Love stories

303 (2018)
Hans Weingartner
Germany
120′
On the way from Berlin to Portugal in her rusty '303' camper van, young biology student Jule picks up hitchhiker Jan. While having intense conversations about the society, the world and the nature of man, they try not to fall in love.
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Air Doll (2009)
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
111′
A story of love and frailty, Air Doll takes the essence of what it means to be human and distills it down to its purest form in this bittersweet love story that smoothly intertwines fantasy and reality. In a shabby, rundown apartment in an old part of Tokyo, a bright beacon of purity shines into being one day. Silent and motionless, the air doll that belongs to quiet and retiring middle-aged Hideo (Itsuji Itao) has never been anything out of the ordinary. Each evening after work, he chats with her over the dinner table, bathes her and makes love to her before turning in for the night. However, after he leaves the house one day, the air doll begins to twitch and move, miraculously coming to life. Like a newborn marvelling at the wonder of the world, she is awestruck at the beauty of everything around her. Tottering about in her tiny maid's uniform, she ventures outside the apartment with childlike curiosity. As she wanders through the city, the air doll is enthralled, talking to anyone she finds and trying to comprehend her own ephemeral existence. Though her life is only a few hours old, it changes forever when she walks into a video store and falls helplessly in love with the clerk, Junichi (Arata).
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Alive (2009)
Artan Minarolli
Albania
90′
Twenty-two-year-old Koli is studying at Tirana university. When he hears of his father’s death, he returns to his native mountain village in the north to attend the funeral. During a walk through the countryside of his childhood, someone takes a shot at him. In a state of shock, the young man discovers that he is part of a blood feud sparked by his grandfather sixty years earlier. He goes to see the family to whom, according to custom, he owes his life - and, in doing so, he makes the acquaintance of the murderer whom fate has determined will take it. Away from his modern urban environment, Koli suddenly finds himself in a world of ancient, inexorable rituals, from which he is unable to extricate himself even after his return to Tirana. How deeply entrenched in people are the traditions of their forebears? And to what extent are they able to accept them as part of their modern, superficial lifestyle? How far-reaching is the perception of one’s own destiny and affinity with one’s roots? Director Artan Minarolli dedicated his film drama to the eighty-six illegal immigrants who drowned off the coast of Italy during an attempt to flee their native country in March 1997.
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Amour (2012)
Michael Haneke
France
127′
Georg and Anna are around 80, cultivated music professors in retirement. The daughter, also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day Anna has a seizure - it is the beginning of a test for the love of the two.
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Barakah Meets Barakah (2016)
Mahmoud Sabbagh
Saudi Arabia
88′
If you were to ask a group of film experts which country is currently the least appropriate setting for a hilarious, truly wacky romantic comedy, the chances are that Saudi Arabia would come out on top. But their guesses would be wrong, as Barakah yoqabil Barakah provides more than enough evidence to the contrary. He’s a municipal civil servant from Jeddah whose origins are humble to say the least, while she’s a wild beauty, the adopted daughter of a rich couple whose marriage has suffered due to their lack of biological children. He’s also an amateur actor in a theatre company rehearsing a production of "Hamlet", while she functions as a crowd-puller for her stylish adoptive mother’s boutique and runs her own boisterous, widely-seen vlog. Fate brings them together - in an environment hostile to dating of any kind. But the two of them show breathtaking ingenuity to circumvent the system of tradition, etiquette and religious police - with the crucial help of a quirky midwife and a pink push up bra. Barakah yoqabil Barakah is a film for anyone who’s always wanted to know just what else is going on in Saudi Arabia
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Blind Dates (2013)
Levan Koguashvili
Georgia
99′
Sandro is a forty-something teacher and still lives with his parents, who constantly meddle in his private life. He shows little interest in the blind dates his friend Iva pressures him to go on. On an outing to the Black Sea, he falls in love with the hairdresser Manana. When her husband Tengo is released from jail early, Sandro’s predicament takes on absurd dimensions. He gets caught up in wild family disputes and feels compelled to move Natia, pregnant with Tengo’s child, into his parents’ home. Wrong conclusions and misunderstandings are the driving force of this melancholy comedy, in which everyone meddles with everything but no one really listens, which only leads to yet further confusion. When in doubt, they all argue together with true ferocity, the situation invariably ending in intense outbursts. Levan Koguashvili’s second feature is thus in keeping with the best traditions of Georgian cinema. The narrative tone stays calm, as the events come thick and fast. Unsentimental, with various ellipses and allusions, and shot with wonderful colour compositions and an incredible feel for space, architecture and cityscapes, the film ultimately attains extraordinary profundity.
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Cold War (2018)
Paweł Pawlikowski
Poland
88′
In the ruins of post-war Poland, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig) fall deeply, obsessively and destructively in love. As performing musicians forced to play into the Soviet propaganda machine, they dream of escaping to the creative freedom of the West. But one day, as they spot their chance to make a break for Paris, both make a split decision that will mark their lives forever.
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El rey de San Gregorio (2006)
Alfonso Gazitúa Gaete
Chile
80′
“The King of San Gregorio” is a story about a pure and simple love. The film talks about the life of Pedro Vargas – who plays himself – a 30 years-old man living in the slum of San Gregorio and presents a physical handicap and a certain grade of mental disability. Nevertheless, none of these factors will stop him from being the protagonist of this beautiful love story with his “princess” Cati, a girl who has a severe mental disability. As any other romantic drama, there are antagonists who do not approve this love. Pedro’s mother, María is hard to accept that her man-son is in love and she is even willing to prevent the relationship. Besides, the frustrated sister of the female protagonist, Marta, fears the sexual arouse of Cati, interfering in her relation with Pedro. Nevertheless, Pedro struggles for being with his princess, entrusting to God and to the wise advices of Juan, an old man who teaches him how to believe in love. • Pedro Vargas - Chief Character Known as “the King” in San Gregorio hood, Pedro Vargas is a 30 years-old man, who presents a certain grade of physical and mental handicap. Nevertheless, he is a very sensitive, romantic and optimistic person. He strongly wishes to live the intense love he feels for his princess Cati, in a place beyond clouds. Cati, the princess – (María José Parga) She is Pedro’s sweetheart. She is a very beautiful green-eyed girl of a naïve aspect. She is 28, but looks younger since she is especially delicate. She presents a severe handicap, because of a poliomyelitis she underwent when she was 3. Due to this illness, she nearly can’t speak and when she does, she uses very short words. She is always laughing and it seems she is always thinking about another thing. The only thing she wants is to be with Pedro and when her sister forbids it, she cries and has violent attacks of nerves. She has a kind of obsession with the Dorothy, the character of the “Wizard of Oz” • María – (Gloria Münchmeyer) Explosive and melancholic, María - Pedro´s mother and his main antagonist - is a 64 years -old widow who works as a domestic servant. Her strong black eyes are her most outstanding feature. She is very over-protective with Pedro, not only due to his handicap, but also because he is her only child. In this context, María emphatically objects his son´s relationship with Cati. • Marta – (Giselle Demelchiore) Marta is Cati´s sister and the second antagonist in the story. She is 34 and in spite of being very pretty, she looks neglected, dark and sad. Due to the mother desertion, Marta takes care of her sister and it is the reason why she has postponed herself deciding to live alone with no boyfriend. She fears for Cati´s relationship with Pedro and especially for her sister sex life. • Juan – (Andrés Rillón) He is Pedro’s mentor and he is the one who will help Pedro to achieve his goal of being with Cati. He is 73, bald, with a neglected face and he moves in a noisy and old wheelchair. He is hypochondriac and has an ironic sense of humor.
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Emma - Il colore nascosto delle cose (2017)
Silvio Soldini
Italy
117′
Teo has a good job, a fiancee, a lovers, no intention to assume any responsibility in his life. The meeting with Emma, a blind woman, will upset his convictions.
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Euphoria (2006)
Ivan Vyrypaev
Russia
71′
In an amazingly beautiful place, on the bank of the wide Don, in a remote, half-destroyed village, surrounded by only steppe for hundreds of miles, a real drama takes place. An unexpected passionate love between a young man and a married woman literally destroys the lives of not only the main characters, but also their close ones.
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Herencia (2001)
Paula Hernández
Argentina
92′
Peter travels from Germany to Buenos Aires to find the woman he fell head over heels in love with some time ago and who wants to live with. But he doesn't know much more about her than her name, an address that is no longer true, and the memory of enchanting moments. He meets Olinda, who runs a local restaurant and was herself stranded in Argentina half a century ago in search of her great love.
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Love And Honor (2007)
Yoji Yamada
Japan
122′
Shortly after assuming his post as food taster, Shinnojo loses his eyesight. The fish that was given to the head of the clan was poisoned. Prior to this, Shinnojo had held an inferior position in the ruler’s entourage. Realising that not only will he remain blind until the end of his days, but he must now relinquish his position and will need assistance for rest of his life, Shinnojo becomes dejected and melancholy. His wife, Kayo, is the only one able to prevent him from committing suicide: "I can’t imagine life without you. But, go ahead and kill yourself. If you do so, I will follow you immediately", is her response. Touched by her loyalty, Shinnojo gives up his plan to take his own life. Shortly afterwards, Shinnojo’s uncle advises him that, since he is no longer able to work, Shinnojo should ask Kayo to go to Shimada, the influential steward of the estate, and ask for his help. As time goes by, Shinnojo begins to get used to being blind. But then one day his aunt Ine tells him of a rumour she has heard about Kayo’s infidelity. Madly jealous, Shinnojo, who loves his wife and had always trusted her, orders his old servant, Tokuhei, to follow Kayo. Tokuhei discovers that the rumour is true. Having noticed that she was being watched, Kayo admits to having committed adultery with Shimada, explaining that the steward demanded her body in return for supporting Shinnojo. Throwing his wife out of the house, Shinnojo prepares himself for one last battle.
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Loves of a Blonde (1965)
Milos Forman
Czech Republic
80′
The head of a shoe factory persuades the army to hold manoeuvres nearby: So his workers can meet men at a ball. But the pot-bellied reservists are anything but attractive. Utilizing a brief hint of freedom, The Love of a Blonde throws an undisguised, humorous and tender look at Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and the ridiculousness of its functionaries.
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with bonus
Medianeras (2011)
Gustavo Taretto
Argentina
90′
Bonus:
Mariana, Martìn and the city of Buenos Aires. Martìn and Mariana live across from each other on the same block, but never meet. They pass each other, not knowing about the other’s existence. She goes up the stairs as he goes down the stairs; he gets on the bus just as she gets off the bus. They go to the same video rental shop, but a video rack separates them; they sit in the same row at the cinema, but the auditorium is dark. The city brings them together, and, at the same time, keeps them apart. Director Gustavo Taretto told the story of Mariana, Martìn and the city of Buenos Aires once before: «MEDIANERAS is a short film that received 40 awards worldwide - a short film with a feature film hidden inside. Our aim is to bring the feature to light. In the film EL SOL DEL MEMBRILLO (QUINCE TREE OF THE SUN), Víctor Erice reflects, among other things, upon Antonio López’s obsession with painting a tree that he had planted and seen growing in his garden. The tree changes with the passing of time, the seasons, and especially in different shades of light. MEDIANERAS is my tree. I planted it over four years ago, and I’ve been watching it grow since then. Following the analogy with the painting, the short film unveils the gesture in the stroke, the artist’s palette, the trunk which holds it in place, the main branches and the colour of its leaves. Now, with the feature, the moment has arrived for going into detail, for exploring depth and hues, ambiguities and contradictions. The story changes in exactly the same way as the city that serves as its setting: Buenos Aires. Some of the scenes wither away, while others bloom.» (Gustavo Taretto)
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Melaza (2012)
Carlos Lechuga
Cuba
82′
Money and love worries of swimming teacher Aldo and rum factory worker Monica in Melaza, the cradle of Cuban sugarcane. With tangible love for Cuba, the director takes a fresh look at his struggling characters: you can also learn to swim in a piscina without water. In the Cuban village of Melaza, named after the once flourishing sugarcane fields, time stands still. Even when all kinds of things happen, nothing ever changes. The State pretends to take care of everything, but it shuts the rum factory and makes swimming lessons impossible. There's no use complaining, think the inhabitants, that’s just how it is. Melaza is the heartwarming love story of Aldo and Monica, a photogenic couple who live in a much too small cottage with their fat daughter and grumpy grandma. They try very hard to earn some extra money. Their attempts finally get the couple into deeper and deeper trouble. But together, the lovers manage to pull through it. New talent Carlos Lechuga tells his critical story with humour and sparse dialogue, taking us on a journey to the beauties of rural Cuba. Far from the hotels and from Havana, but with a reality familiar to everyone who has ever been to Cuba - or faced a shortage of cash. (Filmfestival Rotterdam)
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On Body and Soul (2017)
Ildiko Enyedi
Hungary
116′
Two introverted people find out by pure chance that they share the same dream every night. They are puzzled, incredulous, a bit frightened. As they hesitantly accept this strange coincidence, they try to recreate in broad daylight what happens in their dream.
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On the Path (2010)
Jasmila Zbanic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
100′
Luna and Amar are a couple. Their relationship is under great strain. First of all, Amar loses his job for being drunk at work. Luna is very worried and has little hope of realising her fragile dream of having a child with Amar. But her fears for their future increase when Amar takes on a well-paid job in a Muslim community hours away from where they live.Only after quite some time has elapsed during which they have had no contact with each other, is Luna allowed to visit Amar in this community of conservative Wahhabis in its idyllic lakeside location. She notices that the men and veiled women live in strict segregation and are closely watched. Luna asks Amar to return home with her but Amar insists that life in this isolated community of faithful followers has brought him peace and also keeps him from drinking. When he returns home a few weeks later, Luna realises that Amar’s attitude to religion has fundamentally changed. Amar claims that his only interest is to become a better person, but Luna finds it extremely difficult to follow his line of thinking. She begins to question everything that she has believed in, even her desire to have a child. As the wounds of a tragic war-filled past continue to haunt her, Luna tears herself apart searching if love is truly enough to keep her and Amar together on the path to a lifetime of happiness.
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Paterson (2016)
Jim Jarmusch
United States
118′
Paterson is a bus driver in the city whose name her shares: Paterson, New Jersey. Every day, he drives his route and observes the city as it drifts across his windshield. During his lunch break, he writes poetry into a notebook. In contrast to Paterson's steady routine, his wife Laura's world is constantly changing. New dreams come to her almost daily, each a different and inspired project.
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Rafiki (2018)
Wanuri Kahiu
Kenya
82′
"Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives," but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.
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Sonhos de Peixe- Fishdreams (2006)
Kirill Mikhanovsky
Brazil
107′
In a tiny village on the northeastern coast of Brazil, the young fisherman Jusce scrapes out a living by diving 30 meters with rudimentary equipment for lobster. His prize’ at the end of a long day of risky work is sitting close to Ana as she savors the drama of urban sophisticates on her favorite soap opera. Ana dreams of leaving the village to see the world. Jusce is content with the life he leads. Jusce’s old fishing buddy - Rogerio - returns from the big city for holidays. With his Buggy he drives around the dunes and scores Ana’s immediate attention. The day Rogerio gives Jusce a ride to Ana’s marks the beginning of their rivalry for Ana’s attention. Jusce has to reinvent himself in order not to loose Ana to the adventurous life style of Rogerio. Russian-born Kirill Mikhanovsky locates his love story in an impoverished fishing village in Brazil against the background of the harsh daily life of the fishermen. In expert manner the debut-director handles both image and sound, which intertwine provocatively throughout this visually impressive sleeper hit of the Cannes Critics’ Week.
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Un amor (2012)
Paula Hernández
Argentina
100′
Does love at first sight exist? This may certainly be the case, but sometimes you need time to be sure of this love. This film describes such a story about getting to know somebody and falling in love as a teenager, and about meeting again many years later. It begins in the 70s, in the summer in a small town by the river. Bruno and Lalo are teenagers and good friends. They hang around together in the heat, until one rainy day Lisa turns up, a beautiful young woman who capriciously and quick-wittedly turns the heads of both boys - and then decides on one of them. Three decades later she is back again and finds the friends from her youth living in differing situations. "I am single now", she says, but I can't get the picture of the three of us out of my head. No, she is certainly no longer the same Lisa for both men as she was back then. The pictures and memories that one had of one another, are these still any use in the present? What was it like back then, this love? What did we want, what happened to us? They ponder these questions in front of the camera, giving voice to their memories. How does a love story and history fit together? Can you carry on where you left off three decades ago? These and other questions are pondered by this film about making friends and falling in love as a teenager, and of meeting again many years later. The wonderfully easy-going triangle of their adolescence can probably not be revived. But what about unique and true love from back then? Paula Hernández’ film is also an experiment about how feelings are linked to the spirit of the time the ups and downs of life, in which light, air and sun play a not insignificant role. An intensive, thoughtful, atmospherically very emotionally intoned film about love and about time, which gives this love a new dimension.
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Worlds Apart (2015)
Christopher Papakaliatis
Greece
105′
Set in modern day Greece, "Worlds Apart" is comprised of three separate narratives each following a love story between a foreigner and a Greek. Each story represents a different generation falling in love during a time of socioeconomic turmoil that dominates Southern Europe as a whole,only to connect as a single story in the end. Almost like a triptych work of art where each painting stands alone,yet its true impact lies when viewed as a whole. "Worlds Apart", follows the characters difficult path to love and the complications that their world has. Nevertheless Greece,despite its harsh realities,is still a place where truth,beauty and humanity exist. A place where love can thrive even in the darkest hour. Release places in german speaking Switzerland january 19th 2017 Baden, Kino Orient Basel, Kult.kino Berne, Movie Brugg, Odeon Chur, Apollo Lucerne, Bourbaki Winterthur, Loge Zürich, Capitol Zürich, Houdini Olten, Lichtspiel, january 28 Thun, february 6 Release places in french speaking Switzerland march 1st Delémont Fribourg, Rex Fribourg, Rex: CinéBrunch february 12 Geneva, Cinelux Lausanne, Galeries Vevey Oron-la-ville, march 5
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