Anja Dornieden, Juan David González Monroy, and Andrew Kim’s Instant Life is a remade, reconstituted riddle in triplicate. In the spirit of Instant Life (2022) and Instant Life (1981), ALT/KINO decided to review the film by asking three critics to respond to the film individually. Each review is a response, reflection, and expansion of the preceding review(s).
Memorable images, moments, qualities, techniques and scenes from the Forum Expanded strand at the 2022 Berlinale.
The decision to hold this year’s Berlin International Film Festival as a physical event was heralded as a return to normal. But as the Berlinale strived to recreate its past glories, the films in this year’s Forum sidebar celebrated how the pandemic has created a spike in creative thinking.
Arguably America’s most revered landscape filmmaker, James Benning’s latest is an update of the director’s 1975 film The United States of America, in which he undertook a road trip from New York to Los Angeles with Variety director Bette Gordon. Filmed just before the US withdrew from Vietnam, Benning and Gordon mounted a 16mm camera to the backseat of their car to capture their journey across the States. This time, instead of a straightforward road trip, Benning explores his homeland through a sequence of 54 two-minute static shots – one for every American state plus the District of Columbia
“What does home mean to you?” That’s the question at the heart of Flee. Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen is speaking to his friend Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym used to protect his family) who has finally decided to share the painful secrets of his past. After a moment of deliberation, he replies: “Somewhere… safe.”
I wrote about Kelly Reichardt's First Cow, for TheSkinny's end of year list.
Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow might focus on the successful business venture of an American cook and a Chinese immigrant in 1820s Oregon, but it sits comfortably alongside her more contemporaneous studies of economic alienation. A loose adaptation of Jonathan Raymond’s novel Half-Life, this offbeat exploration of friendship, capitalism and culinary ingenuity is a welcome recalibration of the American frontier myth
Hungarian director Dénes Nagy discusses his bracing new World War Two film Natural Light, which follows a Hungarian soldier tasked with keeping order in occupied Ukraine at the behest of the Axis Powers
“My grandfather once told me about the time he was ordered to shoot a partisan,” Hungarian director Dénes Nagy confides to us as we sit down to discuss his Second World War film Natural Light. “Luckily fate intervened and he didn't have to kill this man, but I was curious to know how he felt i...
Memorable images, moments, qualities, techniques and scenes from the competition strand at the 2021 edition of 25FPS. On this occasion, Patrick Gamble went in search of memorable moments and motifs in amongst the deluge of interesting experimental work screening as part of the competition at 25FPS.
I was invited to participate in the Critic’s Jury at this year’s 25FPS Festival.
Our statement: Our prize goes to a film that gives expression to the micro-aggressions that go unseen in our society by combining the endless repetition of domestic chores with a choreographed dialogue of gestures and children's games. A film of deafening silence and a creeping sense of unease our award goes to Flowers Blooming in Our Throats by Eva Giolo.
The films of Saara Ekström are recognisable for their focus on symbols, associations, and a desire to both remember and forget the past. Her latest short, Shadow Codex, which premiered in the New Visions strand of this year’s CPH:DOX, is no different. Composed of drawings scratched onto the walls of an abandoned prison, the film is a study of absence and presence. Framing these pieces of graffiti like paintings in a gallery, Ekström provides a haunting glimpse into the workings of the human mind when placed within a monitored environment.
One symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the feeling that we’re caught in an endless loop. The repetitive nature of lockdown, and the ability of music to restore us, was a recurring theme at this year’s CPH:DOX, none more so than in David Wexler’s Disintegration Loops. Back in September 2001, while digitising some old analogue loops of audio, American composer William Basinski discovered that these t...
Patrick Gamble went in search of memorable moments and motifs in amongst the panoply of great work screening as part of the 2021 online edition of Berlinale.
From the Berlinale.
In 2020, Mohammad Rasoulof’s There Is No Evil became the third Iranian film in the past decade to win Berlin’s top prize, following Jafar Panahi’s Taxi Tehran and Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation. A critical drama about state-sanctioned murder, Rasoulof was handed a one-year prison sentence for what the Iranian authorities dubbed as “ propaganda against the system”.
I wrote a capsule review of Charlie Kaufman‘s I’m Thinking of Ending Things for this list:
Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons star as a couple on the brink of a messy break-up in Charlie Kaufman’s latest inquiry into the mysteries of the human mind. The film follows the pair on a journey through the topography of their own memories, but the visual inconsistencies and shifting timelines of this psychological thriller only highlight the potential for horror lurking inside us all.