Mórbido Mérida 2014 Review: JIRON, How A Movie By A Major Filmmaker Disappeared

Full disclosure: I was completely ignorant of Mexican filmmaker Carlos Enrique Taboada before watching this movie. Thus, Jirón (Shred), a new documentary by Christian Cueva, proved to be educational, fascinating, and compelling, not only because it explores the disappearance of... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: TOKYO REFUGEES Clumsily Critiques Contemporary Japan

Director Kiyoshi Sasabe (My SO Has Depression) is no stranger to dark narratives, and his latest, Tokyo Refugees, could be his darkest yet. Based on the many seedy and sad things you may have heard about Tokyo, the film aims to... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS Caps An Explosive Trilogy

By this stage, the humble tale of the first film and the bombastic masterfully shot darkness of the second film should prepare you for what is in store in Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends. Namely, a lot of exposition, happenstance... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: LADY MAIKO Is A Languidly Lyrical Linguistic Lark

A loose remake of the hit 1964 Broadway musical My Fair Lady, Lady Maiko (also a musical) takes the basic premise of genteel sensibility and applies it to the contemporary realm of traditional Kyoto geisha and maiko (those in... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: SHADOW DAYS, A Bold Critique Of China's Notorious One-Child Policy

Zhao Dayong's meaningful and compelling drama Shadow Days offers an unflinching commentary on pressing social and cultural issues pertinent to contemporary China. The documentary maker's second foray into fiction, it revolves around an ordinary young couple who move into an... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: IN THE DARK, A Ridiculous Mess Of A Horror Film

If there's one thing that may help the viewers at least partially understand why In The Dark is such a poorly executed and totally un-scary horror (or rather an accidental comedy masquerading as a supernatural horror), it's the following story:... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: Psychological Chiller SOUL Centers On A Complicated Father-Son Relationship

What constitutes a soul? What is the connection between a body and a soul? And, hypothetically, if a person's soul were to get replaced by a totally different one, what would happen to its original owner?Mong-Hong Chung's third full-length feature... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: JUDGE! Scores No Points

Judge! is a satirical look into the Japanese advertising scene, which, anyone should know is a bizarre industry given the output of truly surreal commercials that are churned out daily. The film starts off promising with an over-the-top shoot... More »
  

Morbido Fest 2014 Review: FEED THE LIGHT, Beware The Sparkling Dust

Never separate a mother from her child. Sara is torn away from her daughter Jenny in the opening minutes of Feed the Light, a new film by Swedish director Henrik Möller that teeters between bad dreams and outright nightmares. Still... More »
  

SAIFF 2014 Review: DUKHTAR Exposes The Deadly Binds That Tie Together Tribal Pakistan

South Asian cinema has come to the point at which the international community has begun to take closer notice. Films, the vast majority of which hail from India's burgeoning Hindi independent cinema, are appearing on international film festival rosters at... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cairo 2014 Review: MELBOURNE, An Intense Domestic Suspense

One of the most gripping films I've seen in ages, Nima Javidi's fiction feature debut Melbourne just won the Golden Pyramid for Best Film at the Cairo International Film Festival, and deservedly so. It proves that you don't need an... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING, The Poetry of Work

While many factory jobs have moved to countries like Mexico or China, Canada still has its fair share of manufacturing. Most of us probably don't think about where many of our goods come from, or the difficult and often... More »
  

Morbido Fest 2014 Review: TEKUANI THE GOLDEN GOD, A Psychological Drama With Supernatural Overtones

In the Mexican film Tekuani: The Golden God (aka Tekuani, The Guardian) three friends who work together as independent rescue workers are having a rough go of it. They help people who are trapped underground or in remote regions of... More »
  

Los Cabos 2014 Review: THULETUVALU Showcases The Consequences Of Global Warming

The documentary ThuleTuvalu is here to connect the Pacific Ocean island Tuvalu with the small town of Thule in northern Greenland. Never as visceral as the doc Leviathan, though still quite graphic, Matthias von Gunten's effort firstly exposes the world... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: SAND DOLLARS, Bodies in Tempetuous Love

Most people would probably like to think that, when it comes to love, we get wiser as we get older, more able to tell who truly loves us and who is using us. But sometimes that chemical reaction takes over,... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: Handsomely Shot 2030 Sinks Under The Weight Of Its Own Ambitions

Second time Vietnamese helmer Nguyen-Vo Nghiem-Minh makes a come back on the international festival circuit with 2030 (Nuoc), a film that conspicuously defies easy categorization by melding elements of a romantic triangle drama, murder mystery, and eco-conscious sci-fi thriller. Originally... More »
  

SAIFF 2014 Review: X - PAST IS PRESENT Is A Look At Love Through 11 Pairs Of Eyes

We've all done it.We've all sat in the ruins of a destroyed relationship and wondered where exactly we went wrong. We've all become flush at the prospect of a new romance and felt our hearts flutter at the endless possibilities... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cairo 2014 Review: DECOR, A Modern Meta-Twist on the 'Woman's Picture'

Maha and her husband Sherif are talented set designers, who have been hired to work on their first commercial film (as oppose to the independent, art house films they usually prefer). On the first day of shooting, when Maha is... More »
  

Lisbon & Estoril 2014 Review: Abel Ferrara's PASOLINI Hits Some, Misses Some

Abel Ferrara's take on Pier Paolo Pasolini's life (more than his career as a filmmaker, poet or philosopher) is the breed of biopic that seems modest and straightforward enough to make up for its obvious shortcomings. Its modesty comes from... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF PORTRAIT Will Break Your Heart

We often see fleeting images of war and its victims, or brief scenes of torture on the news, but these are often presented in a sensational way, or sometimes sanitized, or more than often, ignored if they are happening in... More »
  
 
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