Plot: In the very near future, Teresa (Bárbara Colen) returns home to the small town Bacurau in the middle of nowhere because her grandmother, the family matriarch passed away. But when she gets there, she realizes that Bacurau is at the heart of a series of strange events – and the town and its inhabitants are in danger. But they are neither willing to go down without a fight, nor are they helpless.
Bacurau is a thoroughly entertaining film with strong politics that was simply a joy to watch. As it takes you from twist to turn, it’s best to just go with the flow and you will have one hell of a time.
Plot: Veteran cop Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and his younger, more volatile partner Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) are caught on tape using excessive force on a black suspect. They are suspended when the tape reaches the media. Ridgeman decides to turn to crime himself in this forced downtime: he and Lurasetti plan to take over a robbery of which they get wind. Part of the robbery crew is Henry Johns (Tory Kittles), just released from prison, who came home to find the poverty of his family completely overwhelming. Without other options, he lets himself get roped into the robbery plot. But things don’t go according to plan for anybody.
I was this close to not watching Dragged Across Concrete. Zahler’s last film – Bone Tomahawk – was racist crap. That he then turns to make a film that is a whole lot about racism and casts Mel Gibson, a known racist and antisemite, in the lead is insensitive to say the least. But then I figured, I had an all-access pass to the festival and I may as well give this film a go. Well. I should have listened to my gut and saved myself because the film is just as racist as the last.
Plot: Suzy (Jessica Harper) was accepted into the prestigious Tanz Akademie, a ballet school. But her arrival is off to a rocky start as she is first denied entrance and then hears of a dead dancer. But those are not the only strange things that go on at the academy, as Suzy soon finds out.
Suspiria is, of course, a classic in horror film history, but I have to admit that I don’t feel overly enthusiastic about it, though it has some fantastic visuals.
Plot: After Andy (Tye Sheridan) loses his father, his mother having been dead a while already, he is at a loss. That’s when he meets Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum) who specializes on lobotomies for the mentally ill. Fiennes new Andy’s mother and spontaneously offers the teenager a job as his assistant. Andy accepts and they start traveling together as Fiennes moves from hospital to hospital to perform his procedures.
The Mountain is not an easy film, in the best sense. It’s a film that requires work and you’ll probably get as much out of it as you’re willing to work for it. As the second film of the day, it got a bit much for me, but I’m more than willing to give it another go, because there is a lot of interest going on here.
Plot: Christian von Meruh (Udo Kier) is the apprentice of witch hunter Lord Cumberland (Herbert Lom). Christian believes in the cause and the justice of the process with all of his heart. After the tavern girl Vanessa (Olivera Katarina) is accused of witchcraft and he sees the virtriol and violence of the local witch hunter (Reggie Nalder), Christian does find that he has doubts after all.
I was surprised by Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält. I expected an exploitative, gory B-movie. But instead I got a political, critical and pretty serious film – which is an absolutely positive turn of events for me.
Plot: Mike (River Phoenix) and Scottie (Keanu Reeves) are hustlers, living in the streets of Portland. Scottie has been living this way for longer than Mike and shows Mike the ropes a little, introducing him to Bob Pigeon (William Richert) who is something between a pimp and a father figure for a lot of more or less homeless hustlers in the city. Scottie also takes care of Mike when he has one of his narcoleptic spells. Despite their closeness, there’s a chasm between Mike and Scottie as Mike doesn’t have many choices to live the way he does, while Scottie comes from a rich family and chose to hustle to embarrass them.
I saw My Own Private Idaho around 20 years ago and I understood very little of it back then. Seeing it now, opened up the film to me much more. That in itself is already a beautiful experience, but even without that part of the experience, the film is wonderful.
Plot: The world has latched onto a new concept: downsizing. People are literally shrunk down to five inches. Given that they need much less resources that way, their dollar stretches much further, buying them a life of luxury. Paul (Matt Damon) is intrigued by the idea and when his friend Dave (Jason Sudeikis) tells him all about his newly shrunken life and how great it is, Paul and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to take the leap themselves.
Payne isn’t my kind of director, and Downsizing is unfortunately no exception, despite the fun premise. The execution is racist, sexist and gets lost inside its own metaphor. I was hoping for more.
In 2018, the President of the United States (Stephanie Paul) sends two men to the moon – a PR measure that’s supposed to ensure her re-election. But upon arrival, the two discover that there are Nazis on the dark side of the moon who have been hiding there since the end of World War 2. James Washington (Christopher Kirby) gets captured, experimented on and finally, Klaus (Götz Otto) the aspiring Führer and Renate (Julia Dietze), scientist and his fiancée return to earth with James to finally retake their home planet.
If you’re not excited by the words “nazis on the moon”, then you probably won’t enjoy this film. But if you, as I did, think that this is THE MOST AWESOME THING, then you’ll love it.
It’s Justine’s (Kirsten Dunst) wedding day. But even though she should be the happiest person alive, apart from her husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), she is haunted by dreams and visions of the end of the earth, when the planet Melancholia collides with ours. Her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) tries to hold it all together, but is ultimately helpless against the overwhelming presence of Melancholia – both the planet and the mood.
After Antichrist, I was very reluctant if I actually wanted to see Melancholia. But the cast and the trailer’s aesthetics drew me in. In the end my fears that it would be the misogynist disaster Antichrist was, proved to be unnecessary. But I still only liked the first half.
2024. After using up the world’s ressources, Europe is in shambles. A huge underground network connects all the subway lines of the major cities, controlled by the Trexx corporation. Roger (Vincent Gallo) tries to avoid the subway as much as possible, going so far as biking to work (which is illegal). But when his bike is broken, he enters the subway station, starts hearing a voice (Alexander Skarsgard) in his head and suddenly sees Nina (Juliette Lewis) – the girl from the shampoo commercial and his dreams. Nina kinda leads him down the rabbit hole into a huge conspiracy.
Metropia has a strange aesthetic, an interesting premise and great voice acting. Unfortunately the animation itself is not that great and it loses itself a bit in the plot.