3 items from 2017
It’s a fable so ancient no one’s quite sure who first devised it, but the Grimm Brothers wrote of a bird that comes to sharpen its beak on a mountain every hundred years. When the mountain has worn down to nothing, the story goes, that will represent the first moment of eternity. It may only be 106 minutes long, but by the time the forbidding granite edifice of Amir Naderi’s titular mountain finally succumbs to years of assault from the human equivalent of this particularly determined bird, eternity feels like a very familiar concept. If you like your metaphors thuddingly literal (and literally thudding, with the whole final act unfolding to the grunting rhythm of a man bashing away at a cliff face with a mallet), the Iranian director’s “Monte” will prove a treat. The rest of us may find ourselves wondering, like the biblically unfortunate central character, just »
- Jessica Kiang
Japan Cuts 2017, NY’s annual festival celebrating the best of new Japanese cinema, is back with its 11th edition scheduled from July 13 to 23. This year’s roster includes 28 feature and 6 short films, ranging across epic blockbusters, indies, documentaries, animations and restored classics. In-person access to filmmakers and stars, Q&A sessions and parties are some extra treats on offer.
Yusuke Iseya in Mumon © 2017 Mumon Film Partners
The festival opens on Thursday, July 13th, with Yoshihiro Nakamura’s Mumon: Land of the Stealth, a playful take on the period drama genre, full of fantastical ninja moves and its own sense of eccentricity. Nakamura will be available for post-screening Q&A and Opening Night Party at Japan Society’s historic theater.
After a series of International, North America, Us, East Coast and NY Premieres, the festival will close with Sunao Katabuchi’s enchanting In This Corner of the World, a poignant coming-of-age story set during WWII. »
- Arnav Sinha
For such a highly anticipated event, the Cannes Film Festival tends to contain a fairly predictable lineup: The Official Selection focuses on established auteurs whose work lands a coveted slot at the flashy gathering on autopilot. That was certainly the case last year, when the 2016 edition opened with a Woody Allen movie and featured new work from the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Nicolas Winding Refn, the Dardennes brothers and Olivier Assayas.
But we live in unpredictable times, and judging by today’s announcement of the Official Selection for Cannes 2017, even the world’s most powerful festival isn’t impervious to change. This year’s Cannes is filled with surprises: television and virtual reality, some intriguing non-fiction selections, and a whole lot of unknown quantities that push the festival in fresh directions.
That’s not to say that there aren’t a few familiar names that stand out. Todd Haynes is »
- Eric Kohn
3 items from 2017
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