Another IFFR and about a 1000 movies to choose from. To make life easier, we compiled a list of the bookish movies of this year. You’ll find adaptations, movies inspired by important works and stories and of course biopics of famous German authors. So, here you have another list of movies you might want to see and you don’t have to slog through the long list of movies the IFFR is showing. Also, we’re not listing Inherent Vice, because you will want to see it anyway and it will be shown in all theaters after the festival as well. Enjoy our list and of course the festival!
Amour Fou tells the life story of German poet Heinrich Von Kleinst who is searching for the one. That is, the one to kill himself with. Thinking that love will conquer mortality, he asks all of his dates if they would die with him and one woman, Henriette Vogel, answers his call. A costume drama/biopic that you already know will end badly.
Another Trip to the Moon (Menuju rembulan)
This Indonesian movie is based on legends and absurdist science fiction. An odd, but interesting combination! The mythical heroine of the story is Ava, who flees from her powerful mother who is a seer. While living in the woods, she gets visited by a dog who turns out to be a man sent by her mother. The story brings Ava to a primitive forest and a modern day petrol station, blending the old style of the legends with modern day sci-fi.
The 13 min short consists of 6386 images and 6386 sound samples all related to the book Blindness by Jose Saramago and its adaptation. An experimental threat to your eyesight!
Docteur Jekyll et les Femmes
This movie is obviously inspired by Doctor Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, but it gets a Buñuel-type twist. Docteur Jekyll is the host of a strange dinner party during which he himself keeps disappearing. When he returns, he returns as his alter ego Mr. Hyde, ready to murder and defile the the women. Although this Polish movie is a horror-flick, there’s a lot of philosophy and feminism mixed in with it, that makes it a much more interesting experience than any regular slasher.
Die Geliebten Schwestern
And another costume drama about a German author! This time about Friedrich Schiller and how two sisters fell in love with him. Their love triangle will have to end badly for one of the sisters and their relationship, instead of Schiller’s pretty face and genius, is the center of this film.
Gentle is a retelling of the Dostoyevsky novella A Gentle Creature. The opening scene will pull you right in, showing how a young woman plunges to her death. The rest of the movie follows her husband who is trying to make sense of what happened to his beloved wife and how much he is to blame for this.
Guns and Talks
This Korean cult movie about philosophical guns for hire was an instant success. Four very kind hit men are asked to assassinate the lead actor during his performance of Hamlet, while the cops are inching closer to catching them. These guys are not your average killers though, as they give discounts to poor students, are all somewhat in love with a news anchor and enjoy having intelligent conversations. This film is a lot of talking, quirky dialogue and strange situations, while guns are still blazing.
The life of writers duo Xiao Hong and Xiao Jun is set against the back drop of 1930’s China. The many upheavals in that time inspired their work and the fight for women’s rights made way for Xiao Hong to have an actual career as a writer. Really focusing on Xiao Hong, the director has people who were important in her life speak directly to the camera to give the movie a biographical feel.
You will find Viggo Mortenson in more than one movie this IFFR, but Loin des Hommes deserves a mention in our list as it is based on a short story by Albert Camus. It’s a western, placed in Algeria just before their independence, all with a musical backdrop by Nick Cave.
Another retelling of Yotsuya Kaidan, a famous Japanese ghost story, but this time made by Miike Takashi. Although you might expect a lot of blood and gore from this director, Over Your Dead Body, is a calm and sinister version of the tale. It takes place on a stylistic stage and is combined with a minimalist soundtrack that will make the bloodiness at the end all the more violent.
Based on the erotic novel by Nakazawa Kei, who wrote the book When I Sense the Sea at the early age of 18. The story set in the 70’s is about a young girl who falls for an older student. He likes her, but only enough to sleep with her, which leads to all kinds of painful situations. The director of this movie used to make porn movies with a story, so expect steamy scenes.
The bestseller Hateshinaki Kawaki by Fukamachi Akio had completely passed me by, but apparently a good adaptation was long in the making. The extremely violent thriller follows an ex-detective with anger problems. When his daughter disappears, he follows her into the underground of teens using drugs, creepy pedophiles and the always scary Yakuza, only to find out that his cute daughter wasn’t all that innocent.