Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:37 pm 
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It starts later this year due to the pandemic; the 2020 series was delayed till Dec. and presented "all virtual," thus available all over the US. This is the 50th anniversary of ND/NF, so there is a retrospective series of 11 selections from earlier years, including Christopher Nolan's debut, Gregg Araki's, and films by Charles Burnett, Lee Chang-dong, and Chantal Ackerman. The main series is presented "via virtual cinema, with in-person screenings extending through May 13 at FLC" (Lincoln Center; the films are normally shown both at Lincoln Center and at MoMA, its cosponsor).

ND/NF 2021: Descriptions of the films

Aleph ( Iva Radivojevic) Structured as a labyrinth-like game and inspired by Jorge Luis Borges, Aleph is a travelogue of experience, a dreamer's journey through the lives, experiences, stories and musings of protagonists spanning ten countries and five continents. (IMDb). Radivojevic lives in Brooklyn but spent her early life in Yugoslavia and Cyprus.

All Light, Everywhere dir. Theo Anthony. "A far-ranging look at the biases in how we see things, focusing on the use of police body cameras" - IMDb.

All the Light We Can See/Todo la luz que podemos ver dir. dir. Pablo Escoto Luna. "Between Popocatépetl and Ixtaccihuatl, one day before the war. Maria, forced to marry a bandit, escapes her fate and runs away into the woods in the company of El Toro. Rosario, in love with an assassinated general, weeps on his tomb dug into the side of a volcano. All of them are destined to wandering and error; all climb, fall and are beset by doubt, all are adrift and lost in the night."-Director's description.

Apples dir. Christos Nikou. "Amidst a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia, middle-aged Aris finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities" - IMDb.

Azor dir. Andreas Fontana
. "Yvan De Wiel, a private banker from Geneva, goes to Argentina in the midst of a dictatorship to replace his partner, the object of the most worrying rumours, who disappeared overnight" - IMDb.

Bebia, à mon seul désir dir. Juja Dobrachkous "A young model returns to the Georgian countryside, where a confrontation with her past offers hope for the future" - IMDb.

Bipolar dir. Queena Li (AKA Mengqiao Li )."Based on the myth of Orpheus: in Lhasa, a young woman encounters a lobster that will change her life" - IMDb.

Dark Red Forest dir. Jin Huaqing. "When the coldest days of the year come, the nuns start meditating in tiny wooden houses in the mountains. Their Buddhist Tibetan monastery is located on a snowy Tibetan plateau at an elevation of 4,000 meters and hosts the world’s largest group of Buddhist nuns, with up to 20,000 nuns living and practicing their traditional ways there, at the same time..." [part of a lengthy synopsis for Cinando]

Destello Bravío/Mighty Flash dir. Ainhoa Rodríguez. How we cling to age old patriarchal traditions ,though in a new globalized world, society needs to move on and invent new ways of thinking. - IMDb.

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) dir. Arie & Chuko Esiri. "A baggy but charming Nigerian debut that paints a broad portrait of lively modern Lagos through the struggles and triumphs of two residents." (Variety)

Faya Dayi dir. Jessica Beshir. . A spiritual journey into the highlands of Harar [a walled city in eastern Ethiopia], immersed in the rituals of khat, a leaf Sufi Muslims chewed for centuries for religious meditations - .

Friends and Strangers dir. James Vaughan. "Director, screenwriter and editor James Vaughan richly spices his exploration of the culture of affluent young adults with millennial irony. Strikingly framed shots and a contrapuntal score set the tone for a succession of interactions at the intersection of the mundane and the absurd."-

Gull (2020) by Kim Mi-jo.Provoking drama about gender images and the role of women in Korean society.

Liborio (dir. Nino Martínez Sosa. the true story of Olivorio Mateo, a peasant who disappears into a hurricane and returns, it is claimed, with the power to cure the sick and take away evil.

Luzzu dir. Alex Camilleri. "Luzzu’ Review: A Maltese Neorealist Fishing Drama in the Key of the Dardenne Brothers. . .Sundance: Alex Camilleri's locally made vérité tale discovers a knockout performance in a real-life fisherman from Malta." - Indiewire.

Madalena dir. Madiano Marcheti. "A broken body in a white dress, lying lifeless in a swaying soya field. Who killed the trans woman Madalena, how and why is never revealed in the Brazilian film Madalena. In his assured debut, director Madiano Marcheti doesn't even reveal how the corpse was discovered. Yet the image of this motionless body lends an extra charge to everything that follows." -

Moon, 66 Questions dir. Jacqueline Lentzou "When a grave illness strikes down her father Paris, Artemis decides to return home to Greece after an absence of some years. Being the sole child of divorced parents, she is the only one who can look after Paris, who requires daily care. Father and daughter embark on a journey into knowledge and revelation, which heralds a new beginning for their relationship."-Berlinale.

Pebbles dir. P.S. Vinothraj. (Winner of the Tiger, the top honor at Rotterdam). "A vexed father (Ganapathy) is determined to bring back his wife and daughter, who’d fled home to escape his violence. He forces his school-going son to accompany him and together they undertake a 13 km road journey into the heart of a drought-borne village in Madurai. Keeping the family at the centre, Pebbles paints a richly detailed picture of a people, robbed of their livelihood, suffering through abject poverty in a village devastated by drought." - Filmpost.

El Planeta dir. Amalia Ulman. "El Planeta is a comedy about eviction. Amidst the devastation of post-crisis Spain, mother and daughter bluff and grift to keep up the lifestyle they think they deserve, bonding over common tragedy and an impending eviction." - Planeta website.

Radiograph of a Family dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani. Mother married a photo of Father,” says director Firouzeh Khosrovani in the opening of this deeply personal documentary. She’s not speaking metaphorically though. Her mother Tayi literally married a portrait of Hossein in Teheran -he was in Switzerland studying radiology and was unable to travel back to his homeland for the wedding. The event illustrates the abyss that still exists in their marriage..." - Letterboxd.

Rock Bottom Riser dir. Fern Silva. "From the earliest voyagers who navigated by starlight to the discovery of habitable planets by astronomers, Rock Bottom Riser examines the all-encompassing encounters of an island world at sea. As lava continues to flow from the earth’s core on the island of Hawaii—posing an imminent danger—a crisis mounts. Astronomers plan to build the world’s largest telescope on Hawaii’s most sacred and revered mountain, Mauna Kea..."- Letterboxd.

Short Vacation dir. Kwon Min-pyo & Seo Han-sol. "Four girls in their school photo club 'Shine' are tasked with photographing 'the end of the world' over their summer vacation by their photography teacher. And so they set out, armed with plastic film cameras, to do just that. What transpires is a leisurely (sometimes too leisurely) journey as the four girls head to a train station at the end of the line. But upon arriving and taking a few pictures, none of the girls is satisfied." - Berlinale review by Brian Corser.

Stop-Zemlia dir. Kateryna Gornostai. Introverted high-school girl Masha sees herself as an outsider unless she hangs around with Yana and Senia who share her non-conformist status. While she is trying to navigate through the intense time of her pre-graduation year, Masha is forced out of her comfort zone when she falls in love.- edited from Cineropa.

Taming the Garden dir. Salomé Jashi."Documentary follows trees that are transported, at great expense and inconvenience, from the coast of the Republic of Georgia to the private garden of that country's former prime minister." - IMDb.

We (Nous) dir. Alice Diop. "A journey within indistinct spaces known as inner cities and suburbs. Several portraits, all individual pieces that form a whole. We."

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair dir. Jane Schoenbrun "Sundance: Jane Schoenbrun's exploration of internet culture through a chilling coming-of-age story is an auspicious, wildly smart narrative feature debut."- Kate Erbland, Indiewire.

Wood and Water dir. Jonas Bak. Anke retires from her job at the church in a small town in the Black Forest. She looks forward to reuniting with her children over the summer holidays by the Baltic Sea, at a place where they used to live as a young family, and where she lived her best years."- Berlinale. German director's debut.


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