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 »

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 »

Latest
  • Kamień

    Graduation, dir. Cristian Mungiu│Lejtmotywem „Egzaminu” Cristiana Mungiu pozostaje kamień – w pierwszej scenie tłukący szybę w domu Romea, w innej niszczący okno jego samochodu. Zamaskowany mściciel prześladuje mężczyznę pełniąc nieomal rolę sumienia. Czyli czegoś, czego Romeo wydaje się nie mieć.

  • Wracaj, gdy się pali

    Close Relations, dir. Vitaly Mansky│„Mamie na mój widok opadły ręce. Pytała: „Co z ciebie za syn? Nie możesz po prostu nas odwiedzić, przyjechać i zjeść z nami rodzinny obiad? Zjeżdżasz tu z całą swoją ekipą, z tymi swoimi kamerami…wstydź się”! To była także reakcja pozostałych członków mojej rodziny. Ale ja przecież nie jestem nikim obcym… Read more »

  • A Tale on a Tail

    Zoology, dir. Ivan I. Tverdovskiy│“It’s never too late to grow a tail” and know when not to do a film out of a mere whim. Following his awarded debut, Class Corrections, Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s second film focuses on a concept that is both the film’s catalyst and its weapon of self-destruction. A film cannot be… Read more »

  • Diabły, diabły

    Symptom, reż. Angelos Frantzis │Tajemnicze postacie w białych maskach pojawiają się na odciętej od świata wyspie nagle i znikąd. Są okrutne, napadają członków lokalnej społeczności, czają się w pobliskich lasach i nikt nie potrafi ich okiełzać. Przynajmniej do czasu pojawienia się głównej bohaterki, sprawiającej wrażenie ostatniej nadziei i wyzwolicielki z terroru obcych, brutalnych kreatur.

  • Zgubiło ją to, że była kobietą

    Doomed Beauty, dir.Helena Třeštíková, Jakub Hejna│Helena Třeštíková słynie z tego, że lubi wracać do swoich bohaterów po latach. O powrocie do Lídy Baarovej myślała od 1995 roku. To wtedy pojechała do niej zrealizować wywiad o jej burzliwym życiu. Usłyszała od osiemdziesięciojednoletniej wówczas Baarovej: „Czekam już tylko na śmierć”.

  • Więcej rock’n’rolla

    Belgica, dir. Felix van Groeningen │„Pracowałem w barze będąc nastolatkiem i już wtedy domyśliłem się, że nie dam rady balangować w każdy weekend. Wiedziałem że muszę mieć w życiu alternatywę. Nie potrafiłem sobie poradzić z pustką po skończonej pracy. Najpierw wkładasz dużo energii w organizację jakieś imprezy, patrzysz jak wszyscy świetnie się na niej bawią… Read more »

  • What do you do all day?

    The Days That Confused, dir. Triin Ruumet│“For Youth comes in various shapes and forms. In rural Estonia – if Triin Ruumet’s The Days That Confused is to be believed – it involves a lot of drink, drugs, violence and 90’s eurotrash. “Life is one long party,” the film’s protagonist Allar remarks wistfully. For a film depicting a… Read more »

  • Perfect Family

    Together For Ever, dir. Lina Lužytė│ If you expect an enjoyable family film, it’s not this one. Despite the idyllic title, the story is quite gloomy. Together For Ever is an intriguing feature debut by talented Lithuanian director Lina Lužytė.

  • This was no suicide

    The Red Captain, dir. Michal Kollár│Despite its title, The Red Captain is not a pirate movie, but a gritty crime thriller set in former Czechoslovakia. Michal Kollár is an already established producer with his Fog’n’Desire Films, so his first feature film as a director is one of the biggest Slovak productions to date with a… Read more »