VIFF 2010: CITY OF LIFE Review

Like many people witnessing its rapid growth and obscene architectural preening (construction had recently been completed on the Burj Dubai, now the world's tallest building by quite the margin) from afar, I find Dubai to be an endlessly fascinating... More »
  

ARAB FILM FESTIVAL 2010: CRITICAL OVERVIEW of Masquerades (Mascarades, 2008)

As Michael Hawley synopsized in his lineup preview of the 14th edition of the Arab Film Festival (AFF): "This year's opening night AFF film is Lyès Salem's Mascarades, a comedy that was Algeria's submission for last year's Best Foreign... More »
  

Abbas Kiarostami's CLOSE-UP Blu-Ray Review

The DVD and Blu-Ray of Abbas Kiarastomi's 1990 film Close-up serendipitously follows the premiere of his latest work, Certified Copy, at Cannes in 2010. Close-up is a subtle, complex film that demands multiple viewings in order to fully grasp its themes and... More »
  

RESTREPO Review

"Restrepo" is a war film unlike any that you have seen before. Partly, because most war films you have seen were probably not documentaries; but mostly, because it plunges you deep into the heart of war in a way that... More »
  

FRAMELINE34 2010: 10 Preview Capsules

[Our thanks to Michael Hawley for offering these capsule previews to the Twitch readership.] This year's edition of Frameline, the world's oldest and largest LGBT film festival, is set to kick off this Thursday, June 17 and will run until... More »
  

WSFF 2010: Freaky

A notably better half of the Midnight Mania program screens tomorrow night at the Cumberland Cinema, Saturday June 5th, at 11:59pm. Purchase tickets here.... More »
  

NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS Review

[Originally posted for its SXSW showing, this review reappears here on the eve of the film's North American release.]Kurdish Iranian filmmaker, Bahman Ghobadi is known for his downbeat and timely cultural statements. Films such as A Time For Drunken Horses... More »
  

SFIAAFF28 2010: Narrative Features PREVIEW

[Our thanks to Michael Hawley for offering this entry to the Twitch readership.] The 28th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) kicks off tomorrow night, March 11 and continues throughout the Bay Area until March 21. I've... More »
  

SFIAAFF28 2010: A Preview of Five Documentaries

[Our thanks to Michael Hawley for contributing his preview to the Twitch readership.] Of the five documentaries I previewed on DVD screener for this year's San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), my favorite is one doc-purists might... More »
  

INDIEFEST 2010: Michael Hawley's Quartet Preview

[Our thanks to Michael Hawley for offering his preview of SF IndieFest 2010 to the Twitch readership.] The 12th edition of the San Francisco Independent Film Festival--better known as SF IndieFest--takes over the Roxie Theater for two weeks starting... More »
  

WALTZ WITH BASHIR Review

[Our thanks to regular reader Agent Wax for sending in the following review from the Singapore Animation Nation Festival.]In many ways, this is the hardest review I've ever sat down and committed myself to writing. I regret watching Ari Folman's... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

MVFF32: Michael Hawley's Capsule Reviews

Hipsters (Russia, dir. Valery Todorovsky)--I never expected that my favorite film of the fest would be a splashy, wide-screen Russian musical set in 1955 Moscow, but there you go. Hipsters recounts the phenomenon of stilyagi, the name given to... More »
  

TIFF09: IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?--William Blake, "The Tyger" Imagine for a moment, if you will, that the filmmaker's lens is William Blake's visionary eye, aiming... More »
  

TIFF 09: THE BAD LIEUTENANT - PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS Review

So is Bad Lieutenant:  Port of Call New Orleans a remake, a sequel, or what? Parse it any way you like (and I shall attempt this) but it is a dynamite piece of satire and perhaps something more.  Werner... More »
  

TIFF 09: LEBANON Review

Aiming to do what Das Boot did in capturing WWII from the point of view from the confines of a submarine, Samuel Maoz's debut feature film, which recently captured the Golden Lion at Venice, aims to view the opening days... More »
  

TIFF09: A HISTORY OF ISRAELI CINEMA Review

Raphaël Nadjari's A History of Israeli Cinema / Historia Shel Hakolnoah Israeli, Pts. 1 & 2, played at the Berlin Film Forum, then screened at this year's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), where Janis Plotkin wrote in her... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

REVIEW of ABSURDISTAN (2008)

As its theatrical poster infers, Veit Helmer's third feature Absurdistan (2008) is a buoyant and romantically ebullient fable, tempering the sexual politics of Aristophanes' Lysistrata with enchanting dollops of magical realism and insouciant humor. Since at least the Soviet perestroika,... More »
  

IFFR 2009 Wrap-up by Peter Cornelissen: more reviews than you can shake a stick at!

Last year I commented how funny it was that loyal forumer and sometimes contributor Peter Cornelissen had seen many movies, yet our lists hardly overlapped. Well, guess what: this year I saw more movies, Peter Cornelissen saw more movies, but... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

IFFR 2009: THE FIXER: THE TAKING OF AJMAL NAQSHBANDI Review

If you take a look at the final audience rating list of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, you'll notice that one of the highest positions is actually held by a documentary which had its World-Premiere there. And you might want... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

TIFF Review: RESTLESS

Give Amos Kollek's Restless this much: it may be the most aptly titled film at the Toronto International Film Festival, inspiring more than one viewer to furtively check their watch. Restless aims to be the sort of big, important film... More »
By Todd Brown   
  
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