IFFR 2015

I blogged 2 years ago about which movies I had watched at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, both during and after my shifts as a volunteer crew member at this festival. Last year I didn’t attend many screenings since I was moving house. Now this year I was also volunteering at the festival but in a different capacity: I had acquired a press pass as a Wikipedia photographer. This gave me a lot more liberty to make my own schedule during the festival since I wasn’t tied to shifts.

Movies I liked

Impressions of a drowned man (Greece)

A art house film where you follow a man who doesn’t know who he is himself at first. He hitches a ride, but ends up where he started. He walks into town and meets an actor who is playing him in an upcoming film. He goes on a blind date and meets his pregnant wife. Nicely weird stuff.

L’amour fou (Germany)

Gosh, I’m so happy I don’t live in 1811. Life is just so complete choked in heavy cultural conventions. You follow Henriette Vogel, who is married, has one daughter, and mildly depressed. She has the misfortune of become the object of affection obsession of a poet, Heinrich von Kleist. He is a romantic who is looking for a woman who would commit suicide with him.

Speed Walking (Denmark)

A coming-of-age comedy about 14-year-old Martin. The sudden death of his mother puts his rite of passage from boy to man in a higher gear. With 1970s clothing and music, racing hormones.

Cosmodrama (France)

This story is set in a space ship, the inhabitants of which have just awoken from a cryogenic state and have biographical memory loss. They go exploring and find out that each has their own expertise. While they all ruminate on the meaning of life, the astrophysicist recalls highly accurate definitions of the Big Bang (so cute to hear that term in French), Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Black holes, red shift and the theory of relativity. I kept expecting this to be technical mumbo jumbo that so many movies would just put in as placeholders. But they were not. Which just made me grind the biggest smile at the daring of this movie.

Bridgend (UK)

I wouldn’t say I “liked” this movie. It’s down right depressing. It tells the tale of the Welsh town of Bridgend, which has had a suicide epidemic. Utterly depressing would be a better word. Sometimes watching movies has to hurt.

 Phoenix (Germany)

In the ashes of WWII, holocaust survivor Nelly goes looking for her husband Johnny. When she finds him in a Berlin club, he doesn’t recognize her because she has had to undergo reconstructive surgery. He is looking for somebody who could pass as his wife so he can claim her inheritance and recruits her into his scam by training her to be like the wife he knew.

Worst movie of the festival

WERK, by Erik van Lieshout (NL)

This movie is such an embarrassment. It follows Erik and co. applying for subsidies with a half arsed story and than pissing away that money. There are still so many cuts in the public sector that could have done such better things that this nonsense.

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