Ten Years of Film Movement
April 27–July 2
Founded in 2003 as a DVD-of-the-month club, New York-based distributor Film Movement has brought US audiences some of the most acclaimed and unique films from around the world. To celebrate Film Movement’s tenth anniversary, AFI Silver presents a selection of some of Film Movement’s most significant releases, drawn from across the past decade and including films by such innovative directors as Maren Ade, Götz Spielmann and Shane Meadows.
AFI Member passes will be accepted at all films in the Film Movement series.
The award-winning 2006 debut from Nic Balthazar, whose THE TIME OF MY LIFE was a fan favorite at the 2012 AFI European Union Film Showcase. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, teenager Ben (Greg Timmermans) is more at home playing his favorite online computer game than in the real world, where he must contend with the harassment of school bullies. Increasingly isolated and near despair, Ben is visited by beautiful fellow gamer Scarlite (Laura Verlinden), who advises Ben on a dangerous way to extract revenge on his tormentors. Is she really the real-world player behind the avatar in the game? Or a figment of Ben’s imagination?
DIR/SCR Nic Balthazar; PROD Burny Bos, Peter Bouckaert, Erwin Provoost, Michiel de Rooij. Belgium, 2006, color, 90 min. In Dutch with open captioning in English. NOT RATED
ADAM’S APPLES [Adams æbler]
Sat, Apr 27, 11:05 a.m.; Thu, May 2, 9:30
Fresh from prison, neo-Nazi Adam (Ulrich Thomsen), is sentenced to 12 weeks of community service at a country church. Ivan (Mads Mikkelsen), the priest charged with his reform, delusionally believes that he can get Adam to see the light. Asked to set one positive goal for his stay, Adam aims low and decides to bake an apple cake. But when the church’s prized apple tree comes under siege—first a murder of crows, then a plague of worms—Ivan takes it as a sign that his faith is being put to the test. A blackly comic biblical allegory from prolific Danish screenwriter and sometime director Anders Thomas Jensen (screenwriter, Susanne Bier’s IN A BETTER WORLD).
DIR/SCR Anders Thomas Jensen; PROD Mie Andreasen, Tivi Magnusson. Denmark/Germany, 2005, color, 94 min. In Danish with English subtitles. RATED R
THE BOTHERSOME MAN [Den brysomme mannen]
Sat, May 4, 12:00; Mon, May 6, 7:30
Forty-year-old Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurvaag) arrives in a strange city with no recollection of how he got there. He is assigned the perfect life: a good job, an apartment, even a wife. But before long, Andreas notices that something is off in this seeming paradise. He meets Hugo, who has found a crack in a wall. Maybe it leads to “the other side”? Hatching a plan to escape, will the two succeed before the authorities discover their plot? Filmmaker Jens Lien mulls the quiet desperation of modern Scandinavian life in this delightfully droll and razor-sharp satire.
DIR Jens Lien; SCR Per Schreiner; PROD Jørgen Storm Rosenberg. Norway/Iceland, 2006, color, 95 min. In Norwegian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, May 11, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, May 13, 9:20
Seventeen-year-old Kurdish refugee Bilal is caught trying to stow away on a barge from France to England and sent to an illegal immigrant compound. Intent on reuniting with his girlfriend in London, the headstrong Bilal starts training at the municipal pool run by swim coach Simon. Simon is impressed by Bilal’s spirit and dedication and dismayed at the legal system stacked against him. But if Bilal is planning to swim the English Channel, as Simon suspects, it could be deadly. Nominated for 10 César Awards; awarded the European Parliament’s prestigious LUX Prize for raising awareness of social issues.
DIR/SCR Philippe Lioret; SCR Emmanuel Courcol, Olivier Adam; PROD Christophe Rossignon. France, 2009, color, 110 min. In English, French and Kurdish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE GROCER’S SON [Le fils de l'épicier]
Committed urbanite and hard-edged Parisian Antoine (Nicolas Cazalé) must return to life in the country when he’s asked to take over the family’s grocery delivery truck following his father’s heart attack. He brings along his neighbor and crush, the lovely Claire (Clotilde Hesme), hoping the isolation of country life will bring them closer. Antoine’s gruff demeanor slowly melts as he takes his truck from village to village in the picturesque Rhône-Alpes countryside, realizing that just as people depend on his family’s truck, he needs people in his life, too. Sweetly engaging, the feature debut of documentarian Eric Guirado was a surprise hit at the French box office.
DIR/SCR Eric Guirado; SCR Florence Vignon; PROD Miléna Poylo, Gilles Sacuto. France, 2007, color, 96 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE VIOLIN [El violin]
Sat, May 18, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, May 19, 11:05 a.m.
“One of the most amazing Mexican films in many a year.” – Guillermo del Toro
Francisco Vargas' acclaimed debut feature melds compelling social consciousness with a moving and metaphorically rich folk music score. Set sometime in the not-too-distant past, and not too far away, a peasant guerrilla movement rises in response to a tyrannical regime, but is soon brutally suppressed. His fellow villagers forced into hiding in the hills, poor street musician Don Plutarco turns his violin into a Trojan Horse, playing folk songs to charm the local commandante, but only in order to access ammunition for the guerrillas. Best Actor for 81-year-old lead Don Ángel Tavira, in his screen debut, 2006 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard section.
DIR/SCR/PROD Francisco Vargas; PROD Ángeles Castro, Hugo Rodríguez. Mexico, 2005, color, 98 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE FOREST FOR THE TREES [Der Wald vor lauter Baümen]
Sat, May 25, 11:05 a.m.; Wed, May 29, 5:05
The debut film from writer/director Maren Ade, whose follow-up EVERYONE ELSE was a multiple-award winner in 2009. Idealistic and bursting with enthusiasm, Melanie says goodbye to her small-town home, loving parents and boyfriend for her first teaching job in the big city. There she finds herself contending with bratty students, jaded staffers and loneliness. She seeks out the friendship of her pretty neighbor Tina, and the two enjoy each other's company. But soon it's alarmingly apparent that Melanie doesn’t know where to draw the line. Special Jury Award, 2005 Sundance Film Festival; Best Feature, Best Actress, 2005 Newport Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Maren Ade; PROD Janine Jackowski. Germany, 2004, color, 81 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sun, May 26, 11:05 a.m.; Thu, May 30, 5:10
“A wise film, a dark film, a difficult film, but a rewarding one.” – Philip Kenicott, Washington Post
Three couples, residents of a drab highrise on the outskirts of a large city, are further connected by marriage, divorce and affairs. Exquisite performances and a refreshing intelligence distinguish this daring drama. “ANTARES is about love. Three stories about passion, jealousy, habit and violence. What people call love is the force that sets the emotional and physical experiences of the characters in motion. The film describes what produces this basic life energy, this mysterious force, how it drives or torments people, what it unleashes in terms of yearning and destruction, tenderness, fear, courage, and loneliness.” – director Götz Spielmann (REVANCHE).
DIR/SCR Götz Spielmann; PROD Wulf Flemming, Erich Lackner. Austria, 2004, color, 119 min. In English, German and Croatian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
DUE TO EXPLICIT SEXUALITY, NO ONE UNDER 18 ADMITTED.
MOTHER OF MINE [Äideistä parhain]
Mon, May 27, 9:10; Thu, May 30, 9:45
Nine-year-old Finn Eero is sent by his beloved mother to live on a remote farm in Sweden during World War II. Though his surrogate father is welcoming and warm, his surrogate mother is cold, and even cruel. As Eero tries to adjust to the culture and navigate his new surroundings, he feels increasingly alienated from everyone, until a touching confession from his surrogate mother changes everything. Opening Night Film, 2006 AFI European Union Film Showcase; Audience Award, 2006 Palm Springs Film Festival.
DIR Klaus Härö; SCR Jimmy Karlsson, Kirsi Vikman, from the novel by Heikki Hietamies; PROD Ilkka Matila. Finland/Sweden, 2005, b&w/color, 111 min. In Finnish and Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER [Как я провёл этим летом]
Fri, May 31, 2:00; Sun, Jun 2, 11:00 a.m.
On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station: the gruff and imposing Sergei and his inexperienced new partner, college grad Pavel. One day while alone, Pavel receives terrible news from headquarters intended for Sergei. Unable to disclose the news to his colleague, Pavel says nothing; when the truth finally comes out, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks and the merciless Arctic Sea. Best Film, 2010 London Film Festival; Best Actor (shared by leads Grigoriy Dobrygin and Sergei Puskepalis) and Best Cinematography, 2010 Berlin Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Alexei Popogrebsky; PROD Roman Borisevich, Aleksandr Kushaev. Russia, 2010, color, 130 min. In Russian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
A SCREAMING MAN [Un homme qui crie]
Fri, May 31, 4:20; Sat, Jun 1, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Jun 3, 9:05
Adam, a pool attendant, is forced to give up his job, leaving him humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile his country is in the throes of a civil war, with rebel forces attacking the government and the authorities demanding that people contribute to the “war effort” with money or volunteer work. Adam is constantly harassed for his contribution but is penniless. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret. Winner of the Jury Prize, 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun; PROD Florence Stern. France/Belgium/Chad, 2010, color, 92 min. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Tue, Jun 4, 7:15; Wed, Jun 5, 9:00
“Endlessly charming…witty and warmhearted, it's a feel-good movie that never seems forced.” – Aaron Hillis, The Village Voice
Shane Meadows (THIS IS ENGLAND) delivers his most charming film yet, an ode to odd-couple friendship and the power of imagination. Newly arrived in London from Nottingham, teen runaway Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) befriends Polish immigrant Marek (Piotr Jagiello), hiding out in his bedroom unbeknownst to Marek’s father. The two embark on a summer-long series of adventures, including the mutual wooing of beautiful French café waitress Maria (Elisa Lasowski), before their activities come to the attention of Marek’s father and mundane reality intrudes. Winner, Michael Powell Award for best new British feature film, 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
DIR Shane Meadows; SCR Paul Fraser; PROD Barnaby Spurrier. UK, 2008, b&w/color, 71 min. In English, Polish and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Jun 7, 12:20;
Sat, Jun 8, 11:10 a.m. (canceled); Tue, Jun 11, 5:15
Lucía Puenzo’s feature debut won her the top prize in Critics’ Week at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for this sensitive and unique portrait of adolescence. Although raised as a girl, 15-year-old Alex (Inés Efron) was born with both male and female sex organs, and on the verge of adulthood must make a defining choice. Her supportive parents (Ricardo Darín and Valeria Bertuccelli) invite a plastic surgeon to their summer home on an island off the Uruguayan coast, hoping that he can assist with Alex’s gender reassignment. But when Alex and the doctor’s teenage son Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky) become attracted to one another, matters are further complicated: Alvaro is confused about his own sexuality, and Alex may prefer to remain uniquely as she is.
DIR/SCR Lucía Puenzo, from the story "Cinismo" by Sergio Bizzio; PROD José María Morales, Luis Puenzo. Argentina/Spain/France, 2007, color, 86 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND [Kongen av Bastøy]
Sun, Jun 9, 11:05 a.m.; Mon, Jun 10, 7:00; Thu, Jun 13, 5:10
Based on a true story. In the Norway of 1915, juvenile offenders were sent to the Bastøy Boys Home on a rocky island in the Oslo fjord. Despite the moral rectitude of the reformatory’s governor (Stellan Skarsgård), the boys suffer under the cruel and exploitative rule of the prison guards, and are forced to perform backbreaking manual labor or suffer brutal punishment. Resisting this tyranny, 17-year-old Erling (Benjamin Helstad) plots to escape, setting events in motion for a violent conflict—first with the guards, and ultimately with the Norwegian Army.
DIR Marius Holst; SCR Dennis Magnusson, Eric Schmid; PROD Karin Julsrud. Norway/France/Sweden/Poland, 2010, color, 116 min. In Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
SHUN LI AND THE POET [Io sono Li]
Fri, Jun 28, 11:30 a.m.; Sat, Jun 29, 11:00 a.m.
An indentured servant indebted to the snakehead who brought her from China to Italy, Shun Li (Zhao Tao) is sent from her factory job outside of Rome to work in a pub in a small town along the Venetian Lagoon. There she strikes up an unlikely friendship with a Slavic refugee and fisherman named Bepi (Rade Serbedzija). United by a shared love of poetry, Shun Li and Bepi’s growing friendship attracts the disapproving eye of some within their immigrant community. Winner of the EU’s 2012 LUX Prize.
DIR/SCR Andrea Segre; SCR Marco Pettenello; PROD Francesco Bonsembiante, Francesca Feder, Nicola Rosada. Italy/France, 2011, color, 92 min. In Italian and Mandarin with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Presented in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute
Sun, Jun 30, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Jul 1, 1:00; Tue, Jul 2, 12:30