Karlovy Vary boasts diverse lineup

'Good Night' screens in competition

PRAGUE — Karlovy Vary, the Czech Republic’s biggest annual film fest, unveiled its lineup Monday, with more than 220 pics slated for the June 29-July 7 event, including nine world preems.

Diverse entries from 14 nations make up the competition section, ranging from U.S. light comedy “The Good Night” to South Korean philosophical drama “Pruning the Grapevine,” by way of Russian dark comedy “Simple Things.”

Some unconventional European films are competing for the Crystal Globe including Norway’s “Art of Negative Thinking,” a dark comedy about a group of disabled people; “Dolina,” the Hungarian tale of a nonexistent town; and “Jar City,” an Icelandic dark thriller.

Jake Paltrow’s American-British co-production, “The Good Night,” with Martin Freeman as a former pop star obsessed with a dream girl, and a cast including Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz and Danny DeVito, is one of the few competition entries with international stars. Pic is hoping to continue the American upset of last summer’s fest, in which Laurie Collyer’s “Sherrybaby” became the first commercial U.S. film to win at the fest.

In the running for the East of the West Crystal Globe, a section of 15 films from the former East Bloc that the Karlovy Vary fest has nurtured in recent years, are typically provocative entries as well. The late Cristian Nemescu’s Romanian pic “California Dreamin’ (Endless)” is a social farce about a NATO train holdup; Marek Stacharski screens “Facing Up,” a Polish story of street gangs; and Ivan Kravchyshyn’s “Stop Revolution” is a Ukrainian look at the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, as told by an imprisoned nuclear physicist.

In the docu Crystal Globe run are 16 pics that include France’s “Requiem for Billy the Kid,” Sundance preem “My Kid Could Paint That” and Latvia’s “Theodore.”

Among the fest guests will be Renee Zellweger with “Miss Potter”; cult helmer Monte Hellman, who will screen “Two-lane Blacktop” in a sidebar dedicated to New Hollywood; Eli Roth, who finished shooting “Hostel II” in Prague last year; veteran New York helmer Hal Hartley; and “Hard Candy” star Ellen Page.

Daily Variety’s editor in chief Peter Bart, who chairs the main competition jury, will be joined by Czech helmer David Ondricek, Canadian thesp Arsinee Khanjian, Swiss/French thesp Jean-Luc Bideau, Indian thesp Nandita Das, helmer Daniele Gaglianone and Karl Baumgartner, founder of Germany’s Pallas Film.

A new fest sidebar, Open Eyes, will screen a slate of Cannes films including Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.”

“Simple Things” (Russia), Aleksei Popogrebsky
“Art of Negative Thinking” (Norway), Bard Breien
“The Good Night” (U.S.), Jake Paltrow
“Conversation with My Gardener” (France), Jean Becker
“Dolina” (Hungary), Zoltan Kamondi
“Karger” (Germany), Elke Hauck
“Lucky Miles” (Australia), Michael James Rowland
“Jar City” (Iceland), Baltasar Kormakur
Savior’s Square (Poland), Joanna Kos and Krzysztof Krauze
“Pruning the Grapevine” (South Korea), Min Boung-hun
“Pudor” (Spain), David Ulloa and Tristan Ulloa
“Simple Things” (Russia), Aleksei Popogrebsky
“Saturno contro” (Italy), Ferzan Ozpetek
“Empties” (Czech Republic), Jan Sverak
“When She Jumped” (Argentina), Sabrina Farji

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