Love is in the air at this month’s Film Buzz, the popular DIFF screening series, held monthly at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai. The popular series is screening three critically acclaimed romantic films for February that are as quirky as they are captivating, with nightly screenings from Monday, February 25th through to Wednesday 27th at 7:30pm.
The line-up begins on Monday, February 25th with The Last Kiss, a bitter sweet comedy which screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival with style, energy and wit, filmmaker Gabriele Muccino presents a dark and uproarious comic take on male fear of adult responsibility. The Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award for World Cinema was bestowed on this wise and lively ensemble comedy which stars Stefano Accorsi and Giovanna Mezzogiorno in the leading roles.
On Tuesday, February 26th Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield star in the imaginative and poignant film Never Let Me Go that scooped amongst others the British Independent Film Award. Based on the bestselling novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) and screenwriter Alex Garland (Sunshine) transform dystopian fiction into period drama by presenting an alternate past in which people routinely live beyond 100 at a cost to those who make it possible. Never Let Me Go is a remarkable story of love, loss and hidden truths that critics have described as a heart-breaking work of art.
Rounding up February’s Film Buzz is A 7 Hour Difference from director Deema Amr. This superb feature had its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2011 and was presented in the Muhr Arab Feature competition. Following DIFF, the film enjoyed success at Festivals around the world, winning Best International Feature Film at the Manhattan Film Festival last year. The Jordanian romantic feature is an example of what can happen when East meets West at the crossroads of love, culture, and most importantly family. Dalia (Randa Karadsheh) has returned home to Amman from the United States to partake in the festivities leading up to her sister’s wedding when she gets a huge surprise - the love of her life Jason (Thom Bishops) shows up unannounced in Amman, and proposes.
DIFF’s Artistic Director, Masoud Amralla al Ali, said: “This month’s Film Buzz is a unique offering of films that explore relationships but with a very different take on the usual romantic clichés that we have seen so many times before. All three films are beautifully written, cleverly crafted and directed to deliver a selection of very unique and intriguing films that succeed in revitalizing the romantic genre.”
Film Buzz takes place on the last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each month. Entry is free and operates on a first come, first served basis. The Pavilion can only accommodate 60 people per screening, so film buffs are urged to arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Monday, 25th February: 7:30 pm
The Last Kiss (L’ultimo bacio original title)
115 min, R Rating, Italy
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Stefano Accorsi, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Stefania Sandrelli
Hit 2001 Italian drama, winner of the Audience Award at Sundance and five David di Donatello Awards, about impending parenthood stirring up mixed emotions amongst a group of 20-somethings. A fast moving film addressing the ups and downs of every love story as it delves into fidelity, tenderness and passion. This was first major success of writer-director Gabriele Muccino, who went on to helm the major international hits The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds, both starring Will Smith, before making the 2010 follow-up film Kiss Me Again.
Tuesday, 26th February: 7:30 pm
Never Let Me Go
103 min, R Rating, United Kingdom
Director: Mark Romanek
Stars: Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield
Based on a novel by the Japanese literary legend Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go contemplates love, mortality and freedom with a sci-fi twist. In an alternative, dystopic England, three children grow up in a mysterious boarding school and become very close, oblivious to the fate that awaits them. As adults, played by Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan (Pride and Prejudice) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman), they reflect on the romantic choices they made through the years—choices that meant life or death. For the only way to delay their fate is through caring for others, creating artwork or proving that they are in love.
Wednesday, 27th February: 7:30 pm
A 7 Hour Difference
80 min, R Rating, Jordan
Director: Deema Amr
Stars: Randa Karadsheh, Thom Bishops, Ghassen Mashini
Dalia, a Jordanian architecture student studying in the US, returns to Jordan to celebrate her sister’s wedding with her entire extended family. When her American boyfriend of 3 years, Jason, shows up with a marriage proposal, it should be the icing on the wedding cake, except for the fact that her family doesn’t know that he exists! Love is on the line in this East-meets-West romantic drama that explores family, religion, and inter-cultural relationships.