Friday, April 24, 2009

48th La Semaine de la Critique Lineup

The following are the 7 films in competition at the Critics’ Week that will run from May 14 to 22.

*Adieu Gary (aka Adieu Gary Cooper), Nassim Amaouche, France, 2009
When their factory is closed down, some irreducible people stay to live in the factory city where they've been spending all their lives. A group of them also keeps going to work, to repair the machinery.
La chronique de la vie d'une cité ouvrière à travers le destin de différents personnages.

Altiplano, Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands, 2009
War photographer Grace, devastated after a violent incident in Iraq, renounces her profession. Her Belgian husband, Max, is a cataract surgeon working at an eye clinic in the high Andes of Peru. Nearby, the villagers of Turubamba succumb to illnesses caused by a mercury spill from a local mine. Saturnina, a young woman in Turubamba, loses her fiancé to the contamination. Ignorant of its true source, the villagers turn their rage on the foreign doctors, and in the ensuing riot Max is killed. Grace sets out on a journey of mourning to the place of Max’s death. Saturnina takes drastic measures to protest against the endless violations towards her people and her land. Grace and Saturnian’s destinies merge. Altiplano is a lyrical and probing film about our divided but inextricably linked world. (Must be seen for me, starring Magaly Solier (Madeinusa and La Teta Asustada) and Jasmin Tabatabai (Fremde Haut - Unveiled), great cast!) Movie Site

*Huacho, Alejandro Fernández Almendras, Chile, France and Germany, 2009
On a long day at the end of summer, four members of a southern Chilean peasant family struggle to adapt to the changing world in which they live in, a world where a video game or a new dress can be as precious as a liter of milk or a glass of wine. A new, global world where boundaries between tradition and modernity are fading and values are quickly changing. Movie Info

*Lost Persons Area, Caroline Strubbe, Belgium, 2009
Bettina and Marcus, a passionate couple, live in a canteen in the middle of a vast field with endless lines of pylons. Marcus, trying to set up his own business, works as a foreman in the maintenance of these power-lines. Bettina, bored and longing for a better life, runs the canteen for the workingmen. Their nine-years-old daughter Tessa, wanders the industrial area, looking for bits and pieces to occupy her mind, skipping school whenever she can. When Marcus hires a Hungarian engineer Szabolcs to become part of his company, their unconventional way of living takes a new turn. A tragic accident although will shatter everyone’s pursuit of happiness. Movie Site

*Mal Dia Para Pescar (Bad Day to Go Fishing), Alvaro Brechner, Uruguay and Spain, 2009
Two misfits travel around off-track beaten-up South American towns organizing wrestling exhibitions; Orsini, -a businessman who calls himself "the Prince"- and his protégé Jacob van Oppen –a former world champion and uncontrollable titan- that can only be appeased by the soft soothing melody of Lily Marlene. Based on a short story by renowned writer Juan Carlos Onetti. Movie Site

*Ordinary People, Vladimir Perisic, Serbia and France, 2008
Early morning. A bus is carrying seven soldiers to an unknown destination. Among them is 20-year-old Dzoni, a recent recruit who has trouble fitting in. They arrive at an abandoned farm in the middle of a field. Disturbed by the mystery surrounding their mission, Dzoni attempts unsuccessfully to find out what is expected of them. The long wait begins, beneath a scorching sun. A bus arrives, carrying a group of frightened men. The unit commander explains that these prisoners are the enemy. The seven soldiers, who have been waiting uneasily, sense they will soon have to go into action…

*Sirta la gal ba (Whisper with the Wind), Shahram Alidi, Irak, 2009
Mam is a postman like no other who for many years has traveled among the mountainous villages of Iraqi Kurdistan recording and delivering people’s messages. One day, a guerrilla commander asks him to record his newborn child’s first cry. Mam sets off to find the commander’s village and, once there, is informed that all the children in the area, as well as the commander’s pregnant wife, have been evacuated to a far-off valley. Mam at once heads out for the valley.

Special Screenings

Opening Film: Rien de Personnel, Mathias Gokalp, France
The company Muller organizes a gala for the launching of a new product. During the evening, we discover that it is actually a coaching exercise for the managers. Gradually, rumors start about the company selling and everybody starts trying to secure their jobs.

Godfathers’s Movie (Gifted directors of the new Spanish genre cinema)
Hierro, Gabe Ibañez, Spain (Elena Anaya is here...)
While traveling by ferry to the island of El Hierro, Maria’s young son Diego goes missing. Has he fallen overboard? Has he been abducted? Nobody knows. Diego simply vanished. Six months later, as Maria is fighting to overcome the pain of her loss, to pick up the pieces of her life and start over again, she receives an unexpected telephone call. A child’s body has been discovered and she has to return to El Hierro. On the island, a strange and threatening landscape, populated by sinister, malevolent looking characters, Maria is forced to confront her worst nightmares. As she travels along the terrible path that will lead to her son, Maria will ultimately make that most unbearable discovery of all: that some mysteries are better left unrevealed.

Update: As expected, today April 28th, la Semaine de la Critique announced the 10th film in their selection; the film will screen as Sprecial Screening.

Lascars (Round da Way), Albert Pereira-Lazaro & Emmanuel Klotz, France, 2009 (Animation) Movie Site

*Films competing for the Camera d’Or Prize (1st films)

To check the short and medium length films in competition and special screenings, that include the closing night short films, please go here and to browse the parallel Cannes section site go here.

As we know the Selection has reruns allover the world and for those living nearby here are the dates.

Corsica, France – May 26 to 30
Paris, France – June 4 to 7
Rome, Italy – June 5 to 9
Beirut, Lebanon – July 6 to 15
Morelia, Mexico (only the feature films) – October 3 to 11 at the Morelia International Film Festival
Sao Paulo, Brazil (only short films) August 20-28 at the Sao Paulo Internationa Short Film Festival
Lima, Peru (4 feature films) Beginning of August at the Festival de Lima

The pic is the official poster for this year and for the first time all posters I have seen look like if the used stills from movies, which I believe is more appropriate for a fest of this magnitude where so many great films have been screened.

I just read that on April 28 the section will announce the last full feature that will be screened as part of the Selection, so I'll be checking to update accordingly.

No comments yet