SXSW 2015 Review: MOONWALKERS, Low Ambition Helps A Loony Comedy

What if you wanted to fake a moon landing in 1969, and could get Stanley Kubrick to do it? The idea is so silly that it lends itself easily to comedy, and Moonwalkers milks it furiously, spinning into a very... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: UNFRIENDED May Spell The End Of Social Media

Yikes. "HEY u guyz!!!" "Whazzz happening?!" "Nothing much." "O yuck!" "Hey, I think there's a mean and NASTY serial killer in the video chat room with us." "Get outta here!!!!!!!" "No, I'm serious!" "I am TOO, DUDE!" The above quotations... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: WESTERN, A New American Marvel

The Ross Brothers' 2012 film Tchoupitoulas showcased Bill and Turner's proclivity for visually arresting imagery, compelling yet dreamlike narrative flow, and a keen eye for the undercurrents that run below the more obvious stories that have flooded from post-Katrina... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: THE ECSTASY OF WILKO JOHNSON, How To Live When You're Going To Die

This movie may have saved my life. Let me explain. Not too long ago, Wilko Johnson was told he would die. The musician, a co-founder of pioneering British pub-rock band Dr. Feelgood, received a diagnosis of inoperable, terminal pancreatic cancer.... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

French Film Festival 2015: DIPLOMACY Is A Masterfully Convincing Chamber Drama

Diplomacy is based on a stage play, this becomes wholly obvious when viewing the film as realized by the static location and the two powerful figures that have dialogue, debate and a complex diplomatic, ethical and moral verbal Ping-Pong... More »
  

French Film Festival 2015: THE NEW GIRLFRIEND Is A Definitive Ozon Joint

The New Girlfriend continues director Francoise Ozon's investigations into womanhood and fragmented social mores. His prior work, the epic Young & Beautiful and to an extent In The House were attempts to depict sexuality in different socio-political spheres and generations,... More »
  

French Film Festival 2015 Review: ELLE L'ADORE Keeps You Guessing, Until It Doesn't

Elle L'Adore is a curious first feature from former actress Jeanne Henry. It wastes no time getting into the grisly proceedings of an accidental homicide, but after the groundwork is laid out, the film practically crawls to a halt.Muriel (Sandrine... More »
  

FrightFest Glasgow 2015 Review: 88, Two Women, One Body

In British bingo, if the number 88 comes up, the caller will shout, "Two fat ladies!", as a conventional code for the two figures' pictographic appearance. Similarly the title of April Mullen's 88 represents a conundrum in need of decoding:... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Frightfest Glasgow 2015 Review: THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE Examines A Harrowing Legacy

Straddling the grey area between found footage and faux documentary, The Atticus Institute purports to investigate the events leading to the sudden closure of an underfunded centre for parapsychological research in 1976, and the disappearance, maybe even demise, of its... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: VIDEOPHILIA (AND OTHER VIRAL SYNDROMES) Lust and Loathing in Viral Lima

The emerging director Juan Daniel F. Molero premiered his second film Videophilia (And Other Viral Syndromes) in the shrine of progressive audiovisual endeavours: Rotterdam. This rising star -- and somewhat young renaissance man -- is currently fiercely multitasking as director,... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Spokane 2015 Review: THE WOUND AND THE GIFT Exquisitely Explores The Bridge Between Human And Animal Consciousness

The phrase "animal rescue" suggests that humans are the rescuers, but The Wound And The Gift sets out to demonstrate, through gorgeous animation and exquisite cinematography, how this anthropocentric bias fails to capture the uniqueness, complexity, and reciprocity of relationships... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: UNDULANT FEVER Is Not Fifty Shades Of Pink

(Love is: accepting that his lust for sex can be a substitute for love, unless it can't, in which case you should hate the bastard, unless you love him regardless and you keep chasing him, because then you should persevere... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Spokane 2015 Review: The QUEENS OF ROLEO And Their Pond Monkey King

From 1958 to 1972, the small rural town of Lewiston, Idaho produced four Queens Of Roleo; women who reigned supreme in the sport of logrolling, and who together accounted for 11 World Championships in just 14 years. This would be... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: IEC LONG, A Haunting Exploration Of Macau's Lost Firecracker Industry

Chinese rockets explode in front of our curious eyes, and disappear in the black clouds of a nocturnal sky. The past haunts our ruins, overlapping times consisting of moving photographs and still film images. An old man has worked in... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: FISH TAIL, Political And Personal Poetry Of Poverty

Fish Tail by Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel is an essayistic scream for freedom beyond globalization. Set in the village of Rabo de Peixe (translates "fish tail") on the Azores, this follow-up to Pinto's acclaimed What Now? Remind Me is... More »
  

Spokane 2015 Review: DRYLAND Combines Demolition Derbies And The Waning Of Wheat Farmers In Washington

O beautiful for spacious skies. For amber waves of grain. The Palouse region of the inland northwest is one of the wheat breadbaskets of the world. I recently relocated to this area and frequently commute from my small town of... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: 45 YEARS, A Heart-Wrenching Look At Late Marriage

How much can, or should we, let the past affect the present? If our lives went one way instead of another, can we mourn too much what we didn't have? If you think you were not your spouse's only great... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: AFERIM!, A Gorgeous And Angry Road Trip Through Romania's Past

For over a decade Romanian Cinema has produced many breathtakingly great films and directors like Cristi Puiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cristian Mungiu or Călin Peter Netzer have gained international recognition and are household names in world cinema. The usual term of... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: HARUKO'S PARANORMAL LABORATORY Drowns In Quirk

(I'll never yell at my television again, lest it suddenly changes into an attractive member of the opposite sex... hey, wait-a-minute!) Last year, Japanese director Lisa Takeba presented her first feature film The Pinkie at the International Film Festival Rotterdam... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, Not That Terrible

Not wanting to be a snob, I attempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey, the bestseller inspired by the Twilight books (which I also haven't read). It's quite badly written, but hey, it was popular, so maybe I was missing... More »
  
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