In honour of the European Union Film Festival… these are my TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED 2017 European Union Films.
This refers to movies that are screening during the festival, taking place at the Royal Cinema, 608 College St in Toronto from November 9th-23rd. Each year, the fest curates an eclectic group of films from Europe, showcasing some of the most interesting and passionate film making you will ever see.
Countries involved in the festival include – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The festival is free for the public and seating is on a first come, first served basis. However, you can book advance seating for a modest $10. A really great value for for the artistry on display here.
This is a great option for those who can’t afford to go to the other over priced film fests in Toronto. Of all the films screening during the fest, these are the five films that I think are the most interesting.
Adult Life Skills – Sunday November 12th, 6.00 PM (UK)
A comedy about arrested development. Anna is stuck. Her greatest happiness was her relationship with her twin brother. But since his death 18 months ago, she’s on a downward spiral that includes returning to her home-town, abandoning hope of a sex life, and making the shed at the bottom of her Mum and Nan’s garden her home. When her Mum serves her an ultimatum, Anna’s life of emotional isolation becomes impossible to maintain.
I’ve had a chance to watch this film already and really enjoyed it’s quirky, bittersweet story. Starring the great Jodie Whittaker who most Canadians will soon become familiar with as the newly minted Doctor Who in 2018. Here’s a great chance to see her perform a character that is having trouble letting go and moving on.
Saint George – Friday November 17th,8.30 PM (Portugal)
In 2011, Portugal begins economic restructuring and debt among the Portuguese people reaches staggering new heights. Jorge is an unemployed boxer on the verge of losing his son and his wife, who has decided to return to Brazil. As a means of paying off his debt and persuading his wife to remain in Portugal, Jorge accepts a job with a debt-collection agency, which drags him into a world of violence and crime.
A gritty look at the Portugese debt crisis. A simple man looking to make his way in the world embarks on a journey through the seedier side of Portugal’s crime world. An intense drama for those looking for something a little more pulse pounding.
The Dissidents – Thursday November 23rd, 6.00 PM (Estonia)
Three Estonian guys flee the Soviet Union because they want to have a life in the free world they’ve seen on TV. Swedes welcome the friends as real heroes. But eventually our dissidents discover that they’ve become nothing more than tedious immigrants who have to do something as lame as… work! The boys are no quitters, so they come up with new crazy plans that guarantee success in the Western world.
Looks to be a fun romp dealing with the black market and a group of less than stellar individuals. Has a real Guy Ritchie feel to it and looks like loads of fun. I’m looking forward to checking this one out.
Goodbye Berlin – Sunday November 18th, 6.00 PM (Germany)
14-year-old Maik comes from a wealthy, albeit dysfunctional family. Deemed a bore and outsider at school, he doesn’t stand a chance to get noticed by his secret love. His classmate Andrej Tschichatschow, called “Tschick”, is also an outsider, but for different reasons. He’s a migrant kid living in dire conditions and often causes trouble. Eventually, the two unliked boys become friends and Tschick wants to take Maik on a trip.
A German film that feels more like a typical Hollywood “coming of age” journey of 2 friends looking to find a way to fit in. Seriously, who hasn’t thought about driving through a cornfield like a madman at least once in their lives? I almost did once as a teenager. The film is really speaking to that part of my old brain.
Gozo – Thursday November 9th, 8.30 PM (Malta)
Lucille and Joe have moved to Gozo, a tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Malta. They have a nice car, a steady income, and a beautiful farmhouse. They seem to have it all. But when a young tourist goes missing, Joe’s disquieted conscience begins to get the better of him. As the buried horrors of Lucille and Joe’s past resurface, the cracks begin to show in their homespun paradise.
A dissent into madness in a very beautiful locale. A film that looks to show that things are not always better in paradise. The kind of film I always gravitate towards. Lighter, fun films are nice, but sometimes we just need to sit back and be taken on a darkly twisting road to madness.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE – Don’t forget to check out all of the shorts that play before each screening during the festival. Many of these films showcase the next generation of film makers before they strike it big. Delight in some truly brilliant International short films.
In the end, I had a difficult time picking my pre-fest picks. Hats off to all the programmers at the European Union Film Festival who worked so hard combing through all the entries for this year’s fest. This lineup is looking really strong and a great way to kick off the fall.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!