A mentally unstable woman and a low-rent con artist embark on a gruesome killing spree in this sinister, spellbinding update of cult classic The Honeymoon Killers. Director Fabrice Du Welz (Calvaire) keeps us constantly off-balance as he sends his outrageous film careening from macabre psychodrama to unsettling musical numbers. "Alleluia is all attempted repression, bursting carnal appetites and escalating craziness… A dose of some real midnight madness.”—Screen
“A government without a sense of humour isn’t democratic.” This caption from a Venezuelan cartoon speaks volumes about satire’s power to test the establishment in political hotspots. Stéphanie Valloatto’s stirring, funny documentary profiles a dissident profession’s leading practitioners. “Just like the best political cartoons, the documentary… manages to synthesize a vast subject in ways both insightful and, at times, frightfully funny.”—Hollywood Reporter
An unflappable free spirit (Kevin Azaïs, casually charismatic) and driven survivalist (Adèle Haenel, intense and alluring) make for unlikely lovers in Thomas Cailley’s wonderfully oddball comedy. When the couple enlists in boot camp, paintball pellets stand in for Cupid’s arrows and their fledgling romance is put through the paces. "Overflowing with relentlessly acerbic humour…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes 2014.
Two very different pediatrician brothers (Cédric Kahn, Laurent Stocker) fall for the same barmaid (the luminous Louise Bourgoin) in Axelle Ropert’s (The Wolberg Family) intelligent romance. "Reminiscent of… [the] cleverly scripted adult dramas of François Truffaut’s late period. It’s at once astutely observed and deeply, though subtly, passionate… The direction and performances are spot-on throughout."—Hollywood Reporter
Alain Resnais’ swan song is a wry, deliberately heightened adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn’s play. The unseen Riley is dying, but he still possesses the power to disrupt the marriages of his friends (Sabine Azéma, Sandrine Kiberlain, André Dussollier, Hippolyte Girardot). "This joyous yet melancholic effort… charts the woes of middle-class couples coping with problematic love lives, solitude and death…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Alfred Bauer Prize, Berlin 2014.
A broad ranging and hard-hitting discussion of the importance (and regular misuse) of mathematics in our lives, Olivier Peyon’s documentary is also very much about why we should love math, and care that its power is used well. This captivating work builds its arguments on significant recent data, as well as the inspired testimonials of gifted teachers, mathematicians, finance critics—and kvetching children.
A terrific cast featuring Zabou Breitman, Pascal Elbe, Jacques Gamblin and Sylvie Testud anchors Alexandre Arcady’s true-life thriller. "[The film] offers up a white-knuckle dramatization of the nearly month-long kidnapping and torture of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi, whose traumatic ordeal… prompted a massive police manhunt and, eventually, a national outcry against anti-Semitism in France… Captivating…"—Hollywood Reporter
Provocateur Bruno Dumont (Humanité) delivers arguably his biggest shocker yet with this outrageous comedy. An absurdist police procedural, it follows a Clouseau-like, tic-infested inspector as he investigates a macabre murder spree (dead cows are being stuffed with human remains) and contends with mischievous interference courtesy of a pack of juvenile scoundrels led by the impish Quinquin. “Wonderfully weird and unexpectedly hilarious…”—Variety
France, Hong Kong
Tsang Tsui Shan brings the past to life in this beautiful, bittersweet documentary that shares the story of a Hong Kong family and recounts their fortunes over the span of decades, replete with home videos and photos. The culture the film sketches is unique but the emotions it evokes are immediately familiar. "There’s much nostalgia to feel for, and much beauty to behold…"—Hollywood Reporter
Dietrich Brüggemann’s conceptually daring story of a devout teenager’s trials is eloquently told in 14 chapters, each a masterful single take. As Maria becomes a “warrior of Christ,” the film proves itself both a condemnation of fundamentalist religion and a testament to faith. “While stark, it’s far from chilly—Brüggemann has a sense of humor about his subject matter.”—Village Voice. Winner, Best Screenplay, Berlin 2014.
France, Turkey, Germany
"Nuri Bilge Ceylan [Once Upon a Time in Anatolia] is at the peak of his powers with [this] richly engrossing and ravishingly beautiful magnum opus… [The film] tunnels into the everyday existence of a middle-aged former actor turned comfortably situated hotel owner—and emerges with a multifaceted study of human frailty whose moral implications resonate far beyond its remote Turkish setting."—Variety. Winner, Palme d’Or, Cannes 2014.
Passionate and utterly compelling, Hüseyin Karabey’s beautifully crafted film is founded in political absurdity. When the Turkish military surrounds a Kurdish village, takes alleged rebels into custody and demands the return of nonexistent guns, a little girl and her grandmother set off in search of a weapon—any weapon—that might earn her father’s freedom. Breathtaking vistas and nerve-wracking suspense await. Winner, Audience Award, Istanbul 2014.
A small miracle of a movie, Tsai Ming-liang’s insanely slow, magnificently gorgeous film is his most beautiful in years. For 56 minutes we watch Tsai’s actor fetiche Lee Kang-sheng, accompanied by French art-house icon Denis Lavant, walk ever-so-slowly through a series of urban spaces in Marseilles. Hilarious visual puzzles; plays of light and space; pure cinema magic. Shelly Kraicer
France, Germany, Switzerland
Juliette Binoche is riveting as an actor asked to revisit the play that made her a star 20 years before—but this time she is to essay the role of the older woman, not the ingenue… "Though deceptively casual on its surface… [Olivier Assayas’ film is] a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved—including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz—to new heights."—Variety
Five neighbourhoods, five different rooftops, five tragic stories. With these tales, veteran director Merzak Allouache takes the pulse of Algiers, a city rife with crime, teeming with intrigue and reeling from the clash of cultures. Allouache’s view is at once panoramic and intimate: he reaches across the city and pulls us close to its people. “Confident, composed and full of contemporary relevance.”—Filmmaker
France, Hungary, South Korea
Hungarian director/ringmaster György Pálfi (Hukkle) turns an apartment building into seven rings of carnivalesque hell in this stunner. Pálfi essays the grotesqueries of modern life through stories that run the gamut from social realism to sci-fi. “It’s thrilling to see a director in such clear command of the cinematic medium operating in such a playfully stylized way.”—Variety. Winner, Best Director, Karlovy Vary 2014.
France, Ivory Coast
Beginning with an assassination that makes it obvious why our protagonist (Abdoul Karim Konaté) is called "Run," Philippe Lacôte’s alternately oneiric and ultra-realistic coming-of-age tale is mesmerizing cinema. "Run makes one young man’s picaresque adventures into a magical realist microcosm of the Ivory Coast’s recent history… The current hotness of African cinema just got a little hotter."—Hollywood Reporter
Mixing awe and irreverence, this cinephile’s delight explores the legendary Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman’s home, life, films and legacy through interviews with luminaries like Michael Haneke, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, John Landis, Claire Denis, Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou and Lars von Trier (as quotable as ever). Their insights will inspire an intense desire to view (or re-view) Bergman’s classics.
France, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic
Eloquent and engrossing, George Ovashvili’s fable-like drama unfolds on a tiny island that emerges each summer from a river between warring Georgia and Abkhazia. For the skillful elderly peasant who plants its amazing corn crop and his nubile granddaughter, it’s soon the site of a desperate struggle for survival. "A master class in emotionally charged minimalism…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Crystal Globe, Karlovy Vary 2014.