New Directors/New Films 2006

New Directors/New Films 2006

 

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Last year’s edition of New Directors/New Films may be impossible to top (by the time the series wrapped, more than half of the films in the 25-feature lineup had secured a distribution deal), but this year’s edition shouldn’t be shrugged off because there are no sure-things like Murderball and Junebug on the bill. If anything, this ’06 edition casts its net just as wide, catching bitter truths and ironies from regions as far as Australia, Chile, India, and the Philippines.

Battle in Heaven was last year’s Cannes uproar, but it was Sangre, the first film directed by Carlos Reygadas’s assistant director, Amat Escalante, that managed to win the festival’s FIPRESCI Prize. Now it arrives here, distributorless and bound to stay that way given that it plays out like a desiccated version of the Reygadas polemic. The same could be said about Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana’s Cavite, a nervy but miscalculated thriller that gives Phone Booth a jihad facelift. The Park City carryovers, from Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson to Cam Archer’s Wild Tigers I Have Known, are easy to identify; with or without the Sundance Institute logo stamped onto their end credits, you will know them by there meek dispositions.

Early highlights include the Belgium comedy Iceberg, Auraeus Solito’s DV neorealist homo noir The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros from the Philippines, and Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iron Island from Iran, with Matías Bize’s In Bed promising a steamy pick-me-up in the series’s second week.

For a complete schedule of films, screening times and ticket information, please see the festival’s official site. Ed Gonzalez

13 (Tzameti) (Gela Babluani)
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito)
Cavite (Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana)
Eleven Men Out (Robert I. Douglas)
First on the Moon (Alexey Fedorchenko)
Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck)
Iceberg (Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy)
In Bed (Matías Bize)
Into Great Silence (Philip Gröning)
Iron Island (Mohammad Rasoulof)
John & Jane Toll-Free (Ashim Ahluwalia)
Look Both Ways (Sarah Watt)
Man Push Cart (Ramin Bahrani)
My Country, My Country (Laura Poitras)
October 17, 1961 (Alain Tasma)
Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt)
Pavee Lackeen (Perry Ogden)
Quinceañera (Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland)
Sangre (Amat Escalante)
A Soap (Pernille Fischer Christensen)
Texas (Fausto Paravidino)
Things That Hang from Trees (Ido Mizrahy)
Toi Et Moi (Julie Lopes-Curval)
Twelve and Holding (Michael Cuesta)
Wild Tigers I Have Known (Cam Archer)