At the height of the Cold War, circa 1962, two workers in a high-tech US government laboratory (Sally Hawkins and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer) discover a terrifying secret experiment, in this otherworldly fairytale from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth).
"Well, the first thing is that I love monsters. I identify with monsters."
No filmmaker has plumbed the soul of screen monsters with more fire and empathy than Guillermo del Toro. The master behind Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Pacific Rim has long shown a deep understanding of what monsters mean to us, and why we need them. THE SHAPE OF WATER is his strongest expression yet of the shivering appeal of monsters, and the unsettling notion that the monstrous can be revealed in many forms.
In 1963, Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works as a janitor at a US government laboratory. One night, a strange, amphibious creature (del Toro regular Doug Jones) is wrangled into the facility. Elisa is more fascinated than frightened. What scares her more is the threat posed by the federal agent in charge (Michael Shannon, also appearing at this year's Festival in The Current War). Cruel and self-serving, he seems convinced the surest way to handle the mysterious creature is to kill it. With the help of her neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins), her co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer), and a sympathetic scientist (Michael Stuhlbarg), Elisa hatches a plan to save the creature's life, at the risk of her own.
Strange marvels abound in THE SHAPE OF WATER. Marshalling these remarkable performances together with stunning production design, fluid camerawork, and Alexandre Desplat's gorgeous score, del Toro delivers unforgettable film poetry. Movie fans will luxuriate in the wealth of references to classic monster movies and mid-century thrillers. Some will note the film's layered subtexts of social critique. But none of that is necessary to enjoy the pure pleasure of watching a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, exploring the world he most loves.
The latest from Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino ( I Am Love, A Bigger Splash) explores the tender, tentative relationship that blooms over the course of one summer between a 17-year-old boy on the cusp of adulthood (Timothée Chalamet) and his father's research assistant (Armie Hammer).
Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash) has fashioned André Aciman's 2007 novel of sexual awakening into a joyous romantic adventure. Set in the sun-kissed landscape of Lombardy, Northern Italy, and with a script by James Ivory, CALL MY BY YOUR NAME is a note-perfect tale of forbidden love. It brings together Timothée Chalamet (also at the Festival in Hostiles) and Armie Hammer as the two protagonists whose summer in the countryside opens new doors for both of them.
Guadagnino's camera presides languidly over the rambling villa used as a vacation home by American professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his family. Each summer, the professor invites a doctoral student to visit and help with his research. When hunky 24-year-old Oliver (Hammer) shows up, Perlman's 17-year-old son, Elio (Chalamet) is initially cool and distant. After all, he has a beautiful girlfriend who takes up most of his emotional time. Cast inadvertently into playing the role of good host, squiring fellow American Oliver around town and country, Elio finds himself confounded by a growing physical attraction to the visitor. Their courtship is tentative and awkward, consisting of looks and glances, touches and caresses. Elio's parents look on, blissfully unaware of the heated passions that are boiling beneath the surface.
CALL MY BY YOUR NAME is, above all, a kind of reverie amidst a golden summer of bike rides, swimming holes, and outdoor dinners. Its lush sensuality casts a very special spell that is impossible to resist.
Famed Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's final masterpiece, The Sacrifice is a haunting vision of a world threatened with nuclear annihilation that inspired Andrew Sarris (The Village Voice) to proclaim, "You may find yourself moved as you have never been moved before."
As a wealthy Swedish family celebrates the birthday of their patriarch Alexander (Erland Josephson, Cries and Whispers), news of the outbreak of World War III reaches their remote Baltic island — and the happy mood turns to horror. The family descends into a state of psychological devastation, brilliantly evoked by Tarkovsky's arresting palette of luminous greys washing over the bleak landscape around their home. (The film's masterful cinematography is by Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman's longtime collaborator).
For Alexander, a philosopher troubled about man's lack of spirituality, the prospect of certain extinction compels the ultimate sacrifice, and he enters into a Faustian bargain with God to save his loved ones from the fear which grips them. The director's last film, made as he was dying of cancer, The Sacrifice is Tarkovsky's personal statement, a profoundly moving, redemptive tragedy steeped in unforgettable imagery and heart-wrenching emotion.
An immersive journey with South American migrants who walk, ride freight trains and trek through the forest, travelling from shelter to shelter, all with the goal of reaching the U.S. border. Destierros is an unforgettable human odyssey that captures a reality that’s particularly difficult to document without resorting to sensationalism. Using his camera as an active observer, Hubert Caron-Guay (co-director of L’état du monde, RIDM 2012) alternates between purely sensory sequences and revealing testimonials. The approach allows the film to create sufficient distance to capture the violent intensity of interminable, uncertain exile while immortalizing the heartbreaking stories of men and women haunted by the past and aware that this trip is their last chance for a better life.
In Burma, the “Venerable Wirathu” is a highly respected and influential Buddhist monk. Meeting him amounts to traveling to the heart of everyday racism and observing how Islamophobia and hate speech lead to violence and destruction. Yet this is a country in which 90% of the population has adopted Buddhism as a faith: a religion based on a peaceful, tolerant and non-violent way of life.
SPEAK UP/MAKE YOUR WAY focuses on our common identities : "woman" and "black", whilst highlighting the diversity of Afropean diasporas. This documentary explores the intersections of discrimination, art and blackness. SPEAK UP/MAKE YOUR WAY is about black women reclaiming the narrative.
For the 13th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films, opening on Feb. 9th. With all three categories offered – Animated, Live Action and Documentary – this is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A perennial hit with audiences around the country and the world, don’t miss this year’s selection of shorts. The Academy Awards take place Sunday, March 4th.
Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older than her, and owns a printing company. After celebrating Marina's birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando's family don't trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando's ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando's son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando's family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion. So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now - a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.
Plunge into the 70s with this vibrant, lyrical collage of sounds and images from a bygone era. In 2008, Luc Bourdon created a sensation with The Memories of Angels, a cinematic love letter to the Montreal of the 50s and 60s made using archival footage from the NFB. Now Bourdon is back with the logical suite: an ode to the 70s that explores a decade’s psyche in a mixture of poetry and realism.
Boris and Zhenya are going through a divorce. Arguing constantly, and in the process of selling their apartment, they are already preparing for their new lives: Boris with his younger, pregnant girlfriend and Zhenya with the wealthy lover who is keen to get married. Neither seems interested in their 12-year-old son Alyosha. Until he disappears.