Internationl Reviews - Foreign, Overseas

Review: LA DAME DANS L'AUTO, Between Seduction and Manipulation It Manipulates

After a successful career as an illustrator and as a writer, Joann Sfar tackled the medium of cinema in 2010 when he directed Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque), a beautiful and surprisingly oneiric biopic about the famous French singer. He then followed... More »
  

Melbourne 2015: SPEED SISTERS, A Slick And Slight Delight

Speed Sisters is a slick and entertaining documentary about a group of obsessed and undermined women who compete professionally in the West Bank rally race circuit. Providing a point of view that is strictly and politically feminine, the film surprisingly... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: Sono Sion's TAG, Sure There Are Lots Of Japanese Girls In It, But...

Sono Sion's Tag opens with two busloads of Japanese school girls on a trip. It's all soft focus sweetness and light until the buses are attacked by an unseen force - literally a killer wind - and shy teen Mitsuko... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: DARK PLACES, An Affecting Autopsy Of The 1980s Satanic Panic

1985. In a rural community of Kansas there was a young teenager named Ben Day (Tye Sheridan channelling Ezra Miller) who was very into the punk rock outfit The Misfits. He filled his sketchbooks with black-inked antichrist art, and was accused... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Durban 2015 Review: THE SHORE BREAK Tries To Stem The Tide, But Only Time Will Tell

The 36th Durban International Film Festival in South Africa has wrapped its annual showcase of international film, with this year's menu providing distinctly more African fare under the new directorship of Pedro Pimenta.  South African documentary The Shore Break is... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CRUMBS Finds Ethiopia In Tarkovsky's Zone

Ethiopian post-apocalypse dystopian fairy tale Crumbs has a decaying handsomeness to match its unique vision. It has a confident and accomplished auteur unwillingness for either pandering or traditionally pleasing its audience, while simultaneously offering an archetypal hero-journey tale. If features an optimistic message... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: DEADMAN INFERNO Pits Iconic Aikawa Sho Against The Undead

Director and comedian Hiroshi Shinagawa has focused his film career on mining the drama, and subsequent comedy found in the relationships between partners and prospective teammates. Debut feature Drop followed a juvenile delinquent group, Manzai Gang features similarly unruly youths... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: SHINJUKU SWAN, Sono's Glossy Yakuza Melodrama

The famous Shinjuku District in Tokyo is Times Square, The Vegas Strip and Magnificent Mile rolled into one (and multiplied by a hundred) is ward of so much light there is not an inch of darkness on the pavement, but... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: Much Love for Sono's LOVE & PEACE

It's fair to say my appreciation for the films of Sono Sion runs hot and cold. I was hot on Cold Fish, a near perfect blend of raw, visceral violence both emotional and physical, all told through a narrative... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: FATAL FRAME Has No Shortage Of Beautiful Images

Oh J-Horror! It has been years since you were worth my cinematic time. From your heyday in the late 1990s -- Ringu, Dark Water, Ju-On and Pulse -- to Sono Sion putting a very sharp fork into you in the mid-aughts with Exte:... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE INTERIOR Exquisitely Balances Comedy And Horror

Somewhere up there in heaven (or hell) Samuel Beckett and Henry David Thoreau are tipping their coffee cups towards Trevor Juras' The Interior. For a first feature, this film is not only fully realized and confident, but has a deep understanding... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: SHE WHO MUST BURN Scorches The Hubris of Human Behavior

The miracle of She Who Must Burn, a film perhaps most efficiently described as Red State for grown-ups, is that it offers three well worn elements - scripture quoting after committing an abhorrent act of violence (and the Ezekiel quote... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CHERRY TREE Yields Rotten Pits

The mantra "Death is only the beginning," is repeated throughout Irish occult horror Cherry Tree by the coven of witches who have infiltrated a small-town high school. Their sexy long tressed leader wears a guise as the girl's field hockey... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, Back To Basics And All The Better For It

Ethan Hunt and co. are back in a familiar yet thrilling new instalment to the Mission Impossible franchise, which sees IMF's top agent face his most formidable foe yet. Following right on cue from Mad Max: Fury Road, Rogue Nation... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: MISS HOKUSAI, Full Of Life And Spirit

Prolific animation house Production I.G. subtly captures the rhythms of mood of the art and publishing community in 19th century Edo, Japan. Miss Hokusai is simultaneously misleadingly quiet, and furiously idiosyncratic. Blending the magical realism sensibility of Studio Ghibli with Ozu... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: WILD CITY Welcomes The Return Of Ringo Lam

Ringo Lam's first feature in 12 years sees the Hong Kong director return to familiar territory, as a former cop and his tearaway younger brother take on a violent gang of Taiwanese thugs after their paths cross that of a... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CASH ONLY, Both Sharp And Vulnerable

What is colder, Albanian hell or Detroit in winter? Elvis Martini sits rather uncomfortably in the middle of both over the course of a few days where his world spirals out of control. He has the courts breathing down his neck... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: HORSE MONEY, Beautiful, Mesmerizing, And Striking

Horse Money is astonishingly beautiful in its visual poetry! Pedro Costa, who wanted to capture the life in Lisbon's ghetto area called Fontainhas in the late 90s, made a beautiful film called Bones (Ossos). During the shoot, he saw much... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: PHOENIX, A Noir Revenge Flick

Christian Petzold (Ghosts, Barbara), perhaps one of the most gifted storytellers working in cinema today, strikes gold again with Phoenix, a Hitchcockian, postwar noir revenge flick. Clocking in at a very lean 98 minutes, the film revolves around a concentration camp survivor named... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: WAYWARD PINES, The Show That Is Not What It Seems To Be

Halfway through the series Wayward Pines, episode five lands a serious twist, a bold move that might have arrived too soon, yet performs as a mighty cliffhanger and game-changer for the whole show. Wayward Pines is currently running on the... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  
 
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