The Wrocław festival has a lot up its sleeve, and with the 10th anniversary, viewers will get a handful of exciting premieres and a fantastic retrospective of the American cinema classics.
Wrocław is always on my festival circuit map, and after a solid edition of New Horizons earlier in the summer, I was sure to come back for American Film Festival. The 10th anniversary will last almost an entire week, starting from Tuesday.
The Lineup – Cultural Hater’s 10 Picks
The news that announced first movies to be screened at Wrocław were – to say the least – exciting.
Most people cheered for the unique chance of seeing “The Irishman” by Martin Scorsese. I’ve included the movie on my list of films that will rock 2019, and when judging on a basis of Rotten Tomatoes score, this mob thriller will be a unique experience.
I personally can’t wait for “The Lighthouse”, which already generated dozens of Reddit threads filled with analysis, and raving reviews of critics calling it a masterpiece. Two hours, black and white only and Willem Defoe locked in a lighthouse with Robert Pattinson – what can possibly go wrong?
There’s also “Honey Boy”, which marks Shia LeBeouf’s exciting writing debut, in a highly personal tale of an actor’s rise to prominence in the shadow of his father’s mental illness. While the film lost its momentum after storming this year’s Sundance, it’s a polarising title and one that a true cinephile shouldn’t leave unseen.
I absolutely can’t wait for is Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” too. As an ardent fan of the director’s previous works (maybe despite “The Knight of Cups”), his newest film got Malick’s name back in the awards circuit, and might reinvent the cinematic philosopher as on elf the most influential filmmakers we have now. I expect a gorgeously shot film.
A Polish premiere of ” Burning Cane”, the revelation of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, should be noticed as one of the indie cinema offerings. The film set in Louisiana’s most forgotten part, makes a poetic link between poverty, simplicity, violence and family, all tied within an emotional roller coaster of Phillip Youmans. And while we’re scavenging the swamps of Louisiana, “Lost Bayou” by Brian C. Miller Richard serves as a different angle that talks about the America’s less proud secrets and areas.
“Knives Out”, an Agatha Christie-like crime drama, marks another blockbuster to be screened ahead of its official premiere. Rian Johnson has returned after a miserable adventure with “Star Wars”, and returned in a tremendous style. Packed with celebrities, beautifully shot and led by an engaging script, “Knives Out” had critics in awe and raving.
A double stunt from Adam Driver also got my attention. Driver stars in “Marriage Story” and “The Report”. First is Netflix’s Oscar seeming frontrunner and a feature cementing Noah Baumbach’s place among best drama writers nowadays. The latter’s a political thriller, with Driver playing a young whistleblower whose testimony shook the grounds of CIA and its shady activities following 9/11.
The comedic, light premise of “Bull”, which marks the debut of Annie Silverstein, sounds fun too. The story shows friendship beyond racial, age and everything else that can separate an ex-rodeo star and a young girl.
Retrospectives during the 10th American Film Festival in Wrocław
The 10th edition is dedicated to telling the story of American cinema. In order to do that, the organisers planned screenings of many ultimate classics. First of all, a chance to see “Apocalypse Now” can’t slip through my fingers. The criminally-good film about Vietnam will be shown in its director’s cut version, a rare gem to catch on a big screen. Other retrospectives include “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Gentleman’s Agreement”, “Blade Runner” (along with Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049”) and “Easy Rider”.
Modern American Cinema
Last, but not least, is the section where modern American darlings are screened.
Viewers will get the chance to watch Oscar-winning drama “Moonlight”, an emotional ticking bomb “American Honey”, Sean Baker’s acclaimed “The Florida Project”, the heart-warming story of Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist”, Joshua and Ben Safdie’s double set including “Good Time” and “Heaven Knows What”, and Debra Granik’s elusive “Winter’s Bone”.
Reviews form the festival: