Editor’s Pick | Best of Stockholm Film Festival 2014
Stockholm Film Festival has once again come and left us, gracing the city with the best indie movies and studio sensations of the year. For the directors, actors, media and staff at SFF it’s been a tedious, amazing festival full of screenings, interviews and movies that will change your life. My press badge is still in my pocket but this year’s SFF is now officially over, and the only way for me to truly attain closure is to go through the highlights and top picks from this years cinematic tour that left me winded but hungry for more. Here is the list of the soon to be film classics who get The Forumist stamp of approval.
Girlhood won the the Bronze Horse at this years festival against other strong contenders with similar themes and equally beautiful cinematography. See: “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler.” Celine Sciamma’s film is an energetic suburban drama that navigates what is like to be a black girl and trying to define yourself against all the familiar categories society has set up for you. The tempo and cinematography of the film makes you lose yourself in the narrative and in the end you come out examining your own reality and the many faces that might take.
Dear White People is an exciting, buzzed about debut by Justine Simien that put the fun and thinking back in cinema. This debut has already grossed over 3 million dollars and has impressive sold out screenings every time it was shown. The film setting in on a fictional Ivy league college that most viewers will recognize as a familiar background to the college-life movie, but the characters are new with thoughts of their own that most viewers are not familiar with on the big screen and posing questions and answers to race relations that you don’t see in traditional cimenea. The film shot on the Cannon Red is a gorgeous spectacle of a lush green Ivy League grass and rich interiors. The dialogue is witty and sharp and keeps you on your toes making sure you don’t miss a thing!
The Tribe is a film that captures your every sense from the first frame and never lets you go. Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s film was a Cannes prizewinner and boast beautiful imagery and narratives that need no words to tell the story and since the film is set in a boarding school for deaf students it’s quite appropriate. We follow the main character Sergey as he attempts to fit into the social hierarchy of the school while falling into a gang of hoodlums organized by the most vicious students, pimping out two female classmates to the town locals and falling in love. His harrowing experience will leave you with silent screams of horror and awe in your own head.
Map To The Stars is David Cronenberg’s satirical tale of the dark side of Los Angeles. In a impressive cast of characters he portrays the yearning of fame, fortune and stardom through the eyes of a personal assistant in Hollywood and an unsuccessful screenwriter who moonlights as a limousine driver. Appearances by Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon will leave you with an inside and dizzying view of the most Hollywood of Hollywood.
Whiplash is a film by Damien Chazelle, one of the most exciting directors to rise in the most recent years tells the tale of a Jazz Orchestra lead by an intense almost insane band leader played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons, who punishes without mercy every student who does hit the perfect note. Ala “Dead Poets Society ” and “Full Metal Jacket” the film has a cinematic-noir quality that best shows the dark murky side to the competition and hard reality of burgeoning talent and one young musician who can handle it and has need to come out on top.
Before I Disappear is another debut to take notice of by brilliant director Shawn Christensen. The story revolves around a troubled young man and his witty wise above her years niece who embark on a mad hatter like tour around New York City bonding over life complexities and the desire to end it all. The editing and dialogue is clever, fun and witty juxtaposing the dark theme of the film. Based on his Oscar-winning short Curfew, the full length film leaves you satisfied and heart-whelmed with the unexpected ties these relatives make in the most unlikeliest of places.
Name Me is Nigina Sayfullaevas youth drama that focuses on the ol switcheroo as two seventeen year-old girls from Moscow travel to meet one girl’s father for the first time, and deceive him by switching roles and embarking on a cat and mouse game of affection, jealousy and a bond left with questions marks for every relationship in the film. This is a dark coming of age film, equally scary as it is sexy, examining the complicates of life’s twist and turns that will leave the viewers on emotional roller coaster with no boundaries.
Words By Koko Ntuen