George Bush, Che Guevara and Even Mike Tyson at Art Film Fest!

Multiple Oscar winner Oliver Stone, whose filmography includes biopics of the famous American presidents JFK and Nixon, last year augmented his cycle of heads of state with George W. Bush, one of the most controversial, secretive and cynical presidents in American history.In the film W., which Art Film Fest will screen for the first time in Slovakia, Stone follows the life of the forty-third American president from the year 1967 on:  from his wild college days full of parties, through his military service, his stint in the big business of the oil industry, his presidential campaign in 2000 and his first four years in office, up to his second campaign in 2004.  Stone portrays Bush as poised, charismatic, ironic and idealistic.  And while it is a film about a top-ranking politician, it is more a portrait of a person who went into politics but perhaps shouldn’t have.  One of the film’s greatest assets is the performance of the lead actor, Josh Brolin. The name of another hero who will grace the festival screen is one that still resonates forty yeas after his death.  Ernesto “Che” Guevara is a symbol of the 1960s, a time when revolution was in the air.
This young, handsome and idealistic champion of the oppressed is the main character of Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s films Che: Part One, which is already in our cinemas, and Che: Part Two, which Art Film Fest will screen for the first time in Slovakia. This fascinating portrayal of that symbol of idealism and heroism, who lives on in the hearts of people around the world, will be presented at the 17th Annual Art Film Fest in a double-feature screening.
The film is divided into the two crucial parts of Guevara’s life: the first dating from 1955 to 1962, the second from 1966 until his death in October, 1967.
Soderbergh, lead actor Benicio Del Toro and Guevara’s biographer Jon Lee Anderson had no easy task before them: to tell the story of an icon. The result, however, is fascinating.  On-screen, Guevara is a strong and decisive person, but also humanly fallible and fragile. Admired and condemned: such is the former heavyweight champion.  You don’t have to be a boxing fan for the documentary Mike Tyson to move you.  Director James Toback presents the gripping chronology of this controversial sports figure’s undoubtedly remarkable life.  You will learn how a boy from the poor black ghetto achieved his own American dream, but after all could not manage his extraordinary position, and ended up in prison.  Pleasantly, Tyson’s story is told by Tyson alone, and honestly and frankly at that. Festival cinemas will also screen director Darren Aronofsky‘s Wrestler, featuring the triumphant comeback of veteran actor Mickey Rourke. Wrestler began its success as the unexpected, but deserving, winner of the most recent festival in Venice. While this extraordinary picture will arrive at Slovak cinemas by the end of September, Art Film Fest is offering the unique opportunity to see this striking film three months earlier.
Aronofsky focused his camera’s lens on the story of Randy Robinson, a former 1980s star wrestler, who tries to improve his standing with performances for the remaining supporters of this rough sport.  He lives just for those short moments of excitement when he can feel the fervour of his few fans.  But he is estranged from his daughter and isn’t able to maintain a single real relationship.  During one performance he has a serious heart attack, and he may not even survive another show.  The aging man reassesses his life.  He attempts to revitalise his relationship with his daughter and starts dating a middle-aged stripper, but his passion for combat beckons him back to the ring… Charlie Kaufman first achieved fame as an intelligent and very unconventional screenwriter.  His past works include the film Adaptation, nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, for which the screenwriter also received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
This time Kaufman is back with his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, which was recognised in the main competition at Cannes 2008, and later received five international prizes.
The hero of this story about the fear of death, anxiety, people’s incompetence and love is Caden Cotard, who sees both his health and his marriage collapse.  His wife disappears with their daughter, and a great void opens in Caden’s life.  But this is unexpectedly disrupted by a generous grant, which offers him the opportunity to finally create his masterpiece: a true-to-life stage play that encompasses “everything”. Love him or hate him, but one thing is certain: Kim Ki-Duk is the most famous contemporary Korean director, recognized worldwide.  And his work can’t be absent from Art Film Fest, either.  He captivates with his unique visual flair and powerful, timeless messages.  His accomplishments include a prize for best director from the Berlinale for the film Samaritan Girl and from Venice for the picture 3-Iron.
Another must-see is his 15th picture, Dream.  It may be the most unusual Kim Ki-Duk film yet.  He goes very far in answering the question, “what is reality and what are dreams?”.
It tells the story of Jin, who wakes up one morning with an unpleasant feeling.  He dreamed that he was driving a car, had an accident and fled before the police arrived.  He is deeply worried, so he sets off for the place where the accident happened in the dream.  He comes to the intersection, where there is a wrecked car and police, just like in the dream.  And the police begin to question him, together with a young lady named Ran.  One fateful night, Jin happens to have slept in her bed.  After a series of psychological inquiries, Jin and Ran realize that they are inexplicably connected. Art Film Fest will present even more exceptional films in the section All Around the World, among them being the picture Two-Legged Horse from the talented Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf, The Window from Argentinean director Carlos Sorin, Notorious from George Tillman Jr., the South Korean film The Good, the Bad, the Weird from Kim Ji-woon and the comedy The Yes Men Fix the World from the workshop of the comedic “culture jammers” Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno and Kurt Engfehr. ———————————————————————————————————– Organizers: ART FILM, n.o., FORZA Production House Co-Organizers: the Town of Trenčianske Teplice, the Town of Trenčín, Health Spa Trenčianske Teplice The Festival is made possible through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.

General Sponsors: AquaCity Poprad, zdravotná poisťovňa Dôvera
Main Sponsors: Omnia Holding, Tatra banka, Tauris, the Central European Foundation, Slovnaft Official Transport Provider: Lancia  Logistics Sponsor: DHL Sponsors: Provimi Pet Food, Dr. Max,  Hotel Baske, AVI Studio Official Suppliers: Hubert, Segafredo Zanetti SR, Philips, GS design, Parkhotel Baračka Slovak cinema is brought to you by Zlatý Bažant
Main Media Sponsors:
Slovenská televízia, Pravda,, Boomerang, Žurnál Media Sponsors: televízia Markíza, FilmBox, Televízia Central, Rádio Okey, Rádio Hit FM, Markíza, Pardon, Cinemax, Kam do mesta,,,, ISPA, SITA, Q-EX, Trenčianske Echo