Warsaw 2014: NAME ME Zooms In On Abandoned Daughters

Nigina Sayfullaeva's feature debut Name Me opens with 17-year-old Olya collecting the courage to look her biological father in the eyes for the first time. To ease the melodramatic atmosphere, she is accompanied by her easygoing, overly self-confident and fun-seeking friend,... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: The Wonderfully Surreal SELF-MADE Has More Than A Few Screws Loose

Shita Geffen's Self-Made could be the strangest film I have ever seen. Part black-comedy, part surreal drama, and all feminist parable, the film follows two very different women as they inexplicably swap identities.This is vastly complicated by the locations... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: FANTASIA, A Beautifully-Lensed, But Overly Familiar Chinese Indie

In Wang Chao's Fantasia, one family's struggle to overcome a personal crisis, inevitably worsened by the father's progressive terminal illness, serves its purpose as a catalyst for the director to weave a tale of seemingly great social significance. Even though... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: KABUKICHO LOVE HOTEL, A Raunchy Charmer

Kabukicho Love Hotel (better translated as Sayonara Kabukicho) is the latest urban-centric film from esoteric director Hiroki Ryuichi (Vibrator). Although the film contains the sprawling metropolitan malaise that permeates his contemporary films, this is a far more accessible and crowd-pleasing effort that plays... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: FIRES ON THE PLAIN Drags Us Into The Abyss

Though based on Ooha Shohei's book of the same name rather than Ichikawa Kon's languid and harrowing 1959 film, Tsukamoto Shinya's Fires on the Plain was always going to be an entirely different beast. Low-budget and with a frenetic and... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: PARALLEL Means Well But Lacks Drive

The heart-warming story of a disabled ice hockey team's journey to the World Championships, Korean documentary Parallel is a testament to perseverance and passion in the face of adversity. However, at 70 minutes and with an all too easy to... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E08, MUMMY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Or, A Thoroughly Unpleasant Train Journey)

To its credit, Doctor Who doesn't attempt to sweep Clara's impassioned outburst from last week under the rug. Her eventual decision to continue travelling with the Doctor doesn't suggest she's forgotten why he made her so angry in the first... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: FACTORY COMPLEX, An Artful Look At Korea's Beleaguered Workforce

It's no secret that workers are subjected to punishing conditions and constant humiliation in Korea, a country that has made the news recently for having the longest work hours and yet the least productivity among all OECD nations. New documentary... More »
  

Vancouver 2014 Review: EXIT Feels Pretty But Shallow

Chienn Hsiang's second feature, Exit, is lovely to look at, and pleasant enough to watch, but ultimately feels inconsequential. Chen Shiang-chyi stars as Lingzi, a childlike middle-aged woman finds herself alone for a few weeks while her teenaged daughter visits... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: SUNRISE Plunges Us Into Noirish And Riveting Tale Of Child Abduction

Indian cinema provides another jolt of electricity to the thriller genre with Sunrise, a tight, punchy neo-noir about child trafficking in Mumbai. Taking place at night, frequently under heavy rain and driven forward by a pulsating minimalist electro score, the... More »
  

Review: FURY Treads On Unsettled Ground

I found myself liking Fury almost against my best judgment, ignoring some of its overt flaws in favour of enjoying the ride. It might be because I'm a sucker for claustrophobic battle films. It may have been Das Boot... More »
  

Review: This ANIMAL Has Little Bite For So Many Teeth

Five friends go for a hike into the woods. For two of them, siblings Jeff and Alissa, it is one last visit to an area where their family used to go camping, before developers take over the land. Alissa's boyfriend Matt... More »
  

Review: DRACULA UNTOLD Reimagines A Reluctant Vampire Action Hero

Surprisingly effective, the latest iteration of the Dracula legacy seeks to rebuild vampire-movie mythology by going back to the beginning. First published in 1897, Bram Stoker's novel inspired F.W. Murnau's unofficial adaptation Nosferatu in 1922, which then sparked a series... More »
  

Camera Japan 2014 Review: FORMA Demands Attention

(This review won't scratch the surface, and that is fully intentional...) At the start of Forma, you see one of its protagonists stick a pen in a cardboard box, making a small hole. She then puts the box on her... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

New York 2014 Review: THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT Tells A Fiery Tale Of Words

Where to start reviewing a film like The 50 Year Argument? It's a question of approach that surely plagued Martin Scorsese when founding editor Robert B. Silvers first pitched him to tackle the subject of The New York Review of... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Review: WHIPLASH Taps A Confident Beat

It's a pretty quick turnaround to go from Sundance 2013 award-winning short film to Sundance 2014 opening nighter. But for 28-year-old director Damien Chazelle, when opportunity knocks, there's no need to bide your time. It's no surprise that Jason Blum... More »
  

Review: THE OVERNIGHTERS, A Shattering Experience

It's a rare and beautiful thing when a film can surprise you. I was taken completely off guard by The Overnighters, a film that I figured would be a stark if a bit earnest take on post-recession America. What I... More »
  

Vancouver 2014 Review: WELCOME TO ME Stokes The Fires Of Disability Discourse

Kristen Wiig has been enjoying a lengthy run of success since leaving Saturday Night Live in 2012. Her humor is punctuated by awkward, uncomfortable stares, or lines delivered with more weight -- loneliness, sadness, regret -- than they seem to... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: LIVE TV Showcases Misogyny And Bad Filmmaking

Found footage horror and digital age social themes combine to disastrous effect in the lamentable and stunningly offensive Live TV, a midnight film at Busan that'll make you wish you'd turned in early. A pair of chauvinistic jackasses record their... More »
  

Sitges 2014 Review: MAGICAL GIRL, Dark, Twisted Magic

Carlos Vermut's second feature Magical Girl recently won the Golden Shell at the a Sebastian Film Festival, as well as best director award, and deservedly so. Fun and disturbing, strange and yet somehow entirely plausible, the film tells the story of... More »
  
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