Film Festival Reviews - International, Independent, Cult

Rotterdam 2016 Review: PATHS OF THE SOUL Shows Purpose In Pilgrimage

Years ago, when Blu-ray was a new platform and newly acquired by me, I searched the world for the most spectacular discs to play. Be it the US-release of Baraka or the Hong Kong release of Red Cliff, I'd import... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: TOO YOUNG TO DIE! Is One Hell Of A Load Of Fun

(...and no Jamiroquai in sight...) The Japanese writer-director Kudô Kankurô has his heart in a quirky place, and has proven that already several times over. As a scriptwriter he wrote Zebraman for director Miike Takashi, The Apology King for director... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: RADIO DREAMS And Waiting for Metallica

Despite being brought up and educated in London, Iranian filmmaker Babak Jalali shot his sophomore feature Radio Dreams in the Bay Area of San Francisco. His stylistic preferences and personal signature aesthetics began to take bolder shape in his... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: Personal Docupic 5 OCTOBER Tackles Modern Man And Transcendentalism

The already-established Slovakian photographer Martin Kollár flips between the lenses of photography and cinematography regularly and 5 October, unveiled in the festival section "As Long As It Takes", has the best of both worlds. As a cinematographer, he has lensed... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: WILD Brings Out The Inner Wolf

The Rotterdam International Film Festival had many, many world premieres this year, and some almost-world premieres as well, like German director Nicolette Krebitz' new film Wild, which had its first-ever screening mere days earlier at Sundance. Which made it a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2016: The Best Of The Shorts Programs

Jeremy and I didn't get to see as many short films as we would have liked to, but of the short programs we were fortunate to catch, the following films resonated as our favorites.... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Panic Fest 2016 Review: EVERLASTING Fragments A Young Woman's Fall

A young woman runs laughing in a field - and in a blur. "Catch me!", she shouts, eluding both her addressee and even the camera's focus. Sunlit, soft and slo-mo, the opening images of Anthony Stabley's Everlasting may suggest something... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: BEYOND SLEEP

One of the tasks Dutch high-school boys and girls need to conquer is finishing the dreaded Dutch "literature list", meaning they need to have read a certain number of famous Dutch books. One of the more often-used titles to put... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: FRANCOFONIA Shows All Is Fair In Art, Except War

When you look at his filmography, it is no secret that Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov loves history and art, and most of his works are meditations on those two subjects. One of his most heralded films, Russian Ark, was a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: WE ARE X, The Not-Rock Doc

From director Stephen Kijak, best known for his documentary about the Rolling Stones, Stones in Exile comes We Are X which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It is an excellent record of the history of X Japan,... More »
By Alex Koehne   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: BRAHMAN NAMAN Is A Fantastic Farce

One does not typically see raunchy, teen sex comedies coming out of India, which is precisely why acclaimed director Qaushiq Mukherjee, known simply as "Q" set out to make such a movie. After his acclaimed film Gandu became controversial in... More »
By Alex Koehne   
  

Sundance 2016: New Frontier VR Round-Up

There is no doubt that we are right on the doorstep of the era of Virtual Reality. But VR has been a mainstay of the Sundance Film Festival for a number of years now. In particular, the New Frontier section... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: IL SOLENGO Speaks To The Heart Of Italian Culture

There is a side to Italian culture which, given the importance it has, receives far too little attention. Beyond the cop vs. mafia gun battles and the eccentric lives of Italian dilettantes, there lurks a mysterious, timeless figure: the contadino.... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: IF THERE'S A HELL BELOW Offers Prime Post-Snowden Intrigue

Nathan Williams' debut feature steps onto the independent film stage with the calm, steady aim of a confident marksman ready to make the shot. A meticulously crafted tale of government secrets and whistle blowers in a post Edward Snowden world,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: SPA NIGHT, A Quietly Striking And Mature Debut

Much like its lead, articulation has failed me in the days since watching and processing Andrew Ahn's glorious Spa Night. The film presents itself with such ease and confidence that its easy to miss its complexities at first glance. A... More »
  

Sundance 2016 Review: THE FITS, Or Maybe All Girls Are Magic

What makes a black girl fly? Is it her magic-- the frightful inheritance of her sex? Or is it illusory? (the shape of their hips in blue and gold sequins...) What makes a black girl fly? Is it her fear... More »
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: HISTORY'S FUTURE, A Shower Of Innumerable Atoms

There are few film festivals that manage to be as bold a stage for daring types of film as International Film Festival Rotterdam, and sometimes it almost feels as if there's something hard-wired into that city's forward-looking architecture that compels... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: LOWLIFE LOVE Is Crafty, Filthy And Bitter

In Uchida Eiji's new film Lowlife Love, we get a nasty peek at the underbelly of the Japanese independent film scene. These are not the indies with a low budget, these are the indies with no budget, often made by... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: GLEASON Is An Emotional Triumph

Clay Tweel has been involved in some of the most entertaining documentaries in recent years including his producing role in The King of Kong, right up through his directing turn on both Print the Legend and last year's brilliantly witty... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: EXCURSIONS, The Best Worst Trip

Sometimes you just have to get away. Far, far away. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. And sometimes those trees seem to get to talking to you. Fuck.Filmmakers Daniel Martinico & Hugo Armstrong came to Slamdance in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
 
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