Sector IX B

Taking inspiration from L’Afrique fantôme — the controversial diary by French surrealist writer Michel Leiris recounting his participation in the ambitious Dakar-Djibouti ethnographic expedition of the 1930s — Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s arresting first feature reflects on identity, cultural appropriation, and the transference of memory through objects.

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After a chance encounter with the childhood friend of her daughter, Julieta’s memories — including her hopes and sources of guilt — start to re-emerge. Adapted from three short stories by Nobel Prize winning author, Alice Munro, the space between the stories provides the mystery that divides Julieta from the optimism of her youth and her current state of pessimism.

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The Devil’s Candy

When Jesse Hellman (Ethan Embry in a standout performance) and his wife Astrid (Shiri Appleby) snap up a huge Texas ranch home at a bargain-basement price, it seems like all domestic and artistic dreams have come true, for them and their daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco). The haunted house, however, has other ideas. With local weirdo Ray added to the tasty mix, Byrne (Pruitt Taylor Vince) lets loose with a scary and stylish descent into madness and murder.

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La Sapienza Film Page

La Sapienza

In a career impasse, noted architect Fabrizio Rongione (Eugène Green regular Alexandre Schmidt) and his wife travel to Rome to study the work of the great Baroque architect Francesco Borromini. Inspired by their beautiful surroundings as well as an encounter with a younger couple, the older pair come away renewed with life.

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The Son of Joseph

Summer in Paris. Vincent, an adolescent, has been raised lovingly by his mother, Marie, but she has always refused to reveal who his father is. His investigations lead him to finally believe it’s a certain Oscar Pormenor, an egoistic and cynical Parisian publisher…

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On a luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea, six men on a fishing trip decide to play a game. During this game, things will be compared. Things will be measured. Songs will be butchered, and blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals and rivals will become hungry. But at the end of the journey, when the game is over, the man who wins will be the best man. And he will wear on his smallest finger the victory ring: the Chevalier.

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Naked Lunch

After developing an addiction to the hallucinogenic substance he uses to kill bugs, exterminator William Lee accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in the Interzone, an Islamic port town in Africa.

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The Sky trembles and the Earth is afraid and the two eyes are not Brothers.

At the heart of The Sky Trembles… sits an adaptation of ‘A Distant Episode’, the savage, Moroccan-set short story by American author Paul Bowles, which was first published in 1947. Moving between documentary, fiction and fable, the film’s series of layered tales sees filmmaker Oliver Laxe directing his own feature in Morocco, Mimosas (which also screens at QFF 2016, directly after The Sky Trembles…), before walking off set and into Rivers’ narrative.

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In the High Atlas Mountains at an indeterminate time in the past, a caravan of travellers searches for a pass that will allow them to return an ailing elderly Sufi master to his home to die. Among the party is rascal and survivor Ahmed, who is willing to do whatever it takes to rise up from his miserable condition. Particularly inspired by the Sufi master and his wife, Ahmed becomes aware of his own innate abilities upon the old man’s death, and takes up the leadership of the group. On his journey, he receives the assistance of Shakib, a young man sent on a mission from a special place in contemporary Morocco.

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Kaili Blues

Kaili, Guizhou Province, China. In a small clinic, two preoccupied doctors live like ghosts until one day, Chen Sheng decides to fulfil his dead mother’s wish and sets off on a long train journey to look for his brother’s abandoned child. His partner at the clinic, a lonely old lady, asks him to bring an old photograph, a shirt and a cassette to her old sweetheart who has fallen ill. On the way, Chen passes a strange little town named Dangmai where time is not linear and people’s lives complement each other. Compelled to stops there, he experiences the past, present and future…

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Despite The Night (Malgré La Nuit)

As English musician Lenz searches for his lover Madeleine, who has mysteriously disappeared, he tumbles into an amour fou with troubled, self-destructive Héléne. Grieving the loss of her infant son, Héléne seeks oblivion in the murky Parisian underworld, followed by her new paramour. Their journey sparks a stark, elliptical, hauntingly spectral narrative complete with scenes of sensual abandon and raw carnality.

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The Red Turtle

A man marooned on a desert island tries desperately to escape, until one day he crosses paths with a strange turtle that will change his life — a mythic encounter between the native inhabitants of an island, of the ocean, and man.

Renowned Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli sought out Michael Dudok de Wit after encountering his astonishing short Father and Daughter. A decade in the making, this richly textured work is the result, matching the best Ghibli’s own animist explorations of nature and humanity’s continuity with it.

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Marketa Lazarová

Nowadays often proclaimed the greatest Czech film ever made, this dense, hallucinatory medieval epic, pitting clan against clan and Christians against Pagans, is a nearly three-hour long rush of indelible, high contrast, black-and-white ’Scope imagery, shot with an ever prowling camera, edited furiously and constantly switching between objective and subjective points-of-view. Trying to keep up with the labyrinthine plot — even if its dizzying twists and turns are telegraphed in ornately worded chapter headings — is secondary to giving in to the film’s experiential potency, as Vláčil’s painstaking insistence on 13th-century period exactitude and hardscrabble brutality is raised, by stunning atmospherics inclusive of a majestic Zdeněk Liška choral-electronic score, to the order of the sublime. Starring the luminous Magda Vášáryová as the eponymous Marketa.

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10-year-old Nicolas lives with his mother on a remote island, in a village inhabited solely by women and young boys. In a hospital overlooking the ocean, the boys are subjected to a strange medical treatment, but only Nicolas questions what is happening around him. He senses that his mother is lying to him, and is determined to find out what she does with the other women she meets on the beach each night. What he discovers is the beginning of a nightmare into which he is helplessly drawn; however in Stella, a young nurse at the hospital, Nicolas finds an unexpected ally.

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Dead Slow Ahead

The freighter Fair Lady crosses the ocean. The hypnotic rhythm of its gears reveals the continuous movement of machinery devouring its workers: the last gestures of the old sailors’ trade disappearing under the mechanic and impersonal pace of 21st century neocapitalism. Perhaps it is a boat adrift, or maybe just the last example of an endangered species. Although we don’t know it, the engines are still running, unstoppable.

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Heart of a Dog

Centring on Laurie Anderson’s beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who died in 2011, Heart of a Dog is a personal essay that weaves together childhood memories, video diaries, philosophical musings on data collection, surveillance culture and the Buddhist conception of the afterlife, alongside heartfelt tributes to the artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who inspire her.

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Cléo from 5 to 7

Paris, 1962. Singer and actress Cléo Victoire (Corinne Marchand) is due to receive test results on potentially cancerous abdominal tissue at 6:30pm. Convinced she is a terminal case, and becoming increasingly anxious as the deadline approaches, Cleo attempts to distract herself by experiencing life: meeting with songwriters (including the great Michel Legrand, who also composed the film’s score), listening to couples, shopping and meeting a stranger returned from the Algerian War.

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The Silences

A personal essay documentary about the tangled bonds, secret histories and unspoken traumas of family life, The Silences stretches from New Zealand to the Australian suburbs in its exploration of early childhood and the silences of the past that resonate in the present. Drawing upon a wealth of photographs, letters, oral histories, documentary footage and clips from filmmaker Margot Nash’s previous work, it unfolds a triptych of tales in tandem: a mother’s story of lost opportunities, lost love and grief; a father’s story of work, mental illness and war; and a daughter’s story of trying to piece together a more complex picture of the confusing ties of love, loss and kinship between a mother and child.

The Silences is preceded by the shorts Strudel Sisters (Hegedus and Kalifa, 2016, 7 minutes) and The Limited (Elena, 2016, 11 minutes).

Introduced by director Margot Nash.

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Fort Buchanan

Fort Buchanan is a 16mm feature film set over four seasons. The story follows the lives of a small group of military families living together on the fictitious Fort Buchanan army base: a gay couple and their adopted daughter, a woman of a certain age, three pretty young wives (with husbands stationed abroad) and one personal trainer…

With dialogue drawn from daytime dramas, settings chosen because they were built by industrial designer Matali Crassett, ripe slovenly flesh, and a bucolic pastoral atmosphere to hold it together, Crotty’s debut is a significant work that draws on both independent and gallery filmmaking traditions.

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Ennui Ennui + Bring Me The Head of Tim Horton

Two ribald, Rabelaisian works about Afghanistan, Orientalism, war, drones and the limits of representational prowess.

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The Love Witch

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder.

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Extended descriptions of the local, experimental, and animated shorts being screened as part of QFF2016.

  • A Distant Episode – Ben Rivers | 2015, 18 min
  • Double Portrait – György Kovásznai | 1965, 7 min |
  • The Freestone Drone – George Barber | 2013, 13 min
  • The Limited – Christopher Elena | 2016, 11 min
  • MQ-9 Reaper I – Baden Pailthorpe | 2014, 5 min
  • Nectar – Lucile Hadžihalilović | 2014, 18 min
  • Neither God Nor Santa Maria – Samuel M. Delgado and Helena Girón | 2015, 12 min
  • On Air – Laurent Grasso | 2009, 9 min
  • Towards the Possible Film – Shezad Dawood | 2014, 20 min
  • Red and Black – Witold Giersz | 1964, 7 min
  • Robert Klippel – Metal Construction, 1960 Arthur Cantrill | 1964, 5 min
  • Robert Klippel – Junk Sculpture, 1964 Arthur Cantrill | 1965, 5 min
  • Strudel Sisters– Peter Hegedus and Jaina Kalifa| 2016, 7 min
  • Syrinx – Ryan Larkin | 1965, 3 min
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