You may also wish to look at the catalogue introduction for a more detailed description of the various sections.
Sri Lanka – 2014 – 98 min.
Abasiri and his nephew Mani are summoned to Colombo to identify the body of a woman who turns out to be to Abasiri’s estranged wife. Desparate for answers, Abasiri embarks on a bizarre journey back to his native village. With the coffin attached to the hood of an old ice cream truck, Abasiri and Mani drive through mesmerizing landscapes to confront the villagers with their own hypocrisy.
A Letter to the President
(Namai Ba Rahis Gomhor)
Afghanistan – 2017 – 83 min.
As the hour nears Soraya’s execution, the president is reading her letter pleading for a pardon. Unaware of their mother’s fate, her children play in the garden, while Behzad, her colleague, is torn with guilt, as he is the one responsible for all her troubles. Will the letter convince the president to grant her pardon even if it goes against the court’s ruling?
Taiwan – 2015 – 137 min.
Contemporary Taiwanese cinema’s pre-eminent auteur-actor partnership is examined at leisure, with the director’s signature long-take gaze turned in on himself and on his beloved leading man Lee Kang-sheng. The two open up about creative methods, sexuality, cooking, and travel; a film in four static shots set amid the improvised pastoral beauty of a ramshackle rural house.
All quiet on the western front
USA – 1930 – 133 min.
A group of German schoolboys are talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War I by a nationalistic teacher. As the young men witness death and mutilation happening all around them, any preconceptions about “enemy” and “friend” are lost in the chaos of combat. This story is not about heroism but about the drudgery of war, as fantasies of military glory give way to tragic reality.
USSR – 1966 – 205 min.
In medieval Russia, a peace-seeking monk drifts from place to place in tumultuous times, eventually gaining a reputation for his icon painting. After Rublev witnesses a brutal battle and unintentionally becomes involved, he takes a vow of silence and spends time away from his art. To ease his troubled soul, he must become a painter once again.
Arsenic & Old Lace
USA – 1944 – 90 min.
Mortimer Brewster is a newly married newspaperman. When he takes a quick trip home to announce the good news to his two maiden aunts, he discovers their very odd hobby: luring and killing lonely old men, and then burying them in the cellar. It gets worse.
USSR – 1925 – 75 min.
1905. News of mutiny aboard the Potemkin reaches Odessa as the battleship sails into port. The mini-revolution on board spills onto the streets as citizens, tired of abuse from the imperial regime, want to show their support for their brethren on board. The Tzar’s army marches on the crew recklessly trampling any civilians that are caught along the way.
USA – 1959 – 236 min.
Judah Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince in Roman Jerusalem. His adopted brother Messala, a Roman, returns to Judea as a military commander. They are happy to reunite but soon their differences taint the relationship. Judah is falsely accused of treason and sentenced to become a galley slave. After years at sea he returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.
The Big Day
(Jour de Fête)
France – 1949 – 79 min.
After seeing a newsreel praising the U.S. Postal Service, provincial postman François regrets the disorganized and backwards ways of his profession in France. The newsreel shows mail delivered by airplane or helicopter, while François has but nothing but a rusty old bicycle. Obsessed with improving speed and efficiency, François is starting to do things “the American way.”
USA – 1921 – 23 min.
A sailing trip proves to be one disaster after another when Buster and his family decide to go on a voyage on his homemade boat.
Carnival in Flanders
(La kermesse héroïque)
France – 1935 – 109 min.
During the Spanish occupation of Flanders, a Duke and his troops march on the village of Boon. The four village guards promptly desert their posts while the Mayor plays dead. Only the Mayor’s wife has the presence of mind to organize the townswomen to greet the invaders and to preserve the peace using their feminine wiles.
USA – 1941 – 119 min.
Multimillionaire newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies alone in his extravagant mansion, Xanadu, speaking a single word: ‘Rosebud’. In an attempt to figure out the meaning of this word, a reporter tracks down the people who worked and lived with Kane; they tell their stories in a series of flashbacks that reveal much about Kane’s life but not enough to unlock the riddle of his dying breath.
Ko Jeu, Aung Min, The Maw Naing
Myanmar – 2013 – 20 min.
An ethnographic documentary about a village doctor who, while in university, preferred to hang out with the poets rather than attend anatomy class.
USA – 1920 – 19 min.
A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.
Cool Hand Luke
USA – 1967 – 127 min.
Luke Jackson, a guy with more guts than brains, refuses to buckle under to authority and keeps trying to escape from prison camp. Idolized by his fellow convicts, Luke’s bravado in the face of adversity makes him both a hero and a villain in the rural prison. But how long will it take before the prison staff succeed in crushing his spirit?
Daïnah la métisse
France – 1932 – 51 min.
Mr. Smith, a black magician, and his beautiful wife Dainah, of mixed race, embark on a luxury ocean liner bound for the colonies. At a dance party one evening, Dainah provokes the passionate but unwanted advances of Michaux, the mechanic on board. When steps outside on the bridge for some air, Michaux assaults her but she pushes him away and bites his arm. The next day, as the Captain shows her around the liner she recognizes her assailant by his bandaged arm.
Different from the Others
(Anders als die Andern)
Germany – 1919 – 51 min.
Paul Korner is a homosexual musician who falls in love with his protégé Kurt. The two are seen walking hand in hand by the blackmailer Franz. Paul agrees to do as Franz demands at first, but the extortion gets out of hand. When he refuses to pay any more hush money, the danger of discovery has dire consequences for the lovers.
‘A1’ Maung Tin Maung
Myanmar – 1934 – min.
Deep in the jungle, where tigers, snakes and elephants are at home, U Pho Thwa owns a sawmill. With his delightful granddaughter Myint Myint he lives a little further off in a comfortable villa. One day, when Myint Myint takes her horse for a ride she is thrown from the saddle and saved by a good-looking young man from Rangoon.
The Firemen’s Ball
(Hoří, má panenko)
Czechoslovakia – 1967 – 71 min.
The volunteer fire department in a small town is throwing a ball in honor of a retired fire-chief’s 86th birthday party. The whole town is invited but things don’t go as planned. Someone is stealing the lottery prizes and the contestants for the Miss Fire-Department beauty contest are neither willing to participate nor particularly beautiful.
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Taiwan – 2003 – 84 min.
A Japanese tourist takes refuge from a rainstorm inside a once-popular movie theatre, a decrepit old barn of a cinema that is screening a martial arts classic, King Hu’s 1966 “Dragon Inn.” Even with the rain bucketing down outside, it doesn’t pull in much of an audience; those who have turned up are less interested in the movie than in the chance of meeting a stranger in the dark.
USA – 1967 – 106 min.
Ben has recently graduated from college and his parents expect great things from him. At his “welcome home” party, Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s business partner asks Ben to drive her home and the two begin a fleeting affair. This becomes a problem when Ben finds himself falling for Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter.
The Great Dictator
USA – 1940 – 120 min.
A clumsy Jewish soldier saves the life of pilot Schultz but loses his memory. Released from the hospital years later, the former amnesia patient walks into his old barber shop in the ghetto and reopens it as if nothing had ever happened. But times have changed in the country of Tomania: Dictator Hynkel, who looks uncannily like the barber, has laid his merciless grip on the country.
Taiwan – 1999 – 95 min.
In this musical drama, the authorities issue an evacuation order after a strange disease begins spreading throughout Taiwan, but some choose to stay behind. During a plumbing repair job, a small hole drilled in the floor remains unrepaired and eventually comes through the ceiling of the apartment below, leading to a deal of tension between the occupants.
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone
Taiwan – 2006 – 118 min.
When an immigrant day laborer is badly beaten by thugs, and a young man nurses him back to health with the occasional help from a waitress living upstairs. Violence is a constant threat: they find another man abandoned in the street, paralyzed. Speaking little, ambient sounds dominate the lonely night. We peer down hallways, through doors and alleyways. Who sleeps with whom?
Taiwan – 2014 – 95 min.
A farmer and his son can barely survive on their meagre harvest. Pawning the cow for a moped, the son hopes to earn a living as a taxi driver. His first customer is Sanmei, who has returned to Myanmar to bury her grandfather. She decides not to go back to an arranged marriage in China and begins a new life as a drug runner, persuading the young man to be her driver.
In Time to Come
Tan Pin Pin
Singapore – 2017 – 62 min.
The filmmaker documents the simultaneous depositing of a time capsule filled with present-day objects and the opening of an old one which reveals strange objects from the past. By making the present uncanny, this film draws a surreal portrait a country in which destruction and conservation develop at an equal pace.
Tan Pin Pin
Singapore – 2007 – 60 min.
Invisible City is a documentary about the atrophy of memory, which attempts to sketch out a Singapore that exists only through the memories and artefacts of photographers, journalists, and archaeologists: the “City that could have been.”
It Happened One Night
USA – 1934 – 105 min.
Ellie Andrews has just tied the knot with socialite aviator King Westley when she is whisked away to her father’s yacht and out of King’s clutches. Ellie gets away from daddy and runs back towards her husband. Along the way, she must reluctantly accept the help of unemployed reporter Peter Warne, who senses a juicy newspaper story. After some time together they begin to fall in love.
It’s a Wonderful Life
USA – 1946 – 130 min.
George Bailey is overwhelmed by family and work obligations and a sense that this is not the life he wanted to live. Dreams and opportunities pass him by. When a serious financial discrepancy puts George on the brink of despair, he contemplates ending it all. An angel is sent from Heaven to show him how much more complicated life would have been for his dear ones had he never existed.
Journey to the West
Taiwan – 2014 – 56 min.
The walking monk acquires an unexpected acolyte in the form of French actor Denis Lavant as he makes his way through the streets of a sun-dappled Marseille.
The King and the Mockingbird
(Le Roi et l’oiseau)
France – 1980 – 87 min.
A heartless ruler kills the wife a bird during a hunt. This bird tells us the story of the king’s hopeless love for a simple shepherdess who is in love with a chimney sweep. Try as he might, the king cannot win her affection and so he marries her by force and condemns the bird and the chimney sweep to mindless industrial work. The oppressed subjects rally together and freedom triumphs.
Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt?
(Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns the World?)
GDR – 1932 – 69 min.
In the wake of the Great Depression, a working-class family struggles to make ends meet. After Anni’s brother commits suicide out of desperation, her family is evicted and forced to move to Kuhle Wampe, a homeless camp in the outskirts of Berlin. When Anni gets pregnant, her boyfriend Fritz promises to marry her, but he calls off the wedding after the party.
France – 1930 – 60 min.
A surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, whose attempts to consummate that passion are continuously thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
Leaf on a Pillow
(Daun di Atas Bantal)
Indonesia – 1998 – 83 min.
The film follows three orphans, Sugeng, Heru, and Kancil (played by themselves), in their day-to-day lives in Yogyakarta. They dream to rise above their poverty someday, by leading simple, moral lives under the occasional care of Asih, a kind saleswoman. But things do not go smoothly for the street children as they fall prey to their cruel environment.
The Little Soldier
(Le petit soldat)
France – 1960 – 88 min.
During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist group meet and fall in love. Complications ensue when the man is suspected by the members of his terrorist group of being a double agent.
Lumière & Company
France – 1995 – 88 min.
40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no synchronized sound was permitted, and (3) no more than three takes. The results run the gamut from Zhang Yimou’s convention-thwarting joke to David Lynch’s bizarre miniature epic.
UK – 1952 – 93 min.
Mandy’s parents are worried about the future: their little girl is deaf and mute and the world can be an unaccommodating place. When mother and daughter meet the enthusiastic Searle, he encourages Mandy to enrol into his specialized school where she is exposed to the latest methods for coping her disability. Optimistic, the family is ready to step into the unknown.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts
Indonesia – 2017 – 90 min.
In the remote hills of an Indonesian island, Marlina, a young widow, is attacked and robbed for her cattle. To defend herself, she kills several of the thieves. Seeking justice, she goes on a journey of empowerment and redemption. But the road is long and especially perilous when the ghosts of her victims begin to haunt her.
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail
Japan – 1945 – 60 min.
In medieval Japan, lord Yoshitsune successfully defeats the Shogun’s enemies. The Shogun, fearful of the warlord’s growing influence, calls for his arrest. Now fugitive, Yoshitsune and his samurai move through the countryside disguised as monks to stay one step ahead of the massive manhunt mounted to apprehend them.
France – 1958 – 117 min.
The hopeless Monsieur Hulot once again finds himself affecting people’s lives without realizing what he is doing. Hulot’s young nephew lives in an ultra-modern house where his pretentious mother barely lets him breathe. Uncle and the boy get along famously, but the parents are concerned that Hulot might be a bad influence, and try to distract him with unintentionally hilarious results.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday
(Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot)
France – 1953 – 114 min.
The summer holidays are here and the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, along with everyone else, heads to a seaside resort. Just about everything he touches goes bad, but he is oblivious to the havoc he creates wherever he goes. Whether it is eating in the dining room, painting a boat, or playing tennis, his life is an adventure for everyone around him.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
USA – 1936 – 115 min.
Longfellow Deeds is a small town tuba player. When he suddenly inherits a great fortune, Longfellow moves to the big city with his tuba, where he becomes a reluctant focus of attention. Babe Bennett, a hot-shot reporter, figures the best way to get close to him is to pose as a damsel in distress. When small-town boy meets big-city girl anything can, and does, happen.
Mr. Smith goes to Washington
USA – 1939 – 129 min.
Jeffrey Smith believes that children are the future and deserve immediate government funding. When he is appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate by manipulative party bosses, his idealistic plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn’t back down.
USA – 2001 – 147 min.
After hiring a hitman to kill her lover Camilla, Diane dreams of a different Hollywood experience. One where she is a wonderfully talented actress, Betty, becoming almost instantly successful. Another actress, Rita, loses her memory after an accident and misses the role of a lifetime. When Betty and Rita’s stories begins to intermingle with the reality of Diane and Camilla’s nightmarish relationship, the walls of the dream begin to collapse.
Myanmar – 1950 – 80 min.
Two friends come to Yangon to look for work. They meet a young and beautiful woman who lives with her aunt since her parents passed away. Though she is rich, she is humble and works as mere staff at her own company. Nonetheless she draws the attentions of an air force captain, a police officer, and a writer.
My Grandfather’s House
Shunn Lei Swe Yee
Myanmar – 2013 – 14 min.
Thakhin Htein Win’s granddaughter reminisces about the old Wooden house where she grew up – a house which was once a meeting place for some of the architects of Myanmar’s independence movement, in which her grandfather played a pivotal role.
Soe Moe Aung
Myanmar – 2013 – 4 min.
Best Short Film Award, Wathann Film Festival 2013
This is a story about a family in harmony with their predicament. It is difficult to prove whether any one among them is guilty or innocent. But the situation cannot be all too good.
No No Sleep
Taiwan – 2015 – 34 min.
The Walker’s tortuous journey continues in Tokyo. Breaking away from the monk, we follow a sexually charged encounter that is a new element in the meditative series.
One Two Three
USA – 1961 – 111 min.
MacNamara is a managing director for Coca-Cola in West Berlin in 1961, just before the building of the Wall. When tasked with entertaining Scarlett, the boss’ daughter, MacNamara finds out that the spoiled socialite is dating an East German communist named Otto, and goes to extreme lengths to conceal this from his boss in order to save his job.
USA – 1920 – 25 min.
A newly wedded couple attempts to build a house from a prefabricated kit, unaware that a someone has sabotaged the kit’s component numbering.
Saw Tiong Guan
Malaysia – 2013 – 76 min.
A contemplative trip down memory lane along with Tsai Ming-liang, one of the leading voices of the Second New Wave of Taiwanese Cinema. Saw Tiong Guan establishes a very personal bond with his subject, which alongside interviews with many of the filmmaker’s colleagues complete this portrait of a quiet yet outspoken artist.
UK – 1960 – 101 min.
As a boy, Mark Lewis was subjected to bizarre experiments by his scientist-father, who wanted to study and record the effects of fear on the nervous system. Now Mark murders women whilst filming their expressions of terror. He falls in love with Helen and they start dating, but is there any redemption for this murdering psychopath under police investigation?
France – 2007 – 96 min.
As Marji grows up the idealistic Iranian revolution becomes a repressive fundamentalist tyranny. Because she refuses to keep quiet about the situation, her parents send her to Austria for her own safety and for a better life. The ‘free’ West, however, presents equally problematic cultural frictions. Nothing is as it seems, and the young woman must decide where she truly belongs.
The Play House
USA – 1921 – 23 min.
After waking up from his wacky dream, a theater stage hand inadvertently causes havoc everywhere he goes.
France – 1967 – 115 min.
In yet another outing by the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, we find him lost in the midst of technologically advanced Paris as he tries to locate an American official. During his search, he frequently crosses paths with a group of American tourists and chaos ensues wherever Hulot is to be found.
Quai des Orfèvres
France – 1947 – 106 min.
Jenny Lamour is a promising singer who wants to make it big in postwar Paris. When she agrees to meet Brignon, a lecherous old businessman, at his house so as to ensure future performance engagements, her loving but jealous husband Maurice decides to follow her. He finds Brignon’s house open and the man dead on the floor. Inspector Antoine is assigned to investigate the case.
The Rabbit Is Me
(Das Kaninchen bin ich)
GDR – 1965 – 110 min.
Nineteen-year-old Maria dreams of studying, but her hopes are shattered when her brother, Dieter, is sent to prison for sedition against the state. She cannot enter college, and becomes a waitress. Maria meets and falls in love with Paul Deister, an older, married man who turns out to be the very judge who convicted her brother. Their affair ends when Deister’s hypocrisy is exposed.
Ring of Fury
Tony Yeow & James Sebastian
Singapore – 1973 – 78 min.
When a humble noodle vendor refuses to pay protection money to a gang of thugs, tragedy befalls his family and loved ones. To exact revenge, he learns martial arts and sets off to deal with the gang led by a mysterious man in an iron mask.
Pakistan – 2003 – 99 min.
1979. Ayesha, a widow haunted by the horrors of Partition, lives in a Punjabi village in Pakistan, with her 18-year-old son, Saleem. The boy is madly in love with Zubeida, an independent young woman, but when two strangers from Lahore arrive preaching extremist Islamic values, Saleem breaks up with Zubeida and begins to carry a gun, forcing Ayesha to relive her painful past.
Indonesia – 2014 – 95 min.
A young mother, Siti has to take care of her son, invalid husband, and mother-in-law. By day, she sells snacks; by night, she is a karaoke bar hostess. Ashamed by his wife’s nighttime job, the husband no longer wishes to speak to her, while Siti herself is ridden by internal conflicts between her duties and desires.
Statues also Die
(Les statues meurent aussi)
France – 1953 – 30 min.
An essay film about traditional African art and the effects colonialism has had on how it is perceived. The film won the 1954 Prix Jean Vigo but because of its social and political critique, the second half of the film was banned in France until the 1960s.
Taiwan – 2013 – 138 min.
An alcoholic man and his two young children barely survive in Taipei. They cross paths with a lonely grocery clerk who might help them make a better life.
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
USA – 1927 – 95 min.
A vacationing woman from the city begins an affair with a local farmer, a happily married man with a young child. Completely taken with the sophisticated lady and the kind of excitement city life can promise, he is willing, at her suggestion, to drown his wife in order to free himself. With the murder planned, he sets the wheels in motion. But will he go through with it?
To Singapore, with Love
Tan Pin Pin
Singapore – 2013 – 70 min.
Banned in its home country, this documentary traces the stories of several Singaporeans, who in the 1960s ‘70s were exiled from their country for communist activism. Fifty years later, they gather from around the globe to a hotel in Malaysia where they attend reunions, memorials, and catch a longing glimpse of their homeland from across the bay.
France/ Spain – 1970 – 99 min.
When Tristana’s mother dies, she is entrusted to the guardianship of the older gentleman Don Lope. He is well-liked and honourable, despite being a socialist, but his one weakness is women, and he seduced the innocent girl, all the while explaining to her that she is as free as he. But when she acts on this freedom, Don Lope must deal with the consequences of his ideology.
“With slowness,” says Tsai Ming-liang, “we return to the essence of cinema.” The figure of the Walker is based on 7th century Buddhist scholar and monk Xuanzang. The ‘slowness’ of Xuanzang is what is lacking in the modern world, and the director uses it to rebel against the ever-increasing pace of irrational commercial growth and mediated social interaction. The demand for speed, for him, places a constraint on the filmmaker. The element that binds this series is a Buddhist monk in a saffron robe (played by actor Lee Kang-Sheng) who walks slowly, almost imperceptibly—according to the Zen kinhin walking meditation practice—through public spaces, as life and the fleeting shadows of passers-by swarm around him.
The War Game
UK – 1965 – 121 min.
In this fictional docudrama, a hypothetical Chinese invasion of South Vietnam triggers a new world war. In the town of Rochester, Kent, the anticipation of a nuclear attack leads to mass evacuations. When a stray missile actually explodes, the ensuing firestorm blinds all those who see it, and it does not take long before the fabric of society is ripped apart.
Nan Triveni Achnas
Indonesia – 2001 – 106 min.
Constantly daydreaming that her absent father will return, young Daya agonizes under the stern hand of her mother. Forced to move inland from their seaside home to a desert of constantly shifting sands, the pair settle down to their familiar antagonism. One day, Daya sees a vaguely familiar face shuffle in from across the wasteland.
Hungary – 1969 – 105 min.
During the height of the Rákosi Era, reminiscent of the ruthless Stalin regime, József Pelikán is arrested for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. However, instead of punishment Pelikán is reassigned to a position generally reserved for the communist elite. Pelikán is utterly clueless as to his good luck, but will his social and professional advancement come at a terrible moral price?
You Can’t Take It with You
USA – 1938 – 126 min.
Anthony Kirby is a wealthy banker who is buying up all the properties in a neighbourhood. Everyone has sold except Martin Vanderhof, who is happy living amongst a small commune of friends and relations. Kirby’s son, Tony, is in love with secretary Alice Sycamore, Mr. Vanderhof’s granddaughter. It’s more than a clash of families but a clash of outlooks, ideals and what’s important in life.
France – 1969 – 127 min.
In a Greek city in the 1960’s, a left-leaning politician is fatally injured in the street during a rally. The police claim that he was struck by a drunk driver but a prosecutor gathers evidence that this was a premeditated assassination, orchestrated by senior officials and right-wing extremists. Which truth will the State recognize?