REVIEW: Mommy [2014]

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“A mother doesn’t wake up one morning not loving her son” If I can be justified in agreeing with all the praise after seeing just one of his films—his latest, Cannes Jury Prize-winning Mommy—twenty-five year old writer/director Xavier Dolan is every bit the wunderkind label that has been thrust upon him. Five films in six […]

FANTASIA15 REVIEW: 奇人密碼: 古羅布之謎 [The Arti: The Adventure Begins] [2015]

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“Where the heart is lies eternity” You can’t watch 奇人密碼: 古羅布之謎 [The Arti: The Adventure Begins] without finding yourself in awe of the amazing puppet work on display. While told it was only “enhanced” by CGI, it looks as though a lot more was computer-generated than such a verb would infer. For one the smoothness […]

FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Hwasangorae [Crimson Whale] [2014]

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“It is an offense to feed the apes” A product of the Korean Academy of Film Arts’ Advanced Program, writer/director Park Hye-mi‘s Hwasangorae [Crimson Whale] is a fascinating little sci-fi adventure. The hand-drawn character design is cutesy with young faces and oversized clothing dwarfing stature, but the 2070 Busan in which they reside is brutally […]

FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Ludo [2015]

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“Do you want to talk or play?” Called the national game of India by some, Pacisi has evolved throughout the centuries into multiple iterations. One of the most popular versions patented in England around 1896 is Ludo. Pretty much two to four players have four tokens each that they must race around the board in […]

REVIEW: La cage aux folles [1978]

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“Procreation is wearing you out” The fact The Birdcage proves an almost shot for shot remake thirty years later is a testament to La cage aux folles‘ quartet of writers if not to the original stage play’s creator Jean Poiret alone. This is how funny, resonate, and timeless the material remains—enough to even provide the […]

REVIEW: Трудно быть богом [Hard to Be a God] [2014]

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“Don’t drink. I only sniff now.” There’s a plot inside Aleksey German‘s final film Трудно быть богом [Hard to Be a God]—an audacious sci-fi epic slinging mud and feces in our faces while everyone onscreen sniffs them like drugs until we’re involuntarily following suit. No really, there is. Well, maybe a lingering vestige of what […]

REVIEW: pɔt̪ʰer pãtʃali [Pather Panchali] [Song of the Little Road] [1955]

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“Go ask him for money” The story behind Satyajit Ray‘s debut film pɔt̪ʰer pãtʃali [Pather Panchali] [Song of the Little Road] is one you cannot separate from the work itself. It’s an underdog tale full of hardship and financial woe—incidents that dragged production along for three years before finally bringing India to the world in […]

REVIEW: 思い出のマーニー [Omoide no Mânî] [When Marnie Was There] [2014]

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“I wish for a normal life everyday” If Studio Ghibli ends up closing shop as announced, we can be glad their final film is a winner with the heart and soul we’ve come to love from Hayao Miyazaki and the team. I’m surely in the minority, but I’d even say Hiromasa Yonebayaski‘s When Marnie Was […]

REVIEW: Réalité [Reality] [2015]

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“The insides serve no purpose” This is what it’s like to go insane. Writer/director Quentin Dupieux loves the surreal and absurd, but Réalité [Reality] takes his penchant for humorous oddity to another level. With Philip Glass‘ “Music with Changing Parts” boring a hole into your temple and fluid sequences of characters meeting in real time […]

REVIEW: Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter [2015]

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“Solitude? Just fancy loneliness.” It’s easy to assume Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter will be a humorous adventure of cultural dissonance upon reading its synopsis. The conceit is ripe for comedy and David and Nathan Zellner do mine that arena throughout their drama when it suits the story, but it’s a nuanced tragedy that’s ultimately delivered. […]

REVIEW: Relatos salvajes [Wild Tales] [2014]

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“Crime of passion?” Best. Wedding. Ever. And trip to the bureaucratic black hole that is government sanctioned towing. And expertly planned, faux fateful airline flight this side of “Lost”. I mean it. Damián Szifrón‘s Relatos salvejes [Wild Tales] is a twisted cousin of Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s The Decalogue, a sextet of darkly comic morality plays where […]