I wrote a brief capsule review of Lucrecia Martel's Zama, for The Skinny's mid-year round-up.
Revelling in the open wounds of the past, Lucrecia Martel's latest takes the themes of Antonio di Benedetto's novel about an 18th-century conquistador stranded in Paraguay and refracts them into a hallucinatory tableaux of obsession, delusion and existential inertia....
“If you give an audience all the answers they’ll forget you as soon as they leave the cinema. But, if you ask the right questions, they’ll think about you for days.” This was the advice of two-time Academy Award winner Asghar Farhadi as he delivered a masterclass to a group of burgeoning filmmakers at this year’s FEST – New Directors New Films Festival.
“I wanted to unlearn my ideas about intimacy,” confessed Adina Pintilie when she introduced her documentary Touch Me Not to a sold-out crowd at the Victoria Cinema in Cluj-Napoca. “I wanted to create a system where fiction could work as a safety net to explore personal areas of our lives.” Pintilie’s controversial winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear was the highlight of this year’s Transilvania International Film Festival. A provocative exploration of sexuality, her film spearheaded a selection of this year’s programme that underscores the complex relationship between modernising
Films about Betty Davis, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Milford Graves were among the highlights of the 15th edition of IndieLisboa. “There’s always been a bird inside of me,” confesses the gravelly voice of Betty Davis at the beginning of Phil Cox’s latest documentary. “A black crow, that’s always been with me. But for a long time, crow and I really didn’t know how to speak.” It’s fitting that Betty: They Say I’m Different, an experimental biopic about the Queen of Funk, was the standout film at this year’s IndieLisboa.
One of the biggest names to emerge from Chile’s new golden era of cinema, Sebastián Lelio first achieved international recognition with his fourth film Gloria, a dynamic comedy-drama about a middle-aged woman’s ill-fated romance with a retired naval officer.
This week marks the release of his hugely anticipated follow-up A Fantastic Woman, a brazenly expressive melodrama about the cost of being authentic in a world built on binaries.
Here's a link to all of my CineVue coverage from the 2018 Berlinale. Including reviews of Josephine Decker's 'Madeline's Madeline', Marcelo Martinessi’s 'The Heiresses', Hu Bo’s 'An Elephant Sitting Still', Ioana Uricaru’s 'Lemonade', Corneliu Porumboiu’s 'Infinite Football' and lots, lots more.
There’s an early scene in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut that establishes her protagonist's desire for escape. Christine "Lady Bird" McPhearson (Ronan) – Lady Bird is in quotation marks because, we’re told, it’s her given name, "I gave it to myself. It's given to me, by me" – and her mother, Marion (Metcalf), are driving home after visiting local colleges, weeping in unison to the end of The Grapes of Wrath on audiotape. As soon as the cassette is packed away mother and daughter begin to argue about Lady Bird’s intention to go to liberal arts school on the East Coast; an argument that abrupt
Steven Spielberg shines a spotlight on the media machine in The Post, a sumptuously stylised 70s docudrama about journalism's uncomfortable relationship to power. Starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee (the publisher and executive editor of The Washington Post respectively), this timely newsroom procedural has the current political climate firmly in its crosshairs.
My dispatch from this year's Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, featuring capsule reviews of Bingo, Buddah.mov, Centaur, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, Namme, November, River's Edge, Secret Ingrediant, The Marriage, and The Night Accident.
I was invited to attend Filmfest Hamburg’s bicentennial as guest of the “Come To Hamburg” initiative; a project set up to highlight the city’s hidden treasures through the writing of culture and travel bloggers from around the world. Here's my dispatch from the festival, featuring reviews of Song of Granite (dir. Pat Collins), Taste of Cement (dir. Ziad Kalthoum) and Mrs Fang (dir. Wang Bing).
A moving story of self-discovery on the Yorkshire Dales, Francis Lee's God's Own Country isn't your average LGBT+ romance, something the director is keen to reiterate when we sat with him earlier this year at - of all places - the Transilvania International Film Festival.
A film about ‘Stalin’s Space Monkeys’ and a participatory documentary were among the highlights of this year’s festival.
While the Transilvania International Film Festival continues to promote the type of slow-burning social realism its national cinema has become renowned for, not all Romanian films are stylistically identical and there are countless filmmakers attempting to redefine the map of Romanian cinema.