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I am exploring

  • the lyrical
  • the realistic (and at times surrealist)
  • and the intimate

I have a different set of criteria of choosing films to watch this year.

The description for La Fortaleza says it well:

By turns lyrical and raw, realistic and intimate, feverish visions also reflect the inner state of the protagonist


intense, deliberate aesthetics

The films:

  • Vitalina Varela, dir. Pedro Costa
  • La Fortaleza, dir. Jorge Thielen Armand
  • Panquiaco, dir. Ana Elena Tejera
  • Jallikattu, dir. Lijo Jose Pellissery
  • This is not a burial, it's a resurrection, dir. Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

They seem to share these qualities:

  • primal, shamanistic
  • extreme close-ups
  • the protagonist in the center, almost otherworldly, iconographic

animals (interesting coincidences)

Last year I was drawn to films set in remote places, esp. mountains. This year, a few films that I choose share that thread, but also the relationship with animals.

  • L'île aux oiseaux, dir. Maya Kosa , Sérgio da Costa
  • Kala azar, dir. Janis Rafa
  • Birds (Or How to Be One), dir. Babis Makridis
  • Cemetery, dir. Carlos Casas

They seem to share these qualities:

  • an unlikely story
  • taking care of animals + wanting to be animals as metaphor
  • commitment to the metaphor — living reality in imagination


I am paying attention to films with a strong portrayal of intimacy (emotional and otherwise). Other than some of the above mentioned, these films feature relationships: between humans, between one devout geographer and the environment.

  • Vendrá la muerte y tendrá tus ojos, dir. José Luis Torres Leiva
  • Suzanne Daveau, dir. Luísa Homem

how to tell a story quietly

From the trailers I also recognized a certain slow pace that I use in my own film. I want to see these films to see how they tell a story quietly.

  • For the Time Being, dir. Salka Tiziana
  • Phases of Matter, dir. Deniz Tortum
  • Together Apart, dir. Qu Youjia

I am not quite sure how quiet this film will be. But I do recognize the trait of telling stories through the protagonist's own speech. (A story within a story. Or the film as a story that the protagonists tell AND live.) It's something I want to achieve in my film, so hopefully I can learn something from them.

  • The Fever, dir. Maya Da-Rin

habitat and home

There are two short programs focused on habitat and home, which relates to my grad film project.

  • Heartland (diaspora)
  • Natural Habitat (home)


I also included some films that will probably show me something new.

Short programs:

  • Circuit Bending
  • DINAMO (video art/experimental)
  • True Identity (I am going to a talk by an artist who made one of these films)


  • Blanco en blanco, dir. Théo Court
  • Si yo fuera el invierno mismo, dir. Jazmín López
  • Nafi's Father, dir. Mamadou Dia
  • Desterro, dir. Maria Clara Escobar
  • The Science of Fictions, dir. Yosep Anggi Noen