Hamptons International Film Festival Unveils 20th Anniversary Lineup
The Hamptons International Film Festival released its 2012 slate with a lineup of festival circuit notables as well as World, U.S. and East Coast premieres. HIFF released its Opening Films, including Love, Marilyn, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo and Not Fade Away recently. Today's list includes the festival's Spotlight Films section including Tim Burton's latest, Frankenweenie and Cannes Palme d'Or winner Amour. And The Girl with Toby Jones, Sienna Miller and Imelda Staunton will have its worldwide debut at the upcoming event.
Also in the roster are five films each competing in the Hamptons' Narrative and Documentary feature competitions. The 20th anniversary edition of the Hamptons International Film Festival takes place October 4 - 8 in East Hampton, NY and other towns in Long Island's East End. The lineup follows with descriptions provided by HIFF:
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Martin Landau, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, Charlie Tahan, Frank Welker
From Tim Burton, the visionary filmmaker behind Beeteljuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Alice in Wonderland, comes Frankenweenie, a feature-length adaptation of his debut 1984 short film. Budding young scientist Victor Frankenstein loses his beloved dog Sparky in an accident. Soon after, Victor’s science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) conducts a class experiment showing the effects of electricity on a dead frog. In a flash of inspiration, Victor vows to bring Sparky back to life––with unexpected, monstrous consequences. Heartwarming and hilarious, this 3D stop-motion animated feature is a ghoulish good time for the whole family.
Director: Michael Haneke
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Legendary French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva deliver career-capping performances as Georges and Anne, octogenarian retired music teachers living in a lovely Paris apartment. When Anne suffers a stroke, her condition rapidly deteriorates as George tries his best to cope and care for his ailing wife, all while his promise to never place her in a nursing home strains his relationship with his daughter (Isabelle Huppert). Director Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon) won an unprecedented second Palme d’Or in four years for this uncompromising and masterful drama about the true meaning of growing old together.
The Details, East Coast Premiere
Director: Jacob Aaron Estes
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Kerry Washington, Dennis Haysbert
Playing against type, Toby Maguire delights as the morally ambiguous Dr. Jeff Lang in this dark comedy with no shortage of laughs and gasps. When he attempts to rid his suburban Seattle backyard of raccoons, quickly earning the ire of his eccentric neighbor (Laura Linney), Jeff sets off a chain of events that leads to domestic rifts, adultery, blackmail, and murder. As his marriage to Nealy (Elizabeth Banks) and his life teeter dangerously on the brink of destruction, he seeks redemption by helping a friend in need, but it may be too late to stop the dominos in Jacob Aaron Estes’ offbeat dramedy.
The Girl, World Premiere
Director: Julian Jarrold
Cast: Toby Jones, Sienna Miller, Imelda Staunton
Alfred Hitchcock is not only perhaps the most famous film director of all time, creator of such classics as Vertigo and Psycho, but among the most controversial, plagued for years with accusations about his personal treatment of his frequently blonde leading ladies. The Girl stars Toby Jones as Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as actress Tippi Hedren, delineating their on- and off-set relationship while filming the seminal horror film, The Birds. Director Julian Jarrold stages the filming of many of The Bird’s most famous sequences with wit and flair, and the central performances of Jones and Miller dig into the lives and personas of two icons of cinema in this penetrating docudrama.
A Late Quartet, US Premiere
Director: Yaron Zilberman
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener
As the world renowned Fugue Quartet celebrates its 25th anniversary season, their patriarch Peter (Christopher Walken) discovers he may be forced into retirement by illness. Long held resentments surface, leaving the musicians to contemplate not only their future, but whether the quartet has trumped all other personal relationships. Tempestuous fights, long held rivalries, and adultery are offset by timeless, beautiful classical music in first time fiction director Yaron Zilberman’s engrossing drama, with pitch-perfect performances from Phillip Seymour-Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ivanir, and a lovely turn from Imogen Poots.
Lay the Favorite, East Coast Premiere
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Joshua Jackson, Vince Vaughn
Beth Waymer, played with humor and radiance by Rebecca Hall, is a dancer who heads to Las Vegas with dreams of becoming a cocktail waitress. When she meets Dink (Bruce Willis), a professional sports gambler, he notices her considerable talent for numbers amidst her bubbly demeanor. Pulling herself up by her wit instead of her bra straps, she discovers the lofty highs and sobering lows of the professional and underground gambling world. Based on a true story, Stephen Frears (The Grifters, The Queen) directs a star-studded cast in this smart, fast paced, and entertaining comedy set in Sin City.
Rust & Bone, East Coast Premiere
Director: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts
From the BAFTA Award-winning director of A Prophet, Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone is a compelling and gritty drama starring Oscar® and BAFTA winner Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead). Stephanie trains orca whales, and Ali is an emotionally broken, unfit single father and aspiring boxer. When Stephanie is crippled after an accident with one of her beloved whales, they begin an intense romance that doubles as an examination of human weakness and strength. Schoenaerts and Cotillard deliver sharp and subtle performances that drive this drama to powerful emotional heights.
The Sessions, East Coast Premiere
Director: Ben Lewin
Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
One of the most surprising and winning films of the year, The Sessions follows the true story of Mark O’Brien, childhood polio survivor paralyzed from the neck down and confined to an iron lung. Far from melancholy, Mark, a poet and journalist by trade, vows to fulfill a lifelong goal: to have sex with a woman. To lose his virginity, Mark contacts a professional sex surrogate (the effervescent Helen Hunt) with the help of his therapist and his priest (William H. Macy). John Hawkes stars as Mark O’Brien in his best performance yet, more than matched by Hunt and Macy.
Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Woody Harrelson
Martin, a morally conflicted screenwriter played by Colin Farrell, battles writer’s block on his new feature, Seven Psychopaths. Writer’s block is the least of Martin’s worries when his best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) places ads seeking psychopaths in the paper. Billy’s side job of kidnapping dogs is no less of a nuisance when he and his partner Hans, played by a startlingly on-point Christopher Walken, accidentally snatch an L.A. crime boss’ prized pooch. From director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), Seven Psychopaths subverts the traditional psychopath genre by infusing it with humor, self-awareness, and pitch-perfect performances, while still maintaining an absurd body count.
Shadow Dancer, East Coast Premiere
Director: James Marsh
Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Domhnall Gleeson
Shadow Dancer, directed by BAFTA Award-winner James Marsh, is a brilliant spy thriller set in the politically volatile Northern Ireland of the early ‘90s, is gripping from its intense opening sequences to its shattering climax. A guilt-ridden young Irish woman, Colette (Andrea Riseborough), has devoted her life to the IRA cause since her traumatic childhood. An MI5 agent (Oscar® nominee and BAFTA winner Clive Owen) intercepts a planned bombing attack in London, and Colette is handed a devastating ultimatum: to go to jail as a terrorist and be separated from her small son, or return to her family as a police informer and spy.
Smashed, East Coast Premiere
Director: James Ponsoldt
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Mary Kay Place
Mary Elizabeth Winstead delivers a career-making performance as Hannah, one half of an alcoholic couple with Aaron Paul (TV’s Breaking Bad). After Hannah hits an all time low—puking in front of her first grade students—her colleague Dave (Nick Offerman, TV’s Parks & Recreation) encourages her to seek help with his AA group. Making progress, she bonds with Jenny, a fellow alcoholic turned baker played by Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer (The Help). However, her new sobriety places her marriage in peril. A surprisingly funny and honest look at addiction and recovery, director James Ponsoldt breathes new life and poignancy to an oft-told story.
Whole Lotta Sole
Director: Terry George
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Colm Meaney, David O’Hara
BAFTA nominee, Oscar®-winner and Hamptons resident Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) brings his immense talents to this entertaining comedy of errors set in Belfast. Jimbo Reagan owes local gangster Mad Dog Flynn five thousand dollars, but when he robs a fish market to secure the cash, things go from bad to worse, and he ends up with multiple hostages in a local antique shop currently run by the American cousin (Brendan Fraser) of its proprietor. With amusing turns by Colm Meaney as a cantankerous detective and David O’Hara as Flynn, this delightful comedy is a joy for film fans on both sides of the pond.
Golden Starfish Award: Narrative
The Almost Man (Mer eller mindre mann), US Premiere
Director: Martin Lund
Cast: Henrik Rafaelsen, Janne Heltberg, Tore Sagen, Per Kjerstad, Tov Sletta
Thirty-five-year old Henrik and his girlfriend Tone still act like teenagers, pulling pranks and having impromptu dance parties in their new apartment, but the responsibilities of adulthood are finally beginning to loom. When Tone becomes serious about a new career, Henrik pulls in the opposite direction by partying with his hard drinking buddies and playing hooky from his job. Preoccupied by that familiar “Peter Pan” longing for perpetual adolescence, Henrik navigates his state of arrested development in increasingly oddball ways in this fresh and charming Norwegian comedy.
Dead Man's Burden, East Coast Premiere
Director: Jared Moshé
Cast: Barlow Jacobs, Clare Bowen, David Call, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Richard Riehle
New Mexico, 1870. A lone rider gallops through the New Mexico terrain and a troubled young woman looks on. She aims her rifle. A shocking scene sets the stage for Jared Moshé’s first feature, a pitch-perfect Western about the bonds of family and the slow, inevitable tide of progress. The young woman, Martha, and her husband find a ticket to a better life in San Francisco when they ready the sale of her family’s land to a mining company. Riding in from the horizon, though, is her oldest brother Wade—whom she had thought killed during the Civil War. The siblings reunite, but tensions, mysteries, and suspicions bubble to the surface.
La Demora, US Premiere
Director: Rodrigo Plá
Cast: Roxana Blanco, Carlos Vallarino, Oscar Pernas
Agustín forgets things; he is aging and he knows it. María is never alone: she watches over everyone, sleeps very little, and works too much. She’s increasingly overwhelmed. One day, on impulse, María decides to abandon Agustín. The tightening grip of old age and the guilt of familial responsibility loom over this absorbing drama from rising director Rodrigo Plá. With an exacting gasp of the internal and external struggles María must endure, Plá explores the challenges of a timeless issue and society’s conflicted responses to life’s central questions.
Kuma, US Premiere
Director: Umut Dag
Cast: Nihal Koldas, Begum Akkaya, Vedat Erincin, Murathan Muslu, Alev Irmak
From debut director Umut Dag comes the powerful yet quiet family drama KUMA, which explores the relationship between Fatma, a dying woman clinging to old traditions, and her husband’s 19-year-old second wife, Ayse. As their close-knit Turkish family living in Vienna is forced come to terms with this new addition, friendships, jealousy, and hidden passions take unexpected turns. Heightened by strong performances, the film captures the complexities of a closed-circuit world living in a modern society. One of the most acclaimed films out of the Berlin Film Festival, KUMA is the story of different generations and cultures intersecting.
Lore, US Premiere
Director: Cate Shortland
Screenwriters: Robin Mukherjee, Cate Shortland
Cast: Saskia Rosendahl, Kai Malina, Nele Trebs, Ursina Lardi, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Mika Seidel
In the twilight days of WWII, Lore’s Nazi parents have disappeared into the vortex of Allied retribution, and she must shepherd her younger siblings to safety on the grey edge of the Baltic Sea. In breathtaking images of damaged luminosity, LORE makes us see the dawning realization of WWII’s atrocities as though we had never known them before. It is the story of a tentative coming-of-age set in a maelstrom of brutality; it is a profound meditation on the insidiousness of evil and the transformative power of love; and it is nothing short of extraordinary.
Golden Starfish Award: Documentary:
Bay of All Saints, New York Premiere
Director: Annie Eastman
Filmed over six years, Annie Eastman’s debut is a lyrical portrait of three women who live on the palafitas, or shacks built on stilts, in the biggest bay in Bahia, Brazil. As the government threatens to reclaim the land for ecological reasons, generations of families, most of them single mothers, will be displaced. With Narato, the neighborhood refrigerator repairman as our guide, we meet Geni, Jesus, and Dona Maria, women with different mindsets but all compelled––in their own way––to fight for their family’s future and survival amidst the state’s urban development blunders and broken promises.
Colombianos, New York Premiere
Director: Tora Mårtens
With a subtle and captivating storytelling style, Tora Mårtens’ documentary feature meanders gingerly, yet thoughtfully, through the relationship of two brothers, making her debut feel almost like a fable. At his mother’s behest and struggling with substance abuse, Fernando moves from Stockholm to Medellin for six months, hoping the change of scenery and his brother Pablo’s support will help him get clean. Pablo, a college student, tries different tactics to help Fernando but nothing seems to stick. As each brother begins to reassess his own path, they learn when to let go and when to take charge.
El Huaso, US Premiere
Director: Carlo Guillermo Proto
Carlo Guillermo Proto directs this intensely personal documentary, interviewing his father and tracing the bonds and expectations of four generations of his family. Growing up in Chile, Gustavo Proto (director Carlo Proto’s father) always wanted to be a huaso—a rodeo cowboy—but instead he became a businessman and brought his family to Toronto for a better life. Now retired and convinced that he will develop Alzheimer’s like his mother and depression like his father, he plans to live out his dream in Chile before ultimately committing suicide, a decision he announces to his family amidst general protestation.
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, New York Premiere
Director: Jesse Vile
Jason Becker was a musical prodigy, picking up the guitar at five years old, performing virtuoso solos at sixth grade talent shows, and signing a record deal at 19. But the following year, about to go on tour with David Lee Roth, Becker started limping and falling during performances. He was eventually diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and was soon no longer able to hold a guitar. He lost the ability to speak and was given three to five years to live. But, as Jesse Vile’s award-winning first film reveals, that was not the last we would hear of Jason Becker. Not Dead Yet is must-see cinema and a testament to a true musician.
Rising From Ashes, World Premiere
Director: T.C. Johnstone
Narrator: Forest Whitaker
Recovering from one of the worse genocides in history, the Rwandan people find something to root for in this inspiring and beautifully shot documentary. Transcending the differences that once divided them -- and with the help of the first American to ride in the Tour de France -- five cyclists come together to form the first Team Rwanda while racing for spots in the 2012 Olympics. Cycling has long been a national pastime in “the land of a thousand hills,” and Rising From Ashes not only gives us a glimpse of this country’s changing landscape, it invites us to share in its epic comeback story.