Ruth Hayler's Picks

SIFF Programmer Ruth Hayler picks some of her highlights from the 2018 Festival.

Ruth Hayler

The Crime of Monsieur Lange

The Crime of Monsieur Lange

Discover one of Jean Renoir's best but least-known films, a hilarious comedy with heart, made in 1936 immediately before Grand Illusion and Rules of the Game. Amadee Lange is a naïve daydreamer, author of the incredibly popular Western serial "Arizona Jim," but his sleazy publisher has been stealing all the profits. Shown in a new digital restoration.

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Sansho the Bailiff

Sansho the Bailiff

Director Kenji Mizoguchi achieved the unprecedented feat of winning prizes at the Venice Film Festival three years in a row for The Life of Ohayu (1952), Ugetsu (1953), and Sansho the Bailiff (1954). Sansho is a sublimely beautiful story, heartbreaking and unforgettable, of a brother and sister sold into slavery in 11th century Japan, trying to cling to their humanity. Shown in a new digital restoration.

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Hal

Hal

Director Hall Ashby was a real free spirit who flourished in the 1970s (Harold & Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, Bound for Glory, Coming Home, Being There) but constantly warred with studio personnel, and was unable to make the movies he wanted in the 1980s, despite his great track record. Dramatic readings of his letters are hilarious and sad.

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Summer 1993

Summer 1993

In writer/director Carla Simoìn's touching autobiographical drama, orphan six-year-old Frida is taken to live with her aunt, uncle, and three-year-old cousin in the idyllic Catalan countryside. But Frida misses the city and hates the country and has trouble adjusting. Summer 1993 is as memorable a portrait of childhood as Spirit of the Beehive or Forbidden Games.

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Racer and the Jailbird

Racer and the Jailbird

Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From the Madding Crowd) and Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) ooze charisma and sex appeal in this tragic love story. He is secretly a member of a bank robbing gang; she is a risk-taking racecar driver. They meet, sparks fly, and amour fou takes over their lives.

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Puzzle

Puzzle

An unfulfilled wife and mother finds unexpected satisfaction in assembling jigsaw puzzles (for which she has remarkable aptitude) and meets an intriguing man. Kelly Macdonald and Irrfan Khan star in a quiet movie that is surprisingly rewarding.

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Nancy

Nancy

Andrea Riseborough (The Death of Stalin) gives a subtly haunting performance as a lonely woman who hears about a couple whose five-year-old daughter was stolen 30 years ago, and becomes increasingly convinced that she could be that missing daughter. Writer/director Christine Choe won the Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Mountain

Mountain

Full of breathtaking footage, both beautiful and thrilling, narrated by Willem Dafoe, Mountain is a dazzling exploration of our obsession with mountains, and their power to inspire wonder and awe. A unique cinematic and musical collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and director Jennifer Peedom, filmed all over the world-an extraordinary experience.

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Westwood: Pink, Icon, Activist

Westwood: Pink, Icon, Activist

Dame Vivienne Westwood is a rousing rebel figure, the influential punk fashion designer (starting with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren) and activist. Intimate and inspiring, this highly entertaining documentary traces her 40-year career shocking people and making waves.

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Eight Hours Don't Make a Day

Eight Hours Don't Make a Day

Don't miss your chance to see R.W. Fassbinder's 1972 German TV mini-series (all eight hours of it!), an epic of life and love in the working class, featuring Fassbinder regulars Gottfried John and Hanna Schygulla (co-stars in The Marriage of Maria Braun).

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Eight Hours Don't Make a Day

Eight Hours Don't Make a Day

Don't miss your chance to see R.W. Fassbinder's 1972 German TV mini-series (all eight hours of it!), an epic of life and love in the working class, featuring Fassbinder regulars Gottfried John and Hanna Schygulla (co-stars in The Marriage of Maria Braun).

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