Berlinale 2013 Review: COMPUTER CHESS Wins, Despite Its Bold Moves

Despite the fact that Computer Chess is a movie about programmers competing to change the way humans perceive computers, it's about as far removed from the cutthroat melodrama of The Social Network or Pirates of Silicon Valley as a movie... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlinale 2013 Review: VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR Is Bold, Strange And Surprisingly Dull

As the title suggests, Vic + Flo Saw a Bear is a determinedly strange, offbeat film. It's like a juggler with a dozen balls who keeps going, completely indifferent to the fact that he's dropping balls left and right. Of... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlinale 2013 Review: GLORIA Is A Joyful, Tragi-Comic Reminder To Keep On Truckin'

Sure, the Berlinale competition slate this year is jam-packed with self-serious films about lesbian nuns, lesbian ex-convicts, German cowboys and insane sculptors, but, the most honest, touching and even unique film thus far is actually a hilarious, honest Chilean character... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlinale 2013 Review: Ulrich Seidl's PARADISE: HOPE Is A Surprisingly Comic Diet Camp Love Story

Ulrich Seidl's third part of his controversial "Paradise" trilogy, as expected, breaks taboos and offers plenty of squirm-inducing depictions of raw, socially unacceptable emotions... but oddly, it's also a really silly movie. In fact, most of the film, set in... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2013 Review: Sam Rockwell Breaks Age-Old Movie Rule in A SINGLE SHOT

Briefcases full of money are bad news. Terrible news, even. If you see a briefcase full of money, run as far away from it as you can, and maybe stay inside for a few days just to be safe. You... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlinale 2013 Review: The Fascinating Mysteries Of I'M NOT DEAD

The opening credits to I'm Not Dead play over an intense string number that immediately calls to mind Hitchcock thrillers of yesteryear. While in many ways Mehdi Ben Attia's film is far more intimate and ambiguous (at least on the... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Review: TABU is a Glorious Celebration of Cinema and Crocodiles

Tabu calls to mind the oft-repeated comparison between film directors and magicians. Indeed, how else but with magic could Portuguese director Miguel Gomes have created such a joyful, enthralling film from this wild mix of historical adventure, deadpan humor, romance,... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Review: HINDSIGHT

There's a terrific story lost somewhere inside Lee Hyun-Seung's Hindsight. That's part of the problem, really - there's enough different ideas for an epic, even a miniseries. An amiable jopok enforcer trying to go straight. A hotly contested last will... More »
By Matthew Lee   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: Álex de la Iglesia's AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT

In his follow up to The Last Circus, As Luck Would Have It (La Chispa de la Vida), Álex De La Iglesia moves out from under the literal big top and sets his sites on the mass media --... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: TABU is a Glorious Celebration of Cinema and Crocodiles

Tabu calls to mind the oft-repeated comparison between film directors and magicians. Indeed, how else but with magic could Portuguese director Miguel Gomes have created such a joyful, enthralling film from this wild mix of historical adventure, deadpan humor,... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR

Despite the impressive cast and generally positive word of mouth, I still sat down to Billy Bob Thornton's Jayne Mansfield's Car wondering, "Does anybody really need another nostalgic family comedy/drama? What could Thornton possibly have to add to this well-worn... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: LOVE

MONGA director Doze Niu's new film LOVE is like a very sweet dessert. It has been made with both natural sugars (the charming cast and stories) and artificial sweeteners (certain plots and dialogues). While it may be too sweet... More »
By Hugo Ozman   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: CAPTIVE

Brilliante Mendoza's Captive is not quite the blunt, relentless kidnapping drama you may expect from the man who shocked audiences at Cannes 2009 with the feel-awful neo-noir Kinatay. This time, Mendoza casts the net considerably wider. Though the film rarely... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: BEYOND THE HILL (Tepenin Ardi)

On the surface, Beyond the Hill is a fairly straight-forward slow-burn psychological thriller about an unseen enemy. However, within this structure, Director Emin Alper weaves in pointed political and cultural allegory along with elements of (deep breath...) dark comedy, revisionist-westerns,... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: IRON SKY

I'm torn about how to review Iron Sky. Is it really fair to criticize a movie about Nazis from the dark side of the moon invading the earth for being too goofy? Hell, is it really fair to criticize that... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Berlin 2012 Review: NUCLEAR NATION

Last year, when the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan caused several nuclear reactors to explode, the international media coverage began with articles crying "Panic!" and then seemed to abruptly shift to vaguely ominous, often convoluted reports of which it was... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

LIFF 2011: SHE MONKEYS review

The problem with Swedish teen drama She Monkeys is there are two approaches artistic filmmakers seem to gravitate towards when they want to explore the subject of young and/or inexperienced people finding out about sex. Either they go gritty, intimate,... More »
By Matthew Lee   
  

ART HISTORY Review

[Our thanks to Christopher Bourne for the following review, which is being crossed published at Chris' website The Bourne Cinema Conspiracy.]The filming of a sex scene proves to be no simple process (if indeed it ever is) in Joe Swanberg's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

UNKNOWN UK BluRay review

It would take a pretty great film to get anything genuinely surprising out of a story where one day the protagonist discovers the world is convinced he doesn't exist, given how many spins on this idea we've seen in recent... More »
By Matthew Lee   
  

BIFF 2011: TWO IN THE WAVE review

Beautifully structured and produced, stuffed with satisfying little nuggets of information on the partnership between legendary directors Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, Emmanuel Laurent's Two In The Wave is a great example of how to put together a populist... More »
By Matthew Lee   
  
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