We’re back with a brand-new season of IFFR KINO. From October to January we’re screening an IFFR cult classic in KINO on every first Wednesday of the month. These gems demand to be seen a second time – a great warm-up for our upcoming festival in January.
What is a ‘cult film’, exactly? With this new season of IFFR Kino we delve into IFFR’s past to find a loose answer to the question. Loose, because there are many ways for a film to reach cult status.
IFFR KINO #34: Stroszek by Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog, 1977, Germany, 115’
Werner Herzog and Rotterdam go way back. Over the years, IFFR has screened fourteen films by the intrepid filmmaker. For this KINO edition, we return to 1978, when Herzog presented his film Stroszek in Rotterdam.
Bruno Stroszek and his prostitute sweetheart Eva are offered the opportunity to leave their woesome Berlin life behind and make a fresh start in America. It’s hardly an improvement: the Wisconsin town where they settle is situated in an arid no man’s land, Bruno loses everything he owns and his debts keep piling up.
Most of the actors in Stroszek are not actors at all: as he did for other films, Werner Herzog picked people off the street and put them in front of the camera. He shot the film in the hometown of murderer Ed Gein, who was the inspiration for Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Wednesday, 6 October, KINO Rotterdam.
IFFR KINO #35: Mi chiamo Francesco Totti by Alex Infascelli
Alex Infascelli, 2021, Italy, 106’
Not the film itself, but the audience is what makes a film ‘cult’. While it’s too early to tell whether Mi chiamo Francesco Totti will go down in history as a cult film, the documentary turned out to be the crowd pleaser at IFFR 2021, winning the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award at the June edition of the festival.
Mi chiamo Francesco Totti is a look back at the 25 years Francesco Totti spent at AS Roma. The attacker never played for another club. Director Alex Infascelli pulls out an impressive quantity of archival footage to help Totti tell his story.
With its driving tempo, Mi chiamo Francesco Totti regularly feels like a rollercoaster ride. From legacy goals to hot-tempered arguments and from familial love to eternal loyalty to the club: everything exudes passion.
Wednesday, 3 November, 19:00 hours, KINO Rotterdam.
IFFR KINO #36: The Spooky Bunch by Ann Hui
Ann Hui, 1980, Hong Kong, 97’
Nothing screams ‘cult’ like an army of ghosts. And nothing screams ‘quality’ like Ann Hui, one of Hong Kong’s most renowned filmmakers.
In The Spooky Bunch (previously screened at IFFR in 1995), a down-at-heel Cantonese opera company is attacked by an army of ghosts. Is there a curse on the family that hired the actors, or is there more to it?
Ann Hui the most decorated filmmaker in her own country: she was awarded Best Director no less than five times at the Hong Kong Film Awards. IFFR honoured Hui in 2020 with the programme Ordinary Heroes: Made in Hong Kong, a reference to her perhaps most successful film Ordinary Heroes.
Sunday, 12 December, 15:00 hours, KINO Rotterdam.
IFFR KINO #37: The Last Winter by Larry Fessenden
Larry Fessenden, 2006, USA, 101’
More urgent than ever: The Last Winter, a climate horror flick in which the polar caps are melting. The film premiered in Rotterdam in 2006 – filmmaker Larry Fessenden wasn’t present, as he refuses to fly.
Set on a remote drilling station in Northern Alaska, the film features two all-too-familiar archetypes: James Hoffman (James LeGros) is worried about the environmental impact of the oil drilling, while rowdy oiler Ed Pollack (Ron Perlman) just wants to persevere in what he knows and get the job done.
It doesn’t take long before everything goes to hell: crew members start disappearing, while nature turns against the oil-hungry humans. It's John Carpenter's The Thing meets Ridley Scott's Alien, updated for current times.
Wednesday, 5 January, 19:00 hours, KINO Rotterdam.