5 movie recommendations for the Black Nights Film Festival 2017

The biggest film festival of the year will start tomorrow and now is the best time to get with the programme for all you film lovers out there. To make it easier, we have some recommendations for you.

Sweet Virginia (Jamie M. Dagg)
USA, Canada

The slow-moving neo-noir western that takes place in Alaska’s small town. One day, a mysterious stranger (Christopher Abbott) arrives, soon after a triple murder takes place and the secrets hidden underneath the surface of the sleepy town are starting to reveal themselves. Sweet Virginia might not be the most original piece of work in the world, and its style has often been compared with, for example, Coen brothers’ films, but good acting and a tense atmosphere from the beginning to the end still provide a pleasant cinema experience.

A Prayer Before Dawn (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire)
France, United Kingdom, Thailand

William Moore is a former criminal and drug addict from Liverpool who has spent time in 22 different prisons for 15 years. Later, Moore wrote a book about his time at notorious Klong Prem prison in Bangkok and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s movie is based on that book. Moore also has a minor role in the film, and the movie also includes some former Thai prisoners who have a goal to warn viewers of that kind of life. So it might be said that it’s sort of a didactical movie.

The Endless (Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead)
USA

Two brothers return to the cult, where they spent their youth and where they later fled from. Now, however, they discover that the group’s beliefs are perhaps even more insane than they could have guessed. Although the film belongs to the Midnight Shivers programme, it cannot be said that it makes you shiver (at least not because of the horror). Rather, it’s quite thoughtful and warm fantastic drama. For a better understanding of the film and some humour in it, it is advisable to (re)watch the first feature film of Benson and Moorhead (Resolution, 2012) as the two films share a lot in common.

Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani)
Laissez bronzer les cadavres, Belgium, France

The film based on Jean-Pierre Bastid’s and Jean-Patrik Manchette’s crime novel is about a gold robbery gone wrong somewhere in the mountains of southern France. Although some more choosy movie lovers might summarize the film like that: “Let the corpses tan and the audiences sleep”, this work can definitely be recommended to those who especially enjoy the visual aspect of the film, as one of the trademarks of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani is (in addition to the nice crunches of leather) movies that are shot with extremely good taste and excellent style. If the duo’s previous film (The Strange Colours of Your Body’s Tears, 2013) was giallo-flavoured, then this one follows the examples of the 1970’s crime films and spaghetti westerns.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Ireland, United Kingdom

The master of weird movies, Yorgos Lanthimos, is back in action! Steven (Colin Farrell) is a cardiologist who has taken the teenager Martin (Barry Keoghan) under his wing. He meets with the boy secretly, gives him presents and after a while, he even introduces him to his family. Quietly it becomes clear that Martin has some influence over Steven… This is a strange, uncanny and disturbing film that has confused many cinemagoers, but at the same time, this confusion has been enjoyable.