It’s not too late to enjoy international films at the Austin Film Festival

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As the 20th year of the “writers’ festival” closes, there is still time to enjoy some critically acclaimed foreign and foreign-language films. “Crackheads,” “La Navaja de Don Juan,” and “Handy” will have their final screenings starting Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Crackheads” hails from New Zealand and is a dark comedy about a group of friends that become addicted to meth after a night of debauchery. Riding the popularity of “Breaking Bad,” this film offers a more comedic approach to the dark subject. The comedy is revealed with the diversity of the four friends—a psychologist who is a dullard, an unsuccessful actor, a former criminal who has an auto shop, and a foul-mouthed priest. This is also a window to a part of the world most audience members may not be familiar but can identify with. For instance, director Tim Tsiklauri described the New Zealand tourists rarely see.

“There is a meth problem,” Tsiklauri said.

Tsiklauri also mentioned discrimination, a subject that is addressed in the film.

One of the most imaginative and talked about films at the festival is “Handy.” Italian director Vincenzo Cosentino said he wanted to stand out and not make a “typical film.” In true early Tim Burton style, Cosentino created a character called Handy, an actual hand that detaches itself from its owner and goes off into the world to become a writer.

AUSTIN, TX (Oct. 27, 2013) Italian director Vincenzo Cosentino (left) describes how he gave life to his "Handy" characters. Consentino wrote and directed the film as well as created all the costumes and special effects. (Photo by Liz Casanova, CafeConCine.com editor)
AUSTIN, TX (Oct. 27, 2013) Italian director Vincenzo Cosentino (left) describes how he gave life to his “Handy” characters. Consentino wrote and directed the film as well as created all the costumes and special effects. (Photo by Liz Casanova, CafeConCine.com editor)

Cosentino had a small budget and did all the special effects, costumes and even plays a role in the film. But he also caught the attention of “Django” actor, and spaghetti western legend, Franco Nero.

“Franco saw my short film and asked if I was going to do a feature,” Consentino said.

According to Consentino, Franco said that he wanted to be in the film.

For those seeking a coming-of-age film will enjoy “La Navaja de Don Juan.” This Peruvian film is a story about two brothers who try to overcome their sibling rivalry. The more experienced brother cohorts the younger one to lose his virginity. “La Navaja de Don Juan” stars many fresh-faced actors and the audience will see a side of Peru that has nothing to do with terrorism or crime.

Infographic by Liz Casanova, CafeConCine.com editor
Infographic by Liz Casanova, CafeConCine.com editor
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