Imagine 2015 Review: LIZA, THE FOX-FAIRY Magnificently Kills With Kindness

This weekend, Liza, the Fox-Fairy won the Silver Méliès Award at the Imagine Film Festival Amsterdam. It was hardly the first award it won either: a few weeks earlier at Fantasporto, it won awards for Best Film and Best Special... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Calgary Underground 2015 Review: NIGHT OWLS, Kitchen Sink Drama Both Tender & Brutal

In many ways, a lot of American Indie cinema is becoming as formulaic and predictable as its big budget cousins. Be it a Baumbach jam, a Swanberg swing or a doozie from the Duplass', there are clear expectations that... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Night Visions 2015: AMERICAN BURGER Serves Up Cross-Cultural Beef

Watching an English-language splatter comedy, made in Sweden by a married British / Swedish couple, at a film festival in Helsinki, Finland, in a bar converted into a screening room, certainly ranks among my top 10 most unusual cross-cultural experiences... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Istanbul 2015 Review: THESE ARE THE RULES Provokes With Civil Horror

Dramas which keep the tension tightly under the lid while eschewing a boiling melodramatic outburst can be challenging. On the other hand, de-dramatized dramas with smoother edges are easier to chew on for laid-back, cerebral viewers. Croatian director Ognjen... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Night Visions 2015 Review: SERIAL KILLER CULTURE, Why So Fascinating?

What drives ordinary-looking men and women to become obsessed with serial killers? Is it a dark corner of their psyche that makes them feel that they have something in common with horrible people who have caused untold pain and suffering... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Indian Film Fest LA 2015 Review: HARAAMKHOR, The Dangerous Distance Between Loving And Being Loved

Does love make monsters of men? Or, as Shlok Sharma's debut feature Haraamkhor suggests, does the idea of love merely magnify the monstrous tendencies latent within men? This is one of many complex ideas that weave through Sharma's film, but it... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Hong Kong 2015 Review: TWO THUMBS UP, A Delightfully Gonzo Heist Flick

Long-time screenwriter Lau Ho Leung (Painted Skin, Kung Fu Jungle) makes his directorial debut in this energetic action comedy following a gang of thieves who masquerade as cops to pull off a heist, only to encounter a rival posse with... More »
By James Marsh   
  

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   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: COURT, A Sobering Look At India's Judicial System

Winner of the two prizes at the Venice Film Festival 2014, Chaitanya Tamhane's Court lends an earnest look at India's judicial system. The film is a sobering, eye opening experience.It starts with an arrest of an old folk singer and... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: DEATHGASM Rocks!

Not since the days of video store browsing has there been a horror movie quite as demonically satisfying as Deathgasm. This is simply because they just don't make 'em like they used to. But even when they used to, more... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: T-REX, Portrait Of A Boxer As A Young Woman

"It was just something I liked to do," explains Claressa Shields, aka T-Rex. What she likes to do is box, which sets her apart from her high school classmates in Flint, Michigan (better known to documentary film devotees as the... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: All In For The MANSON FAMILY VACATION

When the Manson story broke, the hardest question on the minds of parents everywhere was 'how is it possible that seemingly good kids could be taken under such a nefarious wing and convinced to commit two of the century's most... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: Preparing For Apocalypse In PARABELLUM

It's early morning. We begin with a lush landscape. The camera slowly pans to reveal more tranquil greenery. The opening of Parabellum reminds you of the opening scene of Carlos Reygada's Silent Light, except for an imposing beat of electro... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: MERCURIALES, A Daring Little Fairy Tale In The Concrete Jungle

The film starts with a young black man getting a tour on the first day of his job as security personnel in Les Mercuriales, the twin skyscrapers, which eerily resemble the World Trade Center, situated in an industrial neighborhood in... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: UNCLE JOHN Spins Mystery, Murder, And Romance Into A Tantalizing Web

Beginning in medias res, Uncle John spins a delicate web of intrigue and mystery. The titular character (John Ashton) is introduced as he's (probably) up to no good, a suspicion that is quickly confirmed for the audience but not for... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: ONE AND TWO Adds Up To Something Almost Magical

Isolation can be a killer. For the children who are the heart and soul of One and Two, that's especially so, given that they have been raised in isolation, surrounded by a giant wall. Eva (Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men) and... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: UNCLE KENT 2 Doesn't Care About This Review

...If it did, this write up would be for a very different film. One, perhaps, closer in resemblance to Uncle Kent 1 - a Joe Swanberg Sundance selection from 2011 that, by no means, begs for a sequel.So what is... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: K Transposes Kafka to Inner Mongolia

Here is a thought: what if Kafka's Castle was transposed from the cramped, dreary, dark Eastern European city to the airy, spacious word of Inner Mongolia? It is realized by Mongolian director Darhad Erdenibulag and English born Emyr ap Richard... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: TU DORS NICOLE, A Charming, Deftly Surrealistic Slacker Comedy

Quebec based filmmaker Stéphane Lefleur's wry slacker comedy Tu dors Nicole (You Are Sleeping, Nicole) stars Julianne Côté in the title role of Nicole, a 20 something young woman with one foot still firmly lodged in childhood and the other... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

FICUNAM 2015 Review: The Ritual of Emasculation In Genre-Bender I STAY WITH YOU

Excessive, mindless and often weird violence is being carried out by testosterone fueled male hands. Or at least, that´s the stereotype usually assigned to XY chromosome wielding part of mankind, while women are deemed the gentler sex in every... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  
 
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