2019 Film Selections

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English (some French with subtitles)

Running Time: 103 min.

Director: Pamela B. Green

 

BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY BLACHÉ, is a remarkable detective story/bio pic centering on the life and considerable accomplishments of the world’s first female filmmaker. How can a contemporary of Edison and the Lumiéres, with hundreds of films to her credit, be forgotten by the industry she helped create? Narrated by Jodie Foster, BE NATURAL is a timely contribution to the challenges facing women filmmakers then and now.

Zen For Nothing

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English (some Japanese narration with subtitles)

Running Time: 105 min.

Director: Werner Penzel

 

ZEN FOR NOTHING tells the inspiring story of Sabine Timoteo of Switzerland, who sets off to immerse herself through autumn, winter and spring in the monastic life of a small Zen monastery in the wooded mountains of Japan. The film deftly illustrates the interplay between the philosophy of the Japanese Zen master Kodo Sawaki and the surprises brought forth by everyday life.

Brewmaster

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time: 95 min.

Director: Douglas Tirola

 

BREWMASTER invites you to take a peek inside the craftsmanship, passion, and innovation in the world of craft beer. The film spotlights the personalities behind the craft beer "renaissance" in America. A New York lawyer dreams of opening his own brewery. Another brewer studies to gain the title of Master Cicerone, which requires taking a test only 13 people have ever passed. Come raise a glass to the near-ish end of winter at Three Penny Taproom after the show.

Genesis 2.0

Documentary | Trailer

Language: Russian, Yakut, Korean, English

Running Time: 113 min.

Director: Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev

 

On the remote New Siberian Islands in the Arctic Ocean, hunters search for tusks of extinct mammoths. When they discover a surprisingly well-preserved mammoth carcass, its resurrection becomes the first manifestation of the next great technological revolution: genetics, and it may turn the world upside down.

The Waldheim Waltz

Documentary | Trailer

Language: German, English, French with subtitles

Running Time: 94 min.

Director: Ruth Beckermann

 

A film about truth and lies, or “alternative facts”. Ruth Beckermann documents the process of uncovering former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s wartime past. It shows the swift succession of allegations by the World Jewish Congress during his Austrian presidential campaign, the denial by the Austrian political class, and the outbreak of anti-Semitism and patriotism. Created from archive material and footage Beckermann shot at the time, the film analyses the collapse of the Austrian grand illusion: having been the first victim of the Nazis.

Ága

Drama | Trailer

Language: Yakut

Running Time: 96 min.

Director: Milko Lazarov

 

In a yurt on the snow-covered fields of the North, Nanook and Sedna live following the traditions of their ancestors. Alone in the wilderness, their way of life starts to change - slowly, but inevitably. Chena, who visits them regularly, is their only connection to the outside world - and to their daughter Ága, who has left the icy tundra due to a family feud. When Sedna's health deteriorates, Nanook decides to fulfill her wish, embarking on a long journey to find Ága.

The Baker’s Wife

Comedy | Trailer

Language: French

Running Time 135 min.

Director: Marcel Pagnol

The warmth and wit of celebrated auteur Marcel Pagnol shines through in this enchanting slice-of-life comedy. Pagnol draws a vivid portrait of a close-knit village where the marital woes of a sweetly deluded baker (the inimitable Raimu, heralded by Orson Welles as “the greatest actor who ever lived”) snowball into a scandal that engulfs the entire town. 1938’s THE BAKER’S WIFE is at once wonderfully droll and piercingly perceptive in its nuanced treatment of the complexities of human relationships. Followed by a discussion with film historian Rick Winston.

Blue Breath

Documentary | Trailer

Language: Portuguese

Running Time: 79 min.

Director: Rodrigo Areias

 

Ribeira Quente is a fishing village in S. Miguel Island in the Azores facing the last days of fishing activity as they’ve know it. Everyone fights for normal days while life continues even with the fish's scarcity. Originally conceived as an adaption of The Fishermen, a documentary book first published by the Portuguese writer Raul Brandão, in 1923. In the book, the life of fishermen is described with utmost detail, while the dramatic changes in their lives and culture are predicted and announced for a near future. BLUE BREATH is a poetic documentary that reflects the beauty of Brandão’s words in images and sounds. But above all a film about the people.

Satan & Adam

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time: 78 min.

Director: V. Scott Balcerek

 

SATAN & ADAM follows the artistic collaboration of legendary one-man-band Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee and a young white Jewish harmonica player, Adam Gussow. The duo met met on the streets of Harlem in 1986, against a backdrop of racial discord in the city, when Gussow asked if he could jam with the black Mississippi blues man. After a chance encounter with members of U2 and a highly acclaimed debut record, the two garnered international notoriety. Their meteoric rise was cut short when Mr. Satan disappeared. This compelling film documents an odyssey 23 years in the making that captures a moving journey of friendship, heartbreak, and the transformative power of music.

The Experimental City

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time: 96 min.

Director: Chad Freidrichs

 

THE EXPERIMENTAL CITY is a documentary about the Minnesota Experimental City (MCX) project, a proposed planned community conceived in the mid-1960s to forestall rampant urban growth. At the heart of the story is scientist, inventor, and comic-strip author Athelstan Spilhaus, who dreamed of building an intentional city with solar energy, recycling, computers, and personal mass transit. The construction of a city based on Spilhuas’ hopeful vision was seriously considered by the Minnesota legislature and private funders for several years before protesting residents and dwindling support in the state legislature defeated its realization. In the aftermath, the project disappeared without leaving almost any trace of how close it had come to being built.

Impulso

Documentary | Trailer

Language: Spanish

Running Time: 86 min.

Director: Emilio Belmonte

 

IMPULSO is an intimate portrait of experimental flamenco dancer Rocío Molina, one of the dance world's most celebrated artists, as she rehearses for her Paris debut at the Chaillot National Theater. Often onstage alone, at times her look is minimal and austere; at other times the flamenco tradition she draws on is infused it with a modern, magnetic passion: Her work has been playfully described as possessing “a dash of Björk and Pina Bausch thrown in for good measure.”

The Biggest Little Farm

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time: 91 min.

Director: John Chester

 

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM follows two dreamers and a dog on their journey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land, as they work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. It is that rare eco-friendly documentary that explores the application of its environmental message in detail. In the process, it arrives at a deeper understanding of the underlying impulse to go back to the basics, while delivering an emotionally resonant narrative that is a testament to the immense complexity of nature, with plenty of cute animals to spare.

Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time 92 min.

Director: Sasha Waters Freyer

 

GARRY WINOGRAND: ALL THINGS ARE PHOTOGRAPHABLE is the first cinematic treatment of Winogrand’s 60s-era pioneering style of street photography. Once derided by the critics, Winogrand's "snapshot aesthetic" is now the universal language of contemporary image making. His Leica M4 captured spontaneous images of everyday people, from the Mad Men era of New York to the early years of the Women’s Movement to post-Golden Age Hollywood, while observing themes of cultural upheaval, political disillusionment, intimacy and alienation.

Stroop

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time 134 min.

Director: Susan Scott

 

Journey into the Rhino Horn War is the first full length Afrikaans nature film about the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. Carving out six months for the project, which ultimately took four years, the filmmakers find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined. This powerfully wrought film includes footage from the killing fields of Kruger National Park, where filmmakers Bonné and Susan were given privileged access to sensitive scenes, to the courtrooms in bush frontier towns and dingy backrooms of Vietnamese wildlife traffickers, where the determined pair endured life-threatening encounters with some of this planet’s most ruthless individuals.

When You No Longer Love Me

Drama | Trailer

Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Running Time: 106 min.

Director: Igor Legarreta

 

WHEN YOU NO LONGER LOVE ME centers around Laura, a young Argentine doctor who receives a call announcing that the father who supposedly left her as a child, has been buried all these years in the Basque part of Spain. She and her stepfather set off on a journey to find out what happened, and from here the story unfolds with plenty of twists and turns, some beautiful scenery, superb acting, and a truly sublime score. The beginnings of the terrorist group ETA and the Franco regime prove to be an interesting backdrop for a dramatic thriller that manages to combine mystery with tenderness and even humor, in what becomes a personal fight to discover the reality of Laura’s origins.

Promise At Dawn

Drama | Trailer

Language: French, Polish, Spanish with subtitles

Running Time: 130 min.

Director: Éric Barbier

 

PROMISE AT DAWN is a larger-than-life screen adaptation of 1960 autobiographical novel by Lithuanian-born French-writer, Romain Gary. The film follows Gary as he flees Nazism and enlists in the French Air Force, but it is the dynamic and paradoxical mother-son relationship that is at the heart of this compelling film. If it is thanks to his vivacious mother, thrillingly portrayed by Charlotte Gainsbourg, that Gary became one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, it is also this maternal love without limits that would be the burden of his existence.

In the Aisles

Drama | Trailer

Language: German

Running Time: 125 min.

Director: Thomas Stuber

After the shy and reclusive Christian loses his bricklayer job, he starts work as a night stockman at a massive, labyrinthine wholesale market. Bruno from the Beverage aisle takes him under his wing and quickly becomes a fatherly friend to him. In the aisles he meets Marion and is instantly enchanted by her natural charm. The coffee machine becomes their regular meeting point and the two start to get to know each other. But Marion is married and Christian's feelings for her remain largely unrequited. A beautifully shot and realized film, desires and dreams unfold in precisely framed images that transcend the tender love story at its center, to point tentatively towards the concept of hope.

The Guardians

Drama | Trailer

Language: French

Running Time: 135 min.

Director: Xavier Beauvois

THE GUARDIANS is a study of women, often mothers, daughters, and sisters, on the home front during World War I, as they assume the everyday workload of the Paridier farm while the men are off at the front. This richly compassionate, fiercely acted, and beautifully shot period drama unfolds against painterly images of the French countryside, here unravaged by war and bathed in natural light, yet the film keeps its focus on the intricate dynamic that plays out against the upheaval of the Great War and the women’s newfound independence.

Tobacconist

Drama | Trailer

Language: German, Czech with subtitles

Running Time: 117 min.

Director: Nikolaus Leytner

THE TOBACCONIST is a World War II-era story told with unusual sensitivity. Seventeen-year-old Franz journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship. The film aptly captures the tensions in the Austrian capital on the eve of Hitler’s takeover, and it also manages to be a vibrant coming-of-age story and an intriguing portrayal of Sigmund Freud, expertly portrayed by the late Bruno Ganz.

Let Yourself Go

Comedy | Trailer

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Running Time: 103 min.

Director: Francesco Amato

Set and lovingly filmed in Rome, LET YOURSELF GO follows the comic travails of Elía, a jaded psychotherapist prescribed a strict diet and regular exercise after a health scare. And who should come bounding into the dour psychotherapist’s life but an outspoken, exercise obsessed Spanish personal trainer by the name of Claudia, who leads him on a merry chase around Rome that forever changes his sullen, predictable life. For those of you too young to remember what a screwball comedy is, LET YOURSELF GO is a classic example. For those of you hankering for a contemporary version, rapid-fire dialogue, slapstick physical comedy, and topnotch acting are all on offer here.

Major Arcana

Drama | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time: 82 min.

Director: Josh Melrod

Written & Directed by Vermonter Josh Melrod, MAJOR ARCANA, is a contemplative and expertly drawn character study of Dink, a long-troubled itinerant carpenter who returns home to small town Vermont to build a log cabin by hand. The solitary project is his bid to free himself from a cycle of poverty and addiction, but also poignantly illustrates his aloneness in the world. When he reconnects with Sierra, a woman with whom he shares a complicated past, he finds himself in a desperate struggle between the person he was and the person he hopes to become.

Undeterred

Documentary | Trailer

Language: English

Running Time: 77 min.

Director: Eva Lewis

UNDETERRED paints an intimate and unique portrait of how residents in the small rural border town of Arivaca, Arizona, have mobilized to demand human rights and to provide aid to the injured and oft times dying migrants funneled across a wilderness desert, while caught in and forced to navigate the cross-hairs of global geo-political forces. Representatives from ACLU Vermont will speak and answer questions after the film.

COMING SOON!

GREEN MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL 2020

GREEN MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL  PO BOX 901  MONTPELIER  VT  05601-0901                         

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