Udine 2015 Review: THE END OF THE WORLD AND THE CAT'S DISAPPEARANCE, A Quirky Little Sci-Fi Film

Takeuchi Michihiro's The End of the World and the Cat's Disappearance, a zany, modestly packaged apocalyptic sci-fi film revolving around Itsuko (Izukoneko aka Mari), a vlogger-cum-J-pop-idol who attempts to singlehandedly save the world from a gigantic meteor, but ends up... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: FORGET ME NOT, A Touching Mixture Of Fantasy, Mystery, And Teen Romance

One of the most affecting and enigmatic teen-targeted Japanese films of the last few years, Horie Kei's Forget Me Not (not to be mistaken with Hirayama Hideyuki's 2010 drama that bears the same English title) defies easy categorization, veering confidently... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: PORT OF CALL Proves Philip Yung's Most Ambitious And Polished Film To Date

A decidedly bleak yet surprisingly meditative exploration of the lower depths of contemporary Hong Kong, Philip Yung's Port of Call clearly articulates its genre-bending aspirations and effectively taps into the generational anxieties of youth today. Based on a case that... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: THE WICKED, An Effectively Thrilling Exercise In Low-Budget Filmmaking

Bolstered and braced by a wonderfully sinister performance from the relatively unknown young South Korean actress Park Ju-hui, Yoo Young-sun's The Wicked is a slow-paced but nicely modulated and effectively gripping exercise in low-budget indie filmmaking. Shot in a mere... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: MAKEUP ROOM Makes Perfect Use Of Its Very Limited Location

Genuinely funny, touching, and cleverly realized, Morikawa Kei's Makeup Room (メイクルーム) plays like a modest but deft combination between a chamber-like dramedy and well-observed ensemble piece that derives most of its energy from a wealth of enthusiastic performances and witty... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Review: Quentin Dupieux's REALITY, Not Just Another Headscratcher

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   
  

Review: FAR FROM MEN, A Western In Algeria

(How can you be Far From Men when Viggo is around?) An Algeria-based western might seem like an odd idea on paper, but David Oelhoffen's Far From Men (Loin des Hommes), starring Viggo Mortensen, turns out to be a pretty... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: DRONE And The Terror Of "Point And Click" Warfare

Here in the 21st century, we find ourselves sliding down the slipperiest of slopes. As the paradigm of warfare undergoes yet another significant metamorphosis, one of remote assassinations, or as one drone pilot succinctly puts it, "just point and click."Tonje... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Imagine 2015 Review: LIZA, THE FOX-FAIRY Magnificently Kills With Kindness

This weekend, Liza, the Fox-Fairy won the Silver Méliès Award at the Imagine Film Festival Amsterdam. It was hardly the first award it won either: a few weeks earlier at Fantasporto, it won awards for Best Film and Best Special... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Night Visions 2015 Review: AMERICAN BURGER Serves Up Cross-Cultural Beef

Watching an English-language splatter comedy, made in Sweden by a married British / Swedish couple, at a film festival in Helsinki, Finland, in a bar converted into a screening room, certainly ranks among my top 10 most unusual cross-cultural experiences... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: Hungarian Western MIRAGE, A Visually Opulent Slavery Allegory

The Hungarian director of Bibliotheque Pascal, Szabolcs Hajdu, returns with yet another not so conventional oeuvre, Mirage. After the world premiere held at Toronto last year, the film enters the Slovak and Czech theatre circuit (Slovakia is a minor co-producer... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Istanbul 2015 Review: THESE ARE THE RULES Provokes With Civil Horror

Dramas which keep the tension tightly under the lid while eschewing a boiling melodramatic outburst can be challenging. On the other hand, de-dramatized dramas with smoother edges are easier to chew on for laid-back, cerebral viewers. Croatian director Ognjen... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: ERBARME DICH - MATTHÄUS PASSION STORIES Targets The Purpose Of Sadness

(Don't feel bad, feel worse! Then, listen to exquisite music...) A documentary about classical music does, on paper, not seem to be a crowd-pleaser. Yet Ramón Gieling's Erbarme Dich - Matthäus Passion Stories was one of the big surprises at... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: WHITE GOD, When Dogs Inherit The Earth

Doggedly heavy on allegory, Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó's White God (originally Fehér Isten) has a relatively simple premise: beware the comeuppance for those that treat badly those they believe to be inferior. At its heart, the film plays as if... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: Art Imitating Life Imitating Art Imitating...In THE KIDNAPPING OF MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ

Michel Houellebecq, the énfant terrible of French Literature, is regarded by many as the best European writer to emerge in decades. My first Houellebecq was Elementary Particles in the late 90s- the book was repulsive, depraved, nihilistic and shocking but... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: MERCURIALES, A Daring Little Fairy Tale In The Concrete Jungle

The film starts with a young black man getting a tour on the first day of his job as security personnel in Les Mercuriales, the twin skyscrapers, which eerily resemble the World Trade Center, situated in an industrial neighborhood in... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: Eugène Green's LA SAPIENZA Reaches Beyond Knowledge and Beauty

La Sapienza is the latest from Eugène Green, an American born, French filmmaker known for his highly theatrical, Bressonian films. Highly esoteric, the film will undoubtedly turn off many viewers with its intentionally stilted acting where actors often address the... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: GHOUL Feeds on Tried-and-Trusted Formulas

Horror films form a very niche and minor part of Czech cinema. Despite boasting a small list of interesting horror films, such as Juraj Herz famous The Cremator or his gothic tale Morgiana, contemporary endeavours failed to please audiences and... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

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: 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   
  
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