Death, love and perverts are all ones to watch in this week's film news
NEW FILM: STORY OF MY DEATH
Spanish avant-gardist Albert Serra has a large cult following and a rep for audacious statements. His grandiosely eccentric, epic-length Story of My Death, which won the top Golden Leopard prize at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival this year, radically merges the legends of Casanova and Dracula. In a sumptuous 18th-century setting shadowed like an Old Masters painting, the perverse, idle libertine travels to the Carpathians with his valet, where his world becomes prey to the dark horrors of romanticism. “I don't like other filmmakers, I'm not interested,” Serra told us in Switzerland of his unique vision. “I hate all filmmakers that came from the academy. Allen Ginsberg or William Burroughs did not respect any academy; they were another kind of people. For me it's the same.”
Screening at the London Film Festival on October 9 and 11.
MUBI FILM: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
Drenched with the melancholy of nostalgia and denied desires, director Wong Kar-wai’s visually lush film – widely regarded as among the best ever made – is an evocative rendering of 1962 Hong Kong. Newspaper editor Chow (Tony Leung) and shipping company secretary Su (Maggie Cheung) move into adjacent apartments on the same day. Often finding themselves alone, they grow closer when they both realise their respective spouses’ frequent trips out of town may not be as innocent as they would like them to believe, and Chow enlists Su to help him write a martial arts serial. Rainy streets, Su’s high-necked Shanghai dresses and one of cinema’s most iconic scores – this gorgeous elegant, subtly erotic dreamscape will make you swoon.
Available to watch on MUBI.
NEW DOCUMENTARY: THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY
With The Pervert's Guide to Ideology English director Sophie Fiennes again enlists flamboyant Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek as documentary frontman. As in The Pervert's Guide to Cinema the provocative leftist gives his two cents on the deeper psychoanalytic meaning of iconic films, and how they seek to indoctrinate us, inserting himself into recreated scenes from the likes of Taxi Driver and Titanic. "He's quite wild in how he dares to try thought out," Fiennes told us when we caught up in London. "He's attracted a strong following because he grasps what's happening in our times and pushes it into perspective.”
Out in the UK on Friday 4 October.
FESTIVAL: RIO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Latin America’s biggest film festival, the Rio Film Festival, has kicked off in Brazil, and we’ll be reporting back on some of the region’s freshest cinema. As well as a competition strand for new Brazilian fare, a Latin American competition includes films such as Cannes-winning director Amar Escalante’s viscerally shocking Mexican drug-crime drama Heli. There’s also the latest from festivals around the world – from Alain Guiraudie’s eerie, explicit cruising-scene thriller Stranger by the Lake (the director will present a retrospective of his work), to the latest from South Korean master of controversy Kim Ki-duk, Moebius. Director Paul Schrader will be in town to present Lohan hot mess The Canyons, and pick up a lifetime achievement award. On until the 10 October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.