The Artistic Director’s Selection section will feature new films by Wim Wenders, Marco Bellocchio, as well as Pedro Almodóvar

14. August 2023

The Artistic Director’s Selection offers Cinematik visitors an ingeniously compiled collection of new foreign films that Slovak audiences will not come across in classic cinema distribution. Sometimes they are unusual in their subject matter, sometimes in their artistic treatment. However, as always, these are exceptional experiences that are not to be missed.

This is also true for legendary director Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days (2023). In May, it made its world premiere in the main competition at IFF Cannes, where its lead actor Kodji Yakusho won the award for his performance. In this poetic yet funny drama, he plays a Tokyo public toilet cleaner who uncovers pieces of his past after a series of unexpected encounters.

Rapito (2023), on the other hand, tells the true story of an Italian Jewish boy who was secretly baptized without his parents’ consent in the mid-19th century and then taken away from his parents to an environment of strict Catholic upbringing. The case had both political and legal ramifications, and Steven Spielberg reportedly considered filming it. In the end, however, it was Italian Marco Belocchio who succeeded, and he also presented the film for the first time at Cannes.

At the same festival, the Turkish film Burning Days (2022) had its world premiere – it appeared in the Un Certain Regard section. In the film’s plot, director Emin Alper sends a young prosecutor, accustomed to life in the city, to a daunting rural environment full of corruption and manipulation. The gripping thriller won the Best Editing award and a Lux Audience Award nomination at the European Film Awards.

Fogo-Fátuo / Will-o’-the-Wisp (2022) was up for the Queer Palm Award at Cannes. A romantic sci-fi comedy with elements of a musical set in Portugal in 2069. Besides the love affair between a prince and a fireman, it also talks about the climate crisis. The film was nominated for a Lux Audience Award.

Another extraordinary experience is (not only) the visually powerful drama Shttl (2023) by Ady Walter, set in a Jewish border village at the time of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. The drama won a jury award at the Berlin Jewish Film Festival.

The Belgian-French comedy Le syndrome des amours passées / (Ex)perience of Love (2023) by the director duo Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni brings relief in the form of relationship therapy through sex with ex-partners. The unconventional title premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

The latest short film by award-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is also a catch in the festival programme. The western tale Extraña forma de vida (2023), about two old friends who meet after twenty-five years, has been nominated for the Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

At this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in the US, the comedy Irish-British title The Miracle Club (2023) by veteran director Thaddeus O’Sullivan had its world premiere. The story takes us back to 1967, when in the small Irish village of Ballygar, the local women dream of escaping the traditional domestic drudgery. However, they have the chance to win tickets for a pilgrimage to the French holy city of Lourdes and experience the best escape of their lives. The extraordinary Kathy Bates excels in one of the lead roles in this intelligent comedy.