Review: BELGICA Surprises, Except When It Doesn't

Belgian director Felix van Groeningen managed to make major waves internationally in the art-house circuit with his films The Misfortunates and especially The Broken Circle Breakdown, so I was quite happy when one of the surprise films of the International... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: GOODNIGHT BROOKLYN - THE STORY OF DEATH BY AUDIO, Bittersweet And Rightfully Angry

A bittersweet memoir of a independent music venue that proved to be much more than a place for bands to play their music as loudly as possible, Goodnight Brookyn - The Story of Death By Audio is also a screed... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: AMERICAN FABLE Teems With Brilliance

In 1982, Reagan's America looked pretty darn convincing ... on television ... if you were 11 years old. But for hundreds of farmers across the heartland of the U.S.A., times were desperate. They were losing their farms, their homes, their... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Blu-ray Review: Mega-Length, Little-Seen A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY Arrives On Criterion

Fellow TwitchFilm writer Kurt Halfyard knows of my overwhelming fondness for cinematic experiences of unusual length. He and I will often seek out the one ticket in the Toronto International Film Festival's annual program that will see us sitting in... More »
By Matt Brown   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT'S LAST WORD, When Capital Punishment Is Not Enough

In October 1981, Sister Tadea Benz, a 76-year-old nun, was raped, strangled, beaten and stabbed to death. Johnny Frank Garrett, age 17 at the time the crimes were committed, was later convicted. He was executed in February 1992, one of... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: In A STRAY, Refugees Are Not Left Behind

"You don't have to live like a refugee," Tom Petty sang in 1979. The musician was reacting to the pressures of the music business when he wrote the lyrics, he said later, but the song has resonated for years because... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: TEENAGE COCKTAIL, A Potent Mix Of Love, Lust, And Something More

Ah, young love! Unexplored emotions come tumbling together, and every thought feels awkward. The gestures are fumbling, tentative, and clumsy: Where do I put my hand? Is it OK if I do ... that? Far more than a straightforward teen... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: DON'T BREATHE, A Home Invasion With Wild Abandon

A muscular thriller, Don't Breathe manhandles a vaguely familiar premise into a fresh, frenzied experience. Directed by Fede Alvarez (2013's Evil Dead, pictured above), the setup is brisk. Three Detroit teenagers (Jane Levy, Dylan Minette, Daniel Zovatto) have made an... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: KARAOKE CRAZIES Kills It

In Korea, few things are more important than karaoke. With thousands of karaoke bars, open all hours, littering every corner of the country, it's an activity that reaches every part of society, servicing hoards of stressed salary workers, bored teenagers... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY Remembers A Forgotten Legend

In recent years, several documentaries have explored the mythical world of popular music in the 1960s, including Morgan Neville's Twenty Feet From Stardom (about backup singers) and Denny Tedesco's The Wrecking Crew (about session musicians). Now comes Bang: The Bert... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2016 Review: THE SLIPPERS Reveals Unexpected Hollywood Treasures

The shoes in questions were made for Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, but the true, fascinating, ever more complex world of The Slippers begins in earnest after she took them off. Granted, the new documentary by Morgan White... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: PARISIENNE Reiterates The Changing Face Of France

There is no shortage of a-young-girl-coming-of-age films in French cinema. Danielle Arbid's Parisienne charts this common, seemingly familiar territory. But it's from a perspective of a foreigner, a Lebanese girl to be precise, in the 90s. Even though the film... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: HYENA ROAD Straddles A Blurred Line

Hyena Road is a bit of a difficult film to quantify. On the one hand, it follows perhaps a bit too closely to some cliched images and story formats of soldiers at war. On the other, it has an earnestness... More »
  

Review: EYE IN THE SKY, Complex, Darkly Funny, But...

Tsotsi and Rendition director Gavin Hood has set himself a difficult task on multiple levels with his latest effort, Eye In The Sky. He is, first of all, tackling fabulously thorny and morally complex material as he weighs the question... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: THE AUTOMATIC HATE, Family Skeletons Get Rattled, Disastrously

Not all families are good or well-adjusted; there are often rifts (reasonable or not) between parents and children, siblings, cousins. Some of us might find out about skeletons in a closet, and sometimes those skeletons are best left undisturbed.  In... More »
  

Review: EXCESS FLESH Makes You Uncomfortable To Make A Point

Jill (Bethany Orr) is a typical misfit, a painfully shy girl who doesn't fit in in L.A., much less in her own apartment, which she shares with the superficial, abusive Jennifer (Mary Loveless), a class-A bitch who wolfs down bags... More »
  

Review: HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX Looks Back, On Tape

Or: How a Bunch of Dirty Hippies Stole Television, and Almost Got Away with it. In the late 1960s, TV news field reporting was still shot on film. This required all manner of kowtowing to the format's sensitivities: light tight... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: ALTES GELD Is Deliciously Devious

This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam had a section dedicated to television series. In it, you could see episode-collections shown as films, and films that are soon to become adapted as television series. But one of the most spectacular... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: Tonko House Returns With Super Cute MOOM

Today Tonko House's latest creation, called Moom, is having its world premiere at Cinequest Film Festival. In 2014, after leaving the safety of the Pixar nest to start their own studio Tonko House, directors Daisuke "Dice" Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo... More »
  

Review: LONDON HAS FALLEN, Rocking The Free World With Dubious Politics And Sadistic Tendencies

Gerard Butler finds himself taking up arms to save Aaron Eckhart’s US President once again in this expanded sequel to Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen. Trading the claustrophobic confines of the White House for the deserted streets of Britain’s terrorised... More »
By James Marsh   
  
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