Home' Sydney Film Festival Program : Program 2012 Contents SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2012
CAESAR MUST DIE
CESARE DEVE MORIRE
THU 7 JUN 6.15PM STATE
FRI 8 JUN 2.00PM EV4
Italy | 2012 | 76 mins | In Italian with English
Directors, Screenwriters: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio
Taviani | Producer: Grazia Volpi | Cast: Cosimo
Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri |
Distributor: Palace Films
Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Caesar Must Die
deftly melds narrative and documentary in a transcendently powerful drama-within-a -
drama. The film was made in Rome’s Rebibbia Prison, where the inmates are preparing to
stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. After a competitive casting process, the roles are eventually
allocated, and the prisoners begin exploring the text, finding in its tale of fraternity, power
and betrayal parallels to their own lives and stories. Hardened criminals, many with links to
organised crime, these actors find great motivation in performing the play. As we witness the
rehearsals, beautifully photographed in various nooks and crannies within the prison, we see
the inmates also work through their own conflicts, both internal and between each other.
The Tavianis break the boundary between reality and fiction in startling ways – amongst the
inmates, they insert an actor who was once a prisoner himself; some of the conversations are
ad-libbed, others carefully scripted – and the result is thoughtful, engaging and a triumphant
celebration of art’s ability to impact lives. As one of the prisoners says in a heartbreaking
moment: “Since I have known art, this cell has turned into a prison.”
PAOLO TAVIANI AND VITTORIO TAVIANI were born in Italy.
The brothers have worked together directing since 1960; Padre
Padrone (1977, SFF 1978) won the Palme d’Or and La Notte di
San Lorenzo (1982) was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes.
THU 14 JUN 6.30PM STATE
FRI 15 JUN 12.00PM EV4
Australia | 2012 | 84 mins | In English
Director: Tony Krawitz | Screenwriter: Louise
Fox | Producers: Iain Canning, Liz Watts, Emile
Sherman | Cast: Ewen Leslie, Marton Csokas, Kodi
Smit-McPhee | Distributor: Transmission Films
Australian director Tony Krawitz (Jewboy, The Tall Man) adapts The Slap author Christos
Tsiolkas’ award-winning novel in this searing film about history, guilt and secrets. Ewen Leslie
delivers a great performance as photographer Isaac, whose father’s death in suburban Sydney
reveals the schism in his family and prompts a return to the ancestral homeland.
On a trip to his parent’s village in Greece, he learns something of his father’s cursed history.
At first he dismisses the revelation as superstitious nonsense, but over the course of his travels
from Greece to Paris to Budapest – Isaac is forced to confront the anti-Semitism of the
past, the embedded bigotry in the bones of Europe and the nature of inherited guilt. It is
on this fateful trip that Isaac will learn the truth of his family’s migration to Australia, their
refusal to ever return to Greece, and the burden he continues to bear as a consequence of acts
committed years before his birth. Krawitz sensitively depicts this clash of mythology and a
very contemporary reality in this daring and enigmatic film populated by spirits and outcasts.
Tony Krawitz and other guest filmmakers in attendance
TONY KRAWITZ was born in Johannesburg and earned a Masters in directing
from AFTRS. His short film Unit #52 (SFF 2003) screened at Cannes, as
did Jewboy (SFF 2005), while his documentary The Tall Man (2011) had its
international premiere at Toronto.
GANGS OF WASSEYPUR
PARTS 1 AND 2
SUN 17 JUN 12.15PM STATE (PART 1)
SUN 17 JUN 3.35PM STATE (PART 2)
India|2012|160mins x 2|InHindiwith
Director: Anurag Kashyap | Screenwriters: Anurag
Kashyap, Syed Zeeshan Qadri, Akhilesh Jaiswal,
Sachin Ladia | Producers: Anurag Kashyap, Sunil
Bohra, Guneet Monga | Cast: Manoj Bajpayee,
Richa Chaddha, Tigmanshu Dhulia | World Sales:
Anurag Kashyap’s epic, selected for Directors’ Fortnight Cannes 2012, charts the decades-
long conflict between two families involved in coal mining and organised crime in Wasseypur,
in the Indian state of Jharkhand. Having more in common with the films of Martin Scorsese
and Francis Ford Coppola than the Indian cinema we are accustomed to, Gangs of Wasseypur
is an exhilarating tale of vengeance. In its first hour the film sets up the historical context of
a feud that will span generations. What follows is a thrilling, beautifully shot and extremely
violent journey tracing the feud between mining magnate and politician Ramadhir Singh
and the Khan family, from colonial to contemporary times. Ramadhir takes on three
Khan generations beginning with the industrious Shahid Khan, then his philandering son,
Sardar Khan, and then Sardar’s dope-addled son Faizal Khan. (We note the passage of time
through the Bollywood films the family loves to watch.) The Khans are traditional gangsters:
aggressive, brutal when necessary and flashy. Ramadhir Singh is more subtle and strategic.
Referring to his rivals, he says, “Every fucker’s got his own movie playing inside his head.
Every fucker is trying to become the hero of his imaginary film. As long as there are fucking
movies in this country people will continue to be fooled.”
Screens with an interval of 30 minutes
ANURAG KASHYAP was born in Gorakhpur, India, and studied zoology at the
University of Delhi before turning to film. Black Friday (2004) was nominated
for the Golden Leopard at Locarno, and he wrote Deepa Mehta’s Oscar-
nominated Water (2005).
THE KING OF PIGS
TUE 12 JUN 6.15PM STATE
WED 13 JUN 4.30PM EV4
South Korea | 2011 | 97 mins | In Korean with
Director, Screenwriter: Yuen Sang-ho | Producer:
Cho Young-kag | Cast: Yang Ik-june, Oh Jeong-se,
Kim Hye-na | World Sales: INDIESTORY Inc.
A daring, disturbing and violent animated film about bullying, social status and class
difference, The King of Pigs marks a brave new direction for Korean animation. Kyung-min,
a virtually bankrupt businessman, and journalist Jong-suk were once classmates in middle
school. They reunite 15 years later and talk about about their school days, in which the rich
and powerful students were called ‘dogs’ and the poor ones ‘pigs’. This clear social distinction
created an atmosphere that allowed for the the privileged to abuse the less fortunate. The
hierarchies and systematic humiliations are questioned by no one, and condoned by the
school’s teachers – at least until the arrival of Chul, who takes on the dogs with clarity of
purpose and brutality not seen before in the school. He becomes Kyung-min and Jong-suk’s
hero, fighting their battles and toughening them up. But the relationship between the hero
and his followers is a complex one, and the film gradually reveals the lingering effects of a
childhood marred by inhumanity. The darkness of the story is matched by stark and brutal
imagery, making The King of Pigs a truly visionary and uncompromising work of art.
Filmmaker Guest: Yuen Sang-ho
YUEN SANG-HO was born in Seoul in 1978 and graduated from Sangmyung
University. His short films, including D-Day (2000), The Hell (2003), The Hell
(Two Kinds of Life) (2006) and Love is Protein (2008) have screened at film
festivals internationally. The King of Pigs is his feature directorial debut.
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