Nisimazine @ POFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Nisimazine @ POFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

by December 10, 2017

From Nisimazine with love. Take a closer look at what POFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2017 had to offer for us this time.

C. Photo Credit: Loveless (2017)

Loveless (RU, FR, BE)

by Sten Kauber

What makes us imprison ourselves in effort to satisfy our needs? Why do we need big and painful events to look in ourselves and around us? Why do we not learn from these events, continuing toforgetfully wade in our mistakes instead? And why there are so many loveless relations, unloving parents, and children made without love?

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Bangzy Melody (2017)

Bangzy Melody (CN)

by Liam McGarry

The complex rhythm of Bangzi Melody’s rural commune echoes the political and cultural upheaval of its era.

Local politics, madmen and opera: a grouping seldom seen and often underused in cinema. A film being showcased at this year’s PÖFF festival is Bangzi Melody, a feature by director Zheng Dasheng based on the short stories of the author Jia Dashan.Multiple layers make Bangzi Melodya unique socio-political beast.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow (2017)

The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow (EE)

by Silver Oun

Sulev Keedus is one of the most praised and definitely most sophisticated auteurs of Estonian cinema. To be honest, I know no other director, whose films offer so many different philosophical allusions or have such interesting cultural backgrounds. The plurality of ideas can seem almost absurd in his movies, but somehow he always manages to make the film into ta convincing whole.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Home (2017)

Home  (BE, FR)

by Zuzana Sotakova

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has in this year’s programme a focus section on Flanders. One of films that represent cinematography of this region is the drama Home,which is a compelling statement about the struggles of the young generation. This intimate story with a universal appeal is accented by strong acting performances and genuine style.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: The Party (2017)

The Party (Suurbriannia)

by Susanne Gottlieb

The Party takes viewers on a short but wild ride through a dinner party gone unhinged.

Sally Potter clearly understands how to start a movie with a bang. Tearing open the door, the infuriated Kristin Scott Thomas holds a gun to someone, madness glistening in her eyes. Welcome to the evening activities of London’s liberal upper class.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Newly Single (2017)

Newly Single (USA)

by Liam McGarry

Success, narcissism and copious amounts of meaningless sex don’t add up to much when your ex left you for a cult. In this festival premiere of Black Nights FF main competition, Adam Christian Clark plays Astor Williams Stevenson, a bitter, superficial and deeply self-conscious man recovering from a nasty breakup the only way he knows how – through dating and heavy drinking in between bouts of desperately calling his ex-girlfriend Valerie (Molly C. Quinn). The film is semi-autobiographical and Clark plays an exaggerated and darkly obnoxious version of himself.

Read a full review 

C. Photo Credit: Resurrection (2017)

Resurrection (BE)

by Silver Oun

In the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve had two children named Cain and Abel.As god seemed to favor Abel more, Cain became envious and smashed his brother’s head. God sentenced Cain to be a restless wanderer on earth. But no restlessness of Cain could have been as dreadful and tiresome as getting through Kristof Hoornaert’s Resurrection, that had its world premiere in the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festivals First Feature Competition.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: home (2017)

home (KR)

by Sten Kauber

Home is not just four walls and a roof. Home is a living entity consisting of subjects, acting and coexisting together. Subjects often form a social group within this entity – such as a family. The meaning of family fluctuates in time and shapes the relations between the subjects.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Bingo: The King of Mornings (2017)

Bingo: The King of Mornings (BR)

by Susanne Gottlieb

Bingo is the adapted life story of the Brazilian actor Arlindo Baretto, famous for playing the clown “Bozo” on kids morning TV show, and infamous for other reasons. The film is picking up secret studio gossip and turning it to open facts. The revelations caused certain repercussions amongst the Brazilian population, who realised that their idol was not just a friendly clown, but also a drunk, a drug addict and often a lousy father to his only son.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Our Little Secret (2017)

Our Little Secret (USA)

by Zuzana Sotakova

The internet search„Our little secret“gives you all sort of references, from fan fiction videos to nasty blogs. One that Google has not spotted yet, is a new film by a director Yuri Zeltser. A quasi-fairy-tale narrated with a pinch of magical realism, childish fantasies and bottomless hope for happy ending. It had a world premiere at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in a programme section Panorama.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Green Cats (2017)

Green Cats (EE)

by Liam McGarry

Two convicts are released into a very different Estonian society from the one they left before prison, but some things never change.

The boxer and the amnesiac are sitting and eating in a quiet urban café and concoct their escape plan to avoid paying for the meal before them. Their plans go awry when the pair run out onto the streets but the bags are forgotten behind. Small time capers and the problems of age are played out against a colourful summer city backdrop in a comedy drama Green Cats by filmmaker Andres Puustusmaa.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: River’s Edge (2017)

River’s Edge (CN)

by Silver Oun

There is something transcendental about flowing water. Something so captivating to the eye, that it raises metaphysical and otherworldly thoughts. And no art can convey it like cinema can. One of the most powerful examples being Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master1, where ocean served as a metaphor for the stream of consciousness. Andrei Tarkovsky was even more known for his use of water. It has been a major element in almost all of his films. He reflects: Water is a mysterious element – because of its structure. And it is very cinegenic; it transmits movement, depth, changes. Nothing is more beautiful than water.And now, Wang Chao’s River’s Edge leads us down the riverbed.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Different Kinds of Rain (2017)

Different Kinds of Rain (DE)

by Sten Kauber

In German filmmaker Isabel Prahl’s debut Different Kinds of Rain we see a door, behind which a teenage boy has isolated himself from the rest of the world. He has withdrawn completely from social life and put his middle-class family in a distressing situation. As both the family and social services lack proper means to handle the situation, the boy’s mother Susanne (Bibiana Beglau), father Thomas (Bjarne Mädel)) and teenage sister Miriam (Emma Bading) grow more and more anxious. But the door remains closed, casting a shadow on everything the family members do in their everyday life.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: The Unknown Soldier (2017)

The Unknown Soldier (FI)

by Susanne Gottlieb

A platoon of Finnish soldiers dying on the front line, fighting against the Soviets. A breath-taking landscape that emerges from the story as a separate character. The director Aku Louhimies takes one of the most important classics in Finnish literature, Väinö Linna’s The Unknown Soldier, and transforms it into a gritty, honest and visually potent masterpiece.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Different Kinds of Rain (2017)

Different Kinds of Rain (DE)

by Zuzana Sotakova

English dictionary explains the Japanese word hikikomori as the abnormal avoidance of social contact, typically by adolescent males or a person who avoids social contact.

Many people heard about that expression for the first time through the fantastic story Shaking Tokyo (in a film project Tokyo!) by the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. The film was released almost ten years ago but the phenomenon of hikikomori has been a serious issue since early 90s, gradually spreading from Japan to the whole world. Now it has caught attention of the German director Isabel Prahl who debuts with a full-length feature film Different Kinds of Rain in Black Nighs debut competition. Prahl is looking at the problem from the opposite side of a closed door, focusing on the perspective of the family instead.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Excavator (2017)

Excavator (KR)

by  Liam McGarry

The words WHY DID YOU SEND US THERE, spray painted on the bucket of a motorised excavator in Korean. The bucket soars in the air against a tragic and cathartic score as a larger digger joins the fray. In case this image seems a bit off, that’s because an industrial vehicle makes an awkward choice as a metaphor for justice. In Excavator by Lee Ju-Hyoung, a veteran haunted by his role in the state sanctioned Gwangju massacre of 1980 seeks out his former platoon and superiors to try to get some answers for his guilt and nightmares.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Pomegranate Orchard (2017)

Pomegranate Orchard (AZ)

by Silver Oun

I’ve always loved the cinema of the Middle East. The beauty of the old world still lives its peaceful life there – people herd flock, old men sit in front of their houses and gaze at time passing by. Stories told there are the simplest of its kind, slipping secretly into our hearts. As time passes, the noise of the modern world knocks hard on the door. Speaking of perishing old values, there is no play like Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Written in 1903 – only two years before the first big Russian Revolution of 1905 –, it depicted the aristocracy’s frail attempt to maintain its status before the rise of the masses and the middle class. Ajar Ilgar Najaf has loosely adapted the piece and set it in Azerbaijan today.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Asphyxia (2017)

Asphyxia (IR)

by Sten Kauber

Asphyxia is a condition when the lack of oxygen in the body can lead to other severe complications. Oxygen deficiency can be caused by everything from health issues and suffocating environments to physical violence.

The Iranian filmmaker Fereydoun Jeyrani forms the medical term into an underlying motif of his reserved thriller Asphyxia.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Little Tito and the Aliens  (2017)

Little Tito and the Aliens (IT)

by Susanne Gottlieb

One doesn’t necessarily have to look in terrestrial places to reconnect with lost loved ones. Sometimes the answer lies deep in space. You just have to listen very closely. In her second feature, Italian director Paola Randi shows us how the combination of science fiction, fairy-tale-like storytelling and well-crafted visuals can give the analysis of human emotions a fresh new spin.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Neurotic Quest for Serenity (2017)

Neurotic Quest for Serenity (BR)

by Zuzana Sotakova

“The first full-length film of young Brazilian directors Paulinho Caruso and Teodoro Poppovic makes you laugh and shake your head, often at the same time. Inarguably there are a lot of stupid jokes, but also a great deal of depth.” said the description of Neurotic Quest for Serenity in the festival catalogue. 105 minutes later I can agree. But I would change “great deal of depth” to “unsuccessful attempts at depth”.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Berta Zeqiri, director of The Marriage (Kosovo)

by Liam McGarry

The Marriage that had its world premiere at this year’s Black Nights Film Festival is a devastating and tragic story of forbidden love and heartbreak set against a backdrop of a country broken from war. The titular marriage is that of Bejik and Anita – a young couple living a successful life in the city.. Their security is blown apart by the arrival of an old friend.

Read the interview

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Zheng Dasheng, director of Bangzi Melody (CN)

by Liam McGarry

I meet Zheng Dasheng shortly after a press conference where he has been discussing the film. As I enter the conference room, we are introduced to each other and Kristi Seppa our photographer talks about where in the room we would look best. We settle for the stage itself, and myself and Dasheng prepare for a make-believe press conference to an empty conference hall. Dasheng is very calm in his delivery and soft-spoken, he is very considerate of each question and answers very deliberately.

Read the interview

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Kristof Hoonaert, director of Resurrection (BE)

by Silver Oun

As I meet with Kristof Hoonaert, the director of Resurrection premiering in Black Nights FF debut competition, in Nordic Hotel Forums noisy lobby, we go to seek a place away from the people to have a silent conversation. Eventually we find it.

Read the interview

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Laura and Clara Laperrousaz , directors of Sunbeat (PT)

by Silver Oun

When Laura and Clara Laperrousaz, two sister directors, step out of the elevator, one can immediately see their French-like self-consciousness. As a little shy Eastern European struck by their light, I pull myself together and head bravely to talk about their new feature, Sunbeat. The chat becomes almost a game to them as they snatch and end each other’s sentences, even making touching some more somber themes very playful.

Read the interview

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Isabel Prahl, director of Different Kinds of Rain (DE)

by Sten Kauber

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is in full swing. Nordic Hotel Forum, the headquarters of the festival, is buzzing with energy, as the film industry crowd excitedly mingles through the afternoon. The annoyance of the loud scene surrounds me creating a need to isolate myself from it. But I am set to meet Isabel Prahl to talk about her first feature, Different Kinds of Rain. A family drama about isolation and disconnectedness in the extensively interlinked modern world. She greets me with such warmth that I am that utterly cut out from the weight of the milieu. The brief visit to her vision may begin.

Read the interview

C. Photo Credit: Montparnasse Bienvenue (2017)

Montparnasse Bienvenue (FR)

by Sten Kauber

Léonor Serraille’s Caméra d’or-winning first feature Montparnasse Bienvenue, a colourful French character study, takes us to the erratic transitional period of a 31-year-old Paula (Laetitia Dosch), who is forced to face her life situation after a long-term relationship that crashed into a wall.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Adam Christian Clark, director of Newly Single (2017)

by Susanne Gottlieb

On screen, Adam Christian Clark is an asshole. At least when he is in the shoes of his character Astor Williams Stevenson, unsuccessful movie director whose enormous ego compensates his lack of a career. The man that greets me in the lobby of Hotel Nordic is a friendly American from the West Coast, dressed in chic all black and being very accommodating. Repeatedly, he asks for my opinion on his film, while citing nonconformist non-Hollywood indie directors Robert Altman and John Cassavetes as inspiration. His movie Newly Single is an impression of dating in today’s world. As Clark unwinds, he has a thing or two to say about this.

Read a full review

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with Luong Dinh Dung, director of Father and Son (VN)

by Susanne Gottlieb

It is not often that you meet a director who first worked as a gold miner, a red ruby digger, a kung fu master, a porter, a blacksmith, or a mechanic. The Vietnamese director Luong Dinh Dung always knew what he wanted in the long run and now he is a newly pledged Academy Award nominee with his movie Father and Son, a film he worked on for several years. I met Dung at the Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn to talk about his film Father and Son and life in Vietnam.

Read the interview

C. Photo Credit: Kristi Seppa – Nisimazine

Interview with RP Kahl, director of A Thought of Ecstasy (DE, USA, CH)

by Zuzana Sotakova

Director/actor RP Kahl has earned a reputation of a renegade of German cinema. Strongly independent auteur films with provocative both topics and images have earned him that. And it is no different with his latest film A Thought of Ecstasy that had an international premiere in Competition at 21th Tallinn Black Nights Festival.

Read the interview