The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival returned for its 52nd year from 30 June-8 July. The beautiful spa town on the edge of the Slavkov forest in Western Bohemia played host to A-list stars and directors from around the world. As ever, showcased were some titles from this year’s Cannes Film Festival as well as the latest delights from Eastern Europe.
★★★★☆ Georgian director Rati Oneli’s City of the Sun is in a constant dialogue with philosophical treatise and epic poetry, but the humanity shines through in his meditative exploration of a half-abandoned mining town. The title of City of the Sun is taken from a 1602 utopian text of the same name by Dominican philosopher Tommaso Campanella.
★★★★☆ Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery channels slow cinema maestros Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tsai Ming-liang in A Ghost Story, a beautiful meditation on grief, time and place. It doesn’t start out that way, though. Initially, A Ghost Story looks and feels like a stereotypical low-key US indie with subtle horror tropes.