LOCARNO16 REVIEW: Reise der Hoffnung [Journey of Hope] [1991]

journeyofhope01

“You always through stones on the path” It’s been twenty-five years since Xavier Koller‘s Reise der Hoffnung [Journey of Hope] won the Best Foreign Film Oscar and yet watching it today feels urgently contemporary. Between the political unrest in Turkey and volatile international discourse pertaining to refugees as countries vehemently close their borders and American […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: テラフォーマーズ [Tera Fōmāzu] [Terra Formars] [2016]

terraformars01

“Johj!” It’s the tail end of the twenty-first century and Earth has nearly overstayed its welcome with dwindling resources and over-population. Scientists believe they can release the CO2 pockets underneath Mars’ surface and move the Red Planet from -50 degrees Celsius into a human-friendly temperature and atmosphere. So mankind sends rockets of moss and cockroaches […]

LOCARNO16 REVIEW: Where Is Rocky II? [2016]

whereisrocky201

“You can Hollywood anything” It was around the time Pierre Bismuth won his Oscar as an original story creator on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that he stumbled upon an unknown work by Edward Ruscha via a BBC documentary. This tape captured the artist as he created a fake rock dubbed “Rocky II,” a […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: The Eyes of My Mother [2016]

eyesofmymother01

“Why would I kill you? You’re my only friend.” This is isolation, suffering. It’s also normal. We on the outside see Nicolas Pesce‘s debut feature The Eyes of My Mother as the former, young Francisca (Olivia Bond) swimming in a pool of abject dread as death proves a natural evolution for all living things. For […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Shelley [2016]

shelley01

“But it’s not just about the money” Everything starts so innocently that you’d be hard-pressed to realize Ali Abbasi‘s Shelley is a horror film besides the score’s dread-inducing soundscape rising to a deafening level of static. Sure the setting’s weird with Louise (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) and Kasper (Peter Christoffersen) living in the Danish woods without […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: I Am Not a Serial Killer [2016]

iamnotaserialkiller01

“Nightmares are nothing, man. Those pictures gave me a therapist.” Often lumped into the Young Adult category to the chagrin of author Dan Wells, I’m not sure I know many parents who would like to have their fourteen-year old child heading to theaters with friends for the cinematic adaptation of his debut I Am Not […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Realive [2017]

realive01

“He sacrificed a remarkable woman for an inadequate dream” It’s been humanity’s dream since the dawn of time to find the fountain of youth: immortality. To live forever is the ultimate success for humanity’s optimistic idealism. We witness the pain and suffering death creates, constantly trying to distance ourselves from it by forgetting how our […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Tank 432 [2016]

tank432a

“Suck it in, remember your training, and get on with it” Director Ben Wheatley is showing his eye for talent by putting his name behind a guy who’s worked closely with him since 2011’s Kill List. A filmmaker in his own right, camera operator Nick Gillespie has stayed by Wheatley’s side on every subsequent project […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Let Me Make You a Martyr [2016]

letmemakeyouamartyr01

“You can’t fight fate” There’s a lot more to Corey Asraf and John Swab‘s debut feature Let Me Make You a Martyr than meets the eye. It looks like your run-of-the-mill revenge thriller with its prodigal son (Niko Nicotera‘s Drew Glass) returning home after an extended stay away to right the wrongs of the past. […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Man Underground [2016]

manunderground01

“There’s not a lot of money in being a true patriot these days” Aliens are here. That’s the message Willem Koda (George Basil) would have us believe—the 360 viewers clicking on his YouTube channel’s posts. He’s an ex-geologist who rode a government contract until the unexplainable left him with nothing but emotional and psychological scarring, […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Little Sister [2016]

littlesister01

“It took God six days to create the universe. You should be able to get your act together in five.” Saying Zach Clark‘s Little Sister being called a comedy does a disservice to the film seems like a slight on the genre. I know. But I don’t mean it that way. What this label does—even […]