As the year comes to an end, BitPix and some very talented filmmakers wanted to show off some special selections from the already incredible group of films that have been shown throughout the year. While not a part of any of the typical BitPix fare that we premiere throughout the months, this is a special time of year, and with that we bring the gift of six terrific films that will be sure to be on the short list of favorites. With films that boast accolades from wins at film festivals across the globe, selections from the HollyShorts Film Festival and more, these films are sure to delight. With that, let’s get to it!
Shark – Nash Edgerton completes this animal-themed trilogy, following Jack through Spider, Bear, and now Shark. Starring in the film as well as having written and directed it, Edgerton brings Jack back again, this time having found the perfect partner for his love of pranks and ridiculousness. Joining Edgerton is Rose Byrne, playing his wife Sofie, as they take a trip to the ocean, where their game of upping the stakes meets a potentially tragic tipping point. Edgerton and Byrne are amazing together, and the entire film has this strange, dark edge in a way that is both tense but ultimately very fun.
The Last Day Of Patriarchy – Writer/Director Olmo Omerzu brings something very special to this film, wrapping the moral of a dying wish with the idea that with the family patriarch on his deathbed and making a shocking last request, it’s up to the new girlfriend, Nina, to decide whether or not to put her feelings aside and bend to the wishes of a family she is about to join. The films poses some difficult questions, and in this setting it’s hard to really know what the right answer is. But each moment is played brilliantly, with Nina (Eliska Krenkova), boyfriend and family to the ill man Jakub (Voktech Vondracek) and the patriarch themselves (Frantisek Nemec) all doing excellent work as the main focus of the film. It’s dark, a bit upsetting, but overall, a very well done film from the Czech Republic.
Censor Of Dreams – An eclectic and surreal film from Leo Berne and Raphael Rodriguez, it tells the story of a man (played by Damien Bonnard), who is tasked with moderating the dreams of Yoko (Yoko Higashi), playing at the role of censoring the landscape of her subconscious. As their work continues, the man and his co-worker find challenge in this task, putting forth the effort to hide a trauma. This psychedelic landscape provides a launching pad for them to consider their own innermost thoughts, considering if what they’re doing to Yoko is right, or even really possible. Adapted from a story by Yasutaka Tsutsui, this film is a haunting but fascinating look at the innerworkings of the human mind in all its complexities.
Take And Run – A film by Maria Brendle, this Swiss film focuses on a woman living in the small country of Kyrgyzstan, where young Sezim (Alina Turdumamatova) lives in a small village, with dreams of making it to the Kyrgyz capital to study and make a life for herself. During her respite as she tried to break free of the binds of an arranged marriage and start a life in the bigger city, she is taken and brought back into an even more dangerous version of what she was already looking to escape: a forced marriage. Threatened with exclusion if she refuses, Sezim is brought to a crossroads, choosing between freedom and the culture of her people and its traditions. Turdumamatova and the rest of the cast (notable Nurbek Esengazy Uulu and Madina Talipbekova) are fantastic, and the spotlight of this culture is a welcome one, even with the difficult subject matter. With few films really focused on Kyrgyz culture and its people, it’s good to see them get some time on screen, even if under difficult circumstances. And while tough to watch, the problem of bride kidnapping is a real one, and showing those whose nations are barely affected, if at all, makes a powerful statement.
Thanks to the wonderful filmmakers for their contributions and for sharing their delightful films. While these films are not currently on the BitPix platform, these are all films to be on the lookout for these films as festivals continue and these films garner even more attention.