One of film’s unique narrative strengths is the camera’s ability to manipulate perspective. A movie can put us behind the mask of a serial killer on Halloween or on the tip of a shark’s nose just before it attacks. Point-of-view… Read More ›
“Crazy Samurai Musashi” eschews bombast in favor of quiet restraint. [Fantasia Film Festival]
Long takes have become the new major flex a filmmaker can make in their films these days, from Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), to Sam Mendes’s 1917, even making its way into video games like… Read More ›
IFC Midnight’s “Sputnik” is the kind of slow-burn horror experience you long for theatrically.
I could name five French films that have released in the past year, the same with Korean, Chinese, German, Swedish, and Spanish films as well. However, despite being the largest country on Earth by landmass, I probably couldn’t name five… Read More ›
“House of Hummingbird” is an exercise in patience with a profound emotional payoff.
There’s something ubiquitous about adolescence that makes coming-of-age stories. It doesn’t matter what era or culture they derive or take place within, because there’s something universal, even in their specificity: the social awkwardness, the longing for connection, the need to… Read More ›
Adaptation of Indonesian comic superhero “Gundala” kicks off the beginning of a grand adventure.
Take the brilliant stunt choreography of Indonesian action film The Night Comes for Us (2018), the intrigue of Indonesian thriller The Raid: Berandal (2014), and mix with superhero elements you know from various Marvel and DC storylines and you’ll get… Read More ›
Criterion brings the ’97 Palme d’Or winner “Taste of Cherry” to your home.
The way an audience perceives art is by framing it within their own experience. This can be taken literally, as in someone considers their lifetime experience against what they are engaging in, or it can be taken more figuratively, as… Read More ›
The Cine-Men, Episode 35: Foreign Films
The last time the Cine-Men gathered we spoke of revolution! This time around they look specifically at films of the non-English variety and name three of their favorites. If we do our jobs right, you’ll only be able to guess… Read More ›
Leaning more into comedy than horror, “Zombie for Sale” provides a welcome escape.
For a population currently living through a viral pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the world, zombie films feel almost a little too on the nose at this point. Take into account how it’s now clear that a good portion… Read More ›
Though you may weep, be not afraid to embark on “Marona’s Fantastic Tale.”
Screened at a variety of global festivals before seeing a limited release in 2020, Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale (L’extraordinaire voyage de Marona) is unlike anything I’ve seen so far this year. The story itself is fairly simple: a dog,… Read More ›
Sadly, it may be best to heed the title on “Warning: Do Not Play.”
Since its commodification, Asia has capitalized on the horror genre perhaps more fiercely than any other continent. From early Japanese tales of feudal terrors like Ugetsu (雨月物語), Kwaidan (怪談), and Kuroneko (藪の中の黒猫), to more modern tales of turmoil like Ringu… Read More ›
Surprise hit of 2017, “One Cut of the Dead,” now out on physical release.
In the middle of shooting a zombie film, the cast and crew find themselves fighting off an actual zombie attack. This is the premise for the 2017 release One Cut of the Dead from director Shin’ichirô Ueda adapted from the… Read More ›
Genre mash-up “Samurai Marathon” gets off to a messy start but comes together mid-stride.
Described as “a lively action flick with a samurai twist,” latest Well Go USA release Samurai Marathon meets that description with a unique vigor. Directed by Bernard Rose (Candyman) and adapted from the novel “The Marathon Samurai: Five Tales of… Read More ›
Animated adaptation of Chinese tale “Ne Zha” asks children what we owe each other.
Myths and legends, stories like those of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round, Robin Hood, and Paul Bunyan and those of gods, goddesses, demons, and immortals, are often given the adaptation treatment in cinema. These stories are often… Read More ›
Smartly layered feature-film debut “Why Don’t You Just Die!” brings the carnage as it explores the price of vengeance.
While anyone can insert their influences into their art, it’s something else entirely when the creation stands on its own. Writer/director Kirill Sokolov is open about his fondness for directors Sergio Leone (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly), Martin… Read More ›
Jimmy Olsson’s short “Alive” teaches a straightforward lesson, confronting biases about romance and sex.
Swedish writer and director Jimmy Olsson, who is known for short films like Repressed (2011) and 2nd Class (2018), examines some difficult subjects in his latest short, Alive. Running at just twenty-three minutes, Alive deals with ableism and relational boundaries… Read More ›
“The Witch: Subversion” balances multiple genres within a singular narrative to keep audiences on the edge of their seat.
There’s an elegance and simplicity to writer/director Hoon-jung Park’s The Witch: Subversion that all begins with the opening. Via photo montage with intense tonal scoring, The Witch sets up a mysterious cabal performing medical experiments on children: iron lungs, tubes… Read More ›
Final Girls Berlin Film Festival Brings attention and exposure to many horror niches. [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2020]
We can pretend like Greta Gerwig not receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Director for Little Women is the end-all, be-all of discrimination against women in the film industry, but the misogynistic practices of this massive industry stretch much further… Read More ›
Feel-good anime “Ride Your Wave” is a visual joy with a mix of old and new romantic themes.
If you’re still looking for romance the week after Valentine’s Day, or perhaps if you’re desperate for something warm and colorful to beat the winter blahs, Masaaki Yuasa’s new anime feature, Ride Your Wave, might be just the pick-me-up you… Read More ›
Rising director Kantemir Balagov paints a haunting picture of human need with his Oscar-shortlisted film, “Beanpole”.
With just one other feature film under his belt (Closeness, 2017), Russian director Kantemir Balagov takes on a challenge with his second feature, Beanpole. The film packs a complex story of female friendship and desire that requires precise characterization and… Read More ›
While lacking the depth and emotional nuance of previous Holocaust films, “Quezon’s Game” honors the past by bringing a nearly forgotten story to light.
As early as 1945, two years before the liberation of Auschwitz, filmmakers began to grapple with the challenge of preserving Holocaust memory on screen. Directors like Mark Donskoy and Wanda Jakubowska took great risks with their films, The Unvanquished (1945)… Read More ›