This summer the Cosford Cinema is showcasing the glorious cinematography of 5 contemporary films shot in classic black and white. The choice gives each film a timeless quality and will make you wonder why there was a switch to color in the first place. The films selected come from throughout Europe including Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and France. Each have been festival favorites and won numerous awards. Join us all summer long for this gorgeous films and breathtaking cinematography.
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski.
Poland. 2014. 80minutes. Polish with English Subtitles.
Selected by the 2014 Miami Jewish Film Festival.
From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski comes IDA, a moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating from the terrible years of the Nazi occupation. 18-year old Anna (stunning newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska), a sheltered orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to become a nun when the Mother Superior insists she first visit her sole living relative. Naïve, innocent Anna soon finds herself in the presence of her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a worldly and cynical Communist Party insider, who shocks her with the declaration that her real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This revelation triggers a heart-wrenching journey into the countryside, to the family house and into the secrets of the repressed past, evoking the haunting legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of postwar Communism. In this beautifully directed film, Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland for the first time in his career to confront some of the more contentious issues in the history of his birthplace. Powerfully written and eloquently shot, Ida a masterly evocation of a time, a dilemma, and a defining historical moment; Ida is also personal, intimate, and human. The weight of history is everywhere, but the scale falls within the scope of a young woman learning about the secrets of her own past. This intersection of the personal with momentous historic events makes for what is surely one of the most powerful and affecting films of the year.
Directed by Jim Taihuttu.
Netherlands. 2014. 123minutes. Dutch, Arabic, French and Turkish with English Subtitles.
Selected by the 2014 Miami International Film Festival.
Following his 2011 breakthrough RABAT, the thrilling Dutch filmmaker Jim Taihuttu brings us WOLF, a stylish and thrilling look at his country’s modern day criminal underground. Starring Marwan Kenzari (recently named as one of Variety’s “International Stars You Should Know” for 2014), the film provides an insight into a new generation of ruthless criminals taking over Europe’s principal cities. Using raw black and white, WOLF is the story of Majid, a talented kickboxer from a grey, anonymous suburb in The Netherlands. As his fighting prowess brings him increasing notoriety in-and outside the ring, the worlds of kickboxing and organised crime begin to blur into each another and Majid begins to lose sight of what it is he really wants…
COFFEE IN BERLIN
Directed by Jan Ole Gerster.
Germany. 2014. 88minutes. German with English Subtitles.
Jan Ole Gerster’s wry and vibrant feature debut A COFFEE IN BERLIN, which swept the 2013 German Oscar Awards, paints a day in the life of Niko, a twenty-something college dropout going nowhere fast. Niko lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider. Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriend rebuffs him, his father cuts off his allowance, and a strange psychiatrist dubiously confirms his ’emotional imbalance’. Meanwhile, a former classmate insists she bears no hard feelings toward him for his grade-school taunts when she was “Roly Poly Julia,” but it becomes increasingly apparent that she has unfinished business with him. Unable to ignore the consequences of his passivity any longer, Niko finally concludes that he has to engage with life. Shot in timeless black and white and enriched with a snappy jazz soundtrack, this slacker dramedy is a love letter to Berlin and the Generation Y experience.
THE LAST SENTENCE
Directed by Jan Troell.
Sweden. 2014. 126minutes. Swedish with English Subtitles.
Selected by the 2014 Miami Jewish Film Festival.
A remarkable drama set against Sweden’s tumultuous political world during the Second World War, Jan Troell’s THE LAST SENTENCE is based on the life of Torgny Segerstedt, a leading Swedish journalist of the 20th century. The film chronicles Segerstedt’s extraordinary one-man battle against both Nazism and his own country’s policy of appeasement to Hitler. The narrative begins at moment during WW2 when the Nazis were coming ever closer to the borders of Sweden. With Sweden caught between Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia, the country’s elites chose a policy of neutrality and compliance, with few daring to speak up against the evil around them. Among those who did, nobody was as loud and as uncompromising as Segerstedt. In the eyes of many of his countrymen, his pen was far more dangerous to Sweden than the Nazi sword. Amidst the political turmoil of the times, Segerstedt’s own personal life took a dramatic and scandalous turn, as he entered into a very public affair with the wife of a close friend. The narrative of THE LAST SENTENCE is as spellbinding as its message is clear: man has a moral duty to speak out against evil, an obligation that transcends time and geography. Beautifully filmed in black-and-white, THE LAST SENTENCE (by renowned Swedish director Troell, whose epic films THE EMIGRANTS and THE NEW LAND made him an international figure in the 1970s) is a gripping and poetic tale of man who risked his life for his beliefs and who refused to be silenced.
Directed by Philippe Garrel.
France. 2014. 77minutes. French with English Subtitles.
Selected by the 51st New York Film Festival.
Philippe Garrel is a true child of French cinema. His father was the great actor Maurice Garrel, he made a 2nd home for himself in the Cinémathèque Française, he shot his first film at the age of 16 and he rode through the streets of Paris shooting newsreels of May 68 with Godard in his red Ferrari. From the start, Garrel’s intimate, handcrafted cinema has stayed elementally close to the conditions of silent film – the unadorned beauty of faces, figures and light – and revisited the same deeply personal themes of loss, mourning, and rejuvenation through love. In this sharp, vigorous film, shot in glorious black and white by the great Willy Kurant (Masculine Feminine), Garrel takes a fresh look at his titular subject, patiently following the professional and emotional cross-currents between two romantically entwined theater actors played by the director’s son Louis and Anna Mouglalis. With a beautiful score by Jean-Louis Aubert.