Rotterdam 2014 Review: AFTER THE TONE Leaves A Message

(Hi, this is Twitch, if you want to read the review, please start after the bracket...) Some films catch attention because of a single, clear, brilliant idea. Something you immediately know could be great, or fail badly, based on execution.... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: Miike Takashi's THE MOLE SONG - UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI

(Rest assured that people of the fashion police will leave the cinema in tears...) An International Film Festival Rotterdam without a Miike Takashi film is almost unthinkable. Ever since Audition screened, back in 1999, the eclectic director has sent a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: ME TOO Is Balabanov's Final Wave To Us All

(Instant happiness or instant death, the end is the end...) Russian director - and enfant terrible - Alexey Balabanov wasn't exactly a stranger at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Nearly all of his films were screened at this festival upon... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: IXJANA Injects Giallo-like Color And Weirdness Into Film Noir.

(If I did THIS much sex, booze and drugs together on one evening: yep, unfortunately I'd forget stuff as well...) Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski is no stranger to the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which even honored him a few years... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: MIROIR MON AMOUR, Can Snow White Out-seduce Her Mother?

(It's all Sex, Lies and Fairy-tales in the "Happily Ever After"...) There certainly wasn't a shortage of films about Snow White in cinemas this past year, what with Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, and Blancanieves. The last of... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: HOW TO DESCRIBE A CLOUD

(You will not see that next-to-last shot coming. Seriously, you won't...) While there are several big flashy films shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the vast majority of titles tend to be low-budget affairs by newcomers. Introducing new names... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: MATTERHORN Climbs To An Emotional High

(This one puts the gut-punch back in Punchline...) This year, Matterhorn won the Audience Award of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the first Dutch film since 1997's The Polish Bride to do so. Local films were strongly represented in the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: DIEGO STAR Brings Canadian/Russian Injustice To Light

(Of all the places to get stuck in...) One of the many world premieres this year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam was the Canadian-Belgian social drama Diego Star, about a sailor from Ivory Coast who is left abandoned near... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: LONGING FOR THE RAIN Gives An Unflinching Look At Sexual Desire

(Apparently, rainy nights make for wet dreaming...) Despite the reputation of the International Film Festival Rotterdam for being one of the main portals to Asian cinema, this year there weren't many films from China. What was there was pretty special,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: HALLEY Begs Sympathy For The Zombie

(For starters, they're so sloooo-ooow...) While there weren't as many genre films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam as, say, ten years ago, this year it actually featured two new zombie films. Amazingly, both titles managed to bring something new... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: NAIROBI HALF LIFE Entertains At High Speed

(Crime doesn't pay... but it can further your acting career!) In 2010 the International Film Festival Rotterdam dedicated an entire programme section to films from Africa, and there has been a strong African presence at the festival ever since. This... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: LORE Finds The Awful Truth In Pretty Pictures

After her well-received debut feature Summersault (2004), a small indie film about a young woman's sexual awakening that launched the careers of Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington, directing a WWII drama in Germany with all German cast is a curious... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: OH BOY Meanders Pleasantly Through A Beautiful Berlin

(But will the sequel be called Oh Man?) There is no shortage of debut films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Beginning filmmakers are encouraged through the Hivos Tiger Awards, and the festival section "Bright Future" strives to bring forward... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: F*CK FOR FOREST Tries To Spread Love And Peace!

(It's a documentary about f*cking hippies... No, I'm not being reactionary! They're really hippies and they're really f*cking!) This year there were several feature documentaries at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, but few had a subject (or a title) as... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: THE COMPLEX Gives A Decent Fright

The International Film Festival Rotterdam is no longer the go-to event in The Netherlands when it concerns genre films from Asia. When the IFFR abolished its "Rotterdammerung" section, that honor went to the IMAGINE festival in Amsterdam and Camera Japan... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: ODAYAKA Dives Beneath the Surface of Polite Japanese Society

This year the International Film Festival Rotterdam brought its visitors two Japanese features that, like the countless others that have already been made about it, just seemed to explore the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster from March 11,... More »
  

IFFR 2013 Review: Johnnie To's DRUG WAR Is Here To Wake Us All Up

(Johnnie To is the drug for me...) The International Film Festival Rotterdam has a great reputation for including loads of Asian content in its catalogue each year. The modified line-ups of recent years have not changed this, although the big... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2013 Review: FRANKENSTEIN'S ARMY Is Out To Get You

This is the kind of film where "tripping over your own legs" doesn't necessarily mean they're still attached... Richard Raaphorst's debut feature film Frankenstein's Army has its world premiere today at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. And it's about time:... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

BluRay Review: WEEKEND

When Weekend director Andrew Haigh talks about his film carrying a message for everyone, gay or straight, it's a welcome mission statement. Queer cinema tends to divide opinion like few other genres, not least because at one extreme when it's... More »
By Matthew Lee   
  

UK DVD Review: PARKED

If you're going to make a movie that relies heavily on symbolism, you need either a particularly light touch, or to be bold enough about it people get swept away by your vision, no matter how daft it might come... More »
By Matthew Lee   
  
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