Here comes the highest level of world cinema in the past year | First Screening List of SIFF Highlig
Every year, the Shanghai International Film Festival is dedicated to bringing the latest and most exciting films from all over the world to Shanghai audience. Here, we offer both film legacy and award-winning works in the past year.
On the first screening list of SIFF Highlights program this year, COLD WAR just won the Best Director Award at the 71st Cannes Film Festival; CUSTODY grasped the Best Director Award and Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the 74th Venice International Film Festival; LADY BIRD took over the awards of Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globes; THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE is the winner of Silver Berlin Bear – Best Director at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival; HANNAH won the Best Actress Award at the 74th Venice International Film Festival; THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER was awarded Best Screenplay at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival. Most importantly, we have THE DISASTER ARTIST, which has won numerous honors at major film festivals and awards.
These films represent the first-class of art films in 2017-2018 accredited by the international film festival system. They have embodied the expressions and pursuits of global filmmakers that are most praised, as well as the standpoint, care, and values of contemporary film festivals.
Now follow the guide of SIFF Highlights to explore the best, most beautiful, and most interesting movies.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
THE DISASTER ARTIST
Directed by: Pawel PAWLIKOWSKI
Starring: Joanna KULIG/ Tomasz KOT/ Borys SZYC/ Agata KULESZA/ Cédric KAHN
COLD WAR presents a love story in a specific historical context on the big screen in more than 80 minutes with clean black and white cinematography and elaborate composition.
The story begins in Poland in 1949. After the Second World War, the capitalist camp and the socialist camp started the Cold War. The Polish girl of humble origin, Zula joins an orchestra for her gifted voice. The one who chooses her at first glance is the conductor of the orchestra Wiktor. The two soon fall in love.
But the two lovers are so unmatched. Zula confesses to Wiktor that she has been instructed to report his actions to her superior. Wiktor, in wrath, leaves Poland and meets with Zula in Paris, France. They part, they get together, and each time they reunite, they find loving each other so much, but end up in sorrow because of different temperaments. They’ve also looked for other lovers, but with time flies, they always treat each other as the most loved one.
At the end of the movie, there is a line of subtitles: “To my parents”. It is known that the parents of the director Pawel PAWLIKOWSKI have passed away, and their names were Wiktor and Zula, who are the prototype of the male and female protagonists in the film. The director used such a beautiful movie to pay tribute to the love that belongs to his former generation.
The film was nominated for the main competition at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival and won the Best Director Award.
Directed by: Xavier LEGRAND
Written by: Xavier LEGRAND
Starring: Léa DRUCKER/ Denis MÉNOCHET
When Miriam divorces her husband Antoine Besson, she hopes that Julien, their son of 12 years old, could stay away from the violent father, so she applies to the court for separate custody. However, Antoine persuades the judge in the court, who eventually gives them joint custody. Faced with the parents incompatible as fire and water, Julien has to make every effort to stop the family crisis.
As the debut of the new director, Xavier LEGRAND, the maturity of CUSTODY has surprised many people. It uses an intuitive third perspective to present a dying family, emphasizing on the image of a father whose self-esteem is hurt. The director leaves the audience to judge for themselves who is right and wrong in this farce, giving them a strong emotional experience.
The film is the winner of Best Director Award and Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.
Directed by: Greta GERWIG
Written by: Greta GERWIG
Starring: Saoirse RONAN/ Laurie METCALF/ Tracy LETTS/ Lucas HEDGES/ Timothée CHALAMET
Christine McPherson, a girl living in Sacramento, Calif., has inherited the tough personality of her mother, Marion McPherson. They often have conflicts in life. Despite the tense relationship, the two are closely linked. Christine has been wishing to leave California and study in the eastern United States. However, as her father Larry loses his job, Christine’s wish seems to be unrealistic.
This film was a big hit in the awards season last year and won five Oscar nominations. The protagonist Christine is rebellious and stubborn. In a humorous and gentle manner, the film has presented her desire to get rid of the shackles of the family and the Catholic school, giving viewers a touch of youthfulness within reach.
The film took over the awards of Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globes.
THE DISASTER ARTIST
Directed by: James FRANCO
Written by: Scott NEUSTADTER/ Michael H. WEBER/ Greg SESTERO/ Tom BISSELL
Starring: James FRANCO/ Dave FRANCO/ Seth ROGEN/ Ari GRAYNOR/ Alison BRIE
THE ROOM released in 2003 is a cult movie written, directed, produced by and starring Tommy WISEAU, considered by many people as one of the worst movies ever, even known as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. THE DISASTER ARTIST is a reproduction of the whole process of Tommy WISEAU filming THE ROOM.
James FRANCO directed the film and played “the disaster artist” Tommy WISEAU in it. He also invited his friends in Hollywood, including his younger brother, Dave, to complete this together, recreating the legendary figure who has embodied both comedy and tragedy.
The film was honored Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globes, and the Best Adapted Screenplay Award at the 89th National Board of Review, USA.
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
Directed by: Aki KAURISMÄKI
Written by: Aki KAURISMÄKI
Starring: Ville VIRTANEN/ Kati OUTINEN/ Tommi KORPELA/ Sherwan HAJI/ Janne HYYTIÄINEN
The story takes place in Helsinki, capital of Finland, where a middle-aged man has bought a restaurant. One day, in order to avoid the DH’s inspections, the staff hide the stray dogs in the toilet. Unexpectedly, there is a Syrian refugee hiding there as well. The man used to be a decent engineer, but after arriving in Finland, he becomes a refugee. His life is just about transferring from one shelter to another, without any sense of security.
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE is a special refugee-themed movie, as the director has tried to talk about the topic that is normally seen as sad with the approach of comedy. The film is straightforward and concise, a continuation of the director’s minimalist style of stage. The two parallel story lines of the Syrian refugee and the Finnish middle class have created cold humor and irony of reality.
The film is the winner of Silver Berlin Bear – Best Director at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.
Directed by: Andrea PALLAORO
Written by: Andrea PALLAORO/ Orlando TIRADO
Starring: Charlotte RAMPLING/ André WILMS
Hannah is a woman who has forgotten her identity, trying hard to find her past. After her husband is imprisoned, her life becomes fragments. She is restricted by her own heart, but cannot rely entirely on it. She realizes that she is getting farther and farther from reality, all alone.
In this movie taking the old lady as first perspective, the “national treasure” actress of the UK Charlotte RAMPLING has managed to present one of the best performances throughout 2017. With precise and strict emotions, her performance is without a slight of flashiness, leaving the viewers in endless loneliness.
The film won the Best Actress Award at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Directed by: Yorgos LANTHIMOS
Written by: Yorgos LANTHIMOS/ Efthymis FILIPPOU
Starring: Nicole KIDMAN/ Colin FARRELL/ Alicia SILVERSTONE/ Barry KEOGHAN/ Raffey CASSIDY
Stephen is a good cardiologist and has two children with his wife, Anna, who is also a doctor. The family is happy. Stephen becomes friends with a 16-year-old boy Martin and often invites him to home. However, the idyllic daily life is changed because of Martin’s arrival. A series of strange events occur one after another, and an unspeakable embarrassment begins to shroud this family.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER is not a movie easy to understand. The multiple metaphors in the film and the almost absurd abstract concept make the audience fall into a place more sinister than imagined, without any sign. As the movie progresses, you will become increasingly uneasy. The two Hollywood stars Colin FARRELL and Nicole KIDMAN are another highlight in the movie.
The film was awarded Best Screenplay at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.