Cannes 2015 Review: Wrestling With THE ASSASSIN's Beautiful Nothing

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   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART Displays Creative Artistry But Flawed Vision

Director Jia Zhang-ke is a big fan of segmented narratives. His last film, A Touch of Sin, was an anthology of sorts tackling different stories surrounding the larger topic of the the modernization of Chinese culture. In his latest film,... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: MADONNA, A Riveting Tale Of Sorrow And Redemption

Following her accomplished sophomore film, the absorbing high school revenge tale Pluto (2012), Shin Su-won returns in glorious fashion with the searing Madonna. Meticulous, layered and yet seemingly effortless, this rewarding tale of mingled sorrow and redemption should go a... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: DESAPARECER, A Jungle-Set Thriller That Raises The Bar

Desaparecer is Dorian Fernández-Moris' third film in two years. Moving away from the found footage horror format of his previous pictures, Cementerio General and Secreto Matusita, the director is now trying his hand at an action thriller, and despite some... More »
  

Cannes 2015 Review: MEDITERRANEA, A Humanist Masterclass On Society's Forgotten Few

Mediterranea is a powerful neorealist punch, so loaded with prescience, so relevant to our here and now, that it practically explodes off the screen. At one point in the film, a middle class family sits down to dinner and the father... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: OFFICE Works Up An Intriguing Salaryman Chiller

Life is hard for the average Korean salaryman, and sometimes that engenders a need to blow off a little steam. For many that involves drinking to excess, but for others it can spill over into the homestead. New Korean horror-thriller... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: MY GOLDEN DAYS, Nicotine-Fuelled, Incredibly French and Incredibly Good

Those allergic to French film clichés should consider running in terror from My Golden Days. The hits are all there in director Arnaud Desplechin's latest, a pseudo-prequel to his even more comically cliché-titled My Sex Life... or How I... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: GREEN ROOM Doesn't Pull A Single Punch

Some gigs really aren't worth taking. That's a maxim that the members of broke touring punk band Ain't Rights probably haven't heard of and certainly aren't going to adhere to when they get offered $350 to play a backwater skinhead... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Review: POUND OF FLESH Is Soft In All The Wrong Places

Jean-Claude Van Damme continues to explore and embrace his darker side in this modest Asian action thriller, as a kidnap & rescue specialist who falls foul of organ traffickers in the Philippines. Sadly, budgetary constraints and a lack of interesting... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: COIN LOCKER GIRL Offers New Perspectives On Standard Thrills

Against a parking lot bursting with saturated colors, a person lies on the ground, at the mercy of another standing above them who wields a sashimi knife still dripping red from its last kill. Dark, bloody and stylish, this could... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: BOMBAY VELVET Takes A Gorgeous Look At Jazz Age Hoodlums

If there's anything that Bombay Velvet director Anurag Kashyap has taught us over his last couple of films, it's that he knows how to stage a rousing action sequence. Not only did he create the greatest gangster film of the... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: THE SHAMELESS Delivers Hardboiled Melodrama With Top Drawer Performances

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." -Pablo Picasso Today's Korea, whether looking at its entertainment, fashion or culinary scenes, is a society awash with fusion. Nowhere is this more true than in... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: GOOD KILL Intelligently Examines Drone Warfare

"Keep compartmentalizing" is a piece of advice from a commanding officer to his ace pilot. This is darkly humourous, intelligent screenwriting because these drone-piloting soldiers spend 12 hours a day literally inside a box, albeit an air-conditioned one filled... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: SON OF SAUL, A Wrenching, Riveting Holocaust Tale

Son of Saul has two obvious strikes against it. It's a handheld, close POV movie, usually the sign of filmmakers too austere to pick up a tripod, eschewing good framing in favour of shakycam "grit." Then there's the subject... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: SLEEPING GIANT, Provocative And Probing

Despite a seemingly endless number of tries, pulling off the 'coming-of-age' film well is miserably difficult. There's a balance between precociousness versus pandering that makes the balance extremely delicate, as complex and awkward as any pubescence. When it goes... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Jeonju 2015 Review: ISLAND, An Elegiac Arthouse Mystery

A man travels to Jeju Island, planning to kill himself in his grandparents' abandoned home, in the most intriguing Korean film to grace the Jeonju International Film Festival this year. A lushly filmed and thoroughly engrossing mystery channeling local family... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: Téchiné's IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER, Another Strong Outing From The Master Of Psychological Dramas

Based on the memoir of Renée Le Roux about the disappearance of her daughter Agnes, André Téchiné, the French master of subtle psychological dramas, tackles real life intrigue with In the Name of My Daughter. The Le Roux case held... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER'S WORLD, An Intimate Look At H. R. Giger, Channeling Dark Side Of The Human Soul

Hans Ruedi Giger, the artist known for his nightmarish vision, passed away in 2014 at the age of 74. Luckily for us, Swiss documentarian Belinda Sallin has made a comprehensive, yet intimate portrayal of the artist just before his passing.... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: THE CONNECTION, An Entirely Redundant Tale

The Connection (titled La French in its native county) has the makings of a great film, which is what makes the final product such a disappointment. Drawing upon the same case that was the basis for the William Friedkin... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Indian Film Festival Los Angeles 2015 Review: DHANAK Will Open Your Eyes To The Power Of Hope

In Nagesh Kukunoor's Dhanak, a young boy and his slightly older sister trek hundreds of miles across the desert of Rajasthan in India in search of a cure to the boy's blindness. The trek is long, and not without its... More »
By J Hurtado   
  
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