Copenhagen to Screen Euro-heavy Slate and Other Festival Favs
by Brian Brooks
Walter Salles' Ernesto "Che" Guevara biopic "The Motorcycle Diaries," starring Gael Garcia Bernal continues its travels to film fests around the world. The film, which debuted at Sundance in January and later screened in competition in Cannes and will open the Edinburgh International Film Festival on August 18th, will make its Scandinavian debut the following day marking the launch of the Copenhagen International Film Festival. Spanning ten days, the festival will include 100 films from around the world, but with an emphasis on European fare.
Twelve European features will screen in competition, including French director Benoît Delépine's unique road trip film, "Aaltra." The story centers on two grumpy old men who leave France in their wheelchairs for Finland to seek revenge at a factory they hold responsible for their handicaps. British director Shona Auerbach's mother-son drama "Dear Frankie," which will be featured at the Montreal World Film Festival later this month, will screen in competition along with the Sundance 2004 German film set during the decadent Weimar Republic of the 1920s, "Love in Thoughts." Also from Sundance is British director Brad Anderson's insomnia drama "The Machinist," starring Christian Bale. Danish director Jytte Rex joins the competition with his surreal love story, "Silk Road," about a woman who restores paintings, providing her with a "gateway to past lives," and Swedish director Teresa Fabik's teenage drama, "The Ketchup Effect" also joins the slate.
Stephen Fry's film following the whims of young privileged aristocrats in the 1930s, "Bright Young Things," will be among 20 films in the fest's Panorama section. Michael Winterbottom's sci-fi "Code 46" and David Mackenzie's murder-mystery "Young Adam" will also screen in the sidebar.
Pedro Almodovar's latest, "Mala educacion" (Bad Education) will head the "Spanish Collection" section of the festival, which includes eight films. Also screening is Luis Miguel Albaladejo's story of a gay dentist who must take on the responsibility for raising his nephew in "Bear Cub" and Gracia Querejeta's "Hector." The film, which won two of the main film prizes at the Malaga Film Festival, revolves around a 16-year-old who moves to his aunt's home in Madrid following the death of him mother, and is then confronted by his Mexican father whom he has never met.
Copenhagen will pay tribute to Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami ("Ten") with a retrospective of his work as well as Hungarian director István Szabó. The festival will close August 29th with Korean director Chan-wook Park's 2004 Cannes Jury Grand Prize winner, "Old Boy." The film follows the imprisonment of a family man, who is released after 15 years, following the death of his wife, to solve the "riddle of his imprisonment" in five days. In addition to competition, Panorama, and its "Spanish Collection," Copenhagen will also feature Midnight, a "National Favorites" (featuring 'favorite films' from their native countries), Middle Eastern, Latin, and Women-oriented sidebars.
[ For more information, please visit the festival's website: http://www.copenhagenfilmfestival.com/index.php?lang=en. ]