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Fantasia 2017 Review: KING COHEN and the Art of the Steal

"Anybody will put up with anything if they think a movie is being shot." These are words of wisdom, but also kind of a guerrilla filmmaking mission statement, from filmmaker Larry Cohen. Steve Mitchell's King Cohen offers a breathless sprint through...

BiFan 2017 Review: RYEOHAENG Casts Abstract Light on NK Refugees

Director Im Heung-soon returns for his third feature, casting his artistic light on another under-served segment of the population with the documentary Ryeohaeng. Focusing on the lives of several female North Korean defectors in Korea, Im contrasts talking heads positioned...

Fantasia 2017 Review: DEAD SHACK, Mixed Results Hamper Canadian Zom-Com From Breakout Success

Jason is joining his best friend Colin and his family on a weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods. Along for the ride is Colin’s sister Summer, their dad Roger and his girlfriend Tina. Jason and Colin could not...

Fantasia 2017 Review: JAILBREAK, An Exceptional Addition to Martial Arts Cinema Coming Out of Southeast Asia.

A group of Special Task Force Officers are escorting Playboy, a reported crime boss of the Butterfly Gang to Prei Klaa prison. Playboy though, claims that he is not the true boss and will reveal their identity when he is...

Fantasia 2017 Review: Thai Period Action Flick BROKEN SWORD HERO Introduces a New Action Talent

Joi’s childhood was plagued with teasing and bullying by the governor's son and his friends. Though his father refuses to put him in a Muay Thai school, Joi secretly trains himself.   When a confrontation with his bullies leaves the...

Fantasia 2017: Born Of Woman Shorts Programme Highlights a Trio of Haunting Standouts

For its second year at Fantasia, the theme running across the curation for the shorts programme Born Of Woman has moved away from the cerebral physical fetishes, and queer emotional landscapes of last year, towards the nature of haunting. The highlights were...

BiFan 2017 Review: BEHIND THE DARK NIGHT Swedes Its Way to Victory

Low-budget, semi-autobiographical indies about young men trying to make their feature film debuts have been done to death in Korea (Cheer Up Mr. Lee, We Will Be OK and Director's Cut come to mind), so expectations were muted for Behind...

BiFan 2017 Review: GODSPEED Revs Up Violence and Humor in Artful Road Movie

Hong Kong comedy star Michael Hui returns after a long absence in the latest from Taiwanese filmmaker Chung Mong-hong, A road movie about a drug deal gone wrong, Godspeed may not appear special on the surface, but this mashup of...

Fantasia 2017 Review: LOWLIFE Confidently Infuses Absurdity With Heart

As a snappily dressed Luchador intensely monologues his desires and legacy to the camera, we are unsure of exactly who his audience is, and the movie withholds the answer to maxim effect. A dirty Immigrations Officer and a scuzzy surgeon...

BiFan 2017 Review: ROOM NO. 7 Gets A 6 At Best

Following his acclaimed indie 10 Minutes, director Lee Yong-seung once again examines the plight of the working man in Korea with his commercial debut Room No. 7, which serves as the opening film of this year's Bucheon International Fantastic Film...

Fantasia 2017 Review: JAPANESE GIRLS NEVER DIE Speaks Locally on Subjugation, Reaches Globally

28 year old Azumi Haruko simply vanishes one night. Two aspiring graffiti artists use her image from her missing poster to build a name for themselves and they become a viral hit. And a gang of high school girls are...

Fantasia 2017 Short Film Short Review: EVEN THE DARKNESS HAS ARMS, A Two-Minute Creepfest

Chris Bavota, writer of the family reunion horror short from 2015 Never Tear Us Apart, has a new short, short film, Even The Darkness Has Arms, premiering tonight in the horror shorts program at Fantasia. Yes, it is so short...

Fantasia 2017 Short Film Short Review: THE LAST SCHNITZEL

Humankind’s time on Earth has is coming to end. As the planet dies nations prepare fleets to flee to nearby Mars. One of the last holdouts is the Grand Turkish Republic. The president refuses to okay the evacuation until he...

Fantasia 2017 Review: TILT, A Slowburn Thriller About Mental Health And The American Dream

When we first meet Joseph and Joanne, the young couple are returning from a trip to Hawaii.   Joseph is a documentary filmmaker and Joanne studies medicine. When Joanne is out, Joseph works away on a new documentary in his...

Japan Cuts 2017 Review: THE TOKYO NIGHT SKY IS ALWAYS THE DENSEST SHADE OF BLUE, A Maudlin if Earnest Tale

Like its long, declarative title, Ishii Yuya's new film is a curious work that stumbles towards earnestness. Sometimes it is poetic and ponderous. At other times it is just plain tedious and twee.

Edinburgh 2017 Review: Love and Paganism In THE DARK MILE

Louise (Rebecca Calder), decked out in a heavy fisherman’s sweater and yellow raincoat, is ready to escape from the stress of city life and the recent sting of a failed attempt at IVF for a boating break in the Scottish...

Cannes 2017 Dispatch: Official Awards Exclaim Expectations Met

The buzz throughout the week at this year's Cannes Film Festival seemed mostly dominated by a sense of waiting for one film from the Palme d'Or competition that would really break out. In the end, that one clear favorite never...

Cannes 2017 Review: THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED), Rich on Dysfunctional Delight

While Cannes has not exactly been light on controversy this year, one film in its lineup was easily singled out as a suspicious inclusion when the official selection was first announced. After all, not only does The Meyerowitz Stories (New...

Cannes 2017 Review: THE MERCILESS Punches Up Familiar Gangster Tale

After helming a low-key music drama (The Beat Goes On) and a romantic comedy (Whatcha Wearin'?), director Byun Sung-hyun finally shows off what may be his true colors in the brash and confident half gangster thriller, half prison drama The...

Cannes 2017 Review: THE BEGUILED, A Campy Anatomy of Lust

Sofia Coppola is a filmmaker whose work I've appreciated from a distance. I know she's a great director, but apart from Marie Antoinette, her stories of rich white people and their troubles has held little interest for me. But as...