Back for its 11th year, Brighton’s CineCity Film Festival is once again preparing to dazzle us with a jam-packed program that promises to showcase some of the finest international features on the festival circuit at the moment. Like all great film festivals, CineCity gives us the opportunity to view some of the most hotly anticipated future film releases, as well as offering special one-off screenings of critically acclaimed international works and Q&A sessions with a host of influential & experimental professionals from the industry. Central to this year’s festival is a major celebration of the surrealist artist Jan Švankmajer, who is celebrating 50 years of filmmaking.
CineCity has always prided itself in screening some of cinema’s most highly anticipated features during its opening & closing nights and this year is no exception, with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska opening the festival on November 14th and Richard Ayoade’s The Double closing it on December 1st. Another expertly crafted study of flawed character’s, Payne’s latest promises to mix drama and wit in the similarly poignant way that made About Schmidt, Sideways and The Descendants such cinematic gems. While Ayoade’s second film, after the much-loved Submarine, sees the writer/director turn his deftly comic touch to Dostoevsky’s tale of a man battling his own doppelgänger in The Double, which has already won great praise since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year.
Asian cinema features regularly this year, with highlights including a screening of Jia Zhangke’s A Touch Of Sin. Weaving together four different narratives to create a vivid portrait of modern-day China, A Touch Of Sin received great praise at this year’s Cannes Festival and was deservedly awarded their Best Screenplay award. Then there’s Ilo Ilo, a comedy-drama set during the Asian financial crisis, which picked up the Debut Feature award at both the Cannes and London film festival this year for its director Anthony Chen and screens in Brighton on November 20th.
With the opening of the Dukes At Komedia cinema this year, the CineCity program is noticeably more robust than in previous years, with special events also taking place at The Basement on Kensington Street. Launching CineCity at The Basement this year is a special night marking 50 years to the day that JFK was assassinated. Jukebox Fury: The Assassination Of JFK mixes music and film to explore the events of that fateful day in Dallas in 1963, as well as examining the conspiracy theories related to it, which continue to stir great debate in America & across the globe.
Coming to Brighton as part of a UK-tour in conjunction with the BFI’s Gothic Season, the unquestionable centerpiece to this year’s CineCity is its celebration of Jan Švankmajer’s astonishing works. A visionary artist whose work has been a major influence on the likes of Tim Burton & Terry Gilliam, this exhibition offers fans of Švankmajer’s work the opportunity to view prints & sculptures from his Historia Naturae series, as well as screenings of his acclaimed films. Running at the University of Brighton’s gallery at Grande Parade, The Inner Life Of Objects is a magical and haunting experience and a must for all film fans, whether you’ve come in to contact with Švankmajer’s extraordinary work before or not.
Viewing cinema in its purist form offers audiences an opportunity to take a journey, both literally & metaphorically, with characters that we can both love and loathe. With its wonderfully diverse mixture of films & events, encompassing the amazing work of various directors from across the globe, CineCity 2013 will take you on an unforgettable journey through the world of cinema & beyond.