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Activities - 25/05/2009
Cannes 2009 - Three films to discover
Beyond the Awards Ceremonies, let us point out 3 European films which we feel are very likely to find their way into film theatres to a wide audience: The Girl, Eastern Plays and The Happiest Girl in the World. ____________________________________
First of all, The Girl (Flickan), from Swede Fredrik Edfeldt. Already a winner in Berlin and chosen by Variety magazine for the next Karlovy Vary festival, this first feature film shown in the Marché and which will be released in Sweden in the autumn benefits from the photography of Hoyte Van Hoytema (Let the Right One In). When her parents leave to go and work in Africa for the summer, they entrust the care of their ten-year-old daughter to her aunt. But the latter soon disappears off with her new boyfriend and the young girl is left alone in the large country house. Alone, she decides to support herself.
The director closely follows his formidable young actress during this rite of passage creating a poetic gem of a work that is harsh but never sinister and which would be worthy of being discovered by the widest possible young audience.
Shown at the Directors’ Fortnight, Eastern Plays, the first feature film from Bulgarian Kamen Kalev, for its part presents the contrasting portrait of Sofia, something lacking in Bulgarian cinema, and that of a lost youth unsure what to cling on to. Here we have two brothers who hardly ever see each other any more. The youngest, about to fall in with the neo-Nazi movement, is involved in a violent attack on a Turkish family during which his brother bravely intervenes. This aggression and the love he is to have for the young Turkish girl will be his way out of his drug addiction and a lethargy which is preventing him from fulfilling his potential.
An emotive and just piece, featuring notable performances and a very optimistic ending, Eastern Plays signals the birth of a filmmaker reminiscent of Fatih Akin.
With Tales from the Golden Age and Police, Adjective, Romanian cinema will have confirmed in the Official Selection the very healthy state of its young representatives. We will now have to include Radu Jude in this, a newcomer whose feature, The Happiest Girl in the World, was shown at Acid having been honoured by the CICAE at the last Berlin Film Festival.
Delia, 18 years old, has won a car at a competition organised by a drinks brand. Her parents take her to Bucharest where she has to do some publicity, right in the heart of the city centre, for this brand, proof that she has actually won the car. But the shoot gets more and more complicated and Delia has to confront her parents who want to sell her prize. Curled up like a parcel on the back seat of the family car in the morning, Delia will boldly negotiate with her parents over the course of the day to take her future in her own hands. Tight in its production and in the directing of the actors, the film slowly emerges as the portrait of a young girl who learns the codes of a society in flux and who will manage to adapt.
Pictures (from top):The Girl, Eastern Plays, The happiest Girl in the World