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Youth Portraits from Michiel ten Horn & Rafael Ouellet: Day 3 Live From the 48th Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival

48th Karlovy Vary A cartooned Robin Wright is how I started Day 3 with the early morning screening of The Congress, Ari Folman ambitious Directors’ Fortnight opening film that features Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti, Harvey Keitel and Danny Huston in either live performance or animated rotoscope/kaleidoscope fantasy incarnations. Touching upon themes of ageism and futurism, this is a meaty sci-fi dessert is tonally awkward, but ambitious in scope.

My first taste of Variety’s 2013’s Ten Euro Directors to Watch technically commenced at last year’s TIFF with Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die, but today I got to view one more film that made waves in Toronto last September and continues to play well for auds in Michiel ten Horn’s The Deflowering of Eva van End. Picked up stateside by the Film Movement folks, this aesthetically, stylistically, and tonally pleasing comedy about an exchange student who unknowingly stirs a family of five to near disaster, and though there is lineage to a slew of other film sample, this Dutch helmer confidently demonstrates his prowess.

The Deflowering of Eva van End Michiel ten Horn Karlovy Vary

An habitual of the festival, same time last year, Rafael Ouellet picked up a pair of prizes at Karlovy Vary including Best Director for Camion. This year the helmer returns with the docu-fiction Class of ’09, a project that was actually conceived the moment he returned back from his first Karlovy Vary trip back in 2009 to present New Denmark. Supported by his muse in actress Carla Turcotte, Ouellet utilizes a graduating class of non-actors to examine the trending issue of small village ennui (recent Cannes entries Le Démantèlement and Sarah préfère la course certainly address the big city deluge) but here it’s not a totally aimless crop of youths, but rather a generation of career, or at least higher education orientated young folk taking the huge step away from small town Dégelis (a village I actually spent a couple of days in several years back and for which I certainly could attest is perhaps a place where you have no choice but to spread your wings towards somewhere bigger). By design, Ouellet chooses a hybrid of docu (Quebecois cinema has a long-standing tradition in documentary film) mixed in with fiction – something that we found in Denis Côté’s Carcasses.

Karlovy Vary Class of '09 Rafael Ouellet

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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