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2018 New Horizons Intl. Film Fest,

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2018 New Horizons IFF Dailies: Heatwave | Day 6 of IONCINEMA in Wroclaw

2018 New Horizons IFF Dailies: Heatwave | Day 6 of IONCINEMA in Wroclaw

As temperatures in Wrocław – and the rest of Europe – remain unusually high, I retreated to the comfort of Nowe Horyzonty’s retrospectives and focused on meeting filmmakers – the interview with Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek was a real treat, and we had time to chat freely in what seem an unsupervised gap in the festival frenzy.

The beauty of their slot system is that all films start at the same time, creating a school-like quiet across the floor once screenings are underway. We were able to discuss My Friend the Polish Girl in depth, which made me appreciate the film more, before I found myself in a position to finally try the cinema bar. It usually has a line longer than Screen 1 on Opening Night, but that’s another perk of having skipped class, I guess.

2018 New Horizons Intl. Film Fest, 2018 New Horizons Intl. Film Fest,

After a quick quesadilla and a lovely chat with local students, I headed to the Polish premiere of Agnieszka Smoczynska‘s Fugue well in advance, and this proved to be quite the hot ticket indeed. With pretty much everybody in attendance, it was clear how the festival management felt about Smoczynska’s follow-up to her debut The Lure, and how proud they were to bring the film home for the first time after its Semaine de la Critique bow.

As arrestingly controlled as advertised, the film is methodical and unflinching in its celebration of a profound reticence to accept the reality we are presented with. The first thing that hits you in Fugue is the sense of a remarkable team effort, in which sound design, production design and cinematography work as one to sustain a tricky psychological atmosphere. All, of course, in service of an almost intimidating central performance by Gabriela Muskała, who also wrote the script. Just don’t call her Kinga.

A freelance film critic and programmer, Tommaso Tocci is based between Paris and Rome. He covers the European festival circuit and he's a member of FIPRESCI and the International Cinephile Society. His Top 3 for 2021: After Blue (Bertrand Mandico), Titane (Julia Ducournau), What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Alexandre Koberidze).

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