Get Lost with these DIFF Flicks
by Michael Ward
For some, getting lost is scary; for others, it’s an adventure. The following films offer viewers glimpses into the places they may rarely see: modern and historical Latin America, Canada, the mountains of the U.S., and early 20th-century Europe. Taken together, the stories are filled with hope, abandonment, and a desire to connect different people and different cultures. Whether you find yourself getting scared by the thought of being lost or eagerly anticipating it, the movies in this group will give you something to enjoy.
LOST IN PARIS
Admittedly, it’s difficult to tell a story set in Paris that skips the city’s dozen or so landmarks or a reference to the Lost Generation. LOST IN PARIS manages to sneak in just one landmark (hint: it’s tall) but does it in a fresh and charming way, and there’s no Hemingway to be found. The movie tells the humorous story of three people who find themselves “lost” in the City of Lights: a young woman without a map, a elderly lady without her mind, and a happy-go-lucky tramp without a home.
If you’ve traveled anywhere in Western Europe recently, you probably only had to show your passport once when you arrived and once when you left. Much of the continent has eschewed its political borders. That hasn’t always been so. FRANTZ, told in German and French with English subtitles, is a drama of a divided continent and a divided people, haunted by the lost loves and bullet-ridden morality of the first world war.
The jungle of Colombia, the mountains of Mexico, and the city of Montreal are the settings in which three independent migrant stories unfold; however, more than mere backgrounds, the locations are like characters in writer-director Juan Andres Arango’s transnational drama. The film’s grounded realism, both with the settings and the experiences of the characters, turns empathy into a defining trait of the story. Ultimately, X500 shows how the worst distances and borders—the ones that don’t make us feel at home—are the ones between people.
LOST CITY OF Z
James Gray’s emotionally and visually resplendent epic tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (a remarkable Charlie Hunnam), the British soldier-turned-explorer whose search for a lost city deep in the Amazon grows into an increasingly feverish, decades-long, magnificent obsession that takes a toll on his reputation, his home life with his wife (Sienna Miller) and children, and his very existence. Also starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, THE LOST CITY OF Z represents a form of epic storytelling that has all but vanished from the landscape of modern cinema, and a rare level of artistry.
DALLAS STAR AWARDBILL PAXTON (POSTHUMOUSLY)
Bill Paxton was an award-winning actor and filmmaker from Texas. In 1992, he landed his first leading role in ONE FALSE MOVE. Paxton went on to star in several hit films including ALIENS (1985), APOLLO 13 (1995), TWISTER (1996) and TITANIC (1997)
L.M. KIT CARSON
DAVID GORDON GREEN
This year’s L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Award Honoree is writer/director David Gordon Green. David Gordon Green’s debut feature, GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000) won the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and his second feature, ALL THE REAL GIRLS (2003) received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
SHINING STAR AWARDZOEY DEUTCH
This year’s Shining Star Award Honoree is Zoey Deutch. Zoey Deutch is an actress known for VAMPIRE ACADEMY (2014), EVERYBODY WANTS SOME! (2016) and WHY HIM? (2016). Most recently, Zoey Deutch starred in two films selected at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, REBEL IN THE RYE and BEFORE I FALL.