No less than 557 films, from short to long, means there are tricky choices to be made at IFFR 2018. Which is why we asked a few well-known faces to watch a film for us. Every day in the run-up to the festival, we will publish a new tip by one of these familiar faces to help you find your way. Today: Lucky Fonz III. Musician and songwriter – real name Otto Wichers – always manages to reach broad audiences with his vivid, Dutch-language songs, witty spoken-word performances and special stories. The film he chose is Charlie en Hannah gaan uit (Charlie and Hannah’s Grand Night Out) by Bert Scholiers (Belgium, 2017).
“I’m pretty hard to please when it comes to films. I really don’t like mainstream, Hollywood cinema at all. I’d rather watch a ‘difficult’ film, with long shots and a main character who lies in the foetal position worrying about his life. Charlie en Hannah gaan uit is pretty peculiar and completely autonomous. The first words that spring to mind are ‘charming’ and ‘adorable’. The story is pretty simple: two young women go out in a city and have all kinds of adventures. The dialogues are sharp and comical and remind me a lot of old Woody Allen films like Annie Hall. But even funnier.
Charlie en Hannah gaan uitBert Scholiers IFFR 2018 76′
Okay then, just one more – although tonight Hannah really wanted to get home on time. Luckily, Charlie still has some good stuff. Suddenly blocks of flats start to talk, they wind up in an Italian horror film and a surprised friend is reanimated with a dose of alcohol. Wondrous, playful debut, largely in black-and-white, from a new Belgian talent.
There are some really crazy things in there, like talking tits and a flying pineapple. The film is full of mildly psychedelic scenes and absurd humour. It also seems like an ode to the history of cinema. The dark, grimmer work of Federico Fellini or the iconic horror of Dario Argento are clearly in there. You can pick up references to these kinds of filmmakers in the use of colour especially, and in the atmosphere and the dialogues, which reminded me of the nonsense discussions in Quentin Tarantino’s films. There are even scenes in there that remind me of silent films. Deliberate references like this can be irritating, but these odes are so shameless, they radiate the pleasure of filmmaking.
Charlie en Hannah gaan uit is really original and imaginative, thanks in part also to the sometimes childishly made decors. There are no big-name actors, but I was very impressed by Daphne Wellens, who plays Hannah. And one of the main actors is called Fons, which is cool. I totally recommend this film.”
Photo in header: Photo: Sanja Marusic. Interview: Cathelijne Beijn