International Reviews

Toronto 2021 Review: YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER, Folklore Monsters and Modern Horrors

I remember a story, in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, that made a lot of news headlines: a young mother killed her three children and then herself. A long magazine article about it was (at least for me)...

Review: PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND, Leave Sanity at the Door

Nicolas Cage. Sofia Boutella. Sono Sion. Need we say more? Yes.

Review: Justin Chon's BLUE BAYOU, A Sobering Reflection on Being American

Justin Chon writes, directs and stars alongside Alicia Vikander in a timely, humanistic drama, set in the backwaters of Louisiana.

Karlovy Vary 2021 Review: German Acid-Laced Tragicomedy NÖ Hilariously Anatomizes the Anxieties of a Millennial Relationship and Parenthood

German director Dietrich Brüggemann marries Simon Rich whimsical comedy with Roy Andersson´s formalism in surreal farce.

Karlovy Vary 2021 Review: Gaspar Noé Enters the Void in VORTEX

Françoise Lebrun of Jean Eustache and Marguerite Duras films and Italian Giallo maestro Dario Argento star in the drama of the twilight age veiled as a civilization horror in a race to disintegration.

Venice 2021 Review: REFLECTION, Resonant, Formalist Look at Russo-Ukrainian War

Akin to the works of Swedish master Roy Andersson, sans humor, combined with the gravitas and emotional punch of Andrey Zvyagintsev, the film is sort of a companion piece to 'Atlantis,' featuring truly impactful and impressive filmmaking.

Toronto 2021 Review: THE MIDDLE MAN, A Deadpan Comedy about Life

The small midwestern town of Karmack is dying. Figuratively, as its principal industry, a rail-yard, have been lost to the vagaries of globalization. Also, quite literally, as there has been a lengthy string of fatal accidents that prompts the town...

Toronto 2021 Review: LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, Where Dreams And Nightmares Mirror One Another

Every film from Edgar Wright is a kind of gift. Especially to audiences who like to unwrap things over and over again, from the Rom-Zom-Com satire of Shaun of the Dead, to the Nintendo-heightened relationship foibles of Scott Pilgrim vs....

Toronto 2021 Review: NIGHT RAIDERS, Dystopia and Hope of the Past and Future

It can often feel in recent events that we are seeing the end of civilization as we know it (if not the end of human life all together). But too often people, especially white westerners, forget that the end of...

Toronto 2021 Review: DUG DUG Offers Lessons In Escalation

The musical montage is alive and well in Dug Dug, a profoundly amusing chronicle of the birth of a new religion in the rural backwater of India. The camera work, framing, whip panning, (crash) zooming, and often lingering for an...

Toronto 2021 Review: MLUNGU WAM, The Toil of Servants, The Power of Masters

Laws might change, but it can takes years, or even generations, to change a society and how it operates. What's bred in the bone cannot be easily overturned, and even as some people might techncially have the hard-fought freedom they...

Toronto 2021 Review: AS IN HEAVEN, Where Childbirth Is Dark and Full of Terrors

The opening images of pastoral horror, As In Heaven, sees the almost stock imagery of a young beautiful thing, dressed in white, caressing the golden wheat with her fingertips, as she walks through a field of golden harvest. You know...

Toronto 2021 Review: VENGEANCE IS MINE, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH

Petty gangster and entrepreneur, Ajo Kawir, cannot get it up. He channels his impotence into bravado and risk taking. He meets a girl. She knows kung fu. They fall in love. He goes to prison. She sets out on a...

Now on Home Video: SUMMER OF 85, Getting Hot in Here

Felix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin star in a film by Francois Ozon, now on Blu-ray and DVD from Music Box Films.

Now on Blu-ray: THE BABADOOK Begs to Be Let Into Your Home As a Limited Edition From Second Sight Films

“If it's in a word, or it’s in a look you can't get rid of the Babadook … BabadoooOOOOk!” That’s right, gather your kids for a cosy bedtime story because Mr. Babadook is back in town! On second thought, don’t...

Review: ZONE 414, Derivative, Uninspired Sci-Fi/(In)Actioner

Travis Fimmel, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz and Guy Pearce star in the science fiction thriller, directed by Andrew Baird.

Telluride 2021 Review: THE STORY OF LOOKING, How We Watch

Filmmaker Mark Cousins ('The Story of Film: An Odyssey') meditates on what it means to see things in his latest documentary essay.

Review: ANNE AT 13,000 FT., The Anxiety of Societal Norms

Human are social creatures, and as such, we all enter into social contracts in order to co-exist. The rules of these contracts vary from culture to culture, and evolve and adapt over time; nonetheless, in most social situations, there are...

Review: YAKUZA PRINCESS, Despite the Kills, Excels in Surface Cuts

Coming out this weekend in North America, Yakuza Princess is a Filmland Internacional Production and Warner Brothers co-production, in association with XYZ Films. (That means our own Todd Brown is an executive producer on this, and full disclosure: he won't even...

Locarno 2021 Review: GERDA, Social Realism Meets Fairy Tale in Russian Drama

Filmmaker Natalya Kudryashova finds spirituality in the harsh reality of modern-day Russia.