The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, “though reasonably august itself in its 47th year, has a reputation as one of the ‘youngest’ festivals on the scene in terms of its audience and programming focus,” notes Guy Lodge at In Contention. “That’s easy enough to see on the ground here: where the lofty likes of Cannes are largely inaccessible to movie fans, hordes of students and backpackers descend on the dainty Czech spa town during the weeks of the festival to do some serious film-watching…. That youthful energy has made Karlovy Vary the perfect place for US trade paper Variety to curate what has become one of the festival’s most popular annual strands: the 10 European Directors To Watch program.” This year’s list:
- Geoffrey Enthoven, Come As You Are (Belgium)
- Tim Fehlbaum, Hell (Germany)
- Ignacio Ferreras, Wrinkles (Spain)
- Njec Gazvoda, A Trip (Slovenia)
- Tom Kingsley and Will Sharpe, Black Pond (UK)
- Magnus Martens, Jackpot (Norway)
- Sacha Polak, Hemel (The Netherlands)
- Anne-Grethe Bjarup Rils, This Life: Some Must Die, So Others Can Live (Denmark)
- Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson, Either Way (Iceland)
- Timo Vuorensola, Iron Sky (Finland)
Among the highlights for Guy this year is Joachim Lafosse’s Our Children, “a film that stoops neither to earnest hand-wringing nor disingenuous shock-raking in its methodical, carefully considered anatomy of an appalling domestic tragedy. The film is closely drawn from, but doesn’t directly document, the global headline-making case of Genevieve Lhermitte, the married, middle-class Belgian woman who killed her five young children with a carving knife before attempting suicide. If that sounds like something you’d rather not see, the act—alluded to in the otherwise strictly linear film’s prologue—is kept cleanly but devastatingly off-screen; the near two-hour psychological build-up to it is punishing enough.” Earlier: Reviews from Cannes.
For Cineuropa, Domenico La Porta reviews Hüseyin Tabak’s Your Beauty is Worth Nothing…, “the moving tale of immigrants trying to integrate, as seen and lived by a child.” At the Playlist, Jessica Kiang is disappointed in István Szabó‘s The Door, featuring Helen Mirren and Martina Gedeck, though she does get some good quotage from Mirren. And Meredith Brody‘s been posting dispatches to Thompson on Hollywood: Days 1, 2, 3, and 4. The festival’s on through Saturday.
In other news. “Chris Fujiwara gave us a superb reinvention in EIFF 2012,” Leslie Hills, chair of the board of the Edinburgh International Film Festival tells Screen Daily‘s Sarah Cooper, who reports that Fujiwara has agreed to serve as artistic director for another three years. One of the highlights of this year’s edition for David Cairns was the Gregory La Cava retrospective. At MUBI’s Notebook, he reviews the “pretty fascinating” Private Worlds (1935), which plays “like a rehearsal for Minnelli’s The Cobweb.”
For further mid-summer browsing, let me recommend the Film Doctor.