Sections of 50th KVIFF
- Official Selection - Competition
- Official Selection - Out of Competition
- East of the West - Competition
- Forum of Independents - Competition
- Documentary Films - Competition
- Special Events
- Another View
- Variety Critics’ Choice
- Midnight Screenings
- Czech Films 2014–2015
- Documentary Films - Out of Competition
- Tribute to Larisa Shepitko
- A Week of Lebanese Cinema
- Six Close Encounters
- Out of the Past
- Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers To Follow
- Prague Short Film Festival Presents
Directed by: Radu Jude
Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, 2015, 108 min
Wallachia 1835: a hired constable and his son set out in search of an escaped Gypsy slave.… A black-and-white “Eastern” exploring Romania’s collective memory. New Wave director Radu Jude’s third motion picture took the Silver Bear for direction at the Berlinale.
All About Them
Vše o těch třech /
À trois on y va
Directed by: Jérôme Bonnell
France, 2015, 86 min
Charlotte and Micha are in love and have decided to buy a house together. But for some time now Charlotte has been cheating on her boyfriend with his old acquaintance Mélodie. Although Micha doesn’t suspect anything he feels a bit neglected, so he starts cheating on Charlotte – with Mélodie as well. They’re all lying to each other but none of them wants to hurt anyone. The appeal of this provocative and witty comedy lies in its ability to balance suspense, humor, and melancholy.
Directed by: Małgorzata Szumowska
Poland, 2015, 90 min
Solitude has a myriad forms, as do the attempts to escape it. Olga opts for self-destructive anorexia, her father chooses the bottle, and the unconventional therapist who's supposed to help them believes in the hereafter. This family drama about the difficulty of coming to terms with the loss of someone close won Best Director at the Berlinale.
The Brand New Testament
Zbrusu Nový zákon /
Le tout nouveau testament
Directed by: Jaco Van Dormael
Luxembourg, France, Belgium, 2015, 113 min
God is alive and he’s in a Brussels apartment devising a malicious plot against humanity. Well, there’s nothing left for it: his innocent and, as yet, unknown daughter will have to rebel against Him by finding six new apostles. In his playfully surrealistic comedy, director Jaco Van Dormael returns to filmmaking in top form.
Záložník z Talleres /
El 5 de Talleres
Directed by: Adrián Biniez
Argentina, Uruguay, 2014, 100 min
Patón is happily married and the captain of the local football squad, but at the age of thirty-five his career has come to an end. A gently comic story about how difficult it can be to make important decisions, even if you’ve got a loving family and devoted team-mates by your side. With its laid back affability and wisdom, the film draws us into a world of quiet heroes.
Directed by: Pablo Larraín
Chile, 2015, 97 min
A group of several old men and one woman in passionate discussion – what do they have in common? Besides loving their pet dog and having an interest in dog races, there’s also their common living arrangement, a few sins, and excommunication from the Catholic Church. For his uncompromising and provocative film, Pablo Larraín rightfully took the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin IFF.
Directed by: Chaitanya Tamhane
India, 2014, 116 min
An ambitious effort from a 28-year-old Indian director that won two awards at the Venice IFF in 2014. With its finely spun drama and modern narrative, the film follows an absurd trial unfolding in contemporary Mumbai, while completely overturning the courtroom film canon in the process. In its theme of power and powerlessness Tamhane’s debut reaches far beyond the borders of India.
Špinavý prachy /
Directed by: Michaël R. Roskam
USA, 2014, 107 min
In this contemporary, wonderfully cast crime drama, Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini star respectively as the tender and manager of a bar that serves as a collection drop where New York gangsters temporarily store their ill-gotten gains. But there’s one thing that should never happen: allowing yourself to get robbed. The hardball, English-language debut of talented Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead).
The High Sun
Directed by: Dalibor Matanić
Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, 2015, 123 min
Ivan and Jelena (1991), Nataša and Ante (2001), Luka and Marija (2011) – three different decades, three stories. He’s a Croat and she’s from a Serbian family. Using the same actors in each case (Tihana Lazović and Goran Marković) and aided by Marko Brdar’s captivating lensing, Matanić tells three tales of fragile love in an environment beset by ethnic intolerance. Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, Cannes 2015.
Hladová srdce /
Directed by: Saverio Costanzo
Italy, 2014, 109 min
The marriage of a New York couple starts to fall apart after the birth of a child who seems to exhibit supernatural powers. A psychological thriller reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby that excels for its detailed character portrayal, shifting tension and fine performances from the two leads, who both won awards at Venice IFF.
Skrytá vada /
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
USA, 2014, 148 min
Paul Thomas Anderson, a regular Academy Award contender, is the first filmmaker in the world to have the courage to tackle one of Thomas Pynchon’s multilayered novels. The drug-drenched noir story of Inherent Vice – featuring Joaquin Phoenix and music by Jonny Greenwood – is in many ways reminiscent of Anderson’s smash Boogie Nights.
Land and Shade
Země a stín /
La tierra y la sombra
Directed by: César Augusto Acevedo
Colombia, Chile, Netherlands, France, Brazil, 2015, 97 min
A slow-paced, visually powerful drama set in rural Colombia about a farmer who returns home late in life. Land and Shade, young filmmaker César Augusto Acevedo’s feature debut, premiered during this year’s Critics’ Week at the Cannes festival, where it took two awards.
Poslední léto /
Directed by: Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli
Italy, 2014, 94 min
Naomi has four days to say goodbye to her son after a court grants custody to the boy’s European father. Their meeting takes place on a yacht owned by her ex-husband’s family, and the crew is instructed to keep an eye on the woman. But as a mother she tries to reconnect with her son, whom she won’t be seeing for years. This portrayal of an attempt to renew fragmented bonds within the boat’s confined quarters brims with stylistic elegance, allowing for a shining performance from Japanese star Rinko Kikuchi, who appeared in Babel.
Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Netherlands, 2015, 118 min
Directed by: Gaspar Noé
France, Belgium, 2015, 134 min
After features that fairly worshiped at the altar of brutality, Gaspar Noé decided to make a movie about love. A true violator of form and content, he of course conceived of this particular emotion in his own inimitable way, embracing explicit sex as the key. Yet this 3D journey into nooks and crannies where polite company fears to tread is more than just a titillating spectacle; it’s also a love story with nostalgia-soaked overtones. Noé’s onscreen onslaught may slap the viewer to attention, but moviegoers will have to assess its impact on their own sense of modesty all alone.
The Measure of a Man
Zákon trhu /
La loi du marché
Directed by: Stéphane Brizé
France, 2015, 93 min
Thierry is 51 and he’s been unemployed for 20 months. Soon after he finally finds a job as a security guard at a big-box chain, he is faced with solving a situation that is in conflict with his conscience. Vincent Lindon, who is the only professional actor in a film by Stéphane Brizé that could pass as a documentary, took Best Actor at the recent Cannes festival.
Hazardní hráči /
Directed by: Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden
USA, 2014, 108 min
Mountains May Depart
I hory mohou odejít /
Shan he gu ren
Directed by: Jia Zhangke
China, Japan, France, 2015, 131 min
The Chinese title literally means “Mountains and rivers, old acquaintance,” suggesting the permanence of all three. The translation suggests that this needn’t always be. “Mountains may depart, like departing friends,” director Jia Zhangke explained at Cannes about the unusual title of his film. Using as a backdrop the story of three characters who were once bound by friendship, the renowned filmmaker sketched an image of modern Chinese transformation that doesn’t conceal the nostalgia for a time when people were connected by something other than money.
One Floor Below
O patro níž /
Un etaj mai jos
Directed by: Radu Muntean
Romania, France, Germany, Sweden, 2015, 93 min
A murder and a house in which much can be overheard – and kept to oneself. A decent father must decide between comfort and conscience. Employing a simple premise, the bold Romanian filmmaker constructs a minimalist New Wave drama with a fundamentally moral dimension. The film competed in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
The Postman’s White Nights
Bílé noci pošťáka Alexeje Trjapicyna /
Belye nochi pochtalyona Alekseya Tryapitsyna
Directed by: Andrei Konchalovsky
Russia, 2014, 110 min
Directed by: Grímur Hákonarson
Iceland, Denmark, 2015, 93 min
They haven’t spoken for 40 years but when the law compels them to slaughter a herd of beloved sheep they simply have to face up to one another. Grímur Hákonarson’s second movie Rams, a comedy about two brothers living in the wilds of Iceland, was victorious at this year’s Cannes festival in the progressive Un Certain Regard section.
Directed by: Quentin Dupieux
France, 2014, 87 min
Cameraman Jason dreams of making a horror movie. Producer Bob promises to finance the project on one condition: Jason has 48 hours to find the perfect scream. The latest effort by the French director and musician innovatively combines various levels of fiction, different types of image, and the music of Philip Glass.
Slow West /
Directed by: John Maclean
United Kingdom, New Zealand, 2015, 84 min
The Western frontier captured at an extremely leisurely pace and in almost painterly compositions. Debuting British director John Maclean’s Slow West, about the search for great love in 19th-century Colorado, is influenced in equal measure by Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah, and American landscape painters. Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival.
Directed by: Karl Markovics
Austria, 2015, 120 min
A tragicomedy set in the Austrian countryside. Out of nowhere, God begins to fill a supermarket cashier’s empty soul – and it throws her for a loop. The second feature from well-known Viennese actor Karl Markovics screened at this year’s Berlinale.
Tale of Tales
Pohádka pohádek /
Il racconto dei racconti
Directed by: Matteo Garrone
Italy, France, 2014, 125 min
This time around, the director of Gomorrah (2008) drew on an old book by a Neapolitan author that was a primary source for many other famous fairytale writers. The film blends the stories of the kings and princesses of three kingdoms, but it also includes undersea monsters, hypertrophied fleas, witches, and giants. This visually riveting and dramatic narrative, spiced with humor and references to the history of the visual arts, was shot in English in order to appeal to a wider audience.
Directed by: Naji Abu Nowar
Jordan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, 2014, 100 min
A Bedouin boy accompanies a lost British Army officer on a dangerous trek through the desert. This feature debut, awarded at the Venice IFF, penetrates the distinctive culture of the nomadic tribes as captured against a mind-blowing natural backdrop.
Directed by: Min Kyu-dong
South Korea, 2015, 124 min
Directed by: Jayro Bustamante
Guatemala, France, 2015, 91 min
Jayro Bustamante’s debut drama concerns present-day Mayans living in a remote region of Guatemala. Exquisitely filmed nonactors at the base of a volcano – a reminder of age-old traditions and contemporary problems – earned Bustamante the Alfred Bauer Prize at this year’s Berlinale.
Úžasný Boccaccio /
Directed by: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Italy, France, 2015, 121 min
Medieval Florence is beset by the Black Death. A group of nobles decide to escape to the countryside. In a villa surrounded by nature the young men and women spend time playing games and telling stories: the focus of each, whether dramatic or grotesque, is love as an antidote to all hardship and despair. The inspiration for the work, which testifies to the boundless imagination and directorial craft of the renowned directing duo, comes from one of the oldest treasure troves of world literature – Boccaccio’s Decameron.
Directed by: Paolo Sorrentino
Italy, France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, 2015, 118 min
Although the age of the characters, outstandingly rendered by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, defies its title Youth, the film’s first few dazzling shots promise that it won’t all be simply about old timers. Naturally, waning vigour, reminiscences and an increasingly unreliable memory are also topics of conversation for two old friends staying at a luxury hotel. Yet the simmering life they see around them motivates them to contemplate youth, beauty and creativity, anything that will drive away thoughts of their approaching demise. For many visitors to Cannes, this film was even more wonderful than The Great Beauty.
45 let /
Directed by: Andrew Haigh
United Kingdom, 2015, 93 min
Every marriage has its history. Geoff and Kate have their prehistory as well, which surfaces a week before celebrations for their wedding anniversary, bringing with it misgivings about their seemingly ideal relationship. By the end of the week there may not be anything left to celebrate. An intense drama awarded for its acting performances at this year’s Berlinale.