REVIEW: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, Wrath of God] [1972]

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“Meat is floating by” Talk about the heart of darkness. It’s completely unsurprising that Francis Ford Coppola would admit to using Werner Herzog‘s Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, the Wrath of God] as inspiration for his Apocalypse Now because they epitomize the stark moral depravity of warped conquering “heroes”. The quiet rage underlying every action […]

REVIEW: Oh Boy [A Coffee in Berlin] [2012]

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“Are you still serving coffee?” German Academy Award-sweeping Oh Boy [A Coffee in Berlin] is a day in the life of a Berliner slacker named Niko Fischer (Tom Schilling). He’s a law school dropout that’s been living off the thousand-dollar-a-week allowance his father continuously supplies under the auspices that it’s being used for college. He […]

REVIEW: Dheepan [2015]

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“Be nice. That’s all.” It was a surprise when Palme d’Or winner Dheepan wasn’t chosen as France’s Oscar pick for the 2016 Academy Awards (interestingly enough the country selected Mustang, another film whose main language isn’t French). Even more surprising is how long it’s taken to open stateside as ten months sit between its debuts […]

REVIEW: Les demoiselles de Rochefort [The Young Girls of Rochefort] [1967]

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“The illusion of love is only love unseen” The fair is in town and love is in the air. Welcome to Rochefort—a little seaside navy town in France full of sumptuously bright colors and plenty of light-footed citizens ready to dance accompaniment for anyone willing to belt their hearts out in song. It’s a harbinger […]

REVIEW: Ya Tayr El Tayer [The Idol] [2016]

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“People are dying and you’re singing?” Biopics are often difficult because the subject’s life may not contain the suspense and intrigue necessary for a film to succeed. This is why many focus on a brief period of time rather than a full life—honing in on the moment that made this person worthy of having his/her […]

REVIEW: Человек с киноаппаратом [Chelovek s kinoapparatom] [Man with a Movie Camera] [1929]

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Labeled the best documentary of all time by Sight & Sound in 2014, Dziga Vertov‘s Человек с киноаппаратом [Chelovek s kinoapparatom] [Man with a Movie Camera] lives up to its pedigree thanks in no small part to the level of cinematic innovation somehow utilized as far back as 1929. Besides the obvious period clothing and […]

REVIEW: L [2012]

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“From your blood, reckless car drivers!” A bankrupt nation suffering from severe depression that’s ripe for surrealistic cinematic escape, Greece has spawned some wild films lately. Whereas Dogtooth possessed a plot you could dig into as an outsider, however, I’m at somewhat of a loss with Babis Makridis‘ L. There’s definitely a strain of social […]

REVIEW: Sueñan los androides [Androids Dream] [2015]

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“I see many tears” Back in 1962 author Philip K. Dick asked the question, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” From there director Ridley Scott brought Blade Runner to life in 1982 and today we have Spaniard Ion De Sosa commenting on the query himself with Sueñan los androids [Androids Dream]. For him the answer […]

REVIEW: El futuro [The Future] [2015]

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“For change” The best thing I can say about Luis López Carrasco‘s El futuro [The Future] is that it got me researching Spain’s 1982 general elections. How could it not? With an opening of just a pitch-black screen as archival voices sound out victory for the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) and the systemic change […]

REVIEW: Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire] [1987]

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“Why am I me, and why not you?” What does it mean to be human? This is the question the Angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) wonders from his eternal perch on high surveying, subtly steering, and always listening. He sees humanity’s joy and laughter, jealous of their ability to live, feel, and touch. Even amongst the […]

REVIEW: Adams æbler [Adam’s Apples] [2005]

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“That’s just plain rude” God works in mysterious ways—very mysterious ways. Or at least that’s what Anders Thomas Jensen‘s pitch-black fable Adams æbler [Adam’s Apples] will have us believe. It may just be plain old faith as the mere belief in good and evil sometimes gets you through the tragedies miring your life, dictating that […]