×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

First Look at Trailer for Locarno’s Animated Thriller ‘Ruben Brandt, Collector’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for Milorad Krstić’s animated heist thriller “Ruben Brandt, Collector,” which the Locarno Film Festival has just revealed will world premiere in its open-air venue, the Piazza Grande.

The English-language film centers on Ruben Brandt, a psychotherapist, who suffers from violent nightmares inspired by 13 famous works of art, including Van Gogh’s “Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin,” Titian’s “Venus of Urbino” and Picasso’s “Woman with a Book.” Four of his patients, all of them highly skilled thieves, offer to steal the paintings, in the belief that his nightmares will end if he “possesses” them. He agrees to this plan, and they break into art galleries and private art collections across the world, including the Louvre, Tate, Uffizi, Hermitage and MoMA.

Brandt becomes known as “The Collector,” one of the world’s most-wanted criminals. Gangsters and headhunters chase him around the globe while the reward for his capture rises to $100 million. A cartel of insurance companies hires Mike Kowalski, a private detective and leading art-theft expert, to solve the case.

According to a statement from the director, the film operates on two levels: first, the “action-propelled crime story,” and second, “a time surf over the waves of the 20th century’s art and movie world,” including visual references to films by Eisenstein, Hitchcock and Tarantino. He added: “Every frame is full of well-known examples from the history of visual arts.”

Referring to Jean-Luc Godard’s comment that photography is truth and cinema is truth 24 times per second, he said: “For me drawing is imagination and animated film is imagination twenty-four times per second.”

Krstic was born in Slovenia, then part of the former Yugoslavia, but has lived in Budapest, Hungary, since 1989. He won Berlin’s Golden Bear for best short with animation “My Baby Left Me” in 1995. As well as being a filmmaker, he is an artist working across different disciplines, including painting, drawing and sculpture.

Commenting on the central idea in the film – a man suffering from nightmares about works of art coming to life – Krstic told Variety: “To be haunted by ghosts or zombies in nightmares is a cliché, it’s more exciting to be haunted by Velázquez’s ‘Infanta Margarita’ or Botticelli’s ‘Venus.'”

Speaking about the artists who influenced the visual style of the film, he said: “I learned the world of shadows from Caravaggio and film noir, the distressing scenes from Goya and horror movies, and the double faces from Picasso…”

He said of the eclectic soundtrack’s contribution: “I created this film as an audiovisual symphony, which means that the story, the graphics, animation, music and sound are all equally important.”

Asked to name an animator or filmmaker who he admired most, he said: “If I had to pick two from the list, I would go with Disney and Hitchcock.”

“Ruben Brandt, Collector” was produced by Peter Miskolczi, Radmila Roczkov, Hermina Roczkov, János Kurdy-Fehér and Krstić. It was written by Krstić, with original music composed by Tibor Cari.

The film was supported by the Hungarian National Film Fund, whose sales arm, HNFF World Sales, is handling world rights. It also benefited from Hungary’s production incentive. Mozinet will release the film in Hungary in November; Lemon Tree Media acquired distribution rights for China earlier this year.

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    'Alita' Inching Past 'Lego Movie 2' at Presidents Day Weekend Box Office

    James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend. Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday. The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    All Oscar Categories to Air Live After Hollywood Protest

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reversed its controversial decision to hand out four Oscars during the telecast’s commercial breaks. Following a Thursday night meeting with top cinematographers, Academy leadership including president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson have pledged to air every awards category on the live show a week from [...]

  • Academy Awards preparation 2017

    Cinematographers Hopeful That Academy Will Reverse Oscarcast Exclusions

    Cinematographers who are opposing the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations on the telecast have said a “productive” Thursday night meeting with Academy brass may lead to a reversal of the exclusions. American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Oostrum said in a letter to members Friday that he expects a decision by the end [...]

  • Oscars: Resistance to the Rescue

    Oscars: Resistance to the Rescue

    When “The Dark Knight” failed to secured a best picture Oscar nomination, the snub was said to have prompted the Academy to expand the category from five nominees to as many as 10. A decade later, maybe out of fear that something similar might happen again to the immensely popular “Black Panther,” the Academy announced [...]

  • Chris Evans attends the "Lobby Hero"

    Chris Evans' Action Film 'The Red Sea Diving Resort' Bought by Netflix

    Netflix has bought global rights, excluding China, to Chris Evans’ action-thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” for release later this year. Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michiel Huisman, Greg Kinnear, and Ben Kingsley also star. “The Red Sea Diving Resort” is directed by “Homeland” creator Gideon Raff from his own script. Raff had [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content