Antonio Campos' Simon Killer
Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment magazine are excited to announce the lineup for the 13th annual Film Comment Selects festival (February 18 – 28). Handpicked by the magazine's editors from festivals around the world, Film Comment Selects is, in the words of the New York Times, "an essential annual gathering of provocative, overlooked and surprising films."
Spend Opening Night with a lady of the evening in Antonio Campos' Simon Killer. American sociopath Simon (Brady Corbet) stalks Parisian prostitute Victoria in this thrilling portrait of a serial killer. But don’t let the title fool you, there’s more than killing on the mind of young Simon. As Campos reveals the textures of Paris by night, Corbet unhinges the mind of Simon.
Trudging even deeper into the darkness, director Mikael Marcimain explores the life of 14-year-old Iris, who is pulled out of the foster care system and into prostitution in Call Girl. Based on a real Swedish scandal from the 1970s, the film may not easy to watch, but nevertheless it should not be missed.
Ingmar Bergman's From the Life of the Marionettes (1980)
Investigating the psyche of a posh businessman’s motives in killing a prostitute, Ingmar Bergman’s From the Life of the Marionettes (1980) is bleak and mind-bending. Rarely screened, Marionettes’ non-linear model makes the psychological trip even more mesmerizing.
If prostitution is one of this year's themes, serial killers are certainly another. Experimental filmmaker James Benning takes us into the mind of Ted Kaczynski in Stemple Pass. Japanese director Takashi Miike (13 Assassins) expresses what "happens when the illusion on the surface begins to fall apart" for a once-model teacher turned model killer. And indie star Ben Wheatley finds the more comedic side of murder in Sightseers. Catch up with Wheatley as he talks about Sightseers in the Daily Buzz Episode 2 from Film Society’s podcast coverage at Sundance.
With Closing Night goes the festival, which is why you won't want to miss Michel Gondry’s The We and the I, about high schoolers returning home from school on a bus through the Bronx. If the promise of lo-fi, near-ethnographic take on the high school experience isn't enough to convince you, Gondry’s repertoire should. With celebrated works like The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind under his belt, Gondry’s The We and the I is sure to surprise and delight. See some of the students, who play themselves, discuss the project in this video from last year's Cannes Film Festival:
Speaking of Cannes, if Amour’s Palme d’Or-winning storytelling intrigued, look no further than Gebo and the Shadow, a dispatch from the Toronto International Film Festival. From 104-year-old Portuguese master Manoel de Oliviera comes a family drama exploring the connectivity of cinema, theater, and aging.
When our screening of Here Comes the Devil was canceled during Sandy in last October's Scary Movies series, fans were not forgotten, for it returns in Film Comment Selects with the devil on its back. Master of the unpredictable, director Adrían García Bogliano frightens us again when two children disappear while picnicking with their parents near caves outside of Tijuana. Returning the next day, the kids have changed, but it’s more than devilish play at work as Bogliano keeps you guessing until the end.
Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely
Few films capture the darkness of love like Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely and Sébastien Betbeder’s Nights With Theodore. Taking us all the way to Bombay, Miss Lovely tells the tale of Bollywood exploitation and depths of love that it takes to produce sleazy horror films. Equally grim, but on a more personal scale, Nights With Theodore unfolds with archival footage and anecdotes of Anna and Theodore’s love as it blossoms in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
Hearts of the West and Slither (Howard Zeiff’s, not James Gunn’s) make up this year’s Film Comment Double Feature. Both comedic, both sardonic, both directed by Zeiff, you don’t want to miss the chance to see this western and crime thriller on the big screen.
Marco Belloccio's Dormant Beauty
What better way to balance a gonzo comedic Western than with an Italian dramatic ensemble piece directed by Marco Bellocchio. Dormant Beauty stars Isabelle Huppert and Toni Servillo in a complex weaving of three interrelated storylines about a right-to-euthanasia case in 2008 that went all the way to a Parliamentary vote.
All these, and quite a few more, make up this year's mouthwatering Film Comment Selects lineup. Check out the press release for full descriptions and more details on the 13th annual festival, from which programmer and Film Comment editor Gavin Smith promises "audiences can expect a dynamic and unpredictable mix of films that Film Comment Selects has become known for."