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Fantastic films and where to find them

Tobias Obermeier
Tobias Obermeier

Five filmmakers offer escape from the everyday, taking us to other worlds

Fantastic films and where to find them

How beautiful cities and the countryside that surrounds them would be without the countless roads and cars! The animated film GREEN depicts this. Here, roads are reverted into a utopia. Where a torrent of cars once rolled along, small rivers, streams, and canals now meander in tranquil silence. Water flows just as leisurely around the center island of a traffic circle as it does over a former overpass. Black, humanoid creatures jump into the water or relax on the adjacent green spaces, which are like a wild natural carpet. Only the street lights suggest the outskirts of a city that has been transformed into a strangely harmonious place.

According to director Karolina Kajetanowicz, this film aims to encourage viewers to unwind. They should relieve their overtaxed senses or just fall asleep, as she says in her director’s statement. This imaginary world becomes a place of regeneration far away from our present hectic routines.

 

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GREEN by Karolina Kajetanowicz.

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FIRST LAST SUMMER by Nastazja Gonera.

 

Things get dystopian in FIRST LAST SUMMER. In a world on the brink of the apocalypse, prisoners are taken to a secret military base on the Polish coast. There, scientists perform strange experiments on them, transforming them into endangered animal species. Janek assists his mother, a veterinarian who decides when the animals can be released into the wild to ensure a fresh start for each species. When Janek finds himself attracted to a captive, he decides to free her during this summer, which could be the last before the end of the world.

In the documentary A DANCE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, a man and a woman escape their lonely present-day existence. The present day is the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020. Bars and clubs are closed, contact forbidden; life stands still. Both sit around at home, bored. They’ve never met, but they write to each other in a chat. As they do so, they embark on a mental journey through space and time. They imagine they’re on the dance floor of a club, find themselves in the bathroom of a noblewoman in 1758, and dine as a finely dressed couple in 1919. As the scenes illustrate their imagined journey, their chat messages are displayed again and again. The images in their imaginations are interrupted by real footage from their isolation, taken with a smartphone.

 

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REFEEL by Omer Harel.

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BLANK PAPER by Bastian Eipert.

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A DANCE FOR THE END OF THE WOLRD by Paula González García, Gloria Gutiérrez Álvarez, and Andrés Santacruz.

 

In REFEEL, the two protagonists do not enter a world they’ve imagined, but instead use memories to return to events in their past. A drug makes it possible to literally immerse oneself in certain memories, with all the emotions that were once associated with them. On the six-year anniversary of their relationship, Dekel gives his partner, Neri, such a drug as a gift. Both return to a night the two of them spent with another man. To Dekel, this memory is the pinnacle of emotion. But in Neri, reliving their shared sexual experience triggers the same unpleasant emotions of fear and distress as he felt back then.

And the fact that children are bubbling over with creativity is evident in the film BLANK PAPER, which is being shown in HFF Special 1. Eleven-year-old Fleur takes part in a painting competition at school. When she realizes that she’s forgotten her favorite paint set, a struggle with a blank sheet of paper ensues. In the process, she finds refuge in her imagination. Brushes begin to move magically, individual strokes become figures, and blobs of paint form colorful butterflies.

 

Paula González García & Gloria Gutiérrez Álvarez (A DANCE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD) - Interview

Omer Harel (REFEEL) - Interview

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