Best of the World Cinema

It has long been a tradition of the Festival on Wheels to bring impressive fare from the cinema of different countries to Festival audiences every year. And 2014, too, promises the chance to catch up on the very latest in world cinema.

Leviathan, AndreyZvyagintsev’s fourth dramatic feature, tells the story of Kolya, a man who lives in a small town in north Russia. The film, which won Best Screenplay at Cannes this year, refers to a monster symbolizing the state in ‘Leviathan’, the 17th century book by Thomas Hobbes. Kolya’s story is dominated by a struggle as the out-of-work car repairman faces having his home and land taken away by the rapacious local government.

Blind Dates, a romantic tragicomedy by Georgian director LevanKoguashvili, is an intimatemeditation on middle-aged loneliness. Sandro, an unmarried 40-something teacher who lives with his parents, is having an affair with Manana, the mother of one of his students. When the woman’s jealous husband is released from jail and takes on Sandro as his driver, the relationship between the two lovers takes an unexpected turn.

Adventure, a loose adaptation of the Dostoyevsky short story,‘White Nights’, sees Kazakh writer-director NarimanTurebayevweave the story of a solitary night security guard, Marat, when hedevelops one-sided feelings for the mysterious woman he sees waiting in the same place on the same street every night.

With their latest film, Two Days, One Night, the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc, venture once more into socialist-realist territory, turning their attention this time to redundancy in the workplace. Sandra, a factory worker in France, is about to return to work after time off for a breakdown when she discovers that management is proposing to fire her. If the rest of the staff vote withmanagement, they will each be rewarded with a 1000 euro bonus. This leaves Sandra with the weekend to trek around from door to door, trying to convince her workmates to forfeit their bonus so that she can have her job back.

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem portrays the story of Viviane, a woman who longs to end 20 years of unhappy marriage, and her seemingly interminable struggle against the rabbinical courts and Elisha, the passive-aggressive husband who refuses to divorce her. The drama is co-directed by sibling filmmakers Shlomi and RonitElkabetz with Ronit also starring in the title role…

If buildings could talk, what would they say about us or, for that matter, themselves?Cathedrals of Culture, a 3D project about the soul of buildings,offers six startlingresponses to the question from six world-class directors (WimWenders, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Robert Redford, Margreth Olin and KarimAïnouz).As itleads the audience on a tour of the Berlin Philharmonic, the National Library of Russia, Halden Prison, the Salk Institute, the Oslo Opera House and the Pompidou Center, this six-part documentary allows the buildings to speak for themselves.

Triptych, co-directed by Pedro Pires and Robert Lepage, explores the relationship between the brain, language and thought through three different characters with interconnected lives. Adapted from Lepage’s stage play, Lipsynch, the drama tells the story of schizophrenic Michelle, her sister Marie, whoseability to speak is in jeopardy because of a brain tumor, and Thomas, Marie’s surgeon who later becomes her lover.The result is a potent blend of past and present, fantasy and reality.

Black comedy 1001 Grams by Norwegian director Bent Hamer is also one of hits of the Festival.