In 1967, CIA agents were sent into NASA posing as a documentary film crew in order to root out a Russian mole. What happened next represents one of the biggest conspiracies in American history. Or does it? In the second feature from the brilliantly witty Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson (The Dirties), the Cold War paranoia of the 1960s and the fanaticism of the space race is exploded in a tensely crafted piece of documentary fiction, all leading to the ultimate truth behind the 1968 Apollo mission. Or maybe not.
Screening supported by Lionsgate. Tickets available on the Picturehouses website here.
Grisly, beautiful and frequently bonkers, We Are The Flesh is a fairytale of power, rebirth and fresh meat. Wandering through a ruined city, a young brother and sister discover a building inhabited by a mysterious hermit. Offering them sanctuary, it’s the beginning of a spiritual, visceral journey that offers the possibility of rebirth, in Emiliano Rocha Minter’s utterly distinctive, visually extraordinary kaleidoscope of a debut. Produced by Carlos Reygades and EEFF 2014 Director in Residence Sebastian Hofmann, this may be the work of Latin America’s next great director. Also supported by Mexican heavyweights Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuaron, you’ve never seen anything quite like this.
Tickets available from the Picturehouses website here.
Three investors, wolves in sheep’s clothes, can’t for the life of them find heart or soul. In their jets they circle the globe, preaching love and earning gold. Smoke and mirrors is their game, ministers, unions and kings enjoy their fame. Gambling with open cards at the table, where there’s no risk there’s only one aim: the truth is a lie, ’cause lying is real – when you get pranked, how does it feel?’ Austrian enfant terrible Daniel Hoesl (Soldier Jane, EEFF 2013) returns to EEFF to present his second film Win Win, a wry and hilarious satire of the corporate world, the global financial crisis, and a set of nefarious double-speaking pranksters looking to bring the whole edifice crashing down.
The year’s best (only?) horror mermaid musical, this utterly unique debut is an alluring fairy tale about two sisters who emerge from the sea, and head straight for a Warsaw nightclub. Embracing their new life as cabaret stars, their symbiosis is threatened when one of them falls for a dashing musician, and they may have to return to the sea, or suffer bloody consequences. A brilliantly entertaining, wacky maiden effort, with killer tunes.
Tickets available on the Picturehouses website here.
Screening supported by the Polish Cultural Institute
The second feature from one of Turkey’s most important new filmmakers, Emin Alper follows Beyond the Hill with a timely state-of-the-nation thriller. Set in some near future in which Turkey seems on the verge of collapse, it sees Kadir released from prison on the condition that he turns informant for the state, spying on his neighbours and helping to defuse the numerous bombs that are being planted across the city. Meanwhile his brother Ahmet is employed to kill the city’s numerous stray dogs, a task that along with his estrangement from his wife seems to be causing him to lose his mind. The pressure of their circumstances, and forces from their past, will create a situation that neither of them can escape. And perhaps neither can anyone else, in this taut vision of a nation gone wrong.
Frenzy won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2015. Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.
Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley follow the BAFTA-nominated Black Pond with an often hilarious, always poignant tale of troubled sibling relationships, alienation and aliens. When his sister Alice and her boyfriend disappear on the canalways of London, Zac desperately sets out to find her. Featuring Joe Thomas and Simon Bird, The Darkest Universe is a brilliantly distinctive, emotive piece of comedic filmmaking, featuring some of Britain’s most exciting young comic actors.
What makes a dictator? American indie darling Brady Corbet (Martha, Macy May, Marlene, Simon Killer) makes his directorial debut with a fable of totalitarianism in Childhood of a Leader, a portrait of an American boy living in France whilst his father negotiates the Treaty of Versailles. Inspired by the childhoods of many of the 20th Century’s great dictators, it’s enlivened by an utterly chilling turn from Robert Pattinson and a barmy, overwhelming score by American music legend Scott Walker, elevating a tale of childhood nastiness to an evocation of emerging evil.
Tickets available from the Picturehouses website here.
Tunisia in the months leading up to the Jasmine Revolution provides the backdrop to As I Open My Eyes, a tale of rebellious youth and rock n’ roll. Eighteen year old Farah is being pressured to become a doctor by her family. But what she really wants is to sing in her band, get drunk with her friends and experience the dramas of life in Tunis’ underground music scene. Described as the best fictional film yet made about the Arab Spring, Leyla Bouzid’s debut is a humane portrait of the counterculture in a conservative society, with incredible songs and serious heart.
A lonely, reclusive private investigator is pulled into the world of ‘telephone walking’ when a mysterious woman steals his surveillance tapes in Aloys, Tobias Nölle’s gloriously mad debut feature. Exploring the imaginary worlds and human connections made possible by a simple phone call, the fantastical existence that this unlikely odd couple create is a bizarrely moving world of cabaret performance, barnyard animals and genuine human connection, an utterly distinctive love story loaded with amazing imagery, bleak humour and delicate emotion. An absolute one-off.