Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 Chicago Film Fest Wrap Up













2014 Chicago Film Festival

This concludes another year of the Chicago Film Festival, which this year featured Scandinavian films and a celebration of many former prize winners as a celebration of their 50th year, still the longest running film festival in North America.  While others are flashier and create more hype by screening American premieres of prize-winning festival films, Chicago screened a handful as well, including the Cannes Palme d’Or winner, and plenty of films no one has ever heard of, where the festival is all about a mix of the known and the unknown, and taking a few chances on films you may never see elsewhere. 

This site will post the ratings of a few of the rabid film-goers that shared their thoughts and comments of their festival experience, where we are often at odds with one another when it comes to the same films. 

We all might pick and choose our differences, where once more someone’s favorite is someone else’s least favorite, which also happened last year at the fest between Kirk and myself - - where my best of the entire year (seen at the fest) 2013 Top Ten List #1 The Missing Picture (L'image manquante) was Kirk’s least favorite film at the fest - - this year it’s Evan and myself, where his favorite is my least favorite.  Nonetheless, we can appreciate the consideration shown to each film in the various comments, which is always helpful, especially at a film festival, where we’re continually asking others what they thought about various films, as part of the beauty is how we each see things so differently.  Hard to understand just how differently sometimes.

Walking through the crowded hallways or standing uniformly in line after line, we often lose sight of just how uniquely different we all are.  

It's interesting that our comments, even within our own little group, reflect that.  


Robert at Cranes Are Flying

A
Here's Your Life (Här har du ditt liv)                 A                     97       
1967 Gold Hugo for Best Film and Best Director
Clouds of Sils Maria                                       A                     96
A Dream of Iron (Cheol-ae-kum)                     A                     95

A-
The Fool (Durak)                                            A-                    94

B+
Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro)                        B+                   92
In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten)           B+                   92
Timbuktu                                                       B+                   91
The Evolution of Bert                                      B+                   91
Speed Walking (Kapgang)                                B+                   90

B
Force Majeure (Turist)                                    B                      89
González                                                        B                      87
Stockholm                                                     B                      87
Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit)     B                      86
Ärtico (Arctic)                                               B                      86
Winter Sleep (Kis uykusu)                               B                      84
An Eye for Beauty (Le règne de la beauté)         B                      83

B-
National Gallery                                             B-                    82
The Owners                                                  B-                    82
Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai ri yan huo)                B-                    81
If You Don't, I Will (Arrête ou je continue)        B-                    81
Joy of Man's Desiring (Que ta joie demeure)     B-                    80

C+
August Winds (Ventos de Agosto)                      C+                   78
It Follows                                                       C+                   77

C
Cru (2014)                                                       C                     75
The Salvation                                                   C                     74
The Lesson (Izlaiduma gads)                             C                     72
Still (2014)                                                      C                     70

D
Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg)                      D                     59


Evan Wang – Biology Masters degree student at IIT

Here are my ratings for the 40 films I saw, one by one in order of preference. Each will be accompanied by a short comment, basically in one or two sentences. I usually adopt a 1 to 10 scale when I rate films, but to make it easier for discussion, I decided to convert them into the letter system used by most of us so far.

One more note. As I once heard from Jonathan and Robert, their verdicts on each film are based upon comparisons to other films they have seen before, and should be consistent with the rating system that has already been built in their minds. Well, that is not what I am doing, because it feels almost impossible for me considering how different these films are. Therefore, instead of trying to figure out my own universal standard, I would rather just give all the praise to a film I really love, and throw every harsh word on my mind to something I deem as a complete waste of time. I also find it very annoying when I see a film that is neither good enough for me to like, nor bad enough to hate. So the ratings might seem a bit polarized, but I guess that is okay.

A    Stations of the Cross

      What blow my mind are the two different ways of looking adopted in the film. One of them is the persistent gaze, through which all the static shots are taken. Unlike many other films employing a similar approach, it is not impassively observing from the judging eyes of an intruder, but fixed with the greatest kind of compassion on each one of the people trapped in their own belief. The other is what we see in the final shot, which is the only continuous camera movement in the entire film. Before turning up to the gloomy sky, the pair of eyes lent to the audience takes a heartbreaking last look at this world, utterly with love that reminds us of what we often neglect in search of the so-called truth. 

A    Here’s Your Life

      Only one film is shown during the 2 hours and 40 minutes, but it feels like watching at least five of them. It is what could happen to Boyhood if it is set during the historical background of WWI. While things change rapidly through all the teen years, friends, romance, and jobs keep leaving and entering young Olof's life. Some would unexpectedly come back, and others forever disappear. In this first feature, Jan Troell has already displayed his unconstrained creativity in a kaleidoscope of cinematic techniques.

A    Fanny and Alexander

      An epic story taking place in a family. Bergman infuses his eternal curiosity about human nature into the view point of a kid, presenting his understanding on the ultimate virtue of truthfulness, as well as the contempt for hypocrisy.  

A-   Winter Sleep

      Ceylan managed to create an astonishing tension that is ready to explode at any minute, only from trivial, ordinary conflicts, in a place isolated from the rest of the world. He also knows exactly when is the right moment to release the audience from the almost claustrophobic indoor quarrels to the breathtaking scenery of winter Anatolia. 

A-   Timbuktu

      The shattered beauty of the land occupied by Islamic rebels is unfolded in Abderrahmane Sissako's poetic film through intentionally fragmented stories and an intermittent score. As hinted by the gazelle running aimlessly to escape its predator at both the beginning and the finale, a path that could lead the people in Timbuktu out of their misfortune is devastatingly absent.

A-   Supernova

      While many people try so hard to turn their films into a thought-provoking exploration for the meaning of life, the way Tamar van den Dop offers her interpretation looks almost effortless. "Everything can come out of nothing". An earthly tribute to humanity is patiently brought out through the story of an adolescent girl's sexual awakening and a bunch of physical laws, supported by the subtle and fearless performances from young actress Gaite Jansen and Tamar van den Dop herself. It is also worth noting that flies are captured buzzing around in plenty of the scenes, probably echoing the vanitas theme of Dutch Golden Age still life paintings. Our transient nature has always been one of the major inspirations for artists from Holland, but this film is not another lament on that. Quite the contrary, it affectionately celebrates the succession of life, which is not any less spectacular than the explosion of supernova.

A-   The Babadook

      It has everything that is required for a decent horror film, but what makes it even better is that it never bothers to convince the audience about the existence of supernatural, and the suspense lies much deeper beneath the threat hovering on the screen. "All children see monsters," but sometimes the grown-ups might be the ones who are scared although they are no longer used to admitting it. Behind the demon from a kid's bedtime book, this is actually a story about a mother and her son's fight against themselves and the nightmare that has haunted their life all the way since the tragic past. An expected twist at the end brilliantly presents both illusions and the reality on the same stage, elevating the film to a profoundly moving point as a testament to the strength of love.

A-   Tir

      A documentary-style fiction that could easily feel dull, but in a righteous way. Mainly consisting of beautifully taken static shots both inside and outside the vehicle, it follows an teacher-turned-driver who works for a trucking company in his life of endless toil on the road, and gives the audience a realistic view of the troubled economy in Europe through only a few barely dramatic moments. Deliberately contrasting highly automated machinery with over-exploited human labor, Tir is a film that dares to bring notice to the critical issues rather than just making itself interesting to watch.

B+   Black Coal, Thin Ice

       It is very impressive to see how Chinese independent director, Diao Yinan, adapts the key elements of Film Noir for a realistic set-up of contemporary China that is so detailed and distinguishable. Although his intention is way too obvious in the addition of certain scenes, including a few references to Noir classics that do not really help the plot, Diao did a perfect job on softening the pessimistic tone toward the unsympathetic fate into an attitude of silent resistance, challenging the notion of justice imposed by the system. The daylight fireworks, as literally translated from the Chinese title, are the defiance of the night.

B+   1001 Grams

       The highly organized style of mise-en-scène is rarely as effectively used as it is in this exquisite Norwegian allegory. Shapes, colors, as well as Marie's life as a metrologist, are all arranged in precise order when everything starts to fall apart. Here, visual language takes over the most important part in storytelling, which is usually done by vain dialogues. Looking up from the aisle between two concrete buildings, where Marie and her father used to stand and chat, the narrow strip of the starry sky seems to be the best metaphor for the overlooked beauty in a industrialized world. Sometimes, an extra gram is just what we need to remind us how much more there is beyond the perfectly measured kilo.

B+   The Iron Ministry

       This feels like an overnight journey across China on the train, which actually takes the filmmaker more than 3 years to shoot. Showing a touch of cinema vérité in the film, director J.P. Sniadecki brilliantly hides his existence by becoming part of the environment, or even part of the country, instead of simply avoiding contact or communication. 

B+   Force Majeure

       The wry, and surely very original, sense of humor might be the most obvious factor that makes this film stand out. What should not be ignored, though, is the great subtlety it conveys working as an examination on marriage and relationship. 

B+   Clouds of Sils Maria

       It is one of the few films that I could not wait to rewatch right after the festival. Once again, Assayas elegantly exerts his large repertoire of cinematic techniques into this multiple-layered drama, delving into the female psychological realm between youth and maturity. Each of the three main characters, well played by Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz, has a certain part in the persona that mirrors the other two. Sometimes, the implicit dynamics might be too complicated to follow, but the film never fails to bring enough enjoyment and lead the audience through the meditative experience.

B+   Of Horses and Men

       In this bold and very funny satire, the behavior of men is truthfully observed by the eyes of horses, but perhaps not so much by men themselves through the binoculars held in their hands. The distinct life style and landscape in Iceland plays an important part in the six interwoven stories, while the implications appearing to be pretty clear and universal. The beginning and the end of the film parallels each other with two "erotic" scenes, probably to point out for people in the modern world, who suffer so much from all the trouble they have created, that only sex is what really matters. 

B+   The Owners

       With its unadorned appearance, The Owners stands as an ingenious satire of the society in Kazakhstan. Bearing a surreal tone replete with metaphorical colors, singing and dancing, it well earned itself the festival's awarding for originality.

B     The Princess of France

       Despite being based on Shakespeare's 16th century comedy, Love's Labour's Lost, The Princess of France is in fact very modern. Other than subtly corresponding to the original play at some key points, such as having two books mixed up to echo the switching letters part, the film does not really follow the Bard's plot. Instead, director Matías Piñeiro focuses on the recreation of the tangled character relationships which all lead to the central figure, Victor, who is both obsessed and confused about love. Certain scenes in the story are repeated more than once with different characters and outcomes, showing each possibility that could result from Victor's decision, as well as the film's texture combining multiple layers of fiction and reality. Of course, it could be rather painful reading the subtitles for the lines written by Shakespeare, translated into Spanish and then back to English, but you really do not need the comprehension of ever word to appreciate the joyful tone of this unique adaptation. Another film that makes me eagerly looking forward to its official theatrical release.

B     Refugiado

       Thanks to the fluid camerawork and an sensitive eye for color and light, Regugiado depicts the Argentine urban life in a way that is both beautiful and realistic. Well balanced between cuteness and intensity, the journey taken by the mom and her kid to escape from the abusive father has a simple and absorbing quality.

B     Why Be Good?

       Although most of the fun comes from Colleen Moore's adorable performance, the film still deserves more credit for the message it sent advocating for gender equality, which fits naturally into the delightful, if a bit too conventional, modern Cinderella story.

B     The Fool

       A dorm building with cracks from the basement to the roof symbolizes the corrupted social structure in Russia. Director Yuri Bykov created a triumphant combination between drama and reality. Occasional long takes and the lively score also add to the irony of the film.  

B     Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amslem

       The religious court in Israel might be a pure tragedy for the women who have to go through it in order to get a divorce, but not necessarily so for a film trying to address the issue. Behind the endless debates upon which the entire film is built, it is a woman's path fighting for her freedom against the other gender and a society that refuses to change. Each of the male characters is portrayed with more than one personality, and the impact of the absurd system can easily be seen whenever their patriarchal authority appears to be threatened.

B     Cathedrals of Culture

       Half of the six short films included in this series are pretty fascinating. The Berlin Philharmonic episode from Wim Wenders and the Centre Pompidou one directed by Karim Ainouz, whose film Futuro Beach is also shown at this year's festival, might be the most impressive two for all the eye-opening details offered through their observation and absolute passion on the architecture. Margreth Olin's introduction of Oslo Opera House is another interesting one, presented from a particular angle highlighting the venue's connections with the artists and audience who inhabit it. Visually alone, these are also the ones that would make you forget about the burden of the 3D glasses when you follow the camera into the buildings' hidden corners. The other three, however, are rather disappointing compared to them. The Halden Prison looks cool, but does not feel like anything special in director Michael Madsen's poetic presentation. Robert Redford spends most of the time he is given to tell the glorious history and significance of Salk Institute, which you can easily find by Googling it, only with repetitious time-lapse videos shot on the same locations, and Michael Glawogger's understanding of the National Library in St. Peterburg is nothing but book-reading in English with a strong Russian accent. As part of "a film project in 3D about the soul of buildings", these failed ones seem to have all paid too much attention to the word "soul" without ever caring about the buildings where that soul is supposed to come from.

B     Nabat

       A quiet accusation against war and the trauma it brings to Azerbaijani people. In a highly consistent pattern, the camera tracks Nabat, an elderly woman who refuses to leave the land where her family has always belong, while often briefly detaching from the character to unfold the ravaged surroundings as an important, or even the most powerful, part of the film. The approach suits well with Nabat's wordless resistance in spite of her simple life being dramatically changed by warfare, and the over-controlled unvariedness is more or less balanced by the realistic portrayal of the natural environment.

B-    Maestro

       Based on the story of how actor Jocelyn Quivrin met Éric Rohmer and worked with him on Rohmer's last film The Romance of Astrea and Celadon,  Maestro is an interesting combination between delicate style, inspired by Rohmer, and intentional goofiness. As a funny tribute to the late French master and his attitude toward life, it also celebrates love and the magic in the creation of art.

B-    Stockholm

       This two-act drama never has the potential to become something like the "Before Trilogy" in one film, but the first act, corresponding to the falling in love part of any romance, is certainly fun to watch with the amusing mystery that lies in the mutual temptation between the couple. After their relationship hits the climax, though, young director Rodrigo Sorogoyen decides to alter the course by simply turning one of them's behavior to the exact opposite, and everything starts to predictably slide towards the destined end. In a sense, it might echo what happens in reality, but surely in a pessimistic way. Meanwhile, all the wit and mystery is gone from their life together, and from the film as well.

B-    Free Fall

       It might have been more interesting if I watched the film with no idea about it at all. In these surreal-looking allegories, a bunch of figurative depictions of indifference in marriage and family are visually presented in the literal sense. Refreshing at first, it only offers less and less surprise once the trick is all figured out. 

B-    Ne Me Quitte Pas

       It sounds like another story about mutual support between people in trouble, except that it is all true. As documented by the film, the middle-aged alcoholic duo, who both seem to have reasons and inclination to commit suicide, become the only friend left for each other while trying to get out of the misery leading them toward self-destruction. Shot and edited in the fashion of a fictional dark comedy, it makes you wonder how much effort it takes to capture those hilarious moments from almost the same tedium day after day. As we can predict, nothing really changes at the end of the film, but life still goes on. So does their friendship.

B-    Artico

       There is a powerful contrast between the few close-ups, usually on the emotionless faces of the central characters, before each "chapter" and the static medium shots from the back or the side of people, or only their silhouettes in certain scenes, which work as the major components of the narrative. Through this approach, director Gabriel Velázquez expresses his concern over the younger generation's struggling in the economic crisis and their frustration taken out in violence, as well as the uncaring nature of the society. Unfortunately, the film doesn't go much further beyond that. The unvaried locations and visual style sometimes makes it look like a lifeless play staged in front of pages torn off a scenic calendar.

B-    Joy of Man’s Desiring

       Director Denis Côté beautifully blurs the distinction between men and machines when they cooperate in the same standardized procedure, and made the over-utilized space in factories and the manufacture of different products looks fascinating. However, he perhaps did too good a job in creating a realistic experience for the audience. Between the thematic speeches or conversations at the beginning and the end, you really do not have to kick yourself for dozing off in the hypnotic rhythm of loud mechanical noise, during the wordless part of the film that lasts for at least half an hour.

B-    Mr. Kaplan

       Some of the audience might recall Alexander Payne's Nebraska like I did when they see another film about an old man who realizes that it is still not too late to make his life count. To be more specific, he, Mr. Kaplan, starts a secret investigation on a man suspected to be an exiled Nazi. His driver and sidekick is an ex-cop fired for someone else's fault, whose story happens to mirror the past of the guy they are trying to get. With its bright colors and a heartwarming score, this hybrid of suspense and family drama does have a point on redemption and the meaning of life, but it would only remind you how good Nebraska is in terms of capturing the charm of the ordinary.

C+   Viktoria

       It impressively evolves from a political satire into a feminist examination on family and blood. The major problem is that most of those lingering arty shots do not do much other than dragging the film into an unnecessary 2.5 hour length.

C+   In Order of Disappearance

       This Norwegian film works more or less as a self-mockery of its own genre, featuring an exemplary citizen, played by Stellan Skarsgård, who turns into a revengeful killer after loosing his son to gangsters, a vegetarian villain, and a death count keeping track of people who get killed, but while it is always funny, the inconsistently-paced story did not feel convincing enough when I tried to take it more seriously.

C+   Two Days, One Night

       The Dardennes set up a drama where a young wife and mother, who suffers from depression and frequent nervous breakdowns, has to persuade each of her co-workers, including exactly one Arab and one African immigrants, to give up a €1000 per month bonus for the sake of keeping her job. Although it is very watchable, the latest film from the filmmakers who are acclaimed for their commitment to realism feels nothing more than just expertly stacking the deck.

C+   Dust on the Tongue

       It becomes clear toward the end of it that the slowly built-up intensity would only lead to the inevitable death of the central character, an aged patriarch who is toughened through all the years fighting for survival and power, in a way that he would never have planned. Gone with him is the end of an era that he represents in Colombia, while the future ahead does not look any brighter. There are quite a few great shots in this film, but it is still a bit painful to sit through the vapid part, waiting for everything to make sense.

C     Miss Julie

       Ullmann extends the location where everything takes place from the kitchen to a larger part of the manor, but instead of offering any extra depth, this results in all the nuance of the naturalistic play being spread out on the table, only adding to the over-dramatics of this "faithful" adaptation. With Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell both giving competent performances, it is too bad that most of the acting is filmed in the wrong shots.

C-    We Love You, You Bastard

       Sandrine Bonnaire was the only reason why I thought it should be worth checking out. I was right about her, but not so much on the quality of the film. In this phony drama about a man's dilemma between too many lovers and the byproducts of them, his daughters who are played by other pretty French faces, even the beautiful scenery of the Alps look pretentious.

D     Paris of the North

       Toward the end, the idea of it turns out to be "if I get bored here, why not just leave?" That is exactly what I should have done during this film.

D     The Piano Room

       With all the stories tied to love affairs, money, drug dealing, homosexuality, pregnancy, AIDS, suicide and murder happening in one room where a piano does not make any sense other than providing music for each of them, this should easily be the cheesiest film shown during the festival without much competition.

D     The Salvation

       Starring Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish tough guy who has to revenge every one of his family, again, and Eva Green who literally loses her tongue to speak, plus an ex-French soccer star, The "blood-spattered" Salvation might be able to get away with its CGI created western look, but fails miserably in reviving the lost spirit.

D     Corn Island

       Unfortunately, it falls, almost scene by scene, into a specific category of art films which is distinguished by natural beauty disturbed by looming violence, a teenage girl who decides to take a bath when danger is approaching and the essential scarcity of dialogues. Yes, just another one of them, this time taking place on an island where the poor old man spends a year growing corn, only to find that it is doomed to be all washed away.

D     Concrete Night

       Supposed to be a tale about how the moral messages we send could warp the life of the next generation, Concrete Night actually follows a 14-year-old punk until he ends up beating a suspected child molester, who even goes to church, to death, leaving his soon-to-be-jailed older brother devastated in remorse. The delusional cynicism of the film is only aggravated by the pretentious, weirdly contrasted black and white.


Kirk Madsen – former projector and theater manager at Facets

This was a very good festival for me this year.  With the festivals spotlight on Scandinavia an excellent choice as so many films from that part of the world are really quite good(A few bad ones too though).  I saw 31 films and way over half of the films I would recommend(18). 1 film is a top 5 film of the year and 5 films are top ten material.

Here they are in order of preference-
1. FORCE MAJEURE (TURIST) dir. Ruben Ostlung 
    Sweden/Denmark/France/Norway

One of the best of the year.  This was a white hot experience for me as the whole film seemed fresh, new and exciting.  The look and feel of the film is just outstanding and the editing including sound was unexpected and surprising.  The dark black humor interspersed with searing dramatic passes keeps the audience on their toes.  Probably the worst date movie of the year. A-

The 5 films below can all be considered for top ten films.

2. THE 100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND
     DISAPPEARED dir. Felix Herngren
     Sweden

     CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA dir. Olivier Assayas
      Switzerland/Germany/France

     IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE dir. Hans Petter Moland
     Norway

These 3 films are all BIG movies.  Sweeping, beautiful and startling. 

100 Year Old Man... is a very funny briskly paced comedy following a 100 year old man through his exploits now and his past 100 years of life.  Turning up, with no intention of his own, in historical and world changing events, this is one of the funniest films of the year.  Profane, quick and sweet in its own dark hearted way. B+

In Order Of Disappearance is what hollywood would love to make.  Just like a big summer blockbuster crime thriller but with swagger to spare.  Starting out as a straight ahead murder for revenge plot and then expanding into one of the funniest dark comedies ever made. Stellan Skarsgard is perfect as the out for blood father of his sons' killer with an amazing Norwegian winter backdrop of white on white snow. B+

Clouds Of Sils Maria is probably Assayas' best film in many years. This is a movie movie.  Big in every way from the locations and the  performances to the  story and  filmmaking style. Modern too, this still has an old fashioned sweep and formality to it that is breathtaking. B+

    SPEED WALKING dir. Niels Arden Oplev
     Denmark

    RUDDERLESS dir. William H Macy
    USA

These two films are just the opposite of the previous 3 films but only in scope and storytelling. These two films are small independent films that show big isn't necessarily better.

Speed Walking is the story of a boy and his family dealing with grief while adolescence is in full bloom.  Performances all around, especially the kids are outstanding and the heartfelt emotions from happy to sad resonate far after the film is over.  This is a kind of film that could only come from this Scandinavian country with the handling of sexuality and portrayal of the these kids.  Fresh, funny and devastating all at once. B+

Rudderless is actor William H Macy's directorial debut.  This is another film dealing with loss and grief but taken from an entirely different angle.  Billy Crudup gives an outstanding performance as a father of a son killed in a college shooting and the way he deals with that loss.  The less said about this surprising and effective film the better except that the music in the film performed by Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin is amazing and will break your heart. B+

3. THE CIRCLE dir. Stefan Haupt
     Switzerland B

    THE FOOL dir. Yuri Bykov
     Russia B

    FUTURO BEACH dir. Karim Ainouz
    Brazil/Germany B

   LAND OF STORMS dir.Adam Csaszi
    Hungary/Germany B

   SUPERNOVA dir. Tamar van den Dop
   Netherlands, Germany, Belgium B

   THE WAY HE LOOKS dir. Daniel Ribeiro
    Brazil B

   XENIA dir. Panos H Koutras
   Greece B

4. 1001 GRAMS dir. Bent Hamer
     Norway B-
     
     ALLELUIA dir. Fabrice Du Welz
    France/Belgium B-

     NO, THANK YOU dir. Samuli Valkam   
    Finland B-

    THE SALVATION dir. Kristian Levring
    Denmark B-

    STOCKHOLM dir. Rodrigo Sorogoyen
    Spain B-

The films below (grades C+, C and C-) are films that I found aspects of worthwhile and not a waste of time for me but would not recommend them to others.
5. FREE FALL dir. Gyorgy Palfi
    Hungary C+

   JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING dir. Denis Cote
   Canada C+

   SOMETHING MUST BREAK dir. Ester Martin Bergsmark
   Sweden C+

   THE THIRD ONE dir. Rodrigo Guerrero
   Argentina C+

   TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT dirs. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
   Belgium/Italy/France C+

   THE WORD dir. Anna Kazejak-Dawid
   Poland/Denmark C+

6. BLACK COAL, THIN ICE dir. Diao Yinan
   China/Hong Kong C

   BLACK PANTHER-THE STORY OF EMILIE JACOB dir. Samuel perriard
   Germany/Switzerland C
  
   EL CORDERO dir. Juan Francisco Olea
   Chile C
   
   SEVEN LITTLE KILLERS dir. Matteo Andreolli
   Italy C

7. ABLATIONS dir. Arnold de Parscau
   France/Belgium C-

The 2 films below were my only complete waste of time films in the entire fest!
8. CONCRETE NIGHT dir. Pirjo Honkasalo
    Finland/Sweden/ Denmark D

   STILL dir. Simon Blake
   UK D


Frank Biletz – history professor at Loyola

A         Winter Sleep (Turkey/Germay/France, Nuri Bilge Ceylan).

A-        Here's Your Life (1966, Sweden, Jan Troell).

A-        Corn Island (Georgia/Germany/France, George Ovashvili).

A-        Stations of the Cross (Germany, Dietrich Brüggemann).

A-        Clouds of Sils Maria (France/Germany/Switzerland, Olivier Assayas).

A-        Timbuktu (France/Mauretania, Abderrahmane Sissako).

A-        A Dream of Iron (South Korea/US, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park).

B+       The Fool (Russia, Yuri Bykov).

B+       National Gallery (US/France, Frederick Wiseman).

B+       Human Capital (Italy, Paolo Virzi).

B+       The Look of Silence (Denmark/Indonesia/Norway/Finland/UK, Joshua Oppenheimer).

B+       Beloved Sisters (Germany/Austria, Dominik Graf).

B+       Force Majeure (Sweden/Denmark/France/Norway, Ruben Östlund).

B+       Two Days, One Night (Belgium/France/Italy, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne).

B+       Red Rose (Iran/France, Sepideh Farsi).

B          The Word (Poland/Denmark, Anna Kazejak-Dawid).

B          Refugiado (Argentina, Diego Lerman).

B          An Eye for Beauty (Canada, Denys Arcand).

B          Black Coal, Thin Ice (China/Hong Kong, Diao Yinan).

B          A Few Cubic Meters of Love (Iran/Afgahnistan, Jamshid Mahmoudi).

B-        Joy of Man's Desiring (Canada, Denis Coté).

B-        In Silence (Czech Republic/Slovakia, Zdenek Jirásky).

B-        The Lamb (Turkey/Germany, Kutlug Ataman).

B-        Fort Tilden (US, Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers).

B-        Paris of the North (Iceland/Denmark/France, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson).

C+       El Gort (Tunisia/UAE, Hamza Ouni).

C         Still (UK, Simon Beale).          


Jonathan Dabian (software installer) Schedule and Grades

Soma Sinha Roy (brain surgeon) and Scott Jenkins (husband) Schedule and Grades

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