Film Festival Reviews - International, Independent, Cult

Review: ERBARME DICH - MATTHÄUS PASSION STORIES Targets The Purpose Of Sadness

(Don't feel bad, feel worse! Then, listen to exquisite music...) A documentary about classical music does, on paper, not seem to be a crowd-pleaser. Yet Ramón Gieling's Erbarme Dich - Matthäus Passion Stories was one of the big surprises at... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: VIDEOPHILIA (AND OTHER VIRAL SYNDROMES) Lust and Loathing in Viral Lima

The emerging director Juan Daniel F. Molero premiered his second film Videophilia (And Other Viral Syndromes) in the shrine of progressive audiovisual endeavours: Rotterdam. This rising star -- and somewhat young renaissance man -- is currently fiercely multitasking as director,... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: UNDULANT FEVER Is Not Fifty Shades Of Pink

(Love is: accepting that his lust for sex can be a substitute for love, unless it can't, in which case you should hate the bastard, unless you love him regardless and you keep chasing him, because then you should persevere... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: HARUKO'S PARANORMAL LABORATORY Drowns In Quirk

(I'll never yell at my television again, lest it suddenly changes into an attractive member of the opposite sex... hey, wait-a-minute!) Last year, Japanese director Lisa Takeba presented her first feature film The Pinkie at the International Film Festival Rotterdam... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: ANOTHER TRIP TO THE MOON Is Both Sedate And Trippy

(Once upon a time, there were two beautiful young women, hunting in a forest...) What is the border between still photography and moving pictures? Footage shot by a camera pointed at a waterfall or a fireplace may technically be the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: SET ME FREE Impressively Keeps It Real

(Here's someone literally begging to be taken to church...) In Kim Tae-yong's debut film Set Me Free (original Korean title Geo-in), he deals with the memories he has about one of the darkest moments in his own childhood. His parents... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: WAR BOOK Makes For A Compelling Chamber Piece

(Thankfully a nuclear war isn't our biggest fear any more these days... or is it?) This year, the opening film of the International Film Festival Rotterdam was Tom Harper's War Book, a British drama about a governmental brainstorm session. It... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: GLUCKAUF Combines Gritty Drama With Fantastic Acting

(What went down, must someday come up... right?) Looking at the map of the Netherlands, a few things stand out. The West and North are completely coastal, meaning the province of Limburg in the South-East is the most inland bit... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: THE INSEMINATOR, Banned But Not Forgotten

This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam had a section on surrealism, and one of the films playing in it was Bui Kim Quy's The Inseminator. And it took the festival a lot of trouble to get the film, as... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: AS THE GODS WILL Leaves You Gasping For More

(Putting the Fear of God into someone was never taken as literally as here...) Miike Takashi must, by now, be the most experienced director in the world in several genres, especially if those genres are vaguely defined as "gory and... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

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   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: In STINKING HEAVEN Everything Rotten Is Good

We all live by rules. Whether they are personal choices to undertake or those put upon us by work or family, we live by them. But sometimes those rules can destroy us.Nathan Silver's fifth feature, Stinking Heaven, takes place in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: LA LA LA AT ROCK BOTTOM Sings A Cute Tune

(How a thug's head sometimes contains both rock and a hard place...) If director Nobuhiro Yamashita is going to be remembered for something, it will be his ability to keep things real, to tone down craziness to an acceptable level,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: Dutch Skate-boarding Doc ZOMBIE: THE RESURRECTION OF TIM ZOM Grinds Deeper Than The Surface

(Dude, who scratched my car?) In the past, the International Film Festival Rotterdam was sometimes chided for not having much locally-made content in its program, being maybe a bit TOO international for its own good. Recent editions have remedied that... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: TAMAKO IN MORATORIUM Pleasantly Idles Along

(Now I feel tempted to not write a review for a year...) Director Yamashita Nobuhiro is probably best known for his 2007 film Linda Linda Linda, which managed to wring a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty mundane subject.... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: SORROW AND JOY Could Not Be More Aptly Named

(Ever loved something you expected to hate? THIS FILM!) This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam dedicated a whole section of its "Signals" program to Danish director Nils Malmros. As I was not really aware of his work, this event... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: JACKY IN THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN Is Absurd, Rude And Very Funny

(Just imagine: what if Charlotte Gainsbourg had played a nymphomaniac in THIS film..!) One of the prizes to be won at the international Film Festival Rotterdam is the MovieZone Award, aimed at films which impressed the younger part of the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: THE CREATOR OF THE JUNGLE Stuns With Its Subject

(If Tarzan had had a handyman, his name should have been Garrell...) Documentaries are an interesting sub-category within films, because their "watchability" can be entirely caused by coincidence, if the director is lucky enough. Jordi Morató didn't need either luck... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: THE PINKIE Is Fun, But Comes Up A Bit Short

(Talk about a film trying hard to wrap you around its little finger...) Lisa Takeba's feature film debut The Pinkie was one of the many World Premieres this year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. A flashy little comedy drama... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: IN DARKNESS WE FALL Does Not Stumble

(In a cave, everyone can hear you scream...) While there is generally a dearth of genre films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, on occasion we do get the odd treat or two. This year the festival had a bona-fide... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  
 
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