Sister (L'enfant d'en haut)
directed by Ursula Meier
Meier further refines her craft with this her second feature film. It gets heavy handed and repetitive with the visual metaphors (impressively shot by Agnes Godard), but the story is always engaging, and the principal characters are wonderfully rendered. An outstanding performance from young Kacey Mottet Klein, as a streetwise kid who finds inventive ways to look after himself and his older deadbeat sister.
Persistence of Vision
directed by Kevin Schreck
USA, UK, Canada
A very low budget documentary that tries to assemble the story behind the making of Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler, an animated film he worked on for nearly three decades but never completed. An interesting story of creative obsession, but the predominately low resolution archival footage make this better viewed on a small screen. Also a shame that Williams refuses to talk about the film, his participation would have made this far more interesting.
Stories We Tell
directed by Sarah Polley
An amazingly well crafted documentary told with great cinematic skill. It's a multi-layered film that not only tells a personal story, but also thoughtfully explores how memories and perspectives differ and how the true story changes depending on how it is told and who is telling it. Watching a stranger's grainy Super-8 home movies has seldom been so emotional or captivating.
directed by Antej Farac
Sort of like a German version of Trailer Park Boys. It's a comedic drama that takes place in a decrepit housing project in Munich, featuring a cast of quirky characters living on the fringes of society, many of whom are real residents of the building playing themselves. It's stylishly shot, and uses a good blend of absurd fantasy and grim reality to tell a strange, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always relevant story.
directed by Volker Goetze
A documentary about Ablaye Cissoko, a remarkably talented Senegalese singer and kora player, directed by German jazz trumpeter Volker Goetze. Provides a fascinating portrait of the artist and of the quickly eroding West African culture he represents. Features some beautiful imagery and several emotional musical performances.
directed by Leos Carax
What an exciting way to end the festival. This is an outrageously stunning cinematic statement that breaks all the rules and conventions and offers no apologies for doing so. Carax's comeback offers a rare thrill ride where you truly never know what to expect. Denis Lavant delivers perhaps the most versatile performance ever filmed, and the glorious cinematography captures a surreal version of Paris that reminds us of all the wonders of cinema. Masterful and magical, it rightfully should have won the Palme d'Or.