DISAPPEARING ACT IV European Film Festival, April 11 - 22
25 contemporary films from 21 European countries, guests & special events
- runs April 11 - 22 at IFC Center, Bohemian National Hall and French Institute Alliance Francaise -
except opening night all events are free!
DISAPPEARING ACT launched as an annual event in 2009 and instantly became a popular event in New York for its unique, carefully curated celebration of the vitality of European cinema. This year's expanding series presents films in three venues with an opening night event at the IFC Center on Wednesday, April 11; two days of screenings at Tinker Auditorium at the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14; and in the digital cinema at Bohemian National Hall, from April 12-22. The festival will present 25 contemporary European films from Austria, the Wallonia-Brussels and Flanders regions of Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
As in the past, the program presents films that have gained acclaim on the festival circuit and with critics, yet remain largely unknown to American audiences. Films will be introduced by special guests and filmmakers, who will also be present for post-screening discussions. U.S. Premieres include THE SYSTEM (Germany, 2011; the opening night film at the IFC Center) and the festival features New York premieres of films such as WASTED YOUTH (Greece, 2010); AMADOR (Spain, 2010), EIGHTY LETTERS (Czech Republic, 2011) or THE CHRISTENING (Poland, 2010).The series also brings back into the spotlight two critically acclaimed films with current distribution: MICHAEL (Austria, 2011) and POLICE, ADJECTIVE (Romania, 2009).
The Disappearing Act program also includes a panel discussion, to be held this year on April 10 at the Bohemian National Hall as a pre-festival event. This year’s panel, to include Julia Solomonoff (Columbia University), Anne Kern (SUNY Purchase), Richard Suchensky (Bard College), and Jaap Verheul (NYU), turns its attention to the presence of European cinema at American universities. The festival also opens itself as an educational resource providing an opportunity to students of New York University’s cinema studies program to introduce several films.
For the second year in a row, the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York will provide support for the films and filmmakers from Romania as well as other South Eastern European countries, presenting the following titles from Romania, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria:
THU, April 12, 6:30 pm | BNH CINEMA KOMUNISTO directed by Mila Turaljic, Serbia, 2010, 100 min, Documentary An absorbing account of the creation of the miracle of the Yugoslav film industry follows the history on the background of Yugoslav President Tito’s own cinephilia and fascination with every aspect of film production. Featuring Tito’s personal projectionist along with interviews of filmmakers, studio directors and film stars, director Mila Turaljic paints a vivid picture of the rise and fall of once mighty film studios.
FRI, April 13, 6:15 pm | FIAF EASTERN PLAYS (Iztochni piesi) directed by Kamen Kalev, Bulgaria-Sweden, 2009, 83 min The paths of two brothers cross during a fateful meeting one night on the streets of Sofia – the older Itso (played as a version of himself by the late Christo Christov) is an abstaining drug addict who’s trying to hang on for dear life, but has a hard time finding a reason to persevere. His teenage brother still lives with their domineering and insensitive father. He’s running with a gang of racist thugs and one fateful night marks his initiation. Though in themselves brutal, the night’s events help the brothers to realize where they stand in life.
FRI, April 13, 8:15 pm | FIAF POLICE, ADJECTIVE (Politist, adjectiv) directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 2009, 113 min Another quiet hard hitter of Romanian cinema, coming from the director of "12:08 East of Bucharest." Described by A.O. Scott in his glowing New York Times review, this “is a story of law enforcement with a special interest in grammar.” The central character – a young detective on a look out to catch an even younger hashish ‘dealer’ – doubts whether the task he’s been given is a police matter at all. His doubts increase with every day and every hour he spends on his pursuit, and when his conscience finally wins over his sense of professional duty, he decides to bring his conundrum up with the Chief of Police.
WED, April 18, 7:30 pm | BNH WHITE WHITE WORLD (Beli, beli svet) directed by Oleg Novkovic, Serbia-Germany-Sweden, 2010, 121 min
Q&A with producer and star of the film Uliks Fehmiu Returning to the austere surroundings of the vast strip mine in the Serbian town of Bor, after he documented the local life and a group of miners who staged Bertolt Brecht’s "Beggar’s Opera" under the direction of Milena Markovic, Novkovic filmed an opera of his own in the same setting – or rather a Greek-like melodrama with songs. Penned by Markovic, the tragic story centers on a love triangle.
SAT, April 21, 5:30 pm | BNH WASTED YOUTH directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos & Jan Vogel, Greece, 2010, 98 min NY PREMIERE. Q&A with co-director Argyris Papadimitropoulos The film takes place on a sweltering summer day in Athens on the backdrop of the financial crisis, and follows two characters from their morning routine to the events of the evening, which bring them together. The teenage skater Harry is on a mission to enjoy his summer break to the fullest, waking up after a possibly wild night in a comfortable villa of a family friend to later find himself in a cramped apartment with his disapproving father. The young directors took inspiration from a true story that sparked the December 2008 riots in Greece.
SUN, April 22, 7 pm | BNH MEDAL OF HONOR (Medalia de onoare) directed by Calin Peter Netzer, Romania-Germany, 2009, 104 min This is a tale about a retired man, who at 75 feels unappreciated by his wife and especially his adult son. When our hero receives a surprise letter informing him that he had been awarded a medal for his brave service in the army, things start looking up in his life. Maybe he would finally be able to lure his son back from Canada, and even started a family. But maybe, the medal brings more trouble than good.
MORE TO COME: Visit www.icrny.org
Check also the page dedicated to Other Romanian artists in the U.S.