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Big Girls Don’t Cry

The Beguiled, dir. Sofia Coppola│With The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola chose a story well suited to her interest in female desire and the insensitivity of men. When a little girl finds Irish Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) in dire straits in some luxurious South Virginia woods and takes him to her half-empty all-female seminary, the wounded… Read more »

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Just kidding

Redoubtable, dir. Michel Hazanavicius│That the great French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard hasn’t always been a very kind man isn’t news to anyone. His rebelliousness is in fact the very reason why he was such an important and controversial figure at a time when French –and European- cinema was in a state of limbo in… Read more »

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Words don’t come easy

Bright Sunshine In, dir. Claire Denis│When it was announced that Claire Denis’s next film was going to be a comedy, a mixture of excitement and uncertainty was felt among critics. The French director is mostly known for her sensual and often very dark cinema, and while humour does appear throughout her oeuvre, it isn’t really… Read more »

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Hunting the dream

Ismael’s Ghosts, dir. Arnaud Desplechin│ The ethereal quality of Arnaud Desplechin’s films makes it often quite difficult to write about them, and his 2017 Cannes Film Festival opener Ismael’s Ghosts isn’t an exception. Yet this elusiveness, together with a sense of often overwhelming ambition, make this particular film possibly the best picture we have of… Read more »

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Coming of Age in Silence

Alba, dir. Ana Cristina Barragán│ With her debut feature, Ecuadorian director Ana Cristina Barragán paints the daily life and struggles of the type of character that often gets forgotten in real life. The titular Alba is not only extremely shy but also isolated, living as she does with a sick and bed-ridden mother. When she… Read more »

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Absolute Despair

Filthy, dir. Tereza Nvotová│Bursting straight out of Prague’s prestigious FAMU film school, director Tereza Nvotová brings her final project as a student to Vilnius Film Festival’s “New Europe – New Voices” strand. Her daring first fiction feature homes in on the apocalyptic experiences of a young Slovakian teenager who is sexually assaulted in her family… Read more »

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Moral Quagmire

Glory, dir. Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov│It’s hard not to overstate just how good Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s Glory is, but it really is a masterpiece of storytelling, and that’s something that’s built into the directors’ script right from the start. In the film’s opening moments, we hear a talking clock read out the time… Read more »

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Death of ambition

Park, dir. Sofia Exarchou│It’s a well-documented fact that Larry Clark’s Kids was a game changer when it was release, commenting as it did on the mood of a young generation and the risky sex culture they were growing up in. Well, Sofia Exarchou’s Park is like an homage to that mixed with a healthy dash… Read more »

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Manifestujemy co tydzień

Occidental, dir. Neïl Beloufa│ „Politycy potrzebują przybyszów z zewnątrz, żeby nie zajmować się poważniejszymi problemami. I tak przecież nie umieją im zaradzić” – mówi Neïl Beloufa, autor „Occidental” pokazywanego na festiwalu filmowym w Berlinie. Francuski reżyser odwołał się w nim do mechanizmów stereotypu, reakcji na obcego i uprzedzeń, które pozwalają ludziom wyciągać broń szybciej niż… Read more »