Rotterdam 2016 Review: ALTES GELD Is Deliciously Devious

This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam had a section dedicated to television series. In it, you could see episode-collections shown as films, and films that are soon to become adapted as television series. But one of the most spectacular... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: LONDON HAS FALLEN, Rocking The Free World With Dubious Politics And Sadistic Tendencies

Gerard Butler finds himself taking up arms to save Aaron Eckhart’s US President once again in this expanded sequel to Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen. Trading the claustrophobic confines of the White House for the deserted streets of Britain’s terrorised... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: THE WAVE, A Sweeping Piece Of Entertainment

Since first appearing on the scene with Cold Prey in 2006, Norwegian director Roar Uthaug - not pronounced how it looks to English speakers but an awesome name, nonetheless - has earned himself quite a reputation, thanks to his ability... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: CHEVALIER Shows The Ultimate Dick-measuring Contest

Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari is seen as an important part of the current Greek "Weird Wave" of cinema. She produced several of Yorgos Lanthimos' films like Dogtooth, and he helped produce (and acted in) her previous film Attenberg. But... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: WE ARE NEVER ALONE Delivers A Powerful, Harrowing And Way Too Vivid Parable

Petr Václav, the Czech filmmaker living and working in France, returns to the theme of racial discrimination already addressed in his feature debut Marian (1996). Prejudice based on race persists as a hot topic in the Czech Republic, attracting ever... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: Zulawski's COSMOS Is A Wordy Madcap Comedy That Tries To Make Sense Of It All

Andrzej Zulawski lost his battle with cancer last week, adding his name to mounting number of cultural icons who passed away this year. His death came as a shock especially to New York cinephiles, who's been waiting patiently for the... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: KIKI Knows It's Sexy

Billed as a sort of follow-up to Jennie Livingston's Paris Is Burning, Sara Jordenö's debut feature takes us back to the heart of the New York's ballroom scene - only this time the director casts her lens over a very specific... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Review: A WAR, A Classic No-Win Scenario

Battles are never won; at best, they are only survived. In each of his first three films, writer/director Tobias Lindholm has tackled familiar subjects; each film has also featured Pilou Asbaek in the lead role. Lindholm collaborated with Michael Noer... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: First, SOY NERO Dazzles, Then It Disappoints

How important is a single shot? Not a sequence, nor an edit. Can a solitary, unbroken shot make or break a film? Can it upend one's total reception of a work? Because there is a shot at the very beginning... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: A GOOD AMERICAN Damns The Worst Of America

Austrian director Friedrich Moser is a self-confessed fan of spy stories, so it's not surprising he made a documentary about the NSA's former meta-data expert Bill Binney. Titled A Good American, the film played at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: ALOYS Exhalts In Glorious Madness

Tobias Nölle's engrossing tale of a highly distinctive Swiss private eye called Aloys is perhaps the first film of 2016 which has truly made me get excited and want to start bouncing off the walls like an excessively caffeinated critic.... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Review: EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, A Spiritual Quest With A Political Regret

Inspired by Theodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evans Schultes, the first explorers of the Colombian Amazon, Embrace of the Serpent is a spiritual quest with a political regret. We follow two stories of German explorers (one of them is Jan Bijvoet... More »
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: BADEN BADEN, A Promising Yet Frustrating Debut

An amiably aimless jaunt set in the French city of Strasbourg (and not the German spa town of its title) Baden Baden has much in common with its main character, an amiably aimless misfit just coasting through life. Both main... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: THINGS TO COME Artfully Tells A Tale As Old As Time

Everything new is old again (or is it the other way around?) in Mia Hansen-Love's elegant and understated take on the cycles of life, Things To Come. With an astute eye and a sensitive-if-hardly-mushy script, Hansen-Love lets us know... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: FUOCOAMMARE Breaks The Wave Of Migration Documentaries

Given how long it takes to finance and make a film, you could argue that the film industry's collective consciousness has responded pretty quickly to the migration crisis which has unfolded in recent years, and Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare is a moving example... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: RADIO DREAMS And Waiting for Metallica

Despite being brought up and educated in London, Iranian filmmaker Babak Jalali shot his sophomore feature Radio Dreams in the Bay Area of San Francisco. His stylistic preferences and personal signature aesthetics began to take bolder shape in his... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: Personal Docupic 5 OCTOBER Tackles Modern Man And Transcendentalism

The already-established Slovakian photographer Martin Kollár flips between the lenses of photography and cinematography regularly and 5 October, unveiled in the festival section "As Long As It Takes", has the best of both worlds. As a cinematographer, he has lensed... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: WILD Brings Out The Inner Wolf

The Rotterdam International Film Festival had many, many world premieres this year, and some almost-world premieres as well, like German director Nicolette Krebitz' new film Wild, which had its first-ever screening mere days earlier at Sundance. Which made it a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: REGRESSION, Beyond Disappointing

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 thriller... More »
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: BEYOND SLEEP

One of the tasks Dutch high-school boys and girls need to conquer is finishing the dreaded Dutch "literature list", meaning they need to have read a certain number of famous Dutch books. One of the more often-used titles to put... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  
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