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Rotterdam 2017 Review: THE WEDDING RING Allows A Beautiful Peek At A Different Culture

When we in the West think of the North African Sahel region, we tend to conjure up images of deserts, terrorism, war, famine, nauseating abuse of human rights... In short, the harshest environments and the nastiest works us humans are...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: WÙLU Shows A Thoughtful Rise To Criminal Power

In Malinese director Daouda Coulibaly's crime drama Wùlu, we follow the rise of Ladji, a bus driver in Mali's capital city Bamako, who decides to use his street-savvy for becoming a career criminal. Cheated out of a years-in-the-making promotion because...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: SISTER OF MINE Damns Your Eyes With Experience

In Pedro Aguilera's Sister of Mine we see Oliver, a jaded American filmmaker. One night he browses porn clips on the Internet, and discovers one which seems to feature his beautiful young Spanish half-sister Aurora, who he hasn't seen in...

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...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: BAMSEOM PIRATES SEOUL INFERNO Challenges Our Sense Of Liberty

Documentaries tend to do well at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and each year several manage to get into the audience top-10. The 2017 edition has proven to be no exception, as there are three documentaries in the top-5 alone....

Spokane 2017 Review: DIANI & DEVINE MEET THE APOCALYPSE

The closing film of the Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) is traditionally an uplifting affair that celebrates the creative spirit, hosted in the hallowed 102-year old Bing Crosby (neé Clemmer) Theater. This year’s selection - the charming, snide, hilarious Diani...

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...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: IT HURTS SO MUCH Is A Gentle Documentary About Care

Let me start this review by stating for the non-Dutch people that Heleen van Royen is a bit of an icon in the Netherlands. She is a successful writer of novels, and as a columnist she is (in)famous for not...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: Slovak Rape Drama FILTHY Examines Plight of Victim

Bleak Slovak drama investigates rape trauma and thorny path to overcome it through the eyes of a victim

Rotterdam 2017 Review: Social Satire A DECENT WOMAN Conjures Up Anarchism From A Nudistic Swinger Club

A Decent Woman marries European formalism to Latin American temperament in a social satire embracing anarchism and clothes-optional policy

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...

Sundance 2017 Review: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Feels Both Fresh and Vintage

The word “sumptuous” doesn’t get bandied about very much during Sundance when describing films. In the land of ice and snow, things are either “quirky”, “dramadies” or “depressing as shit”, but they’re seldom languid, or bucolic. Perhaps that’s what elevated...

Sundance 2017 Review: Damn Those Unbearably Funny L.A. TIMES

L.A. Times plays like the flipside of the coin that is Whit Stillman’s aristocratic male-centric New York, where snoots court debutantes and intellectualize feeling superior. In writer/director/star, Michelle Morgan’s West Coast, a group of friends attempt to find love, happiness,...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: SEXY DURGA, One Terrifying Night In Darkest India

Man is a dangerous beast. Long ago, before the time of cinema, before the time of television, and certainly before the time of the Internet, the Indian subcontinent was a land mostly known as a fruitful place for the nightmares...