Auteurs Take the Spotlight in QCinema’s Screen International

The late French New Wave director, Jean-Luc Godard, once said that “with mobile phones and whatever, everyone is now an auteur.”

The late French New Wave director, Jean-Luc Godard, once said that “with mobile phones and whatever, everyone is now an auteur.”

In QCinema’s specially-curated section, Screen International, however, the bar is certainly set higher as it showcases the world’s renowned directors whose distinctive styles make their acclaimed works undeniably their own.

David Cronenberg, Canada’s body horror master, is back in form with his sci-fi horror, Crimes Of The Future, with Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux and Kirsten Stewart. The film premiered in Cannes’ main competition.

Cronenberg’s latest film was from a script he had written twenty years ago. It follows a world-renowned performance artist couple, who performs surgery to audiences, in a future world where human evolution has accelerated for some individuals.

Also from Cannes competition, Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO, which was awarded the Jury Prize. 

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With more than 20 films since his debut in the early sixties, this Polish auteur has been the recipient of top prizes in Cannes and Venice.

EO is inspired from a Robert Bresson classic film, Au Hassard Balthazar, and it follows the life of a donkey born in a Polish circus. The circus animal encounters good and bad people along its journey through Europe, experiencing both joy and pain. Isabelle Huppert, who recently visited the country, joins the cast of Polish actors.

Arthouse favorite Hang Sang-soo graces QCinema’s screens for the first time with his latest ouevre, Walk Up

A recipient of the top awards in Berlin, Locarno and Venice, he works another variation of his casual encounters and chatter that grace his works with melancholic gentleness. The film reflects on familiar spaces and characters that the prolific Korean master has been known for. 

One of Costa Rica’s renowned filmmakers, Valentina Maurel, scored multiple wins in Locarno, winning Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Director awards for I Have Electric Dreams.

Its young adult protagonist lives with her mother while struggling to reconnect with her estranged father. This, as she tries to balance the tenderness and sensitivity of teenage life.

Denmark-based Iranian film director and screenwriter Ali Abbasi’s third feature film Holy Spider will also be screened at QCinema.

Holy Spider is an internationally co-produced Persian-language crime thriller that depicts a fictional female journalist investigating a serial killer. It is based on the true story of Saeed Hanaei, a serial killer who targeted sex workers and killed 16 women from 2000 to 2001 in Mashhad, Iran.

The film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. It won for  Zar Amir Ebrahimi the festival’s Best Actress Award. It was also selected as the Danish entry for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.

The 2022 drama film of Austrian filmmaker Marie Kreutzer, whose films were screened at Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, and New York, Corsage is also at Screen International.

Corsage had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2022, in the Un Certain Regard section. It is a fictional account of one year in the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. On Christmas Eve 1877, Elisabeth, once idolized for her beauty, turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman; she starts trying to maintain her public image.

Close, French-language Belgian drama film, is directed by Belgian film director and screenwriter Lukas Dhont.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, to critical acclaim and the Grand Prix. It is Belgium’s submission for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.

Close is about the friendship between two thirteen-year old boys Leo and Remi, which suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother.

QCinema’s other sections  showcase other established directors in their latest works that exemplify their stature as master storytellers.

At the Special Screenings section is Love Life, Koji Fukada’s newest film since his last, A Girl Missing, which screened in QCinema’s 2019 edition. Fukada previously won the Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize for Harmonium, a 2016 critical hit.

The compelling Japanese drama tells about a couple whose routine is disrupted by a sudden family tragedy which reunites the wife with her mute ex-husband.

Also from the same section is a surprisingly candid coming-of-age story that deserves greater exposure. 

Janchivdorj Sengedorj, one of Mongolia’s most prominent directors with a particular affinity for depictions of contemporary youth, won the Best Feature award at the New York Asian Film Festival for The Sales Girl.

Its an amusing portrayal of an introverted student’s new job in a sex-shop and her growing bond with the owner, a former exotic dancer.

Philippine cinema’s renowned auteur, Lav Diaz, is back in the festival for the third time, with his Venice out-of-competition entry, When The Waves Are Gone.

Shot in 16mm, Diaz’s characteristic black-and-white new opus untypically clocks in at a modest 3 hours 7 minutes – a far short from his usual long-form meditative narratives.

Frequent collaborator, John Lloyd Cruz, heads the cast of this revenge tragedy that focuses on two corrupt cops with a grudge, loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.

This year’s Silver Lion winner in Venice is at the New Horizons section. 

Saint Omer is the first narrative feature of Alice Diop after working as an acclaimed documentary filmmaker.

It centers on a pregnant novelist in France who attends the trial of a Senegalese woman accused of murdering her baby. In the course of the court proceedings, she tries to blend the accused woman’s fate into the novel she is writing, a modern adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as expected.

Argentina, 1985, by Santiago Mitre, is one of the acclaimed titles in the new festival section, Advanced Screenings.

Based on real events, the story follows a team of lawyers on the heads of Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship during the 1980s, in a battle against odds and a race against time. Winner of the Venice FIPRESCI Award and San Sebastian People’s Choice Award, this gripping historical drama is presented by Prime Video Philippines.

The venues for the 10-day festival include Gateway Cineplex, Trinoma Cinemas, the new Cinema76 (in Tomas Morato), Rockwell Power Plant Cinema, and SM North EDSA.

Details about in10City, QCinema’s 10th anniversary presentation will be available at qcinema.ph and updates are posted at its social media accounts – FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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