Days of Independence

Khibula, dir. George Ovashvili│ Transitions from one political system into another are never easy. Especially if a country is just gaining its independence. Until ideological theory turns into political practice, one can never know how the former dissidents will behave as statesmen and how the opposition, as well as the general public, will react to… Read more »

Journey with an end

Untilted, dir. Michael Glawogger, Monika Willi│Untitled was meant to be an experimental journey for the Austrian director Michael Glawogger.

History

A Ghost Story, dir. David Lowery│ Who is going to turn up at our funeral? What are they going to remember? What are we leaving behind when we die? Questions everybody has asked themselves before, I assume. But who are we to claim significance over the 100 billion other people that have lived on this… Read more »

East meets West

Western, dir. Valeska Grisebach│Germany has not just lingered at the intersection of the East and West, it has properly experienced being both. Dealing with the past like that is something that the Germans have obsessed ever since, and it has shaped our cinematic landscape like nothing else, resulting in endless stream of films about the… Read more »

Dear deer

On Body and Soul, Dir. Ildikó Enyedi│Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul’s almost pensive dramatic explorations of the relationships between the bodily and the ethereal begin in a particularly unusual and captivating manner. Instead of being greeted to human characters, we are met by two deer, caught in a kind of intimate tranquillity in a… Read more »

How I fell in love

Ana, mon amour, dir. Călin Peter Netzer│ Having already fallen in love with Ana, mon amour at Berlinale this year, I was saddened to find that it was beginning to experience a bit of backlash in its native country by the time it reached The Romanian Days section of the 16th Transilvanian Film Festival. Some… Read more »

It could only happen to a teenager

Heartstone, dir. Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson│Ever since Grímur Hákonarson won Un Certain Regard with Rams back in 2015 and Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest opened Venice a few month later, the latest crop of Icelandic directors seem to have been unmistakably on a high. It’s almost with some trepidation that we now begin to wonder whether this close-knit,… Read more »

Wuthering Heights

God’s Own Country, dir. Francis Lee│The title of Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country refers to a phrase of endearment used by people in Yorkshire to describe their own deeply idiosyncratic part of the world – something the director slowly dissects at length. Himself a Yorkshireman, Lee has taken the support of Creative England’s low-budget first… Read more »

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 »

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 »

Latest
  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • Kino przetrwa wszystko

    Dawson City: Frozen Time, dir. Bill Morrison│Był rok 1978 kiedy w jednym z basenów w kanadyjskim miasteczku Dawson City znaleziono paczkę z taśmami filmowymi. Ktoś próbował je bezskutecznie utopić. Wcześniej, ktoś inny chciał je spalić. Jeszcze wcześniej, ktoś jeszcze inny usiłował je zakopać. Wieki temu te taśmy wydawały się bowiem bezwartościowe. Świat szalał na punkcie… Read more »