10 Great Films

From the Berlin Film Festival 2007

Away From Her (pictured) Atom Egoyan’s favourite actress Sarah Polley’s debut feature delivers a powerhouse drama concerning the effects of Alzheimer’s on a 50-year-old marriage. Julie Christie stars; no doubt she’ll be up for an Oscar nomination come 2008.

Prater A beguiling documentary, shot in Vienna, which examines the cultural history of the oldest amusement park in the world. Unforgettable Mathew Barney-esque images.

The Year My Parents Went on Vacation A sugar sweet comedy-drama concerning a 12 year old boy’s experience of life in Sao Paulo’s Bom Retiro district while his parents go ‘underground’. Set against Brazil’s attempt to re-win the 1970 World Cup, this is a heartwarming tale about growing up fast.

Strange Culture A vital piece of documentary filmmaking concerning issues around the Patriot Act, civil liberties, GMO foods and current art practice in the US. Co-starring Tilda Swinton.

A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory Warhol’s lover Williams is lovingly portrayed by his filmmaker niece as the forgotten member of the Factory. A poignant artistic biography.

Danny Williams films: Factory, Harold Stevenson 1&2, Trips and Parties A real festival moment: to sit in a room of hardcore experimental devotees and watch the world premiere of Williams’ silent films, which capture the joy, celebration and party of those heady Factory days.

Substitute World Cup 2006. French player Vikash Dhorasoo, is given a super-8 camera. What transpires it not another football documentary, but a film about Dhorasoo’s increasing frustration about sitting on the bench. A droll look at the other side of the tournament.

Brand Upon the Brain Superman filmmaking genius Guy Maddin returns to us from Winnipeg with an awesome tale of love, family and honour.

The Bubble A gay love story set in contemporary Tel Aviv. When local hipster Noam falls for a young Palestinian Ashraf, their lives become entangled in the country’s political drama. Emotionally powerful stuff, with strong acting across the board.

. . . and one festival turkey:
The Tracey Fragments What a waste of Ellen Page’s acting talents.

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