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: 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 »
  

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 »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THE CUT, A Good Epic Journey

With the exception of Atom Egoyan's Ararat, the Armenian Genocide has not had much attention in Western cinema. German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin, whose previous films have often looked at issues of the marginalized, transnational cultures and violence, attempts to tackle... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THEEB Doesn't Quite Live Up to its Promise

Stories of war or violent conflict can often seem more acute and terrifying through the eyes of a child, especially if it is only from the periphery, when the child knows less than the audience. Theeb, Jordanian director Naji Abu's... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: The Wonderfully Surreal SELF-MADE Has More Than A Few Screws Loose

Shita Geffen's Self-Made could be the strangest film I have ever seen. Part black-comedy, part surreal drama, and all feminist parable, the film follows two very different women as they inexplicably swap identities.This is vastly complicated by the locations... More »
  

Review: THE CONGRESS, Ambitious And Mostly Successful

Loosely based on the sci-fi musings of Stanislav Lem, Ari Folman follows up his Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir with this ambitious and mostly successful exploration of celebrity, cinema and the subconscious. One of the biggest criticisms of Cinema, and Hollywood... More »
  

Cannes 2014 Review: SELF MADE, Funny, Savage, And Smart

Shira Geffen made a splash in 2007 with her debut Jellyfish, a film she co-directed with her husband, writer Etgar Keret. This time Geffen is going solo, and though she may not have many credits on her resume, her confidence... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Review: WADJDA, A Young Girl's Quest For A Bicycle Unveils Saudi Arabian Society

From Vittorio De Sica to Pee-wee Herman, bicycles have been a source of motivation and inspiration for film artists who want their characters to take a journey of discovery. The latest example is the titular character in Haifa Al-Mansour's Wadjda,... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: GOLDBERG & EISENBERG Is Chilly, Funny Stalker Tension

It's too soon to tell whether Oren Carmi is Israel's answer to the Coen brothers, whom he lists among his influences, but his debut feature, the darkly comic Goldberg & Eisenberg, shows promise. I get the impression that a grim... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2013: Navot Papushado Drunkenly Reviews Papushado And Keshales' BIG BAD WOLVES

17:00 and I'm sitting in the tent of the " Fantastic Fest " in Austin Texas just outside the world's coolest movie - Alamo Draft House. My stomach blows some good pounds of barbecued meat 's fine " Smith ."... More »
  

TIFF 2013 Review: Tahrir Doc THE SQUARE Is A Modern Masterpiece

Let's cut right to the chase - Jehane Noujaim's epic, astonishing documentary The Square is easily one of the most complex, most nuanced, and frankly most important documentaries made about the ongoing political developments in Egypt. Heck, I'll go further,... More »
  

ISF13 Review: INCH'ALLAH Covers An Incendiary Topic With A Long Fuse

Inch'Allah is a film that is already controversial. In its first session, playing as part of the Australian Israeli Film Festival, it has been pulled. A punter in Melbourne complained it was a propaganda film and biased against Israel in... More »
  

Review: THE ATTACK, A Sobering, Piercing Drama

The complicated situation in Israel, with its uneasy peace and frequent bursts of non-peace between Jews and Arabs, has given rise to numerous compelling stories, and will no doubt continue to do so for as long as there is conflict... More »
  

Cannes 2013 Review: Asghar Farhadi's THE PAST Is An Intense, Mesmerizing Excavation Of Secrets And Lies

Those who saw Asghar Farhadi's previous film A Separation already know that though the Iranian filmmaker specializes in two-plus hour family dramas, his movies are as intense and absorbing as any thriller out there. Like the aforementioned film, The Past... More »
  

MSPIFF 2013 Review: THESE BIRDS WALK Delivers Emotional Behind-The-Scenes Realism

Striking a poetic cord, These Birds Walk finds a symbiotic naturalism between those filming, newcomers Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq, and those being filmed, the unwanted children of Pakistan. Pakistan, more than any other country, feels like an innocent bystander... More »
  

Tribeca 2013 Review: Who's Afraid Of The BIG BAD WOLVES?

Editor's Note: some would consider this review a spoiler, as it discusses the ending, although doesn't reveal what happens.There were audible groans as the credits rolled on the pre-festival screening of Big Bad Wolves. Without giving anything away, I imagine... More »
  

Review: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE Casts A Mysterious, Unsettling Spell In Tokyo

Like Someone in Love, the gorgeous, deeply mysterious and unsettling new film by Abbas Kiarostami, continues his return to narrative filmmaking, which began with Certified Copy, the Italy-set feature that marked his first outside his native Iran. Kiarostami's latest, which... More »
  

Review: HABIBI Is An Earnest If Familiar Love Story

Susan Youssef's first feature Habibi is an earnest if not entirely impressive tale of forbidden love set in Israeli-occupied Palestine. While the film does stir and touch at appropriate moments, the threads of a tried-and-true narrative ultimately fail to come... More »
  

Telluride 2012 Review: THE ATTACK Pierces Middle-Eastern Conflicts

The complicated situation in Israel, with its uneasy peace and frequent bursts of non-peace between Jews and Arabs, has given rise to numerous compelling stories, and will no doubt continue to do so for as long as there is conflict... More »
  
 
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