Brian Clark
Editor-at-Large; Los Angeles

Chaos Reigns In New Trailer For Álex de la Iglesia's WITCHING AND BITCHING

Álex de la Iglesia calmed down a bit with his last film, As Luck Would Have It, but, based on this totally bonkers trailer for Witching and Bitching, he was just gathering strength to unleash a barrage of mayhem, including... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

2013 Locarno Film Festival Lineup Includes Kurosawa, Hong, Herzog and More

The lineup for the 66th Locarno Film Festival has been announced, and once again, the program highlights a diverse slate of world cinema from both known directors and new independent talent. The international competition includes 18 world premieres, including Our Sunhi, the... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Euro Beat: Boys And Girls Of Larry Clark's New Paris Film, THE SMELL OF US, Get A Web Series

Larry Clark (Kids, Bully) is branching out a bit for his upcoming film, The Smell of Us, which takes place in France and is co-written by a French poet he met at an exhibition in Paris, Matthieu Landais. Emphasis... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Euro Beat: 7 Highlights From A Visit To The Set Of Jean-Luc Godard's 3-D FAREWELL TO LANGUAGE

"Experience has taught that we never learn anything about a film by visiting the set... We can capture an atmosphere, a way of being and acting, trying to discern intentions, but we never get a complete or tangible impression." So... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Review: I'M SO EXCITED! Sends Mile High Club Membership Soaring

It's a bit of a shame that the U.S. release of Pedro Almodóvar's latest, called Los Amantes Pasajeros in Spanish, is titled I'm So Excited!, and that it will presumably use the moment where the flight attendants break into a... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Review: MANIAC Makes No Apologies For Its Sadistic Gore

Those worried that Franck Khalfoun and Alexandre Aja's Maniac remake was going to whitewash and water down their favorite 80s sleaze classic can rest easy. This updated, Los Angeles-set story of a disturbed man cutting off the scalps of women... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Euro Beat: Is It Art Or Porn? France Re-Opens The Debate

For the first time in many years (at least since 2000's Baise-Moi), sex in cinema has become a point of controversy in France. That's thanks in large part to the fact that the two most critically acclaimed films to come... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Review: Jodorowsky's THE DANCE OF REALITY Finds Magic In Brutality

When we first meet the young-boy version of Alejandro Jodorowsky in his new "imaginary autobiography" The Dance with Reality (La Danza de la Realidad), he is wearing a long blond wig and watching in terror as his dad brawls with... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Paris Cinema Festival 2013 Offers Wealth of Essential Cinema, New And Old

Every summer, from June 28 to July 9, Paris steps up its cinema game in a big way. This is no small thing in a city with probably more repertory and arthouse theaters per capita than anywhere in the world,... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

ONLY GOD FORGIVES Sparks French Film Ratings Controversy, PAINLESS Director Sheds Light On The Bigger Picture

Alright parents, show of hands. How many of you plan to take your twelve-year-old to see Nicolas Winding Refn's new ultra-violent film Only God Forgives, which includes a lengthy torture scene, as well as lovingly filmed shootings, amputations and beatings... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Euro Beat: Ben Wheatley's A FIELD IN ENGLAND Will Screen At Karlovy Vary Film Festival Before Release

As we reported already, Ben Wheatley's psychedelic civil-war horror story, A Field In England, is being distributed via a day-and-date theatrical VOD strategy in the UK, and will be available July 5. But it looks like some lucky folks will... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Asghar Farhadi's THE PAST Is An Intense, Mesmerizing Excavation Of Secrets And Lies

Those who saw Asghar Farhadi's previous film A Separation already know that though the Iranian filmmaker specializes in two-plus hour family dramas, his movies are as intense and absorbing as any thriller out there. Like the aforementioned film, The Past... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Jean-Luc Godard Does 3-D In THE THREE DISASTERS, And No, James Cameron Will Not Be Spared

"The digital medium is a dictatorship," intones Jean-Luc Godard as images flash over text, which flashes over more images, ultimately demonstrating how, ironically, 3-D is actually the perfectly-suited to Godard's recent information-overload collage-style filmmaking. But just because the enfant-terrible-turned-bitter-recluse is... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Coming to America is Gorgeous, But Slow Business in James Gray's THE IMMIGRANT

While heralded by a dedicated group of cinephiles in the U.S. (as well as most critics in France), director James Gray has always been more talked-about for his sure hand with actors and drama than for his visual style. Not... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: The Agony, Ecstasy of Masked Wrestling Gets Film Noir Treatment In OUR HEROES ARE DEAD TONIGHT

Back in 1960's France, masked wrestling was not a kitsch, novelty sport with a cult following -- it was serious business. According to the accepted narrative, it was not only a spectacle of brutality, but a powerful assertion of good... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Claire Denis' THE BASTARDS Throws A Bleak, Sneaky Sucker Punch

Clair Denis' The Bastards begins as a simple, slow-burn revenge thriller, and then very quietly morphs into one of the bleakest, most twisted neo-noir films of the decade. As is often the case with Denis (35 Shots of Rum, White... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Sci-Fi Horror Flick LAST DAYS ON MARS Is As Lifeless As The Planet Itself

After the screening of Last Days on Mars in the director's fortnight competition, many were wondering why exactly the clunky, derivative Mars-zombie movie was programmed at a high-class festival like Cannes. Fair enough, but the bigger, even more nagging question... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Takashi Miike's SHIELD OF STRAW Gets Middling Results From High Concept

There are so many ways in which Takashi Miike's Shield of Straw falls short of being the knockout that it could have been, it's hard to know where to start. The script alone could easily inspire a novella detailing all... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: BORGMAN Fiendishly Recounts The Time The Devil Went Up To Holland

The titular character of Alex van Warmerdam's Borgman does not have horns, nor does he command grotesque demons spawned from hellfire. Emaciated, clothed in rags with long hair and a beard, he actually looks a lot like Jesus at first.... More »
By Brian Clark   
  

Cannes 2013 Review: BLUE RUIN Or, Revenge Is A Pain In The Ass

Besides the fact that I doubt we'll see a more deft, thrilling genre film this year, I'm very pleased that Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin addresses a number of issues that revenge films have been overlooking for decades. For example, after... More »
By Brian Clark   
  
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