So many films, so little time! The breadth and scope of this international festival is hard to grasp. I’ve been here for a week seeing 4 to 5 movies a day, and I feel like I just scratched the surface. As many of these films will be released over the next year, I am here as your guide to point you towards the right theatres to park your butt in. More to come!
That said, there is one film that is towering over all the rest. The new film by Richard Linklater, (Slacker, Before Midnight) BOYHOOD is the buzz film here this year. The film follows the lives of one family over the course of 12 years. Watching the kids grow up right in front of you is mesmerizing on its own, but Linklater applies his own very distinctive philosophical style to the trials of life and the results are so powerful that I couldn’t speak for several hours after the film was over.
Boyhood / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Richard Linklater) — Filmed over short periods from 2002 to 2013, Boyhood is a groundbreaking cinematic experience covering 12 years in the life of a family. At the center is Mason, who with his sister Samantha, are taken on an emotional and transcendent journey through the years, from childhood to adulthood. Cast: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater.
Next on my list of faves is Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. The film is about a lonely exocentric Japanese woman working as an office lady for a corporation in Tokyo who becomes obsessed with finding a briefcase full of money buried in the snow by Steve Buscemi in the movie Fargo. Masterfully shot, her quest to Fargo ND is a transcendent and beautiful meditation on the meaning of one’s own personal reality.
Starring Rinko Kikuchi and Directed by David Zellner, Screenplay by David Zellner and Nathan Zellner.
THE SLEEPWALKER: Set in the beautiful but rundown home in rural Massachusetts, the quiet life of Kaia and her boyfriend Andrew is disrupted by the midnight arrival of Kaia’s unstable sister Christine. First time Director Mona Fastvold delivers an assured, mysterious and unsettling film delving into a study of contrasts between the two sisters’ psyches. For those of you who Christopher Abbott as the meek boyfriend on GIRLS, he delivers an exceptionally strong performance here as a tough carpenter.
Starring Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Stephanie Ellis
LOVE IS STRANGE: Ira Sachs is a force of the New York independent film scene, and he is back with a perfect movie about the deep love between two older men. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina deliver impeccable performances as Ben and George. After 39 years together, they finally get married, and Ben immediately gets fired from his job as a priest. They must sell their apartment and rely on friends and family for support. Subtle in tone, yet dramatically engaging, this film is a must-see.