by Crystal Orren
One of the best things about film festivals is the opportunity to watch movies that delve deeper into the human subconscious than through the average cinematic experience. The only thing is, once you start probing those depths, you might uncover more than you can handle. Identity issues, past traumas, current confusion, and straight-up psychosis is on the menu at this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, challenging audiences with interpretations of what is sane, and what – for better or worse – is simply the human condition.
LIKE CRAZY: In a gorgeous psychiatric facility in the fields of Tuscany, Donatella and Beatrice couldn’t be more different. But an unusual and strange event fuels their desire to escape, resulting in an adventure among the citizens of the “free world” that will forever change the way they see themselves, their lives, and how they view the world around them.
MAD WORLD: Leave it to Hong Kong to provide audiences with an unflinching and heartbreaking look at mental illness, in which a patient just released from a psychiatric hospital has been discharged despite being no closer to sane than when he checked in. Now Tung, once a successful financial analyst, cannot be hired to any job, and is forced to move in with his father who is unable to manage the burden. The suffering that ensues feels both surreal and too true-to-life.
THE PRESENT ONES: Ana is an actress about to start rehearsals on a play she once starred in, but her once-director is now her husband. Overcome by the role of Ophelia in “Hamlet’s Machine,” she collapses and wakes to the reality of her life, further separating from her wandering husband and a child she can’t understand. A much-needed vacation to the local volcanoes seems just the cure they need, but it awakens far more than they planned.
REMEMORY: Starring Martin Donovan, Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones), and Anton Yelchin (STAR TREK) in one of his final roles, REMEMORY follows a grieving wife (Julia Ormond) whose husband is found dead after announcing his masterwork: a machine that extracts memories. She is soon joined by a man who claims to be friends with her late husband, but may have a far more personal agenda in mind.
BERLIN SYNDROME: After a romantic tryst with a photographer in Berlin, Clare learns her new lover isn’t so keen on her leaving his apartment just yet. Now, she’s a captive-of-sorts, and trapped into placating his needs while figuring out what she has to do to escape her love-nest-turned-prison.
BUSTER’S MAL HEART: In one of the very best films of this year’s festival, Buster (Rami Malek, Mr. Robot) is a devoted husband and father, working the night shift at a travelers’ hotel when he encounters a homeless, conspiracy-obsessed stranger that convinces him the end of the world is coming – with potentially tragic consequences.
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.