Films with bonus

with bonus
Medianeras (2011)
Gustavo Taretto
Argentina
90′
Bonus: 3 short movies (Una vez mas, Hoy no estoy, Medianeras)
Mariana, Martìn and the city of Buenos Aires. Martìn and Mariana live across from each other on the same block, but never meet. They pass each other, not knowing about the other’s existence. She goes up the stairs as he goes down the stairs; he gets on the bus just as she gets off the bus. They go to the same video rental shop, but a video rack separates them; they sit in the same row at the cinema, but the auditorium is dark. The city brings them together, and, at the same time, keeps them apart. Director Gustavo Taretto told the story of Mariana, Martìn and the city of Buenos Aires once before: «MEDIANERAS is a short film that received 40 awards worldwide - a short film with a feature film hidden inside. Our aim is to bring the feature to light. In the film EL SOL DEL MEMBRILLO (QUINCE TREE OF THE SUN), Víctor Erice reflects, among other things, upon Antonio López’s obsession with painting a tree that he had planted and seen growing in his garden. The tree changes with the passing of time, the seasons, and especially in different shades of light. MEDIANERAS is my tree. I planted it over four years ago, and I’ve been watching it grow since then. Following the analogy with the painting, the short film unveils the gesture in the stroke, the artist’s palette, the trunk which holds it in place, the main branches and the colour of its leaves. Now, with the feature, the moment has arrived for going into detail, for exploring depth and hues, ambiguities and contradictions. The story changes in exactly the same way as the city that serves as its setting: Buenos Aires. Some of the scenes wither away, while others bloom.» (Gustavo Taretto)
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with bonus
Félicité (2017)
Alain Gomis
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)
124′
Bonus: Interview with Alain Gomis (in french)
Félicité is a proud and independent woman who works as a singer in a bar in Kinshasa. Whenever she goes on stage, she appears to leave the world and her everyday worries behind. Her audiences are quickly infected by the rhythm of her music and her powerful, melancholy melodies. But then one day Félicité’s son has a terrible accident. Whilst he is in hospital she desperately tries to raise the money needed for his operation. A breathless tour through the impoverished streets and the wealthier districts of the Congolese capital ensues. One of the bar’s regulars is a man named Tabu who has been known to get carried away in every sense of the term. Tabu offers to help Félicité. Reluctantly, she accepts. After his spell in hospital, Félicité’s son has a hard time picking up his old life, but it is lady’s man Tabu of all people who manages to coax him out of his shell. Félicité’s sparsely furnished flat with its permanently defunct fridge becomes a mini utopia in a country that holds no hope for most of its population. The trio forms an eccentric community thrown together by fate, each of whom is free to go their separate ways together.
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with bonus
Cairo Station (1958)
Youssef Chahine
Egypt
73′
Bonus: Why Chahine?
Melodrama and thriller, social drama and love story in one, the masterly feature film by the Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, made in 1958, is located entirely on the station grounds. The old Madbouli is the owner of a kiosk at Cairo's main railway station. One day he finds a half-starved, poor man at the edge of the tracks. Madbouli feels sorry for the sad-looking, limping farmer Kenaoui and hires him as a flying newspaper salesman. At work, Kenaoui meets the beautiful Hanouma every day, who also earns her living at the station by supplying travellers with lemonade drinks. Kenaoui falls for the cheerful woman and makes it his goal to marry her. Lonely and in obsessive longing, he cuts out lightly dressed women from magazines in his hut at the edge of the train station in the evening, hanging his walls with them. Although he knows that Hanouma is already promised to the suitcase porter and trade unionist Abou Serih, one day he reveals his feelings to her and proposes to her. Her rejection, soaked with mockery and ridicule, drives Kenawi further into a rage-drenched obsession for Hanuma. Restored version.
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with bonus
Un amor (2012)
Paula Hernández
Argentina
100′
Bonus: Interview with Paula Hernández
Does love at first sight exist? This may certainly be the case, but sometimes you need time to be sure of this love. This film describes such a story about getting to know somebody and falling in love as a teenager, and about meeting again many years later. It begins in the 70s, in the summer in a small town by the river. Bruno and Lalo are teenagers and good friends. They hang around together in the heat, until one rainy day Lisa turns up, a beautiful young woman who capriciously and quick-wittedly turns the heads of both boys - and then decides on one of them. Three decades later she is back again and finds the friends from her youth living in differing situations. "I am single now", she says, but I can't get the picture of the three of us out of my head. No, she is certainly no longer the same Lisa for both men as she was back then. The pictures and memories that one had of one another, are these still any use in the present? What was it like back then, this love? What did we want, what happened to us? They ponder these questions in front of the camera, giving voice to their memories. How does a love story and history fit together? Can you carry on where you left off three decades ago? These and other questions are pondered by this film about making friends and falling in love as a teenager, and of meeting again many years later. The wonderfully easy-going triangle of their adolescence can probably not be revived. But what about unique and true love from back then? Paula Hernández’ film is also an experiment about how feelings are linked to the spirit of the time the ups and downs of life, in which light, air and sun play a not insignificant role. An intensive, thoughtful, atmospherically very emotionally intoned film about love and about time, which gives this love a new dimension.
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with bonus
Que tan lejos (2006)
Tania Hermida
Ecuador
91′
Bonus: Interview with Tania Hermida
Self-discovery journey of two girls in their mid twenties while they travel along the Ecuadorian mountains and coasts. Esperanza (Hope) and Tristeza (Sadness) will not find postcard views or perfect love, but their journey will teach them there’s a world beyond that.
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with bonus
Shanghai, Shimen Road (2011)
Haolun Shu
China
84′
Bonus: Interview with Haolun Shu
Xiaoli, a 16 year old Shanghainese boy, has recently turned 16, in the summer of 1988. His life revolves around his one-room apartment in a beautiful brick house in the picturesque Shikumen neighborhood of Da Zhongli which he shares with his grandfather. Xiaoli's grandfather was brought up in this neighborhood, and was one of original owners of the houses, built in the 1930s by British architects. The houses were confiscated from their original owners by the government during the Cultural Revolution and made to share with lower-income families. Xiaoli's father died in prison during the Cultural Revolution and his mother immigrated to the United States in the hope of obtaining a green card for her and her son. Xiaoli yearns to graduate from high school and open a photo shop as he is numbed by the routine of his life: his boring political education classes, his English study, the sternness of his grandfather and the lack of comforting parental figure. At the same time, he is wary of the idea of following in his mother's footsteps to America. His interest lies in his blossoming next door neighbor, a girl of twenty named Lanmi. Lanmi failed her college entrance exams and works in the Shanghai no. 2 Toothbrush Factory. She lives in the adjacent apartment with her mother and step-father. She comes from a lower class income family and was relocated in Da Zhongli with her father and mother, before her father was sent off to labor prison were he also eventually died. Lanmi does not get along with her mother and stepfather and new born sibling, and yearns to get out of Da Zhongli, if only she could afford it. She turns to Xiaoli for comfort, albeit of a different kind than Xiaoli is looking for. While Xiaoli looks at her for a mix of motherly figure and teenage lust, Lanmi plays with him. She flirts with him, arouses his senses, and yet has no interest in pursuing their relationship any further, thus giving false hopes to Xiaoli. She starts leading a double life, one which Xiaoli does not even know exists. One day, as she is delivering toothbrushes to a hotel, she is hired to work there for one of the 'sisters'. To Xiaoli, her job oddly consists of going to dances or accompanying foreign businessmen, as Shanghai progressively opens up to foreigners, foreign exchange notes and coca-cola. Xiaoli slowly becomes suspicious of Lanmi's new job yet gives her the benefit of the doubt. Until one day when Lanmi dispappears down south in search of a better life. In Lanmi's absence, Xiaoli turns to Lili who is more of his age but never looses interest in his deviant neighbor. When Lanmi comes back two weeks later, the student demonstrations start monopolizing everyone's life in the spring of 1989. They offer new opportunities to Xiaoli and Lanmi, depending on how each one looks at the events. Xiaoli becomes absorbed by the new developments and slowly looses his naivesness about the country he is living in and his interest in his next door neighbour's Lanmi turns to drugs and alcohol as an escape to her everyday life. When the situation gets so bad that Xiaoli's grandfather urges Xiaoli to leave for America, Xiaoli agrees to and flees.
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Salt of this Sea (2008)
Annemarie Jacir
Palestine
105′
Bonus: Interview with Annemarie Jacir
Soraya, 28, born and raised in Brooklyn, decides to return to live in Palestine, a country that her family was exiled from in 1948. On arriving in Ramallah, Soraya tries to recover the money left in an account by her grandparents but meets with refusal from the bank. Her path then crosses that of Emad, a young Palestinian whose ambition, unlike hers, is to leave the country for good. To escape the constraints linked to the situation in Palestine but also to earn their freedom, Soraya and Emad take things into their own hands, even if this means breaking the law. In this quest for life, we follow their trail through the History of a lost Palestine. Annemarie Jacir is telling not only or simply the story of a woman that comes to visit a region where her grandparents lived («here!»), no, the palestinian filmmaker is taking us as viewers deep into that, what facts and figures could never describe. It is this strong atmosphere, she has been creating, that touches us, it's the images of a well known situation, but again, not only the images in the photografic sense, she reaches in the way she's telling this little journey a level of inside view, that has in it's silent, feverish and constantly instabile way breathtaking and heartstopping moments. SALT OF THIS SEA is one of those movies, that give us an inner view of a situation that we all know somehow and where we run out of words to discribe. And this seems to me today much more important then to repeat what we know. Annemarie Jacirs movie is touching, because it goes under the surface even by simply showing surfaces, it goes under the surface by having a wonderful actress who is able to speak not only in words. And it goes there because she did put together so many little visible and invisible elements, without pointing them out: They are simply there, from the first moment, and they speak for themselves each of them and all together. The filmmaker created a kind of soft explosive that is not blessing but touching.
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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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