Diagnosed with a terminal illness, Sara has herself cloned in order to spare her family the pain of her loss. She trains her clone to express the same feelings and reactions as she does. When she miraculously recovers, her attempts to disable her clone fail, leading to a court-ordered duel to the death. Only one of them may survive!
The insane twists in Riley Stearns’ DUAL illustrate what the science fiction and fantasy films at this edition of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN have to offer: futuristic scenarios not far removed from the world of today which skillfully straddle the line between action, wit, and realism.
Brian and charles
BRIAN AND CHARLES by Jim Archer is no less impressive. This delightfully offbeat buddy comedy is set in rural Britain. After a particularly harsh winter, Brian becomes very depressed. Completely isolated and with no one to talk to, he does what any sane person would do in such a melancholic situation: he builds a robot.
Just as absurdly, Sophie Linnenbaum’s first feature film, THE ORDINARIES, demonstrates her considerable talent. In a world divided into main characters and supporting characters, those with flawed takes are ostracized. Paula has worked her way up from being a mere supporting character and is poised to become a main character, when she wanders into the underworld of the movie business, into the despised outtakes that have no place in the story. Satire is used here to expose established systems and hierarchies, not just in the movie business, and every supporting character represents an unfulfilled promise (of diversity).
QUANTUM COWBOYS by Geoff Marslett is a creative mash-up that infuses a (partially animated) western with elements of science fiction. The story follows two vagabond cowboys as they team up with a tough woman named Linde to venture across various timelines and dimensions in search of a musician named Blacky. This film offers extraordinary visuals and, like any good work of science fiction, inspires us to think about the physical limits of our universe and about our place in it.
Claire Denis’ cult film TROUBLE EVERY DAY is a prime example of the films in our special on body horror. More than 20 years after it was made, this vampire romance was shown in German cinemas for the first time this spring; we’re also screening the newly restored version in 4K. Almost as if they’re on drugs, Vincent Gallo and Béatrice Dalle sleepwalk through a Paris that is strikingly similar to its real counterpart, but that seems to lie in a parallel dimension, as they yearn to give free rein to their animal instincts. Like every good film of the genre, TROUBLE EVERY DAY reflects the here and now while alienating us from it, adding a false bottom to our reality and making us wonder whether we aren’t actually the ones who are living in another dimension.
Trouble every day
On Tuesday, June 28, you can see and hear Sophie Linnenbaum (director of THE ORDINARIES) in a FILMMAKERS LIVE! talk on the topic of “Everyday Life/Utopia” (along with Oliver Grüttner, director of PERFORMER, 6:00–7:00 pm in the Karolinensaal at the Amerikahaus). Also on Tuesday, the FILMMAKERS LIVE! talk “New Voices in Cinema: Science Fiction” with Jim Archer (director of BRIAN AND CHARLES), David Earl (lead actor and co-writer of BRIAN AND CHARLES), and Riley Stearns (director of DUAL) will be held in the Theatersaal at the Amerikahaus from 6:30 to 7:15 pm.