From Monday the 13th of November to Monday the 11th of December this thread will be the central thread for the 7th edition of this forums annual film festival. The purpose of this festival is to highlight recent films (this year the movies are from 2020-2022) that have flown under the radar since their release (<10,000 IMDb ratings). For most of the year the programming team of beavis, St. Gloede, sol, matthewscott8, filmbantha, Onderhond, Fergenaprido and myself have watched countless hours of eligible films to bring you all the best line we possibly could. Between us we nominated 183 titles we believed were worthy of the festival and from them we nailed it down to 39 movies we believed were the cream of the crop and the most worthy of being part of the Main Slate, the beating heart of the festival and the movies up to win the prestigious Grand Prize and join the list of our previous winners:
2017 - Lu bian ye can / Kaili Blues (2015)
2018 - Tower (2016)
2019 - Tesnota / Closeness (2017)
2020 - A Vida Invisível / Invisible Life (2019)
2021 - Sheytan vojud nadarad / There Is No Evil (2020)
2022 - Bor Mi Vanh Chark / The Long Walk (2019)
This award is decided upon by our esteemed jury who this year is made up of:
As a reward for their service to the festival for serving on the Jury they were given 38 of the films to choose 9 films they most wanted to see on the main slate, which would join the movie us programmers had chosen as our Centrepiece of the festival, giving us the 10 movies that make up this years Main Slate.
Centrepiece - Un monde / Playground (2021)
Belgium, Laura Wandel (F)
Few films manage to immerse you in the worlds of children the way Playground does, placing the camera directly on a young girl on her first day of school, crying and hugging her father, afraid to go in. The camera is almost always consistently on her, or from her perspective, allowing us to see and experience the world as a child. All scenes are also shot in the school, playground and by the gate, cutting all homelife, and immersing us further into the cruel world of children. Bullying starts to seep, and it goes to some unusual, unnerving and yet emotionally resonant places. In its earnestness, it feels raw and real. This is Laura Wandel's feature film debut, and we believe that she is a key director to watch in the years to come.
Mila / Apples (2020)
Greece, Christos Nikou
Apples is a Greek Weird Wave film set in a world where a pandemic is erasing people's memories. Cold, calculated, sparse and darkly humorous we follow the "New Identity program" through the eyes of one of the amnesiacs; a man who is gradually building up a new memory gallery by completing tasks, from riding a bike to experiencing a real car crash. Tensions rise as he starts a friendship and possibly a romantic relationship with a woman going through the same series of tasks, just one or two steps ahead of him - which adds an interesting layer of seeing a glimpse of what is coming up for him.
Ghasideyeh gave sefid / Ballad of a White Cow (2020)
Iran, Maryam Moghadam (F), Behtash Sanaeeha
Ballad of a White Cow follows the story of the window of a wrongfully executed man, who unknowingly befriends the judge who sentenced her beloved to death. It is a slow-brooding morality play and character drama poking at Iranian laws and values, with a particular focus on misogyny and the death penalty that is unafraid to go some dark places.
Austria, Marie Kreutzer (F)
Corsage is a punk-retelling of the life of the iconic Empress Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary, better known as "Sisi", at the moment when she passes 40. The film plays fast and loose with history, and creates a vibrant and rebellious picture of a woman attempting to break free from the role she is forced into. Strengthened by an excellent performance from Vicky Krieps, this is a very different kind of "period film".
Große Freiheit / Great Freedom (2021)
Austria/Germany, Sebastian Meise
Great Freedom is a quiet, slow-burning and restrained look at life in captivity, stripping away everything except prison walls. The fantastic Franz Rogowski stars as a young to middle-aged gay man who for decades keeps being sentenced to prison under Paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexuality in East Germany. There is sorrow and melancholy throughout, but also a sense of acceptance, and possibly even the inability to function outside the walls. Years blend together, unusual friendships are forged, and the oppressive world our leads inhabit remains throughout it all.
Totsukuni no shôjo / The Girl from the Other Side (2022)
Japan, Yutaro Kubo
The Girl from the Other Side is a stunning indie animation that is reminiscent of Studio 4°C's Comedy and Mamoru Oshii's Angel's Egg. Based on a manga, director Kubo sculpts a magical realm that slowly reveals its secrets. The animation is a little limited, but the art style is magnificent, and the score is entrancing. The characters are both mysterious and loveable, their relationship both simple and complex.
Maryjki / Marygoround (2020)
Poland, Daria Woszek (F)
Marygoround is perhaps the most visually expressive film in the entire main slate. Half oversaturated, artificial depresso-realism, half neon nightmare it depicts an unhinged trip into a menopausal woman's psyche. We follow Maria, a 50-year-old, highly religious virgin working in a small grocery shop, who, as menopause hits start to get urges she never felt before. Mixing horror and deadpan comedy, this is a surprising and dynamic film that defies most labels.
Norway, Yngvild Sve Flikke (F)
Ninjababy is the tale of a fetus so sneaky that the mother-to-be only realizes she is pregnant when it is too late to get an abortion. Forced to carry the baby to term, after repeatedly screaming at the abortion clinic, the professionally wayward 20-something starts drawing and speaking to the imaginary version of the fetus, who of course takes the form of a small ninja whispering in her ear. This is the main-slate's only all-out comedy, and it's a wild ride.
Australia, Justin Kurzel
Nitram takes a look back at the lead up to the Port Arthur Massacre, the worst modern Mass Shooting in Australian history, and the catalyst for their gun laws. What sets it apart from other true story shooting movies is that it doesn't sensationalise the shooting (it all happens off-screen) but more looks at Martin Bryant's mindset that got him to that point The central performance from Caleb Landry Jones is impressive here, his brooding portrayal of a twisted individual makes for a riveting experience.
The Timekeepers of Eternity (2021)
Greece, Aristotelis Maragkos
The Timekeepers of Eternity is possibly the most unusual film in the main slate as it is actually a "remix film". It takes the 3-hour 1995 mini-series The Langoliers and strips away two-thirds, changes it to black and white, and adds effects and rips to the film as if the film was made of paper, and it's all being torn apart. Even so, it is a clear narrative and is a very tense viewing. We'll be particularly interested in what those who saw the original says here.
The unchosen movies were returned to the programmers and were used to help populate 10 minor slates of 4 movies each and their discussion threads can be found here:
Geographical Based Minor Slates (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, English-Language Independents): viewtopic.php?t=6673
Genre Based Minor Slates (Animation, Arthouse, Documentary, "Just Before Dawn", LGBTQ+): viewtopic.php?t=6674
Once again there is am accompanying podcast from our very own Talking Images team where regular hosts St. Gloede and filmbantha are joined by fellow programmers matthewscott8 and myself to discuss the movies featured here in the main slate.
(Links to come when podcast is released)
Complete iCMF-FF7 Film Lists
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/2023 ... f7/zzzorf/
https://letterboxd.com/zzzorf/list/2023 ... -icmf-ff7/