FrightFest Glasgow 2015 Review: 88, Two Women, One Body

In British bingo, if the number 88 comes up, the caller will shout, "Two fat ladies!", as a conventional code for the two figures' pictographic appearance. Similarly the title of April Mullen's 88 represents a conundrum in need of decoding:... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Frightfest Glasgow 2015 Review: THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE Examines A Harrowing Legacy

Straddling the grey area between found footage and faux documentary, The Atticus Institute purports to investigate the events leading to the sudden closure of an underfunded centre for parapsychological research in 1976, and the disappearance, maybe even demise, of its... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: VIDEOPHILIA (AND OTHER VIRAL SYNDROMES) Lust and Loathing in Viral Lima

The emerging director Juan Daniel F. Molero premiered his second film Videophilia (And Other Viral Syndromes) in the shrine of progressive audiovisual endeavours: Rotterdam. This rising star -- and somewhat young renaissance man -- is currently fiercely multitasking as director,... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Spokane 2015 Review: THE WOUND AND THE GIFT Exquisitely Explores The Bridge Between Human And Animal Consciousness

The phrase "animal rescue" suggests that humans are the rescuers, but The Wound And The Gift sets out to demonstrate, through gorgeous animation and exquisite cinematography, how this anthropocentric bias fails to capture the uniqueness, complexity, and reciprocity of relationships... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: UNDULANT FEVER Is Not Fifty Shades Of Pink

(Love is: accepting that his lust for sex can be a substitute for love, unless it can't, in which case you should hate the bastard, unless you love him regardless and you keep chasing him, because then you should persevere... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Spokane 2015 Review: The QUEENS OF ROLEO And Their Pond Monkey King

From 1958 to 1972, the small rural town of Lewiston, Idaho produced four Queens Of Roleo; women who reigned supreme in the sport of logrolling, and who together accounted for 11 World Championships in just 14 years. This would be... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: IEC LONG, A Haunting Exploration Of Macau's Lost Firecracker Industry

Chinese rockets explode in front of our curious eyes, and disappear in the black clouds of a nocturnal sky. The past haunts our ruins, overlapping times consisting of moving photographs and still film images. An old man has worked in... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: FISH TAIL, Political And Personal Poetry Of Poverty

Fish Tail by Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel is an essayistic scream for freedom beyond globalization. Set in the village of Rabo de Peixe (translates "fish tail") on the Azores, this follow-up to Pinto's acclaimed What Now? Remind Me is... More »
  

Spokane 2015 Review: DRYLAND Combines Demolition Derbies And The Waning Of Wheat Farmers In Washington

O beautiful for spacious skies. For amber waves of grain. The Palouse region of the inland northwest is one of the wheat breadbaskets of the world. I recently relocated to this area and frequently commute from my small town of... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: 45 YEARS, A Heart-Wrenching Look At Late Marriage

How much can, or should we, let the past affect the present? If our lives went one way instead of another, can we mourn too much what we didn't have? If you think you were not your spouse's only great... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: AFERIM!, A Gorgeous And Angry Road Trip Through Romania's Past

For over a decade Romanian Cinema has produced many breathtakingly great films and directors like Cristi Puiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cristian Mungiu or Călin Peter Netzer have gained international recognition and are household names in world cinema. The usual term of... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: HARUKO'S PARANORMAL LABORATORY Drowns In Quirk

(I'll never yell at my television again, lest it suddenly changes into an attractive member of the opposite sex... hey, wait-a-minute!) Last year, Japanese director Lisa Takeba presented her first feature film The Pinkie at the International Film Festival Rotterdam... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, Not That Terrible

Not wanting to be a snob, I attempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey, the bestseller inspired by the Twilight books (which I also haven't read). It's quite badly written, but hey, it was popular, so maybe I was missing... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: ANOTHER TRIP TO THE MOON Is Both Sedate And Trippy

(Once upon a time, there were two beautiful young women, hunting in a forest...) What is the border between still photography and moving pictures? Footage shot by a camera pointed at a waterfall or a fireplace may technically be the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: KNIGHT OF CUPS Sees Malick Repurposed

Rejoice ye fans of Malick - your wily transcendentalist has emerged again! And though the film doesn't equal (ahem... transcend) his previous highs, Knight Of Cups at least finds the idiosyncratic auteur trying something new. Malick's style remains the same;... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: AS WE WERE DREAMING Dreams About Lost Emotions But Never Really Touches

Andreas Dresen's As We Were Dreaming, an adaptation of a German bestselling novel by Clemens Meyer, tries to change our perception of what happened in East Germany in the time after the collapse of the Berlin wall. Instead of presenting... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: MR. HOLMES, A Fine Engagement With Age And Atonement

According to Guiness World Records, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character, by more than 70 actors in over 200 films, plays and television shows. I haven't seen all of those, but Ian McKellen can certainly put his performance... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: QUEEN OF EARTH Proves How Great Faces Look On Film

Alex Ross Perry is a more than promising young director. He courageously combines intimacy, humor and a sense for cinematic language and form. Nevertheless, his latest, Queen of Earth, is a step back for the young director in terms of maturity... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: SET ME FREE Impressively Keeps It Real

(Here's someone literally begging to be taken to church...) In Kim Tae-yong's debut film Set Me Free (original Korean title Geo-in), he deals with the memories he has about one of the darkest moments in his own childhood. His parents... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: MAR Fails To Capitalize On Its Great Actors And Their Improvisational Skills

Chilean cinema, more than in any other year in the history of the Berlin Film Festival, is present and with the greatest odds to win one or two awards once the fest comes to an end. There are new films by... More »
  
 
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