This weekend ASFF selects five new films from around the world that will be unveiled in UK cinemas. One documentary and four features, hailing from across Europe and America, these movies tackle a variety of themes: survival, greed, exploitation and the importance of family, surrogate or otherwise.
Happy As Lazzaro (Curzon Artificial Eye)
Alice Rohrwacher follows her rural tale The Wonderswith another film set in the Italian countryside. Winner of Best Screenplay at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Happy as Lazzarostars newcomer Adriano Tardiolo as the eponymous peasant, who lives and works on land owned by a tobacco baroness. A curious fable that makes a jaw-dropping switch halfway through, this tale of exploitation, disenfranchisement and disillusion will sweep you up.
Shazam! (Warner Bros.)
The latest superhero to emerge from the D.C. stable, Shazam! is one of the more irreverent caped crusaders to hit cinema screens. Directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out), the film plays likeDeadpoolfor kids, as 14 year-old runaway Billy Batson (Angel Asher) is granted the ability to switch to the character of Shazam! (Zachary Levi), a grown man with considerable powers at his command. With Mark Strong featuring as the villain, superhero-loving kids will love this.
The Sisters Brothers (Universal)
The French auteur behind A Prophetand Rust and Bone, Jacques Audiard, makes his English-language debut here with this superbly entertaining frontier western. Based on the book by Patrick deWitt, John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix play the titular siblings, hired guns who must intercept their target (Riz Ahmed) and the private detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) sent to deliver him. A tale of greed and gold in the mould of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, this is a film to savour.
Last Breath (Dogwoof)
Alex Parkinson and Richard da Costa direct this documentary concerning the fate of commercial diver Chris Lemons. In September 2012, he was trapped at the bottom of the North Sea when his ‘umbilical line’ that supplies air and heat became severed. Turning his story into a nail-biting thriller – this is the same distributor, incidentally, that released Free Solorecently – Last breathis not for the claustrophobic amongst you.
The Keeper (Parkland Entertainment)
German footballer Bert Trautmann, who kept goal for Manchester City after the Second World War, was famed for breaking his neck – and carrying on playing – during the 1956 F.A. Cup Final. But as Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s new film shows, there was so much more to Trautmann’s life, not least the fact he began his time in Britain as a prisoner-of-war. Starring The Reader’s David Kross as Trautmann, you don’t need to be a City fan to enjoy this.
All films released on 5 April.