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Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: FAULTLESS, The Sting of a Woman

What do men know about women? According to Faultless (original title: Irréprochable), some women are beyond understanding. Directed by Sébastien Marnier, the film follows Constance (Marina Foïs) as she slinks back to her hometown in rural France after losing her...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE INVISIBLE GUEST (CONTRATIEMPO) Locks In Emotional Thrills

Locked-room mysteries don't get much more fiendish than the one at the heart of The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo), the new film by Spanish writer/director Oriol Paulo (The Body). Even better, that's just the starting point for an increasingly potent thriller....

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: BOYKA: UNDISPUTED Brings the Pain, In and Outside the Ring

Scott Adkins brings redeemed Russian MMA fighter Yuri Boyka back to the screen for the third time, delivering another helping of blistering bloody bouts of carefully choreographed carnage. Outside the ring, director Todor Chapkanov fails to complement the action with...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: The Unbearable Lightness of TONI ERDMANN

German filmmaker Maren Ade's third feature, Toni Erdmann, about an estranged father connecting with his adult daughter in increasingly unorthodox and aggravating ways, garnered glowing critical praise when it premiered in competition at Cannes this past spring. While there is...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE YOUNG OFFENDERS Elevates a Comic Tale With Fresh Honesty

Rowdy, raucous, and rude, The Young Offenders is a blast of adolescence without angst, a juvenile movie that is surprisingly cheerful, even as its young heroes straddle the thin line between criminality and, well, not being a straight-up criminal. Conor...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE HIGH FRONTIER Tests the Borders of Tension

Baby, it's cold outside. The family at the heart of The High Frontier (original title: Na granicy) doesn't feel very warm toward each other, though. As the movie begins and a father and his two sons drive deeper and deeper...

Review: In BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Looks Aren't Everything

In the 21st century, how is one to present a fairy tale? There are stories ripe with opportunity to create great visual, frequently with lots of action, but the stereotyping, themes, and gender representation can be a bit tricky in...

Toronto 2016 Review: Bulgarian Drama GODLESS Depicts Moral Decay in an Eastern European Dystopia

Ralitza Petrova, an emerging filmmaker from Bulgaria, unveiled her powerful debut outing Godless recently at the Locarno Film Festival, where she ended up standing in the spotlight and holding the Golden Leopard award. She thus joined the ranks of talented...

Toronto 2016 Review: PERSONAL SHOPPER, Kristen Stewart in an Alluring Abstraction

French critic-turned-filmmaker Olivier Assayas has always had a knack for combining verité, day-to-day life with stylish genre elements. His previous film, The Clouds of Sils Maria, coaxed a assured performance out of Kristen Stewart as a confident personal assistant to a...

Toronto 2016 Review: MESSAGE FROM THE KING Mixes Old School And Global Contemporary Masculinity Into Neo-Noir

Arriving fresh into LAX with only the clothes on his back, some cash in his pocket and a South African passport, Jacob King is given the full interrogation by the customs officials, "Are you working? Are you staying with family?...

Toronto 2016 Review: THE DREAMED PATH, A Minimalist Masterwork

German director Angela Schanelec's latest look at the nature of migration, stasis and loneliness should prove an equally striking and challenging cinematic event for new viewers, while previous enthusiasts of her opaque and minimalist oeuvre will be elated by this...

Review: THE WILD LIFE, A Mild Belgian Take on ROBINSON CRUSOE

The English-language title of a new animated film from Belgium is a play on words that is only accurate in the most literal terms possible. Gentle and good-hearted as it is, The Wild Life is clearly targeted at patient young...

Toronto 2016 Review: THINGS TO COME Ponders the Wilderness of Self with Supreme Gentleness

French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve, best known for tales of youth Eden and Goodbye First Love, teams up with iconic actress Isabelle Huppert for Things To Come, a quietly affecting story about a bourgeois middle-aged philosophy teacher and the big changes...

Review: DEMON, A Ghost Story of a Different Colour

Anything you try to bury will come back to haunt you. And as many times as you bury it, it will come back, and no doubt hurt those you least want to see hurt. The past can never be escaped,...

Blu-ray Review: DER BUNKER Is Still Really Weird

Nikias Chryssos' Der Bunker was one of the oddball breakout films of last year. This debut feature from the director follows the strange story of a student looking for a room to rent so he can work on a long...

Blu-ray Review: PRIVATE VICES, PUBLIC VIRTUES LE Re-examines Miklós Jancsó's Legacy

First off, let me be frank: All I know about the work of Hungarian filmmaker Miklós Jancsó I learned from this release. The name certainly rang a bell when I first heard about Private Vices, Public Virtues making its way...

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...

Review: KLOWN FOREVER, Smashing Through the 'Forbidden' Sign With Great Glee

Tragedy is easy. Comedy is hard. And making a comedy sequel is impossible Four years ago, Klown (original Danish title: Klovn) blew into worldwide cinematic consciousness as a wickedly funny, perversely smutty, and utterly original comedy. Born on a television...

Blu-ray Review: THE IMMORTAL STORY Explores the Nature and Necessity of Storytelling

The Immortal Story, one of Orson Welles's final films as a director, is a fascinating look into not only the necessity of storytelling, but also his own obsessions with truth and illusion. From the very beginning of his career as...