Personal Shopper, an eerie supernatural story from French director Olivier Assayas, has been announced as an 11th hour addition to the 63rd Sydney Film Festival, opening Wednesday.
Awarded five stars by Time Out London, who called it a “bewitching, brazenly unconventional ghost story”, Personal Shopper is part of a nine-film package of features, documentaries and a short secured for Sydney from the recent Cannes Film Festival.
Adam Driver stars in Paterson, from veteran indie director Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive), a quietly moving portrait of a bus driver poet and his wife. The Handmaiden, from top Korean director Park Chan-Wook, is a sensual thriller based on a novel by Sarah Waters, transposed to 1930s Korea.
Acting legend Marlon Brando only directed one film in his career, the revenge western One-Eyed Jacks (1961). The restoration of the film overseen by Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese that screened at Cannes will be shown during the Sydney Film Festival alongside revivals of Bliss, The Boys and Michael Collins. (Scorsese named the movie his “favourite western”.)
There’s a Studio Ghibli animation too! The Red Turtle, a collaboration with London-based artist Michaël Dudok de Wit, is about a man trying to escape from a desert island and is dialogue-free. Crowd-pleasing German dramedy Toni Erdmann, meanwhile, concerns a man who plays pranks on his grown-up daughter in order to reconnect with her.
The two added-on documentaries are about India’s travelling picture shows (The Cinema Travellers) and the victims of the Habré dictatorship in Chad (Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy). The latter film screens along with a short film from South Africa: ‘The Beast’.
The timing of the Cannes Film Festival in May means that many of the highlights of the Sydney Film Festival can only be added each year at the last minute.
Tickets are on sale now at the Sydney Film Festival website.