March 31, 2015
One of our personal favourite events to cover each year is the great Sydney Film Festival; the celebration of international and home-grown cinema that is now in it’s 62nd year. Today, the first 27 films that will be spread across the event, from June 3rd to June 14th, has been announced and it includes some expansions to the festival, a program curated exclusively by Aussie treasure David Stratton, and more. The current announcement includes 37 films, 17 of which are new features, 18 new documentaries, 24 Australian Premieres, and 10 iconic works of cinema.
“This preview gives you a picture of the depth and breadth of the range of features and documentaries you will discover in our full program,” says Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “Think of it as a comprehensive survey of the state of our world, showcasing the larger and smaller stories, trends, issues and concerns that make us who we are today.”
The festival will deliver the first Australian screenings of Aus-Irish thriller Strangerland starring Nicole Kidman,Joseph Fiennes, and Hugo Weaving. This is in addition to Slow West, the winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and a new trist on the classic western, starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, andBen Mendelsohn; Mr Holmes starring Sir Ian McKellen as a 93 year old Sherlock Holmes obsessing over his last unsolved case; and black comedy A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting on Existence, which comes with high expectations from it’s win of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival
Highlights of Sydney Film Festival’s first announcement also include:
• A Ingmar Bergman retrospective curated by David Stratton, including the films The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, Cries and Whispers and Fanny and Alexander. Stratton will introduce selected screenings of the specially imported prints. $130 will buy you a package ticket to see all 10 films, or separate tickets can be purchased.
• Dendy Newtown officially joins the festivals as a new screening venue (approx 20 screenings)
• An enhanced family and kids program including Academy Award-nominated Irish animation Song of the Sea, as wel as The Crow’s Egg, a live-action feature from India.
• True Story features like Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief; Love & Mercy (the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys biopic starring John Cusack and Paul Dano; The Look of Silence, the follow up to Joshua Oppenheimer’sThe Act of Killing, which screened at SFF in 2013.
• A re-release and directors cut of classic 1998 melodrama 54. This version reintroduces the homoerotic into a film that had been subject to many reshoots and cuts on its original release.
• New features including 99 Homes, a thriller about the 2008 global financial crisis with Michael Shannon andAndrew Garfield; Eisenstein in Guanajuato from iconic British director Peter Greenaway; and Sunrise, an Indian noir film with Life of Pi actor Adil Hussain.
• Controversial films like Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy, a stylish erotic melodrama about a lesbian S&M relationship; Kabukicho Love Hotel, a film set in Tokyo’s red-light district and starring K-pop artist Atsuko Maeda.
• Documentaries including Best of Enemies, a look at the clash between intellectual heavyweights Gore Vidal andWilliam F. Buckley Jr; The Chinese Mayor, which covers the collision between progress and individual rights in China; Beats of the Antonov, a documentary that celebrates the power of music and dance to help people and a culture survive in civial war in Sudan; and My Love, Don’t Cross That River, which is about a South Korean couple married for 76 years.
• Returning screening venues: The State Theatre, Dendy Opera Quays, Art Gallery of NSW, Event Cinemas George Street and the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne.
The full list of films included in Sydney Film Festival’s first announcement is as follows:
54: The Directors Cut (Director: Mark Christopher)
99 Homes (Director: Ramin Bahrani)
Beats of the Antonov (Director: Hajooj Kuka)
Best of Enemies (Director: Robert Gordon/Morgan Neville)
Bikes VS Cars (Director: Fredrik Gertten)
The Chinese Mayor (Director: Hao Zhou)
The Crow’s Egg (Director: M. Manikandan)
Deathgasm (Director: Jason Lei Howden)
Dreamcatcher (Director: Kim Longinotto)
The Duke of Burgundy (Director: Peter Strickland)
Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Director: Peter Greenaway)
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Director: Alex Gibney)
How to Change the World (Director: Jerry Rothwell)
The Hunting Ground (Director: Kirby Dick)
Kabukicho Love Hotel (Director: Kyuichi Hiroki)
The Look of Silence (Director: Joshua Oppenhemier)
Love & Mercy (Director: Bill Pohlad)
Mr. Holmes (Director: Bill Condon)
My Love, Don’t Cross That River (Director: Mo-Young Jin)
Necktie Youth (Director: Sibs Shongwe-La Mer)
Phoenix (Director: Christian Petzold)
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting on Existence (Director: Roy Andersson)
Slow West (Director: John Maclean)
Song of the Sea (Director: Tomm Moore)
Strangerland (Director: Kim Farrant)
Sunrise (Director: Partho Sen-Gupta)
Villa Touma (Director: Suha Arraf)
Ingmar Bergman Films:
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
The Face (1958)
The Virgin Spring (1959)
The Silence (1963)
Cries and Whispers (1972)
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
The full SFF line up of 200+ films will be announced Wednesday 6th May at 11am
Flexipasses and subscriptions to Sydney Film Festival are on sale now. Call 1300 733 733 or visit http://www.sff.org.au for more information.
Stay tuned to The Iris and the AU review as we bring you more coverage in the lead up to Sydney Film Festival 2015