Review: MICHIEL DE RUYTER Brings All Cannons To The Fore

(Fear the man who yells louder than William Wallace, and kills more Englishmen than Joan of Arc!) In Dutch cinema, there isn't really a tradition of celebrating our (I'm Dutch) historical heroes. Not so much because we don't have them,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

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 »
  

Film Comment Selects 2015 Review: PHOENIX, A Masterful, Lean Film Noir

Christian Petzold (Ghosts, Barbara), perhaps one of the most gifted storytellers working in cinema today, strikes gold again with Phoenix, a Hitchcockian, postwar noir revenge flick. Clocking in at a very lean 98 minutes, the film revolves around a concentration camp survivor named... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: MY LIFE DIRECTED BY NICOLAS WINDING REFN, Awkward And Thoroughly Intriguing

Note to filmmakers: If you capture the legendary Alejandro Jodorowsky in conversation with another filmmaker and he turns to the camera to ask you a question, be sure to lead with that. Wisely, that's what first-time filmmaker Liv Corfixen does... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: THE SALVATION, A Hell Of A Lot Of Fun

It's no longer really much of a bold move to call Mads Mikkelsen one of the finest actors working in the world today. A consummate thespian, his performances are always intoxicating to watch, be they in silly pulp-populism when playing... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: DYKE HARD's Zany Queer Musical Rock and Roll Extravaganza Worships The Best Of Trash

The Berlinale belongs in the triumvirate of most followed film festivals, eagerly pushing its fingers on the pulse of world cinema. As such, it brings a vast variety of oeuvres from all over the globe dubbed as arthouse films. Many... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

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   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: KNIGHT OF CUPS Sees Malick Repurposed

Rejoice ye fans of Malick - your wily transcendentalist has emerged again! And though the film doesn't equal (ahem... transcend) his previous highs, Knight Of Cups at least finds the idiosyncratic auteur trying something new. Malick's style remains the same;... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: AS WE WERE DREAMING Dreams About Lost Emotions But Never Really Touches

Andreas Dresen's As We Were Dreaming, an adaptation of a German bestselling novel by Clemens Meyer, tries to change our perception of what happened in East Germany in the time after the collapse of the Berlin wall. Instead of presenting... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: NOBODY WANTS THE NIGHT: A Beautiful But Flawed Epic

Spanish auteur Isabel Coixet (Elegy, My Life Without Me) opened Berlinale with her latest and most ambitious film to date, Nobody Wants the Night. Based on real life persons (though it was unclear whether the events actually occurred), it is... More »
  

Review: 2015 Oscar Nominated Short Films, An Eclectic, Globe-Trotting Selection

As much talk as there's been about the lack of diversity among this year's Academy Award nominees, there is at least one section where diversity, and an illuminating look at world cultures, can be found. That place is the in... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: WAR BOOK Makes For A Compelling Chamber Piece

(Thankfully a nuclear war isn't our biggest fear any more these days... or is it?) This year, the opening film of the International Film Festival Rotterdam was Tom Harper's War Book, a British drama about a governmental brainstorm session. It... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Göteborg 2015 Review: LUCIFER, An Intriguing Reimagination Of A Classic Tale

Belgian director Gust Van den Berghe concludes his triptych on the emergence of human consciousness that began with Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and continued with Blue Bird, the enticingly titled Lucifer. Speaking of consciousness, a better-suited mythological figure in the Western... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: GLUCKAUF Combines Gritty Drama With Fantastic Acting

(What went down, must someday come up... right?) Looking at the map of the Netherlands, a few things stand out. The West and North are completely coastal, meaning the province of Limburg in the South-East is the most inland bit... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: HOMESICK Charts A Tender Symmetry Of Yearning

Norwegian filmmaker Anne Sewitsky made waves at Sundance in 2011 when her feature debut Happy Happy won the Grand Jury World Dramatic Prize. Sewitsky returned to the festival this year with her third feature, Homesick, a deconstructionist family drama which... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THINGS OF THE AIMLESS WANDERER, A World-Class Stunner

To be absolutely mesmerized by a film, totally transfixed, is a rare happening in cinema, but should be the norm, right? Rwanda director Kivu Ruhorahoza's Things Of The Aimless Wanderer is just such a film, spectacular and ambitious in all... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: ANGELS OF REVOLUTION, Soviet Avant-gardists Unite

Ethno-omnibus The Celestial Wives of Meadow Mari by Russian filmmaker Aleksei Fedorchenko, a witty and original wanderlust throughout the folklore peculiarities of the Meadow Mari people, a group considered to be last pagans in Europe, was one of the... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: HOURLY HUSBAND, A Low-Brow Comedy About Midlife Relationships

The Czech comedy Hourly Husband, a feature debut by Tomáš Svoboda, who comes from a theatre environment, falls into the niche of easy-going comedies designed after a rather folksy blueprint. Hourly Husband addresses the very particular issues of a very particular... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  
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