Films by Genre

Drama

13 Assassins

Jusannin no shikaku

Miike Takashi

This new Japanese sword-fighting classic by Miike Takashi is possibly the greatest men-on-a-mission movie since the original Seven Samurai. “Thrilling and funny, visually exquisite and emotionally charged.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

Aita

José María de Orbe

Light and shadows in a crumbling mansion in the Basque countryside are the central players in this exquisite, painterly study of the passage of time. “An exquisitely high-art variation on the haunted-house movie.” — Hollywood Reporter

Anton Chekhov’s The Duel

Dover Kosashvili

Superbly acted English-language adaptation of an 1891 Chekhov novella brings shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of indiscretions, infidelity, rivalry and blackmail at a summer holiday resort. “Very satisfying.” — NY Times

At Ellen’s Age

Im Alter vom Ellen

Pia Marais

This absorbingly surreal tale of a mysteriously dislocated flight attendant who goes AWOL and joins a militant band of young animal rights activists is secured by a captivating performance by the ethereal Jeanne Balibar.

Breathing

Atmen

Karl Markovics

Direct from Cannes, this potent, superbly acted drama traces a young man’s dawning apprehension of life beyond the state institutions and prisons that have shaped him. “A sober, compelling drama.” — Hollywood Reporter

Circumstance

Sharayet

Maryam Keshavarz

“The world of sex, drugs, and underground nightclubs in Iran provides the backdrop for Maryam Keshavarz’s lusty, dreamy take on the passionate teenagers behind the hijabs.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian

Cría cuervos

Carlos Saura

Celebrating 40 years of the Film Festival: Ana Torrent, surely one of the great child actors, and Geraldine Chaplin in Carlos Saura’s haunting 1976 classic. “A gripping, profoundly mysterious movie.” — The Guardian

Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn

Hollywood reclaims the Embassy screen in style with our Closing Night screening of the film that took the Best Director’s laurels at Cannes this year.

Elena

Andrey Zvyagintsev

A riveting family drama and a chilling portrait of social relations in capitalist Russia, this new film from the director of The Return won a Special Jury Award at Cannes. “Tense, edge-of-the-seat stuff.” — The Guardian

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

Tropa de elite 2: O inimigo agora é outro

José Padilha

The all-time biggest hit at the Brazilian box office, José Padilha’s blazing thriller is even more riveting than the original, and more incisive in exposing the twisted alliances of power, police and crime at work in Rio.

The First Grader

Justin Chadwick

The right to education is rousingly dramatised in the true story of an 84-year-old Mau Mau veteran’s bid for literacy. “An unknown story seems certain to stir the hearts of audiences worldwide.” — Hollywood Reporter

The Forgiveness of Blood

Joshua Marston

You thought your parents were unreasonable? An Albanian teenager is trapped at home in an ancient blood feud. “Riveting… a richly textured portrait of a society in 2011 still bound by a centuries-old code of law.” — Screendaily

The Giants

Les géants

Bouli Lanners

This funny, perceptive tale of teenaged city boys let loose in the countryside imbues Stand by Me with sardonic social realism and shades of the Brothers Grimm. “Unselfconscious, endearing and completely believable.” — Screendaily

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Damien Chazelle

The on, off, and possibly on-again affair of a young African American jazz trumpeter and a Euro-American waitress and aspiring performer, shapes this lovely, loose pastiche of Hollywood musical, French New Wav and urban vérité.

Heartbeats

Les amours imaginaires

Xavier Dolan

French Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) took Cannes by storm a second time last year (aged 21) with this sharp, ebulliently stylish tale of two best friends competing for the attention of the same boy.

Incendies

Denis Villeneuve

Searching for the brother they never knew they had, a brother and sister unravel the mystery of their Middle Eastern mother’s war-torn past. “A spectacular experience… a Greek tragedy delivered to modern times.” — Film Threat

The Kid with a Bike

Le Gamin au vélo

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

In this gripping Cannes Grand Prix winner from Belgium’s Dardenne brothers, a wild 11-year-old boy rebounds between the judicious care of a kind, single woman (Cécile de France) and the blandishments of a streetwise older boy.

Las Acacias

Pablo Giorgelli

This delicate Argentinean road movie depicting the touching encounter between a long-distance truck driver and the woman and child he takes as passengers won the Caméra d’Or for Best First Film at Cannes this year.

Le quattro volte

Michelangelo Frammartino

A rugged valley in Italy’s mountainous region of Calabria is the setting for this wonderful film, a spellbinding take on a way of life as old as the elements. "Fresh and ravishingly poetic." LA Times

Love Like Poison

Un poison violent

Katell Quillévéré

A teenage girl learns some lessons about sex, death and the love of Jesus in this award-winning French drama. "An auspicious debut... beautiful and unsettling" — Sight and Sound

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Sean Durkin

A fragile young woman seeks refuge from a cult with her estranged sister in this Sundance winner. “Elizabeth Olsen steps onto the radar as a seriously accomplished actor in this mesmerizing drama.” — Hollywood Reporter

Meek's Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt

Based on fact, Kelly Reichardt’s beautiful, eerily poetic alt-Western follows three families heading west in 1845. With Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton.

Melancholia

Lars von Trier

Danish iconoclast Lars von Trier stages a disastrous society wedding in the face of interplanetary collision. “A magnificent apocalyptic fable… gorgeous, profoundly emotional and often very funny.” — Salon.com. Best Actress (Kirsten Dunst), Cannes Film Festival 2011.

Michael

Markus Schleinzer

A superbly acted, creepily believable account of the subterfuges by which an apparently unremarkable middle-aged man keeps a kidnapped young boy locked in his house. “A triumph of uneasy cinema… a keen observational thriller.” — indieWIRE

My Joy

Schastye moye

Sergei Loznitsa

Documentarian Sergei Loznitsa makes an audacious and impressive feature debut with this labyrinthine journey deep into the literal and metaphorical back roads of Russia. “Arresting and powerful.” — London Film Festival

Mysteries of Lisbon

Mistérios de Lisboa

Raúl Ruiz

A sumptuous immersion in the labyrinthine romantic intrigues and perfidies of 19th-century Portuguese nobility, priests and pirates. “Terrific costumed epic... Storytelling of breathtaking scale and grandeur.” — Empire

Nainsukh

Amit Dutta

This exquisite film contemplates the life and work of 18th-century Indian painter Nainsukh through recreations of his extraordinary, naturalistic miniatures, portraying the beauty of the landscape and the extravagance of court life.

Norwegian Wood

Noruwei no mori

Trần Anh Hùng

Exquisite adaptation of Murakami Haruki’s best-selling novel of tortured first loves from the director of The Scent of Green Papaya. “A wonderful, passionate, well-nigh unforgettable adaptation of a great novel.” — Salon.com

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da

Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Four-time Cannes laureate Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Uzak) took this year’s Grand Prix for this beautiful, deliberative criminal investigation/road movie. “A mature, philosophically resonant work from Turkey's leading director.” — The Globe and Mail

Play

Ruben Östlund

This tense, provocative and surprisingly funny drama draws us into the ‘little brother’ scam by which a young black Swedish street gang successfully hustled other kids in plain sight, without physical violence.

The Round Up

La rafle

Rose Bosch

Moving, meticulously researched, controversial concentration camp drama. “Hailed as an important step in France’s acknowledgment of its complicity in the crimes of the Occupation.” — The Guardian

The Screen Illusion

L’Illusion comique

Mathieu Amalric

French 17th-century theatre is inventively spirited into the cinematic present in this delightful, thoroughly contemporary adaptation by Mathieu Amalric starring a great Comédie Française cast and set in the luxurious Hôtel de Louvre.

She Monkeys

Apflickorna

Lisa Aschan

Teenage girls immersed in the world of competitive equestrian vaulting are drawn to each other as friends and rivals in this sexually charged drama of adolescent power play. Best Film Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2011.

Silent Souls

Ovsyanki

Aleksei Fedorchenko

Two men set out to conduct the funeral rites of a woman they both loved in this mysterious, folkloric Russian film. “It’s the combination of melancholy, humour and surrealism that makes the film so winning.” — Sight & Sound

Sleeping Beauty

Julia Leigh

This icily erotic modern fairytale by Australian novelist Julia Leigh was a controversial contender at Cannes. “A brave and beautiful calling card for both filmmaker and star.” — Empire

Sleeping Sickness

Schlafkrankheit

Ulrich Köhler

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a springboard for this remarkable drama which sees Africa through the eyes of a white expat doctor addicted to the place, and a black French doctor newly arrived to the continent. Best Director, Berlin Film Festival.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

La solitudine dei numeri primi

Saverio Costanzo

A best-selling Italian novel about two bright, fiercely lonely misfits caught in a strange, life-long pas de deux is now a strange, fiercely unconventional love story – and a dazzling work of pure cinema. Starring Alba Rohrwacher (I Am Love).

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese

Scorsese and De Niro’s great seething vision of 70s New York mesmerises anew in a blazing 35th anniversary restoration. “Taxi Driver still stuns… See it again. And try to have a nice day.” — Village Voice

The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick

Brad Pitt stars in Terrence Malick’s audacious, visionary The Tree of Life, Palme d’Or at Cannes. “No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.” — Rolling Stone

The Turin Horse

A torinói ló

Béla Tarr

Béla Tarr's final masterwork. “The Turin Horse is an absolute vision, masterly and enveloping in a way that less personal, more conventional movies are not. The film doesn't seduce; it commands.” — NPR

Tyrannosaur

Paddy Considine

Drawing riveting performances from Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, actor Paddy Considine makes a directorial debut that will reward any viewer willing to share his unblinking gaze into the hearts of two violently damaged protagonists.

A Useful Life

La vida útil

Federico Veiroj

What do you do when redundancy strikes and everything you know about life you learned from programming a Cinematheque? A love of movies connects to the world outside the cinema in this charmingly droll comedy.

Viva Riva!

Djo Tunda Wa Munga

This slick, atmospheric thriller is packed with kinetic enery. "The first major motion picture to come out of Congo in decades happens to be one of the best neonoirs from anywhere in recent memory." — Time Out New York

Wild River

Elia Kazan

Glorious new restoration of a neglected 1960 masterpiece by Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront) with legendary performances from Jo Van Fleet and Lee Remick and Hollywood icon Montgomery Clift.

Winter Vacation

Han jia

Li Hongqi

In this acclaimed absurdist comedy, bored teenagers and disillusioned adults rage at each other and the emptiness of life in frost-bitten northern China. Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film at the Locarno Film Festival.