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Films Screened In 2003

Documentaries about documentary makers are always fascinating propositions, especially when the subjects of the film are as renowned as D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Gerold Hofrnann's film strikes a balanced viewpoint, in his entertaining examination of two of the most influential filmmakers ... Read more
Terry's being punished in an odd and humorous way for every bad thing he's ever done wrong. He hopes that calling old friends and apologising for past mistakes will rectify the situation. ... Read more
Catherine Breillat is back on MIFF screens after her immensely popular and controversial film Romance steamed up screens in 1999. Sex is Comedy sees Breillat venture into new territory—pseudo-documentary—as she examines, wrth her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, the natune of making ... Read more
What's on the mind of the woman next door when it comes to sex? A couple of a dozen women representing a rich variety of ages, ethnic and economic backgrounds, and sexual preferences go public with some of their innermost secrets. ... Hugely entertaining but also poignant and thought provoking ... Read more
Kaliyappan is an executioner in southern India, whose job provides adequate financial reward but is destroying his conscience. Presiding over the hanging of someone whom he is certain is innocent, Kaliyappan's guilt is quite literally killing him. Alienated from his family, he turns to drink to ... Read more
A young girl reaches out to befriend a man with shadowy intentions. This surprising short screened in Aspen, Palm Springs, Edinburgh and London. ... Read more
Painfully funny, gloriously over the top, saturated wrth FX, wire work and outrageous fu, Shaolin Soccer is a comic triumph. A disgraced, partially crippled and washed up soccer coach has been reduced to spit-shining his sleazy boss's shoes. Mumbling, half-drunk and extremely bitter, he encounters ... Read more
Sister Helen has already collected prizes at Sundance, Chicago and a slew of other film festivals for its harrowing portrayal of a dictatorial nun lording it over a the lives of the downtrodden residents of a halfway house in the roughest section of the South Bronx. ... Helen Travis was herself a ... Read more
Slaves of the Lord, straight from Directors' Fortnight in Cannes this year, is the highly anticipated new work from the director of the short film Grief (Winner Grand Prix, MIFF 2001). Bresson-like in its conjuring of one girl's profound spiritual disorientation it is also, like Grief, a work of ... Read more
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"Jeff Blitz's riveting documentary follows eight young competitors of all backgrounds as they compete in the National Spelling Bee. During this high-pressure Super Bowl of the vocabulary, Blitz effectively inter-cuts biographical information on the eight entrants with interviews from past champions ... Read more
It is 1946 and China is picking itself up after the withdrawal of Japanese troops. Yuwen lives in a war-damaged house with her ailing husband, Dai, her sister-in-law, Xiu, and a house servant. She is bored and restless, looking for distractions when Zhang, an old flame and a friend of Dai's, pays ... Read more
"Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting", goes the saying. Deborra-Lee Furness directs a stellar cast (including Hugh Jackman, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Dahl, Michael Gambon and Mary-Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to create a poignant, stylish meditation on this sentiment. ... Read more
Steve James (director of the international hit basketball doc, Hoop Dreams) first met Stevie Fielding in 1982. James joined the 'Big Brother' programme to mentor a hyperactive and difficult 11-year-old. James lost contact with the troubled youngster for over a decade, which Stevie spent cycling ... Read more
Stoked is a phenomenal skating history with a rockin' soundtrack featuring music from a bunch of 80s hardcore acts such as Black Flag and Butthole Surfers, outrageous interviews with every major skater of the past two decades and killer action footage. Director Helen Stickler has gone one step ... Read more
In a vast medieval hospital a doctor enters the x-ray room, where we catch a glimpse of the process as performed 500 years ago. He continues into the operating theatre, where the patient is 'anaesthetised'. The procedure works, but there is something wrong with the methodology ... Screened at ... Read more
Meet Mistress Ursula. She's young, she's beautiful, she's successful, and she's very, very happy in her career as a professional Dominatrix. Megan Spencer's new documentary takes us on a tour through the complex and fascinating world that is Female Domination. Don't you dare flinch ... ... Read more
Studio One Story is a reggae fan's dream come true. Dozens of interviewees, a treasury of rare footage and photographs, insider gossip, hilarious anecdotes, colourful yarns and fond recollections combine to make this a singularly complete history. ... Anchored in the remembrances of ultra laidback ... Read more
This mufti-award winning gem, whose prizes includes the FIPRESCI award at the Venice Film Festival and the Silver Leopard at Locarno, is outrageous, funny and utterly unpredictable. ... Marcia, overweight and unloved, arrives from the countryside to the bustling streets of Buenos Aires intent on ... Read more
A mother. A son. A phone call. ... Read more
Direct from Cannes, the chameleon-like Francois Ozon returns to MIFF screens with two of his favourite actors, Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand, MIFF 2001) and Ludivine Sagnier (Water Drops on Burning Rocks, MIFF 2000, 8 Women) in his first English-language film. Charlotte Rampling is Sarah ... Read more
Ryu is a hearing-impared factory worker who spends his spare time with his younger sister and offbeat girlfriend. When his sister becomes dangerously ill, Ryu decides to offer her one of his kidneys, only to discover that he is not a suitable donor. Compounding his problem, he is sacked for ... Read more
"I had a homosexual dog and I beat it to death. So is my son, but I can't beat him to death." Jochen Hick scandalised and titillated MIFF audiences in 1998 with Sex/Life in LA. His latest project turns the lens on his homeland with alternatively mirthful and moving results and no small measure of ... Read more
Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1997, Taste of Cherry follows the plight of a desolate man, searching for someone to bury him, as he contemplates suicide. Although dark in tone, the film is undoubtedly the product of Kiarostami's profound humanist sensibilities. Eschewing sentimentality ... Read more
Rosetta Stone, a rogue geneticist operating secretly out of her home, has created three clones of herself. With limitations on their lifespan, the strangely colour-coded trio require a very particular sustenance in order to keep their DNA intact. Only one of them, Ruby, can covertly venture into ... Read more
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