Location: Downtown Independent
Address: 251 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Four days, 11 Los Angeles premieres!
An unprecedented collaboration between Acropolis Cinema and the Locarno Film Festival, the fourth annual Locarno Festival in Los Angeles returns in 2020 to the Downtown Independent cinema, home of the festival’s first two editions. Running from February 13-16, the festival will present a special four-day program following three successful editions from 2017-2019. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, film critic Justin Chang describes Locarno in Los Angeles as “a jolting antidote to the mid-spring blockbuster blues, as well as a welcome reminder that cinema isn't just a global medium; at times, it can be downright otherworldly.” Curated by Acropolis founder Jordan Cronk and co-artistic director Robert Koehler, the festival's main program is comprised of a hand-selected group of films from the 72nd Locarno Film Festival’s Competition, Filmmakers of the Present, and Moving Ahead programs. With the generous support of MUBI, the Swiss Consulate General of San Francisco, and the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, this year’s showcase titles include Tyler Taormina’s Ham on Rye (Opening Night), an L.A.-shot coming-of-age drama starring over 100 performers, including first-time actors and 90’s Nickelodeon child stars; Kôji Fukada’s eerie suburban thriller A Girl Missing (Spotlight Selection); Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter’s stunning sci-fi docu-fiction Space Dogs (Closing Night); and the highly anticipated Los Angeles premiere of Portuguese master Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela, winner of both the Golden Leopard and Best Actress prizes at last summer’s Locarno festival.
Location: Lumiere Music Hall
Address: 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Los Angeles premiere!
Director Thomas Heise in person!
In Heimat Is a Space in Time, German filmmaker Thomas Heise shares the stories of three generations of his family, in their own words.
Heise sets the tone early, reading an anti-war essay written in 1912 by his grandfather Wilhelm, when he was a schoolboy. The director uses the same matter-of-fact, uninflected tone throughout the film – as he reads letters and notes from relatives who lived through the horrors of the First World War, Nazi Germany, and then life in Communist East Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Heimat Is a Space in Time defies easy description. Heise offers no context, no talking heads, no analysis. Yet this unadorned approach, coupled with the potent imagery accompanying the words, is one of the documentary’s greatest strengths. One particularly memorable sequence involves Heise’s grandparents, a “mixed” Jewish-Gentile couple living in Vienna during the Nazi era. Their letters capture the increasing measures taken against Jews: banned from buses, losing access to coal ration cards, and lastly being forced to a concentration camp in Poland. All the while, as Heise reads, lists with the names of Jews slated for deportation scroll by on the screen for nearly half an hour.
Clearly influenced by his own previous work (much of it banned in the former East Germany, where he lived until the fall of the Berlin Wall), Heimat is the culmination of Heise’s career. It is an understated epic that brilliantly marries the written word, image, and sound design. The unspoken message is that the past, even as those who remember it slip away, remains with us.
In person: Thomas Heise
*Tickets on sale soon
A monumental film.
Ioana Florescu, Cineuropa
Mesmeric, persuasive and cumulatively powerful, as each piece of the puzzle falls into place.
Scott Tobias, Variety
A masterpiece; an exceptional record of the persistence of history and memory in the current moment.
Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail
Spanning from the end of the 19th century into the start of the 20th, the film reroutes the stories that emerge from Heise’s own genealogy into a broader national history, rendering the personal political in a scale and seriousness rarely seen on screen.
Matt Turner, Little White Lies
[Heimat] is, in the fullest sense, a Foucauldian project... [Heise's films] are like points on a curve, provisional answers to the question of how best to interrogate a particular social problem, and whether to forge connections down through space or over across time—archaeologically, genealogically, or both at the same time.
Michael Sicinski, MUBI Notebook