Abraham Lincoln

Titles Announced for Second Annual Robin and Valerie International Film Festival

August 17th, 2023 | Robin

The 2nd annual Robin and Valerie International Film Festival announces its 2023 line-up.

You may be wondering what the heck I’m talking about.

Two years ago at the end of the Toronto International Film Festival Valerie and I decided that distribution for foreign, art house and cult titles had reached a stage where we could have a better experience watching titles programmed at home. For a more detailed explanation of our switch from the rigors of an official fest to the affordable, stress-free homemade one, see last year’s announcement.

Once again I have selected from streaming subscription platforms and video on demand titles to assemble a list resembling the TIFFs of yore, hopefully with fewer duds and definitely with easier bathroom breaks and more pauses for naps.

I have favored newer titles wherever possible, in some case reaching back a few years to catch a film we missed from a TIFF fave auteur, or to fill in a particular category, like the doc about movies that ideally starts any fest.

This year I have reached way back into the old modus operandi of our once-favorite fest to program an Open Vault title—a restored and rediscovered film, in this case an American indie from 1961.

France really pulled ahead in the rankings this year, thanks in part to double headers from Claire Denis and François Ozon. I have programmed more films from Japan and South Korea than TIFF would in any given year, because now I am the boss.

Some of you may want to play along at home. Unbelievably, two of you ordered the shirts last year!

As you read the descriptive blurbs below, remember that I haven’t yet seen any of these films and am paraphrasing the promo text. Last year in a couple of cases I discovered that I had badly garbed some of the taglines. I’ve probably done it again; use at your own risk.

Availability will vary by territory; check your local version of JustWatch to see what might be playing on a service near you. I’m in Canada and have chosen titles from Crave, Criterion, Kanopy, Mubi, Prime, and Netflix. I’ll be renting from Amazon, Google, and Apple.

We’ll be mimicking the dates for TIFF, hitting the play button on Thursday, September 7th and wrapping up on Sunday September 20th.

As a sensible person, you may want to wait until I see them and review them before deciding which of them to check out. I’ll be posting capsule reviews and then collecting them in order of preference when RVIFF is done. I’ll also talk about the highlights on the podcast with Ken, focusing on the geek-forward items.

Hal [US, Amy Scott, 2018] Documentary profile of director Hal Ashby.

I Like Movies [Canada, Chandler Levack, 2022] Insufferable teen nurtures his filmmaking dreams.

The Novelist’s Film [South Korea, Hong Sang-soo, 2022] After being brushed off by an auteur director, a novelist decides to make a film.

Alcarràs [Spain, Carla Simón, 2022] A loving, chaotic family of peach farmers faces eviction.

Return to Seoul [France, Davy Chou, 2022] A French woman travels to Korea seeking her birth parents.

Outrage Coda [Japan, Takeshi Kitano, 2017] Gangster rivalries foment deadpan carnage.

Arab Blues [France/Tunisia, Manele Labidi, 2019] A therapist returns to her ancestral Tunisia and acquires a new clientele.

The Kings of the World [Colombia, Laura Mora Ortega, 2022] Medellin street kids undertake a journey.

The Five Devils [France, Léa Mysius, 2022] A bullied kid reveals uncanny powers when the release of her aunt from a psychiatric facility upsets her beloved mom.

By the Grace of God [France, François Ozon, 2019] Three men confront the priest who abused them as children, and the system that covered it up.

The Good Boss [Spain, Fernando León de Aranoa, 2021] Workplace satire with Javier Bardem.

Flux Gourmet [UK, Peter Strickland, 2022] Horror descends on a culinary institute.

The Balcony Movie [Poland, Pawel Lozinski, 2021] Documentary about people who come by the director’s window to chat.

Broker [South Korea, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2022] A baby theft spirals out of control. With Song Kang-Ho.

Stars at Noon [France, Claire Denis, 2022] Desperate love intertwines with political intrigue in Nicaragua. With Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes [Japan, Junta Yamaguchi, 2020] Cafe owner discovers that his television broadcasts from two minutes in the future.

The Real Thing [Japan, Kôji Fukada, 2020] Epic misadventures ensue when a hapless toy salesman rescues a young woman whose car has stalled on railroad tracks.

How to Blow Up a Pipeline [US, Daniel Goldhaber, 2023] Ecoterrorists take on the oil industry.

Hatching [Finland, Hanna Bergholm, 2022] A young girl discovers a mysterious egg.

Girlfriends and Girlfriends [Spain, Zaida Carmona, 2022] Lesbian couples form and rearrange themselves.

You Won’t Be Alone [Australia/UK/Serbia, Goran Stolevski, 2022] An ancient witch possesses a girl in order to understand humanity. With Noomi Rapace.

Swan Song [US, Todd Stephens, 2021] Former hairdresser (Udo Kier) departs his care facility for one last mission.

Tori and Lokita [France, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2022] A pair of African kids roams Belgium alone.

Once Upon a Time In Ukraine [Ukraine, Roman Perfilyev, 2020] A serf and a samurai team up in a mythic reimagining of 19th Ukrainian history.

The Exiles [US, Kent Mackenzie, 1961] A native American family gets by in Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill neighborhood.

Master Gardener [US, Paul Schrader, 2022] A lone man is torn between redemption and violence. With Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver.

Cairo Conspiracy [Sweden/France/Finland/Denmark, Tarik Saleh, 2022] An Egyptian student is drawn into political intrigue when his student advisor, an influential imam, dies.

Piggy [Spain, Carlota Pereda, 2022] Fat girl conceals what she’s seen when the classmates who torment her are taken by a serial killer.

Bliss [Germany, Henrika Kull, 2021] Brothel workers fall in love.

Both Sides of the Blade [France, Claire Denis, 2022] Love triangle drama with Juliet Binoche, Vincent Lindon, and Grégoire Colin.

The Eternal Daughter [UK, Joanna Hogg, 2022]  Filmmaker (Tilda Swinton) takes her mother (Tilda Swinton) to an inn hoping her recollections of the place will trigger material for a screenplay.

Thunivu [India, H. Vinoth, 2023] Heisters planning a bank job discover that another mastermind has designs on the same target.

Hit the Road [Iran, Panah Panahi, 2021] Chaotic family goes on road trip.

The Artifice Girl [US, Franklin Ritch, 2022] Chatbot designed to lure sexual predators gets ideas of its own.

Mascarade [France, Nicolas Bedos, 2022] Injured dancer falls for a woman who lives by the scam.

Project Wolf Hunting [South Korea, Hongsun Kim, 2022] Inmates take control of a prison ship only to discover another much worse presence lurks within.

The Gasoline Thieves [Mexico, Edgar Nito, 2019] Young man is drawn into a gas theft ring.

The Braves [France, Anaïs Volpé, 2021] Two actresses live a ride-or-die friendship.

The Crime Is Mine [France, François Ozon, 2023] Homage to 40s film noir with Isabelle Huppert.

Marry My Dead Body [Taiwan, Wei-Hao Cheng, 2023] Detective saddled with a ghost husband enlists him in her current case.

Inspector Ike [US, Graham Mason, 2020] Murder mystery spoof about an understudy who knocks off the lead to get the part, and the dogged detective who pursues the case.

Leonor Will Never Die [Philippines, Martika Ramirez Escobar, 2022] Comatose screenwriter must write her way back to consciousness.

Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday [UK, George Kirby & Harry Kirby, 2022] Guilt-ridden hit man (Scott Adkins) reluctantly takes up the gun again.

Monster Seafood Wars [Japan, Minoru Kawasaki, 2020] Kaiju arise from seafood market.

One Response to “Titles Announced for Second Annual Robin and Valerie International Film Festival”

  1. says:

    Titles Announced for Second Annual Robin and Valerie International Film Festival « Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
Flying Clock
Film Cannister