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   
  

Global Metal review

In 2005 Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen made a little documentary called Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. Lovingly dubbed Metal 101 by some, their movie told the story of Metal music’s roots; it’s emergence from working class cities in America... More »
  

Review: THE BAND'S VISIT Strikes the Right Chord

The Band's Visit is a warm, humanistic "night in the life" story that sidesteps the most obvious sentimental traps. The characters depicted in the film are gentle, sweet, beguiling, and droll. They are people who have survived the years by... More »
  

2007 GLOBAL LENS: ALGERIAN CINEMA—REVIEW of Barakat! (Enough!)

In her first feature film Barakat! (Enough!, 2006), documentary filmmaker Djamila Sahraoui creates a compelling tribute to the human spirit, specifically inflected through feminine resiliency and camaraderie. Winner of Best Original Score, Best Screenplay, and the Oumarou Ganda Award for... More »
  

2007 AFF—Ordure / Garbage

If Lotfi Abdelli's award-winning turn as Bahta in Nouri Bouzid's Making Of wins you over to his promising talent, you might want to check out as well his brief appearance in the U.S. premiere of Lotfi Achour's debut short film... More »
  

2007 AFF—REVIEW of Making Of

At the 2006 Carthage Film Festival—the biannual October film festival hosted by the government of Tunisia—Nouri Bouzid's Making Of won the festival's grand prize: the Tanit d'or, or "Golden Tanit" (named for the lunar goddess of ancient Carthage; the award... More »
  

2007 SFIFF50—Michael Hawley's Wrap-Up

The Golden Anniversary edition of the San Francisco International Film Festival came to a close last week. I wish I could say it was the festival to end all festivals, but I can't. That's because, for me at least,... More »
  

İklimler (Climates) Review

By coincidence last week, I happened to watch two stylish Turkish-European co-productions about self-destructive relationships. They could not have taken more different approaches to the subject. Fatih Akin's explosive Gegen die Wand (Head On) is violent, grungy and surprisingly... More »
  
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