This weekend ASFF selects five new films from Britain, Italy, France and America. While the works range from a magical blockbuster to black comedy, supernatural horror, social realist drama and art-world documentary, themes explored are varied and rich. Money, beauty, power, politics, death and literature are all under the microscope.
Carved out in the tradition of the Coen Brothers, Tom Edmunds’ directorial debut is a black comedy about the suicidal William (Aneurin Barnard) who fails to kill himself on several occasions. The result: he employs the services of a professional hitman (Tom Wilkinson) to do it for him. A twist on the workplace satire, with a gruesome splash of the Coens’ Fargo thrown in, it marks the arrival of a distinct voice in the shape of first-timer Edmunds.
In the year that Banksy shredded his own painting (anonymously, of course) and then saw the value double, it feels apt to release The Price of Everything, by Oscar-nominated director Nathaniel Kahn. Delving into the often contentious contemporary art world, Kahn’s work examines the way art has become a commodity in today’s society. Featuring commentary from collectors, dealers, gallery-owners, auctioneers and artists – including Gerhard Richter – it’s a dip into an endlessly fascinating subject: how can you value beauty?
The second ‘prequel’ to the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling’s spin-off ramps up the action as Johnny Depp’s Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald escapes from captivity to wreak havoc in Paris. Eddie Redmayne returns as the kindly Newt Scamander, sent to stop Grindelwald by his own Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). Darker than the earlier Potter installments, Rowling and director David Yates ensure this is a politically-charged blockbuster on an epic scale.
Laurent Cantet, who won the 2009 Palme d’Or for his school-set drama The Class, returns with the similarly-flavoured The Workshop. This dynamic tale of a group of teenagers participating in a writing group with a successful novelist (Marina Foïs) is co-written by Robin Campillo, who collaborated with Cantet on The Class and since went on to make the excellent drama 120 Beats Per Minute. All three films share a love of debate and discourse at their heart.
Call Me By Your Name’s Italian maestro Luca Guadagnino returns with this daring remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 supernatural horror Suspiria. Relocating it to a drab, rainy Berlin, this tale of a dance academy run by a coven of witches is given an eerie makeover by Guadagnino, who casts Dakota Johnson as the innocent dancer and Tilda Swinton as the women who runs the institution. At 153 minutes its far longer than the original, but it’s an absorbing ride.
All films released on 16 November.
1.Still from Suspiria.
2.Still from Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back).
3.Still from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
4.Still from Suspiria.