Posts Tagged ‘Street Days’

Rotterdam 2010 Preview: VPRO Tiger Awards

January 22, 2010

The Rotterdam International Film Festival introduced the VPRO Tiger Awards in 1995. Each year, three prizes are awarded to filmmakers for their first or second film. Winners have included Lou Ye (Suzhong River) and Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy). In contention this year are a host of deadly serious films, tackling family relationships, leave-taking of many stripes and that old stand-by sex … often in the raw and ragged manner of contemporary cinema. The contenders also comprise a tour of emerging cinemas from Costa Rica to Georgia.

Agua fría de mar (Cold water of the Sea)

The pitch: A couple looking to sell their property on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast meet a seven-year-old stray.
Their lives are changed forever? Well, the tot certainly throws emotions and class boundaries into sharp relief in Paz Fabrega’s debut feature.

Alamar (To the Sea)

The pitch: A young man goes on a fishing trip with his father in the Caribbean’s Chinchorro reef.
Lots of booze and marlin to be had? It’s certainly an exercise in male bonding. Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s documentary approach to his story means the egrets get as much attention as the relationships.

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Rotterdam 2010 Preview: Bright Futures, Part 2

January 20, 2010

The second half of the Bright Futures slate at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival is dominated by homecomings. Documentary filmmakers go back to their roots to perform their investigations into history both personal and political. Sometimes it’s the dislocation which throws the contradictions of society into sharp relief. With all this brow-furrowing going on, it’s a relief to find some old stand-bys like the British comedy of embarrassment and a coming-of-age-among-the-tulips tale. The IRFF runs between January 27 and February 7. Oxygen tents will be available after the screening of The Sentimental Engine Slayer.

Mijn Enschede

The pitch: In 2000, the Dutch city of Enschede was ripped apart by a deadly fireworks factory explosion. Native filmmaker Astrid Bussink revisits the scene.
There’s still some fallout? It’s a personal journey of sorts. Bussink left the city the day the factory blew up. Since then she’s won awards for short documentaries like The Angelmakers and brought her first feature, The Lost Colony, to Rotterdam in 2008. Living within spitting distance of the memorial, the film filters the question of who’s to blame through her efforts at understanding.

Nuit Bleue

The pitch: Another story of return. Corsica is seen through the eyes of a homecoming expat, which reveal its patriarchal social structure and beautiful landscape.
I’ll book my vacation soon. It’s not all Lonely Planet eye-candy. Artist Ange Leccia has branched out into film to experiment with sound. There’s no dialogue anywhere in the film.
Immersive! The notes, however, do promise Serge Gainsbourg’s “Ne dis rien” on the soundtrack.
That’s funny. In the Bright Futures sidebar, you take your laughs where you can find them.

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Trailerama: Quchi Dgeebi (Street Days)

November 16, 2009

This new film from Georgia is both gangland drama and broad allegory about the country’s tremulous relationship with its Russian neighbor. Bereft junkie Checkie is given an offer he can’t refuse. Hook a politician’s young son on drugs … or else. The sporadic beatings are leavened by the occasional musical number. From director Levan Koguashvili.