Film Festival Reviews - International, Independent, Cult

Cannes 2016 Review: THE BFG Showcases Steven Spielberg's Infectious Sense Of Play

Once upon a time Steven Spielberg was the fabulist of our time. Looking at Close Encounters or E.T. or even Jurassic Park and A.I., you could see a sense of wonder and playfulness in his filmmaking, a childlike enthusiasm that... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: PATERSON, Jim Jarmusch's Latest Journey

A driver named Paterson in a town called Paterson played by a man named Driver - the rhyming seems almost too perfect. Yet Jim Jarmuch's latest, a delicate, poetic, often delightful musing on creativity and the art of listening is... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: Jeff Nichols' LOVING Is A Minor Key Masterpiece

There may be no more subtle, beautiful and accomplished film this year than Jeff Nichols' Loving. There might also be no film more in need of help being championed, a work surely going to be stampeded in a year where... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Rooftop Films 2016 Review: "This is What We Mean By Short Films," A Wealth of Miniature Gems

Rooftop Films Summer Series 2016 got off to a great start with their opening night presentation, “This is What We Mean By Short Films,” an eclectic and incredibly accomplished selection of shorts, some of which had their New York premieres... More »
  

Cannes 2016 Review: ELLE, A Sordid, Provocative Masterwork

Paul Verhoeven is one of the more unique directors in cinema history. As perhaps the most famous Dutch auteur, he's gone from ribald little European films to the biggest of Hollywood bangs, incorporating his unique wit, visual sense and narrative... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: GRADUATION Fails To Engage

Cristian Mungiu's film Four Months, Three Weeks, 2 Days heralded the Romanian New Wave when it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2007. His other features have since played at the festival, and his latest, Graduation, is in competition,... More »
  

Cannes 2016 Review: THE NEON DEMON, A Dark, Seductive Symphony

If beauty is fleeting, is there anything more precious than protecting it while it lasts? If all you have going for yourself is the outer shell, to what lengths would you go to in order to keep your specialness? Does... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: THE RED TURTLE Sublimely Tugs Our Strings

Human emotions can be fragile, unpredictable things. However, they can sometimes also be pretty damned predictable. Show someone a kitten and they'll feel an emotional pang. Show a human going through the stages of life from youth to life's logical... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: HELL OR HIGH WATER Does Outlaw Justice Darn Right

Bank robbers. Texas Rangers. A sun-drenched landscape. Oil derricks. Tumbleweeds. A loose cannon ex-con. A brother just trying to do the right thing. An aging lawman on the doorstep of retirement. Throw it all in a blender and you're bound... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

NY Indian Film Fest 2016 Review: KHOYA, A Drama About Displacement, Loss, And The Dangerous Nature Of Truth

Being a film writer has its ups and downs. We are constantly inundated by wannabe filmmakers looking to make their mark on the world. Like any other aspirational pursuit, the vast majority of the output from these cold calls is... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

NY Indian Film Fest 2016 Review: CRIME IS PUNISHMENT, The Tamil New Wave Rolls On

M. Manikandan is one of a small group of filmmakers from Tamil Nadu who are a hair's breath away from making a huge international splash. Two years ago his film Kaaka Muttai (The Crow's Egg) wowed Toronto IFF audiences with... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: JULIETA, Beauty Without Substance

Alfred Hitchcock once said, 'Drama is life with the dull bits cut out'. To twist that a bit, Pedro Almodóvar's new feature film Julieta is a slice of life with the drama cut out. The story of one woman's journey... More »
  

Cannes 2016 Review: THE NICE GUYS, A Trifle With Great Chemistry

"I'm getting too old for this shit". Immortal lines of cinematic splendour, words so titanic that if the scribe of Lethal Weapon had only been responsible for these, then he'd be legendary. Yet Shane Black has done more than write... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: AMERICAN HONEY Captures A Generation's Spirit With Aplomb

Only a few times in a generation does a film speak to youth in a lasting and powerful way. Films like Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider, and Kids all tapped into their respective contemporary consciousnesses with the effect of... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: THE HANDMAIDEN, A Breathtaking And Twisted Lesbian Thriller

Following his Hollywood foray Stoker, Park Chan-wook returns to (mostly) home soil for his sumptuous and sensual adaptation of Sarah Waters' Fingersmith. Transposing the novel's setting from Victorian England to 1930s Korea and Japan, when the former was a colony... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH VILMOS ZSIGMOND, A Sparkling Tribute

From the opening shot where the subject is adjusting the lighting, tweaking the seating height, futzing with back illumination and checking the camera's gamma, you know that Close Encounters With Vilmos Zsigmond is not an everyday documentary. But Vilmos... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Cannes 2016 Review: TRAIN TO BUSAN, A Zombie Thrillride With Social Bite

For his live-action debut Train to Busan, indie animation director Yeon Sang-ho, whose films The King of Pigs and The Fake have drawn international acclaim, has taken the zombie thriller, stuck it into the claustrophobic confines of a train, and... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Tribeca 2016 Review: ALWAYS SHINE, In Which The Hollywood Dream Factory Becomes A Nightmare

Director Sophia Takal more than fulfills the considerable promise of her debut Green with her second feature, a film that often looks, acts and feels like a thriller/horror flick, but at its heart is a dramatic treatise on the tyranny... More »
  

Cannes 2016 Review: THE WAILING, A Bone-Chilling, Thunderous Descent Into Hell

After turning the Korean thriller on its head with The Chaser and The Yellow Sea, director Na Hong-jin has reinvented himself again, aggressively pushing against the boundaries of genre cinema with The Wailing. A deafening descent into hell, it may... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

NY Indian Film Fest 2016: SAHEB BIBI GOLAAM, A Bengali Triptych Thriller

A hitman, a hooker, and a hustler all with hearts of gold: these are the three main characters in Pratim D. Gupta's latest thriller, Saheb Bibi Golaam (The Drifters). Except, these three aren't exactly virtuous, they have their pecadillos and... More »
By J Hurtado   
  
 
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