Tribeca 2014 Review: TIME IS ILLMATIC, An Illuminating Look Back at the Creation of a Hip-Hop Classic

This year's Tribeca Film Festival got off to a rousing start with the screening (and accompanying concert by its subject) of Time is Illmatic, a documentary by multimedia artist One9 about the making of Nas' immensely influential 1994 debut album... More »
  

Tribeca 2014 Review: Slinging Potatoes And Pills BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY

People have been trying to escape small towns since the existence of small towns. In fact, you could argue that The Garden of Eden, as perfect as it was, was the first small town, and Adam and Eve subconsciously wanted... More »
  

Tribeca 2014 Review: The Jury Has Reached a Verdict: ALEX OF VENICE is Guilty of Being Great

Life is hard, struggle is real. There should be a class in college that teaches about how life really works -- lots of disappointment, heartbreak and starting over when you thought your life was set. This is perhaps the most... More »
  

Tribeca 2014 Review: DER SAMURAI Giveth (Head) and It Taketh (Head) Away

Der Samurai is the type of film I live for: well made and weird. I count myself lucky if I come across a film like this once every festival or so (unless that festival happens to be Fantastic Fest, in... More »
  

Tribeca 2014 Review: Ivan Kavanagh Dumps All of His Fears into THE CANAL

Take one part Lynchian weirdness, one part Polanski paranoia, toss in a hefty dose of J-Horror, mix 'em and cook 'em in a pot like gumbo, as the noted American poet Ice Cube once said, add just a smidgen of... More »
  

Imagine 2014 Review: DEADLY VIRTUES: LOVE. HONOUR. OBEY Is Lean, Mean, And Surprising

(An alternative title could be "Home Invasion: Rope. Torture. Show.") One of the titles world premiering at the Imagine film Festival Amsterdam this year is Ate de Jong's Deadly Virtues: Love. Honour. Obey., his first film since the costly flop... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Imagine 2014 Review: THE CREEP BEHIND THE CAMERA Is A Cute And Clever Hybrid

(When Charles Manson met the Carpet-Bag-Monster...) Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? Is it a documentary? It's... The Creep Behind the Camera! One of the World Premieres at this year's Imagine Film Festival Amsterdam, The Creep Behind the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Hong Kong 2014 Review: THAT DEMON WITHIN Has Problems Throughout

Hong Kong's reigning champion of pyrotechnic mayhem continues to move outside of his comfort zone with the psychological crime drama That Demon Within, but the results fail to hit the mark as poor plotting, loose direction and an increasingly preposterous... More »
  

Dallas 2014 Review: WORDS AND PICTURES, A Rivalry In Search Of A Romance

In my youth, a cigarette company advertised their product with the tagline, "What do you want, good grammar or good taste?" It was a false analogy, of course -- the correct answer is, "Why can't I have both?" -- yet... More »
  

Okinawa 2014 Review: FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS

Fujita Yosuke's bittersweet comedy Fuku-Chan of Fukufuku Flats reflects on themes of loneliness and love but never loses sight of its comedy heart, thanks to a wonderful central performance from Oshima Miyuki.Fukuda Tatsuo, 'Fuku-chan' to his many friends, paints buildings... More »
  

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   
  

New Directors/New Films 2014 Review: SHE'S LOST CONTROL Gets Intimate

Professional intimacy takes center stage in Anja Marquardt's She's Lost Control. 'She' in this case is Ronah (Brooke Bloom), a thirty something, confident, determined woman pursuing a masters degree who makes living as a sexual surrogate - arranged by her... More »
  

Hong Kong 2014 Review: ABERDEEN Is Pang Ho Cheung's Most Mature Work Yet

Pang Ho Cheung delivers a beautifully observed portrait of a modern Hong Kong family that fuses social commentary with fantastical imagery and his trademark cheeky humour to wonderful effect.In a notable shift in tone from his recent successes, Hong Kong... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: HOUSEBOUND, A Deadpan, Diabolical, Haunted Thriller

If looks could kill, Kylie would be on death row. In Gerard Johnstone's deadpan, diabolical, and haunted thriller Housebound, Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly) is an angry, insolent young woman, full of piss and vinegar, so when she's convicted of a crime... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: DOC OF THE DEAD Is A Worthwhile History Of The Zombie

If you're anything like most genre film freaks, you probably looked at the title, rolled your eyes, and muttered "not another zombie flick" between clenched teeth. Don't worry: no one will hold it against a film buff who says... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: SPACE STATION 76 Is A Retro Future Worthy Of Its Buzz

When I first heard the very far-out premise of Space Station 76, which the film's press release describes as "a comedic drama about a group of people (and several robots) living on a space station in a 1970's-version of... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: BIG IN JAPAN Is A Raucous Adventure In Wacky & Wonderful Tokyo

"It's not the language barrier... it's a different problem," states one of the members of Tennis Pro, the band at the center of Big in Japan, as the bandmates try to wash their clothes in a Tokyo laundromat. This... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: THAT GUY DICK MILLER Shines A Light In The Shadows Of American Cinema

Most film fans know the face, but very few know the name. Dick Miller is one of those guys we see in film after film, completely inhabiting the characters he's given for whatever brief amount of screen time he has.... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: A WOLF AT THE DOOR Huffs, Puffs, and Blows Sweet Love Goodbye

In the fairytale classic  the Three Little Pigs, -- you guessed it -- three little pigs set out in the world to find their fortune. Things come to an abrupt halt, however, when an asshole big bad wolf comes... More »
  

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   
  
 
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