Film Festivals,

The International Festival of Detective Films of Beaune 2011 winners

Friday, April 08, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Initially this was going to be a piece about Jeong-Beom Lee's The Man from Nowhere winning the Grand Prize at the International Festival of Detective Films of Beaune 2011 but the more I looked into the International Festival of Detective Films of Beaune the more, I felt I needed to shout out about the festival and some of the films it celebrated this year - as seems to be the bellwether for some really good upcoming films

I should start by telling you finding information about the festival itself required some detective work as it seems to be oddly ignored by English speaking press.

The International Festival of Detective Films of Beaune is annual 5 day festival held in Beaune, Burgandy, France where new and old detective films are celebrated. And each year, the festival pays tribute to a particular city for its influence and mythological dimension in the detective genre.

More info about the festival can be found here:

You may not have heard of Jeong-Beom Lee's The Man from Nowhere yet but it is a cracking good eastern yarn. A reluctant hero with a past is pushed into taking on some of nasty people to save a young girl he has befriended, in fact she is the closest connection he has to the world from his solitary existence.

Pretty soon the bad guys have awakened a sleeping demon and our guy is punching, kicking and slashing his way through the Korean underworld leaving no opposition standing. If you liked Oldboy, Infernal Affairs, Leon or Man on Fire this might be the ticket for you.

Scarred by traumatic events resulting from his past, former special agent Tae-shik (Bin Won) lives in solitude running a pawnshop in a rundown neighbourhood. His only contact with the world is through his customers and his next-door neighbours, a young girl named So-mi (Sae-ron Kim) and her mother, an exotic club dancer and drug addict. Neglected by her mother and shunned by the kids at school, So-mi gradually forms a bond of friendship with the loner Tae-shik.

But one day, So-mi and her mother disappear. When it becomes apparent that mobsters connected to So-mi’s mother’s drug dealing have kidnapped them, Tae-shik is forced to leave his private sanctuary and to go out into the world in search of his one and only friend. In a bid to ensure So-mi’s safety, Tae-shik agrees to perform a one-off job for the gangsters holding the girl. The job turns out to be a set-up that makes him the target of both a rival gang and of an intense police manhunt. On the run from both sides of the law, and risking him life every step of the way, Tae-shik moves ever closer to discovering So-mi’s whereabouts, but in doing so, he also risks revealing the hidden secrets of his past…”

Like a lot of eastern films it has a much sentimentality that western audiences find hard to come to grips with but this is balanced with some of the most kick ass fight scenes I've seen in a while. It is also beautifully shot and straddles that fine line between art house and action film with aplomb.

The Man from Nowhere Trailer

I saw it about 2 weeks ago and must have seen about 15-20 films since but 2 phenomenal scenes still standout as absolutely brilliant.

I don't want to give to much away but there is a short scene where our hero is on a chase and he runs down a corridor and crashes out the first story window to the ground level. I'm sure you are thinking Oooh K - but the magic in this shot is that the camera follows the guy Bourne style down the corridor and out through the window. It's like extreme film making and the effect works it really brings you into the action and I don't think I've seen this done before.

The other outstanding scene is when our hero is up against maybe 15 guys and he only has a knife, fortunately his shady past prepared him exactly for this kind of scenario as he unleashes a blood letting of note. If you were impressed by the hammer scene in Oldboy or Jude Law's corridor fight-out (a rip of Oldboy) in Repo Men you'll be blown away by this fight.

I've might have just ruined 2 moments from the film but I really wanted to give you a flavour of what to expect.

I'm not the only one who thinks The Man from Nowhere is the business it was awarded the Grand Prize at the 3rd International Festival of Detective Films of Beaune 2011. Last year's Grand Prize was awarded to The Secret in Their Eyes, so you know it's in good company.

Others winners this year included Michael R. Roskam's Bullhead and Baran bo Odar's The Silence sharing the Jury Prize.

The Silence Trailer

The Silence
A bicycle found in a wheat field. A missing teenager. Is history repeating itself? 23 years ago, a young girl named Pia was raped and murdered at this exact spot. Has the same happened again to 13-year-old Sinikka? Krischan, the retired detective who led the first investigation, is convinced there is a connection between the two crimes.

Bullhead Trailer

A young Limburg cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille is approached by an unscrupulous veterinarian to make a shady deal with a notorious West-Flemish beef trader. But the assassination of a federal policeman, and an unexpected confrontation with a mysterious secret from Jacky's past, set in motion a chain of events with farreaching consequences. BULLHEAD is an exciting tragedy about fate, lost innocence and friendship, about crime and punishment, but also about conflicting desires and the irreversibility of a man's destiny.

Special Police Prize 2011 went to the eagerly anticipated Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman story The Debt directed by John Madden

The Debt Trailer

The Debt
Rachel Singer is a former Mossad agent who endeavored to capture and bring to trial a notorious Nazi war criminal - the Surgeon of Birkenau - in a secret Israeli mission that ended with his death on the streets of East Berlin. Now, 30 years later, a man claiming to be the doctor has surfaced, and Rachel must go back to Eastern Europe to uncover the truth. Overwhelmed by haunting memories of her younger self and her two fellow agents, the still-celebrated heroine must relive the trauma of those events and confront the debt she has incurred.

Stars: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington and Tom Wilkinson

The Critic's Prize went to both Michael R. Roskam's Bullhead and David Michod's brilliant Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom Trailer

Animal Kingdom
Tells the story of seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.

And New Blood Best Film went to Yvan Gauthier's L.A. I Hate You

L.A. I Hate You
The lives of an action star wannabe, a frustrated family man, and a guilt-ridden boyfriend, intertwine in three tales of sex, violence, redemption and murder all taking place in the City of Angels: Los Angeles, California.

The films above that I haven't seen yet have been added to my must see list and I'm looking into getting over to the The International Festival of Detective Films of Beaune 2012.

More information can be found here: