Fantasia 2015 Review: LUDO Challenges You To A Deadly Game Of Dice

Ludo co-director Q has been a filmmaker that I've had my eye on since his brash explosion onto the international art house scene with 2010's Gandu. That film is loud, aggressive, and challenging to the viewer, in the way that... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: ANGRY PAINTER Presents Artsy Revenge Erotica

Following his trip From Seoul to Varanasi in 2011, arthouse filmmaker Jeon Kyu-hwan takes a bigger leap overseas with his latest project Angry Painter, an indie tale of revenge and despondency that spends much of its running time trapping through... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: ALLELUIA, The Horrifying Twist Of A True Story

The madness and obsession of love is a recurring theme in Fabrice de Welz's first two films Calvaire and Vinyan, and his latest, Alleluia, continues this trend. Taking on the infamous tale of the Honeymoon Killers (an American couple who conned... More »
  

Review: MR. HOLMES, The World's Greatest Detective Investigates Old Age

According to Guiness World Records, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character, by more than 70 actors in over 200 films, plays and television shows. I haven't seen all of those, but Ian McKellen can certainly put his performance... More »
  

London Indian 2015 Review: UMRIKA Looks At The Big City Dreams & Nightmares Of Small Town Boys

Set mostly in early '80s rural northern India, Prashant Nair's Umrika pulses with universally relatable warmth and emotion. The film is the story of a young man whose older brother leaves his modest hamlet on the way to better things in... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: COURT, For India's Judicial System, The Verdict Is Devastating

Winner of the two prizes at the Venice Film Festival 2014, Chaitanya Tamhane's Court lends an earnest look at India's judicial system. The film is a sobering, eye opening experience.It starts with an arrest of an old folk singer and tutor of... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: PIETA IN THE TOILET, A Cancer Story Told With Poetic Artistry

Pieta in the Toilet, the first fictional feature by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matsunaga Daishi, is a two-hour drama about a young man who's dying of cancer. But fortunately, this film proves to not be nearly as depressing as that description... More »
  

Review: ASSASSINATION Shoots Up A Storm With Stuffed To The Gills Spy Yarn

What has so far been a slow year for Korean cinema is about to get a huge shot of adrenaline as Assassination, the latest from Choi Dong-hoon, is set to storm the stage and usher in the high season at... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: NORTHERN LIMIT LINE Mistakes Nationalism For Narrative

Last summer gave us the nationalist call-to-arms Roaring Currents and, following its record-breaking run, this year unsurprisingly treats us to its own entree of patriotic balderdash, the melee of melodrama and jingoism that is Northern Limit Line. Going right for... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Scandinavian 2015 Review: SILENT HEART, A Tragic Chamber Piece

Silent Heart is a fast-moving character drama that all takes place over a weekend in a country home in Denmark. The home belongs to elderly couple Poul (Morten Grunwald) and Esther (Ghita Nørby), who is dying. She plans to... More »
  

Review: INTIMATE ENEMIES Marks Low-Point For Im Sang-soo

In a bid to branch out to a wider audience following the tepid critical and commercial response to 2012's The Taste of Money, director Im Sang-soo returns with the spirited but borderline incoherent action-comedy Intimate Enemies. Though desperately trying to... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THREE SUMMER NIGHT Strips Down To Bikinis And Cheap Jokes

Bikini bods, thugs and knuckleheads cross paths under the summer sun in the latest from Korean comedy maestro Kim Sang-jin. Just as chaotic as his earlier output but with less of an edge, Kim brings his trademark cause-and-effect comedy brand... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Scandinavian 2015 Review: In HERE IS HAROLD, Ikea Looms Over Blackly Comic Trauma

Here Is Harold kicked off the Scandinavian Film Festival last night in typically dour, dark and chillingly humorous style; muted comedy peaked through a very basic tale of revenge stemming from the wrong place.Harold (Bjørn Sundquist) has lost everything;... More »
  

Review: THE SILENCED Charms With Slick Thrills

Following last year's slew of male-driven thrillers, 2015 has so far been a good year for actresses in Korean cinema. Kim Hye-soo and Kim Go-eun went head to head in gangster thriller Coin Locker Girl, Seo Young-hee and Kwon So-hyun... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: SS Rajamouli's BAAHUBALI - THE BEGINNING Is A World Class Epic

The word epic gets thrown around a lot these days. Thanks to meme culture, the word has been misused and overused so often that it has lost much of its meaning. However, for a film experience like S.S. Rajamouli's Baahubali... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: THE PIPER, A Satisfyingly Grimm Fairy Tale

Step away from the city and it isn't long before you fall in with bad company or into a mystery in Korean cinema, with remote islands and mountains being among the favored haunts of the country's more macabre filmmakers. Taking... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: TANGERINE Pops With Verve And Vérité

On the streets of Los Angeles sunlight seems to move differently than in most places. It blazes, arching across the sky, like a banshee spreading its wings. From behind the wheel of your car, inching forward in the hellion-marked traffic... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Scandinavian 2015 Review: YOUNG SOPHIE BELL, A Beguiling, Sublime Mystery

Obsession, mystery, murder and betrayal culminate in a fragile coming-of-age story unlike any other in Amanda Adolfsson's stunning Swedish debut feature Young Sophie Bell.The titular Sophie (the radiant Felice Jankell) has just graduated high school and celebrates with her 'bestie'... More »
  

New York Asian 2015 Review: IT'S ALREADY TOMORROW IN HONG KONG, A Charming Romantic Travelogue

Here's the basic plotline of producer and now first-time writer-director Emily Ting's immensely charming romance It's Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, boiled down to its basic essence. A man and a woman meet, and (spoiler alert) fall in love over... More »
  

New York Asian 2015 Review: TAKSU, An Erotically Charged Island Sojourn

Taksu, the second feature by actress, producer, and now director Sugino Kiki, takes its title from the Balinese concept (often associated with dance) of artistry and charisma that taps into divine, spiritual power. And though it may be going too... More »
  
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