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Thread: NEW DIRECTORS/ New films 2019

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    NEW DIRECTORS/ New films 2019



    FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD

    [Press release from FSLC]
    Celebrating its 48th edition in 2019, the New Directors/New Films festival introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. Throughout its rich, nearly half-century history, New Directors has brought previously little-known talents like Spike Lee, Chantal Akerman, Bi Gan, Valerie Massadian, Gabriel Mascaro, RaMell Ross, and Kelly Reichardt to wider audiences. From March 27 – April 7 at the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating a group of filmmakers who represent the present and anticipate the future of cinema: daring artists whose work pushes the envelope and is never what you’d expect. This year’s festival will introduce 24 features and 11 short films to New York audiences.

    Follow ND/NF on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

    The Opening, Closing, and Centerpiece selections are the New York premieres of three Sundance award-winners: opening the festival is Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency, which won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and features a masterful performance from Alfre Woodard as a prison warden grappling with her role in the justice system; Centerpiece is Alejandro Landes’s Monos, a contemporary reimagining of Lord of the Flies and winner of a World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Prize; and closing ND/NF is Pippa Bianco’s Share, a powerful portrait of a sexual assault victim, which took home U.S. Dramatic prizes for Breakthrough Performance and Screenwriting.

    The lineup also boasts top prizewinners from festivals around the world, including Yeo Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined, a sociopolitical noir set in mainland China (awarded Locarno’s Golden Leopard); cinematographer Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s stunning feature directorial debut Manta Ray, voted one of the best undistributed films of 2018 by Film Comment (and winner of Venice’s Orizzonti prize); Shengze Zhu’s Present.Perfect., a fascinating found-footage doc assembling live-streamed clips from marginalized voices (which took home Rotterdam’s Tiger Award); and two more Sundance winners—Tamara Kotevska & Ljubomir Stefanov’s wildly engaging beekeeping documentary Honeyland (World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize) and Luke Lorentzen’s exhilarating doc about family-run ambulances, Midnight Family (U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography).

    Among the first-time features are Lucio Castro’s End of the Century, a decades-spanning queer love story screening in its World Premiere; A Family Submerged, the feature directorial debut of actress María Alché (Lucrecia Martel’s The Holy Girl), shot by renowned cinematographer Hélène Louvart; Qiu Sheng’s Suburban Birds, a two-part narrative puzzle; Lila Avilés’s intimate portrait of a female hotel worker The Chambermaid; and Eva Trobisch’s All Good, which won Locarno’s Best First Feature prize and has drawn comparisons to Maren Ade. Making their fiction feature debuts are Ognjen Glavonić with The Load and André Novais Oliveira with Long Way Home.

    Additional highlights include several titles with distinct visual styles—Mark Jenkin’s Bait, shot on hand-processed black-and-white 16mm film, and Peter Parlow’s The Plagiarists, which uses low-def Betamax to spoof microbudget American indies—and hybrid films that defy categorization—Burak Cevik’s Belonging, a murder investigation told via voiceover, abstract imagery, and footage of the suspects’ first encounter, and Andrea Bussmann’s experimental narrative Fausto, which synthesizes Oaxacan myths with the classic Faust story. Also screening are four films with memorable performances: Philippe Lesage’s nuanced coming-of-age story Genesis; Camille Vidal-Naquet’s intimate character study of a gay hustler, Sauvage; Markus Schleinzer’s Angelo, about an African child sold into 18th-century Viennese court society, co-starring Alba Rohrwacher; and Sudabeh Mortezai’s Joy, about a Nigerian sex worker tasked with training a young recruit. Rounding out the lineup are two programs comprising 11 short films including Jacqueline Lentzou’s Hector Malot: The Last Day of the Year, winner of Best Short Film at Cannes Critics’ Week, and Malena Szlam’s Altiplano, screening on a 35mm print.

    “Demanding our attention and exemplifying the vitality of contemporary cine
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-10-2019 at 09:30 AM.

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    FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
    All films are digitally projected unless otherwise noted


    Opening Night
    *Clemency
    Chinonye Chukwu, USA, 2019, 113m
    Winner of the Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Chinonye Chukwu’s sophomore feature is an enthralling drama anchored by a powerhouse performance from the great Alfre Woodard. Bernadine (Woodard) is a prison warden whose psychic toll has been wrought by years working on death row, and which has caused tensions with her husband Jonathan (Wendell Pierce). After a harrowing botched procedure, her growing investment in the inmate who is next to be executed, Anthony (a mesmerizing Aldis Hodge), encourages her to take a long overdue look in the mirror… Clemency is an immersive, atmospheric film as well as a haunting, tough-minded inquiry into the dignity of work and the morality of capital punishment.



    Centerpiece
    *Monos
    Alejandro Landes, Colombia/Argentina/Netherlands/Germany/Sweden/Uruguay, 2019, 102m
    English and Spanish with English subtitles
    Monos, which won a Special Jury Award at Sundance is sure to be one of the most hotly debated films of 2019—one critic called it “Apocalypse Now on shrooms.” In Alejandro Landes’s intensely thrilling twist on Lord of the Flies, Julianne Nicholson plays a terrorized American engineer held captive by teenage guerilla bandits in an unnamed South American jungle. Leaderless and rootless, the child soldiers puff themselves up with names like Rambo, Smurf, and Bigfoot (the latter a brutal Moises Arias), and survive the tedium and predation of the wilderness through sexual games and cult-like rituals. As they wage physical and psychological warfare on perceived enemies—and, inevitably, among themselves—they are reduced to a state of desperate barbarism. The film’s sense of surreal menace is amplified by Mica Levi’s discordant soundscape and Jasper Wolf’s cinematography. A NEON release.




    Closing Night
    Share
    Pippa Bianco, USA, 2019, 87m
    A double prizewinner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Pippa Bianco’s unnerving feature debut is a profound and powerful examination of sexual assault and the increasingly volatile role the Internet plays in contemporary American society. Sixteen-year-old Mandy (a brilliant Rhianne Barreto) wakes up on her parents’ lawn with no recollection of where she’s been or how she got there. She is soon shown a cell-phone video in which she is undressed by a stranger while passed out at a party; the uncertainty of whatever followed (and produced the large bruise on her back) weighs on her as she struggles to figure out what to do next. A stylistically assured, engrossing mystery with real political and moral stakes, Share establishes Bianco as a bold and incisive new voice in American cinema. An HBO Films/A24 release.



    All Good / Alles ist Gut
    Eva Trobisch, Germany, 2018, 90m
    German with English subtitles
    Eva Trobisch’s poised and formally restrained feature directorial debut poses questions about how one can resist victimization following sexual assault. Does one attempt to move past it or confront the crime and trauma head on? Aenne Schwarz (Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe) delivers a gut-wrenching performance as a woman trying to stay composed as she deals with the aftermath of a nightmarish evening that leaves an unerasable scar and affects all aspects of her life. This Best First Feature winner from the Locarno Film Festival puts on raw display a woman’s fight for her own dignity and sanity. A Netflix release.



    Angelo
    Markus Schleinzer, Austria/Luxembourg, 2018, 111m
    French and German with English subtitles
    Based on historical fact, Angelo charts the career of an African slave sold into 18th-century Viennese court society. Captured as a young boy, Angelo becomes the pet project of a wealthy countess (Alba Rohrwacher), who carries out what she believes is her Christian duty to civilize him. As the years progress, Angelo rises to become her surrogate prodigal son and the beloved Court Moor of the Habsburg empire: the projection of every European fantasy of the noble savage. When an astonishing secret is exposed, Angelo is banished, leading to a horrifying, dehumanizing fate. Markus Schleinzer traces Angelo’s life with a clinical sobriety, but also with an artifice (painted sets, blackface, exoticizing costumes and dioramas, sudden contemporary intrusions) that serves to reinforce the idea of race as a persistent prejudicial construct.



    *Bait
    Mark Jenkin, UK, 2019, 99m
    North American Premiere
    A celebration of cinema as a physical medium, this delirious whatsit from Cornish director Mark Jenkin is quite unlike any feature film you’re likely to see this year. Martin (Edward Rowe) is a cove fisherman whose brother has started using their father’s boat to shuttle tourists, soon causing latent familial tensions—not to mention antagonisms between tourists and locals—to explode in ever-surprising fashion. Shot on tactile hand-processed black-and-white 16mm and unfolding with the staccato rhythms of avant-garde cinema, Bait marks a singular achievement: an idiosyncratic work of social realism fascinatingly pitched somewhere between documentary and political melodrama.

    *Belonging
    Burak Cevik, Turkey, 2019, 72m
    Turkish with English subtitles
    North American Premiere
    A murder investigation is flipped inside out in Burak Cevik’s second feature, a spellbinding and surprising work that questions whether we can ever truly understand criminal motives. We begin in the present, as two young murder suspects give statements to the police, their voices accompanying hauntingly vacant images of urban alienation and garish city lights; we then flash back to witness the first encounter between the two suspects, their mutual attraction and world-weariness emerging across a sleepless night and morning after. Cevik imbues the proceedings with a stylistic confidence and willingness to bend the conventions of cinematic form to arrive at a complex, gripping double meditation on love and death.

    The Chambermaid
    Lila Avilés, Mexico, 2018, 102m
    Spanish with English subtitles
    In her feature debut, theater director Lila Avilés turns the monotonous workday of Eve (Gabriela Cartol), a chambermaid at a high-end Mexico City hotel, into a beautifully observed film of rich detail. Set entirely in this alienating environment, with extended scenes taking place in the guest rooms, hallways, and cleaning facilities, this minimalist yet sumptuous movie brings to the fore Eve’s hopes, dreams, and desires. As with Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA, set in the same city, The Chambermaid salutes the invisible women caretakers who are the hardworking backbone of society. A Kino Lorber release.

    *End of the Century
    Lucio Castro, Argentina, 2019, 84m
    Spanish with English subtitles
    World Premiere
    An Argentinian man from New York and a Spanish man from Berlin hook up by chance while in Barcelona. What seems like a one-night encounter between two strangers (played by Juan Barberini and Ramón Pujol) becomes an epic, decades-spanning relationship, which Lucio Castro depicts in a nonlinear fashion, and in which time and space refuse to play by the rules. Castro’s inventive and enigmatic debut feature is consistently surprising, turning a love story into a cosmic voyage with no clear beginning or end.

    A Family Submerged
    María Alché, Argentina/Norway/Germany/Brazil, 2018, 91m
    Spanish with English subtitles
    Best known for her mesmerizingly obsessive performance in Lucrecia Martel’s The Holy Girl, the Argentine writer-director-photographer María Alché proves with A Family Submerged that she’s also a talent to reckon with behind the camera. Her debut film evokes the interior life of a middle-aged wife and mother of three (Mercedes Moran) who’s set adrift by the death of her sister. Though there are shades of Martel in Alché’s disorienting use of sound and fragmented narrative, the film’s hallucinatory mood and dreamlike interweaving of memory and experience are entirely her own. The passage of light itself—whether gently filtered through curtains or nakedly harsh—plays a central role in the family drama; in this, Alché benefited from the great cinematographer Hélène Louvart, who has also helped realize the visions of such auteurs as Agnès Varda, Wim Wenders, and Claire Denis. A Monument Releasing release.

    Fausto
    Andrea Bussmann, Mexico/Canada, 2018, 70m
    Spanish, English, French, and Arabic with English subtitles
    The legend of Faust mingles with local folklore in Andrea Bussmann’s strikingly original shape-shifter, which dissolves the boundaries between reality and myth, fiction and documentary, and the visible and invisible. Filmed on Mexico’s Oaxacan coast, Bussmann’s film introduces a host of Faustian characters whose interactions effectively exhume a history of colonization marked by magic and oppression alike. Full of aesthetic surprises—textured, low-light cinematography and unexpected combinations of sound and image—Fausto is a rich and beguiling investigation into the role that fiction plays in the construction of history.

    *Genesis
    Philippe Lesage, Canada, 2018, 130m
    French with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Following his autobiographical 2015 narrative debut The Demons, Philippe Lesage continues to chronicle the life of young Felix (Édouard Tremblay-Grenier), now diverging to capture the romantic trials and tribulations of two Quebecois teen siblings. While the charismatic, Salinger-reading Guillaume (Théodore Pellerin) wrestles with his sexual identity at his all-boys boarding school, the more ostensibly grown-up Charlotte (Noée Abita) discovers the casual cruelty of the adult world that awaits her post-graduation. Lesage and his young actors depict the aches of becoming oneself with nuance, honesty, and compassion, and the result is one of the most beautiful coming-of-age stories in years.

    Honeyland
    Tamara Kotevska & Ljubomir Stefanov, Macedonia, 2019, 85m
    Turkish with English subtitles
    In an abandoned Macedonian village, Hatidze tends to her precious bee colonies while also caring for her ailing elderly mother in their candlelit stone hut. The delicious, curative honey that Hatidze produces, known for miles around, is a labor of love, borne of patient sensitivity to the seasonal rhythms of nature and to the needs of her beehives. Suddenly, Hatidze’s life is upended by the invasion of thankless new neighbors: a clueless mother and a comically abusive father, with seven squalling, foulmouthed children; 150 head of cattle; and predatory bee colony in tow. Winner of this year’s World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Honeyland is an evocative, often outrageously funny modern-day parable of the Good Samaritan. A NEON release.

    Joy
    Sudabeh Mortezai, Austria, 2018, 99m
    English, Nigerian Pidgin, and German with English subtitles
    A staggering work of compassionate realism, Sudabeh Mortezai’s second fiction feature follows Joy (Joy Anwulika Alphonsus), a young Nigerian sex worker living in Vienna, struggling to simultaneously create a better life for her family and pay off her madame. Joy finds herself increasingly implicated in the vicious cycle of human trafficking, and when she is tasked by her madame with mentoring a teenage Nigerian girl, she begins to understand her role within this dehumanizing machine and consider the possibility of a life outside of it. Sensitive yet unsentimental, intelligent and viscerally affecting, Joy is a politically incisive work and a moral act. A Netflix release.

    A Land Imagined
    Yeo Siew Hua, France/Netherlands/Singapore, 2018, 95m
    English, Mandarin, and Bengali with English subtitles
    Winner of the top prize at last year’s Locarno Film Festival, Yeo Siew Hua’s third feature is a clever, evocative shape-shifter that begins as a kind of dreamy noir and ends up a sober, politically incisive work of social realism. First we follow gruff, disenchanted detective Lok (Peter Yu) as he searches for Wang (Liu Xiaoyi), a missing construction worker from mainland China. We’re then ushered back in time to see Wang’s life before his disappearance—and what had seemed a typical noir scenario instead turns out to be far more in line with reality as we know it today. A Netflix release.

    The Load
    Ognjen Glavonić, Serbia/France/Croatia/Iran/Qatar, 2018, 98m
    Serbian with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Ognjen Glavonić’s wintry road movie concerns a truck driver (Leon Lucev) tasked with transporting mysterious cargo across a scorched landscape from Kosovo to Belgrade during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. A companion piece to the director’s 2016 documentary Depth Two, The Load is a work of enveloping atmosphere that puts a politically charged twist on the highway thrillers it recalls: Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear and Williams Friedkin’s retelling, Sorcerer. The streamlined premise gives way to a slow-dawning reckoning, in which implications of guilt and complicity slowly but surely sink in. A Grasshopper Film release.

    Long Way Home / Temporada
    André Novais Oliveira, Brazil, 2018, 113m
    Portuguese with English subtitles
    The everyday takes on a profound and touching resonance in André Novais Oliveira’s sophomore feature. Juliana (an excellent Grace Passô) moves from her Brazilian hometown of Itaúnas to the larger and more sprawling Contagem to take a job within a public-health program combating the spread of dengue fever. While waiting for her husband to join her, she sets about making the rounds, inspecting people’s homes for mosquito hiding places and becoming acquainted with a new cast of characters who will lead her to look beyond her past and toward an uncertain future. A deft and deeply felt character study, Long Way Home establishes Oliveira as a great emerging talent of contemporary Brazilian cinema.

    *Manta Ray
    Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Thailand/France/China, 2018, 105m
    Thai with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    An impressive feature directorial debut by veteran cinematographer Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, this mysterious, intoxicating work centers on the friendship between a fisherman and the mute refugee he rescues from a swamp. After the fisherman disappears at sea, the refugee’s mourning is interrupted by the return of the fisherman’s ex-wife, and sure enough, the past bleeds inexorably into the present. A visionary take on the refugee parable, in which mystical elements disrupt the drudgery of everyday life, Manta Ray won the Orizzonti Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival.

    Midnight Family
    Luke Lorentzen, Mexico/USA, 2019, 81m
    Spanish with English subtitles
    In Mexico City, there are fewer than 45 government-run ambulances to serve the city’s population of nine million. Filling the void are family-run private “operations” (often little more than a single, beaten-down van), who race to the scene of an accident or a crime while also dodging police shakedowns, cutthroat competitors, and standstill traffic. Arguably the most exhilarating documentary to come out of Sundance this year, Midnight Family follows the Ochoa family—the gruff but compassionate Fer and his two underage sons, Juan and Josué—at intensely close range on these Sisyphean missions of mercy. Though their wages of fear bring the scarcest of financial rewards, the Ochoas persevere, knowing they alone can save the girl with the traumatic brain injury or the teenage victim of domestic abuse from tragic ends.

    *MS Slavic 7
    Sofia Bohdanowicz & Deragh Campbell, Canada, 2019, 64m
    North American Premiere
    In Sofia Bohdanowicz and Deragh Campbell’s clever comedy, a young woman (Campbell, a wryly hilarious leading lady) tasked with executing the estate of her great-grandmother, a renowned Polish poet, takes a trip to Harvard University to research a correspondence between her deceased relative and another poet who seems to have been her lover. What initially seems a purely scholarly investigation into her family’s literary history proves a lightning rod for the various disputes, resentments, and tensions bound up in the business of enhancing a family member’s legacy. Bohdanowicz and Campbell push the narrative in ever-amusing directions without relinquishing artistic restraint and delicacy of touch.

    Screening with:
    The Plagiarist / Les idées s’améliorent
    Léo Richard, France, 2018, 22m
    French with English subtitles
    North American Premiere
    A young researcher, whose job involves assigning a peculiar kind of metadata to randomly generated media, delves deeply into researching an elusive image.

    The Plagiarists
    Peter Parlow, USA, 2019, 76m
    North American Premiere
    Co-written by experimental filmmakers James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir, The Plagiarists is at once a hilarious send-up of low-budget American indie filmmaking and a probing inquiry into race, relationships, and the social uncanny. A young novelist (Lucy Kaminsky) and her cinematographer boyfriend (Eamon Monaghan) are waylaid by a snowstorm on their way to visit a friend in upstate New York and are taken in by the kindly yet enigmatic Clip (Michael “Clip” Payne of Parliament Funkadelic), who puts them up for the night. But an accidental discovery months later recasts in an unnerving light what had seemed like an agreeable evening, stoking resentments both latent and not-so-latent. Exhilaratingly intelligent and distinctively shot on a vintage TV-news camera, The Plagiarists is a work whose provocations are inseparable from its pleasures.

    Screening with:
    Levittown
    Nelson Bourrec Carter, USA/France, 2018, 13m
    U.S. Premiere
    The lull of a prototypical American suburb turns nightmarish while a man recites lines of dialogue that sound oddly familiar.

    *Present.Perfect.
    Shengze Zhu, USA/Hong Kong, 2019, 124m
    Mandarin with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Shengze Zhu’s third feature shines a light on the curious world of live streaming, a singularly contemporary form of human connection and commerce wherein “anchors” document their lives and interact with a virtual audience. Cobbled together from 800 hours of live-streaming footage, Present.Perfect. advances a fascinating documentary portrait of Chinese society by focusing on the most marginalized of these anchors: a chain-smoking burn victim, an uncoordinated street dancer, a man with growth-hormone deficiency, a cattle farm worker, and many others. What emerges is an indelible vision of the world we live in today, when the boundaries between the real and the virtual have never been more porous.

    Sauvage / Wild
    Camille Vidal-Naquet, France, 2018, 99m
    French with English subtitles
    Seething with a feral energy that masks genuine tenderness, Camille Vidal-Naquet’s feature debut took the 2018 Critics’ Week at Cannes by storm. Anchored by a piercing, peripatetic lead performance by Félix Maritaud, Sauvage makes vivid a gay street hustler’s knife’s-edge existence. Both brutal and brutalized, sweet and savage, Maritaud’s prostitute roams from john to john in search of a fix (in the form of sex, drugs, and possibly even love), desperate for both intimacy and freedom, destabilized but ultimately resilient. The intimacies of male bodies both connected and colliding is sensitively captured by cinematographer Jacques Girault, guided by Vidal-Naquet’s assured direction. A Strand Releasing release.

    Suburban Birds
    Qiu Sheng, China, 2018, 118m
    Mandarin with English subtitles
    North American Premiere
    Qiu Sheng’s feature debut is an entrancing, enigmatic work in which multiple plotlines run tantalizingly in parallel before intersecting in surprising ways. In one, a team of surveyors tries to figure out why a suburban landscape seems to be subsiding before construction on a new transit begins, sparking politically charged tensions among the group. Meanwhile, a gang of children loiter and set out on youthful adventures, until one of them disappears… Adopting a subtly radical approach to exploring memory (and forgetting) and rich with visual ideas, Suburban Birds promises a major new voice in Chinese cinema. A Cinema Guild release.a24

    New Directors/New Films FSLC website
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-15-2019 at 09:50 PM.

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    New Directors/New Films 2019
    Coming reviews.
    This week.

    FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD

    Full ND/NF schedule

    1

    Bait
    Mark Jenkin, UK, 2019, 89m
    North American Premiere

    Mark Jenkin’s tale of tensions between two brothers in a Cornish fishing village is an idiosyncratic work of social realism (shot on hand-processed black-and-white 16mm) fascinatingly pitched somewhere between documentary and political melodrama.

    Present.Perfect.
    Shengze Zhu, USA/Hong Kong, 2019, 124m

    Mandarin with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Shengze Zhu’s third feature shines a light on the curious world of live-streaming, a singularly contemporary form of human connection and commerce wherein “anchors” document their lives and interact with a virtual audience.

    MS Slavic 7
    Sofia Bohdanowicz & Deragh Campbell, Canada, 2019, 64m

    North American Premiere
    In Sofia Bohdanowicz and Deragh Campbell’s clever comedy, a young woman (Campbell) visits Harvard University to research a correspondence between her great-grandmother (a renowned Polish poet) and another poet who seems to have been her lover.

    Preceded by:
    Misericórdia
    Xavier Marrades, Brazil/Spain, 2019, 21m

    Portuguese with English subtitles
    World Premiere
    Filmed around Brazil's Itaparica Island, this oneiric documentary evokes the rich, complicated ancestry of Bahia—considered the African heart of Brazil—through the dreams of its present-day inhabitants.

    2

    Monos
    Alejandro Landes, Colombia/Argentina/Netherlands/Germany/Sweden/Uruguay, 2018, 102m

    English and Spanish with English subtitles
    New York Premiere
    In Alejandro Landes’s intensely thrilling twist on Lord of the Flies, Julianne Nicholson plays a terrorized American engineer held captive by teenage guerilla bandits in an unnamed South American jungle. A Sundance award-winner, Monos is sure to be one of the most hotly debated films of 2019.

    Manta Ray
    Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Thailand/France/China, 2018, 105m

    Thai with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Cinematographer Phuttiphong Arronpheng’s auspicious directorial debut is a mysterious, intoxicating work that centers on the friendship between a fisherman and the mute refugee he rescues from a swamp.

    End of the Century
    Lucio Castro, Argentina, 2019, 84m

    Spanish with English subtitles
    World Premiere
    What seems like a one-night encounter between two strangers becomes an epic, decades-spanning relationship, which filmmaker Lucio Castro depicts in a nonlinear fashion, and in which time and space refuse to play by the rules.

    3

    Clemency
    Chinonye Chukwu, USA, 2019, 113m

    New York Premiere
    Winner of the Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Chinonye Chukwu’s sophomore feature is an enthralling prison-set drama anchored by powerhouse performances by Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge.

    Genesis
    Philippe Lesage, Canada, 2018, 130m

    French with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Following his autobiographical 2015 debut The Demons, Philippe Lesage continues to chronicle the life of young Felix (Édouard Tremblay-Grenier), and also captures the romantic trials and tribulations of two Quebecois teen siblings; the result is one of the most beautiful coming-of-age stories in years.

    Belonging
    Burak Cevik, Turkey, 2019, 72m

    Turkish with English subtitles
    North American Premiere
    A murder investigation is flipped inside out in Burak Cevik’s second feature, a spellbinding and surprising film concerning the first encounter of a young couple accused of murder.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-10-2019 at 01:07 PM.

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    First New Directors/New Films 2019 reviews:

    BAIT (Mark Jenkin 2019).

    Hand-developed Bolex 16mm. UK feature debut defense of Cornish fishermen against gentrification. If the editing gets your goat, you might still like the antiqued box-format B&W look. From the @berlinale.

    Showtimes: March 29 - 6:30 PM; March 30 - 12:45 PM

    PRESENT. PERFECT. (Shengze Zhu 2019).

    A two-hour-plus documentary of a limited aspect of live-streaming in China. Empowerment and "Fame" of a sort for the lost and talent-less millions. You know. The internet.

    Showtimes: March 30 - 5:30 PM; March 31 - 12:00 PM

    MS SLAVIC 7 (Sofia Bohdanowicz, Deragh Campbell (2019).

    From Canada, an intellectual drama based on personal experience about poetic Polish ancestors and jealous aunts. Some nice raw material here for a drama about document analysis, snail mail, love.

    Showtimes: March 30 - 8:30 PM;April 1 - 6:30 PM
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-13-2019 at 06:09 PM.

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    Links to three more reviews of coming New Directors/New Films features.

    MONOS (Alejandro Landes 2018)

    From 38-year0old Brazilian-born Alejandro Landes, a stunning, totally involving story of teenage soldiers run amok in a remote mountain and jungle region of South America. like a mashup of Apocalypse Now and Lord of the Flies. It also made me think of Carlos Reygadas and Lisandro Alonso.

    Showtimes: March 30, 6:00 PM; March 31, 6:00 PM

    MANTA RAY/KRABEN RAHU (Phuttiphong Aroonpheng 2018)

    A many-layered, haunting debut from the Thai cinematographer turned director about a fisherman of dubious background who rescues a starving, half-dead and mute Royhinga refugee from a mangrove swamp.

    Showtimes: March 29,9:00 PM; March 30, 3:15 PM

    END OF THE CENTURY/FIN DE SIGLO (Lucio Castro 2019)

    Two gay men from Argentina meet and hook up in Barcelona. Then it turns out they did this twenty years ago. Or more. World Premiere.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-13-2019 at 06:08 PM.

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    CLEMENCY (Chinonye Chokwu 2019)

    Likely to be the most mainstream-known of this year's series, this one provides a powerhouse performance by Else Woodard as the warden of a prison where she has too often had to oversee executions by lethal injection and the latest one looks like it will finish her. Dramatizes the immense burden the death penalty imposes on everyone.

    GENESIS/GENÈSE (Philippe Lesage 2018)

    Continuation of the French Canadian director's autobiographical recreation of his youth, moving on to adolescence and first efforts at romance Suffers from too much diffuseness (is it really about anybody?) but has a star in the already experienced and very confident Théodore Pellerin.

    BELONGING/AIDIYET (Burak Çevek: 2019)

    Conceptual Turksh noir begins with the dry description of the amateurish, half-botched murder of a young woman's parents and morphs into her first romantic evening and nice Turkish morning after breakfast with her future husband and accomplice.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2019 at 05:30 PM.

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    ANGELO (Markus Schleinzer 2018)

    Based on a real person, the story of an African slave who becomes an exotic pet of the Hapsburg Court in 18th-century Austria. Beautiful and very weird, by the casting director of Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl, who follows the same austere school, and whose first film was about a pedophile.

    FAUSTO (Andrea Bussmann 2018)

    Bussmann blends philosophy, the occult, and folklore in a series of stories or interviews, often at night, along the Oaxaca coast of Mexico

    HONEYLAND (Tamara Kotovsk, Ljubomir Stefanov 2018)


    HONEYLAND/ Медена Земја is a three-year observational documentary about an unmarried woman in rural Macedonia whose wild honey raising is spoiled by new neighbors. A simple but rich tale.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2019 at 07:21 PM.

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    MIDNIGHT FAMLY (Luke Lorentzen 2019)

    Another high-profile item of the New Directors series, winner of the Sundance Documentary Cinematography award for its striking images of the Ochoas, who man a private ambulance in Mexico City. There are only 45 municipal ambulances for over nine million people, so the private, not exactly legal ones try to make money filling the gap. It ain't easy. An exciting, sad, and highly entertaining film. Lorentzen worked alone in the vehicle with the team on many long nights, shot alone with two cameras, and did his own editing. He's young.

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    THE LOAD/TERET (Ognjen Glavonić 2018)

    A man drives a mysterious truckload during the Kosovo bombing, 1999, hinting at moral complicity in an atrocity. Relentlessly unfun but intelligent, handsomely crafted, and with glimmers of hope from a new generation. But the conceit seems heavy-handed despite the well-crafted minimalism. Feature debut; he made a doc about the actual atrocity.

    Now showing in France. AlloCiné 3.0 (not fabulous).

    New Directors/New Films showtimes:
    April 3, 8:45 PM; April 4, 6:30 PM
    U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Ognjen Glavonić on April 3 & 4
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-20-2019 at 03:32 PM.

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    TEMPORADA/LONG WAY HOME (André Novais Oliveira 2018).


    A middle-aged woman of color moves away for a new job in suburban Brazil and patiently makes her way. A triumph of the quotidian. A remarkable little film that embodies many of the qualities of small indie Latin American films but has a quality of its own.

    ND/NF Showtimes; March 31, 3:15 PM; April 2, 8:45 PM
    New York Premiere · Q&As with André Novais Oliveira on March 31 & April 2

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    FILMLEAF ND/NF FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD

    New Directors/New Films begins Wednesday, March 27.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-22-2019 at 05:03 PM.

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    SUBURBAN BIRDS (Qiu Sheng 2018)

    This two-layered feature of young surveyors studying a sinking Chinese landscape and preteens playing and singing communist songs seems too cool for its own good. But then it becomes haunting and engaging. Watch this guy. From Locarno, naturally.

    Showtimes: March 31, 3:00 PM; April 2, 8:45 PM
    North American Premiere · Q&As with Qiu Sheng on March 31 & April 2

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