AFI FEST 2021: Avant-garde – American Film Institute

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AFI FEST 2021: Avant-garde

Interested in seeing something completely unique? These avant-garde leaning shorts and features demonstrate what film is capable of beyond dialogue and narrative. Challenging the viewer to enter different modes of perception, to understand time and space as only film could allow, this selection at AFI FEST 2021 is truly experiential, unmissable for the art-film-lover and includes some of the festival’s breeziest and most joyful films!

ANXIOUS BODY

Living things, artificial things, geometry shapes and lines. When these different things encounter, a new direction is born. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 4 | November 13, 2:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

THE GIRL AND THE SPIDER

In the long-awaited follow-up to their 2013 collaboration THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT and a continuation in what they describe as “a loose trilogy about human togetherness,” Ramon and Silvan Zürcher’s THE GIRL AND THE SPIDER takes place over the course of two days as Lisa is moving out of the apartment she shares with Mara. Friends and neighbors appear intermittently to assist, resulting in a series of odd, if seemingly minor, interactions with unspoken tensions simmering just beneath the surface. Its formal language complex, singular and assured, each movement and each look are pointed and precise in intention, hinting at the absurd nature of human relationships and underscoring the unconscious parameters – such as the confines of space and the laws of gravity – that dictate human behavior. Winner of Best Director in the Encounters section at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 13, 8:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

GRANNY’S SEXUAL LIFE (BABIČINO SEKSUALNO ŽIVLJENJE)

USA Premiere

A trip into grandmother’s youth and the memories of her intimate life illustrate the status of Slovenian women in the first half of the 20th century. Screens as part of Shorts Program 5. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 5 | November 13, 4:45 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

GREEN (ZIELEŃ)

Roadside greenery is created to be driven past, not to be in. Geometrical, artificial and overgrown by weeds. Your body is the same, dragged through life instead of living it. Screens as part of Shorts Program 5. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 5 |  November 13, 4:45 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

MOTORCYCLIST’S HAPPINESS WON’T FIT INTO HIS SUIT (AL MOTOCICLISTA NO LE CABE LA FELICIDAD EN EL TRAJE)

He sits proudly on his motorbike, encompassed in majestic red and the dazzling admiration of others. A playful re-enactment with reversed roles that targets the hubris of colonial conquerors. Screens as part of Shorts Program 3. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 3 |  November 12, 9:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

NALUJUK NIGHT

USA Premiere

Every January 6th, families in the Inuit community of Nain, Canada, celebrate Nalujuk Night, when eerie figures in tattered fur clothing arrive to reward the good and punish the bad. Screens as part of Shorts Program 1. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 1 |  November 12, 3:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

A NIGHT OF KNOWING NOTHING

Winner of the Best Documentary Award at Cannes, Payal Kapadia’s hypnotic feature directorial debut examines rediscovered, once lost film reels and a diary written by a student (“L”) to her absent lover at the Film & Television Institute of India. As her words are read aloud in sedate tones, her own intimate and singular experience of heartbreak reflects that of a generation of students in India experiencing intense feelings of anger, sadness and powerlessness at the injustices of the Modi government. Layered sound and black and white cinematography contrasts vividly with vibrant saturated colors, and that which is remembered or dreamed or truth or fiction is indiscernible in Kapadia’s semi-fictionalized account of political upheaval in India and the student protest movement against rising nationalism, ethnic cleansing and abuses of the lower castes. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 14, 3:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

THE TSUGUA DIARIES (DIÁRIOS DE OTSOGA)

When lockdown halted production, Lisbon-based filmmakers Miguel Gomes (TABU, ARABIAN NIGHTS) and Maureen Fazendeiro (BLACK SUN, MOTU MAEVA) incorporated their interrupted project organically into a playful meta-premise: friends Crista, Carloto and João are building a greenhouse for butterflies, cleaning out an above-ground pool and participating in spontaneous dance parties when there is a sudden global virus outbreak. Unfolding throughout the month of August and told in reverse chronological order, this series of sun-soaked vignettes revels in vibrant color, deliciously textured 16mm film grain and the delightful pop tunes of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. And as the August breeze rustles the trees, this charming and enigmatic lockdown experiment sees time unbound and each day existing on its own terms with exuberance, whimsy and delight. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 14, 12:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY? (RAS VKHEDAVT, RODESAC CAS VUKUREBT?)

After a seemingly predestined pair of romantic encounters, pharmacist Lisa and soccer player Giorgi arrange a date, but after a peculiar curse strikes the pair, each awakens with an altered appearance, leaving them unrecognizable to one another. A seedling, a rain gutter and even the wind attempt to communicate with them, but the two are ultimately left without resources. In this heightened state of awareness, amid the warm summer breeze and World Cup madness, the would-be lovers find themselves suddenly receptive to the small dramas and charged rhythms reverberating along the banks of the riverside city of Kutaisi. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlinale, this unique and profoundly charming sophomore feature from new voice in Georgian cinema Alexandre Koberidze enacts a quiet magic, crafting a contagious state of marveling at the wonders of existence. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 11, 3:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

YOUR STREET (DEINE STRASSE)

The grey present of an industrial area is being charged with its past, linked to a tragic episode in the history of Germany. Are public memorials collective remembrance or repression? Screens as part of Shorts Program 2. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 2 |  November 12, 6:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.  Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in global cinema at FEST.AFI.com.

Individual tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 are currently available on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join/.

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