Europa! Europa Film Festival

The Euro-centric film festival is back for 2024 with 47 movies, including a retrospective dedicated to 'Poor Things' filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos.
Sarah Ward
January 19, 2024

Overview

It won Emma Stone her second Golden Globe. It just might nab the actor her second Oscar, too. And it was the best film of 2023. Poor Things is also the inspiration behind a key part of this year's Europa! Europa Film Festival in Sydney: a retrospective dedicated to Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos featuring six of his prior flicks. Three of his movies in his homeland are covered, including the Oscar-nominated Dogtooth, earlier psychological drama Kinetta and 2011's Alps. So are his trio of English-language titles before riffing on Frankenstein, aka The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Favourite.

2024 marks two years since Europa! Europa first debuted, giving film fans a new excuse to pretend they're on the other side of the world while settled into three Aussie cinemas, and taking place at the Ritz Cinemas Randwick in Sydney. The event's third annual fest runs from Thursday, February 15–Sunday, March 10 in the New South Wales capital, with a lineup of 47 movies from 28 countries.

Accordingly, while diving into the bulk of Lanthimos' filmography is a major drawcard, that's just one part of the program. It all starts with the Mads Mikkelsen (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny)-led The Promised Land, which is also Denmark's shortlisted submission for Best International Feature category at the 2024 Academy Awards. And still on movies with awards ties, the centrepiece gala will screen conversation-driven play-to-film drama Freud's Last Session, which features The Father Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins as an elderly Sigmund Freud.

Io Capitano is also a 2024 contender for Best International Feature, for Italy. Hailing from Gomorrah and Dogman's Matteo Garrone, it follows two teens leaving Senegal for Europe. While it didn't make the Academy's shortlist, Poland's The Peasants was the country's submission in the category, with Loving Vincent's DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman behind the animated drama that this time is styled to resemble Polish artworks.

From there, other highlights include the futuristic The Beast from Nocturama's Bertrand Bonello, which adapts a Henry James novel, and stars Léa Seydoux (Crimes of the Future) and George Mackay (1917); Les Indésirables, the latest by Les Misérables director Ladj Ly; BPM (Beats Per Minute) filmmaker Robin Campillo returning with the Madagascar-set Red Island; and The Mauritanian helmer Kevin Macdonald's fashion documentary High & Low: John Galliano.

Or, there's Spanish comedy Co-Husbands, with Paco León (Staring at Strangers) and Ernesto Alterio (You Shall Not Lie) playing men who learn they've wed the same woman; A Chef for Dali, also from Spain, as inspired by restaurant El Bulli's origins; Greece's The Summer with Carmen, about writing a film script one summer; Men of Deeds, focusing on a Romanian cop; and Germany's Stella. A Life starring Paula Beer (Afire).

The Lanthimos retrospective isn't the only way that Europa! Europa is looking backwards, either, thanks to 4K restorations of 1963's Contempt by late, great French directing icon Jean-Luc Godard (Goodbye to Language) and 1970's The Conformist from Bernardo Bertolucci (Stealing Beauty).

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