From Iceland — Get Your RIFF On!: The Grapevine Picks

Get Your RIFF On!: The Grapevine Picks

Get Your RIFF On!: The Grapevine Picks

Published September 27, 2019

Lea Müller Valur Grettisson Andie Sophia Fontaine Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick & Provided by RIFF

Cinephiles assemble! RIFF, The Reykjavík International Film Festival is back and will be bringing some much needed visual content to our proud city from September 26th through October 6th. We at the Grapevine consider ourselves to be quite the intellectuals, so here are our not-to-miss films.

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants, J-P Valkeapää
When in doubt, go see a BDSM-fueled Finnish flick. The synopsis of ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ is as Finnish (and glorious!) as can be. A depressed surgeon—of course—is struggling with the death of his wife. But when he meets a BDSM dominatrix by chance, and she confuses him with a client of hers, everything changes. She strangles him and he unexpectedly sees visions of his lost spouse. This leads him to seek more extreme punishment, in search of something deeper than just a sexual experience, which leaves them both—the dominatrix and the surgeon—confused and vulnerable. Bring your own gags.
RIFF Screenings: Sept. 26th at 20:30, Oct. 2nd at 21:15, and Oct. 6th at 20:30 at Bíó Paradís.

Varda by Agnès, Agnès Varda
All film students remember the day they saw ‘Cléo de 5 á 7’ in class. Directed by the incomparable Agnès Varda, the New Wave picture opened my eyes to cinema in all of its beauty. This year, the illustrious artist put out ‘Varda by Agnès,’ a documentary/lecture of her time in the sun. The film jets between being a dissection of her filmmaking as well as just a celebration of her greatest hits. Varda sadly passed away just one month after the film’s release. Come celebrate her legacy and make sure to show up in all purple. That was kind of her thing.
RIFF Screenings: Sept. 27th at 19:00, Sept. 29th at 17:00, and Oct. 6th at 13:15 at Bíó Paradís.

Joan of Arc, Bruno Dumont
The fact that Jeanne d’Arc is probably the only figure from the Hundred Year’s War in particular—and possibly the 15th century in general—that pretty much anyone can name is a testament to how enduring and resonating her brief but eventful life was. While films have often taken a crack at telling the story of her life, critics have been praising the performance of the actor behind the titular role, Lise Leplat Prudhomme, for her convincing intensity despite being only 10-years old—and when you’re playing an insurrectionist guided by the voices of saints against one of Europe’s most powerful armies, your intensity is going to have to be convincing.
RIFF Screenings: Sept. 26th at 20:30, Oct. 3rd at 17:00, and Oct. 5th at 19:00 at Bíó Paradís.

The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch
The zombie movie genre may be wearing thin in 2019, but put this well-worn subject in the hands of understated art-house legend Jim Jarmusch, back it up with a star-studded cast, and the results are going to be quite a departure from the expected. One could see this film as the natural extension of the same director tackling the curse of immortality suffered by vampires in ‘Only Lovers Left Alive.’ True to his nature, Jarmusch approaches the zombie genre with wit, grace and a meditation on the end of the world.
RIFF Screenings: Sept. 27th at 21:00, Sept. 30th at 21:00, and Oct. 5th at 19:45 at Bíó Paradís.

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya, Teona Strugar Mitevska
“I’m a woman, not an idiot,” Petrunya argues with the police officer investigating her comical case. In this subtle feminist piece, Petrunya, a young woman from Macedonia, accidently wins an annual religious competition, where traditionally men—or rather, exclusively men—dive after a wooden cross thrown by a priest into the river. The male outrage which follows is overwhelming, but Petrunya reasons that she has the same right as any man for the prosperity promised to the winner. What makes this movie so special is the character, who is not inherently feminist but simply applies common sense to her situation.
RIFF Screenings: Sept. 26th at 19:00, Sept. 29th at 16:50, and Oct. 4th at 15:00 Bío Paradís

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