ELECTRICK CHILDREN (AFI FEST 2012) is now playing in theaters. Learn more about the movie at our site.
Post(s) tagged with "afifest"
The American Film Institute Celebrates the Year in Global Cinema
and Continues Unprecedented Offer of Free Tickets To All Screenings
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 5, 2013 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi officially announced its dates and call for entries today. The American Film Institute’s annual celebration of artistic excellence brings the audience and the entertainment community together to explore the year in global cinema through the new works of film masters, moving image icons and breakthrough talents, and is the only film festival of its stature that is free to the public. This year AFI FEST will take place November 7 through 14 in Hollywood, California, the movie capital of the world, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese), the Chinese 6 Theatres at the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Egyptian Theatre of the American Cinematheque and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
AFI FEST mixes nightly red carpet galas of Hollywood films with award-winning and highly anticipated new auteur works from filmmakers around the world. Emerging in 1987 as a program of the American Film Institute, the festival has paid tribute to numerous influential filmmakers and artists over the years, including Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci and David Lynch as Guest Artistic Directors, as well as top film talent such as Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Marion Cotillard, Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, to name a few. In addition, AFI FEST has showcased scores of films that have produced wins at the Oscars® in recent years, including A SEPARATION, AMOUR, THE ARTIST, BLACK SWAN, THE KING’S SPEECH, LIFE OF PI, LINCOLN, PRECIOUS and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
“AFI FEST is where the films of talented emerging filmmakers have the opportunity to screen alongside the current works of masters of the art form,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST. “Last year’s festival included many extraordinary films from across the globe, from the World Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN and Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI to first-time feature filmmaker Tosh Gitonga’s NAIROBI HALF LIFE, whose film was AFI FEST’s Audience Award Breakthrough winner and Kenya’s first-ever Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission.”
The 2012 festival featured the World Premieres of HITCHCOCK from Sacha Gervasi and the previously mentioned LINCOLN from Steven Spielberg, as well as the Secret Screening of SKYFALL from Sam Mendes, and brought over 200 filmmakers from all over the world to Los Angeles to present their films to the city’s audience of film-lovers, including new films from established filmmakers such as Léos Carax, Matteo Garrone, Michael Haneke, Kim Ki-duk, Cristian Mungiu, Sally Potter, Walter Salles and Hong Sang-soo, among many others.
Submissions are now open and filmmakers are invited to submit narrative, documentary, experimental, animated and short films at AFI.com/AFIFESTor through Withoutabox.com. The final submission deadline for short films (under 30 minutes) is August 2, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards®. The final submission deadline for feature-length films is August 16. Films found solely through the submissions process are presented in the festival’s Breakthrough section, providing an opportunity for new filmmakers to share their vision with the world and receive a $5,000 cash prize.
“Festivals are a place of great discovery, and every year we look forward to finding new films and filmmakers through our submissions-based Breakthrough section and in our Oscars®-qualifying Short Film program,” said Lane Kneedler, Associate Director of Programming, AFI FEST.
Filmmakers can e-mail programming@AFI.com or call 866.AFI.FEST for more information about the submissions process.
A still from AFI FEST 2012 Audience Award Breakthrough winner - NAIROBI HALF LIFE.
11/05/12 - Chinese 2, 7:00 p.m.
11/07/12 - Chinese 4, 10:15 p.m.
By Joey Ally
SIMON KILLER, Antonio Campos’ follow-up to his chilling, coming-of-age AFTERSCHOOL (AFI FEST 2008), is a film about vision in both the literal and metaphorical sense, and the ends justified out of desperation to synthesize the two. It does not structure itself in terms of a literal film-within-a-film, as does AFTERSCHOOL, yet it is still a film about film, deftly and quietly probing much of the same territory regarding voyeurism, storytelling and the intractable barrier between action and experience.
The film follows (often literally, in lengthy walking sequences shot from behind) Simon (played by the complicated, captivating Brady Corbet), a recently graduated, recently singled 20-something. With no one to hold onto, the structure of school days past, and the monotony of office life successfully staved off with the help of parental support, Simon is, for the first time in his life, an island — a man free to do as he pleases, whenever and with whomever. A dangerous man.
A neuroscience major, Simon focused his studies on the relationship between the eyes and the brain. His published thesis examined “size pooling,” or the study of how the width and size of an object is weighted against the objects surrounding it. This is the only detail Simon shares in the same exact verbiage regardless of the listener — a definition he recounts immediately and frequently throughout the course of the film with apparent pride. It’s a poignant and pointed trope, considering that Simon has just experienced his first real heartbreak, and his time in Paris becomes devoted to cultivating experiences adequately intense to contextualize, and thereby minimize, the accompanying pain and isolation. Simon has come to the most notoriously romantic city in the world for the express purpose of examining the width and the size of his loss.
For a while, this translates into stomping down cobblestone streets, blasting feeling- fraught music into his brain, and occasionally trying out a phrase en Françaison a girl or two before retreating, defeated, to his dark apartment to watch porn, e-mail his estranged ex-girlfriend and video chat with his mother. The only insight offered into his childhood comes from these conversations with “mom” (a small yet pivotal role, portrayed with remarkably filled-out restraint by the fantastic Alexandra Neil), a woman whose love is apparent, yet muted by the conventions of her New York society manners.
After weeks of cyclical meandering, Simon encounters a young prostitute, Victoria (a ravishing and nuanced Mati Diop, who fills out the film’s writing team in addition to her lingerie-heavy wardrobe), with whom he shares a monetized and awkward, yet nearly tender, sexual encounter. It is here that the film begins to take off, as we watch as Simon moves from a boy afraid of his freedom, into a still-boy emboldened by it.
The only music we hear as soundtrack over the course of the film pumps from Simon’s iPod, a genius aural device in the movie that brings us literally into Simon’s headspace; similarly, visual cross-fades bring washes of pulsating color that mirror the intensity of his moods. Slowly, it becomes clear that Simon is fabricating his own reality. Unequipped to deal, and utterly bored, with the meager obstacles facing his privileged existence, Simon conjures heightened narratives within which he might experience the emotions he’s been promised in literature, music and film. Simon is controlling the story.
The realization that he cannot control Victoria frustrates him into near-mania, as it leads him to devastating acts of physical compromise, twisting deception and extortion. Simon was undoubtedly that kid who would slam his own finger in the door so a distracted mommy would halt her business to kiss it and listen to his falsified account of how it happened; now he is the grown man picking fights with strangers so a detached prostitute will tend to his bruises and offer him shelter in her own home.
The film is a study in how far Simon, unchecked by context, will go. The answer is: really far. As he adds more imagined storylines, more people and more elaborate ruses, he loses control of his manipulations. He’s inexperienced at this game, and as the real danger of his calculations intensifies, we watch his exhilaration turn to horror when he loses control over his own behavior. Simon has been searching for an experience that might overpower his malaise, but predictably the reality of the emotions that accompany the circumstances of his new lives is too much.
It is tempting to characterize Simon as a sociopath — he’s a pathological liar, a philanderer (as much as one can stray when he’s chosen to date someone whose vocation involves sexually satisfying other men) and a dilettante whose dearth of consideration for the feelings he actively seeks from others is shocking. Yet, this kind of classification is the easy choice, and the wrong one. Simon is not a person without emotion, or remorse — he is a boy like any other of his generation, reared on romanticism and the notion that each of us is special, only to discover at the end that he might just be some lonely dude who wrote a really technical thesis on a subject he’ll never fully understand. His desire to amplify his importance in this world, while misguided, does have genuine moments. Simon talks Victoria into an extortion scheme with her clients, and when collecting from one particularly pleading man, he says “It’s not for me; it’s for her” with a vulnerability that suggests he really believes he has positioned himself as a kind of hero.
Simon seems to want to do good — or at least see what it feels like — but he can’t figure out how to do it in real life. He entraps himself, therefore, in a space between fake lives full of excitement and promise, built upon false foundations, and a real life devoid of meaning. He just can’t figure out how to be a real person — how to take what is outside, and make it touch the inside, or take what is inside and let it touch the outside.
Campos’ filmmaking is exquisite here. He, Corbet and Diop wrote as they shot, and the intimacy they found as collaborators drips off the screen. This is definitely a narrative in which the words spoken leave determination of the “truth” to the viewer, while the shots themselves leave nothing to question. Campos knows where he wants us to look, because he knows what Simon wants us to see, and that he manages to integrate the two without it ever feeling like a device is a triumph. This is filmmaking in the first person that feels like filmmaking in the third person; Simon is dragging us along, but it is only afterward that we are fully aware of it.
SIMON KILLER is a fresh and frightening view of the open-armed, eyes-raised- toward-the-sky wailing of a generation desperate to find meaning in the absence of obstacles; of the struggle that accompanies the lack of struggle, and the emptiness that follows. It is an existential look at perception versus experience, and the space between the lens and the film — a space I’m certain Campos will continue to fill, much to our collective discomfort and delight.
Joey Ally is a writer and actor who comes from New York City, lives in Silver Lake, and can be found on Twitter at @joellenally.
11/04/12 - Chinese 4, 3:30 p.m.
11/07/12 - Chinese 6, 2:00 p.m.
By Kim Luperi
AFI FEST Now had the chance to sit down with German filmmaker Jan Ole Gerster to discuss his debut feature OH BOY, which had its North American premiere at AFI FEST.
AFN: OH BOY is featured in the Breakthrough section of AFI Fest. Can you tell me how the film was selected to be included?
Jan Ole Gerster: We sat down, looked at the festivals we loved, submitted it, and it was accepted. It’s hard to believe, because there are so many great filmmakers applying here, and it’s a great honor to be here.
AFN: What was it about this idea that interested you? Was any of it based on your personal experiences?
JG: I went through the same phase as my main character when I came to Berlin in my early 20s, and, at one point, I noticed a lot of my friends went through a similar period. This is the time when a lot of people start to question their decisions when they get older — am I on the right track? will this be what I do for the rest of my life? does it make me happy? — so I thought one or two people may relate to that story.
AFN: OH BOY is your feature debut, and you are credited as the writer and director. What was the writing process like?
JG: First of all, without thinking about shooting the script or going out with it right away, I wrote it because I had to; it all came out of intuition. I wrote scripts before but in a very analytic way — how to write a script, how to create a character, how to build dramatic conflict — all these things they teach you in school, and I was a little unsatisfied with these scripts, because I felt like I was a hypocrite and I didn’t know what I was talking about. At that point, I thought it was worth having a closer look at my personal life. They also taught that in film school — stories have to be personal but not necessarily private. It’s easy to say but hard to do.
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