• wingsofdesire01

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

    “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 […]

  • paristexas01

    REVIEW: Paris, Texas [1984]

    “Don’t go yet” The first word my mind conjured after watching Wim Wenders‘ Paris, Texas was honesty. It’s delivered from lead Harry Dean Stanton all the way down to Robby Müller‘s gorgeous cinematography of untouched Mojave Desert isolation and graffiti-filled urban concrete. Nothing appears inauthentic and that’s not an easy accomplishment when you think about […]

  • eyeinthesky01

    REVIEW: Eye in the Sky [2016]

    “Never tell a soldier he doesn’t know the cost of war” How do you simultaneously become hero and martyr in twenty-first century warfare? You find yourself unwittingly lodged within the kill zone of a high value target that has been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt. Death or injury earns you both labels for […]

  • stephenfrears-interview01

    INTERVIEW: Stephen Frears, director of The Program

    It’s proving to be a couple of busy months for legendary director Stephen Frears, fresh off his delightful true-life story Philomena making an Oscar run in 2013. Not only does he have his Lance Armstrong biopic The Program opening US theaters this Friday (March 18th), but his newest Florence Foster Jenkins also hits UK screens […]

  • sonofsaul01

    REVIEW: Saul fia [Son of Saul] [2015]

    “You failed the living for the dead” It’s stunning how all these years later a Holocaust film can come along and prove wholly unique from the myriad examples we’ve already received and lauded. But László Nemes‘ directorial debut Saul Fia [Son of Saul] does exactly that. Not only does he capture the brutality by entering […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Day One [2015]

“This is my first job” It’s just too much: too manipulative, too familiar, and too convenient. The trouble with Henry Hughes‘ Day One all stems from one line when his American military unit’s new interpreter Feda (Layla Alizada) meets her predecessor Naz (Shari Vasseghi). They speak about being away from home and family in the […]

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REVIEW: Shok [2015]

“It’s not about the bike” There’s no more poignant way to tell a tale of war than through the eyes of children. This is what writer/director Jamie Donoughue does with Shok, a short film set during the Kosovo War between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (spearheaded by the Serbians) and the Kosovo Liberation Army at […]

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REVIEW: Stutterer [2015]

“I’m calling about my bill” We all have something about us to be embarrassed about. Some have more than one. While most see it as a major distraction no one could ever endure, however, this is rarely the case. Or at least with those you’d want to be around anyway. Few things in this arena […]

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REVIEW: Ave Maria [2015]

“Jews have violated the Virgin!” Director Basil Khalil and co-writer Daniel Yáñez have come up with a cutely comic conceit for their short film Ave Maria. It’s the West Bank—miles from civilization—and a car carrying a Jewish man, his wife, and his mother crashes into a Catholic church run by five Arab nuns who have […]

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REVIEW: Prologue [2015]

I wasn’t sure what I was watching once Richard Williams‘ Prologue moved past its carefully drawn flower pollinated by a bee and a butterfly soaring across the screen to wipe the page clean before introducing the sharp eyes of soldiers. Their shields and spears conjured thoughts of Sparta; the lack of clothing on the men […]

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REVIEW: Mi ne mozhem zhit bez kosmosa [We Can’t Live Without Cosmos] [2015]

The title may be Mi ne mozhem zhit bez kosmosa [We Can’t Live Without Cosmos], but the thing Konstantin Bronzit shows we really can’t live without is love. I don’t mean romantic love either; I mean the bond between two human beings whether by blood or not. A kinship like what’s cultivated in the military […]

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REVIEW: Historia de un oso [Bear Story] [2014]

While Gabriel Osorio Vargas‘ Chilean short film Historia de un oso [Bear Story] tells the tale of a sad, lonely old bear, it does ultimately prove uplifting. Here’s a creature tinkering tirelessly in his shop to put the finishing touches on what could very well be his life’s work and yet any and all success […]

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REVIEW: A Night in Casablanca [1946]

“I don’t even trust me” Even though I have never seen a Marx Brothers film, it’s pretty plain that A Night in Casablanca was a cash grab. Released five years after The Big Store (which at the time was billed as their final work), Chico had ultimately cajoled Groucho and Harpo to get back together […]

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REVIEW: World of Tomorrow [2015]

“I had lunch today” Animator/writer/director Don Hertzfeldt includes a wealth of philosophically introspective gems within his latest sci-fi short World of Tomorrow. None, however, is more poignant than: “That is the thing about the present, Emily Prime. You only appreciate it when it is the past.” Truer words have never been spoken because so many […]

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REVIEW: Portal: No Escape [2011]

But where’s the cake? Oh, right. It’s a lie … Yeah. That’s the extent of what I know about Valve Corporation’s popular game Portal. I’ve seen my girlfriend play it a couple times and know the whole concept of setting up portals to help advance through the game, but I’m clueless to the storyline. So […]

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REVIEW: Evil Dead II [1987]

“Give me back my hand” Seven years after Sam Raimi’s low-budget horror The Evil Dead came onto the scene with ample scares and impressive special effects, its inevitable sequel released. I say inevitable because Raimi wasn’t initially interested, firmly in the belief that going back to the well wouldn’t be necessary once his latest proved […]

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REVIEW: Chi-Raq [2015]

“Land of pain, misery and strife” I can comfortably forget Da Sweet Blood of Jesus happened—Spike Lee‘s ambitious yet disappointing Kickstarted vampire flick—now that it appears the director’s back on track with Chi-Raq‘s musical satire. I don’t get around to every Lee “joint” but it’s probably not far-fetched to say this is his best since […]

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REVIEW: Concussion [2015]

“Tell the truth” As of September of 2015 it was reported that 87 former NFL players tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) out of the 91 deceased men researchers at Boston University autopsied. That’s almost 96%. Their study revealed that 79% of all players (professionally, semi-professionally, or college/high school athletes) examined had it—damning numbers […]

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REVIEW: Tabu [2012]

“You will not escape your heart” There are definite thematic similarities between Miguel Gomes‘ Tabu and F.W. Murnau‘s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas from its forbidden love to its descriptions of paradises lost. The structures are even identical—albeit in reverse—showing the joy of romance and the pain of losing it. If I were […]

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REVIEW: Tabu: A Story of the South Seas [1931]

“The island of Bora-Bora: still untouched by the hand of civilization” It’s a “Romeo and Juliet” by way of French Polynesia to be commended first and foremost for its use of island natives as cast and crew (the latter a result of cost-saving efforts not-withstanding). Conceived by F.W. Murnau and Robert J. Flaherty as a […]