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TIFF 2010: Visions include The Ditch, Le Quattro Volte, Promises Written in Water and The Useful Life

Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte (aka The Four Times), one of treasured discoveries at Cannes this year is among those selected in small but sweet Visions section — a grouping of films that are definitely bending the narrative form. Other noticeable titles include Wang Bing’s The Ditch, Ance director Federico Veiroj’s A Useful Life and what should make for an interesting evening in Vincent Gallo’s Promises Written in Water. Here are the selected titles, several began their life at Cannes this year.

Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte (aka The Four Times), one of treasured discoveries I made at Cannes this year is among those selected in Visions section — a grouping of films that are definitely bending the narrative form. Other noticeable titles include Wang Bing’s The Ditch, Acne director Federico Veiroj’s A Useful Life and what should make for an interesting evening in Vincent Gallo’s Promises Written in Water. Here are the selected titles, several began their life at Cannes this year.

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu Andrei Ujica, Romania North American Premiere
Culled from one thousand hours of archival footage and four years in the making, this spellbinding epic montage unfolds
as if from the memory of former Romanian ruler Nicolae Ceausescu, after his reign was brought to an abrupt and
tumultuous end in December 1989.

Brownian Movement Nanouk Leopold, The Netherlands/Germany/Belgium World Premiere
Acclaimed Dutch filmmaker Nanouk Leopold explores a young mother’s desires and needs in this langorous and
atmospheric film.

The Ditch Wang Bing, France/Belgium North American Premiere
A political ghost story that gives voice to atrocious memories, The Ditch draws from Wang Bing’s experience as a
documentary filmmaker and lays bare a dramatic hidden chapter of China’s communist history. It recounts the harrowing
story of life at one of Mao’s camps, at the end of the fifties, where “rightists” were sent to be “re-educated through
labour.”

The Four Times Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy/Germany/Switzerland Canadian
Premiere
Inspired by Pythagoras’s belief in four-fold transmigration – by which the soul is passed from human to animal to
vegetable to mineral, until completely purified – The Four Times is a genre-defying work of cinematic transcendence that
follows the journey of an elderly shepherd through the afterlife.

k.364 A Journey by Train Douglas Gordon, United Kingdom/Germany/France North American
Premiere
Two musicians return to a haunted landscape and play the concerto of their lives.

Moscow 11:19:31 Michael Nyman, United Kingdom North American Premiere
In this short film, when legendary composer Michael Nyman fails to answer an interview question, music takes over.

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow Sophie Fiennes, U.K./France/The Netherlands North American Premiere
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow profiles major contemporary artist Anselm Keifer in the style of his work.

Promises Written in Water Vincent Gallo, USA North American Premiere
Shot in black and white, this fiercely independent film traces the steps a young photographer takes to fulfill the dying
wishes of a beautiful young woman, including getting a job in a funeral parlour so he can oversee her cremation.

Summer of Goliath Nicolàs Pereda, Mexico/Canada/Netherlands North American
Premiere
Toronto resident Nicolas Pereda explores the boundaries between fiction and documentary to evoke the atmosphere of
the place in his latest feature, Summer of Goliath. It’s a hot summer in the rural Mexican community of Huilotepec and
the townspeople are tense and suspicious of one another.

A Useful Life Federico Veiroj, Uruguay International Premiere
Jorge has been working at the Cinematheque in Montevideo, Uruguay, for 25 years. Its imminent closing forces him to
take drastic steps and become the star of his own life. Shot in black and white, A Useful Life is an entertaining homage
to a life of film.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, 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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