Brian Clark
European Editor; Los Angeles

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Cannes 2013 Review: Anurag Kashyap's UGLY Is a Riveting Thriller About Awful Things

Anurag Kashyap's follow-up to the widely admired Gangs of Wasseypur announces itself with a cacophony of discordant noise screeching over an attempted suicide. It's almost as if Kashyup decided to warn viewers up front, this one won't be easy. And,... More »

Cannes 2013 Review: Ozon's YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL Finds New Problems With Sexual Awakenings

Just when it seemed that every single movie about teen girls coming to terms with their sexuality had already been made, here comes François Ozon's Young and Beautiful (Jeune et Jolie), a well-observed, often fascinating exploration of a 17-year-old girl's willful entry... More »

Wong Kar Wai Is Now A 'Commander' In France

It shouldn't surprise anyone that the French have long been head over heels for Wong Kar Wai's signature blend of Nouvelle Vague playfulness, melancholy and culture-specific subject-matter. But the country has gone ahead and confirmed it again anyway, having just... More »

HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS Wins Audience Award at Udine Far East Film Festival 2013

The Udine Far East Festival Audience Prize, the Golden Mulberry, was awarded to Lee Won-suk's Korean comedy How To Use Guys With Secret Tips, which our own Pierce Conran said rises admirably above its title. The surreal, pulpy morality tale... More »

First Poster For Lars Von Trier's NYMPHOMANIAC Gives New Meaning To The Word 'Teaser'

The first poster for Lars von Trier's erotic epic Nymphomaniac offers a slightly more tasteful and less provocative tease than the first still, though I still wouldn't go so far as to call it subtle. While the film won't be... More »

Review: THE SOURCE FAMILY - Spiritual Utopia Or Exploitive Cult?

There are those in The Source Family, a film exploring a radical, Utopian community in the 70's, who still claim that they experienced unexplainable miracles while living under the guidance of spiritual leader Father Yod. Stillborn babies were seemingly magically... More »

Review: POST TENEBRAS LUX Brings The Devil Home

As I review more and more films out of festivals, I'm beginning to notice a pattern: I'm much more forgiving and enthusiastic about films that shoot for the moon and fall somewhere short than with serviceable movies trodding well-worn territory... More »

Euro Beat: Jo Nesbø Brings OCCUPIED To TV, Plus Paris Gets A Drive-In Movie Theater

If you don't know the work of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, you will very soon. Not only has a U.S. adaptation of his wacky thriller Headhunters (already adapted quite well in Norway by Morten Tyldum) been confirmed, but a U.S.... More »

3 New ONLY GOD FORGIVES Clips Give The People What They Want

The people in this case being those who didn't wish Drive was more like The Fast and The Furious. Indeed, here are three new clips from Nicolas Winding Refn's Cannes-selected Only God Forgives. While I don't want to spoil even... More »

Review: PARADISE: LOVE Illuminates Complex Emotional Truths

Ulrich Seidl's Paradise: Love, the first in his trilogy of "paradise" films (next up is Faith followed by Hope), is a confrontational, often ugly depiction of different forms of desperation and exploitation set against a sex tourism backdrop, and indeed,... More »

Udine 2013 Review: TOUCH OF THE LIGHT Offers A Polite Reminder Not To Abandon Your Dreams

"Presented" by Wong Kar Wai and directed by Chang Jung-chi, Touch of the Light isn't an incredibly deep or adventurous movie, but I dare you to watch it and not reflect at least once, "maybe I should give some of... More »

Udine 2013 Review: Drug Smuggling Begets Strange Relationships in LETHAL HOSTAGE

The stylish Chinese crime drama Lethal Hostage raises a number of intriguing questions about loyalty, escaping the past, and the human capacity for cruelty and love. Unfortunately, its plot points raise just as many questions about plausibility and motivation, resulting... More »

Udine 2013 Review: THE LAST SUPPER Filters Bloody Power Struggles of Ancient China Through A Fragmented Mind

Lu Chuan's retelling of Liu Bang's rise to power in ancient China is filled with so much backstabbing, manipulation and fatal ambition, Shakespeare himself probably would have written it had he read up more on Chinese history. However, he certainly... More »

Cannes 2013 Director's Fortnight Includes Films By Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jim Mickle, Anurag Kashyap

Time will tell, but as of now, The Cannes Director's Fortnight program this year looks like a more well-rounded, eccentric group of films than the competition. It's a lineup where, for example, Jim Mickle's Sundance selected cannibalism tale We Are... More »

Udine 2013 Review: MARUYAMA, THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER Is A Surprisingly Endearing Comedy About Self-Fellatio

Before seeing Maruyama, The Middle Schooler, I would have said that making a two-hour comedy about a fourteen-year-old boy who's primary ambition throughout the film is to, as the omniscient narrator puts it, "to touch his own weeny with his... More »

Udine Far East Film Festival Is Underway! Just Look At This Stellar Asian Film Lineup!

If you want a comprehensive survey of what's new and exciting in modern Asian film, just glance at the below list of what's playing at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy. The festival kicked off last Friday and... More »
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