Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rotterdam Report

"Early on in the 2013 edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, at about the third or fourth appearance of its distinctive, looming tiger logo that preceded every screening, I began to feel fairly confident that I’d encounter more rewarding surprises than outright disappointments over the next few days. There was certainly an abundance of attractive opportunities for me to play catch-up with some of the past year’s more prominent and talked-about titles that had been previously shown in Toronto (among them The Master, Reality and Blancanieves, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed), but the most common delights I encountered came from lesser-known works scattered throughout the newcomer-oriented Bright Future and Hivos Tiger Awards programs. The famed scope of the festival’s selection all but guaranteed an endless variety of unique personal experiences attendees could potentially leave with, whether they chose three films or thirty, whether they craved avant-garde or genre fare. Speaking for myself, either luck, intuition, or a mix of both brought me to the other side of the eleven-day run with a veritable bounty of positive viewing experiences culled from cinematic shores as far-flung as Mexico, Cuba, Thailand, India, Iran and, fittingly, the Netherlands. Sampling grim tragedy, nourishing contemplation, therapeutic comedy, and refined suspense, my first visit to Rotterdam gave me an exhilarating introduction to a festival very much concerned with both pushing the boundaries of an all-encompassing definition of cinema (through means as varied as installation pieces, mash-ups, experimental shorts, mold-breaking genre pieces, and television and web series) and celebrating its most intrinsic qualities."
 To read Marc Saint-Cyr's entire Rotterdam Film Festival report check out the new issue of Senses of Cinema.

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