Italian director Matteo Garrone is known to the FEST audience for his film Tale of Tales from 2016 as well as for the film about the Italian mob, Gomorrah. Garrone tells another story of the people on the margins of the Italian society in his latest film, Dogman, which premiered in Cannes, where it won the prize for Best Actor. Marcello (Marcello Fonte) is a naive and benevolent owner of a dog parlour that cannot say no, and local bully Simon takes advantage of that. He entangles Marcello in his criminal acts terrorizing the entire neighborhood. Although friends and neighbors are starting to reject him, Marcello cannot turn his back on Simon, who in his eyes is equally eager for love as a mad dog.
Karyn Kusama is the name well-known to fans of the genre film, and the FEST audience still remembers the intriguing horror thriller The Invitation (2015). Kusama returns with another genre delicacy: neo-noir Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell. As a young cop she was placed undercover with a gang, but the task failed with tragic results. Many years later, the gang leader reemerges again and gives her a chance to take revenge on the people who destroyed her life. Nicole Kidman plays the lead role, and critics agree that it is one of the best roles of her career.
If you thought that Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (2013) would be hard to beat, get ready for Trier’s latest film The House that Jack Built. Met Dillon plays the lead role of a failed architect and a successful serial killer Jack, who is on a literal road to hell, and a man named Verge (Bruno Ganz), modeled after Dante's Vergil, leads him through its circles. Jack recalls five of his brutal murders, to which he approaches the same as the artist approaches his artwork. One thing is certain, this is a film that leaves no one indifferent - at the premiere in Cannes more than a hundred people left the screening, but the rest of the audience rewarded the film with ten-minute ovations. The film is not intended for viewers under 18 years of age.
Peter Farrelly is a director known to our audience, but his appearance at FEST is truly unexpected. Brothers Farrelly, Peter and Bobby, became popular with politically incorrect comedies such as Dumb and Dumber, and There’s Something about Mary, but this time Peter decided to drastically change the direction to more serious issues. Green Book is one of the best films of the past season and an inevitable part of each awarding ceremony (among which: five nominations for the Oscars and the winner of three Golden Globes). This inspiring comedy talks about an unusual friendship between a sophisticated African-American pianist Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his uncouth driver from the Bronx, Tony (Viggo Mortensen). The story takes place in the sixties and follows Shirley and Tony on a tour of the American South, which is deeply divided by racial segregation.
Gus Van Sant, a cult director behind films such as Good Will Hunting, Milk and Drugstore Cowboy, directs his latest film Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. It is based on the memoirs of John Callahan, an artist known for comics that were often morbid, politically incorrect and dealt with taboo topics. The film follows the life of Callahan, an alcoholic who after a day of drunkenness ends up in a car accident after which he remains paralyzed. The dark humour comics that he begins to draw up is precisely what turns out to be crucial for his recovery and getting out of a hopeless situation. Joaquin Phoenix is in the leading role, and in the supporting roles are Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black. Interestingly, Robin Williams bought the rights to Callahan's memoirs in the 1990s, and he wanted to play the title role, but it took Van Sant more than 20 years to find support for the film. This bitter-sweet tragicomedy premiered at the Sundance Festival, after which the film was also shown at last year's Berlinale.