Special Report: Stockholm International Film Festival 2005, Part 2

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
Juan Solanas' Nordeste won the Best Film award at the Stockholm International Film Festival (November 17-27). Solanas received the Bronze Horse award at a star-studded ceremony with festival directors and actors including Park Chan-wook, whose film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance closed the festival. Solanas said he was honored to receive the award in the country where one of his favorite directors resides you know who Ingmar Bergman. The film also garnished acting awards for both Carole Bouquet and Aymrà Rovera. Nordeste is about child trafficking where Bouquet plays a French woman who travels to Argentina to adopt a baby. Rovera plays Julia, a single mother trying to survive.

Me and You and Everyone We Know by Miranda July took home the Best Debut film, which is the award that is perhaps the distinguishing feature of the Stockholm fest. The award goes to a director's first film. July easily acquired the prize by capturing the heart of the audience and jury, with completely sold out screenings at the festival. July was enthusiastic about the film's reception in Stockholm. "In the USA the film has already gone to DVD so its wonderful to see it getting approved in Stockholm", said July. The colorful tableau of believable characters is just the beginning for July who has is planning a new feature already. Me and You and Everybody We Know is a fresh injection in narrative cinema, one of 19 films that were featured in the festival competition

The Stockholm festival is noted for showcasing innovative and cutting edge by directors who are acclaimed for their independence and this year is no exception. Park Chan Wook is clearly a 'renegade' director that made a trilogy of 'revenge films' just to prove that he could. But revenge according to the South Korean director is often about the "transference of guilt". The film sparked off the best FACE2FACE debate of the festival - "Female Revenge" with a panel of Swedish critics and cinema studies experts. Park Chan Wook would certainly agree that revenge may not respect gender, but actually masks a repressed anger that has no healthy outlet in society. In an effort to balance out testosterone-driven hard-boiled features, several films were screened with women wielding the blade.

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes by the acclaimed Quay Brothers who won the 1995 Best Film Award at the Stockholm fest was really weird I have to say, with washed out light in almost every scene. What was that all about? Other highlights were Deepa Mehta's Water adding a third part to the Canadian helmer's repertoire, following Earth and Fire. And using an innovative camera style, UK director Stephen Wooley resurrects the mystery surrounding the death of Brian Jones of the Stones in Stoned. But besides drugs and games, he didn’t really succeed in showing how Jones was clearly the most gifted of the group.

Another important discussion at this year’s fest: "Double Identities: the representation of immigrants in Nordic film". Elsewhere a documentary to commemorate the 100th birthday of Swedish emigrant Greta Garbo.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan Stockholm SWEDEN

More Information:
Stockholm International Film Festival 2005, Part 2