This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.
The Belgrade cinema scene ramps up several notches come late February. This is when the curtains rise, and the city swans into the motion picture capital of the world.
Every year, Belgrade hosts its marquee International Film Festival (FEST for short), the biggest and most selective movie festival in this part of Europe. The FEST sets itself apart by featuring only the most intriguing, groundbreaking, and dust-raising films released in the past twelve months. And a couple of oldies, as well.
This winter, the festival is into its 51st edition and will be screening more than twice as many movies between now and March 5th. It would be impractical to list them all, so here are some of the most anticipated pictures coming over to cinemas around Belgrade.
Starring Cate Blanchett as the protagonist, TĂˇr (2022) turned quite a few heads when it premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in September. This psychological drama follows the story of Lydia TĂˇr (Blanchett), a fictional, trailblazing composer-conductor fostering some pretty dark secrets.
The plot centers around Lydia as she navigates the male-dominated western classical music scene while battling the demons of her virtuoso personality. The movie has picked up a slew of awards and received six Oscar nominations. All them big ones.
Straight from the Cannes festival where it was a fan favorite, Crimes of the Future (2022) is the newest sci-fi horror drama coming from the kitchen of David Cronenberg. It paints a bleak vision of the not-too-distant future where humans try to cope with the effects of advanced, synthetically-induced evolution.
The picture is every bit as captivating as the synopsis, with the celebrity cast (Viggo Mortensen, LĂ©a Seydoux, Kristen Stewart) playing out some of the most momentous questions of what it means to be, or remain, human.
As another Cannes shaker coming to the Belgrade FEST, Decision to Leave (2022) is a masterstroke of sleuthing and suspense from the celebrated Korean director Park Chan-wook.
The story revolves around detective Hae-joon investigating a mysterious suicide. On the surface, itâ€™s a mystery detective drama; but dig deeper, and youâ€™ll find mesmerizing crumbles of deception, desire, and subtle emotion. A slow-burner, this one, but worth the hillside journey.
Living (2022) tells a gripping story of a stiff, routine-beaten older man (played by Bill Nighy) who decides to skip work for a time. Why? Because he was just diagnosed with terminal cancer.
If the story sounds familiar, thatâ€™s because youâ€™re well-versed in Japanese cinema and Russian 19th-century literature. Living (2022) is actually an adaptation of Akira Kurosawaâ€™s 1952 film Ikiru, itself an adaptation of Leo Tolstoyâ€™s famous novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Topping the list of high-profile names associated with the 2022 movie, the screenplay is signed by the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro - nominated for Oscar, of course.
Last on our list is also the most gripping, speaking strictly in cannibalistic terms.
Namely, Bones and All (2022) is a bizarre coming-of-age drama that follows the troubles of young Maren (Taylor Russell) as she comes to grips with her dark, sinewy urges.
On the road, she meets different characters, some eaters like her, who all help Maren understand the world around her. The filmâ€™s slow pace and sometimes grueling esthetics will take you places, for sure.
A Word of Advice
All these and hundreds more are available across six locations in the city - each screened up to three times during the FEST. Book your seats early, though; the tickets are going like hotcakes ATM!