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Sitges 2018 Review: 70 BIG ONES, Crime Thriller That Keeps You Guessing

While Spain is slowly emerging from the economic crisis of the early 2000s, it still hasn't recovered completely, and even the most skilled worker can face themselves with extreme circumstances for which they need money. A lot of it. Now....

Busan 2018 Review: ALPHA, THE RIGHT TO KILL Declaws Duterte's War on Drugs

Arriving hot on the heels of Eric Matti’s similarly plotted but decidedly more entertaining BuyBust, Brillante Mendoza’s Alpha, the Right to Kill is a down and dirty frontline take on Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs. Seen from...

Sitges 2018 Review: KNIFE + HEART, Delightfully Queer, Sensuous and Cruel

An editor looks through reels of a gay porn film, making decisions about what to cut, with the image of a beautiful young man flashing before her. At the same time, this young man is at a club, surrounded by...

Review: LIYANA, Charming and Inspiring Stories That Need to be Told

Liyana documents the inspiring story of a young girl in rural Swaziland, whose parents die from AIDS, and whose little twin brothers are stolen by child traffickers after she and her frail grandmother are assaulted and abused. Liyana must then...

Lund Fantastic 2018 Review: LIVERLEAF, Teenage Drama and Stylized Violence Collide in a Messy Crash

Full disclosure, I am not familiar with the manga Liverleaf (or as it is called in Japan, Misumisô) was based upon. With that, I fear some of my criticisms may be pointed to the source material and not the film....

New York 2018 Review: In THE IMAGE BOOK, Godard Points Us In the Right Direction

With Image Book, there seems to be a concerted effort for Godard to point us in the direction where he sees a corner of the world that is underexposed, underseen and misrepresented by the western world.

Vancouver 2018 Review: EDGE OF THE KNIFE, Immersed in the 19th Century

Edge of the Knife (aka SGaawaay K'uuna) is a film whose reputation will precede it, but for all the right reasons. Its existence marks the first ever feature entirely in Haida, an indigenous language that is spoken fluently by less than...

Sitges 2018 Review: KEEP AN EYE OUT, Another Funny, Crazy And Worthy Film By Quentin Dupieux

The first scene of Keep an Eye Out, another crazy film by France’s Quentin Dupieux, evokes that memorable speech from Rubber about how all the great films have stuff with "no reason" to be. That’s because in said sequence, we...

Busan 2018 Review: CITIES OF LAST THINGS, Noirish Tryptich Explores One Man's Broken Soul

Ho Wi Ding’s noir-tinged triptych details three nights in the life of troubled Taiwan police detective Zhang Dong Ling, as his turbulent personal life repeatedly triggers eruptions of murderous violence. Winner of the Platform Prize at this year’s Toronto International...

Vancouver 2018 Review: THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, Lars von Trier's True "Kanye Moment"

Matt Dillon commits fully to the role of serial killer Jack, who works as an engineer and suffers from crippling OCD, among other psychological issues. Like a square version of American Psycho's Patrick Bateman, Jack gleefully embraces his dark nature and never tries to thwart his heinous impulses.

Vancouver 2018 Review: BERGMAN: A YEAR IN A LIFE Digs Deep

I’m writing this review from a friend’s kitchen where I’m staring at a very apropos Jack Kerouac magnet that quotes him saying “All I have to offer anyone is my confusion.” In digesting the Ingmar Bergman doc I’ve just seen,...

Review: AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS, When Your House Becomes a Strange Prison

A British family is confronted with their own worst fears during the holidays. Locked in their own house, they must rise to the occasion or cave in to the pressures of conformity. In Await Further Instructions, the Milgram family has...

Busan 2018 Review: THE PREY Plays a Most Dangerous Game in the Cambodian Jungle

An undercover cop must fight for his life when he becomes an unwitting participant in a deadly game of cat and mouse in writer-director Jimmy Henderson's ambitious follow-up to prison riot throw-down Jailbreak, reworking Pichel and Schoedsack’s classic The Most Dangerous Game...

Busan 2018 Review: HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD Soars As It Signals Major New Talent

Exploring modern themes and history through the eyes of a young girl, Kim Bora's sensational debut House of Hummingbird is the Korean indie drama par excellence. A subtle exploration of local family and societal pressures crafted in a way that...

New York 2018 Review: COLD WAR, Tragic, Fatalistic Love Story, Briskly Told

Shot again in full frame monochrome by Lukascz Zal, the film is every bit as beautiful as Ida. His use of head space is there and it's lovely. Kulesza has a clear and beautiful singing voice in every style, providing some of the loveliest vocal tracks for the film's great, jazzy soundtrack.

Fantastic Fest 2018 Review: SCHOOL'S OUT Plays a Dark Game of Cat and Mouse

Pierre, a substitute teacher called to fill in for a colleague who has committed suicide in front of his gifted students discovers an eerie calm pervading his classroom of gifted kids. As he finds himself drawn further into the lives of his students he finds a weird air of indifference amongst the other teachers about the disturbing things he finds. It also becomes clear he himself is being watched.

New York 2018 Review: Emotions Run High in Hong Sangsoo's GRASS

When considering the work of Hong Sangsoo, Grass is not groundbreaking or anything, but itis perhaps more cynical and darker than Hong's other films. Still, the director's human comedy continues with slight variations each time with delicious results.

New York 2018 Review: HAPPY AS LAZZARO, An Allegorical Tale of Haves and Have Nots

Lazzaro is someone who is desperately needed in this cynical, cruel world. Alice Rohrbacher's writing shines in bringing out humor and humanity in an whimsical yet pointy allegory full of wonders.

Vancouver 2018 Review: Hosada Returns with the Mesmerizing MIRAI

Part Alice in Wonderland, part A Christmas Carol, Hosada's latest film is as charming and moving as his other works--and perhaps even more beautifully animated.

Busan 2018 Review: ODE TO THE GOOSE
 Serenades with Strong Performances and Playful Plot

Two years after opening the festival with A Quiet Dream, director Zhang Lu returns to Busan with Ode to the Goose, a terrifically performed and breezy art drama that meanders between allegories of national identity and literary and historical references....