Molodist turns 42 this year, and brings with it loads of fascinating flicks to the celebration. Two programmes – competition and non-competition – umbrella a number of categories from geographically-based to sexually-spun and everything in between. If you’ve never taken in this can-be provocative festival of cinematic experimentation, what are you waiting for? Get going to Molodist.
One of the films being presented at this year’s festival is Vic & Flo Saw a Bear, which tells the story of two lesbian lovers and former convicts who settle in the countryside of Quebec, Canada. Written and directed by Canadian filmmaker/producer Denis Cote, he brings the film to Kyiv personally, after it won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in February of this year. Incidentally, it is also a part of Molodist’s must-sees.
The whole world is extremely sad and angry about all the homophobia in that region of the world. It makes humanity return so far behind! That said, I’m not sure homosexuality is a strong issue in the film. Most women in jail create couples; security couples, not homosexual ones. When they are released, they like to stay around women or not. It is not about being homosexual, it’s about security. We don’t talk much about that in the film and I am not trying to push the issue. People love each other, it’s perfectly natural, end of question.
I have made so many indie and personal films that I don’t think Hollywood would ever be interested in me. I like to find new opportunities in Europe and the most important thing is to control my signature and impose my personality. I don’t dream of any other career now. I’m myself.
When I became a film student at 18-years-old, it was clear it was to become a director. Nothing else.
I guess it’s safe to say we are different from English Canadians. Our inspirations come from different cultures. Art-wise, we are much more European-influenced than our neighbours, who see more opportunities in the United States. We are a very small French nation surrounded by 400 million Anglophones. Of course, our political, cultural and social reflexes are about survival. Sometimes, we are a bit closed on ourselves but in general I think we are quite a special and original society.
Visit Japan. Make a whole film in another country. Eat better. Tattoo my hands. Call my mother more often.
Students seem to forget cinema is a very social art. The basic thing is to meet people, wherever: at the local cinematheque or in a cheap bar drinking vodka but meet people! Communication is key. Some people have no leadership, no strong personality, they are afraid to meet people. They don’t usually end up making cinema. It’s important to say that, and to say that cinephilia will never be out of fashion. It’s the best school.
Kyiv International Film Fest
19 –27 October
Must-see Films of Molodist
The Broken Circle Breakdown
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen (BE/NL, 2012, 100’)
Elise and Didier have been together for seven years. When their daughter gets seriously ill, all the turning points in their intense relationship seem to flash by: courtship and passion, coming closer through their bluegrass music group, marriage, unexpected pregnancy, parenthood...
Beauty and the Beast/La Belle et la Bête
Directed by Jean Cocteau (FR, 1946, 90’)
Jean Cocteau’s retelling of Madame Leprince de Beaumont’s classic fairytale of Beauty, who saves her father’s life by promising to live in the enchanted castle of a fearful beast, is perhaps one of the best known French films of all times.
The Notebook/Le Grand Cahier
Directed by János Szász (HU/DE/AT/FR, 2013, 109’)
In a village on the Hungarian border, two young brothers grow up during wartime with their cruel grandmother and must learn every trick of evil to survive in the absurd world of adults.
Story of My Death/Història de la Meva Mort
Directed by Albert Serra (ES/FR, 2013, 148’)
Casanova hires a new servant to witness the last moments of his life. Leaving a gallant and libertine French castle he spends his last days in the poor and dark lands of northern Europe. There, his casual society life and rational thoughts are collapsing against a force, represented by Dracula and his eternal power.
The Cranes Are Flying/Letyat Zhuravli
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov (USSR, 1957, 97’)
Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines...and then communication stops. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to ward off spiritual numbness while Boris’s draft-dodging cousin makes increasingly forceful overtures.
Purple Noon/Plein Soleil
Directed by René Clément (FR/IT, 1960, 118’)
A rich American industrialist gives Tom Ripley the task of bringing his son Philippe home. Tom, also a former friend of Philippe, finds him in Italy enjoying himself with his mistress Marge Duval and with no intention of returning to the US. Tom, thinking his mission to be over, takes advantage by taking a holiday with Philippe...
Directed by Kim Ki-duk (KR, 2013, 89’)
Consumed with hatred for her husband for his long time infidelity, a wife takes revenge against him but ends up inflicting a wound upon their son, and then disappears overwhelmed with guilt. The boy becomes miserable because of the deceit of his father, and so the father cuts off his manhood, which is the source of all this misery and dedicates himself entirely to his son. As a result, the wound somewhat heals, but when the wife returns home one day the family is driven towards a more horrific destruction.
The Past/Le passé
Directed by Asghar Farhadi (FR/IT, 2013, 130’)
Following a four-year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran in order to finalise the divorce procedure. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter Lucie. Ahmad’s efforts to improve this relationship soon unveils a secret from their past.
Liv & Ingmar
Directed by Dheeraj Akolkar (NO/UK/IN, 2012, 83’)
An affectionate yet truthful account of the 42 years and 12 film-long relationship between legendary actress Liv Ullmann and master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Told entirely from Liv’s point of view, this rollercoaster journey of extreme highs and lows is constructed as a collage of images and sounds from the timeless Ullmann-Bergman films.
Directed by Yolande Moreau (FR/BE, 2013, 107’)
The meeting of two lonely, marginal souls. There is Henri, a man in his 50s, limp, resigned, somewhat alcoholic. And Rosette, a (slightly) mentally challenged woman who dreams of love, sexuality, normality...
Directed by Serge Bozon (LU/FR/BE, 2013, 106’)
Two policewomen from Internal Affairs arrive in a provincial precinct to investigate the death of an Algerian woman who was an informer. One punches, the other eyes, "tip top".
Eat Sleep Die/Äta Sova Dö
Directed by Gabriela Pichler (SE, 2012, 104’)
When the forceful young Muslim Swedish/Balkan “take-no-sh*t” factory worker Raša loses her job, she faces the system of unemployment. With no high school diploma, no job – but her boots deeply stained with the mud of the small town she grew up in – Raša finds herself on a collision course with society.
Sex, Drugs & Taxation/Spies & Glistrup
Directed by Christoffer Boe (DK, 2013, 110’)
Maybe the best thing to come out of Scandinavia during the hippie years was, in fact, the story of a radical libertarian and a hedonist capitalist. Their friendship, forged by being outsiders in a conformist country, took them through years of adulation and success, with slight detours into the welcoming arms of vilification and imprisonment. A joyride through taxation, mass travel, hookers and politics.
Ulrich Seidl: Total Retrospecctive
Paradise: Love/Paradies: Liebe
(AT/DE/FR, 2012, 120’)
On the beaches of Kenya they’re known as Sugar Mamas: European women who seek out African boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter entering puberty, travels to this vacation paradise and finally she must recognise love is a business here.
Paradise: Faith/Paradies: Glaube
(AT/FR/DE, 2012, 113’)
For Anna Maria, an X-ray technician, paradise lies with Jesus. She devotes her vacation to missionary work. She daily goes door to door, carrying a foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary. One day, after years of absence, her husband, an Egyptian Muslim confined to a wheelchair, comes home. Prayers are now joined by fighting.
Paradise: Hope/Paradies: Hoffnung
(AT/FR/DE, 2013, 91’)
While her mother, Teresa, travels to Kenya, and her aunt does missionary work for Jesus Christ, Melanie, an overweight 13-year-old, spends her summer vacation in a strictly-run diet camp in the Austrian countryside. Between sports activities and nutritional counselling, pillow fights and her first cigarettes, she falls in love with the camp director, a doctor 40 years her senior.