Morelia 2014 Review: MATRIA, A Documentary That Offers Little Beyond The Anecdote

It's not strange that if a documentary begins as a very personal journey, the audience wonders why they should care for it. I wondered that myself while watching Matria, a doc in which its director Fernando Llanos is trying to... More »
  

Morelia 2014 Review: THE BEGINNING OF TIME (EL COMIENZO DEL TIEMPO), An Overlong Portrait Of Aging

The famous Bette Davis quote "old age ain't no place for sissies" comes to mind when watching Bernardo Arellano's The Beginning of Time (El Comienzo del Tiempo), one of the Mexican titles in competition at this year's Morelia International Film... More »
  

Toronto After Dark 2014 Review: WOLVES Takes A Bite Out Of Pretty YA Fare

Cayden Richards had it all. He was the quarterback of his high school football team. He had a smoking hot girlfriend on his arm. Yep. Senior year was looking pretty good. But there was trouble stirring. Cayden kept having nightmares. On... More »
  

Valdivia 2014 Review: BEAVERLAND Starts A Controversial Discussion

There are documentaries out there made to put forward a choice or a point of view, films made to make a statement on what we do as a society. Some of them even try to do something to change the... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: YOU (US) ME Finds Beauty In Deplorability

Max Sobol's début directorial feature You (Us) Me is a fast paced, funny, shocking, tragic and ultimately cogent view of dysfunctional relationships at their extreme.Edward is a serial killer, stalking the dark canals and abandoned parts of London to quickly... More »
  

Toronto After Dark 2014 Review: HELLMOUTH Is One Man's Existential Crisis

Ubiquitous character actor Stephen McHattie is always a pleasure to see up on the big screen. From supporting roles in Hollywood films like The Fountain, Watchmen and A History of Violence, to central performances in indie Canadian productions like the... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: THE NIGHT Boasts Strong Cast And Clear Message

The Korean winner of this year's Sonje Award for Best Short Film at the Busan International Film Festival, The Night is a simple 35-minute tale of college friends who fall prey to the norms of Korean society. Yet by touching... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: Peter Chan's DEAREST Devastates

Based on multiple true story accounts of child abduction in mainland China, Peter Chan's latest film Dearest is definitely not an easy watch. It follows a divorced couple in Shenzhen, the father Tian Wenjun (comedic actor Huang Bo) and mother... More »
  

Vancouver 2014 Review: MAN ON HIGH HEELS, Crime Genre As Transgender Study

Man On High Heels, a Korean gangster-cop flick of another color, navigates gender politics as shakily as its strangely-worded (or translated) title would suggest. Cha Seung-won stars as Ji-wook, the eponymous man: a specimen of ideal masculinity who spends his... More »
  

New York 2014 Review: BIRDMAN, A Visual and Comedic Feast For The Eyes and Mind

This year's New York Film Festival came to a satisfying conclusion with one of its best selections, Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the oddly titled (and punctuated) fifth feature by acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Returning in... More »
  

New York 2014 Review: CITIZENFOUR, The Chilling Story Behind Edward Snowden's Explosive Revelations

In this year's New York Film Festival there were two gripping thrillers, both receiving their world premieres at the festival, and, intriguingly enough, both featuring moodily effective scores by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. One was David Fincher's novel adaptation... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: THE TRUTH SHALL NOT SINK WITH SEWOL Invokes Tears And Outrage

The Sewol Disaster, the most significant event to rock South Korea since the IMF Crisis in 1997, gets its first big screen treatment with The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol, the first of what are sure to be many... More »
  

Valdivia 2014 Review: SANTIAGO VIOLENTA, A Pleasant Surprise And A New Era For Díaz Espinoza

Though there are still three months left in the year and To Kill a Man has already been chosen for the Oscars as the Chilean representative (and rightfully so) I might say that the latest film by action-oriented director Ernesto... More »
  

Sitges 2014 Review: MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT, An Intense Yet Alienating Ordeal

Four years after Gareth Edwards exploded onto the sci-fi scene with his inventive and industrious indie alien invasion flick Monsters, first-time director Tom Green delivers a sequel that bears little resemblance to the original, in tone, content or invention.Reportedly set... More »
  

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 »
  

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 »
  

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 »
  
 
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