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Land Ahoy!

 

May 18-28, 2017

In conjunction with the exhibition “HARBOR”, Istanbul Modern Cinema presents a selection of panoramic films about harbors which are the scenes of shady murders, great loves, and beginnings and farewells. Harbor represents a haven for those coming from the sea and hope for those looking from land. Harbors have featured in films from different periods and of different genres throughout the history of cinema and have sometimes played the leading role either in the story or the picture, often functioning as a door that opens or closes in the character’s life. The program comprises a total of 11 films stretching from Japan to Chile, including: Le Havre (2011) by Aki Kaurismäki; The American Friend (Der Amerikanische Freund, 1977), the first feature film by Wim Wenders; A Scene at the Sea (Ano Natsu, İchiban Shizukana Umi, 1991) by Takeshi Kitano; The Dance of Reality (La Danza de la Realidad, 2013) by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

 

LE HAVRE, 2011

Finland, France, Germany | DCP, Color, 93’ | French

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Cast: André Wilms, Blondin Miguel, Jean-Pierre Darroussin

 

Marcel Marx is a former author who leads a bohemian life in the French port city of Le Havre. When human sounds are heard coming from a shipping container brought into the port by a freighter, it turns out that African immigrants are stowed away inside. A young boy, Idrissa, manages to escape and the first person he encounters is Marcel who decides to hide the kid in his house. From then on, there will be a radical change in the monotonous life Marcel had been leading between his wife and the bar he frequents in the evenings. This sincere, warm-hearted film by Finland’s auteur director Aki Kaurismäki won the FIPRESCI Prize for best film at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

With the Contributions of 

 

 

BEAU TRAVAIL, 1999

France, Italy, Russia, UK | DVD, Color, 92’ | French, Italian, Russian

Director: Claire Denis
Cast: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin

 

A military drama by the provocative and unusual director Claire Denis. A former officer in the French Foreign Legion, Galoup recalls his once glorious days in the Gulf of Djibouti. While on the one hand he diligently trains the young soldiers, on the other he feels love and admiration toward his commandant. When the latter is drawn to a new recruit, Galoup is consumed with feelings of jealousy, revenge and hatred. Created in a vast, endless desert that virtually becomes a prison, this masculine world turns into a poetic, mystical feast with the impact of the soundtrack and of dizzying images.

With the Contributions of 

 

 

THE AMERICAN FRIEND (DER AMERIKANISCHE FREUND), 1977

Germany, France | Blu-Ray, Color, 125’ | German, English, French

Director: Wim Wenders
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz, Lisa Kreuzer

 

Adapted from the novel Ripley’s Game (Patricia Highsmith, 1974) by veteran director Wim Wenders, the film explores a question often posed in noir films: What compels a family man to become a killer? Jonathan Zimmerman is a picture framer who is terminally ill. He receives an offer to kill someone from Tom Ripley, a crook who deals in forged art. He must make a difficult decision when the opportunity arises for him to earn enough money to provide a comfortable life for his wife after his death. The American Friend offers an in-depth character analysis of two completely opposite types.

With the Contributions of 

 

 

A SCENE AT THE SEA (ANO NATSU, ICHIBAN SHIZUKANA UMI), 1991

Japan | Blu-Ray, Color, 101’ | Japanese

Director: Takeshi Kitano
Cast: Claude Maki, Hiroko Ôshima, Sabu Kawahara

 

Shigeru is a deaf young man who works as a garbage collector. One day, he finds a broken surfboard among the garbage which will turn a new leaf in his life. At first, he tries to ride the waves unaware of the critical comments of strangers on the beach. His girlfriend Takako, who is also deaf, watches from the shore where they go every day. While this new-found passion renders everything else around him invisible, he also makes a new circle of friends despite his hearing impairment. Practically dialogue-free, the film is a minimalist story that evokes warm emotional feelings in the audience.

With the Contributions of 

 

 

AQUARIUS, 2016

Brazil, France | DCP, Color, 146’ | Portuguese

Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Cast: Sonia Braga, Maeve Jinkings, Irandhir Santos

 

Clara is a retired music critic who lives alone in a house full of records by the sea. She is the only one left to oppose the group of developers who want to acquire all the apartments in the building where she lives. While this charismatic woman recalls the past with the nostalgia brought on by her house being at risk of demolition, at the same time she continues to live her life as she pleases. Holding a mirror to Brazil’s social issues through Clara’s impressive resistance, the film premiered in the official competition of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

 

 

THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN (LA GRAINE ET LE MULET), 2007

France | Blu-Ray, Color, 151’ | French, Arabic, Russian

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Habib Boufares, Hafsia Herzi, Farida Benkhetache

 

Slimane, a stubborn, taciturn immigrant from Tunisia has spent his life working in the shipyards of a little French port city on the Mediterranean coast. Starting to feel the years grow on him, this 60-year-old man on the verge of losing his job speaks to his family about his dream of opening a restaurant. At first this dream seems impossible to everyone, but over time the whole family takes part in it. While addressing themes such as loneliness, hope, and family, Abdellatif Kechiche also explores the characters of this crowded family in depth.

 

 

THE DANCE OF REALITY (LA DANZA DE LA REALIDAD), 2013

France, Chile | DCP, Color, 133’ | Spanish

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Cast: Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Jeremias Herskovits

 

Bringing the director’s own childhood years to the screen, this semi-autobiographical production was filmed by Chilean-born Alejandro Jodorowsky who is known for taking his audience on unforgettable journeys through the extraordinary ideas and images he offers. While the first half of the film focuses on young Alejandro’s complicated relationship with his family, the second half focuses on his father Jaime’s dramatic conversion from communism to radicalism which leads him to abandon his family. Jodorowsky’s philosophy about reality is perfectly reflected in this film: Reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our own imaginations.

 

 

EXOTICA, EROTICA, ETC. 2015

France, Greece | Blu-Ray, Color, 73’ | Portuguese, Spanish, Greek

Director: Evangelia Kranioti

 

Greek visual artist Evangeline Kranioti shot this first feature film between 2011 and 2014, as she traveled to 20 countries, boarding a total of 12 cargo ships. This anthropological study, which premiered at the 2015 Berlinale Forum, tells about sailors who travel the oceans and women in nearby ports who look forward to their return. We watch the daily work routines of sailors amongst images of nature such as waves, ice, and sky. This approach, which is observational at first, gives way to a more poetic journey later on in the film.

 

 

SLACK BAY (MA LOUTE), 2016

France, Germany | DCP, Color, 122’ | French, English

Director: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

 

A mysterious crime comedy by auteur director Bruno Dumont which takes place in a coastal town in France. Set in 1910, the film centers on a poor family who make a living by harvesting mussels, and a rich family with exaggerated manners, as well as two caricature-like inspectors who have been tasked with investigating a series of disappearances in the area. The film competed at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Befitting the director’s peculiar style, it offers a surreal view of the class conflict that was present in France during that era.

 

 

PORT OF CALL (HAMNSTAD), 1948

Sweden | DCP, Black & White, 100’ | Swedish

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Nine-Christine Jönsson, Bengt Eklund, Mimi Nelson

 

Berit, who lives in the industrial port city of Gothenburg, falls in love with the sailor Gösta who has come to the city to work. Having difficulty escaping her troubled past and overbearing mother, this young woman begins to believe that her relationship with Gösta might save her from depression. Heavily influenced by Italian neo-realism, this film by Sweden’s legendary director Ingmar Bergman is further enhanced by an impressive cinematography that supports the psychological drama.

With the Contributions of 

 

 

THE HARBOUR COQUETTE (LİMAN YOSMASI), 1961

Turkey | DVD, Black & White, 106’ | Turkish

Director: Şinası Özonuk

Cast: Susan Jaja, Işın Kaan, Avni Dilligil, Semih Serezli

 

Ayhan is the son of Yakup, a retired freighter captain and his only goal is to be a seagoing captain like his father. But Oya, who was abandoned years ago by her father Yakup and was forced to work at a night club in the harbor to earn a living and look after her mother, is determined to take revenge on her father through her stepbrother Ayhan. Accompanied in places by music and dance, The Harbour Coquette is a melodrama that also reflects the ports and maritime life in Istanbul in the 1960s.