ASFF selects five films for release this week, available in cinemas and digitally. Two documentaries, both from Sweden, and three British films, transport us into some unique worlds, both real and imagined. Examining activism, obsession, illness and art, these are all fine expressions of the human condition.
Carmilla (Republic Film)
Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s 19th Century gothic novella, Emily Harris’ Carmilla removes the book’s vampire element to create an intriguing, intimate chamber piece. Newcomer Hannah Rae plays 15 year-old Lara, living a lonely existence with her governess until an incident brings the mysterious Carmilla (Devrim Lingnau) into her orbit. With a soundtrack provided by Radiohead drummer Phil Selway, it’s bold love story tinged with tragedy and transgression.
I Am Greta (Dogwoof)
Nathan Grossman offers up an access-all-areas documentary about Swedish environmental campaigner, Greta Thunberg. Present right from the very beginning, when she sat outside the Swedish parliament urging for a ‘School Climate Strike’, Grossman accompanies her all the way, from addressing the United Nations to sailing across the Atlantic to New York. If the film is a little one-sided, it’s nevertheless a sturdy portrait of a remarkable young girl.
Body of Water (Verve Pictures)
British writer-director Lucy Brydon makes a confident debut with Body of Water, a stark drama that examines the issue of eating disorders. Siân Brooke plays Stephanie, a former war photographer whose own traumatic work in conflict zones has clearly triggered her issues with food. Dealing with Stephanie’s internal dramas with both her mother and her teenage daughter, Brydon and Brooke combine to create an impressive and sensitive look at a hugely troubling subject matter.
Arriving three weeks before the UK release for Roy Andersson’s new film About Endlessness, which won Best Director at the Venice Film Festival last year, Grammy-nominated director Fred Scott presents this intimate documentary portrait. Tracing the Swedish director over three years, as he struggles to get About Endlessness made in his own unique way, Scott’s film is also a look at the creator as he reckons with his own mortality and calls time on his career.
Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Free Fire) turns his attention to a classic of both film and literature. Daphne Du Maurier’s novel was previously adapted by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, in a 1940 Best Picture winner. This remake stars Armie Hammer and Lily James, with Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) among the screenwriters, re-telling the story of a young newlywed who arrives at her husband’s estate to find that the legacy of his first wife Rebecca still looms large.
All films released on 16 October.