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: ZINZANA, Thrills, Chills, And Kills In A Police Station

Two men in a police station. One is locked up, the other should be. The first genre film from United Arab Emirates, Zinzana (aka Rattle the Cage) is a refreshingly potent, teasingly intense drama. It begins with Talal (Saleh Bakri)... More »
By Peter Martin   

Camera Japan 2015 Review: OUR LITTLE SISTER Shows The Cold Through Blissful Warmth

For years now, Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu has been making films which have an uncommonly humanist core. Often emotional, sometimes openly feel-good even, his films somehow never become the saccharine dross they would undoubtedly be in lesser hands. One of... More »
By Ard Vijn   

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   

New York 2015 Review: CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR, A Beautiful and Beguiling Waking Dream

The Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, in his body of work consisting of six features, plus a number of short and medium length films, and also art installations, illuminates the landscapes of his native country in ways that often approximate trance-like... More »

Camera Japan 2015 Review: RYUZO AND HIS SEVEN HENCHMEN Banks On Old Farts

Takeshi Kitano's latest film Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen merges the famous director's two favorite movie genres: comedy and gangster thriller. Gathering a slew of older actors from his earlier films, Kitano pitches his geriatric protagonists as a group against... More »
By Ard Vijn   

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   

Review: Jafar Panahi, Once Again, Defies The Powers That Be With TAXI

Jafar Panahi was jailed, then put on house arrest and banned from filmmaking for 20 years by the Iranian government in 2010 when it deemed the award winning filmmaker an anti-government propagandist. This didn't stop the filmmaker from making... More »
By Dustin Chang   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: Only A Mother Could Love JAMES WHITE

The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and... More »
By James Marsh   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME, Good With Reservations

The debut feature from Beijing-born Chloe Zhao focuses on the unlikely subject matter of adolescent Lakota indians in South Dakota. Beautifully photographed and confidently directed, Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a notable first film, marred only by a rather... More »
By James Marsh   

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: LA GRANJA Refuses To Be Friendly To Tourists

Nothing fantastic happens in La Granja, a relentlessly dour feature debut by writer/director Angel Manual Soto that should have the official Puerto Rico Tourism Company up in arms. Set in Puerto Rican neighborhoods that are far off the beaten path... 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: SPEED, A Youth Melodrama That Remains Perverse

Those who've seen the South Korean indie films I Am Trash and/or Dirty Romance might not recognize that the same director, Lee Sang-woo, is behind a new movie that begins like a very traditional, very conventional Korean melodrama. Oh, what... More »
By Peter Martin   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE BOY AND THE BEAST, Hosoda Mamoru's Best Film To Date

If The Boy And The Beast doesn't cast away any doubts that Hosoda Mamoru will become the new king of Japanese animation, I don't know what will. Ever since Miyazaki Hayao stopped making feature films, the world has been eagerly waiting to see... More »
By Hugo Ozman   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: ADVANTAGEOUS, Underachieving Sci-Fi For Tiger Mums

Jennifer Phang's ambitious sci-fi drama presents some intriguing ideas about identity and sacrifice in a uniquely female context, but she invests her budget into the wrong elements, and is unable to fashion her final film into anything particularly engaging.In the... More »
By James Marsh   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT Wields Significant Power

The events that went down at Jordan Hall in August 1971 have been recounted numerous times and inspired at least two films already - Oliver Hirschbiegel's excellent Das Experiment (2001) starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Paul Scheuring's American remake from 2010, starring... More »
By James Marsh   
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