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58th TIFF: Opening Film & Tributes Ildiko Enyedi, Ida Lupino (9/12/2017)

58th THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2-12 November, 2017
 
OPENING FILM
TRIBUTES ILDIKÓ ENYEDI / IDA LUPINO
 
The 58th Thessaloniki International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday November 2, 2017 at the Olympion theatre in Thessaloniki, with Ildikó Enyedi’s latest work On Body and Soul that marked her return to filmmaking after 18 years and won the Golden Bear in this year’s Berlin IFF.
 
The tributes of the 58th TIFF highlight the work of two bold women filmmakers of the present and the past. The festival presents a tribute to the Hungarian director and writer Ildikó Enyedi, one of the most original female voices of contemporary European cinema, who will attend the event to present her captivating films to the audience. In addition, the festival honours the pioneer English-born actress, director, writer and producer Ida Lupino (1918-1995), the first woman who made films about taboo issues in the male-dominated Hollywood of the ‘50s.
 
Ildikó Enyedi Tribute
 
We wanted to present you a very simple film like a glass of water. It was risky, all of my team believed in it, but we couldn’t know if the audience would join us because this film is only approachable with a generous heart”. 
 
Ildiko Enyedi about On Body and Soul
 
Ildikó Enyedi’s body of work is not only accessible, but also made with great generosity. In her films, fairytales, magic and legends mingle with today’s reality in unexpected, often surreal and at the same time everyday stories, thus making her enigmatic and poetic cinematic world absolutely engaging. Enyedi has had a fascinating journey from the avant-garde art scene of the '70s to top festivals around the world, showcasing a truly distinct filmmaking style. She studied film in Budapest, became a member of the Hungarian art group Indigo and the Balázs Béla Studio and started her career as a concept and media artist before directing feature and short films that have won more than 40 international awards.
 
Here is a selection of Enyedi’s films that will be screened in the 58th TIFF (the full list of films will be announced soon):  
 
  • 58th TIFF OPENING FILM:
    Set in an abattoir, On Body and Soul (2017) is a compelling romantic tale about two lonely souls who literally meet each other in their dreams. Humans and animals, as well as the beauty and the grotesque set the film’s tone and atmosphere, demonstrating that love lies even in the strangest places.
  •  Inspired by the figure of Simon the Magician, Enyedi’s film of the same title (1999, Golden Leopard - Locarno FF) takes place in Paris and centers on a mysterious man: a modern magician who flirts with death, accepting the challenge to sleep under the earth for three days and emerge again. 
  • A policeman obtains seven magic bullets from the Devil and pays the price of this evil pact, in Enyedi’s Magic Hunter (1994), an allegoric film based on a folk legend that comes to life in modern Hungary. David Bowie serves as the film’s executive producer. 
  • Enyedi’s black and white debut film My Twentieth Century (1989, Camera d’ Or - Cannes FF), takes a nostalgic look at the 20th century introducing us to twin sisters Dora and Lili. After being separated in an early age, the former becomes a high class escort and the latter a revolutionary. They will meet again in their twenties, when a man falls in love with them. 
 
Ida Lupino Tribute
I'm mad, they say. I am temperamental and dizzy and disagreeable. Well, let them talk. I can take it. Only one person can hurt me. Her name is Ida Lupino”.
 Ida Lupino (1918-1995)
 
Ida Lupino’s fearless spirit and unconventional filmmaking are undeniably remembered and appreciated; the pioneer artist made the kind of films only few would in Hollywood in the 1950s, a time when women were limited to stand in front of the camera.
 
Also known as "mother" -as she wished to be addressed to on set among her male-dominated crew-, Lupino was the second female director to become a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), after Dorothy Arzner. Lupino was born in 1918 in London and made her acting debut in her teens, moving on to the Hollywood film scene as the “British Jean Harlow”. She signed contracts with the biggest movie studios as an actress; however she was destined to make a difference behind the camera, working in a huge film industry controlled by men. In 1949, together with her then husband Collier Young, she founded the independent production company The Filmakers and directed six low-budget films about highly controversial social topics such as rape, bigamy and illegitimacy, opposing the Hays Code.
 
Martin Scorsese praised Lupino’s work saying “Her films are remarkable chamber pieces that deal with challenging subjects in a clear, almost documentary fashion, and are a singular achievement in American cinema”.
Lupino’s films changed the norms of social melodrama and explored the dark aspects of human behavior through a subversive, feminine perspective. Three of them will be screened in the 58th TIFF:
 
  • The sensitive and personal drama Never Fear (1949) chronicles the story of a young dancer who struggles to recover from polio, as Lupino once did in the past.
  •  Based on true events, The Hitchhiker (1953) is among the first films noir directed by a woman; a tense and suspenseful story that follows a serial killer who wanders in the California desert with two male hostages.
  •  The Bigamist (1953) masterfully tackles bigamy, sharing the story of a man who is married to two women, one of them played by Lupino herself.
 
“There is a little black devil inside me. Sometimes I must fight that devil. It’s a terrible fight. Someday I’m going to lose”, Lupino used to say about her inner demons. Her exciting life ended in 1995 in Los Angeles.

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