March already? 2019 is certainly whizzing past. Better get your cinema fill! A bumper programme of new releases at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and the Glasgow Film Theatre have been announced for this month, but here’s a quick peek at some of the highlights.
James Kent / UK, USA, Germany / 2019 / 119 mins
Kiera Knightley plays Rachel, the wife of a British colonel who is tasked with rebuilding the rubble of Hamburg after World War II. However, her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke) has apparently taken the unorthodox executive decision to move them into a mansion alongside its former owners – a widower and his daughter. Tensions and emotions both soon boil over.
Camille Vidal-Naquet / France / 2018 / 100 mins
This intimate portrayal of a young male prostitute follows 22-year-old Leo (Felix Maritaud) as he struggles to make ends meet via the commodification of his own body. Despite the grittiness and desperation of his situation, Leo still maintains his nature as a hopeless romantic and sets off in pursuit of true love.
Nadine Labaki / Lebanon, USA / 2018 / 126 mins
The chaotic life of a 12-year-old street urchin is the focus of this difficult but moving watch from Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki. Zain (Zain al Rafeea) is imprisoned for a desperate act of violence and vengeance, but files a court case against his parents from a juvenile detention centre for giving him life, but not providing him with one worthy of the name.
Ali Abbasi / Sweden, Denmark / 2018 / 110 mins
A fitting parable for our times. Border takes the controversially topical subject of immigrants and border crossings and throws in elements of the fantastical, while exploring the concept of “otherness”. Based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In, Border looks to be a similarly fascinating treatise on viewing aspects of humanity through the lens of mythology with a Scandinavian twist.
Asghar Farhadi / Spain, France, Italy / 2018 / 112 mins
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi is a master in exposing the complex bonds between the past and present lives of ordinary people. His latest work, Everybody Knows, is a drama set in rural Spain during a wedding celebration, when the niece of the bride disappears. Expect the tension and thrill of a whodunnit and the sanguine revelation of family secrets.
Ralph Fiennes / UK, France / 2019 / 122 mins
Ralph Fiennes’ second stab at directing sees an as-yet-unknown Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko) launch his career in ballet for the first time outside of the USSR. In Paris, he immediately falls in love with the city in general and one of its inhabitants in particular, but the KGB soon catch up with him and present him with an impossible demand.
Samuel Maoz / Israel, Switzerland, Germany, France / 2017 / 113 mins
Four young soldiers man a military checkpoint in the military of nowhere and find boredom is far more of a bother than combat. Meanwhile, back at home, the parents of one of them are devastated to learn of their son’s death. A smart black comedy-drama which brings into focus the absurdity of war and the real-life consequences it has on all around those involved.
Julian Schnabel / Switzerland, Ireland, UK, USA, France / 2018 / 115 mins
Willem Dafoe puts in an Oscar-nominated performance as troubled painter Vincent van Gogh during his time in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise. Filmed with the same flair for aestheticism that it depicts, the movie follows van Gogh as he struggles to make sense of his own existence and express himself in a new kind of visual language.