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Top 5 Festival Picks for the Undercover Intellect

We know, skimming through over 200 films can be fun but it can also be time consuming. That is why the Calgary International Film Festival has put a call out to our trusty community members, volunteers, and even a few local celebrities to develop their very own Top 5 "Must See" lists for the 2017 festival. Use these lists as a jumping off point for deciding on your own picks for the year, and hey - don't worry about cross-pollinating. Feel free to make your own top 10 lists from these top 10 lists, and more! 

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Our next list is brought to you by Associate Professor in English and General Education at Mount Royal University, Michael Truscello. With a special proclivity for things that go bump in the night, Michael definitely sways to the horror and sci-fi side of the spectrum. Included in his list of favourite films is HARD TO BE A GOD, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, THE SHINING, THE RAID 2 (Michael is even pictured above with star Iko Uwais), and STILL LIFE. However, the selections we see from him here also fall line with his other on-screen cravings - Documentary and World Cinema. Let's call this one a list for the "Undercover Intellect", with a special shout out to all you folks who want to see blood spatter and a good political debate... but not at the same time. 

Michael's list includes 5 films that will both entertain and leave you pondering. 

1. MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS

A feminist Indonesian re-imagining of the Spaghetti Western sounds like the right combination of genre kicks, political subversion, and aesthetic invention.

2. THE NIGHT GUARD

With best film awards from the Los Angeles and Morelia International Film Festivals, this thriller about a security guard on a construction site in Mexico City appeals to my interest in political allegory and urban intrigue.

3. TURN IT AROUND: THE STORY OF EAST BAY PUNK

OK, this documentary probably has a built-in audience who want to hear the music of Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Neurosis, Isocracy, NOFX, Bikini Kill, Jello Biafra, all the way to Green Day, Bad Religion, and Rancid. I'm curious to see why a documentary about punk has a 155-minute runtime. 

4. HUMAN FLOW

One of the best documentaries of 2016 was Gianfranco Rosi's FIRE AT SEA, about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. With HUMAN FLOW, we have another major international artist (Ai Weiwei) producing a documentary about one of the most pressing issues of our time, and this film was shot in 23 countries. A selection of Venice and Berlin, this documentary is a must-see.

5. A DAY

I'm a sucker for films about repetition. Whether it's art house fare such as THE TURIN HORSE or more palatable experiments such as the recent surprise A GHOST STORY, I'm game for meditations on the experience of time. A DAY comes from Korean director Cho Sun-ho and has its characters trying to solve a seemingly endless loop of accident and shock. 

Other recommendations from Michael include: STRAD STYLE, IZZY GETS THE FUCK ACROSS TOWN, SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY, THE SQUARE and HAPPY END

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Individual tickets are available via the links above or you can buy packs and passes by clicking here