We gathered at the cinema very early in the morning (especially after the excitement of Friday night’s gala!), but ready for a full day of watching, reviewing and, above all, enjoying films from all over the world. But before the screening could begin, we participated in a workshop by Gerlinda Heywegen. Here, we learned how to look at films in order to analyze them and discuss them with our fellow jury members afterwards.
// “Children” (2014)
The first film we watched as part of the International Student Jury was “Children”, a Slovanian film by famous documentary maker Jaro Vojtek. The film follows four completely different stories, which do not seem to be related at first, but when we looked closer, there are ties and similarities that cut through the screen. We went from a father struggling with his autistic son, to a prisoner escaping and from a little boy and his canary to a woman coping with her husband’s infidelity. Although the film was very impressive and beautiful in its own way, it is not a film that I would have chosen myself. Very impressive was the performance of the young actor portraying the boy with autism; his performance was incredibly good and spot-on.
Another very interesting aspect of “Children” was the fact that every separate episode had its own season. The first one showed the father and his autistic son in the strengthening light of spring, while the prisoner has to fight his way through an icy landscape in winter, the little boy searches his canary in fall and the woman takes a summer road-trip with her father to escape her problems.
// “Knight of Cups” (2015)
My favorite film of the day and perhaps of the entire festival, Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups”. Heartbreakingly beautiful imagery, a absolutely stellar cast and an overal unforgettable film. Tormented screen-writer Rick (Christian Bale) searches the surface of the earth to find meaning to his life and his past decisions. We travel into the past and future, where Rick meets with his haunted brother Barry (Wes Bentley), where he thinks back of his ex-wife Nancy (Cate Blanchett), his affair with Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), his flings with many, many women (Imogen Poots, Teresa Palmer, Freida Pinto) and kaleidoscopic parties with Tonio (Antonio Banderas). Intense close-ups of the main characters are alternated with sweeping and grotesque images of landscapes, resulting in one of the most beautiful and most impressive films I have ever seen.
// “Madame Bovary” (2014)
I have always loved costume dramas and I always will. From Joe Wright’s perfect adaptations of “Anna Karenina”, “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement” to the latest transformation of “Jane Eyre”. All these costume dramas are beautiful, tender and dramatic, with the best leading actresses in the circuit. The same goes for the latest adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s scandalous novel “Madame Bovary”. Tragic, sensuous and irresistible: director Sophie Barthes delivers a film close to a masterpiece, bringing the beloved book to life in the purest way possible.
Tomorrow you will find a freshly written report of Day 2 at Almost Famous Writer, with a workshop on forbidden love and film reviews of “Nahid” and “Mar”. Do you want to keep up to date with my adventures at Film By The Sea 2015? Be sure to follow my Instagram and Twitter, and do not miss anything!