Rotterdam 2015: REALITY, Not Just Another Headscratcher By Dupieux

French DJ-cum-filmmaker Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr.Oizo, invaded the cinema landscape rather abruptly through his Dadaistic effort Rubber, following a killing tire in a twisted slasher formula. The comic element aside, Dupieux knew what he was up to since the first minute,... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE, A Masterpiece

Only a few living directors have achieved status in world cinema as Roy Andersson did. Calling him a cult director seems like a huge understatement, even though we are talking about a rather narrow body of work consisting of three features... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: CONCRETE LOVE, An Intimate, Immaculate Look At A Family Of Architects

We all wish to be immortalized in some way. To be remembered for something extraordinary or meaningful. Most of us will be remembered by the way we loved, who we loved and how we loved. It is what we do... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: GERMAN ANGST Is Not For The Squeamish

(An Anthology with a capital A for Abuse, Antisocials and Addiction...) This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam has dedicated a section of its programme to surrealism, and questioning reality in cinema. The horror anthology German Angst is part of... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: SWISS FILM MUSIC ANTHOLOGY Has Arrived And It's Glorious

A few days ago at Les Journées de Soleure (a festival dedicated to Swiss cinema), SUISA Foundation unveiled an important anthology that fills a huge gap in the panorama of Swiss artistic achievements. Collaborating with the Swiss Film Archive and... More »
  

Sundance 2015 Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT And The Closeness Of The Great Divide

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, Universal Truths About Mating Rituals

Starting off with what is undoubtedly the opening credit sequence of the year, Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy never ceases to surprise and delight over its 100 minutes, offering a dry but meticulous humour and rhythm. Those credits, offering... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: HOSTAGE, A Youthful, Nostalgic Take On Growing Up Slovak

Recent Czech cinema has been gaining a reputation when it comes to revisiting history. Hefty award festooned mini-series-cum feature film The Burning Bush directed by renowned filmmaker Agnieszka Holland and Andrea Sedláčková´s sports drama Fair Play shaped moral heroes... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: AANMODDERFAKKER Never Gets Old

This year, one film was the surprise grand winner at the Dutch Film Festival where the Golden Calves are awarded, which basically are the Dutch Oscars. Director Michiel ten Horn's Aanmodderfakker won Best Film, its writer Anne Barnhoorn won Best... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM, Witty And Structurally Elegant

Corneliu Porumboiu, with just three features now under his belt, has established himself as one of the finest filmmakers of the Romanian new wave. His previous films 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006) and Police, Adjective (2009) impressed film festival audiences... More »
  

Review: BELOVED SISTERS, Characters Who Never Become Real People

More than a film about a romantic ménage a trois, Beloved Sisters is just as well the story of two sisters, two women who swear loyalty to each other and keep their oath in spite of the biggest challenge their... More »
  

Review: THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH, Tortured Souls And Stiff Upper Lips

Tortured souls abound in the sequel to The Woman in Black (2012). It's 1941, and London is under attack. Eight schoolchildren are evacuated to safety in the countryside, under the care of headmistress Jean (Helen McCrory) and teacher Eve (Phoebe... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: TAKEN 3, Action Cinema For Teenage Softies

Liam Neeson's third outing as over-protective family man Bryan Mills sees him on the run for murder after his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) turns up dead in his apartment. Forest Whitaker heads the investigation, which soon enough uncovers the involvement of... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: [REC] 4: APOCALYPSE Never Reaches The Same Heights As The Original

It's certainly been a while, but the Sitges Film Festival and its audience hasn't forgotten about [REC] and the impression it left in its 2007 edition. The film, co-directed by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró won the best director and... More »
By Guillem Rosset   
  

Review: Swiss Epic NORTHMEN - A VIKING SAGA Looks Like Hollywood Fare

Assessing the merits of Claudio Fäh's Viking odyssey is a tricky task because of what it represents in the panorama of Swiss genre films. With an international cast, and production set in South Africa, Northmen - A Viking Saga is... More »
  

Review: FAR FROM MEN, A Great Viggo Mortensen Western

(How can you be Far From Men when Viggo is around?) As a preview for the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam next month, loyal visitors were allowed to see one of the films already: David Oelhoffen's Algeria-based western Far From... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, Big Ideas That Play Out Brilliantly

Why did Two Days, One Night work so well for me? It's not easy to explain. This is especially the case, considering this is my first experience watching a film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and the fact I know... More »
  

Review: MR. TURNER, A Film That Loses Its Focus

Mike Leigh's latest offering lustfully tackles the life, work and loves of Joseph Mallord William Turner, the legendary 19th Century British artist whose landscape paintings are revered around the world. Mr. Turner is a carefully constructed film, part performance piece... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Book Review: BE SAND, NOT OIL - THE LIFE AND WORK OF AMOS VOGEL Or The Almost Lost Subversion In Cinema

When people attain a fascination with the medium of film they rarely choose a career in education. More often they become filmmakers, film critics (which is or at least should be some kind of education) and most often (like all... More »
  

Review: CHILDREN, A Lyrical Look At Patrimonial Relationships And Moral Crises

After Juraj Lehotský´s recent Miracle, Jaro Vojtek, another Slovak documentarian, has turned to fiction territory, debuting with the gently titled film Children. Vojtek is no stranger to the domestic audience. He rose to prominence with the documentary Here We Are... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  
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