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: 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: 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...

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...

ŻubrOFFka 2016 Review: BLACK, Award-winning Japanese Animation From Poland

There is something remarkably spellbinding about Tomasz Popakul's Polish-Japanese co-production Black, which won the award for Best Animation at this year's ŻubrOFFka Film Festival. It's unmistakably Japanese in style, and clearly a really passionate homage to the manga art so...

ŻubrOFFka 2016 Review: A NIGHT IN TOKORIKI Is Like Mixing QUADROPHENIA with BORAT

There's been a handful of shorts at ŻubrOFFka that have opened by filming horses, like a symbolic statement of intent about the pace they intend to continue at. Few do it quite as well as Roxana Stroe's A Night in...

ŻubrOFFka 2016 Review: In DEBUT, Katarzyna Kijek Makes Procrasturbation an Artistic Joy

Amidst the growing excitement surrounding Klara Kochańska’s Tenants, now seems an exciting time for female Polish filmmakers, and Katarzyna Kijek is no exception with her gorgeously surreal animation Debut, located in ŻubrOFFka’s Independent Competition selection. What a film it is...

ŻubrOFFka 2016 Review: In BALCONY, Toby Fell-Holden Puts His Finger on the Pulse of Brexit

Small film festivals really are the best, both in terms of vibe and the sense of inclusion they give. Short film festivals are particularly cool too, either because they're having to fight so damn hard for attention or simply because...

Black Nights 2016 Review: Steven Cantor's DANCER Dazzles, But Risks Falling Short

Director Steven Cantor turns his attention to ballet prodigy Sergei Polunin in his latest documentary, Dancer. Having already taken the stage at the 60th BFI London Film Festival, and now returning for an encore at Tallinn's Doc@POFF strand, this feature-length...

Black Nights 2016 Review: THE LAND OF THE ENLIGHTENED Enchants With Its Docu-drama Blend

If there's one thing everybody needs to know about, it's Tallin Black Nights (or PÖFF as it is rather fantastically named in Estonian). Having gained A-list status back in 2014, it's now officially one of the top fifteen film festivals...

Toronto 2016 Review: THE WAR SHOW Gives Filmmaking New Meaning in Syria

Women played a fundamental role during the Arab Spring in 2011, but their stories sadly often went untold. Notable exceptions to this trend were Gini Reticker's New York Times project Trials of Spring, however, Obaidah Zytoon's debut documentary The War...

Venice 2016 Review: AUSTERLITZ, Sergei Loznitsa Shows the Horrors of the Camps Didn't End with WWII

Sergei Loznitsa’s Austerlitz very nearly drew a bad review from me yesterday, as I was still reeling from Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey. That was largely due to the fact that the Ukranian documentarean's film initially felt like a...

Venice 2016 Review: THE BAD BATCH Proves Ana Lily Amirpour Deserves All the Awards

It's probably going to be a pretty close run between Damien Chazelle and Ana Lily Amirpour this year, what with The Bad Batch and La La Land being up there as probable candidates for the best films at both Venice...

Venice 2016 Review: Andrew Dominik's ONCE MORE WITH FEELING Is a Blossoming Bud of Pain

If 20,000 Days on Earth is a film you watch to get high, then Once More with Feeling is very much a downer. That’s because it deals with the deeply painful loss Nick Cave experienced after the death of his...

Venice 2016 Review: KING OF THE BELGIANS Could Be The Crowning Glory of Orizzonti

It's still early days, but Peter Brosens’ and Jessica Woodworth's tag team effort on the rib-tickling mockumentary King of the Belgians could well be one of the finest films of the 73rd Venice Biennale. With great alacrity, this extremely funny...

Venice 2016 Review: Ulrich Siedl's SAFARI Delivers Another Gut-Wrenching Masterpiece

A much loved Austrian auteur resumes his excellent documentary filmmaking form with his deliciously repulsive new offering, Safari. Picking up on the heightened realities he developed with In the Basement, Ulrich Seidl now follows his forever entertaining Austrian country folk on...

Venice 2016 Review: Alice Lowe's PREVENGE Seems Destined to Become a Cult Classic

Once known for her experimental theatre and playful roles in hit British television comedies such as Black Books and The IT Crowd, Alice Lowe has now hacked and slashed her way into the male-dominated world of the cult slasher with...

Venice 2016 Review: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS Gets Derek Cianfrance Into Hot Water

Whether it's Blue Valentine's pitch perfect snapshot of a relationship in breakdown or the wonderful parallels and plot twists of The Place Beyond the Pines, one thing is for certain: Derek Cianfrance is ridiculously good at telling complex and unconventional...