Browsing: Film Reviews

A wandering camera follows a performance crew as they prepare for an upcoming show. This documentary style stops once we get to see an audition taking place, where a few old people are asked to play victims of an incident. They are asked to cry and scream and beg for their lives. The film immediately sets up its tone: It is going to be a dark comedy. I Don’t Care If We Go Down in History As Barbarians (Radu Jude, 2018) is about Mariana, who wants to direct a public performance recreating the 1941 Odessa massacre, or the Odessa Holocaust,…

Cold Sweat is one of those films that is right out of newspaper pages, or in this age, right out of social networks pages. A female futsal player of the Iranian national team (Afrooz) is banned by her husband from traveling abroad to play in a tournament’s final game. The husband is a famous TV show host. This story took place in the real world so recently that is still in the Iranians’ memory with all details and this is the film’s Achilles’ heel. The film does not have much more to offer to its viewers than what they already…

This not a film critique, this is a love letter to a film. I just finished watching Caramel on MUBI and, ladies and gentlemen, I am totally shocked. How on earth could I have misjudged this film? In 2008, I watched five minutes of Caramel and I decided it does not deserve my royal attention. Last night after watching it to the end, I was ashamed of myself for ignoring such a masterpiece. As punishment I sentenced myself to watch three episodes of the Game of Thrones! I asked myself, what happened to Nadine of Caramel? Of course, I liked…

Kamal Tabrizi’s Sly (Marmouz) is an entertaining and clever political satire, an uncommon genre from Iranian cinema. The only other film that stands out as a political comedy in history of the Iranian cinema after the revolution, is a box office hit called Lizard (Marmoolak), also directed by Kamal Tabrizi. I could never bring myself to like the Lizard, it lacked creativity in visual storytelling, but Sly is quite different and much more advanced in use of language of cinema. Sly is about a young man, Ghodrat, that runs a group of Lumpen hardliners that trash public gatherings such as…

Right out of the theater and both hyped up and disturbed by this important film. A great work of investigative journalism, Cold Case Hammarskjiöld is a must-see for everyone to see the dark history of the genocide of Africans by the American and British intelligence services. Shown as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival, the film starts with a black-and-white animation showing a plane being blown up in the sky. Soon, we find out the plane belonged to Dag Hammarskjiöld, the second secretary general of the United Nations. Mads Brügger adopts a combination of animation, photos, and live-action to make…

When Charlotte (Marguerite Bouchard) gets dumped by her longtime boyfriend after he reveals that he’s gay, her immediate reaction is to feel both aggrieved and weirdly undaunted. Venting to her besties Mégane (Romane Denis) and Aube (Rose Adam), she alternately curses her ex and angrily insists that this cannot and will not stop her from pursuing a relationship with him. Though both of these extremes are temporary, they say a lot about Charlotte, who doesn’t do things halfway. “You need to find ways to have fun,” one of her friends tells her, and she dedicates herself to that, too, quickly…

The entire story takes place in less than a day, and in one location, in a middle-aged woman’s house, where she has been living there alone. All her attachments to life are 4 picture frames of the men of her life. One from her husband, a man who once supported Mossadegh (the democratic prime minister of Iran in 1950s that his government was overturned by a CIA coup in 1953), but after many years he goes to Hajj while drinking alcohol privately (forbidden for Moslems). Also there are two picture frames of her sons, one from his son that had…

A group of young girls argue with each other on what they’ve seen and done on Instagram as they walk on street. One of their fathers calls and the girl starts to come up with excuses for why she hasn’t come home yet. Suddenly people around them start to run. We follow the girls until we see a chopped off head on the sidewalk. This is how Pig starts. All this time, the sound has made us uncomfortable to finally give us the final shock. The sound of the girls talking over each other mixed with the urban noises, especially…

Rob Garver’s documentary on Pauline Kael is not just a portrait of a single personality, nor an elegy for the glory days of film criticism, but a contemplation of the joys of opinion and of a time when opinion mattered. In the age of Rotten Tomatoes and multitudes of YouTube pundits, it’s hard to imagine a time when a single voice such as Kael’s could make and break, or at least dent, reputations. But What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael – note that vital word ‘art’ –  also shows how the shock waves from Kael’s brilliant, sometimes immoderate or contrarian opinions,…

Never look away is, first and foremost, the story of an artist who struggles to find his voice under the pressure of state and society’s imposed restrictions. As such, it is one of the most relevant films for this time—and for that matter, probably any time. This is the story of the people who challenge the dominant discourse—whether it is imposed by the state, the society, the media, or the professionals—and the price they pay for it. At the same time, through the life of a doctor, the film depicts how the lying powerful could stay in power, as they…

1 2 3 44