Interview: Johnny Ma Talks His Riveting Feature Debut OLD STONE

Old Stone was originally written as a US film with Micheal Shannon in mind in Detroit. And it was supposed to be my second feature film. I wanted to take premise of the film away from China that the conversation wouldn't be just about, 'it only happens in China'. What drove me most was to show how a good person turns bad. I wanted the conversation to be about that than the actual environment, where the incident inspired the movie actually happened.

Review: OLD STONE, A Riveting Thriller Where A Good Man Goes Bad

Old Stone develops into a riveting thriller and asks weighty questions about the cost of doing right in an unempathetic society where people rather kill the accident victims off by running over them again rather than saving them. It's a raw and tough first film. And it signals a emergence of a major storyteller.

Interview: Lucile Hadzihalilovic On EVOLUTION

"It was not like, 'ok now I'm going to do the boys version'. Not at all. It was more of a small intimate story in the beginning between a boy and his mother in the hospital."

The Many Faces Of Isabelle Huppert

Today, after several months of bouncing around the International festival circuits, Paul Verhoeven's newest film Elle arrives in American cinemas. In his review, Jason Gorber says: "Elle is a masterwork by a master filmmaker, while Huppert's performance reminds the world...

Review: DON'T CALL ME SON Mulls Over Sexual Identity In A Subtle, Personal Way

Don't Call Me Son, doesn't dwell on nature vs nurture or rely on cheap sentimentality. The film doesn't even try to make any big statement on gender equality or social justice. It focuses on a young man who is very comfortable with his identity even though his life has become chaotic. But he's not a helpless victim who's unsure about his place in the world. And he also has a great, caring heart.

Review: INTO THE INFERNO, Herzog Versus The Volcano

In Into the Inferno, this dynamic duo, in a true Herzogian fashion, takes us to the various volcanos around the globe - from North Korea to Ethiopia to Iceland to the Vanuatu Archipelago, and touches upon the impermanence of human existence on literally 'thin crust' and the awesome power of nature and our belief system.

New York 2016 Review: James Gray's THE LOST CITY OF Z, A Well-Meaning But Lackluster Adventure Film

There is nothing particularly wrong with The Lost City of Z. I buy that one man's obsession- 'a man's reach should exceed his grasp', is worthy subject for a movie. Obviously, it's much less offensive than that last Indiana Jones film or Apocalypto when the depiction of natives are concerned. But do we need another film about a white man's journey to validate another culture's worth in this day and age?

New York 2016 Review: With CERTAIN WOMEN, Kelly Reichardt's Back in Form

If her newly restored/rediscovered debut film Rivers of Grass gave a nod to Bonnie and Clyde and old noir films, with Certain Women, Reichardt does Altman-- an ensemble cast and loosely connected stories structure based on short stories (by a Montana Native, Maile Meloy). But it's still very much Reichardt film: with muted tones, sense of melancholy and loneliness, Certain Women excels at being small, minimalistic character studies that are distinctly a small town Americana. Also, many of her films placed women in precarious situations to observe, but I think this is the first time that she is forefront about exclusively telling women's stories.

New York 2016 Review: In Albert Serra's THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV, Irony is Not Lost

The irony of the king's death is heightened by it's straightforward presentation and procedural approach. The Death of Louis XIV is a very singular formalist filmmaking in its highest order.

New York 2016 Review: HERMIA & HELENA, Matías Piñeiro's New Offering is Slow in Tempo But Just as Beguiling

Just like his other films, H & H is extremely talky, but the feel of the film is much slower even languid at times. It's not more contemplative, per se. Perhaps it's New York's snowy winter landscape that's bringing out certain melancholy to the film. Because of Camila's journey takes unexpected turns (in romance or otherwise) and because of the people she meets and we get to see her (sort of) motives, the film comes closer to a character study and feels more personal than any other Piñeiro films I've seen.

New York 2016 Review: AQUARIUS Explores Indiscreet Charm of Brazilian Bourgeoisie

With Braga's commanding performance and the quite explosive ending, Aquarius goes down as one of the finest films of 2016.

New York 2016 Review: FIRE AT SEA, Juxtaposition of the Refugee Crisis and Old Europe

Fire at Sea refuses to be a rhetorical documentary. There are no narrations nor sit down interviews with locals or 'experts' about how they feel about the tides of Immigrants coming ashore or what could be done about it. It is more of a straight up reportage on the ground, simply showing the magnitude of the crisis that begs your attention and understanding.

Review: In THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT, Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Truth is stranger than fiction. In 1978, famous South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his ex-wife, actress Choi Eun-hee were kidnapped in Hong Kong by North Korean agents under order of Kim Jung-il, the future leader of North Korea. While...

Review: CAMERAPERSON, A Moving Self-Portrait Of A Veteran Cinematographer

Kirsten Johnson's career as a cinematographer is a long and accomplished one in the documentary field. She is responsible for images of countless documentaries by filmmakers such as Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Kirby Dick and many more. Her work took...

Review: KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE, A Fascinating, RASHOMON-Style Meta Investigation

Christine Chubbuck, a news reporter in Sarasota, Florida, killed herself in an apparent suicide on live television in 1974. Because it took place way before the internet age, and the only existing original videotape of the actual incident is thought...

Interview: Uncertainty Principle - Robert Greene on KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE

I first encountered Robert Greene's inventive and daring filmmaking at the Art of the Real film series in 2013. Actress, his film starring Brandy Burre playing herself in a documentary-style portrayal of an aging actress in upstate New York, was...

Review: Werner Herzog's LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD, A Wry, Meditative Masterpiece About the Internet

A weak internet signal at my job caused massive delays in our daily operation the last couple of days, making us bang our heads against the table in sheer panic mode. This is where the internet got us: We are...

Review: NEITHER HEAVEN NOR EARTH, An Unusual, Effective Metaphysical Thriller Set In Afghanistan

Neither Heaven Nor Earth is an effective, minimalistic metaphysical thriller set in a battlefield of Afghanistan from a French visual artist/filmmaker, Clément Cogitore, in his feature film debut. It tells about French soldiers stationed in the Wakhan valley, an arid,...

Review: HIERONYMUS BOSCH: TOUCHED BY THE DEVIL, A Fascinating Look at Dutch Master's Dark Imagination

To mark the 500th year of his death, Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil follows a team of Dutch Bosch scholars and experts, headed by art historian Matthijs Ilsink, as they try to shore up existing paintings by the Dutch...

Melbourne 2016: ScreenAnarchy Does MIFF

Celebrating its 65th edition, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has revealed its full program. With the festival now less than a week away, let's take a look at the highlights, some personal recommendations, and ScreenAnarchy reviewed gems from festivals...