opening Refocus Film Festival, a celebration of the art of adaptationwill teleport Iowa City fans to familiar, and much less so, stories across five downtown screens starting Thursday.
With more than twenty films, including a virtual reality experience, the audience had until Sunday to see films, live shows, and discussions with filmmakers.
As Iowa fans ponder what flicks they’d like to see during the festival period, Press-Citizen has picked seven films to make it a little easier.
Here are seven films to learn more about, from a cannibal love story to an in-depth look at New York’s music scene in the early 2000s.
Sanson and I
An exploration of stories of immigration, imprisonment, and friendship, “Sansón and Me” follows director Rodrigo Reyes and Sanson, who Reyes first meet as a court interpreter at the Sanson trial, where he is sentenced to life imprisonment.
The documentary includes a re-enactment of Sanson, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, to show his upbringing, immigration to America, and what led to his imprisonment.
The 83-minute film is an official selection for the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.
Reyes is a California-based filmmaker who was born and raised in Mexico City “rooted in his identity as an immigrant artist,” According to his website. His film “499” won Best Cinematography at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020. The director has shown his work at Morelia International Film Festival, BFI London and more.
“Sanson and Me” showtimes:
- October 7: 6:30 p.m. at The Chauncey
- October 8: 6 p.m. at FilmScene at Ped Mall
- October 9: 1 p.m. at The Chauncey
More about “Sansón and Me” can be found at https://tribecafilm.com/films/sanson-and-me-2022.
“Beyond the Light”
An official selection for the 2021 BFI London Film Festival, “The Afterlight” will, at some point, no longer be available for viewing.
This is by design.
According to the Refocus Film Festival, “The Afterlight” exists as a single 35mm version that will tour around the world and aim to degrade with each show.
The film uses footage from hundreds of films that revolve around the history of the film, featuring actors who are no longer alive.
The 82-minute film is directed and compiled by Charlie Shackleton, a filmmaker who lives and works in London, and whose work includes the short films Lasting Marks, BFI London Film Festival Short Film Winnerand “The Story of Fish”.
Showtimes for “The Afterlight”:
- October 7 at 7 pm at The Chauncey
- October 8 at 1:30 p.m. at The Chauncey
More information can be found at https://theafterlight.xyz/.
In the 1960s, Agnes, a pseudonym for a transgender woman, pAssociated with the gender research of sociologist Harold Garfinkel at UCLAAccording to Variety. Agnes described herself as bisexual and had gender corrective surgery. Years after the first meeting of Agnes and Garfinkel, Agnes revealed that she wasn’t a bisexual but she was taking estrogen pillsaccording to the Paris Review, and was able to undergo a surgery that would not have been possible had it not been for her decision to present herself as a bisexual.
I became Agnes “A notable figure in trans history”, According to Variety.
In “Framing Agnes” directed by Chase Joint, not only did this outstanding character Many other gender non-conforming participants in Garfinkel’s research have also been explored by re-enactmentaccording to Paris Magazine.
The documentary won two awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and Queer North Film Festival, among others.
Showtimes for “Framing Agnes”:
- October 7 at 4:30 pm at The Chauncey
- October 8 at 8:30 p.m. at The Chauncey
- October 9 at 1:30 p.m. at FilmScene at the Ped Mall
More information can be found at https://www.framingagnes.com/.
‘Meet me in the bathroom’
Based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Goodman, “Meet Me in the Bathroom” chronicles the rock scene of New York in the 2000s.
The film covers 2000 to 2003, featuring footage from bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Moldy Peaches, TV on radio, and a rebirth of the rock scene.
Goodman, who directed the film, is a music journalist I used original interviews with musicians, music executives, journalists, and more To write “Meet me in the bathroom,” according to Goodreads.
Showtimes for “Meet Me in the Bathroom”:
- October 8 at 7 pm at The Chauncey
- October 9 at 12:30 p.m. at The Chauncey
More information can be found at https://refocusfilmfestival.org/.
Black Panther Remix: Wakanda Now“
A global pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and watch movies since “Black Panther” was released in 2018, with protests against police killings of unarmed blacks across the country and the death of Chadwick Boseman – the actor behind King T’Challa, the alter ego of the Black Panther. Honorary – the center of both.
A sequel titled “Wakanda Forever” is due out in December, but University of Iowa poet and professor Tracy Morris is in Refocus to present “Wakanda Now.”
The event is described as a “polyphonic reading accompanying a visual-only presentation” of the 2018 film Black Panther. The event, running just over two hours, will feature Morris and a handful of other narrators reimagining the context of the 2018 film with a special focus on language and sound.
This isn’t the first time Morris has done something like this with FilmScene. In November 2019, she created something similar to David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence.” The comment I gave in that particular case was the only narrator in the “Not a New Benshi” style, referring to the Japanese style of showing the film.
Although this is what Morris describes as an “experimental” event, it’s family friendly, although not recommended for those who haven’t seen the movie before.
There is one presentation date for this programme:
- October 9: 7 p.m. at The Chauncey
You can learn more about Tracie Morris on the site traciemorris.com.
“Bone and All”
Two cannibals fall in love and end up on a road trip across the United States; It’s not a joke, it’s the premise of the new horror/romance movie “Bones & All”.
This film earned Luca Guadagnino the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival and his partner Taylor Russell in the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actress.
The film is of particular interest to Iowa residents and University of Iowa alumni as David Kaganic wrote the screenplay for “Bones and All”. Like leading man Timothee Chalamet, Kajganich has collaborated with Italian director Guadagnino on previous projects. In Chalamet’s case, Guadagnino’s previous film is “Call Me By Your Name”; In Kajganich’s case the previous movie is “A Bigger Splash”.
Not only does this show’s premiere time kick off the festival ahead of its national launch date, but the premiere of the re-focus will be followed by a talk from Kajganich and Camille DeAngelis, author of the novel on which the film is based.
Showtimes for “Bones & All”:
- October 6: 7 pm at Englert Theatre
- October 8: 10 p.m. at The Chauncey
More about “Bones & All” can be found at unitedartistsreleasing.com/bones-and-all/
“In the morning you wake up (to the end of the world)”
On the morning of January 13, 2018, Hawaiians woke up to sirens indicating an impending missile attack.
For 38 minutes, the population was left to respond to the possibility of a nuclear attack. “On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World)” is a documentary that invites viewers to explore those 38 minutes. Unlike most documentaries, “On the Morning you Wake” is presented through a virtual reality headset.
The documentary comes from the makers of the video game Notes On Blindness.
This movie is unique in how it is watched because, by its nature as a virtual reality piece, times to watch the movie must be scheduled. This can be done through the Refocus Film Festival website, which begins October 6 in Chauncey.
More information about the movie can be found at onthemorningyouwake.com.
Visit Refocus Film Festival’s website For information on tickets and the full schedule.