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Review: THE FENCER, History Crosses Swords at School

Endel is hiding. In The Fencer (Miekkailija), which has recently been issued as a fine-looking DVD from Music Box Films and is also available to watch via various VOD platforms, Endel Nelis (Mart Avandi) has returned to his Estonian homeland...

Review: MARROWBONE, Hidden Secrets and Sibling Attachment

Sergio G. Sánchez is best known as co-writer of The Orphanage, certainly one of the best horror films of recent years, with its gothic setting, and themes of past traumas haunting the present. In his feature directorial debut, he returns...

Review: With JEANNETTE: THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC, Bruno Dumont Charts Yet Another Territory

Jeannette is a real gamble of a film. In theory, with everything Dumont is striving for, spiritually and artistically, it should satisfy fans of his work. But intellectually understanding what he is up to and enjoying the actual piece are two different things.

Now on Blu-ray: UNDERGROUND, One of the Funniest Movies About War, Ever

Emir Kusturica won his second Palme d’Or for Underground. It’s about three hours long and tells an epic story that begins in WWII and ends during the Yugoslavian Civil War in the 1990s. But forget any worries about a deadly...

Review: In ISMAEL'S GHOSTS, Creative Process Can Use Some Help from Ghosts of the Past

Desplechin deals with a lot of complicated thoughts and emotions on screen, acted out by three very good actors on the top of their game.

SXSW 2018 Review: HEAVY TRIP, Let Impaled Rektum Warm Your Heart In This Great Underdog Comedy

In the Q & A following the SXSW premiere of their film, Heavy Trip, the producers of this heartwarming comedy declared that their native Finland has more heavy metal bands per capita than any other nation in the world, so...

SXSW 2018 Review: FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL Explores The Universal Language Of Fear

This is a golden age for the horror anthology, and perhaps no single entity has been more responsible for the recent explosion more than the producing team of Ant Timpson and Tim League. Through their high concept omnibus packages, The...

Rotterdam 2018 Review: THE RETURN, a Poignant and Authentic Tale of Korean Adoptees Returning Home

Ever since the end of the Korean War in 1953, South Korea has earned a name as one of the largest exporters of babies worldwide. Over 200,000 infants have been put up for adoption and sent overseas, mainly to Europe...

Berlinale 2018 Review: IN THE AISLES, A Cheery German Heart-Breaker

German director Thomas Stuber seems to have dramatically upped his game since his very straight-faced, moody debut Teenage Angst, which featured at the Berlinale back in 2008. Now also acting as a co-writer alongside Clemens Meyer (a collaboration that has...

Berlinale 2018 Review: THE INTERPRETER, Two Oldtimers in a Road Dramedy

Peter Simonischek of Toni Erdmann fame meets Oscar-winning director Jiří Menzel in a dramedy by Slovak director Martin Šulík

Review: NOVEMBER, Just the Right Amount of Weird

Thomas Hobbes' famous saying that the life of man is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" could have been the mantra for the life of the characters in Rainer Sarnet's November. Luckily, the film itself is fantastical, strange, beautifully shot,...

Review: THE LODGERS, Neo-Gothic Disturbances

The gothic has always been the cornerstone and mainstay of horror film: that place that is supposed to be the most secure and welcoming - one's home - is suddenly dangerous and uninviting. Irish director Brian O'Malley (Let Us Prey)...

Berlinale 2018 Review: INFINITE FOOTBALL, Corneliu Porumboiu Kicks Up A Smile

Corneliu Porumboiu’s Infinite Football (Fotbal infinit) is definitely a film you could watch in its entirety without thinking it’s a documentary. Staying nicely onside of what feels like a deadpan comedy for a delightfully compact seventy minutes in Berlinale’s Panorama...

Berlinale 2018 Review: THE INVISIBLE HANDS, An Unlikely Meeting of Cultures Yields Strange and Beautiful Results

The Invisible Hands, an excellent documentary by Marina Gioti and Georges Salameh, explores the unlikely collaboration between American musical provocateur Alan Bishop and a group of young Egyptian musicians whose lives were upended by the Arab Spring. The film's international...

Berlinale 2018 Review: THE REAL ESTATE, a Devilishly Good Invasion of Personal Space

It's been hard to find something truly worth writing home about since opening night of this year's 68th Berlinale programme, but thankfully Swedish film The Real Estate (Toppen av ingenting) has finally exploded onto the scene. Like a cinematic pipe...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS a Top Story, by Miles

The great Jeanne Moreau died July 31, 2017. She was an undisputed titan of World Cinema, a deep and dour, alive yet melancholy presence, ever unmistakable. Always elevating. I say this here and now because I couldn’t at the time....

Review: LOVELESS Examines A Couple's Life As They Search For Their Child

Years ago, when our children were smaller, my wife and I used to share a dark joke about the 'reverse custody battle.' It went like so: In the event of our marriage falling apart, we would each try to convince...

Review: François Ozon's DOUBLE LOVER Sizzles

I find it funny that the film is being released on Valentines Day against yet another Fifty Shades movie from its franchise. Let me put it simply - French does it better, effortlessly. Steamy and seductive, Double Lover is an infinitely better choice for a date movie.

Rotterdam 2018 Review: WESTERN Documents Clashing Cultures

Valeska Grisebach's new film Western takes place, ironically, in Eastern Europe, the narrative following a group of German builders on a construction site deep in the remote woods of Bulgaria. But the title immediately provides its viewers with an interesting...

Rotterdam 2018 Review: BLUE MY MIND Is Frank, Feminine and All-around Fantastic

There’s something about first-time filmmakers turning to the coming-of-age genre that feels oddly appropriate. Ostensibly at least, it’s a perfect experiential match between creator and creation insofar as both cineaste and protagonist are debuting into the world after a journey...