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Udine 2018 Review: THE NAME, an Odd but Curiously Absorbing Japanese Indie

There is more than meets the eye in Toda Akihiro’s The Name, an odd but curiously absorbing mystery drama that appears deceptively simple from the outset. Within its modest trappings, this Japanese indie raises some thoughtful existential questions about personal...

Cannes 2018 Review: Abbasi's BORDER Blurs Lines to Wondrous Effect

When Ali Abbasi burst onto the international scene with the quietly unnerving Shelley, the world took note of a writer-director with a feel for creating an immersive atmosphere and a keen understanding of fantastical films’ capacity for dispensing understated social...

Cannes 2018 Review: BURNING, a Slow Burn for the Ages

Eight years after his phenomenal drama Poetry, Lee Chang-dong makes a long-awaited return to the Cannes competition with his sixth film Burning, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's short story 'Barn Burning'. Dense with symbolism, this tour de force burrows towards...

Cannes 2018 Review: YOMEDDINE, The Outcast's Journey of the Heart

Many of us likely consider ourselves outcasts in one way or another, that something about us has set us apart from common society, and we are bullied and dismissed for it. That might be true, but for some, it can...

Udine 2018 Review: THE SCYTHIAN LAMB, A Bizarre Genre Hybrid Infused with Kaiju Folklore

In the sleepy coastal town of Uobuka, the statue of a googly-eyed green sea monster named Nororo towers over a precipice. According to legend, Nororo is an evil presence from the sea and whoever looks into its eyes will be...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: THE RUSSIAN JOB Makes You Laugh on the Inside

How is this for an elevator pitch:  What if Roy Andersson directed Roger & Me? No pitch is necessary, because a collaboration between a Czech journalist, Petr Horký, and freelance photographer (and regular contributor to the New York Times) Milan...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: CERES Connects Children to the Land

With so much of the worlds population living in cities, where all the food comes from the grocery store, or some variant of urban market, immediate, highly proximate documentaries such as Janet Van den Bran's Ceres are essential. She follows...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: TUNGRUS, 15 Minutes of Tragicomic Absurdity

"If anybody wants to adopt a rooster, do your research, and as with all pets, be prepared for life to become hell." Tungrus examines the perils of pet ownership in a middle-class Mumbai flat, when a family adopts a 2...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: SHIRKERS, Weaponized Narcissism

Sandi Tan is the writer, director, narrator, and star of Shirkers, the documentary slash true crime story of her first film (also called Shirkers) which she made with her high school pals, and a mysterious American benefactor. The benefactor, named...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: DREAMING MURAKAMI, Found In Translation

The perfect sentence does not exist. Language is a way of thinking, but it is a boundary, not the infinite. Perhaps, there is a perfect thought. Or a perfect dream. There is very likely a perfect musical note. Language remains...

Tribeca 2018 Review: LEMONADE, Male Toxicity Contaminates the Promised Land

The feature debut by Ioana Uricaru is a Romanian New Wave shrouded as U.S. indie.

Udine 2018 Review: GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM May Scare You Away from Hospitals for Good

The history of Korean horror was rewritten this year by the most unlikely of contenders, as a low-budget found footage chiller became one of the top-selling K-horrors of all time. Without the benefit of any stars, Epitaph co-director Jung Bum-sik...

Udine 2018 Review: THE RUNNING ACTRESS Dashes to Victory

Ever since picking up a Best New Actor Prize from the Venice International Film Festival for Oasis in 2002, Moon So-ri has been known as one of the top performers in the Korean film industry. Now, after impressing viewers and...

Udine 2018 Review: BE WITH YOU, Pleasant Fantasy Drama Stays the Course

The Korean fantasy romance, a genre that has spawned modern classics such as Il Mare and Ditto, has fallen on hard times in recent years but makes a strong case for a return to form with Be With You, an...

Tribeca 2018 Dispatch: Recommended Genre Shorts

In 2018 Tribeca’s overall shorts program, as in past years, has been both vast and satisfying. Perhaps more impressively, the genre shorts are particularly strong, not just token entries included to appease certain audience segments. These, then, are some of...

Udine 2018 Review: LITTLE FOREST Will Have You Yearning for the Simple Life

In Korean cinema, when characters retreat to the countryside things generally don't work out too well for them, but in Yim Soon-rye's new drama Little Forest, a young woman regains her spirit, and as she does so, many viewers will...

Indian Film Fest LA 2018 Review: MERCURY, Karthik Subbaraj's Silent Thriller Turns Up The Heat

Mercury, the latest film from Tamil wunderkind director, Karthik Subbaraj, is a bold experiment in alternative storytelling. This film, touted as a “silent thriller” though really more of a ‘dialogue-free’ one, is the most high profile project of its kind...

Indian Film Fest LA 2018 Review: TAKE OFF Is A Remarkable Testament The The Potential Of Indian Mainstream Cinema

In 2014, 46 Indian nurses were rescued from an ISIS controlled region of Iraq. Director Mahesh Narayan's 2017 feature, Take Off, is based on their story, and it became one of the biggest commerical and critical successes of last year...

SXSW 2018 Review: PERFECT Delivers an Overwhelming Sensory Assault

Perfect is a phantasmagoric nightmare built upon psychedelic imagery and wild ideas. Playing out like a mind-fried riff on Altered States, this ambitious film is as impressive as it is confounding. After a teenager (Garrett Wareing) commits a horrible crime,...

SXSW 2018 Dispatch: Surveying the VR Landscape

The 2018 edition of SXSW featured 29 VR experiences in their Virtual Cinema space at the JW Marriott. We already covered a few of those 29 pieces when they premiered at Sundance. That includes Angel Manuel Soto's Dinner Party, Tyler...