Berlinale 2016 Review: WE ARE NEVER ALONE Delivers A Powerful, Harrowing And Way Too Vivid Parable

Petr Václav, the Czech filmmaker living and working in France, returns to the theme of racial discrimination already addressed in his feature debut Marian (1996). Prejudice based on race persists as a hot topic in the Czech Republic, attracting ever... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: GENIUS Proves That Not All Talent Translates

Elvis Costello famously quipped, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture", and while I hardly agree with the overall sentiment -- if I did, I wouldn't exactly be doing this -- his point is well taken. Success in... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: YOU'LL NEVER BE ALONE, A Smart Chilean Debut

There perhaps hasn't been that many films to blow your socks off at Berlinale so far this year, but Alex Anwandter's You'll Never Be Alone could well be the first. Definitely proving to be yet another example of how great contemporary South... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: First, SOY NERO Dazzles, Then It Disappoints

How important is a single shot? Not a sequence, nor an edit. Can a solitary, unbroken shot make or break a film? Can it upend one's total reception of a work? Because there is a shot at the very beginning... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: A GOOD AMERICAN Damns The Worst Of America

Austrian director Friedrich Moser is a self-confessed fan of spy stories, so it's not surprising he made a documentary about the NSA's former meta-data expert Bill Binney. Titled A Good American, the film played at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: ALOYS Exhalts In Glorious Madness

Tobias Nölle's engrossing tale of a highly distinctive Swiss private eye called Aloys is perhaps the first film of 2016 which has truly made me get excited and want to start bouncing off the walls like an excessively caffeinated critic.... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: CROSSCURRENT Channels The Poetry Of Confusion

Yang Chao's tale of two lovers woven into the meandering course of the epic Yangtze river is sadly the only Chinese-language film to feature in Berlinale's main competition this year, seeing it follow in the footsteps of Black Coal, Thin... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: BADEN BADEN, A Promising Yet Frustrating Debut

An amiably aimless jaunt set in the French city of Strasbourg (and not the German spa town of its title) Baden Baden has much in common with its main character, an amiably aimless misfit just coasting through life. Both main... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: THINGS TO COME Artfully Tells A Tale As Old As Time

Everything new is old again (or is it the other way around?) in Mia Hansen-Love's elegant and understated take on the cycles of life, Things To Come. With an astute eye and a sensitive-if-hardly-mushy script, Hansen-Love lets us know... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Produces A Bewitching Sci-Fi Oddity

If there's one thing you've got to give to the American film and TV industry, it's that they're damn good at opening sequences, and Jeff Nichols' latest sci-fi thriller Midnight Special is no exception. Reuniting once again with frequent collaborator Michael Shannon, this... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: FUOCOAMMARE Breaks The Wave Of Migration Documentaries

Given how long it takes to finance and make a film, you could argue that the film industry's collective consciousness has responded pretty quickly to the migration crisis which has unfolded in recent years, and Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare is a moving example... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: THE BACCHUS LADY Gracefully Explores Bounty of Taboo Subjects

Veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung, star of such classics as Kim Ki-young's Woman on Fire (1971) and The Insect Woman (1972), takes on perhaps her boldest role yet in The Bacchus Lady. Directed by E J-yong, appearing in the Berlinale program... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: THE WORLD OF US, A Complex And Compelling Children's Tale

Following the enormous promise shown in her terrific shorts Guest (2011) and Sprout (2013), director Yoon Ga-eun delivers in spades with her feature-length debut The World of Us, a beautiful look at the undulating friendships and rivalries between a trio... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: PATHS OF THE SOUL Shows Purpose In Pilgrimage

Years ago, when Blu-ray was a new platform and newly acquired by me, I searched the world for the most spectacular discs to play. Be it the US-release of Baraka or the Hong Kong release of Red Cliff, I'd import... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: TOO YOUNG TO DIE! Is One Hell Of A Load Of Fun

(...and no Jamiroquai in sight...) The Japanese writer-director Kudô Kankurô has his heart in a quirky place, and has proven that already several times over. As a scriptwriter he wrote Zebraman for director Miike Takashi, The Apology King for director... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: RADIO DREAMS And Waiting for Metallica

Despite being brought up and educated in London, Iranian filmmaker Babak Jalali shot his sophomore feature Radio Dreams in the Bay Area of San Francisco. His stylistic preferences and personal signature aesthetics began to take bolder shape in his... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: Personal Docupic 5 OCTOBER Tackles Modern Man And Transcendentalism

The already-established Slovakian photographer Martin Kollár flips between the lenses of photography and cinematography regularly and 5 October, unveiled in the festival section "As Long As It Takes", has the best of both worlds. As a cinematographer, he has lensed... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: WILD Brings Out The Inner Wolf

The Rotterdam International Film Festival had many, many world premieres this year, and some almost-world premieres as well, like German director Nicolette Krebitz' new film Wild, which had its first-ever screening mere days earlier at Sundance. Which made it a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2016: The Best Of The Shorts Programs

Jeremy and I didn't get to see as many short films as we would have liked to, but of the short programs we were fortunate to catch, the following films resonated as our favorites.... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Panic Fest 2016 Review: EVERLASTING Fragments A Young Woman's Fall

A young woman runs laughing in a field - and in a blur. "Catch me!", she shouts, eluding both her addressee and even the camera's focus. Sunlit, soft and slo-mo, the opening images of Anthony Stabley's Everlasting may suggest something... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  
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