This weekend ASFF selects five films that transport audience into unique worlds. From a musical documentary to period romance, science fiction and contemporary drama, this essential selection embraces big themes of love, time, life and death.
A follow-up to Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 drugs drama, this sequel reunites Josh Brolin’s CIA operative Matt Graver and Benicio Del Toro’s assassin Alejandro in a tale that swaps narcotics for people trafficking. Directed by Gomorrah’s Stefano Sollima, it carries the same atmosphere of dread as its predecessor, as well as once more looking at the murky amorality government agencies adopt in the ongoing fight against the cartels.
Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik returns with this poignant father-daughter story, loosely inspired by a real-life incident. Ben Foster stars as a former war veteran, now living with his offspring Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), off-the-grid and undetected in an Oregon state park. After Granik launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career in Winter’s Bone, expect the same to happen for the fantastic New Zealand-born McKenzie.
Adapted from the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, Spanish director Isabel Coixet (Elegy) brings her sensibilities to 1950s England for this story about Florence (Emily Mortimer), a widow who causes consternation in a small town when she opens a bookstore. Featuring Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson, it’s a period piece that underneath its quaint veneer contains both a heartfelt love story and a warning about the dangers of repression.
Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have already cultivated a reputation for crafting low-budget genre cinema with their 2014 film, Spring. This latest effort, a mind-bending story of two brothers (played by Benson and Moorhead) who return to the cult they fled years earlier, is inspired by characters from their 2012 debut Resolution and will do their reputation as purveyors of unique and idiosyncratic cinema no harm at all.
Pioneering Japanese synth-pop musician and Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto takes centre stage in this documentary that deals with his career and creative process. Directed by Stephen Nomura Schible, the film considers not just his music – which includes soundtracks for The Last Emperor, The Revenant and Call Me By Your Name – but his role as a social activist and protestor against nuclear power.
All films released 29 June.
1. Still from Endless. Courtesy of Arrow Films.
2. Still from Solada. Courtesy of Lionsgate.
3. Still from Leave No Trace. Courtesy of Sony Pictures.
4. Still from Bookshop. Courtesy of Artificial Eye.
5. Still from Endless. Courtesy of Arrow Films.
6. Still from Coda. Courtesy of Modern Films.