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 »

  • Love Poem

    Paterson, dir. Jim Jarmusch│This year in Cannes, festival goers were lucky to see not one, but two films directed by American independent cinema darling Jim Jarmusch. While clearly a work of fiction, Paterson could be seen in many ways as a documentary on a par with Gimme Danger, the other film he presented, and which centres on Iggy Pop and his band the Stooges. Paterson too focuses on an artist,… Read more »

  • Clara rozpuszcza włosy

    Aquarius, dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho│W Clarze dojrzała kobieta walczy z pełną apetytu na życie nastolatką. Z pozoru stateczna, twardo stąpająca po ziemi dama, wciąż podrywa facetów, tańczy, pije wino i potrzebuje dotyku. Myślami, Clara często wydaje się wracać do przeszłości – rozplata wtedy kok swoich długich kruczoczarnych włosów i znowu jest młoda, pełna energii i… Read more »

  • Space and Transformation

    Mountain, dir. Yaelle Kayam │Space – how it can unite and how it separates – is central to the state of Israel and at the core of Yaelle Kayam’s feature debut premiering at the 72nd Venice Film Festival.

  • Koniec

    It’s Only the End of the World, dir. Xavier Dolan│Louis wraca do rodzinnego domu po latach nieobecności. Ma dla swoich bliskich wiadomość: wkrótce umrze. Choruje i jego dni są policzone. Właściwie nie wie, czy jego rodzina potrzebuje tej wiedzy. Już od dawna każdy żyje własnym życiem, a życie Louisa to już w ogóle toczy się… Read more »

  • If you can’t beat them, eat them

    The Neon Demon, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn│We’ve all been subjected to the unimaginable question of would you rather give up food or sex– a no-win situation that strikes a similar chord of hesitancy to Sophie’s choice. However, we are rarely asked which we would rather be, a delectable dessert or a form of foreplay. Nicolas… Read more »

  • The artist in his own work

    Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, dir. Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato│ The very first scenes of Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures are misleading in their conventionality. Simply establishing that the film originated from the preparation of two twin retrospectives of the photographer’s work, these images seem to belong to a much more straightforward TV biopic-documentary than… Read more »

  • Magia nie zdarza się na zawołanie

    In the Last Days of the City, dir. Tamer El Said│„Patrzę w przyszłość z optymizmem. Przechodzimy przez czas, przez który musimy przejść, żeby osiągnąć wolność. To długi tunel. I choć teraz sytuacja wygląda dramatycznie, miały miejsce pewne zmiany, których nie da się odwrócić. Ludzie zyskali polityczną świadomość i nie zmieni tego siana w telewizji propaganda… Read more »

  • Love or Friendship?

    Love & Friendship, dir. Whit Stillman│With their propensity for either faithfulness at the expense of being stodgy, or modernization to the extent of being unrecognizable, the cinematic adaptations of Jane Austen’s work seem to be a necessary measure in order to maintain the 18th century-novelist’s relevance in our cultural psyche. While her genius is deserving… Read more »

  • Piękna i bestia

    Suntan, dir. Argyris Papadimitropoulos│ „Jedni mają dostęp do przyjemności, inni nie – dokładnie tym tematem chciałem się zająć w „Suntan”. Pojechałem na wyspę, na którą jeżdżę co roku – wyspę słynącą zresztą z dzikich imprez – i przyglądałem się jej gościom. Wtedy podjąłem decyzję, że opowiem historię z punktu widzenia człowieka, który do przyjemności dostępu… Read more »