Fiacha Harrington returns with his recommendations for this year’s Love & Anarchy (Rakkautta ja Anarkiaa), The 31st Helsinki International Film Festival.
Love & Anarchy is the highlight of the Finnish cinema calendar, this year looks like it will be no exception.
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Jasper Pääkkönen. Duration: 135 minutes
Director Spike Lee is the festival’s guest of honor this year. If you have not already seen this, now is your chance to see Lee’s telling of how an African-American police detective infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1970s. The film also stars Finnish actor Jasper Pääkkönen.
Director: Anna Eriksson
Starring: Anna Eriksson, Petri Salo, Gail Ferguson, Axel Sutinen, Pietari Kaakkomäki, Asta Vieno, Ari Vieno, Paola Bärlund, Veera Siivonen, Joni Segerroos, Dulce Rodriguez-Saldivar, Melanie Rodriguez-Saldivar, Britany Rodriguez-Saldivar, Augusting de Higuera Blanca. Duration: 90 minutes
Musician Anna Eriksson started this project as a video installation but it grew to be a feature length film. Filmed by Matti Pyykö over the course of five years in Finland, Portugal and Mexico. The film aims to bend the line between reality and fantasy.
Director: Nadine Labaki
Starring: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawthar Al Haddad, Fadi Kamel Youssef, Cedra Izam, Alaa Chouchnieh, Nadine Labaki. Duration: 123 minutes
Capernaum won the jury prize at this year’s Cannes film festival. It tell the story of 12 year old Syrian refugee Zain Al Rafeea who takes his parents to court for the crime of bringing him into this world. This thought provoking film has raised much discussion wherever it’s been shown.
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (2018)
Director: Lars Von Trier
Starring: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl, Riley Keough
Duration: 155 minutes
A Love & Anarchy ‘regular’, Lars Von Trier is back with his latest offering starring Matt Dillon as a serial killer, in what is perhaps 1970s America. This dark violent film is bound to divide audience opinions as Von Trier’s films usually do.
THE HAPPY PRINCE (2017)
Director: Rupert Everett
Starring: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Emily Watson. Duration: 104 minutes
Rupert Everett makes his directorial debut. Everett stars as the Irish writer Oscar Wilde, portraying him in his later years. Having been released from prison where he served time for “gross indecency”, the writer looks back on his life and how important love is.
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Starring: Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka, Kirin Kiki, Jyo Kairi, Miyu Sasaki. Duration: 121 minutes
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest offering Shoplifters won the Palme d’Or at this year Cannes film festival. “It was one of the loveliest and emotionally enduring films in competition.” remarked Jury President, Cate Blanchett. This ia an emotional and heartfelt story of a down and out Japanese family who support themselves as petty criminals.
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (2018) Director: Desiree Akhavan
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, Jennifer Ehle. Duration: 91 minutes
Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post took home the top prize at this year’s Sundance film festival. The film, though set in the early 1990s, deals with the still topical issue of gay conversion therapy. After being caught kissing a girl in the backseat of a car, the titular Cameron Post finds herself placed in God’s Promise boarding school where it is intended, through prayer and therapy, to ‘fix’ teens – because there is no such thing as homosexuality. Akhavan manages to deal with a very serious issue with a lot of dry humor in a film where you would expect there to be no funny moments.
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (2018)
Director: Boots Riley
Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, Danny Glover. Duration: 111 minutes
Oakland based rapper Boots Riley – from The Coup – makes his directorial debut with Sorry To Bother You, which many have described as the most radical and wildest political satire. The film tackles everything from capitalism to racial politics and the ins-and-outs of love. The film is said to be part fantasy and part political manifesto.
Director: Idris Elba
Starring: Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Everaldo Creary, Akin Gazi, Mark Rhino Smith, Naomi Ackie. Duration: 101 minutes
Another actor stepping behind the camera to direct is Idris Elba, with his debut Yardie. The film is based on the 1992 novel by Victor Headley. The movie starts on the streets of Kingston Jamaica in 1973 as we follow D (Aml Ameen) to the streets of 1980s London. The soundtrack is sprinkled with reggae gems and a score by Dickon Hinchliffe (Tindersticks).
DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) & SPIKE LEE MASTERCLASS
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee. Duration: 240 minutes (film screening and masterclass)
This year’s festival is also arranging a special screening of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing which will be followed by a masterclass with Lee in person.
Please note: Tickets 40 € (incl. film and masterclass), festival pass or free vouchers not valid for this event. The film starts at 2 pm (22.09 Bio Rex) and Spike Lee’s masterclass follows straight after around 4 pm. We will screen a 35 mm print of Do the Right Thing.
Please visit the Festival’s website, for a full list of all films at this year’s festival and for details on showtimes and how to purchase tickets. Love & Anarchy runs from the 20th through to the 30th of September.