From 20th November until 7th December, Brighton will become a haven for fans of independent and international cinema, as the Cinecity Film Festival is back for its sixth year. There will be several UK premieres, as well as film-related events such as talks and exhibitions. Below are some suggestions of films worth seeing (all of which will be shown at The Duke of York’s Picturehouse).
6.30pm, Tuesday 25 November
Fernando Eimbcke achieved high critical acclaim and many prestigiousawards for his previous film, Duck Season, which could be described as a Mexican indie version of Home Alone. The theme for Lake Tahoe is again a coming-of-age story set during a single day, this time following a teenage boy trying to fix his parents’ car, which he has borrowed and crashed, and the variety of characters he encounters along the way. It received great reviews when shown at the Berlin Film Festival, and will be a must-see for any foreign film buffs.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
6.30pm, Thursday 20 November
Opening this year’s festival is Woody Allen’s latest comedy drama, set in Spain and starring Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson as two sides of a love triangle with No Country For Old Men actor Javier Bardem. Scarlett plays Cristina, an American girl on holiday in Spain, who falls for Javier’s free-spirited artist character Juan, and all goes swimmingly until his fiery ex-wife (Penelope as María) makes a dramatic return. Penelope is expected to be nominated for an Oscar for her performance, so it should be worth seeing for that alone.
6.30pm, Sunday 23 November
If it all seems a bit too arty for you, here’s some light relief with Steve Coogan’s latest quirky comedy. Making a sequel to Hamlet sounds like the worst idea ever, and luckily the film agrees – it’s actually about a rather disastrous attempt to create such a follow-up, as Coogan’s character decides he doesn’t like the ending, and also makes it a musical, featuring a time machine and a host of historical characters not from the original play. It was a big hit at The Sundance Film Festival, which is usually a good sign, but I must say I’m still a bit apprehensive.
6.30pm, Sunday 7 December
The final film of the festival will be the British premiere of Gus Van Sant’s new film, which boasts an all-star cast, including Sean Penn, James Franco, Diego Luna and Emile Hirsch. This biopic tells the story of Harvey Milk, who in 1977 became the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. Van Sant is known for his visionary directing style and bold political statements, so it will be very interesting to see how this translates into his first biopic, and a story which, as the USA elects its first black president, makes us wonder if there will ever be a gay man or woman in the same role?