Festivals: Berlin / EFM Reviews

Sort By

Berlinale 2017 Review: DREAM BOAT Gives Cruising A Whole New Meaning

When you think of luxury cruises, you probably picture old couples and families setting off into the sunset - a sort of world tour that never has to forego the comforts of home. Well, Tristan Ferland Milewski's Dream Boat isn't that at...

Berlinale 2017 Review: Liu Jian Triumphs With HAVE A NICE DAY

Animated movies for adults are painfully undervalued, both at a festival level and as an art form, but Liu Jian's Have A Nice Day is a title that could smash through those barriers. Certainly one of the more interesting features...

Berlinale 2017 Review: ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE, Hong Sang-soo's Most Personal and Cruel Film to Date

A new year has arrived and with it the challenge of reviewing a new work from Korea's arthouse darling Hong Sang-soo. On the Beach at Night Alone, which borrows its name from the title of a Walt Whitman poem and...

Berlinale 2017 Review: BERLIN SYNDROME, Cate Shortland's Skin-Crawling Thriller

From Jutin Kurzel's Snowtown in 2011 to Ben Young's recent Hounds of Love at last year's Venice Biennale, Australia has developed a real knack for messed up cinema, and Cate Shortland's recent Screen Australia and Film Victoria supported skin-crawler is...

Berlinale 2017 Review: THE PARTY, Drawing Room Satire at its Finest

Sally Potter is not normally known for comedy; her most famous film, Orlando (which put Tilda Swinton on the map) certainly has its comedic moments, but her work (such as The Tango Lesson and Yes) tend to more serious examinations of what my...

Berlinale 2017 Review: A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Sebastián Lelio's Masterpiece of Micro-Aggressions

Last year, Álex Anwandter's Chilean LGBT drama You'll Never Be Alone was one of the films that lit up Berlinale's programme from the heart of Panorama (read the review). And since then, Pablo Larraín has cemented his respected standing with...

Review: In Shanker Raman's GURGAON, Blood Makes The Grass Grow

Family can be a tricky thing. The bonds forged between blood relations are often tenuous and fraught with jealousy and distrust. You can't choose the people with whom you make those bonds, and as a result, those people aren't always...

Berlinale 2017 Review: WILD MOUSE, Unfortunately Tame Comedy

Josef Hader, the writer, director and lead actor of new Austrian comedy Wild Mouse, definitely has comedic pedigree. He's won best actor awards at Locarno Film Festival and written and starred in adaptations of his acclaimed play Indien back in...

Berlinale 2017 Review: ON BODY AND SOUL, One Of Those Films That Makes You See Afresh

Whether White God or Son of Saul, there are some seriously good films coming out of Hungary at the moment, and Ildikó Enyedi's On Body and Soul is no exception. Sitting in the 67th Berlinale's Main Competition, this often almost...

Toronto 2016 Review: THINGS TO COME Ponders the Wilderness of Self with Supreme Gentleness

French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve teams up with iconic actress Isabelle Huppert for a quietly affecting story about a bourgeois middle-aged philosophy teacher and the big changes in her life.

Berlinale 2016 Review: WE ARE NEVER ALONE Delivers A Powerful, Harrowing And Way Too Vivid Parable

Petr Václav, the Czech filmmaker living and working in France, returns to the theme of racial discrimination already addressed in his feature debut Marian (1996). Prejudice based on race persists as a hot topic in the Czech Republic, attracting ever...

Berlinale 2016 Review: GENIUS Proves That Not All Talent Translates

Elvis Costello famously quipped, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture", and while I hardly agree with the overall sentiment -- if I did, I wouldn't exactly be doing this -- his point is well taken. Success in...

Berlinale 2016 Review: YOU'LL NEVER BE ALONE, A Smart Chilean Debut

There perhaps hasn't been that many films to blow your socks off at Berlinale so far this year, but Alex Anwandter's You'll Never Be Alone could well be the first. Definitely proving to be yet another example of how great contemporary South...

Berlinale 2016 Review: First, SOY NERO Dazzles, Then It Disappoints

How important is a single shot? Not a sequence, nor an edit. Can a solitary, unbroken shot make or break a film? Can it upend one's total reception of a work? Because there is a shot at the very beginning...

Berlinale 2016 Review: ALOYS Exhalts In Glorious Madness

Tobias Nölle's engrossing tale of a highly distinctive Swiss private eye called Aloys is perhaps the first film of 2016 which has truly made me get excited and want to start bouncing off the walls like an excessively caffeinated critic....

Berlinale 2016 Review: CROSSCURRENT Channels The Poetry Of Confusion

Yang Chao's tale of two lovers woven into the meandering course of the epic Yangtze river is sadly the only Chinese-language film to feature in Berlinale's main competition this year, seeing it follow in the footsteps of Black Coal, Thin...

Berlinale 2016 Review: BADEN BADEN, A Promising Yet Frustrating Debut

An amiably aimless jaunt set in the French city of Strasbourg (and not the German spa town of its title) Baden Baden has much in common with its main character, an amiably aimless misfit just coasting through life. Both main...

Berlinale 2016 Review: THINGS TO COME Artfully Tells A Tale As Old As Time

Everything new is old again (or is it the other way around?) in Mia Hansen-Love's elegant and understated take on the cycles of life, Things To Come. With an astute eye and a sensitive-if-hardly-mushy script, Hansen-Love lets us know...

Berlinale 2016 Review: MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Produces A Bewitching Sci-Fi Oddity

If there's one thing you've got to give to the American film and TV industry, it's that they're damn good at opening sequences, and Jeff Nichols' latest sci-fi thriller Midnight Special is no exception. Reuniting once again with frequent collaborator Michael Shannon, this...

Berlinale 2016 Review: FUOCOAMMARE Breaks The Wave Of Migration Documentaries

Given how long it takes to finance and make a film, you could argue that the film industry's collective consciousness has responded pretty quickly to the migration crisis which has unfolded in recent years, and Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare is a moving example...