Films by Country


35 Shots of Rum

35 rhums

Claire Denis

This subtle, intimate portrait of the easygoing bond between a young woman and her widower father (Alex Descas) is the latest from Claire Denis (Beau Travail). With Grégoire Colin. Music by Tindersticks.

Animation for Kids 2009

Selected by kids for kids, our annual panorama of the world’s best animated shorts for the Festival’s youngest audience (we suggest 3–7 this year) has plenty to offer their grown-up escort parties.

Animation Now! 2009

Narrowed down from an amazing 2000+ entries, this year’s survey of the best in animated short films covers the gamut from sumptuous painterly Russian styles to the most inventive and expressive CGI, including NZ-made Poppy.


Lars von Trier

Appalling many, thrilling others, outraging all, hailed as a brilliantly hellish vision, dismissed as a stunt, Lars Von Trier’s psychosexual horror film was the one that dominated the headlines from Cannes.

The Artist’s Life

La Vie d’artiste

Marc Fitoussi

A writer, an actor and a would-be chanteuse pursue elusive glory in this wise and worldly comedy of artistic aspiration. With Sandrine Kiberlain, Emilie Dequenne, Denis Podalydès

The Baader Meinhof Complex

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex

Uli Edel

The major German film of the year. This vivid, provocative thriller traces the activities of the violent group of self-styled anti-fascists who called themselves the Red Army Faction and terrorised West Germany.

The Beaches of Agnès

Les Plages d'Agnès

Agnès Varda

Humorous and illuminating autobiography from Agnès Varda, the lone female among French New Wave directors. “Inspiring… this film should be given to all young hopeful filmmakers.” — Sight & Sound


Barbe bleue

Catherine Breillat

Catherine Breillat (An Old Mistress, Anatomy of Hell) slyly subverts the allure of the popular 17th-century fairytale about a gloomy nobleman with a penchant for murdering his disobedient wives.


Steven Soderbergh

Benicio Del Toro is riveting in Steven Soderbergh’s epic portrait of the revolutionary icon. “The finest film by an American director this year, a monumental achievement of astonishing audacity and ambition.” — Sight & Sound


Stephen Frears

A stunning Michelle Pfeiffer reunites with Dangerous Liaisons director Stephen Frears to play a cynical courtesan in love with a younger man in this sumptuous Belle Epoque drama. With Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates.

A Christmas Tale

Un conte de Noël

Arnaud Desplechin

This gloriously sprawling drama of a fractious three-generational family Christmas abounds with character and wit. With Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Chiara Mastroianni. “Enchanting.” — Entertainment Weekly

Cléo from 5 to 7

Cléo de 5 à 7

Agnès Varda

Beautiful new print of the film that put the French New Wave’s Agnès Varda on the map. “Joyful, simple, daring and profound… Cléo is, for me, above all other films of the French New Wave.” —

Coco before Chanel

Coco avant Chanel

Anne Fontaine

Audrey Tautou puts Amélie far behind her with a stunning interpretation of the headstrong, self-sufficient designer who revolutionised the way women dressed and saw themselves.

Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl

Singularidades de uma rapariga loura

Manoel de Oliveira

Cinema’s centenarian Manoel de Oliveira (born 1908) transposes a 19th-century tale of romantic pursuit to 21st-century Lisbon, retaining, to rich and strange effect, every anachronistic detail of courtship and social convention.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Le Premier jour du reste de ta vie

Rémi Bezançon

This French hit is a buoyant, rewardingly perceptive comedy-drama about family dynamics and the urge to escape them. “A cross-generational tale whose twists and turns are both touching and entertaining.” — Screendaily

Four Nights with Anna

Cztery noce z Anna

Jerzy Skolimowski

A consummately surreal enactment of obsessive, unrequited desire with a dryly indulgent take on romantic love from Polish master Jerzy Skolimowski (Deep End, The Shout).

Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Chantal Akerman

Superb new print of Chantal Akerman’s legendary avant-garde masterpiece which locates the dread behind the monotonous routine of a housewife and part-time prostitute. “A slow-motion thriller.” — Time Out NY

A Lake

Un lac

Philippe Grandrieux

Philippe Grandrieux’s majestically strange and beautiful Alpine drama contains only the barest of narratives, making its eerily elemental effect through image and soundscape. “Transcendent.” — Time Out

Looking for Eric

Ken Loach

Direct from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, director Ken Loach in laughter mode, featuring Steve Evets as a messed-up postman who receives spiritual guidance from none other than soccer idol Eric Cantona.


Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine

“Constantly outrageous… this tale of factory workers avenging themselves against their bosses is… a wickedly hilarious, marvellously calibrated exercise in deadpan style owing as much to Buñuel as to the Coen brothers.” — Variety



Lyes Salem

In the Arab-world festival hit of 2008, a drunken boast has embarrassing repercussions. This Algerian wedding comedy delivers hilarious characters and trenchant social satire. “Classically executed farce.” — Variety

Modern Life

Raymond Depardon

Acclaimed documentary masterpiece by filmmaker/Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon. “A deeply humane and warm-spirited portrait of French farmers whose way of life is on the verge of disappearing.” — Eye Weekly

OSS 117 – Lost in Rio

OSS 117 – Rio ne répond plus

Michel Hazanavicius

Fabled superagent OSS 117 (handsome, straight-faced comic Jean Dujardin) defends La France from slippery foreigners in this spy movie spoof lovingly set in Bossa Nova-era Brazil. “Very, very funny.” — Twitch


Simone Bitton

This intelligent, layered doco puts the Gaza Strip death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie in the context of a new generation of globalised activists crossing the world to put themselves in harm’s way.

The Secret of Kells

Tomm Moore

Serious fun for the kids in a medieval monastery! “Visually ravishing and doused in Celtic magic, Irish animated feature The Secret of Kells takes as its plot source and stylistic inspiration the eighth-century Book of Kells.” — Screendaily


Martin Provost

A moving dramatised portrait of the French ‘naïve’ painter Séraphine de Senlis (1864–1942). César Awards 2009: Best Film, Actress, Original Screenplay, Photography, Score, Costumes, Production Design.



Brillante Mendoza

A hectic day in the life of ‘The Family Theatre’, a Filipino porn palace. Social realism: raw, real and in your face. “Serbis may be a raunch-fest, but it’s also a mind-trip – a raunch-fest with ideas.” — Village Voice

Song from the Southern Seas

Pesni juzhnykh morej

Marat Sarulu

Counteracting the damage wrought to the national image by Borat, here’s a smart, completely engaging film from Kazakhstan that brings humour and the civilising values of a rich traditional culture to its fable-like tale of neighbouring couples.

Summer Hours

L’Heure d’été

Olivier Assayas

Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling and Jérémie Renier as siblings settling their mother’s lavish, art-filled estate. “A warm, wise drama about the tensions and mysteries of family life.” — Time Out

The White Ribbon

Das Weisse Band

Michael Haneke

Direct from Cannes, the Palme d'Or winner from Austrian cine-provocateur Michael Haneke. Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible?