Now On Blu-ray: A SNAKE OF JUNE Is Still A Masterpiece

A bit of a spoiler alert up front, A Snake of June is my favorite Tsukamoto Shinya film. While I haven't seen all of them just yet, of the eight or so that I've managed to ingest, A Snake of... More »
By J Hurtado   

Review: THE ASSASSIN, An Unqualified Success, Or, A Studied Bit Of Installation Art

The first thing that strikes you in The Assassin is the quiet. Hou Hsiao-Hsien's ruminative tone-poem, about a Tang Dynasty sell-sword tasked with killing kin, is a remarkably hushed affair. Be it dialogue, sound-effects or music, at no point does... More »
By Ben Croll   

VOD Review: THE INHABITANTS, Colder Than A Witch's Teat

An old Carriage House in New England is the setting and principle character in the Rasmussen Brothers' latest indie haunting, The Inhabitants. Michael and Shawn Rasmussen wrote the oft-maligned (yet beautifully rendered) final John Carpenter picture, The Ward, in 2010 and... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Sitges 2015 Review: FROM THE DARK Is An Enjoyable, If Repetitive, Ride

Conor McMahon is no stranger here in Sitges. The Irish director already succeeded in winning the audience's affection back in 2012 with Stitches, a film that managed to get as much laughter as jumps and scares. This time he comes back to Sitges with... More »
By Guillem Rosset   

Aruba 2015 Review: VIAJE Brims With Charm And Wonder

When we go to the movies we often talk about "getting lost in the experience." It feels more rare to say something like "to be found in the experience." In one stupendously assured breath Costa Rican filmmaker Paz Fabrega's second... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Hamburg 2015 Review: SAMURAY-S, A Stunning Meta-Hypnosis From Another Planet

Raúl Perrone's Samuray-S is a film from a different planet. It is a distant planet they once called cinema. The Argentinean maverick, who directed 28 films in 40 years without any external funding, seems to work with a whole different... More »

Aruba 2015 Review: In THE DRIFTLESS AREA Mysteries Of The Moment Abound

We humans often like to think of ourselves as creatures of habit. It helps compartmentalize our world, making order out of chaos. As someone who operates quite often from his head, habits are important. Writing movie reviews, attempting to express... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Review: PAN, Far From The Disaster You Might Want It To Be

Following his adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina, Joe Wright next turns his attentions to J.M. Barrie's boy who never grew up. But instead of bringing the adventures of Peter, Wendy and Captain Hook to the big screen,... More »
By James Marsh   

Review: VICTORIA, The Year's Most Immersive Film

"You just had to be there." In a post-FOMO (fear of missing out) age this phrase is tantamount to death. "You just had to be there." It's what I said to Twitch Editor Ben Umstead as we walked out of... More »

Hamburg 2015 Review: THE TREASURE, Or, How To Love An Illusion

Corneliu Porumboiu, the Éric Rohmer of Romania's Nouvelle Vague, is Europe's answer to Hong Sang-soo. Where to go from such a first sentence? We will see. What about The Treasure, his latest exercise in time? We talk about the time... More »

Busan 2015 Review: TWENTY TWO, Sober But Slow Portrait Of Chinese Comfort Women

One of most sensitive topics in regional Far East Asian politics these days, Japan's use of comfort women during the wane of its colonial empire is a constant talking point on the news. Among the more sobering and least sentimental... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Review: REGRESSION, How the Mighty Have Fallen

Back in the 1990s, Alejandro Amenábar was part of the incredible new wave of Spanish fantastic cinema. His first feature, Thesis, was a Hitchcock-style thriller about snuff films that was creepy and sexy; his second, Open Your Eyes, a subtle sci-fi... More »

Busan 2015 Review: RECORDING Chronicles Charming Cast In Forgettable Story

It's the small moments that work in Recording, a story that is low on ambition but infused with a winning charm even as it drags in the scripting department, particularly in the back half. Sweet and unaffected, Park Min-kook's debut... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Busan 2015 Review: SPECIAL ANNIE Awkwardly Switches From Subject To Artist

Ten years after her feature debut What Are We Waiting For?, documentarian Kim Hyun-kung returns with an intimate film that is both a portrait of a HIV-positive New Yorker and a filmmaker uncertain of her aims. Awkwardly straddling the border... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Busan 2015 Review: BAD GUYS ALWAYS DIE Suffers A Slow Death

One of the more high profile among the many China-Korea collaborations being made these days, Bad Guys Always Die teams Taiwanese star Chen Bolin with top Korean actress Son Ye-jin in an action-comedy (leaning more towards the later) set on... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Reykjavik 2015 Review: SPARROWS Soars

Coming-of-age movies, like most easy-to-pigeonhole narrative genres, are tough things to get right. The structure is fraught with danger in the form of maudlin stereotypes that make the whole thing feel trite - the child-into-a-man tale that may be... More »
By Jason Gorber   

Busan 2015 Review: ALONE Winds Its Mystery Through The Backstreets Of Seoul

Four years after his experimental 3D shaman mystery Fish, Park Hong-min returns to BIFF with another singular work that offers one of the most compelling examinations of gentrification in Seoul. Alone follows a single character as he hops from one... More »
By Pierce Conran   

New York 2015 Review: MIA MADRE Is An Elegant And Deeply Personal Film

Nanni Moretti's latest film, Mia Madre, is elegant, understated, and discreetly moving. A personal, if not autobiographical film, Mia Madre chronicles the slow death of a filmmaker's mother as the director struggles to complete her movie. Moretti experienced the hospitalization... More »
By Teresa Nieman   

Busan 2015 Review: STEEL FLOWER Offers Wilted View Of Korean Youth

A year after Wild Flowers, Park Suk-young returns to the Busan International Film Festival with Steel Flower. Gritty, intimate and centering around a young girl lost in a harsh urban world, Park's latest kicks off on the same foot as... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Busan 2015 Review: REACH FOR THE SKY Goes There And Beyond

The last few BIFFs have each afforded us one great documentary (Non-Fiction Diary, Factory Complex), and 2015 proves to be no exception with the discovery of the timely Reach for the SKY, a compelling look at a common but disastrous... More »
By Pierce Conran   
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