Review: THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT, A Masterclass In Minimalism, From A Newcomer

While cinema acts as a temporal artifice like no other medium out there, films that capture the absolute spark of a moment -- the Nowness of a breath or a look -- for all to experience at a further moment,... More »
  

Review: WAR STORY, A Devastating Study Of Conflict, From Within

Mark Jackson did not so much as burst forth onto the independent film scene in 2011 with his brilliant first feature Without. Rather he made a careful set of imprints and impressions, distinct and measured, over the entire year on... More »
  

Review: A MOST WANTED MAN, All Cloak, No Dagger

The stakes are surprisingly low in Anton Corbijn's latest effort A Most Wanted Man; a skewed take of the war on terror and the complexities of institutions and stateless beings. The film, set in the wintry German city of Hamburg, purposely... More »
  

Review: LE CHEF Serves Up French Comfort Food

Served up by the smiling Jean Reno and the persnickety Michael Youn, Le Chef (originally, Comme un chef) is French comfort food in the traditional sense. It may not be particularly good for you, nutrition-wise, but it sure is tasty.... More »
  

Review: LUCY, Scarlett Johansson Goes Feral, And It's Glorious

Luc Besson's new movie cloaks itself in scientific literacy, but make no mistake: Lucy is a b-movie through and through, a gloriously nutty concoction that would be risible if it ever took itself seriously. Happily, it never does. Featuring an... More »
  

Karlovy Vary 2014 Review: CORN ISLAND, A Poetic Contemplation On Humanism

The flourishing festival runs of the coming of age drama In Bloom, directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß, and Levan Koguashvili´s comedy drama Blind Dates hint at a brighter future for Georgian cinema. The recently premiered second feature by... More »
  

Karlovy Vary 2014 Review: FREE FALL, A Remarkable Cinematic Tapestry From The Director Of TAXIDERMIA

Gyorgy Palfi is one of the most interesting Hungarian filmmakers of the present day cinema. Starting with the experimental Hukkle, full recognition for Pálfi came with Taxidermia, a generational family drama on obsession, which impressively carved that story into... More »
  

Review: MOOD INDIGO (European Version) Exhilarates And Exhausts In Equal Measure

Michel Gondry is back. And he's going no holds barred. After slumming it as studio hired-gun and inner-city auteur (in 2011's The Green Hornet and 2012's The We and the I, respectively), the French director is back in small-batch surrealist... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Blu-ray Review: The POSSESSION Release By Mondo Vision Owns All Others

(It's a psychological art-house drama, but with rather more gore, explosions and tentacle-sex than is usual in this genre...) Ever since Criterion coined the term "Special Edition" for some of their laserdiscs, over two decades ago, the concept has... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: With ME AND YOU Bertolucci Makes A Sweet Return

The reason there hasn't been a new Bernardo Bertolucci film for more than ten years is because the now 72-year-old master filmmaker of The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris and The Last Emperor, has been having health problems. His bad... More »
  

Review: BELOVED SISTERS Breaks With Its Own Illusion

It's curious that the poster of Dominik Graf's Beloved Sisters shows a man, namely the poet Friedrich Schiller, in the foreground while putting the two women who the movie actually focuses on into the background. This alignment is quite misleading... More »
  

Review: YVES SAINT LAURENT Is Saved by Lead Performance

There are two biopics out this year on Yves Saint Laurent, the iconic French women's fashion designer. Considering his importance in French fashion culture, this is probably not surprising (at least that there might be more than one film about... More »
  

Review: Emmanuelle Devos Shines in Biopic VIOLETTE

Ever since her breakout role as a deaf office worker, Carla, in Jacques Audiard's audacious caper flick Read My Lips, Emmanuelle Devos has risen to become one of the top French actresses of our time, working with auteur filmmakers such... More »
  

Review: BORGMAN Fiendishly Recounts The Time The Devil Went Up To Holland

The titular character of Alex van Warmerdam's Borgman does not have horns, nor does he command grotesque demons spawned from hellfire. Emaciated, clothed in rags with long hair and a beard, he actually looks a lot like Jesus at first.... More »
  

Cannes 2014 Review: THE BLUE ROOM, A Surreal And Engaging Noir Thriller

While most film audiences outside France will recognize Mathieu Amalric as the villain from Quantum of Solace, he's been directing films in addition to his great acting work for more than twenty years in his native country. HIs last feature,... More »
  

Review: CHINESE PUZZLE, Love And Life, Still So Complicated

The path to true happiness is strewn with thorns, and hedged in by emotions and personalities that often spiral out of control. That appears to be the overriding theme of the three films that Cédric Klapisch has made revolving around... More »
  

Review: THE DANCE OF REALITY, Jodorowsky Finds Magic In Reality

When we first meet the young-boy version of Alejandro Jodorowsky in his new "imaginary autobiography" The Dance with Reality (aka La Danza de la Realidad), he is wearing a long blond wig and watching in terror as his dad brawls... More »
  

Cannes 2014 Review: GIRLHOOD Challenges Expectations From Its Very First Moments

Girlhood (Bande des Filles) quite literally kicks off to a running start. In the first second in the very first shot, a rush of decked-out football players come hurtling head-on directly at the camera. Backed by thumping, synth-heavy electropop, we follow... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Cannes 2014 Review: In THE WONDERS, The Stings of Adolescence

The Wonders (Le meraviglie) is a poetic realist portrait of painful adolescence. Director Alice Rohrwacher tells a slight coming of age tale infused with melancholy, hardship but not without a sense of beauty. Gone is the Italy of opulence and... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Cannes 2014 Review: WHEN ANIMALS DREAM, Stark And Haunting Arthouse Horror

One of the reasons I love genre film is that is gives opportunity to explore the human condition with strange metaphors, allowing the spectator perhaps a deeper and richer understanding than when trying to represent something directly. Such is the... More »
  
 
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