Warsaw 2015 Review: THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER, A Doc With Strong Storytelling And Wild Ideas

Chad Gracia's documentary boasts a title that could be misleadingly attributed to a newly devised coital constellation or a daunting and supposedly nasty mob technique. Neither of the two is a close call, as The Russian Woodpecker refers to a... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: THE WONDERS, A Poetic Realist Portrait Of Painful Adolescence

The Wonders (Le meraviglie) is a poetic realist portrait of painful adolescence. Director Alice Rohrwacher tells a slight coming of age tale infused with melancholy, hardship but not without a sense of beauty. Gone is the Italy of opulence and... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Review: LOVE, Much More Than A Gimmick

Gaspar Noé. For some even the name sends shudders. Thoughts of the visually bombastic Enter the Void cause a kind of PTSD, and his Irreversable still haunts some 13 years on. The Argentine-born, France-based director occupies a unique and... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Now on Blu-ray: DER TODESKING And ANGST From Cult Epics

Cult Epics is one of the most under-appreciated cult home video labels haunting video store shelves these days.The label's owner, Nico B., has turned his company an essential source for hard-edged avant garde horror and splatter of yesteryear with releases... More »
By Charlie Hobbs   
  

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 »
  

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 »
  

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   
  

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   
  

New York 2015 Review: Miguel Gomes' ARABIAN NIGHTS, Cinematic Highlight Of The Year

The last time I talked with Miguel Gomes, the subject of our conversation was not about his latest film, Tabu, but almost exclusively about the impact of the devastating austerity measure by the Portuguese government on the Portuguese film community... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

New York 2015 Review: LES COWBOYS, Wild West Tensions In Modern France

Thomas Bidegain's film, Les Cowboys, begins in a strange key, with a nuclear French family spending the day at an American Western-themed rodeo (not that there's any other real kind). It's clearly no casual affair for them, but a practiced... More »
By Teresa Nieman   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DEMON, When Ghosts Refuse To Be Silenced

Anything you try to bury will come back to haunt you. And as many times as you bury it, it will come back, and no doubt hurt those you least want to see hurt. The past can never be escaped,... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: WHAT WE BECOME, Quiet Horror Invades The Nuclear Family

An extremely well-made horror film from Denmark, What We Become (original title: Sorgenfri) examines the churning emotional dynamics of a nuclear family when they are placed under extreme -- some might even call it apocalyptic -- stress. Mother Pernille (Mille... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: MEN AND CHICKEN Doesn't Give A Cluck

Anders Thomas Jensen has reunited with long-time collaborator Mads Mikkelsen for Men And Chicken, an utterly strange, absurdist film that revels in Dr. Moreau-type conventions and the awkwardness of long-lost family, as well as the family that can seem more like... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: KLOWN FOREVER, Still Funny, Still Raunchy

Tragedy is easy. Comedy is hard. And making a comedy sequel is impossible Four years ago, Klown (original Danish title: Klovn) blew into worldwide cinematic consciousness as a wickedly funny, perversely smutty, and utterly original comedy. Born on a television... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DAG Delivers A Bleakly Hilarious Take On Life And Love

Dag dislikes people. All of them. Strongly. He would like nothing more than to be simply left alone to enjoy a good meal alone at home, while listening to his vast collection of music. Because he does not like people.... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: L'AFFAIRE SK1 Delivers A Clinical Dissection Of France's Most Notorious Serial Killer

The first body was discovered in 1991, a young woman raped and killed in clearly sadistic fashion in her own home in the French capital. She would be the first of seven, the leading edge of a wave of murders... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD, Stirring, Fantastical Entertainment

April is an extraordinary character in an extraordinary world. As voiced by Marion Cotillard in the animated film April and the Extraordinary world (original title: Avril et le monde truque), she is the offspring of scientists who have gone missing.... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE PASSING Broods And Glooms In Welsh Countryside

Oozing rustic dread in the remote Welsh countryside, Gareth Bryn's The Passing toys with the hidden demons of three lonely characters on a sumptuous, wet and verdant stage. Beautiful to behold but perhaps too slight in the narrative department, this... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: LOVEMILLA Gently Unfolds In A Wonderfully Bizarre Comic Universe

Unfolding in a (slightly) alternate universe where people can turn into zombies after a single drink of alcohol, babies can be possessed by the Devil, and people can fly, Teemu Nikki's feature adaptation of a television series he created with... More »
By Peter Martin   
  
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