The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is a film festival held annually in July in the spa town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The Karlovy Vary Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has become Central and Eastern Europe’s leading film event. Wikipedia reports that the pre-war dream of many enthusiastic filmmakers materialised in 1946 when a non-competition festival of films from seven countries took place in a neighbouring spa town of Marianske Lazne in the Karlovy Vary Region, and Karlovy Vary. Above all it was intended to screen the results of the recently nationalised Czechoslovak film industry. After the first two years the festival moved permanently to Karlovy Vary. The Karlovy Vary IFF first held an international film competition in 1948. Since 1951, an international jury has evaluated the films.
This years event, which marked the 53rd year, ran from 29th June through until 7th July, with the annual awards ceremony taking place on Saturday 7th July. The statistics from this years festival reveal that according to event organisers, the festival was attended by just over thirteen thousand accredited visitors. Of that number almost eleven thousand had Festival Passes, four hundred were filmmakers, nearly twelve hundred were film professionals, and there were 630 journalists. From the industry, close to fourteen hundred were film buyers, sellers, distributors, film festival programmers, representatives of film institutions, and other industry professionals with 550 coming from overseas. Thirty-five films saw their world premiere, while eight had their international premiere and seven their European premiere.
The Grand Prix award which is accompanied by a Crystal Globe statuette and US$25K in prize money went to 'I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians' and is a Co-Production between Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany, France and Bulgaria, and is Directed by Romanian film maker and Screenwriter Radu Jude. The film attempts to comment on this quote spoken in the Council of Ministers during the Summer of 1941 which started the ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front.
The Special Jury Prize went to 'Sueño Florianópolis' a Argentina, Brazil and French Co-Produced comedy Directed by Ana Katz, for which Mercedes Moran also won the award for Best Actress, and is also picked up the Award of International Film Critics. Other awards went to Barry Levinson for his 1988 film 'Rain Man' as voted under the Pravo Audience Award, and also both Barry Levinson and Tim Robbins were awarded a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. Robert Pattinson also collected the Festival Presidents Award.
For more information, you can go to the official website at : www.kviff.com
This week we have three new cinematic offerings coming to your local Odeon, kick staring with a high rise action thriller that seems to be a mash up between earlier action disaster flicks aided and abetted by the worlds most bankable action star of the moment. We then move to a duo of Aussie films - the first is a psychological thriller tale of writers block as experienced by a hugely successful first time novelist now struggling with her follow up novel, and how the arrival of long lost friend over a quiet weekend retreat digs up secrets from the past that were perhaps best being kept hidden. And secondly, a Sci-Fi action offering of alien invasion taking occupation of our humble little blue planet, but did them pesky space invader types count on a rag tag bunch of gun totting Aussies to make life difficult for them?
Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the three latest release new movies as Previewed below, or those doing the rounds currently on general release and as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, you are most welcome to share your movie going thoughts, opinions and observations by leaving your relevant, succinct and appropriate views in the Comments section below this or any other Post. We'd love to hear from you, and in the meantime, enjoy your big screen Odeon outing during the coming week.
'SKYSCRAPER' (Rated M) - this just has American action drama written all over it and none other than all conquering hero Dwayne Johnson as the hunk of beef cake set to save the world, or the skyscraper in question at least, from a bunch of gun toting, no good pesky terrorists types. Directed, Written and Co-Produced by Rawson Marshall Thurber whose previous Directing credits include 'DodgeBall : A True Underdog Story', 'We're the Millers', and 'Central Intelligence' also with Dwayne Johnson, the film goes on general release in the US and Australia this week.
The story here surrounds former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader, U.S. war veteran and amputee Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) who now assesses security for skyscrapers for a living. He's on assignment in Hong Kong with his family living in the said skyscraper, known as 'The Pearl'. When he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly under attack by terrorists and he's the head of security, Sawyer must spring into action, However, the situation is complicated more when he's accused of masterminding the attack and has been framed for it. A wanted man on the run inside a monster building, Sawyer must track down those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family, who are now trapped inside the building, above the line of fire. Sounds like a mash up of the first 'Die Hard' instalment and 'Towering Inferno'. Prepare to suspend all belief. Also starring Neve Campbell and Noah Taylor, the film cost US$125M.
'THE SECOND' (Rated MA15+) - this is the first original feature length film put out by those streaming people at Stan, and is released in cinemas concurrently. This Australian film, shot in Queensland, was shown at the recent Sydney Film Festival and is Directed by first timer Mairie Cameron. Described as a steamy psycho-thriller, the like of which you would ordinarily hardly call your typical Aussie movie, here the film centres on an unnamed Writer and author of a worldwide best selling sexually charged autobiographical first novel (Rachael Blake), but crafting her second novel is far from as straightforward. Now the Writer has everything - fame, fortune and a doting new boyfriend . . . and writers block! Attempting to meet her deadline, the Writer and her publisher boyfriend (Vince Colosimo) take a long weekend retreat to her family's country estate. However, when a beautiful friend from the past arrives on the scene unexpectedly (Susie Porter) a secret history shared between the two presents a challenging predicament with potentially dangerous consequences. Over the weekend, the women straddle from tenderness to hostility and back again, as rivalry, teenage memories and a dark secret from their history all come to bear. Also starring Martin Sacks and Susan Prior.
'OCCUPATION' (Rated M) - this Australian made action Sci-Fi is Written and Directed by Luke Sparke and follows his feature film Directorial debut of 2016, 'Red Billabong', with 'Occupation 2' already in the works and slated for a 2019 release, before even the release of this first instalment in Australia this week and the US next week. Following the annihilation of their small remote Australian community by an overwhelming airborne attack, a rag tag group of civilians evade capture but quickly come to the realisation that they are now among the last remaining survivors of an alien invasion that has taken over the planet. As what is left of humanity falls under global occupation, they form a domestic army to retaliate against a vastly superior enemy foe. On the front lines of the battle for Earth, they may just be our last hope and salvation. Starring Dan Ewing, Temuera Morrison, Jacqueline Mackenzie and Stephanie Jacobsen.
With three new release films out this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephile friends afterwards here at Odeon Online. In the meantime, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-