Now in its 16th year, Febiofest opens today, bringing yet another excellent selection of films to Prague. The festival runs until 3 April.
This time the festival is based at Village Cinemas Anděl in Smíchov, Prague 5. Films will be shown at the complex’s 12 screening rooms. The concerts organised as part of the festival will also take place at this venue. Some films will also be screened at Ponrepo and at improvised locations in public places (in the past films were shown, for example, at churches and train stations). This year the shopping mall at Černý Most mall will show screenings of shopping related films, starting with the Czech documentary/social experiment Czech Dream. These screenings are free of charge.
A big draw this year will surely be the participation of German director Wim Wenders, who made such acclaimed films as Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire and Million Dollar Hotel. His latest film is Palermo Shooting, which stars Dennis Hopper. Other notable guests include Thomas Vinterberg and Mike Leigh.
It’s an impressive programme. The only problem might be finding a way to sqeeze in as many viewings as possible into a busy week. And did I mention Wim Wenders is coming?
Here is a list of a few highlights:
Wendy and Lucy (USA)
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Wendy and her dog Lucy comprise an inseparable pair while traveling across the United States. The destination of their journey is Alaska, where Wendy hopes to find work. The film depicts a several-day-long drama during which Wendy unfortunately gets stuck in a small American town after her car breaks down. On the same day, she also loses Lucy.
27. 3. 14:30, Village Cinemas Anděl | Hall 9
A, B, C… Manhattan (USA)
Directed by Amir Naderi
Over the course of just one day, the story maps the fates of three women – guitarist Kate, photographer Coleen and absent-minded bisexual Kasey. Each faces a crucial life-changing decision. This film captures each woman’s internal emotions in a very perceptive way.
28.3. 15:30, Village Cinemas Anděl – Hall 7
Directed by Stanisław Tym
A bitter comedy about the Polish transformation. The communist days are long over, but the old structures continue to do pretty well. In fact, nothing has actually changed for them, only the names are different. The hero of the films Teddy Bear and Calls Controlled becomes a member of parliament…
31. 3. 22:00, Village Cinemas Anděl – Hall 1
The Drummer (Taiwan, Germany, Hong Kong)
Directed by Kenneth Bi
Casual sex with the girlfriend of a Hong-Kong gangster has landed young drummer Sid in a heap of trouble. His father, a local gang leader, whisks him away to Taiwan in an effort to save his life. In the meantime Sid befriends a group of traditional Taiwanese drummers.
28. 3. 17:45, Village Cinemas Anděl – Hall 2
The Cremator (Czechoslovakia)
Directed by Juraj Herz
This tragicomedy with horror motifs takes place against the historical backdrop of the rise of fascism. Mr. Kopfrkingl, an exemplary crematorium worker, a loving father and husband with a romantic soul, increasingly succumbs to Nazi ideology and gradually sacrifices those closest to him. His eccentricity and obsession with death escalates to monstrous proportions.
À l’aventure (France)
Directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
One of the heroines is life-wearied. Her husband cannot satisfy her sexually and so she indulges in masturbation. In a café she meets a handsome and intelligent psychiatrist who practices hypnosis. The two join in group sex and sadomasochistic games where their “sitters” are drawn into hypnotic states. The girls want to go as far as they can to achieve absolute orgasm.
28.3. 17:30, Village Cinemas Anděl | Hall 5
The Heirs (Russia)
Directed by Konstantin Oděgov
This dramatic story from the fringe of Siberian society combines a fairy-tale motif with folkloric scenes – a domesticated bear or Mongol nomad caravans pulled by moose teams, framed by the harsh everyday reality of endless drunken brawls and unemployed neighbors.
31. 3. 18:15, Village Cinemas Anděl | Hall 6