Newsletter Vol. 15 l The Kinder Programmer- SEO Seunghee

  • 2023. 09. 18  18:28
#BIFF2023 #Lineup #Programmer'sChoice
Newsletter Vol.15 | 2023.09.18

Presenting The Kinder Programmer :


Movie recommendations by the Busan International Film Festival programmers! 
Each programmer of BIFF introduces selections of their own.
Time to get to know the 28th BIFF better through the programmers’ kind replies.
The Kinder Programmer-SEO Seunghee
Small But Big

Some films may seem small but big at the same time. Such films haven’t been directed by famous names or featured renowned actors. They don't have grand storylines or memorable quotes, but for some reason, they’re the kind of films that stick in your mind. After watching them, you don't want to talk about them with anybody; you want to keep them to yourself, like a secret treasured memory.

Belgian director Bas Devos’ fourth feature film, Here, is exactly that kind of movie. A chance encounter happens between a man and a woman at a Chinese restaurant managed by the woman's aunt. Later, fate brings them together once more in a forest, where they talk to each other before going their separate ways. That's the entire story. Even so, Here is a film that leaves you with the profound sense that the world is still worth living in.

Here (2023)

Another film to mention is The Teachers' Lounge by German director İlker Çatak, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. It tells the story of a teacher who investigates a theft at a school, yet it's a film with the power to linger in your mind long after you've watched it. It was even selected as Germany's entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2024 Academy Awards, surpassing films by more well-known directors.

The Teachers' Lounge (2023)

Director Dani Rosenberg, who competed at Cannes with The Death of Cinema and My Father Too (2020), tells the story of a passionate 18-year-old who goes AWOL during a mission in The Vanishing Soldier, balancing the narrative with a light, playful touch. The lively score adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the film. The director is also scheduled to meet with the audience in Busan.

The Dreamer, by French director Anaïs Tellenne, is a modern-day take on Beauty and the Beast, the heart-wrenching love story. Actor Raphael Thiery, who attended Busan last year with Scarlet (2022) from the Gala section, and Tellenne herself, who has a younger brother married to a Korean and currently living in Busan, will both meet with audiences.

The Vanishing Soldier (2023)
The Dreamer (2023)  

Behind the Mountains by Mohamed Ben Attia is about a father and son. I confess I felt a lump in my throat for a while because of the final scene. Anna Novion’s Marguerite’s Theorem is a film that skillfully combines popularity and artistic qualities while elegantly portraying the passion for mathematics and love of Marguerite, a genius at the École Normale Supérieure.

Behind the Mountains (2023)
Marguerite′s Theorem (2023)
The Year of Italian Films

This year, there are many exceptional Italian films. Italian film legend Marco Bellocchio poured his genius into Kidnapped, depicting the intolerence of religion and inhumanity of power. Alice Rohrwacher, who previously directed Happy As Lazzaro (2018), returns with the very romantic film La Chimera, which explores a man in search of a love that transcends death and time.

Kidnapped (2023)
La Chimera (2023)

 In A Brighter Tomorrow, Nanni Moretti expresses his love for free cinema and political film through imagination and humor. Saverio Costanzo's Finally Dawn, featuring star actors like Joe Keery of the Stranger Things streaming series and Willem Dafoe, is another film that cannot be overlooked.

A Brighter Tomorrow (2023)
Finaly Dawn (2023)

Italy is currently experiencing a renaissance of film noir, and at this year’s BIFF, we introduce the films of 2 directors at the heart of this movement. Stefano Sollima, through Adagio, dynamically portrays a nation in flames, a corrupt society, and a boy burdened with his father's crime.

Andrea Di Stefano, who will converse with the audience at BIFF’s theaters, presents The Last Night of Amore. The film invites viewers to immerse themselves in a long night in Milan, where Amore, a police officer, finds himself grappling with the news of his partner's demise just one day before retirement. With a tightly woven plot, captivating visuals reminiscent of Brian De Palma, and the stellar performance of actor Pierfrancesco Favino, this film grips the audience from beginning to end. While watching it, I couldn't help but think how it could be remade in Korea without losing impact.

Adagio (2022)
The Last Night of Amore (2022)

Alain Parroni's An Endless Sunday is truly the discovery of the year. With its unflinching screenplay, rich, vivid colors, dynamic editing, and bold performances, An Endless Sunday marks the birth of a formidable new Italian director.

An Endless Sunday (2023)
Selections of Gala and Open Cinema

Bertrand Bonello was a musician before becoming a director. In 2021, he also acted in Titane, which received the Palme d'Or. It isn't easy to summarize his filmography as a director because he tends to explore various styles and themes. The Beast, which received acclaim at this year's Venice Film Festival, is a film that encapsulates all his experiences and creativity. Léa Seydoux, delivering a remarkable performance, plays the protagonist who reincarnates across three eras. Without hesitation, I have selected the film for the Gala section.

Bertrand BONELLO
The Beast (2023)

The Animal Kingdom by Thomas Cailley, which will be screened at BIFF Theater, is a unique French adventure film that raises questions about the boundaries between humans and animals. The emergence of wolf-human, bird-human, and boar-human hybrids occur worldwide, keeping the authorities busy trying to capture and isolate these mutated individuals. The same symptoms begin to manifest in a young boy named Émile. The Animal Kingdom has been selected as France's entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards this year, surpassing its fellow contenders.

The Animal Kingdom (2023)

The legendary director Luc Besson, known for masterpieces like Nikita (1990), Léon (1994), and The Big Blue (1988), will personally meet with the audience in Busan, presenting his exquisite thriller and a poignant drama, Dogman. Besson, a master of the action genre, keeps the audience glued to the screen from the very first scene.

Dogman (2023)
The List of Films Goes On...

On the Adamant by Nicolas Philbert, the revered French documentary director who won the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival; Music by Angela Schanelec, who has achieved the pinnacle of art cinema; Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses, which encapsulates the emotions of people behind the scenes of the landscape” (Lee Yong Cheol); The legal thriller The Goldman Case, which premiered at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight and garnered the most attention at Cannes Film Festival; The Pot-au-Feu, where Juliette Binoche's outstanding performance and Tran Anh Hung's directorial prowess truly stand out; Wim Wenders' Anselm, which encapsulates the painter  Anselm and the history of Germany; Austria's master filmmaker Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero, a film with the “unique theme of conscious eating" (Jo Ji-hoon) and a cold mise-en-scène…There are still many excellent films yet to be mentioned in this year's lineup.

And Close Your Eyes

If someone were to ask what the most highly anticipated film of the year was, it would be Victor Erice's Close Your Eyes. When naming the most touching work among the films seen this year, it would also be Close Your Eyes.

Víctor ERICE
Close Your Eyes (2023)

A cinephile would never be able to forget Erice’s Spirit of the Beehive (1973)—one of the three masterpieces of the director’s 50-year career—a metaphorical and poetic showpiece depicting the suffering of the Spanish people under dictatorship and the unforgettable innocent and sparkling pupils of 6-year-old Ana Torrent as she observes the adult world. When I first saw Close Your Eyes at Cannes, I gave the most heartfelt and prolonged applause along with the rest of the Cannes audience. Victor Erice didn't disappoint his fans, who had waited 30 years for a new film.

I would wish for nothing else if you could purely feel the similar emotion and joy that I have felt when I first watched these films.


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