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Film Festival Favorites

Film Festival Favorites

THE RETURN

Andrey Zvyagintsev Russia, 2003

A master of seething family tensions, Andrei Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless) made waves right from the start with this auspicious debut film. Evocative of early Polanski, this haunting trip won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and marked him as a rising star of Russian cinema.

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OLLA

Ariane Labed France, 2019

After answering an ad on a dating website for Eastern European women, Olla leaves Ukraine and heads to French suburbia to move in with Pierre, who lives with his elderly mother. However, the suburbia cannot temper her desires, and nothing goes as expected.

CRYSTAL SWAN

Darya Zhuk Belarus, 2018

The exuberant and stylish debut from Belarusian director Darya Zhuk cares little for 90s nostalgia, and instead is suffused with vivid sympathy, wry humor, and a heartfelt touch. Equal praise is due Alina Nasibullina, who fully embodies a young woman’s desire to change her life. A winning film.

THE GRAND BIZARRE

Jodie Mack United States, 2018

From MUBI regular Jodie Mack comes a tour de force, sui generis globetrotting textile documentary in the form of a 16mm abstract animated (and musical!) feature. An entrancing experience that is as much about the creation and circulation of fabric as it’s about the pure pleasure of color and design.

AROUND THE WORLD WHEN YOU WERE MY AGE

Aya Koretzky Portugal, 2018

A parent and child meet across eras, countries, and memories in Aya Koretzky’s enchanting documentary about her Japanese father’s exceptional globetrotting adventures in the 1970s. As her father’s life blooms before the filmmaker, we see how, decades before, the world blossomed for the young man.

THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA

Trần Anh Hùng Vietnam, 1993

Vietnamese auteur Tran Anh Hung (Norwegian Wood) made one of the most enduring art-house hits of the 90s. Garnering the Camera d’Or at Cannes, a César for Best First Feature, and a Foreign Film Oscar nod, this exquisitely shot family drama makes poignant observations.

THE DAY HE ARRIVES

Hong Sang-soo South Korea, 2011

South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo presents a deceptively simple rumination on isolation and desire. With his typically receptive ear for remarkable conversations and luminous B&W cinematography, the inspiring director crafts pure cinema out of lonesome wanderings and astonishing chance encounters.

ASHES

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Thailand, 2012

Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul was challenged to make a short film with the unique hand-cranked film camera, the LomoKino. The result, Ashes, is something strange and special: part sideshow, part movie, part diary—all cinema.