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Blu-ray Review: VAZANTE, Bleak, Black and White Beauty in Brazilian Soul-Breaker

From its very first moments, Vazante makes its intentions apparent. Captured in black and white imagery that is preoccupied with draining any possibility of color from its quiet, slow-moving landscape, the film is set in and around a remote cattle...

Review: Carla Simón's Autobiographical SUMMER 1993 Reflects Childhood, Tragedy and Love

Catalan director Carla Simón's first feature, Summer 1993, is a touching autobiographical film about the AIDS crisis in the 90s seen through a child's eye.

Udine 2018 Review: THE NAME, an Odd but Curiously Absorbing Japanese Indie

There is more than meets the eye in Toda Akihiro’s The Name, an odd but curiously absorbing mystery drama that appears deceptively simple from the outset. Within its modest trappings, this Japanese indie raises some thoughtful existential questions about personal...

Beldocs 2018 Review: BORN JUST NOW, Portrait of an Artist In Context

Robert Adanto´s documentary portrait Born Just Now illuminates Serbian performance art scene

Cannes 2018 Review: Abbasi's BORDER Blurs Lines to Wondrous Effect

When Ali Abbasi burst onto the international scene with the quietly unnerving Shelley, the world took note of a writer-director with a feel for creating an immersive atmosphere and a keen understanding of fantastical films’ capacity for dispensing understated social...

Cannes 2018 Review: BURNING, a Slow Burn for the Ages

Eight years after his phenomenal drama Poetry, Lee Chang-dong makes a long-awaited return to the Cannes competition with his sixth film Burning, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's short story 'Barn Burning'. Dense with symbolism, this tour de force burrows towards...

Blu-ray Review: THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES Is Blu With Criterion

“Art, no matter how high it rises, cannot forget the land which birthed it.” - Martiros Saryan. That quote, by a prominent Armenian painter, begins The Color of Armenian Land, a scarcely seen short documentary by Mikhail Vartanov which, at...

Review: DEADPOOL 2, Satirical Lunacy Cranked To 11

Expectations were pretty low for Deadpool 2. What could have easily been conceived as a cash-cow on Marvel's part, merely another cog in the exhaustive line-up of films that have been and are to come, is instead a self contained...

Blu-ray Review: WOMEN IN LOVE

Prolific director Ken Russell (Tommy, Lisztomania, The Devils, Altered States) made his third feature film Women in Love in 1969 (the year it was released in the U.K.) with a terrific cast, starring the infamous Oliver Reed, as well as Alan Bates,...

Cannes 2018 Review: YOMEDDINE, The Outcast's Journey of the Heart

Many of us likely consider ourselves outcasts in one way or another, that something about us has set us apart from common society, and we are bullied and dismissed for it. That might be true, but for some, it can...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC Keeps the Faith

I couldn’t go to church on the evening of Good Friday this year, so instead I watched The Passion of Joan of Arc.  The choice was solid, for a number of reasons.  I watched the completely silent version, said to...

Udine 2018 Review: THE SCYTHIAN LAMB, A Bizarre Genre Hybrid Infused with Kaiju Folklore

In the sleepy coastal town of Uobuka, the statue of a googly-eyed green sea monster named Nororo towers over a precipice. According to legend, Nororo is an evil presence from the sea and whoever looks into its eyes will be...

Blu-ray Review: THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD Pours on Nostalgia

Like Hammer Films (most affectionately known as Hammer Horror), Amicus Productions was based in England and among other genres, specialized in gothic horror films with plenty of atmosphere and excellent ensemble casts. These movies have a palpable feel and flavor,...

Review: REVENGE Fearlessly Subverts the Subgenre

There is one inviolable rule of the rape-revenge genre: the revenge must be complete. Other than that, all bets are off. French director Coralie Fargeat takes this to heart in her feature debut, Revenge, and she does not disappoint her...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: THE RUSSIAN JOB Makes You Laugh on the Inside

How is this for an elevator pitch:  What if Roy Andersson directed Roger & Me? No pitch is necessary, because a collaboration between a Czech journalist, Petr Horký, and freelance photographer (and regular contributor to the New York Times) Milan...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: CERES Connects Children to the Land

With so much of the worlds population living in cities, where all the food comes from the grocery store, or some variant of urban market, immediate, highly proximate documentaries such as Janet Van den Bran's Ceres are essential. She follows...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: TUNGRUS, 15 Minutes of Tragicomic Absurdity

"If anybody wants to adopt a rooster, do your research, and as with all pets, be prepared for life to become hell." Tungrus examines the perils of pet ownership in a middle-class Mumbai flat, when a family adopts a 2...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: SHIRKERS, Weaponized Narcissism

Sandi Tan is the writer, director, narrator, and star of Shirkers, the documentary slash true crime story of her first film (also called Shirkers) which she made with her high school pals, and a mysterious American benefactor. The benefactor, named...

Hot Docs 2018 Review: DREAMING MURAKAMI, Found In Translation

The perfect sentence does not exist. Language is a way of thinking, but it is a boundary, not the infinite. Perhaps, there is a perfect thought. Or a perfect dream. There is very likely a perfect musical note. Language remains...

Tribeca 2018 Review: LEMONADE, Male Toxicity Contaminates the Promised Land

The feature debut by Ioana Uricaru is a Romanian New Wave shrouded as U.S. indie.