Apr 16, 2009 12:00 AM - Apr 23, 2009 12:00 AM
Disappearing Act: European Cinema from New Wave to New Wave
April 16–23, Czech Center New York at the Bohemian National Hall. Includes 18 contemporary feature films from 9 European countries presented in partnership with 8 European cultural and governmental institutes. Reservations only for opening night and panel discussion. Other screenings admission on first come first serve basis. Admission Free
presents: Czech Center New York
European Cinema from New Wave to New Wave
April 16–23, 2009
at Bohemian National Hall Czech Center New York 321 East 73rd Street (between 1st and 2nd Aves.), New York
Includes 18 contemporary feature films from 9 European countries presented in partnership with 8 European cultural and governmental institutes.
Q&A with directors Vaclav Marhoul (April 16), Anna Faur (April 18), and Serge Bozon (April 19)
Panel discussion chaired by Richard Pena
The Czech Center New York, a cultural institute and agency of the Czech Republic, presents Disappearing Act, European Cinema from New Wave to New Wave in a newly opened digital cinema from April 16 to April 23,. The series features eighteen contemporary European films—two each per country from Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia—and a short film by a Serbian student from the Prague Film Academy. The series is curated by Irena Kovarova and organized by the Czech Center New York in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic with the support of the +421 Foundation, the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France, the Goethe-Institut New York, the Hungarian Cultural Center in conjunction with the Extremely Hungary festival, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute, and the Romanian Cultural Institute. The program also marks the occasion of the
Contemporary European cinema is alive and well, if not too visible in mainstream American movie theaters. This program presents 18 contemporary European films that have made a name for themselves on the festival circuit and with critics, but quickly disappeared from US film screens and are largely unknown to the American public. It brings these films back and introduces some titles that have not yet been seen by the general public, especially works by younger or less established directors. Films will be introduced by special guests, and directors Vaclav Marhoul (April 16), Anna Faur (April 18), and Serge Bozon (April 19) will be present for Q&A sessions after their screenings.
Czech films broke out from behind the Iron Curtain in the '60s with the films of the directors of the so called Czechoslovak New Wave. Ever since, the access of Czech films to foreign screens has been made easier by this important movement in cinematic history. A couple of years ago another European national cinema was praised with the title – the Romanian New Wave – and the focus has turned to its directors. A panel discussion will attempt to shed light on the discoveries and legacies of the cinematic "New Waves" and the presentation of foreign cinema in
The program highlights include films that appeared in the line-ups of major international film festivals such as Delta, California Dreamin' (Endless), Blind Loves, Il Divo, La France, All Is Forgiven, and Import/Export, which were all presented in competition or in other sections of the Cannes International Film Festival. Among the official selections at the Toronto IFF were most of the above titles as well as Forever Never Anywhere, Yella, and The Session Is Open. Several of the screened films have also been distributed in American cinemas and were cited on best lists of critics and on indieWire.com's list of best distributed and undistributed films. Details on each film follow the screening schedule.
Disappearing Act schedule
All films in original languages with English subtitles unless noted otherwise.
Thu, April 16
6:30 pm Tobruk (dir.
followed by Q&A with the director
8:30 pm Opening Party with screening of short film Plastic Bags (Kese/Tasky, dir. Milos Tomic, 2007, Serbia/Czech Republic)
Fri, April 17
6:30 pm Panel Discussion: "European Cinema from New Wave to New Wave," with Richard Pena and guests
8 pm Delta (dir.
Sat, April 18
11 am Vaclav (dir.
1 pm It's Me, Now (Teraz ja, dir. Anna Jadowska, 2006,
3 pm Blind Loves (Slepe lasky, dir.
6 pm Forever Never Anywhere (Immer nie am Meer, dir.
8 pm Girls (Lanyok, dir. Anna Faur, 2007,
followed by Q&A with the director
Sun, April 19
1 pm Vacation (Ferien, dir. Thomas Arslan, 2007,
3 pm La
followed by Q&A with the director
5:30 pm Music (Muzika, dir.
8 pm Il Divo (dir.
Mon, April 20
8:45 pm The Paper Will Be Blue (Hirtia va fi albastra, dir.
Tue, April 21
6:30 pm Yella (dir. Christian Petzold, 2007,
8:15 pm Scratch (Rysa, dir. Michal
Wed, April 22
6:30 pm All Is Forgiven (Tout est pardonne, dir. Mia Hansen-Love, 2007,
8:30 pm Import/Export (dir.
Thu, April 23
6:30 pm The Session Is Open (L'udienza e aperta, dir.
Film Descriptions (in screening order):
Directed, written and produced by Vaclav Marhoul
With Jan Meduna, Petr Vanek, Martin Nahalka and Robert Nebrensky
A humanistic story about Czech soldiers in exile who fought on the side of the Allies against Nazis and Fascists in the infamous battle of Tobruk in
Screening followed by Q&A with the director
Screening as part of the Opening Party
Plastic Bags (Kese/Tasky, 2007, Serbia/Czech Republic), 4.5min; no dialogue
A love triangle between three plastic bags in a city park. Tomic, a Serbian PhD student of the
Directed and co-written by Kornel Mundruczo
With Felix Lajko, Orsi Toth, Lili Monori, Sandor Gaspar
Mundruczo builds his tragic drama through quiet magnificent images of landscapes of the Danube Delta. Returning to his native village after a long absence, a nameless man builds a house on stilts in the middle of nowhere, aided by his half-sister whom he has just met, and ostracized by his mother and stepfather. Getting to know each other the siblings fall in love. Mundruczo's drama traveled world festivals from the main competition in
Directed and co-written by Jiri Vejdelek
With Ivan Trojan, Emilia Vasaryova, Jiri Labus and Jan Budar
Vaclav is the village looser, bordering on autism and still living with his widowed mother. He's constantly fighting with his younger brother who's ashamed of him and wants him to be put in an institution. Their fight over a mistress has criminal consequences for Vaclav, who cannot be excused as the village-fool anymore. The director made entrance to American festivals with his previous films Holiday Makers (Tribeca FF) and Roming (Toronto IFF). This film won two major awards at the Shanghai IFF.
It's Me, Now (Teraz ja, 2006,
Directed and written by Anna Jadowska
With Agnieszka Warchulska, Maciej Marczewski, Ewa Szykulska, Elzbieta Gruca
Hanna is a confused young woman who suddenly leaves home for no obvious reason: she just goes out to do some shopping and does not come back. She gets on a bus and sets off on a trip around
Blind Loves (Slepe lasky, 2008,
Directed and co-written by Juraj Lehotsky
Blind Loves is a non-fiction film about love between blind people. To find one's place in this world is not an easy thing to do for people with good sight, but how much more difficult it can get for somebody who is blind? The “view” of blind persons is often pure and essential, and very often witty. It uncovers new dimensions of meaning of happiness. Lehotsky's feature debut premiered at the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes IFF and since was presented in and out of competition in numerous international festivals including the Toronto IFF.
Forever Never Anywhere (Immer nie am
Directed, co-written and co-produced by Antonin Svoboda
With Christoph Grissemann, Dirk Stermann, Heinz Strunk
Where there’s life, there’s hope. But what happens if hope is suddenly discovered to have been laid to rest years ago...? The story features three men trapped in their car after an accident on a remote road, who find out more about each other than they would ever be willing to consider... Director Svoboda is also a well-known producer of such successful titles as Darwin's Nightmare, Lovely Rita and Falling. This feature was among official selections at the
Girls (Lanyok, 2007,
Directed and written by Anna Faur
With Fulvia Collongues, Helene Francois, Sandor Zsoter and Kornel Mundruczo
The film was inspired by a story of a true crime committed in
Screening followed by Q&A with the director
Vacation (Ferien, 2007,
Directed and written by Thomas Arslan
With Angela Winkler, Karoline Eichhorn, Uwe Bohm and Gudrun Ritter
During the course of the summer, several generations of a sprawling family come to a remote summerhouse. Things get off to a promising start with a pleasant round of long walks, swimming in the nearby lake, and family meals in the garden. But what looked like an idyllic sojourn is cut short when the grandmother falls seriously ill and needs to be cared for. Before long, the cracks in the relationship of the adult daughter's marriage begin to become increasingly apparent. Even more confusion is caused by the visit of another daughter who lives abroad. The film was presented at the Berlin IFF's Panorama special section and featured at other festivals as well.
Directed and co-written by Serge Bozon
With Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory and Guillaume Verdier
In autumn 1917, during the height of the war, Camille leads a peaceful existence in the northeast of
Music (Muzika, 2008,
Directed by Juraj Nvota
With Lubos Kostelny, Tana Pauhofova, Dorota Nvotova and Jan Budar
Slovakia sometime in the 1980s, not far from a big city, just a few steps from the border of an evil capitalist country and in a place where all roads turn back to the numbing building of socialism – there begins a funny and blackish story about a man who hoped that his music would help him escape but who did not succeed. Director Nvota belongs to the mainstays of Slovak narrative cinema and his latest feature marked unprecedented box office success in his home country with numerous national awards and festival participations.
Il Divo (2008,
Directed and written by Paolo Sorrentino
With Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Piera Degli Esposti and Paolo Graziosi
A difficult subject – the darkest chapters of Italian politics, which were never truly closed – told through a free and highly modern cinematic language. A portrait of the calm, ambiguous, inscrutable Andreotti who was a synonym of power in
The Paper Will Be Blue (Hirtia va fi albastra, 2006,
Directed by Radu Muntean
With Paul Ipate, Adrian Carauleanu, Dragos Bucur and Alexandru Potocean
The story takes place in the confusion of the long night-day-night of December 22, 1989, the moment of Ceausescu's overthrow and the uncertainty of its immediate aftermath. With no one sure who's running the country or whether a counter-coup has restored the dictator to power, an armored military unit hunkers down in a quiet Bucharest suburb, awaiting orders but mainly trying to stay out of trouble. A gripping, taut rendition of the birth pangs of contemporary
Directed and co-written by Christian Petzold
With Nina Hoss, Hinnerk Schonemann, Devid Striesow and Barbara Auer
Yella is estranged from her possessive and violent husband, but he can't quite bring himself to give her up. When the couple's fraught interaction finally comes to a dramatic conclusion, Yella's life takes an odd shift. She moves across
Scratch (Rysa, 2008,
Directed by Michal Rosa
With Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Krzysztof Stroinski, Ewa Telega, and Ryszard Filipski
It's present day in
All Is Forgiven (Tout est pardonne, 2007,
Directed and written by Mia Hansen-Love
With Marie-Christine Friedrich, Paul Blain, Carole Franck and Constance Rousseau
A film in three parts starts in
Directed and co-written by Ulrich Seidl
With Ekaterina Rak, Natalja Baranova, Paul Hoffman, and Michael Thomas
One film about two fates. One is about Olga, a young nurse from the
The Session Is Open (L'udienza e aperta, 2007,
Directed by Vincenzo Marra
As if a companion piece to the current Italian film sensation
Directed and co-written by Cristian Nemescu
This raucously dark comedy centers on a trainload of US marines bound for an important mission in Kosovo in 1999, until a corrupt stationmaster holds them on a customs technicality in a Romanian backwater. Welcoming them with open arms, the locals see their unexpected guests as tickets to political power, financial advantage, or romance. As the days drag on, however, patience wears thin and sparks fly. Director Nemescu tragically died before the final edit of the film (hence the word "endless" in the title). His feature debut nonetheless received premiere and an award in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes IFF and traveled the world festivals including Toronto IFF. The screening will be introduced by Mihai Chirilov, film critic and director of the Transylvania International Film Festival.
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From: Apr 16, 2009 12:00 AM
To: Apr 23, 2009 12:00 AM