Acclaimed director Tony Kaye’s (American History X) long-awaited film Detachment (TFF 2011) stars Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody as Henry Barthes, a substitute teacher who conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form a bond with either his students or colleagues. A lost soul grappling with a troubled past, Henry finds himself at a public school where an apathetic student body has created a frustrated, burned-out administration. Inadvertently becoming a role model to his students and a runaway teen, Henry finds that he’s not alone in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world. Detachment features a stellar ensemble cast, including Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, Tim Blake Nelson, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, James Caan, and outstanding newcomers Sami Gayle and Betty Kaye.
Black Butterflies (TFF 2011) is a stirring portrait of Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten), the woman hailed as South Africa's Sylvia Plath. In 1960s Cape Town, as Apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, Jonker finds her freedom through her poetry. Amid escalating quarrels with her longtime lover Jack Cope (Liam Cunningham) and her rigid father, a parliament censorship minister (Rutger Hauer), Jonker witnesses an unconscionable event that will alter the course of both her artistic and personal lives. For her captivating performance as a woman ruled by her own genius and episodes of mental illness, van Houten was awarded the Best Actress prize at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
Full of visual style and wild humor, Neon Flesh (TFF 2011) is a high-energy crime thriller centered around Ricky, a young thug with a heart of gold, and the underground world that he lives in. His prostitute mother, Pura (Almodóvar favorite Angela Molina) abandoned him when he was 12. Upon her impending release from prison, he wants to honor her by opening up a brothel. For help he enlists a pimp, his junkie girlfriend, and a transsexual who believes that she's royalty to help him achieve his dreams of operating a successful family-run business. When he finally picks his mom up from the hospital, he's disappointed to learn that she's underwhelmed with his gift. Worse, the location Ricky chose for the brothel encroaches on ruthless thug El Chino's domain. Successfully blending multiple genres together with a stunning conclusion, Neon Flesh is a twisted journey into the underbelly of Buenos Aires that is surprisingly full of heart.
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