West Virginia International Film Festival January lineup

By RealWV Staff,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia International Film Festival is gearing up for a big 2024, starting with a January jam-packed full of can’t miss features!

MONSTER

DESCRIPTION: When her young son Minato starts to behave strangely, his mother feels that there is something wrong. Discovering that a teacher is responsible, she storms into the school demanding to know what’s going on. But as the story unfolds through the eyes of mother, teacher and child, the truth gradually emerges.

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

Monster is one of the finest films of the year, and its structure – like its circle of characters – carries secrets that can only be unraveled through patience and empathy.” – Natalie Winkelman, New York Times

“As you’d expect from Kore-eda, it’s all told with the utmost detail and care, and a gentle score from the late Ryuichi Sakamoto only adds to the overarching air of thoughtfulness and empathy.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out

“It poetically shows the power of perspective. So well-observed, nuanced, and compassionately told.” – Claudia Puig, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda and starring Sakura Ando, Monster won Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, and Best Feature, Best Actor, and again Best Screenplay at the Newport Beach Film Festival. 

Monster will screen at 7 p.m. on Fridays, and 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays through January, at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

FALLEN LEAVES

DESCRIPTION: The film tells the story of Ansa, a supermarket shelf-stocker on a zero-hour contract, later a recyclable plastic sorter, and Holappa, a sandblaster, an alcoholic, later an ex-alcoholic, whose paths have accidentally crossed and who, despite adversity and misunderstandings, try to build some kind of relationship on the harsher side of state welfare.

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

“Kaurismaki works magic with understatement, especially in Fallen Leaves, possibly his greatest film.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Time Magazine. 

“Drolly scripted, impeccably designed and photographed, and played to succinct perfection, this may only be a slender drama, but it’s also a cherished summation of what makes Aki Kaurismaki special.” – David Parkinson, Empire Magazine

“Fallen Leaves is thoroughly entertaining, completely unpredictable and one of the best films I’ve seen this year.” – Leonard Maltim, leonardmaltin.com

Written and directed by Aki Kaurismaki, the film stars Alina Tomnikov, Alma Poysti, Janne Hyytiainen, Jussi Vatanen, and Nuppu Koivu.

Fallen Leaves will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays through January, at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

PICTURE PROOF

DESCRIPTION: Picture Proof is a documentary that examines the intergenerational impact of addiction by chronicling the love, labor, loss, and uncertainty of one woman’s struggle to live a life of sobriety. Weaving together moments of glee, fulfillment, acceptance, sorrow, and disappointment, the film takes an intimate look at the bonds that hold one family together and a disease that threatens to tear them apart.  

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

“Picture Proof is the most honest portrayal of addiction I have ever had the honor to witness. Tijah and Jena simply show – without telling, explaining, or hypothesizing – the complete picture of a family gripped by this disease. This beautifully moving film doesn’t offer straightforward answers but rather wades into complex territory with the utmost patience, grace and humanity.” – Katie Dellamaggiore, award-winning director and producer

“It’s filled to the brim with love, patience and understanding as well as pain, grief and uncertainty, in a way that feels utterly human and necessary.” – Lindsey Arrington, Program Coordinator at True/False Film Fest

Picture Proof will screen at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17. Both screenings will take place at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

For more information about the West Virginia International Film Festival, including upcoming screening and how to become a member, visit wviff.org

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