After a ten-year break, 2018 sees the return of Rotterdämmerung to IFFR. Say what? We found the following description of this eyebrow-raising programme in our archives: ‘Films in which their makers seek out the boundaries of genres and bend conventions to their will in their own inimitable way.’ Modern classics REC, Let the Right One in and Viva were poster titles at the time. Films you can expect at the upcoming edition include a French existential zombie drama, a remake of an Indonesian cult horror hit and a revenge-action-drama. Like we said: the films in Rotterdämmerung just can’t be forced into any one genre.
The exact definition of a genre is always a hard thing to pin down. Of course, every genre has its own specific conventions, but at the same time filmmakers love to mix and match and certain ‘genre’ characteristics have penetrated deep into 'normal' films. It is exactly in these grey areas that the films presented in the eclectic Rotterdämmerung mix operate – films in which their makers proudly show their passion for cinematic genres, but which also all clearly have something to say. So as well as shock and horror, blood spatters and knowing laughs, these films also give you something to think about.
The Rotterdämmerung line-up opens with the international première of Dominique Rocher’s existential French zombie drama La nuit a dévoré le Monde, in which a man in a Paris apartment building appears to be the sole survivor of a zombie attack. With starring roles for Anders Danielsen Lie (Reprise, Oslo) and Golshifteh Farahani (Paterson).
The programme also brings you the world première of The Cannibal Club by Guto Parente, a magnificent satire in which the mega-rich of Fortaleza indulge in a cannibalistic hobby. Filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, a duo with genre running through their DNA, once again present a visually overwhelming genre mix in Laissez-bronzer les Cadavres. In Neomanila, young Filipino maker Mikhail Red, who likes to wrap socially relevant themes in genre packaging, presents a crime thriller with neo-noir elements against the backdrop of the drugs war in Manila. And while versatile director Joko Anwar will thrill fans of ’80s horror with his successful remake of the Indonesian cult horror flick Satan’s Slaves, in his spectacular The Villainess – about a female assassin – Jung Byunggil takes revenge-action-drama to a higher level.
Confirmed films in Rotterdämmerung
- The Cannibal Club, Guto Parente, 2018, Brazil, world premiere
- Good Manners, Marco Dutra/Juliana Rojas, 2017, Brazil
- Laissez-bronzer les Cadavres, Hélène Cattet/Bruno Forzani, 2017, Belgium/France
- Mutafukaz, Nishimi Shojiro/Guillaume Renard, 2017, France
- Neomanila, Mikhail Red, 2017, Philippines, international premiere
- La Nuit a dévoré le Monde, Dominique Rocher, 2018, France, international première
- A Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, 2017, France/United Kingdom
- Satan’s Slaves, Joko Anwar, 2017, Indonesia
- Top Knot Detective, Dominic Pearce/Aaron McCann, 2017, Australia/Japan
- The Villainess, Jung Byunggil, 2017, South Korea
Photo in header: Still: Laissez bronzer les Cadavres