“I’m Not Willing to Accept the Official Narrative Anymore” — An Interview with ‘Flatland’ Director Jenna Bass

A Western-stye tale of female empowerment that sees two women, Natalie (Nicole Fortuin) and Poppie (Izel Bzuidenhout) ride across the South African Karoo in search of adventure and self-fulfillment, Flatland was chosen to open the Berlinale Panorama Section. We talked to director Jenna Bass all about her landmark feminist film.

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Karlovy Vary 2018: ‘To The Night’ Fails the Talents of Caleb Landry Jones

This piece is written by our guest writer Redmond Bacon.

Caleb Landry Jones was everywhere last year, playing supporting roles in movies as diverse as The Florida Project, Get Out and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Displaying such a great range, with every character wholly different, his own moment in the spotlight has been well overdue. Sadly, for him, To The Night, which sees him play a trauma victim suffering from psychotic episodes, will not be the movie to catapult him to leading man status.

He plays Norman, a man who survived a deadly fire as a child which killed his parents. Now he is a father himself, living in an atelier-like apartment with his girlfriend Penelope (Eleonore Hendricks ). Its hard to say what exactly he does as a job, although it looks like he might be an artist — creating a model of the house that his parents died in and the opening scene showing him at an exhibition. He is in desperate need of help, his psychotic breakdowns leading to him smashing up the apartment and even raising his hand to Penelope. Its not a pretty film to watch, and he is not an easy character to like.

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Karlovy Vary 2018: ‘Panic Attack’ Is the Perfect Way to Exorcise Your Inner Cringe

This piece is written by our guest writer Redmond Bacon.

Have you ever been confronted with a sudden moment that threatens to upend your life forever? Everything might be going swimmingly, but you never know when a brief revelation, mistake or threat can suddenly turn everything upside down. “Panic Attack” is the ultimate exploration of this theme, telling six intercut stories of protracted moments that will make you cringe right up until the end. If you have ever done something you look back on and go “Oh god why!” then “Panic Attack” is the perfect way to exorcise those demons. It’s probably not as bad as what these people go through.

The film telegraphs its sense of cathartic gloom straight from the beginning, starting with a radio host blowing his brains out. Then, in no particular order, we are shown: a couple on a plane with an annoying fellow passenger, a wedding caterer who is being blackmailed, a webcam actress hiding her profession from her friends, a young boy suffering from some extra strong cannabis, and a woman painfully meeting up with her ex. I’ll leave most of the description there as to tell exactly what happens in each segment is to ruin the fun of discovering it yourself.

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Karlovy Vary 2018: Cancer Drama ‘Geula’ Tests the Boundaries of Faith

This piece is written by our guest writer Redmond Bacon.

The piety of an Orthodox Jew is tested in Geula (Redemption), a touching Israeli drama about the nature of religion, family and friendship. Unforced in its themes and unhurried in its development, its draws its quiet power from a strong central performance by Moshe Folkenflik.

He plays Menachem, who, to borrow the title of a Coen Brothers movie, is a very serious man indeed. Never seen without his yarmulke (sometimes even wearing it under a baseball cap) Menny is a strict follower of the Hasidic faith. Six years widowed, he even uses an old-school match-making service – known as The Shidduch – to find a new wife.

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Karlovy Vary 2018: ‘The Fireflies are Gone’ Captures the Complexities of Growing Up

This piece is written by our guest writer Redmond Bacon.

Coming of age can be a messy process. Caught in a limbo between the dull present and an unknowable future, teenagers have to navigate both their sense of self and who they would like to become. For Léo (Karelle Tremblay), only a month away from finishing school, the burden of expectation becomes too much. Not only does she tell her mother’s friends that she doesn’t know what she wants to do next, but she actually runs away from her own birthday dinner. Reminiscent of when Lady Bird, annoyed at her mother, simply jumps out of the car, this is a clear signal that this girl is going to live her life on her own terms, much to the consternation of those around her.

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