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   
  

Review: GIRLHOOD, Social Realism With An Edge

Girlhood (Bande des Filles) quite literally kicks off to a running start. In the first second in the very first shot, a rush of decked-out football players come hurtling head-on directly at the camera. Backed by thumping, synth-heavy electropop, we... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Rotterdam 2015: REALITY, Not Just Another Headscratcher By Dupieux

French DJ-cum-filmmaker Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr.Oizo, invaded the cinema landscape rather abruptly through his Dadaistic effort Rubber, following a killing tire in a twisted slasher formula. The comic element aside, Dupieux knew what he was up to since the first minute,... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE, A Masterpiece

Only a few living directors have achieved status in world cinema as Roy Andersson did. Calling him a cult director seems like a huge understatement, even though we are talking about a rather narrow body of work consisting of three features... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: CONCRETE LOVE, An Intimate, Immaculate Look At A Family Of Architects

We all wish to be immortalized in some way. To be remembered for something extraordinary or meaningful. Most of us will be remembered by the way we loved, who we loved and how we loved. It is what we do... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: GERMAN ANGST Is Not For The Squeamish

(An Anthology with a capital A for Abuse, Antisocials and Addiction...) This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam has dedicated a section of its programme to surrealism, and questioning reality in cinema. The horror anthology German Angst is part of... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: SWISS FILM MUSIC ANTHOLOGY Has Arrived And It's Glorious

A few days ago at Les Journées de Soleure (a festival dedicated to Swiss cinema), SUISA Foundation unveiled an important anthology that fills a huge gap in the panorama of Swiss artistic achievements. Collaborating with the Swiss Film Archive and... More »
  

Sundance 2015 Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT And The Closeness Of The Great Divide

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, Universal Truths About Mating Rituals

Starting off with what is undoubtedly the opening credit sequence of the year, Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy never ceases to surprise and delight over its 100 minutes, offering a dry but meticulous humour and rhythm. Those credits, offering... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: HOSTAGE, A Youthful, Nostalgic Take On Growing Up Slovak

Recent Czech cinema has been gaining a reputation when it comes to revisiting history. Hefty award festooned mini-series-cum feature film The Burning Bush directed by renowned filmmaker Agnieszka Holland and Andrea Sedláčková´s sports drama Fair Play shaped moral heroes... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: AANMODDERFAKKER Never Gets Old

This year, one film was the surprise grand winner at the Dutch Film Festival where the Golden Calves are awarded, which basically are the Dutch Oscars. Director Michiel ten Horn's Aanmodderfakker won Best Film, its writer Anne Barnhoorn won Best... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM, Witty And Structurally Elegant

Corneliu Porumboiu, with just three features now under his belt, has established himself as one of the finest filmmakers of the Romanian new wave. His previous films 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006) and Police, Adjective (2009) impressed film festival audiences... More »
  
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