Age of Champions

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Anyone perturbed by ageing demographics in developed countries should be intrigued by this inspiring documentary about the American ‘National Senior Games’. This film illustrates that life continues well into the third age. Graham Hughes reviews.


No Trains No Planes

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Comedy is notorious for its tendency to get lost in translation and while it’s entirely possible that Jos Stelling’s 1999 tragicomic farce, NO TRAINS NO PLANES will have Dutch audiences rolling in the aisles, the film’s strange brand of surreal sentimental slapstick will likely leave British viewers cold.


Occident

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“A Romanian comedy?” I heard someone asking in disbelief after the film was over. And truly, the main memories evoked by the words “Romanian New Wave” are usually tedious long shots of aborted babies and people walking. It is no wonder then that it is hard to believe that one of the founding films of the new wave, Cristian Mungiu’s 2001 hit OCCIDENT, is a hearty comedy.


The Paper Will Be Blue (Hârtia va fi albastră)

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This 2006 film by Radu Muntean focuses on the night of between the 22nd and the 23rd of December 1989, when in Bucharest the Revolution was in full swing. Steve Williams reviews.


The Poll Diaries

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Amazingly based on a true story, THE POLL DIARIES plumbs the depths of the human condition using protagonist Oda as its main focus. Discussing rarely seen topics, the film uses the Baltic coast as a backdrop for Oda’s experiences in Poll just before the start of the first world war in 1914. An older and more knowing Oda narrates intermittently, providing hindsight to a beautifully crafted film. Naomi Barnwell reviews.


Romantics Anonymous

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A first date can certainly bring butterflies and clammy hands to even the most confident of people, but if you suffer from severe shyness this can be a truly terrifying situation. Maria Sell reviews ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS


The Silver Cliff (O Abismo Prateado)

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THE SILVER CLIFF was inspired by a song by Brazilian musician Chico Buarque, called Eye to Eye, about the impossibility of love and forgiveness. Having already won many admirers with MADAM SATA, SUELY IN THE SKY and I TRAVEL BECAUSE I HAVE TO, I COME BACK BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. Director Karim Ainouz here takes us on the lyrical and poetic journey of Violeta, who retrieves a voicemail during her work at a dentail clinic, in which her husband informs her he won’t be returning. Graham Hughes reviews.


Sweet Smell of Success

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Continuing with the HOLD THE FRONT PAGE series of films, the Cambridge Film Festival brings us SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS. A cautionary tale, we follow the Machiavellian machinations of one Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), a press agent with a problem. He needs pieces for his clients in the widely syndicated column of J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), but he’s been shut out.


Rembrandt Fecit 1669

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Jos Stelling’s third film examines the painting of Rembrandt as he moves to Amsterdam in the latter part of his life. An extended study in light and composition, the film pursues Rembrandt’s – and Stelling’s – search for ideal representation of the world.


Street Kids United

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Introducing us to Durban in the same year as South Africa played host to the World Cup, this documentary records an event that was just as paramount to those involved – the Street Child World Cup. Review by Naomi Barnwell.


Stuff and Dough (Marfa Si Banii)

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Opportunity and opportunism form the central themes in Christi Puiu’s tense, simple Romanian road movie. Ovidiu (Alexandra Papadopol) plays the young man who undergoes the transformative odyssey, delivering some “medical supplies” for a local gangster in his home town, to an address in Bucharest.


Tabloid

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The beauty of documentary is that no matter how brilliant an author or how talented a screenwriter, there really is no competing with real life. In the case of Joyce McKinney, no author in the world could even begin to dream such a surreal tale.


The Illusionist

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Part of the 31st Cambridge Film Festival’s retrospective on the Dutch film director Jos Stelling, THE ILLUSIONIST (1984) sets the spectator straight away into an oneiric world in pure Fellinian vein.


The Last Projectionist

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In 1909, the Electric Cinema in Birmingham opened, and through the decades, wars, eras and films, took on different titles and roles within the film exhibition world, finally now remaining the longest running cinema in the UK. Tom Lawes’ THE LAST PROJECTIONIST is in essence the story of this cinema.


The Oak (Balanţa)

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Romanian master Lucian Pintilie constructs a “Theatre of the Absurd” darker and more acerbic than any from Eugene Ionesco’s imagination.


anglia.ac.uk/openday