* - Really disliked this Kurosawa. Looks very ugly and the plot was dull. Poor Yu Aoi though.
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#40

Post by cinewest »

Onderhond wrote: January 7th, 2022, 1:13 pm I've seen:

No. 7 Cherry Lane - 3.5* - Interesting but the animation felt a little lacking
Labyrinth of Cinema - 3.0* - Obayashi is cool, but this was a bit too much/bit too oldskool for me.
Wife of a Spy - 1.5* - Really disliked this Kurosawa. Looks very ugly and the plot was dull. Poor Yu Aoi though.
I haven't seen any of the ones I listed yet, just adding more grist for the mill. As for your comments about them, our perceptions about what is interesting, or even "what is," as far as cinema goes, are wildly different, so I'm not sure what to make of them. Most of what we tend to agree upon has to do with the taste biases of this forum, though I enjoy those rare coincidences in taste that we discover.
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