REVIEW: L’image manquante [The Missing Picture] [2013]

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“Our only belonging was our spoon” How do you tell the story of something as horrific as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge’s four-year rule over Cambodia after the Kampuchean Revolution when the only footage shot was that distributed by the regime itself? This is the problem director Rithy Panh faced, a teenager when war […]

REVIEW: Le passé [The Past] [2013]

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“Some things can’t be forgiven” If A Separation didn’t cause writer/director Asghar Farhadi to be revered as an auteur who understood domestic strife and illness’ lasting effect on those left to pick up the pieces, you better believe he is now. Switching to France for Le passé [The Past], the filmmaker brings us into an […]

REVIEW: 一代宗師 [The Grandmaster] [2013]

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“Keep the light burning” I think 一代宗師 [The Grandmaster] loses something in its translation for an American who couldn’t spot the differences between Kung Fu and Karate if his life depended on it (besides the former being Chinese and latter Japanese, of course). There’s the significance of the dark rain beating down on multiple fight […]

REVIEW: Al-Midan [The Square] [2013]

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“We were all present; we were one hand” As the initial sit-in at Tahrir Square taught the Egyptian people the power of protest and revolution in securing freedoms they only dreamed they could have, Jehane Noujaim’s Al-Midan [The Square] shares it on an international scale. I’ll admit I thought everything was okay after Hosni Mubarak […]

REVIEW: The Act of Killing [2012]

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“They proudly told us stories about what they did” Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing can be described as nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a one-of-a-kind document that gets into the mind of madmen with the blood of genocide on their hands by displaying their hubris, remorselessness, and cavalier attitudes firsthand. Oppenheimer […]

REVIEW: そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] [2013]

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“Now it all makes sense” After recently reading that Hirokazu Koreeda’s そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] had been optioned by Dreamworks for an English language reboot, I can’t help but imagine how ineffective it will be in comparison to the Japanese original. A lot of what works in this tale of a father struggling to […]

REVIEW: Poziţia copilului [Child's Pose] [2013]

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“Why do you keep treating us like enemies?” What does it mean to be a parent? To take a blanketed, personal responsibility for the good and the bad of your child’s actions? This question is at the heart of Călin Peter Netzer‘s Golden Bear-winning (Berlin International Film Festival) film Poziţia copilului [Child's Pose], not just […]

REVIEW: Cutie and the Boxer [2013]

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“The average one has to support the genius” TV producer Zachary Heinzerling may have set out to make a documentary about two artists, but what he filmed was love. Not the storybook love of a man sweeping a woman off her feet to live happily ever after in piece, harmony, and financial stability, though. No, […]

REVIEW: La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty] [2013]

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“She took a step back and said …” On quick reflection exiting the theater post-La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty], I came to the simplified but apt conclusion it felt like The Great Gatsby by way of Holy Motors. Here’s a man, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), who explains right off the bat that he’d choose […]

REVIEW: Jagten [The Hunt] [2013]

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“Then you can have a kick in the butt” I used to just walk outside the house and play with the neighborhood children in the street when I was young. We’d go anywhere we liked in this idyllic environment of safe trespass amongst unknown adults and kids along the way. So, it’s still difficult to […]

REVIEW: Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? [Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?] [2013]

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“Were you styling your beard?” You’ve probably heard these words before: Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? [Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?]. It might have been your wife, girlfriend, or mother (or the male equivalents despite it being a generalization stereotypically placed upon the fairer sex) and I’m sure they were correctly using those […]