The Festival des Antipodes, alive and kicking after 16 years!
2014: what a beautiful, invigorating, and eclectic year for Antipodean cinema in France! After David Michôd’s « The Rover » and Jennifer Kent’s « The Babadook », which will have opened on French screens before the Festival, we will continue the exploration of Australian fantasy cinema and invite you to discover what happens in Australia during the last twelve hours preceding the Apocalypse thanks to Zak Hilditch’s breathtaking « These Final Hours », which screened this year in Cannes as part of the official competition (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs). And since things always seem to go in threes, or even fours, we hope to be able to show you, as a premiere, the new version, 35 years later, of the cult film « Patrick ».
The 2014 edition of the Festival will bring to you extremely diverse films. Among those will be Rhys Graham’s « Galore », a powerful yet subtle film about adolescence, the fragility of friendship, and the discovery of love. On a different, more offbeat note, Annika Glac will take you to Warsaw to meet a rabbit and a fox, aka Blanka and Alexander: she is pregnant and hands out advertising flyers, he’s fresh out of prison and met her accidentally – well, almost! It’s « Bunny ». As to the wonderfully moving, topical, and funny « Charlie’s Country », which screened this year in Cannes as part of the official competition (Un Certain Regard), with the amazing David Gulpilil winning the Best Actor Award, it should also come to Saint-Tropez where Rolf de Heer is the only director to have won twice the Grand Prix des Antipodes, for « Ten Canoes » and for « The King Is Dead ».
As far as the selection of New Zealand films is concerned, it is Vincent Ward’s first feature, « Vigil », which will be its highlight. Indeed, we pride ourselves in being able to show you the brand new digital version of this masterpiece which was, back in 1984, the first New Zealand film ever selected in the Cannes Film Festival’s official competition. New Zealand, an isolated farm encased by mountains. Toss, a wild tomboy, witnesses her father’s tragic death. Visually stunning, mysterious and mesmerizing. But we will also discover Max Currie’s first feature, « Everything We Loved », a gripping drama set in rural New Zealand, which demonstrates that even a kind, honest and considerate man can be a criminal. And we should be able to show you the first feature from Daniel Joseph Borgman, born in Dunedin but now living in Denmark, « The Weight of Elephants », which competed in Cannes as part of the « Ecrans Juniors » selection. This beautiful and evocative film immerses us in the fantasy world of 10-year-old Adrian, who, thanks to poetry and imagination, escapes from a dark reality.
Equally atypical is the brilliant « Canopy » by Aaron Wilson, which takes us deep into a jungle that is also a theatre of war. Singapore, 1942, an Australian pilot whose plane is shot down in the rainforest must find his way through this enemy-infested wilderness. The sounds of the jungle are answered by the soldier’s forced silence. Almost devoid of dialogue, the film is a unique sensory and cinematic experience. Craig Monahan’s magnificent « Healing » will immerse us in the life of a low security prison, introducing us to a world rarely seen on film, full of sensitivity and generosity, and an optimism that is so rare nowadays yet so refreshing. We will also pay a tribute to the recently departed Australian filmmaker Craig Lahiff with his last film, « Swerve », a superb and utterly gripping cat and mouse chase through the outback, bathed by Australia’s sun and unique light.
We will once again set out to discover neighbouring countries with an Indonesian cinema showcase, and we will set sails towards New Caledonia with Gilles Dagneau and his « Horizons Chimériques ». Finally, we will take part in this year’s First World War commemorations through Antipodean eyes.
As usual, the Festival will include the Antipodes Junior program destined for a younger audience, a short film competition, documentaries (among which the quirky and moving « The Chookman » by Marc Cousin), classics, never-before-shown films, and of course the magical encounters that never fail to happen both in the cinemas and on the Place des lices, the sunny heart of Saint-Tropez.
The Festival hopes that the sun will shine on this new edition and that each night will be a celebration of cinema, culture, and exchanges across the ocean.
Cinéma des Antipodes