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This Week At The Kino: Duelling Frenchmen & Fantasy Filmfest

Our film editor reviews Ridley Scott's return to the big screen and singles out two festivals that should be on your radar.

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Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel (Walt Disney) is out this week in kinos.

Fresh from its Venice premiere, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel is out this week and sees Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer pretend to be French in the inspired-by-real-events 14th-century story of the last legally sanctioned duel in France’s history. Mercifully, there are no ill-advised French accents and while zee end resuuult iz a biiit of a mixed sac, it’s definitely more hit than miss.

Sticking with France and also based on historical facts is Resistance. Inspired by the true story of celebrated mime artist Marcel Marceau’s involvement in the French Resistance during WWII, Jonathan Jakubowicz’s biopic / war movie hybrid is a scattershot and largely generic affair, despite a fascinating story and a strong performance from Jesse Eisenberg. Choose the duelling knights over this.

If you’re not feeling historical (or French), we recommend Supernova, Harry Macqueen’s devastatingly intimate second feature starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci at the top of their games. Read our full review for more, but just don’t forget to bring tissues. Bring all the tissues.

And if the thought of weeping like a lost child doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always try Franz Böhm’s eye-opening documentary Dear Future Children, about young activism worldwide and what drives modern protest movements. It’s a portrait of three frontline activists in Hong Kong, Chile and Uganda that won the Audience Awards at Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis, Hot Docs Film Festival and the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin.

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Nic Cage-starring Pig screens at Fantasy Filmfest (AI-Film).

There are two film festivals vying for your attention this week / weekend.

The first is the 11th edition of the Kurdish Filmfestival, which starts tonight and lasts until the 20th. The programme consists of short films, docs and feature films by filmmakers from the four parts of Kurdistan (Bashur, Rojihalat, Bakur and Rojava), the diaspora, and works by European filmmakers who deal with Kurdish issues. Standouts in this year’s edition include Ferit Karahan’s mesmerising Brother’s Keeper, Shawkat Amin Korki’s stunning The Exam and Hiner Saleem’s Après La Chute, a docu-fiction hybrid which shows a Berlin-based Kurdish exile organising a party celebrating the end of Saddam’s regime, a celebration which takes a tense turn when old quarrels re-emerge between Sunnites and Shiites, believers and atheists. Check out the full programme here and get booking tickets for screenings at Babylon, Moviemento and FSK.

The second is the upcoming Fantasy Filmfest, Germany’s touring genre film showcase which returns to the Kino in der KulturBrauerei on the 17th (until the 24th). The eight days of horror/sci-fi/fantasy gems screening in OV kick off on Sunday with Gunpowder Milkshake. The line-up also includes some animal-centric standouts like Nic Cage-starring Pig and the delightfully strange Lamb. Make sure to check out our full festival preview for which tickets to book and what to avoid.

That’s it from us this week. Happy screenings and see you next week.