The 64TH Sydney Film Festival (7-18 June) which opens this Wednesday, has announced seven new feature films will be added to the lineup after screening at Cannes. Included in the latest additions is The Square: winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, the biggest prize in world cinema.
“Seven works of cinema from some of the most talked about directors and stars of our time have been added to the Festival line-up,” said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “All are Australian premieres and essential viewing for film buffs.
“Sydney Film Festival audiences will be the first in the country to see 2017 Palme d’Or winner, surrealist satire The Square, starring Elizabeth Moss and Dominic West, 2017 Cannes Prix Un Certain Regard winner, A Man of Integrity, from Mohammad Rasoulof – one of Iran’s most outspoken directors – and Cannes-selected gritty heist drama Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson, who gives a career defining performance.”
The films are listed below:
A Man of Integrity (Lerd)
Winner of the Cannes Un Certain Regard Prize, Mohammad Rasoulof’s searing drama is about a goldfish farmer who finds himself pitted against a mysterious, corrupt network. Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof (Iron Island, The White Meadows) who has been banned from making films in his homeland continues to make films in secret, and his new work is a moving and powerful indictment of authoritarian societies.
Blade of the Immortable (Mugen No Jûnin)
The 100th film by Japanese master Takashi Miike (Audition, Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai, SFF 2012) is an irreverent and gory samurai film about a skilled warrior who attains immortality. Based on a popular manga, Blade of the Immortal is the story of Manji (Japanese heartthrob Takuya Kimura), a warrior who is cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. When his sister is killed, Manji takes brutal revenge on her killers. His own injuries are tended to by an 800-year-old nun, who also bestows upon Manji the power to self-heal. With brilliantly choreographed action scenes, swordfights of the highest order, and a wry sense of humour, Blade of the Immortal finds Miike to be as vital and mischievous as ever.
Robert Pattinson gives a career-best performance in this atmospheric crime thriller about a heist gone wrong and a man’s increasingly desperate attempts to free his jailed brother. Straight from Competition in Cannes and set over one adrenaline-filled day and night in New York, Good Time is a gritty, action-packed film that has been compared to seminal American films of the 70s like Dog Day Afternoon and Taxi Driver. Pattinson plays Constantine Nikas, who attempts a bank robbery with his intellectually disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie).
I Am Not A Witch
When a young orphan is sent to a witch camp, she struggles to find a way to freedom. This dark comedy about the clash between superstition and modernity is a rare film from Zambia. Nine-year-old orphan Shula (Maggie Mulubwa) lives in a Zambian village. When a woman trips and spills some water, she insists that the cause is Shula’s witchcraft. Another villager insists that the child has severed his arm with an axe – a claim he insists on despite having all his limbs attached. Director Rungano Nyoni deftly combines satire and tragedy, aided by a brilliant performance from the young Mulubwa who, saying little, conveys both the ludicrousness and the harshness of the situation.
Brilliantly shot and with a propulsive energy, Cannes Competition contender Jupiter’s Moon is about a young refugee who gets the power to fly after being shot crossing a border. Entering into Hungary illegally, young Aryan is separated from his father and shot. Wounded, terrified and shocked, he discovers that he can levitate at will. At a refugee camp filled with desperation, his strange powers are noticed by Dr Stern who is determined to exploit his abilities. In a year in which so many of the world’s filmmakers are interrogating the international refugee crisis, director Kornél Mundruczó’s radical take on the issue is unique, provocative and thrilling.
A dazzling animation that looks at the sex lives of young Iranians in a society of strict religious laws and prohibitions, Tehran Taboo is daring in both subject and technique. Pari, a sex worker who frequently takes her young son on the job, finds an apartment through an arrangement with a judge at the religious court. There she meets Sara, a pregnant wife who wishes to pursue a career. There’s also the musician Babak, who finds himself in a predicament when, after a one night stand. Using the rotoscoping technique, director Soozandeh shot actors live, and then created extensive, impressive animated backgrounds. Uncompromising in its determination to highlight hypocrisy, Tehran Taboo creates a compelling and vivid portrait of a city of contradictions.
Fresh from winning the Cannes Palme d’Or, the new film by Ruben Östlund is a hilarious, outrageous satire of the art world. Christian (Claes Bang) is the urbane curator of a contemporary art museum. As he prepares for his next show “The Square” his mobile phone and wallet are stolen in an elaborate pickpocketing scheme. Christian decides on a course of revenge, leading him into a downward spiral of personal and professional mayhem. Östlund is a genius at magnifying the little cracks in social interactions, brilliantly showing how these awkward moments signify larger chasms in society. Starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, Top of the Lake) and Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair), this film is intelligent and bitingly funny.
Sydney Film Festival runs 7 – 18 June 2017.
Tickets for Sydney Film Festival 2017 are on sale now.
Call 1300 733 733 or visit sff.org.au for more information.
For a list of other events happening at the festival, have a look at our guide here.