Hi! Are you as excited for BAFICI 2019 as we are? If you’re anything like us, you’ve already set up an intricately planned schedule with movie times, locations, reviews, and strategically placed breaks for lunch and dinner. If you’re not like that and you’re instead staring blankly at the intimidatingly vast catalog of films on display this year, well then, this article is for you!
Tickets to the 21st edition of the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema are already on sale, and as is the case every year, tickets are going fast. We’ve already given you 10 recommendations to check out at this year’s festival, but there’s so much incredible stuff available to watch that we’re expanding our selection. Below you’ll find ten more suggestions of strange, nifty, interesting or otherwise remarkable things to watch this year.
Director Rick Alverson is one of the most interesting voices in modern American cinema. His films are confrontational, strange, at odds with the canons of classic cinema, defiant against structural homogeneity, and very much against the idea of a traditional three-act structure. Of course, this makes him not only one of our favorite contemporary directors, but also a perfect fit for a festival like BAFICI. His new film, The Mountain, stars Jeff Goldblum, and is set in 1950s America. Loosely based on the life of American neurologist Walter Freeman (inventor of the lobotomy), this was the very first ticket I purchased for this year’s festival, and with good reason.
Music and Apocalypse
One of the great things about BAFICI – in fact, we’d venture to say, the single greatest thing about BAFICI – is that it exposes you to films you wouldn’t otherwise have ever come upon in your life. Like, I consider myself a pretty eclectic movie watcher, but in what context – outside of a film festival specifically highlighting this sort of thing – would I ever watch a wondrously bizarre film satirizing the German university system? This movie, about the impending shut-down of the Institute for Cybernetics and Simulation Research and the consequences thereof, promises to be one of the most talked-about oddities of the films of the International Competition.
Hey, speaking of oddities, are you in the mood for a Korean musical set in a POW camp in the middle of a horrific war? Yup! Take an old-school Hollywood musical, mash it with M*A*S*H*, and filter it through the lens of director Kang Hyoung-Chul and what you’ll find is Swing Kids, a movie that will make you want to dance, laugh, cry, and likely tug at your heart strings as well. It’s a celebration of music and dance and the various ways they can bring us together, even in the most dire of circumstances.
Ray & Liz
Ray & Liz isn’t an easy movie to watch. A claustrophobic portrait of a family falling to pieces, it’s as raw as human dramas get. And as a staggeringly honest portrayal of love gone awry, it’s a bit of a shocker. That said, director Richard Billingham’s film is a great example of the power of cinema to speak to core human truths, and leave us reeling in the aftermath. If you liked Blue Valentine or Blue is the Warmest Color despite how emotionally taxing they are, you’ll find a lot to love in this film.
Winter Flies is a classic coming-of-age story with a very idiosyncratic twist. Featuring two rebellious teenagers who commit car theft and decide to go on a road trip, this film is part road movie, part teen comedy, part human drama, and part the ‘Bart on the Road’ episode of the Simpsons, set against the backdrop of the Czech Republic. How could it be anything but great?
La Vida en Común
One of the films that are part of the official Argentine Competition, La Vida en Común is also premiering as part of the Nyon Film Festival. It shows the story of Uriel, a young boy who decides to take a different path than that which is expected of him. The community where he lives – Ranquel – lives for the hunt, and all the young men surrounding Uriel are gearing up to hunt and kill a puma that surrounds their community. Uriel stands in defiance of that in a film that is yet another coming-of-age story, highlighting an often overlooked part of this country’s culture.
We Are Little Zombies
Aw hey, a Japanese black musical comedy about four disaffected teenagers who, after the death of their parents (and finding out they’re not capable of expressing much in the way of emotion), decide to form a rock band. Sound like a silly premise, doesn’t it? Well, precisely that is what makes it one of our most anticipated films of the festival; Nagahisha’s directorial debut promises to be an irreverent, eccentric, probably bewildering but likely incredibly fun piece of cinematic weirdness.
Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary
Freaks and Geeks is a seminal piece of television that will be remembered across the ages for many reasons, not the least of which is it spawned the career of many big names: Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, James Franco, Busy Philipps, and more. The show is also remembered for being pretty incredible, and touching the lives of millions of people over the years. This documentary serves as a tribute to the show, its status as a cult favorite, and the people involved in it. A beautiful piece of 90s teen nostalgia.
A classic musical film that, despite receiving much acclaim and ultimately becoming an enduring piece of pop culture, wasn’t very well appreciated when it initially came out. With a cast that includes late musician and cultural icon David Bowie (who also contributed to the film’s soundtrack), Absolute Beginners is a period piece taking place in the late 1950s during the nascent age of the counter culture. It is one of the various films that is being screened as part of a retrospective on director Julien Temple.
A Swedish film dealing with grief and regret, featuring a couple who are in the midst of dealing with a great loss. In an effort to cope with their feelings, and attempting to mend their hurting relationship, they decide to take up residence in the woods. Of course, this would be a pretty boring film if things went as planned and everything turned out perfectly. Instead, director Johannes Nyholm treats us to a bloody, nightmarish film that will leave us reeling. Not for the faint of heart.