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IFFR 2023

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IFFR 2023


Post by beavis »


The schedule for the festival came online today and I've made my plans!
tomorrow from 20:00 I'll be able to score tickets and this is what I hope to get:

Pamfir do 26/1 13:00 14:55
When the Waves Are Gone do 26/1 17:00 20:35

Indivision vr 27/1 12:15 14:50
Deadly Love Poem vr 27/1 16:15 18:10
Dalva vr 27/1 19:00 21:00

A primeira idade za 28/1 13:30 15:20
Medusa Deluxe za 28/1 16:00 18:10
Slowly Nowhere za 28/1 19:00 20:40

Moha ma 30/1 09:45 11:55
The Eighth Day of the Week ma 30/1 13:50 15:05
Clementina ma 30/1 16:15 18:40
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman ma 30/1 19:30 21:55

Karparaa di 31/1 13:00 14:40
I Want to Live di 31/1 15:45 17:50
Vildanden di 31/1 19:00 20:45

I morti rimangono con la bocca aperta wo 1/2 10:00 11:50
Safe Place wo 1/2 13:00 15:05
Visszatérés – Retrace wo 1/2 16:15 18:00
Silent Ghosts wo 1/2 19:15 22:03

Natura vr 3/2 12:15 13:30
Tiger Shorts 6 vr 3/2 14:15 15:30
Maybe Tomorrow vr 3/2 16:30 18:20
De noche los gatos son pardos vr 3/2 19:15 21:11

LOLA za 4/2 11:15 12:45
The Nothingness Club za 4/2 13:30 15:10
Wir sind dann wohl die Angehörigen za 4/2 16:00 18:05
Before the Buzzards Arrive za 4/2 19:00 20:45

there is new work in there from Heng Yang, Lav Diaz and Edgar Pera
two from Kroatia
an oldie from Singapore (I want to Live, 1970)
a new one from the Pampero Cine studio
three from the Judit Elek retrospective
a new short work from Manuel Muñoz Rivas with cinematography by Mauro Herce
and MORE! :)

Last edited by beavis on January 19th, 2023, 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by kongs_speech »

beavis wrote: January 18th, 2023, 9:36 pm When the Waves Are Gone do 26/1 17:00 20:35
That one's great, seen it. Jealous of the big screen Lav Diaz experience.
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Post by beavis »

He is often in the Netherlands! :) I think I'm about 50/50 with Lav Diaz experiences in cinema vs at home. For the longest works I think the at home experience of spending an entire day in his universe in very nice. But the attention span is still different, so when I have the chance and it fits in the plans I never pass on the oppurtunity of catching him on the big screen!
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Post by St. Gloede »

Not heard of the extreme majority of films in the program, so looking forward to your report card!

Looking at the program, the Georgian b/w film Drawing Lots sounds interesting, with the description of it being somewhere inbetween Tarr and Kaurismaki.
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Post by beavis »

there is so much to discover, as always!!

sometimes it is years after the fact that I realise I could have seen a film at the IFFR and it completely passed me by :) and at the end of every edition I have a short list of films I missed that got a lot of buzz and I need to be on the lookout for

anything that already has a Dutch distributor I try to skip at the IFFR to ensure the most chance of discoveries and not missing anything that will seemingly dissapear forever after the festival

So I select a shortlist of about 20 titles that jump out at me, then I'll try to fit as much of these as possible into the days and times that are available and comfortable to me and finally I fill up the gaps with whatever fits that seems like the best option.

what most spoke to me from the discriptions, pictures and names I recognise was

Silent Ghosts - the new Heng Yang!!
De Noche Los Gatos Son Pardos - a Swiss movie that played at Locarno and seems to fit the "new fabulism" style a lot
Visszatérés - because of a slight link with Duras the film from the Elek retrospective I'm most curious about
Safe Place - I saw this doing well with some critics last year and this comes from an intresting bunch of Croatian filmmakers
Before the Buzzards Arrive - in striking black and white and with some surreal touches
LOLA - debut from an Irishman that gets compared to Guy Maddin
Clementina - absurd Argentinian comedy from the Pampero team
Medusa Deluxe - British Cult "horror", maybe in the vein of Peter Strickland?
Karparaa - a slow cinema take on a type of Tokyo Story, from Kerala

and there were lots of others that didn't fit too, including some of the weirder stuff that only gets programmed late in the evening, like 2551.02 - the orgy of the damned
those titles are already on my look out for list now :)
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Post by matthewscott8 »

This is a good time of year for me to do a film festival, a few questions
(1) Are screenings shown with English subtitles usually?
(2) Why is the program released so late?
(3) How do you find the calibre of this festival compared to others
(4) What are the venues like (I am very tall so often have venue problems)
Could be something I could do by train and thus avoid flugscham.
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Post by beavis »

Films in the Limelight section are already bought by Dutch distributers and might have Dutch subs, but if they do it will be explicitly stated, since this is a big international festival with many foreign guests, so mainly an English language affair.

Venues are generally good. For leg room Cinerama 1 is the best room of the lot. Kino 1 is nice too, Pathe 1 has the largest screen i think. Cinerama 5,6 and 7 and some of the Lantaarn Venster rooms are a bit smallish.

I love the programming of the IFFR. Most if not all films are announced before Christmas, but the schedule is always ready only a week in advance... i think this is normal? The website can be a bit buggy and they clearly have some problems in financing and organisation post pandemic, but on average the organisation is very good to excellent in my experience.
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Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Most of the movies indeed have English subtitles. It says on the site at each movie info page it says if it has Dutch, English or no subtitles. You can even filter the program on it.

The Old Luxor is hellish for legs room. Pathé has plenty in each room. Cinerama is also fine
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Post by beavis »

Taking a first small break from/at the IFFR today

For those who want to have a remote taste, I found a little flyer with a password to watch one of the shorts in the Tiger competition on Vimeo:
password: bleufluo
It's a lovely 19' film with meditative music that sets the slow cinema tone and gives this French short a distictly exotic flavor. It's a fairytale/fantasy story that slowly and wordlessly developes, with very nice photography, I liked it. Could fit both a fantasy and a french challenge ;)

I've seen mostly good films so far, nothing great, but only one that I didn't like
most fun I had with Medusa Deluxe, a stylish UK murder mystery cult thing set at a hairdressing competition and made to look like it's a one-take movie (there are very long takes in there, the longest being 40+ minutes, said the director, who came across as a very funny, friendly, humble, blokey, smart guy who was really happy and amazed to be at such a big festival) This one has been bought for distribution in the Netherlands too, so it will not be impossible to see after the festival, as so many other movies are.
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Post by beavis »

It's done! After three years of absense it was clearly a relieve for everybody involved in the festival and loyal visitors like me to be back in Rotterdam, in packed screeningrooms, with a lot of filmmakers present. a true feast. In the end I had to skip one of the Elek films I had bought, so I sadly saw only 2 films from that retrospective. good news is they seemed to be very recent restaurations from the Hungarian filmarchive, so I expect these to pop up elsewhere, maybe MUBI?, after this first outing.

It is late in this part of the world now, and I have to sleep first, but I can already give you my scores:

1 - ★★★★½ - 8,5 - I morti rimangono con la bocca aperta (2022) The Dead Remain with Their Mouths Open
2 - ★★★★ - 8 - Saules aveugles, femme endormie (2022) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
3 - ★★★★ - 8 - Shi yu zhen (2023) Silent Ghosts (World Premiere)
4 - ★★★★ - 8 - Sigurno mjesto (2022) Safe Place
5 - ★★★★ - 8 - Lola (2022)
6 - ★★★★ - 7,5 - De noche los gatos son pardos (2022)
7 - ★★★★ - 7,5 - Medusa Deluxe (2022)

8 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Majd holnap (1980) Maybe Tomorrow
9 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Pamfir (2022)
10 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Wir Sind Dann Wohl die Angehörigen (2022) We Are Next of Kin

they're good, I guess
11 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Dalva (2022)
12 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Birdland (2023) Indivision (World Premiere)
13 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Kapag wala nang mga alon (2022) When the Waves Are Gone
14 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - Visszatérés (2019) Retrace

15 - ★★★½ - 7,5 - A Primeira Idade (2023) First Age (World Premiere)
16 - ★★★½ - 7 - Clementina (2022)
17 - ★★★½ - 7 - Karparaa (2023) (World Premiere)
18 - ★★★½ - 7 - Antes que lleguen los zopilotes (2023) Before the Buzzards Arrive (World Premiere)
19 - ★★★½ - 7 - Vildanden (2023) The Wild Duck (World Premiere)

they're ok, I guess
20 - ★★★ - 6,5 - Puisi Cinta yang Membunuh (2022) Deadly Love Poem
21 - ★★★ - 6 - Aku mahu hidup (1970) I Want to Live

no recommendations at all, maybe bad
22 - ★★★ - 6 - The Nothingness Club - Não Sou Nada (2023) (World Premiere)
23 - ★★★ - 6 - Natura (2023) (World Premiere)
24 - ★★½ - 5,5 - Moha (2023) (World Premiere)

25 - ★★½ - 5 - Polako nikuda (2022) Slowly Nowhere (World Premiere)
Last edited by beavis on February 5th, 2023, 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Y U M E »

My ratings of this edition (my 33rd) of the IFFR. I thought it was a good edition! Nataliya Meshchaninova with a devastating autobiographical film (she was not able to travel from Russia, due to "knee injuries" (?)) which she, clearly emotional, introduced in a video message. She tops my personal ranking for the second time! In 2019 The Core of the World was my festival favourite. Oshii's latest (he's 70+ years old now) shows it's time for his retirement. A cheap looking, unfunny and redeemable vampire-chick-flick. Judit Elek had an eloquent introduction and a lot (and I do mean a lot) of melancholic stories about the 60ies and 70ies in Hungary while introducing her Lady from Constantinople. Het other films (this was her first international retrospective ever!) were varying in quality. I enjoyed this year's edition a lot - and Dutch Railways did a flawless job also bringing me there (that's a first in 33 years, I think).

★★★★¼ | 8.8
01. My Little Nighttime Secret | Natalya Meshchaninova

★★★★ | 8.4
02. War Pony | Gina Gammell & Riley Keough

★★★¾ | 8.0
03. The Lady from Constantinople | Judit Elek
04. Safe Place | Juraj Lerotic

★★★½ | 7.6
05. Füür Brännt | Michael Karrer
06. Memories of a River | Judit Elek
07. Showing Up | Kelly Reichardt
08. Inu-Ōh | Masa’aki Yuasa
09. Cain and Abel | Lino Brocka
10. Okiku and the World | Junji Sakamoto

★★★¼ | 7.2
11. The Eternal Daughter | Joanna Hogg

★★★ | 6.8
12. Convenience Story | Satoshi Miki
13. Maria’s Day | Judit Elek

★★¾ | 6.4
14. Lonely Castle in the Mirror | Keiichi Hara
15. Maybe Tomorrow | Judit Elek

★★¼ | 5.5
16. Skazka | Aleksandr Sokurov

★¼ | 3.5
17. A Primeira Idade | Alexander David

¾ | 2.5
18. I Can’t Stop Biting You | Mamoru Oshii

@matthewscott. Since the Dutch are tall in general most venues, especially the new or renovated ones, are very good. Some theaters have a mixture of older and renovated screening rooms (Kino 1, 2 and 4 are great, but 3 is mediocre, Cinerama 1, 2 and 3 are great also, but 5, 6 and especially 4 and 7 are not that great). I am always amazed that venues used for other purposes (Doelen for congresses and classical music and Schouwburg and Lantaren/Venster 1 and 2 for theater and music are much more uncomfortable to sit. Venues for movie lovers are generally better equipped with more leg space and better chairs...
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Post by beavis »

My Little Nighttime Secret is certainly one I regret not seeing. Füür brännt is one I was really curious about and regret I did not give more priority too. My curiosity about the Turkish director biopic Kavur grew during the festival and I regretted giving that one some priority too

of course there are many others too, not counting those I skipped because they'll be having a regular release very soon (like eo, godland, nostalgia, aftersun...) I should have spotted that La hembrita was by my favorite director from the Dominican Republic (I missed it because usually she is part of a directing duo)

I am curious about Thai genre film "Faces of Anne", the new Don Palathara "Family", Moroccan film "The Blue Caftan" did very well with the audience and has got a Dutch release that I'll make sure to catch, "Letzter Abend" was another audience favorite and probability is high that it gets picked up for Dutch distribution now and it peaked my interest, "Joram" seems to have been the best of the many Indian films in the program so I need to see that one, "Sri Asih" is an Indonesian superhero movie that I thought would have Dutch ditribution for being in the Limelight program, but turns out it hadn't... hopefully the Imagine festival gives me a second chance at this one.

The Turkish "Suddenly" is one I spotted only during the festival when my program was already set in stone, Korean female directed erotic arthouse feature "White River" is another one of those titles, Strange Belgian feature with a very long title that was tipped to me during the festival as one of the most unique in the selection "Het leven en de vreemde verrassende avonturen van Robinson Crusoe die acht en twintig jaar helemaal alleen op een bewoond eiland leefde en zei dat het van hem was" also came too late. And at the start there were already quite a few unavailable to me at a suitable date or time: Orpheus in der Unterwelt (1974), Residency (Winnie Cheung, USA, World Premiere) and 2551.02 – The Orgy of the Damned (one of those late night only screening that would make me miss the last train).

These I had already seen before (some at other festivals like Gent, some because they are older retrospective movies)

8,5 - Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
8 - Pacifiction
8 - The Kali of Emergency
8 - Moana
8 - Mind Game
7,5 - Trenque Lauquen
7,5 - Will-o’-the-Wisp
7,5 - Scar
7,5 - The Lady from Constantinople
7,5 - Mange ta soupe
7,5 - Fairytale
7,5 - No Dogs or Italians Allowed
6,5 - Ride Your Wave
4,5 - Autobiography of a Princess


1. Dalva 4.772
2 No Dogs or Italians Allowed 4.764
3 The Blue Caftan 4.739
4 Endless Borders 4.680
5 Orphea in Love 4.664
6 WICKED GAMES Rimini Sparta 4.637
7 Letzter Abend 4.634
8 If We Burn 4.625
9 The Whale 4.602
10 100 årstider 4.560

As usual the audience votes quite a bit more mainstream than my taste goes. They changed the system this year from paper ballots to tear at the end of a screening to a voting link in your e-mail that you can take a few days to think over. Looking at the amazingly high scores for everything I suspect a lot of people who would have done the exit poll might have not bothered with the online voting, which might give a bias towards voters who are really enthusiastic about what they've seen.

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Post by beavis »

I had 10 World Premieres in my program, I highlighted them now in my ranking two posts up.

It is noticable how most of them ended up at the bottom of my ranking of what I saw. Like the IFFR itself, I gamble a lot on experimental work, and this does not always work out great. But there have been years where I've seen more atrociously bad works than this time around :) Most of them had interesting aspects at least. Heng Yang is the only one who did well, but he has been a regular at the IFFR, so we knew what we were getting there (the only time he went to Berlin is the only movie of his I have not have a chance to see!! His style is far from mainstream and he seems to be an elusive independent fellow...)
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