Roman Gutek, director of the New Horizons International Film Festival, recommends the following films.
Season of the Devil, dir. Lav Diaz (Philippines)
The master of Asian cinema this time deconstructs the musical genre. In this four-hour film, he focuses not only on beautiful, soothing images but also on strong political commentary. Interesting and fascinating.
Monument, dir. Jagoda Szelc (Poland)
Jagoda Szelc (Tower. A Bright Day) confirms her place as one of the top talents in Polish cinema. Her second film is a mesmerizing, surreal story about what is hiding in the human psyche and the human body. This mysterious and disturbing work was also the diploma film for a group of acting students from the Łódź Film School.
Girl, dir. Lukas Dhont (Belgium)
The 26-year-old Belgian director won the award for best debut at Cannes. A subtle, extraordinary and well-acted (the sensational Victor Polster) portrait of a girl trapped in the body of a boy. An intimate and moving film.
Bergman: A Year in a Life, dir. Jane Magnusson (Sweden)
A passionate documentary about the life and work of one of the masters of cinema, whose centennial will be celebrated by the film world on 14 July this year (New Horizons will be showing a review of his films, along with an exhibition and installation devoted to him). Bergman was an extremely hard worker, a dictator on the set and an enigmatic, controversial and fascinating man. And 1957 was the most prolific year of his life.
Under the Silver Lake, dir. David Robert Mitchell (USA)
A pop-culture overload, a playful game with the audience and a film full of references to cinema classics, music and conspiracy theories. Fun and absorbing.
The Image Book, dir. Jean-Luc Godard (Switzerland/France)
A film essay by one of the masters of French cinema, winner of a special Palme d'Or at Cannes. Godard does things his own way: he searches for a relationship between images and words, provokes, asks questions about boundaries and meaning of editing. A radical and ambiguous work for cinema lovers.
Ága, dir. Milko Lazarov (Bulgaria/Germany/France)
Milko Lazarov's enigmatic film-simultaneously slow-burning and spectacular-closed the Berlin Festival this year. Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov explores the distance between monumental nature-evoking both humility and fear-and advancing modernity.
Snow White, dir. Jõao César Monteiro (Portugal)
In terms of style, Snow White is like nothing we've seen before. It is one of the most radical productions in the history of cinema. Based on the work of Robert Walser, this anti-fairy tale is also an anti-film. I highly recommend the retrospective on Monteiro, who is completely unknown in Poland.
At War, dir. Stéphane Brizé (France)
This raw, quasi-documentary epic about resistance against the power of money was an entrant in the competition at Cannes, and it stars the phenomenal Vincent Lindon in the lead role. Although the topic is not very exciting, the film had a powerful impact on me.
Little Crusader, dir. Václav Kadrnka (Czech Republic/Slovakia/Italy)
The winner of last year's festival in Karlovy Vary. A film reminiscent of the beautiful and experimental films made by one of the masters of Czech cinema, František Vláčil. A melancholy film in a medieval setting. One of the festival's worthy discoveries.