Europe

Alps (2011)
Yorgos Lanthimos
Greece
93′
A Nurse, a Paramedic, a Gymnast and her Coach have formed a service for hire. They stand in for dead people by appointment, hired by the relatives, friends, or colleagues of the deceased. The company is called Alps while their leader, the Paramedic, calls himself Mont Blanc. Although the Alps members operate under a discipline regime demanded by their leader, the Nurse doesn’t.
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Amiet (2011)
Iwan Schumacher, Cornelia Strasse
Switzerland
52′
Cuno Amiet lived from 1868-1961, yet seen today many of his pictures have a contemporary edge. Amiet was a Swiss pioneer of modern painting along with Ferdinand Hodler and Giovanni Giacometti. The film visits three highly individual Amiet collectors in Dallas, Geneva and Studen, near Biel. Surrounded by Amiet’s works they tell us what part these paintings play in their lives.
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Avé (2011)
Konstantin Bojanov
Bulgaria
86′
While hitchhiking from Sofia to Ruse, Kamen meets Avé, a 17-year-old runaway girl. With each ride they hitch, Avé invents new identities for them, and her compulsive lies get Kamen deeper and deeper into trouble. Reluctantly drawn into this adventure, Kamen begins to fall in love with the fleeting Avé.
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Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Sergej M. Eisenstein
Russia
49′
The revolution film par excellence, here in the German needle-tone version of 1930: The film presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers. Battleship Potemkin was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. In 2012, the British Film Institute named it the eleventh greatest film of all time.
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Beyond Boobs (2018)
Stéphane Correa, Kristen Vermilyea
Switzerland
52′
Boobs. Melons. Bazookas: American director Kristen Vermilyea has large breasts, neck pain, back pain and balance issues.
 Her decision to get a reduction triggers questions about identity, aging and bodies. Kristen departs on a series of wacky and humorous adventures before going under the knife.
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Chevalier (2015)
Athina Rachel Tsangari
Greece
105′
In the middle of the Aegean Sea, on a luxury yacht, six men on a fishing trip decide to play a game. During this game, things will be compared, measured and blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals, but at the end of the voyage, when the game is over, the winner will wear the victorious signet ring: the "Chevalier".
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Chris the Swiss (2018)
Anja Kofmel
Switzerland
90′
Croatia, January 1992. In the midst of the Yugoslav Wars, Chris, a young Swiss journalist is found dead in mysterious circumstances. He was wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Anja Kofmel was his cousin. As a little girl, she used to admire this handsome young man; now a grown-up woman, she decides to investigate his story, trying to understand what really was the involvement of Chris in the conflict
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Class Enemy (2013)
Rok Biček
Slovenia
112′
Due to a huge difference in the way they perceive life, the relationship between the students and their new German language teacher becomes critically tense. When one of the students commits suicide, her classmates accuse the teacher of being responsible for her death. The realisation that things are not so black and white comes too late.
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Closely Watched Trains (1966)
Jiri Menzel
Czech Republic
89′
The young Miloš Hrma, who speaks with misplaced pride of his family of misfits and malingerers, is engaged as a newly trained station guard in a small railway station during the Second World War and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. He admires himself in his new uniform, and looks forward, like his prematurely-retired railwayman father, to avoiding real work. The sometimes pompous stationmaster is an enthusiastic pigeon-breeder with a kind wife, but is envious of the train dispatcher Hubička's success with women. Miloš holds an as-yet platonic love for the pretty, young conductor Máša. The experienced Hubička presses for details of their relationship and realizes that Miloš is still a virgin. The idyll of the railway station is periodically disturbed by the arrival of the councillor, Zednicek, a Nazi collaborator, who spouts propaganda at the staff without success. At her initiative, Máša spends the night with Miloš, but in his youthful excitability he ejaculates prematurely before achieving penetration and then is unable to perform sexually; and the next day, despairing, he attempts suicide. He is saved, and a young doctor explains to him that ejaculatio praecox is normal at Miloš's age. The doctor recommends Miloš to "think of something else" (at which point Miloš volunteers an interest in football), and to seek the assistance of an experienced woman. During the nightshift, Hubička flirts with the young telegraphist, Zdenička, and imprints her thighs and buttocks with the office's rubber stamps. Her mother sees the stamps and complains to Hubička's superiors, and the ensuing scandal helps to frustrate the stationmaster's ambition of being promoted to inspector. The Germans and their collaborators are on edge, since their trains are being attacked by the partisans. A glamorous Resistance agent (a circus artist in peacetime), code-named Viktoria Freie, delivers a time bomb to Hubička for use in blowing up a large ammunition train. At Hubička's request, the "experienced" Viktoria also helps Miloš to resolve his sexual problem. The next day, at the crucial moment when the ammunition train is approaching, Hubička is caught up in a farcical disciplinary hearing, overseen by Zednicek, over his rubber stamping of Zdenička's backside. In Hubička's place, Miloš, liberated by his experience with Viktoria from his former passivity, takes the time bomb and drops it from a semaphore gantry, that extends transversely above the tracks, onto the train. A machine-gunner on the train, spotting Miloš, sprays him with bullets, and his body falls onto the train. With the Nazi collaborator Zednicek, winding up the disciplinary hearing, dismissing the Czech people as "nothing but laughing hyenas" (a phrase actually employed by the senior Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich, the implicit retort to his jibe comes in the form of a huge series of explosions that destroys the train. Now Hubička and the other railwaymen are indeed laughing - to express their joy at the blow to the Nazi occupiers - and it is left to a wistful Máša to pick up Miloš's uniform cap, hurled across the station by the power of the blast. (wp)
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Das grosse Museum (2014)
Johannes Holzhausen
Austria
94′
This documentary portrays one of the most important museums in the world, Vienna’s Museum of Art History. An extensive look behind the scenes at this fascinating institution employs a number of charismatic protagonists and the varied routine there to show us the museum’s special world.
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Das Mädchen mit der Hutschachtel (1927)
Boris Barnet
Russia
93′
Can you find happiness in the big city? The young hat maker Natascha, who lives with her grandfather in a suburb covered in winter snow, has to commute by train from the village to Moscow to deliver her creations to the extravagant Irene's hat shop. For the administration, Irene claims Natascha to be her subtenant in order to be able to have more living space. The clumsy railway official woos the lovely country girl with his ravishing smile. But she enters into a fictitious marriage with the provincial Ilya in order to get him a room in Moscow. With an apparently worthless lottery ticket, which Irene's husband gives to Natascha, the entanglements become turbulent. Boris Barnet describes the contrasts between city and country and the new living conditions in Moscow in a stylish and socially critical way. Three great acting talents, Anna Stén, Iwan Kowal-Samborski and Vladimir Fogel, form the triangle of relationships. Originally ordered as a vehicle to advertise the State Lottery, the film made the studio rich and the natural talent director Boris Barnet famous as the founder of lyrical comedy.
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Der Tod von Ludwig XIV. (2016)
Albert Serra
France
116′
Suffering and dying do not stop even at the most powerful, even absolute ones: The Sun King Louis XIV - a parade role for the Truffaut icon Jean-Pierre Léaud - suddenly feels pain in his leg after a walk in August 1715. He spent the next few days in his chamber, continuing government business in the best possible way and gradually gliding towards his death. A historical film as a chamber play.
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Die 120 Tage von Bottrop (1997)
Christoph Schlingensief
Germany
62′
The surviver of the Fassbinder family meet on Potsdamer Platz for the shooting of the Last New German Film – a remake of Pasolini’s THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM. Chaos total: Director Schlingensief, degraded to a set manager, will be replaced by an unknown, who get’s the Bundesfilmpreis award. Film as a nightmare – or vice versa. Producer Volker Spengler sends an agent (Christoph Schlingensief) to Hollywood where he meets Udo Kier, Kitten Natividad and Roland Emmerich on a mission to raise money and get ex-Visconti superstar Helmut Berger to appear in the film. Depicting a German cultural scene at the turn of the century that still has not come to terms with the legacy of New German Cinema, Schlingensief tackles the topic once and for all: with endless references both open and obscure, Schlingensief takes the process of de- and reconstruction just far enough to both completely demystify and pay tribute to an era and its heritage. With appearances from the German film, TV and theatre scene, many actors, contributors and cultural icons appear as themselves; but Schlingensief is not afraid to resurrect some of the dead, only to kill them off again: part parody, part heartfelt homage, THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP gives New German Cinema its final coup de grâce.
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Die seltsamen Abenteuer des Mr. West im Land der Bolschewiken (1924)
Lew Kuleschow
Russia
77′
Travelled to the Soviet Union with many prejudices, the American businessman Mr. West has to correct his view of the Soviets after several adventures at the end of his journey. Silent movie grotesque that ironically glosses the erroneous opinions of the West about the USSR. A film historical document worth seeing. (Dictionary of International Cinema)
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Die vierte Gewalt (2018)
Dieter Fahrer
Switzerland
98′
The internet has changed everything, also for journalism: business models are falling by the wayside, news is available for free, anywhere and at any time. I accompany journalists in their daily lives, see how they struggle, and I do what they also do: I observe and ask, also question myself, my fascination and my suspicion. I, too, use the net with ease. I am a user – and I am used.
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Die Walze und die Geige (1961)
Andrei Tarkowski
Russia
44′
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Dogman (2018)
Matteo Garrone
Italy
99′
Marcello, a small and gentle dog groomer, finds himself involved in a dangerous relationship of subjugation with Simone, a former violent boxer who terrorises the entire neighbourhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will submit to an unexpected act of vengeance.
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Ein launischer Sommer (1968)
Jiri Menzel
Czech Republic
76′
Capricious Summer is a Czechoslovak comedy directed by Jiří Menzel. It is based on the novel Rozmarné léto (Summer of Caprice) by the Czech writer Vladislav Vančura. It was listed to compete at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, but the festival was cancelled due to the events of May 1968 in France. The film depicts a humorous story of three men, a colonel, a priest and a bath-keeper, during rainy summer days.
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Firemen's Ball (1967)
Milos Forman
Czech Republic
73′
A volunteer fire department throws a party for their former boss with the whole town invited, but nothing goes as planned.
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Hexenkinder (2019)
Edwin Beeler
Switzerland
97′
The movie recalls children who suffered mental and physical harm both during the last century, particularly in religious orphanages, and during the time of early modernperiod witch-hunts. It shows that the mindsets and behavioural patterns of both time periods are more alike than one might think.
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L'amore molesto (1995)
Mario Martone
Italy
103′
The first novel by Elena Ferrante in the adaptation by Mario Martone. What happened to Amalia? Who was with her the night she died? Is Amalia, as the last hours of her life suggest, the woman her daughter Della has always imagined: equivocal, satisfied, predisposed to secret deviances and able to escape her husband's obsessive surveillance?
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La belle saison (2015)
Catherine Corsini
France
106′
1971. Delphine, the daughter of farmers, moves to Paris to break free from the shackles of her family and to gain her financial independence. Carole is a Parisian, living with Manuel, actively involved in the stirrings of the feminist movement. Their encounter turns their lives upside down.
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Landscape In The Mist - Topio stin omichli (1988)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
120′
LANDSCAPE IN THE MIST is a film about the void. It is a film about despair, about the failure of contemporary society. The prodigal father who figures in almost every Angelopoulos film here has evaporated into his mythical essence - leaving his children to become the wanderers in search of him. In the «chaos», two children appear, little Alexandros and his older sister Voula. In order to exorcise their loneliness, they invent a secret universe for themselves, inhabited by their dreams. Every night they go to a train station to watch the departure of a train to Germany, where they have been deceived by their mother (herself an off-screen presence) into believing that their absent father is living. One night they finally dare to get on the train. But their voyage turns out to be hazardous and pointless and disappointing. They confront suffering, physical and moral illness, jealousy, evil and death, if also love - as many ordeals and rites as initiations. Evading the half-hearted pursuit of the police and uncaring relatives, sneak onto trains, hitchhike in vans and lorries, and suffering poverty, rape and exploitation, take a dangerous leap of faith, an eerie plunge into liberation and danger. The familiar Greek landscape - the cafes, the depopulated towns and deserted beaches - are played for a strangely harsh fairytale quality, seen through the eyes of two children whose introduction to the real world borders on the surreal. The film is filled with extraordinary, unforgettable moments that are at once real and hallucinatory and contains intriguing references to other Angelopoulos' films. The children even encounter the Travelling Players now, thirteen years later, without a stage to act on, their costumes put up for sale. At the end Alexandros tells Voula the same story from Genesis that she told him at the start: «In the beginning there was chaos.» The children do finally reach the border, but of course there is no border with Germany and perhaps the river they cross is actually the Styx and perhaps their whole journey was a search for order in a chaotic world.
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Le retour d'Afrique (1973)
Alain Tanner
Switzerland
107′
An ode to liberated speech and to the power of words, “those one speaks to others, those one speaks in silence”, Alain Tanner’s third film is inspired by a poet and a poetic text which deeply affected him as a young director: Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, written in 1939 by Aimé Césaire. A poem extolled by the Surrealists, this seminal flow of anti-colonial thinking by the West-Indian-born poet is the bubbling spring which inspires the gestures and words of the film’s main character, Vincent (François Marthouret), a 30-year-old from Geneva.Weighed down by the monotony and boredom of his life as a well-off westerner, he sells all his possessions and decides to leave for Algeria with his fiancée. The subject is clearly that of escape from one’s place of belonging, a Rimbaudesque theme dear to Tanner, which is here directly linked to the Third Worldist discourse of the 1960s and 1970s. But the strength of the film lies in the way it turns this thinking on its head: on the eve of their departure, chance circumstances prevent the couple from leaving. Instead, they decide to pursue their dream of escape by living hidden away in their empty apartment. Again, Tanner shows that it is the inner mileage travelled that matters, not the arrival at a destination; the posing of a question rather than the answer. As the director says at the beginning of the film: “Speaking words can be an act in itself, it can also be a substitute for action.” This is an important precept for the understanding of Tanner’s cinema: poetry is a form of action, and having it in mind, reciting it, can help to give a new shape to reality: in the film’s final scene, the couple decide to have a child.
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Lerchen am Faden (1969)
Jiri Menzel
Czech Republic
94′
Larks on a String is a Czech film directed by Jiří Menzel. The movie was banned by the Czechoslovak government. It saw release in 1990 after the fall of the Communist regime. Menzel tells the stories of various characters considered bourgeois by Czechoslovakia's communist government in the 1950s, who have been forced to work in a junkyard for the purposes of re-education.
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Loves of a Blonde (1965)
Milos Forman
Czech Republic
80′
The head of a shoe factory persuades the army to hold manoeuvres nearby: So his workers can meet men at a ball. But the pot-bellied reservists are anything but attractive. Utilizing a brief hint of freedom, The Love of a Blonde throws an undisguised, humorous and tender look at Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and the ridiculousness of its functionaries.
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Markus Raetz (2007)
Iwan Schumacher
Switzerland
75′
The Swiss artist Markus Raetz is an established figure in the international art world. For the film by Iwan Schumacher, the artist from Bern is for the first time giving a camera team an insight into his 40 years of work.
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Matlosa (1981)
Villi Hermann
Switzerland
94′
Alfredo seems to lead the life of so many Ticinese families born in the valleys, who now only go back to their native village for the weekend. But Alfredo doesn’t longer experiences the journey as a form of escapism, but as an obsessive rite which is repeated over and over again. Alfredo has lost his own identity.
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Messidor (1979)
Alain Tanner
Switzerland
123′
Project initially entrusted to Maurice Pialat, who had already begun to film it under the title of “Meurtrières” (see the special edition of Les Inrockuptibles devoted to Pialat), Messidor is based on a crime story which hit the headlines in France in the 1970s: two adolescent girls run away and go on a criminal spree which ends in their deaths. On the face of it, this subject is remote from the world we associate with Tanner, since a violent story of this kind and its social background would seem to impose the realistic, even naturalistic form always shunned by the Swiss director. Moreover, Tanner is instinctively averse to filming physical violence. “Killing a person”, he says, “is generally a gratuitous special effect.” Consequently, of all Tanner’s films Messidor is the only one in which someone dies of non-natural causes. It is also Tanner’s most sombre work, characterised by a despair unmitigated by his usual verbal and situational humour. This is because Tanner accepted the project only on condition that he could recast the original idea and use this violent story as a vehicle for more personal preoccupations: the limits of freedom (already treated in his previous film) are here related to the girls’ frantic flight in the Swiss countryside. What interests him is the possible sullying of this place of excessive peace and quiet, now transformed into a field of experience and criminal fun-and-games by the two characters.
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Nostalghia (1983)
Andrei Tarkowski
Italy
126′
Andrei Gortchakov, a Russian writer, travels through Italy in the footsteps of a fellow composer to write his biography. With great sensitivity for the emotions of those who are far from their country, Andrei Tarkovski, supported by his Italian co-writer Tonino Guerra, draws a meeting of cultures and periods.
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On Body and Soul (2017)
Ildiko Enyedi
Hungary
116′
Two introverted people find out by pure chance that they share the same dream every night. They are puzzled, incredulous, a bit frightened. As they hesitantly accept this strange coincidence, they try to recreate in broad daylight what happens in their dream.
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Passagen (1972)
Fredi M. Murer
Switzerland
44′
H.R. Giger became known all over the world as the designer of the aliens in Ridley Scott's feature film ALIEN. In this documentary about H.R. Giger's work, which was made many years before, the artist's creative process and the interplay between conscious and unconscious influences are the focus. Statements by experts and contemporaries address the question of the artist's position and social responsibility.
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Ray & Liz (2018)
Richard Billingham
United Kingdom
108′
On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break social taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humor, three episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of the experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat.
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Sage femme - The Midwife (2017)
Martin Provost
France
117′
Claire is a single mother with a grown-up son. She’s a dedicated midwife who is completely wrapped up in her job. Although the maternity ward where she works is to be closed, she turns down a job offer from a larger clinic because she cannot reconcile their methods with her own ideas about midwifery. In the midst of all this upheaval she receives a phone call that rekindles memories of her youth. Béatrice, her late father’s former mistress, asks to meet her. Béatrice is a true bohemian – loud, colourful, egocentric and completely different to the focussed, helpful Claire. The younger woman asks herself why, after all these years of silence, Béatrice has suddenly decided to approach her for help, and is at first less than enthusiastic. Martin Provost has made a name for himself with powerful portraits of women (Séraphine, Violette). Sage Femme revolves around the encounter between two headstrong women, perfectly cast with two of French cinema’s grandes dames. A dramatic comedy about the need for change, and the question of whether steak, pommes frites and red wine is really what one would call a healthy lunch.
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Satte Farben vor Schwarz (2010)
Sophie Heldmann
Germany
82′
The love story of an elderly couple. Having arrived at the end of their lives, the two 74-year-old protagonists take the liberty of making their own decisions concerning life and death. They stage their demise exactly as they staged their lives. After fifty years spent together, they don’t go because they have to, but because they want to.
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Shortcuts - Postriziny (1981)
Jiri Menzel
Czech Republic
98′
Brewery owner Francin lives in a happy marriage with the all too beautiful Maryška. His life is turned upside down by the unexpected visit of his eccentric brother Pepin. Maryška finds a kindred soul in Pepin and falls into the modernization pull of the 1920s, to which she can't help but give in. Shortcuts, the film adaptation of a story by Bohumil Hrabal, became very successful with the audience in Czechoslovakia.
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Storia probabile di un Angelo - Fernando Birri (2017)
Paolo Taggi Domenico Lucchini
Italy
76′
A journey into the world and the work of the great master of the South American cinema, Fernando Birri. As Birri said, it’s his "spiritual kino last will".
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Summer 1993 (2017)
Carla Simon
Spain
98′
After her mother's death, six-year-old Frida is sent to her uncle's family to live with them in the countryside. But Frida finds it hard to forget her mother and adapt to her new life.
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The Beekeeper - O melissokomos (1986)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
117′
In THE BEEKEEPER, alienation and despair have so mestastasized in the film's central figure that he's virtually one of the walking dead. Spyros, a man soured by a secret, incestuous love for his daughter, on the day of her wedding, gives up his position as a schoolteacher, his wife, his home and his city to take up again the profession of his father and grandfather before him traveling across Greece to the town in which he was born and first learned to tend the bees, following the traditional beekeeper's route, looking for flowers that will produce the best honey, a wanderer obsessed by his job. Like a bee returning to its hive after searching for food he visits his old friends and his childhood home looking for threads to bind him to the present. He drives from town to town revisiting his old haunts and comrades relighting and reliving his history in his memory, trying to reconcile his past ideals with a swiftly changing nation that makes him feel uncomfortable. At some point he picks up a promiscuous young hitchhiker who sporadically tags along with him during his journey and seems to represent a new generation without memory and unconcerned with the past, drifting from one place to the next, flitting between the blinking lights of motor vehicles, gas stations, diners, cheap hotels and traffic signs along the dark, wet glistening roadways of present-day Greece. He becomes obsessed by her. She both irritates and entices him. What he seeks in her is a contact with the future. But for her the future is a casual encounter with the next moment. In the impossibility of their relationship there is a profound despair of a man without a future. He senses a rupture, but it's not the traditional one of the conflict of generations. It's really a rupture of language. He cannot communicate, even with love, with the body. From that comes his crisis of despair. Toward his end, he takes refuge in an abandoned cinema called the Pantheon. There, mocked by the sterile white screen above him, he tries - and fails - to bring himself to life in an attempt to connect sexually with the young hitchhiker but there can be no connection between these people from different worlds, either physical or emotional. For Spyros the past is everything, for her it is nothing. In Angelopoulos' words, «It's the conflict between memory and non-memory.» In the long run she only reminds him of his loneliness and isolation. Unable to come to come to terms with the present, betrayed by the past, wary of the future, Spyros falls back into silence and isolation and returns to his hives, abandoning himself to the stings of his bees.
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The Coat (1926)
Grigori Kosinzew Leonid Trauberg
Russia
80′
A minor clerk, Bashmachkin, replaces his threadbare overcoat with one made from the finest materials he can afford. Then one evening ruffians beat him up and steal his cherished new garment. The actors’ highly stylized gestures border on modern dance, and Bashmachkin’s world, especially as he begins to lose his grasp on reality, is powerfully rendered with looming shadows, oblique camera angles and eccentric architecture.
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The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
Michail Kalatosow
Russia
91′
Veronika and Boris come together in Moscow shortly before World War II. Walking along the river, they watch cranes fly overhead, and promise to rendezvous before Boris leaves to fight. Boris misses the meeting and is off to the front lines, while Veronika waits patiently, sending letters faithfully. After her house is bombed, Veronika moves in with Boris’ family, into the company of a cousin with his own intentions.
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The Guilty (2018)
Gustav Möller
Denmark
85′
Police officer Asger Holm, demoted to desk work as an alarm dispatcher, answers a call from a panicked woman who claims to have been kidnapped. Confined to the police station and with the phone as his only tool, Asger races against time to get help and find her.
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The Invisible Frame (2009)
Cynthia Beatt
Germany
59′
In 1988 Cynthia Beatt and the young Tilda Swinton embarked on a filmic journey along the Berlin Wall into little-known territory. The film CYCLING THE FRAME is now an unusual document. 21 years later, in June 2009, Beatt & Swinton re-traced the line of the Wall that once isolated West Berlin. THE INVISIBLE FRAME depicts this poetic passage through varied landscapes, this time on both sides of the former Wall.
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The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Yorgos Lanthimos
Ireland
121′
Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the doctor's life in gradually unsettling ways.
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The mirror - Zerkalo (1975)
Andrei Tarkowski
Russia
107′
Alyosha, a 40-year-old filmmaker, falls seriously ill. He remembers his past and collects the memories that marked his life: the house of his childhood, his mother waiting for the improbable return of her husband, the poems of his father, his wife and his son that he has not seen for a long time, the tumult of the Second World War.
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The Song of Mary Blane (2019)
Bruno Moll
Switzerland
86′
The painter from Solothurn (CH) Frank Buchser was sent to the USA in 1866 to paint a large painting of the "Heroes of the Civil War" for the future Council of States Hall in Bern. Initially Buchser was busy portraying politicians and generals in the spirit of his clients. More and more, however, he became interested in the Indians expelled to the reservations and in the living conditions of the slaves who had just been freed. Years earlier, fascinated by Moorish culture, Frank Buchser rides disguised as a Turkish sheikh to the Moroccan town of Fez, which is forbidden to Christians under death penalty. The Swiss filmmaker Bruno Moll (Pizza Bethlehem, Tunisreise) tells the two adventurous journeys of the rebellious and controversial artist. The film narrative begins with film documents of the riots in Charlottesville in August 2017 and the diary entries made by Frank Buchser in 1869, when General Lee was his model for the portrait. In a large flashback the film tells Buchser's story of his stay in Andalusia and Morocco in 1858, returns with him to his homeland and closes with his North American adventure.
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The suspended step of the stork (1991)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
136′
While working on a story in the border area, a young journalist discovers a divided town bisected by a river which is also the national frontier. He observes a surreal wedding in which the bride and her family stand on one shore and the groom and his relatives on the other, lost under a cold sky: figure in a landscape who only delude themselves that they are masters of the earth and their destiny The town, a remote ghost town, almost forgotten at the end of the world, has been named «waiting room» by the locals because most of its inhabitants are refugees from different countries many of whom have crossed the border illegally at some time or other and are now waiting for their turn to leave and start life anew «somewhere else.» In the course of his investigation he also comes upon an aging, reclusive refugee, who lives there cultivating a field. But the young journalist believes he is a famous Greek politician who disappeared years before, leaving behind him many unanswered questions. The man's identity is never resolved but the hapless refugees and divided village allow the reporter to understand his despair over the human condition. Theo Angelopoulos weaves yet another poetical allegory on the great open questions of our turbulent age. The film is very contemporary in its treatment of borders, refugees and a changing world since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. «Being a refugee is an internal condition more than an external one, says one of the characters in the film. And later on he also says, «We've passed the borders but we're still here. How many frontiers do we have to pass to get home?» Do politicians really care? Does anyone? Finally, there is the image of the stranger standing on the bridge poised over the dividing line between the two countries. He has one leg suspended in mid air, like a stork. «If I take one more step I am... somewhere else, or... I die.»
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with bonus
The Travelling Players - O Thiassos (1975)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
222′
Bonus: Interview with Theo Angelopoulos
The Travelling Players is a film of epic proportions. The action takes place during the years 1939-52 and is seen as a series of individual, often inexplicable events or tableaux, commentated by monologues, by slogans written on the walls, or by songs. It reveals the period's turbulent history while focusing on a travelling company of actors who spend those fourteen years wandering through provinces, cities and villages, performing, in increasingly threadbare circumstances, a 19th century pastoral melodrama, Persiadis' Golfo the Shepherdess. They never get to finish the play and the tranquil sheep painted on their back cloth gaze down upon generations of anguish and bloodshed. The passage of history reverberates in individual incidents or is summarized in symbols. These sad, shabby, often hungry folk, whose relationship is based on the family of the House of Atreus, are of varying political hues - from active collaborators with the Nazis (Aegisthus), to opportunists (Chrysothemis), to centrist Greek patriots (Agamemnon), to the apolitical (Clytemnestra), to left-wing idealists (Electra), to communist guerillas (Orestes). And they fill these roles as much as they do the mythic ones of wandering general, faithless wife, betrayer or vengeful son. As they travel amid the constant wartime convulsions, they begin, unconsciously, to enact parallels to Aeschylus' tragic cycle.
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Turist (2014)
Ruben Östlund
Sweden
120′
A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing and spend some precious time with each other. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life.
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Urs Fischer (2010)
Iwan Schumacher
Switzerland
102′
The 36-year-old Swiss artist Urs Fischer, who lives in New York, has been enjoying international fame for some years now. This documentary follows him during the preparation of his exclusive exhibition in an American museum and thus takes us into the daily life and work of an artist.
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Virgin Mountain (2015)
Dagur Kari
Iceland
92′
Like a young bird yet to find the courage to lift its wings, Fúsi (43) lives alone with his mother, where they've always lived.
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Von der Rolle (2019)
Verena Endtner
Switzerland
88′
What happens when fathers do more family work than mothers? An overview of families where traditional roles have been reversed. The director's experiences with children are reflected in the film in the form of short animations.
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Voyage to Cythera - Taxidi sta Kythira (1984)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
134′
Cythera, in Greek mythology, is the isle of dreams where one can dedicate oneself to happiness (or the pursuit thereof). In this quest within a quest, the tale of the father's return is told as if from the point of view of his son Telemachus and as if Telemachus were a filmmaker, as well as a middle-aged man with a son of his own. A film director, tired of the illusions and fictions of his profession, searches for a story of substance by attaching himself to an old man, a recently returned political exile. The man, away in the Soviet Union for 32 years and now stateless, finds himself at the beginning of a journey, not the end, and Angelopoulos evokes the past, present and future to bridge the gap between reality and the imagination. VOYAGE TO CYTHERA is about an old man - the country's leftist past - who cannot become reconciled to his country's present or perhaps it is Greece that is not ready to come to grips with its past. In the end the old man is set adrift on a raft headed away from Greece into international waters, with no home to steer toward, joined by his wife a latter-day Penelope who, despite the fact that this man is more a stranger than a husband to her after so many years, chooses to share the rest of her life with him and in doing so accepts all of his past, his sorrow, his politics and his failed dreams. It is a journey to the dark side of Greek history where it crosses paths with myth.
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Wild Plants (2016)
Nicolas Humbert
Switzerland
109′
Wild Plants are plants that seed themselves on fallow land, take possession of seemingly uninhabitable terrain and create new habitats. But wild plants are also people who create their own utopias and become impulse generators for others. People live in many scattered places around the world and projects are growing in which botanical and biographical uncontrolled growth are combined.
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