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Review: THE SWAN, a Lyrical and Sobering Look at Adulthood Through a Child's Eyes

A wilful young girl sent to work on a farm in rural Iceland – a waning traditional Icelandic practice to instill independence in children – uncovers some uncomfortable real-world truths in The Swan (Svanurinn), Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir’s serious-in-tone coming-of-age drama...

Review: MEMOIR OF WAR, a Harrowing Tale of Absence and Shame

Skillfully directed and beautifully acted, Memoir of War retains much of Duras' enigmatic, complex human tendencies during war time. Like her other works, it draws from her experiences and amplifies/embelishes many of her major themes - desires, suffering, shame, survivor's guilt, memories....

Review: THE RANGER, Fun and Bloody Punk Horror

There is a deep and undeniable connection between punk music and horror films that goes back decades. From the very beginning of the punk music movement in the '70s, bands and fans used horror imagery to separate themselves from those...

Locarno 2018 Review: Grief and Past Yield Transformative Experience in A FAMILY SUBMERGED

María Alché´s debut feature has a spellbinding and palpable effect turning the viewing experience into lucid dreaming

Blu-ray Review: John Carpenter's SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME!

John Carpenter. Legendary director, writer, composer. The Thing, Escape From New York, Halloween, In the Mouth of Madness, among many other films. Scream Factory, which seems to have cornered the market on John Carpenter Blu-rays and DVDs, recently released his...

Review: HERSTORY Foregrounds Sensational Cast in Best Comfort Women Tale Yet (by a Margin)

One of the most sensitive issues in Korean society over the past few years has the been the acknowledgement of the plight of the Korean comfort women that were forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese military during World War...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's HEAVEN CAN WAIT Is Near Flawless

Old Hollywood has its pitfalls, but it sure made some excellent, even downright delightful films. Case in point, Heaven Can Wait, from director Ernst Lubitsch (Ninotchka, Trouble in Paradise, To Be Or Not To Be). Lubitsch was born in 1892 and began...

Review: THE SPY GONE NORTH, Bold and Sumptuous Espionage Yarn Eschews Action for Geopolitical Intrigue

Following his period action blockbuster Kundo: The Age of the Rampant in 2014, Yoon Jong-bin is back in the summer season lineup with his 90s-set espionage drama The Spy Gone North, which bowed earlier this year as part of the...

Review: DOWN A DARK HALL, Deceptive Gloom at a Boarding School

Set in the present day, Down a Dark Hall liberally borrows elements from gothic horror to style its gloomy atmosphere. Teenage Kit (AnnaSophia Robb) is sent to the Blackwood Boarding School as a last resort. She has no aptitude for...

Review: ELIZABETH HARVEST, An Expressionistic Survival Story

The Venezuelan writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez revises the Bluebeard myth for his latest feature-length offering, Elizabeth Harvest

Locarno 2018 Review: HOTEL BY THE RIVER, A Wonderfully Performed New Drama from Hong Sangsoo

Six months after the premiere of Grass at the Berlinale, prolific auteur Hong Sangsoo is back with another black and white drama which once again reunites him with his leading actress Kim Min-hee. Having just debuted at the Locarno International...

Review: The Incendiary, Impassioned BLACKKKLANSMAN Is Classic Spike Lee

The premise of BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee’s impassioned, incendiary, often brilliant new film, sounds like a joke. In 1978, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, son of Denzel), a black rookie detective in the Colorado Springs police department, infiltrates the local chapter...

Locarno 2018 Review: DIANE, Humane and Melancholic Drama About Aging and Mortality

Kent Jones, an American documentary filmmaker and director of the New York Film Festival, who is also behind the bio-doc Hitchcock/Truffaut and the documentary A Letter to Elia, which he co-directed with Martin Scorcese, makes a move to fiction filmmaking. Diane, executive...

Lima 2018 Review: ROBAR A RODIN, Trolling People Like A Boss

In July 2005, a valuable sculpture by Auguste Rodin was stolen from an exhibition in the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago. Robar a Rodin (Stealing Rodin), a documentary from Cristóbal Valenzuela Berríos, chronicles the events as the...

Review: MADELINE'S MADELINE, Josephine Decker's Stunning Drama

The notion of authenticity can often get haphazardly tossed around when talking about cinema. Indeed, one's declaration of authenticity can tread a fine line with hyperbole. What are we really saying when we shout "this film is so authentic!" Authentic...

Review: SUMMER OF '84 Has An Interesting Dialogue With THE 'BURBS

Be it in big cities or small towns, people have spied on their neighbours, and assumed the worst about them, since we traded a nomadic hunter-gatherer society for permanent houses. It was, however, Alfred Hitchcock (and screenwriter John Michael Hayes)...

Review: THE CRESCENT, A Quietly Confident Experiment in Horror Cinema

Late in Seth A Smith's The Crescent, there is a hushed shot of the lead character, who happens to be a 2-year-old toddler, sitting on a beach, framed inside an hollow wreck of an old seaside house. The camera slowly...

Review: THE MEG, Jason Statham Vs. Giant Prehistoric Shark

2018 has been a great year for big budget monster movies. Audiences have already been attacked by giant robots in Pacific Rim: Uprising and mutated wildlife in Rampage, and the trend continues with director Jon Turtletaub's latest feature, The Meg....

Review: In DISENCHANTMENT, Matt Groening Brings His Animation Comedy Gold to Netflix

This could have been the easiest review we have ever written and it would have gone like this,   "If you like Matt Groening's The Simpsons, or the even better Futurama, you will appreciate his latest project Disenchantment"    It...

Melbourne 2018 Review: GIRLS ALWAYS HAPPY, Yang Mingming's Biting Dysfunctional Family Film Debut

Girls Always Happy proves anything but in Yang Mingming’s feature film debut. She both directs and stars as Wu, the troubled daughter and one-half of the powerfully dysfunctional family dynamic that anchors the film. The other half is her mother...