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Interconnecting Existentialism at New Directors/New Films ‘21

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Times are finally changing. At least for moviegoers in New York City. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the celebrated New Directors/New Films festival held in partnership between Film at Lincoln Center and MoMA will be the first in-person Film Festival in the city since the Pandemic began over a year ago.

Showcasing freshly daring works by newcomers, ND/NF is well known for kicking off great careers such as Almodovar, Spielberg, Spike Lee and Kleber Mendonca among hundreds of others now established filmmakers. Running virtually April 28-May 8 on both institutions’ virtual cinema platforms and in-person at the theaters at Film at Lincoln Center the 2021 selection brings audiences closer to contemporary issues and relevant social topics, accidentally reflecting on the troubles of now-a-days.

Through observational stories and characters’ studies, these films refreshingly reveal aspects of the human condition, following bodies in motion in search of amusement for their loneliness, struggling to fit in the changing era of technology, preserving their strong family bonds and revealing immersive experiences of the existentialism factor.

WOOD AND WATER

“I just pray every morning for God to give me strength to deal with whatever is coming my way”, says the protagonist in this personal, effective and highly meditative exploration on solitude, motherhood, nostalgia and family importance. Simple, yet profoundly striking, the image of an aging lady sitting at a sofa on her own, while longing to spend time with her grown children, serves as a wake-up call for our modern individualism and isolation. Shot on 16mm, Jonas Bak’s highly emotional debut is certainly a great discovery, a naturalistic and humane tale about the essentials of living.

MADALENA

An inventive and adventurous crime investigation, Madiano Marcheti’s visually striking film follows the effects of a trans’ disappearance/murder over the lives of three of her friends. Shot in a vast, luminous agrarian area, it is an impressive x-ray of 21st Century’s Brazilian society, the youth aspirations and expectations, as well as an alarming report on the deadly prejudice towards transgenders (the country carries the highest number in trans murders in the world). In a semi-noir atmosphere, the film develops as an intriguing investigative tale with poignant observations on its characters and the distress of the young generation.

APPLES

An absurdist futuristic comedy that reflects our troubled times with effective results. A wave of amnesia is infecting humanity, and those caught with memory loss are sent to a treatment for restarting their lives once again. A dark comedy about identity, compassion and the importance of memory and sanity, Greece’s Oscar submission announces Christos Nikou as a promising, ahead-of-his-time visionary director.

SHORT VACATION

Four teen students set foot on a road adventure through the outskirts of Seoul in this lovable, fabulously delicate coming of age tale about friendship, loyalty and the living exploration. As they discover the world around them, using their disposable cameras to capture light, enchantment, inspiration and imagination, Korean director Kwon Min-pyo’s crafts an unusually lyrical and meditative look at a young’s feminine universe and the gentle manners of innocence.

STOP-ZEMLIA

Profoundly touching and immersive, Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai’s hybrid of doc and drama, follows the stirring emotions of a group of teens as they play fictionalized versions of themselves but get caught up on the vulnerability and co-dependence of their emotional condition. As they prepare to finish school, gather at large or private reunions, constantly partying, playing, drinking and smoking, as well as deeply exploring their bodies, desires, aspirations and sexuality, they remind us of the energy and freestyle living of those good old days we all experienced without much of worries. A definitive and essential portrait of this Century’s new generation.

(Go to https://www.newdirectors.org/ for more information, tickets and schedule.)


Bons Professores, by Alessandro Lima

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