Palm Springs Film Festival To Screen 42 Foreign Film Oscar Hopefuls

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This Nordic light program will premiere films from the Scandinavian and Nordic countries of Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.  The films selected in the program include:

·      Call Girl (Sweden) - Inspired by the 1976 prostitution scandal that led straight to the heart of the Swedish government, Call Girl is a meaty, never sensationalistic political thriller reminiscent of American ‘70s classics like All the President’s Men. Director: Mikael Marcimain. Cast: Pernilla August, Sofia Karemyr, Simon J. Berger, Sven Nordin, David Dencik, Ruth Vega Fernandez, Josefin Asplund.

STORY: Foreign Language Oscar: Four Directors on Their Contenders

·      A Caretaker’s Tale (Denmark) - This provocative parable centers on the bitter custodian of a grim housing complex and the mute, naked woman with healing sexual powers he discovers in an empty apartment. Director: Katrine Wiedemann. Cast:Lars Mikkelsen, Julie Zangenberg, Nicolaj Kopernikus.

·      The Deep (Iceland/Norway) - This real-life survival tale offers a powerfully authentic, elemental depiction of an incident that still haunts the Icelandic psyche: the sinking of the fishing trawler Breki in 1984 and the near-miraculous survival of a lone crewman. Director: Baltasar Kormákur. Cast: Olafur Darri Olafsson, Johann G Johannsson, Theodor Juliusson, Maria Siguroardottir.

·      Eat Sleep Die (Sweden) - Nermina Lukac shines as a young Muslim who struggles to maintain her self-respect when she’s laid off from work in this starkly impressive first feature from Sweden. Director: Gabriela Pichler. Cast: Nermina Lukač, Milan Dragišić, Jonathan Lampinen, Peter Falit, Ruzica Pichler.

·      Either Way (Iceland) - Two highway maintenance men in 1980s Iceland find themselves at a literal and figurative crossroads in this beguiling character-driven dramedy that uses the harshly beautiful landscape as a principal character. Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson. Cast: Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson, Hilmar Gudjónsson, Thorsteinn Bachmann.

·      A Hijacking (Denmark) - A fictional but sweatily plausible account of a Danish cargo ship ambushed by volatile Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, which alternates between tensions onboard and in the Copenhagen negotiation chamber. Director: Tobias Lindholm. Cast: Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling, Dar Salem, Gary Skjoldmose Porter, Abdihakin Asgar.

·      The Hunt (Denmark) –The story of Lucas, a mild-mannered kindergarten teacher who suddenly becomes the target of hatred from everyone in his small town when a young child makes false accusations against him.  In the hysteria that follows, Lucas's life comes crashing down. Director: Thomas Vinterberg. Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrom, Susse Wold, Anne Louise Hassing.

·      The Hypnotist (Sweden) - Based on the international bestseller by Lars Kepler, this dose of Nordic noir revolves around a psychiatrist's reluctant use of hypnotism to glean clues from the survivor of a murder attempt. Director: Lasse Hallström. Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Lena Olin,Tobias Zilliacus, Jonatan Bokman, Oscar Petterssen.

·      I Belong (Norway) - A Norwegian tragicomedy about how people who mean well end up hurting one another, and how acting on integrity and feelings is seen as troublesome in a rationalist society. Director: Dag Johan Haugerud. Cast: Ane Dahl Torp, Anne Marit Jacobsen, Birgitte Larsen, Henriette Steestrup, Laila Goody, Ragnhild Hilt, Trine Wiggen.

·      Inuk(Greenland) - An original road movie on the sea-ice, Inuk is both an authentic story of Greenland today, a country torn between tradition and modernity, and a universal story about the quest for identity, transmission and rebirth after the deepest of wounds. Director: Mike Magidson. Cast: Gaba Petersen, Ole Jorgen Hammeken, Rebekka Jorgensen, Sara Lyberth, Elizabeth Skade.

·      Jackpot (Norway) - This black comic caper about four dodgy types who must share a multi-million kronor jackpot unspools at a rollicking pace. Based on a story by best-selling Nordic crime writer Jo Nesbo. Director: Magnus Martens. Cast: Kyrre Hellum, Mads Ousdal, Henrik Mestad.

·      King Curling (Norway) – A rollicking, boisterous comedy about the high-stakes world of curling, that most glorious of broom-based ice sports. After breaking under the intense pressure of championship competition, former star Truls Paulsen has fallen far from his former exalted station, battling OCD and a reliance on pills.  When he learns that his former coach is in the hospital and in desperate need of an expensive operation, Truls gets himself together for one more, potentially lucrative competition.  Director: Ole Endresen. Cast: Atle Antonsen, Linn Skaber, Ane Dahl Torp, Kare Conradi, Jon Oigarden, Steinar Sagen. Harald Eia, Bard Tufte Johansen

·      Kon Tiki(Norway/UK) - A real-life action-adventure, the film follows Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and five fellow scientists on a 1947 voyage of 4,300 nautical miles from South America to Polynesia on a wooden raft.  From the directors of PSIFF audience favorite Max Manus. Director: Espen Sandberg, Joachim Ronning. Cast: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgard, Odd Magnus Williamson, Tobias Santelmann, Jakob Oftebro.

·      The Last Sentence (Sweden/Norway) - From the director of PSIFF audience favorite Everlasting Moments comes a dramatic and poetic tale – exquisitely filmed in black and white - about crusading Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt and his courageous stand against Fascism during WWII. Director: Jan Troell. Cast: Jesper Christensen, Pernilla August,Ulla Skoog, Björn Granath, Amanda Ooms, Peter Andersson.

·      Liv & Ingmar (Norway) - The radiant Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann reflects on her relationship with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman in this personal documentary that mixes her candid reminiscences, extracts from her book “Changing” and clips from Bergman’s films. Director: Dheeraj Akolkar. Cast: Liv Ullmann, Samuel Fröler

·      Marie Krøyer (Denmark) - An exquisite period romance about the wife of acclaimed Danish painter P.S. Kroyer.  At the peak of their marriage, Kroyer’s mental illness becomes more severe and Marie’s dream of a mutually supportive life as artists turns to frustration and sorrow. Director: Bille August. Cast: Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Søren Sætter-Lassen, Sverrir Gudnason, Tommy Kenter, Lene Maria Christensen.

·      Purge (Finland/Estonia) - Purge spotlights the legacy of Soviet oppression in Estonia.  Two women from two different eras are linked by separate histories of deceit, desperation and fear in this heartstopping adaptation of Sofi Oksanen’s bestseller. Director: Antti  Jokinen. Cast: Liisi Tandefelt, Laura Birn, Amanda Pike, Krista Kosonen, Peter Franzén, Tommi Korpela, Tomi Salmela.

·      Road North (Finland) - A prodigal father returns to Helsinki to reconnect with the son he abandoned 35 years earlier and con him into a journey towards the Arctic Circle in this jaunty comedy, one of Finland’s biggest box office hits of the past year. Director: Mika Kaurismäki. Cast: Vesa-Matti Loiri, Samuli Edelmann, Mari Perankoski, Irina Björklund, Peter Franzen, Elina Knihtilä.

·      A Royal Affair(Denmark) - An 18th century historical drama four years in the making, the film is an epic romance about the love triangle between a German doctor, the queen of Denmark, and her deranged king. Director: Nikolaj Arcel. Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Trine Dryholm, David Dencik.

·      This Life - Some Must Die, So Others Can Live (Denmark) - Based on a true story, this authentic, moving tale of Danish resistance to Nazi occupation has rivaled Flame & Citron as a local box office sensation. Director: Anne-Grethe  Bjarup Riis. Cast: Jens Jørn Spottag, Bodil Jørgensen, Thomas Ernst, Marie Bach Hansen, Bjarne Henriksen, Anne Louise Hassing.

ANALYSIS: Austria and France Are Early Frontrunners for Foreign Language Oscar

Additionally, the fest’s Modern Masters will present 10 films from some of the bes-known names of contemporary cinema such as Bille August, Marco Bellocchio, Peter Greenaway, Patrice LeConte, Ken Loach, Deepa Mehta, Mike Newell, Sally Potter, Jan Troell and Margarethe von Trotta. The line-up consists of:

·      The Angels’ Share (United Kingdom/France/Belgium/Italy) – Ken Loach returns with a funny and affectionate crime caper about friendship, hope and the redemptive power of really expensive whiskey.  Director: Ken Loach. Cast: Paul Brannigan, Siobhan Reilly, John Henshaw, Gary Maitland, William Ruane, Jasmin Riggins, Roger Allam.

·      Dormant Beauty (Italy/France) - Isabelle Huppert and Toni Servillo are superb in this caustic political critique and keenly observed social drama centering on the hot-button issue of euthanasia. Director: Marco Bellocchio. Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Toni Servillo, Alba Rohrwacher, Michele Riondino, Maya Sansa, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio.

·      Ginger and Rosa (United Kingdom) – As the Cold War meets the sexual revolution in 1960s London, the lifelong friendship of two teenage girls is shattered by ideological differences and personal betrayals. Director: Sally Potter. Cast: Timothy Spall, Alice Englert, Oliver Platt, Jodhi May, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Elle Fanning, Annette Bening.

·      Great Expectations(UK/USA) - Orphan Pip rises from humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor in Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Director: Mike Newell. Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Robbie Coltrane, Holliday Grainger, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes

·      Goltzius and the Pelican Company (UK/Netherlands/France/Croatia) - Peter Greenaway’s stunningly visual, sexually provocative 16th-century tale focuses on a Dutch engraver who runs afoul of the authorities when his reenactments of lustful scenes from the Old Testament go beyond the pale in their carnality. Director: Peter Greenaway. Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Ramsey Nasr, Kate Moran, Giulio Berruti, Anne Louise Hassing.

·      Hannah Arendt (Germany) - In Margarethe von Trotta’s stirring and emotionally rewarding biopic, Barbara Sukowa perfectly embodies the philosopher famous for her concept of “the banality of evil” and her controversial reporting on the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann. Director: Margarethe von Trotta. Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer, Axel Milberg, Julia Jensch, Ulrich Noethen.

·      The Last Sentence (Sweden/Norway) - From the director of PSIFF audience favorite Everlasting Moments comes a dramatic and poetic tale – exquisitely filmed in black and white - about crusading Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt and his courageous stand against Fascism during WWII. Director: Jan Troell. Cast: Jesper Christensen, Pernilla August,Ulla Skoog, Björn Granath, Amanda Ooms, Peter Andersson.

·      Marie Krøyer (Denmark) - An exquisite period romance about the wife of acclaimed Danish painter P.S. Kroyer.  At the peak of their marriage, Kroyer’s mental illness becomes more severe and Marie’s dream of a mutually supportive life as artists turns to frustration and sorrow. Director: Bille August. Cast: Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Søren Sætter-Lassen, Sverrir Gudnason, Tommy Kenter, Lene Maria Christensen.

·      Midnight’s Children (Canada/UK, Bangladesh) – Salman Rushdie adapts his own monumental novel – a picaresque that doubles as a history of modern India – into a rich, sprawling, unruly movie, full of romance, satire, magic and anger. Director: Deepa Mehta. Cast: Shabana Azmi, Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Nandita Das, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Seema Biswas.

·      Suicide Shop (France/Canada/Belgium) – In this merrily malignant animated musical from celebrated filmmaker Patrice Leconte, a family in the business of giving the business to people wanting to end it all are faced with a dreadful dilemma: their son and heir is incurably cheerful, optimistic and life-loving.  Director: Patrice LeConte. Cast: Bernard Alane, Isabelle Spade, Kacey Mottet Klein.

 

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