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   


[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   


Salton Sea, a salt-water lake in the middle of the deserts of California, used to be the place to be several decades ago. Nowadays, it stands as a testament as to how time diffuses luster. The once pristine beaches that... More »
By Oggs Cruz   

Berlin 2011: ELITE SQUAD 2 Review

[With Elite Squad 2 now screening in Berlin it seems time to revisit Ryland Aldrich's earlier review.] Jose Padilha's 2007 hit Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) turned heads by winning the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival -... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   

Berlin 2011: GANDU (ASSHOLE) Review

[With Q's Gandu now screening in Berlin it seems a good time to revisit my previous review.]Bold, energetic and by turns both deliberately vulgar and sharply incisive, Kolkata based director Q is sure to turn heads with Gandu - a... More »
By Todd Brown   


[With Werner Herzog's Cave Of Forgotten Dreams now screening in Berlin it seems a good time to revisit Dustin Chang's previous review.]This History Channel funded Werner Herzog's foray into 3D filmmaking is a pretty straightforward documentary. Only it's in 3D.... More »
By Dustin Chang   

Berlin 2011: STOOL PIGEON Review

[With Dante Lam's Stool Pigeon screening in Berlin, now seems a good time to revisit James Marsh's earlier review.]Dante Lam returns to the mean streets of Kowloon once more for a gritty police thriller centred on a particularly troubled cop... More »
By James Marsh   

LIFF 2010: KOSMOS review

Reha Erdem's brilliant Kosmos is strange in a way few films beyond experimental cinema ever manage to be. The story of a visitor to a lonely, insular Turkish city and how the people there react to him, it's not... More »
By Matthew Lee   


Following a delirious prologue featuring alien poachers locked in deadly combat with a bad-ass entity of pure fire, Koji Masunari's animated feature Welcome to the Space Show innocently begins with a group of children being dropped off at rural summer camp. It... More »
By Peter K.   

Sitges 2010: BLOOD RIVER Review

[Adam Mason's Blood River has walked a difficult path from production to release and so, with the film now screening at the Sitges Film Festival, I re-present now the review I wrote for the picture roughly two and a half... More »
By Todd Brown   
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