Apart from showing the mainstream flicks, Brighton Film Festival allows you to go off the beaten track and watch something atypical or sometimes bizarre. Here are the five films that will be unique experiences only a festival can offer.

Come and See

One of the masterpieces of Soviet cinema that definitely deserves being appreciated on the big screen. It’s restored version will be screened in English cinemas for the first time, and it’s a great opportunity to revisit Elem Klimov’s stunning war film. It retells the atrocities of Nazi occupation of Belarus during the World War II. If it still does not give you a gist of how intense the film is, let me add that its title is a reference to the Apocalypse according to St John, and its general feel is indeed very apocalyptic. No wonder it is often mentioned as one of the greatest war films ever made.

The Green Fog + Accidence

Guy Maddin is a director with a one of a kind imagination. His Green Fog is not only an homage to Hitchcock’s Vertigo, but also to films set in San Francisco in general. This is experimental cinema at its best – witty, crazy, sometimes a bit boring, and sometimes really exciting. If you are up for an encounter with the bizarre montage of dozens of scenes from various films, then you don’t need to look any further.

Watch the trailer here

Birds of Passage

Ciro Guerra and his team made mesmerising Embrace of the Serpent before Birds of Passage. There isn’t as strong and unique voice in contemporary South American cinema as his. In his debut film Guerra has approached South American colonialist history in a very revisionist fashion. Magical realism and lyricism were blended with social commentary on the burden of white man on the continent. Birds of Passage is set in 20th century and approaches the long running issue of drug crime in Colombia.

Watch the trailer here


Lukas Dhont’s film is absolutely stunning given that it’s a debut. It tells a story of 15-year old Lara and her struggle with an upcoming gender reassignment surgery. The Flemish director merges different aesthetics. Although most of the film is told in a lyrical fashion with many dancing sequences and brilliant cinematography, he also finds space to use more realist, or even brutal, style. To me the film sometimes has issues with pacing, but still many would be envious of Dhont of such an artistically accomplished debut.

Watch the trailer here

The Wild Pear Tree

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film was supposed to win this year’s Cannes Film Festival. At least those were everyone’s predictions before the French festival even begun. In The Wild Pear Tree the Turkish director, similarly to his Palme d’Or winning Winter Sleep, goes for an over three-hour long epoch family drama. Expect slow-paced film with stunning cinematography and in-depth psychological development of its characters. 

Watch the trailer here

The festival takes place between 09.11 and 25.11 in cinema in Brighton. You can find more information about it here

Image source: Cannes Film Festival.

Categories: Arts Theatre

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