10 to Watch Box 1
10 to Watch is a new series within the DVD-label Tiger Releases of the International Film Festival Rotterdam: a varied, worldwide selection of ten festival films, mostly awarded with prizes and shown in the Tiger Awards Competition or Bright Future. This box contains the first five titles.
Malcolm Murray (US 2011, 93 min.)
The town of Albuquerque, surrounded by high mountains and dusty deserts, during a sweltering summer: the perfect setting for this raucous American indie-style drama. Flo is feeling more and more guilty about having stolen a car with his friend Trey. Especially because he has an eye on the owner, the sexy and challenging Marisa. And, unlike the tough Trey, he is not that good with women anyway. Should he remain loyal to his friend, or choose love?
Director Malcolm Murray grew up in Albuquerque and could have been one of the characters from the sultry Bad Posture. He portrays Flo, Marisa and Trey, played by non-professional actors, with great empathy, in an observing style that clearly shows that he started his career as a documentary maker. With a relaxed soundtrack, Murray delivers a visually powerful feature debut.
Vladimir Kott (Russia 2011, 104 min.)
With optional English subtitles
Gromozeka is the name of a band that was founded by three bosom friends in their youth. Gromozeka is also a figure from a children’s animation that one of them, a policeman, still likes to find because of the motto: “I have no luck in life!” His work is a rut and his wife and son do not really look like give him. His friends – a taxi driver and a surgeon – are not fortunate. The first finds that his only daughter leads a hidden life, the second can not choose between his wife and his mistress. The lives of the three old friends run parallel and cross each other in Gromozeka in a subtle way. This simultaneously funny, serious and moving film is about men who oppose the banality of everyday life and the anonymity of life in a big city. Second film by director Vladimir Kott, whose first film The Fly won worldwide awards
Nikola Lezaic (Serbia 2010, 99 min.)
Toda and Stefan spend their holidays skating, having fun, drinking coffee and making Jackass-like videos around an old copper mine, now the biggest hole in Europe. Stefan goes to university after the summer, but that is no option for Toda, even though he would have money. Their friendship comes under pressure when they rival the attention of a girl. Director Nikola Ležaic returned for his feature debut to his hometown Bor, a disintegrated industrial city in Serbia. For the entertaining and energetic Tilva Rosh he was inspired by Eggleston’s landscape photographs and by films such as Gummo and My Own Private Idaho, but mainly by the infectious energy of skate team Kolos. The founders of Kolos are also the protagonists in this film about friendship on the verge of maturity. At the Sarajevo Film Festival, Tilva Rosh was awarded two awards, one for best film and one for best actor.
Li Hongqi (China 2010, 91 min.)
With his third film Winter Vacation poet, writer and filmmaker Li Hongqi won a Golden Leopard in Locarno. The film largely takes place on the last day of the winter holiday in a dreary industrial town in northern China. A group of pupils who are bored and hang around aimlessly, do not even have the energy to kick noise. With fixed, distant camera angles, Li registers the lives of the villagers. Perhaps the least to envy is Zhou Zhangxin, a boy who is in a room with his depressed grandfather, from whom he can not play outside. When a girl asks him what he wants to become later, he says, “An orphan.” Hongqi’s dry-comical, restrained style already evoked comparisons with Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki and Roy Andersson. The Hubert Bals Fund of the IFFR supported the post-production of this film.
Winner of the Golden Leopard, the main prize of the Locarno Film Festival
Fukada Koji (Japan 2010, 96 min.)
With optional English subtitles
Out of nowhere, the stranger Kagawa appears one day asking whether he can move in with the Kobayashi family. He claims that his own family once gave financial help to Kobayashi’s company. In the small spaces of the apartment and Kobayashi’s print shop, the coming and going of Kawaga’s strange guests then ensures that the well-organized, comfortable life of his family slowly falls apart. In 2010 Hospitalité won the prize for the best debut at the Tokyo Film Festival. Koji gave the film a French title because he was inspired by the invu