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Melbourne 2016 Review: OUR HUFF AND PUFF JOURNEY, Cathartic Kawaii

Daigo Matsui’s latest bubble gum pop nightmare is thankfully a more restrained but no less creative effort from the director with a music video background. Comparable to the loose Wonderful World End, this relatively linear road-trip narrative is brought to...

Locarno 2016 Review: In ENDLESS POETRY, Alejandro Jodorowsky Ups the Ante

Chilean born Alejandro Jodorowsky can be called many things: Mystic, sage, tarot master, director, screenwriter, actor, mime, graphic novel scribe, healer, philosopher, novelist, playwright, spiritual guru. All that and more could fit on his resume... if he was a man...

Lima 2016 Review: A Couple Reopens Old Wounds In LA ULTIMA TARDE

Estranged couple Laura (Katerina D’Onofrio) and Ramón (Lucho Cáceres) meet up after 19 years to sign their long overdue divorce papers. A bureaucratic mishap -- anyone who’s ever been to a public office in Peru sadly knows how common those...

Lima 2016 Review: In EPITAFIO, Man Dares To Defy Nature

In 1519, Spanish conquistador Diego de Ordaz was tasked by Hernán Cortés – then in the midst of conquering Mexico – with ascending to the top of the Popocatepetl, the second highest volcano in the country, at over 17,000 feet...

Melbourne 2016 Review: 11 MINUTES Stylishly and Confidently Embraces its Concept

A new film from Polish master Jerzy Skolimowski, this 78 year old auteur shows no signs that he has slowed down in his latest thrilling venture. It is nearing 5:00 p.m. on an austere but sunny day in Warsaw, Poland...

Melbourne 2016 Review: WHAT'S IN THE DARKNESS Reveals Deeply Ambiguous Nostalgia

What's in the Darkness is a murder mystery, a coming-of-age film and a directorial debut for Wang Yichun. Unfortunately, its poor direction and muddled plot uses far too many metaphors for what is really going on. This deeply nostalgic film is...

Fantasia 2016 Review: THE TOP SECRET - MURDER IN MIND, Sci-Fi Thriller Explores a Start of Something Evil

In a police department in near future Tokyo Aoki Ikko sticks out like a sore thumb among his peers. He is an astute observer, picking up details other miss. He is also very persistent and determined. His skills earn him...

Guanajuato 2016 Review: EL TAMAÑO SÍ IMPORTA, Starring Ximena Ayala And Vadhir Derbez

Rafa Lara’s El Tamaño Sí Importa, which world premiered at the Guanajuato International Film Festival, is a romantic comedy that merely intends to sell its two protagonists as rising Mexican stars: The Amazing Catfish’s Ximena Ayala and Eugenio Derbez’s 25-year-old...

Fantasia 2016 Review: SHE'S ALLERGIC TO CATS, Disturbing and Comic in Equal Measure

So, what do you want from a weird, sketchy, indie genre film? How about a cool backstory, where the director (Michael Reich) supposedly funded the film in part by being a Daft Punk body double? Or how about mixing pop...

Guanajuato 2016 Review: APPRENTICE, A Sublime Death Penalty Drama

During the introduction of the Japan 1968 film program at this year’s Guanajuato International Film Festival, we saw footage of Oshima Nagisa’s classic Death by Hanging and also the filmmakers’ very direct and bold statement against death penalty. Almost 50...

Fantasia 2016 Review: Born of Woman Programme Offers A Fantastic Female-Driven Future

Over the years, I have learned to pay attention to the precise curation efforts that happen at Fantasia. The overall programing of the festival serves many masters, considering its three week length, and by nature can yield things both exceptional...

Fantasia 2016 Review: PSYCHONAUTS, THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN, Bleak, Dark And Unforgettable

An island in the sea is struck by a massive catastrophe. Years later its inhabitants, anthropomorphic animal characters, are making a bleak living by scrounging for copper amidst the wreckage of once powerful industrial might. Dinky and her friends, Sandra...

BiFan 2016 Review: AUTOHEAD Drives Into the Gritty Heart of Indian Genre

Narayan (Deepak Sampat) is one of nearly a quarter of a million auto rickshaw drivers weaving through the busy streets of Mumbai. As a documentary film crew follows him around, it soon becomes clear that there is something a bit...

BiFan 2016 Review: EVA DOESN'T SLEEP Spins a Elliptical and Thought-Provoking Tale

Few politician's wives have been as mythologized as Eva Peron. The wife of the President of Argentina in the late 1940s, she reached iconic status during her life, as a poor girl from the countryside who married well, rose to...

BiFan 2016 Review: GRANNY'S DANCING ON THE TABLE, Beautiful and Brutal

It might seem that we have choices for our life’s direction; we can choose whom we spend tie with, who we marry, whether or not to have children, our career. But often those choices are invisible to us, impossible to...

Fantasia 2016 Review: REALIVE Deeply Engages With Medical Morality And The Human Condition

When screenwriters turn towards directing their own features, the case is often that they can make their talkiest screenplay into a film. This is not necessary a bad thing at all, especially considering the case of Mateo Gil's new science...

Fantasia 2016 Review: SHELLEY Marries Parenthood To Horror Without Enough Consequence

A classy, atmospheric take on the hysteria of new parenthood, Ali Abbasi's Shelley wears its influences boldly on its sleeve (and right there in the title), only the Frankenstein's monster here is a baby born by way of our modern medical...

Fantasia 2016 Review: MAN UNDERGROUND, A Love Letter to the Thrills of Conspiracy

William Koda (George Basil) is a man with a story to tell. Once a geologist for the U.S. government, he now spends his time in upstate New York telling tales of digging tunnels deep underground where they uncovered…something. Speaking to...

BiFan 2016 Review: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Takes Quirky Journey to Known Destination

There's a certain type of film that'e become prominent and popular among a lot of American indie filmmakers in recent years; I like to call it the Sundance Film (though not all have played at that festival). It's a social...

Fantasia 2016 Review: I, OLGA HEPNAROVA, A Meticulous And Confrontational Look At A Mass Murderer

At one point over the course of this haunting and difficult film, the lead character is reading the Graham Greene novel, The Quiet American. She highlights a passage from the novel that is the lynchpin to understanding the unanswerable questions left...