Every night is the same story: find a man looking for an easy target, let him tell you about himself, and then make him a target instead. BLACK MEDUSA feels a strong companion to PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, but ismaël and Youssef Chebbi’s film is less concerned with teaching men a lesson than Nada (Nour Hajri) … Continue reading Black Medusa
In 2021, it is somewhat surprising that As You Like It has not yet had the same mainstream rom-com update as The Taming of the Shrew (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) and Twelfth Night (SHE’S THE MAN). With any luck, Hung-i Chen and Muni Wei’s Taiwanese adaptation – which evokes the 90s films’ adaptive … Continue reading As We Like It
Roughly halfway through David Verbeek’s genre-bending film, five gorgeous young adults strut through Taipei looking for some nocturnal entertainments. All wear matching black masks – a sartorial touch even more nondescript after the preceding year’s events in the real world. However, these are mysterious fashion accessories rather than protection from sickness – after all, they … Continue reading Dead & Beautiful
Ainhoa Rodriguez’s feature film debut is committed to the unsaid. We see a man talking about a woman’s disappearance in a television interview; we do not see a woman just offscreen, muttering expletives at his falsehoods. Minutes later, we see another woman unable – or unwilling – to answer whether she has been married, begging … Continue reading Destello Bravio
In 1962, the Soviet Union violently suppressed a strike in the southern Russian city of Novocherkassk, shooting directly into protestors. Details did not come out to the public until the 1990s. In his latest drama, Andrei Konchalovskiy places the viewer at the centre of these restless few days, following local communist party operative Lyuda (Julia … Continue reading Dear Comrades!
This stymied exploration of identity politics still drives home the enormity of Gritt’s desired subject: are good intentions and hard work enough to make meaningful art?
Surveillance and found-footage films have been used for scares, for reflections on the digital age, and purely for the fun of piecing together a story from many everyday viewpoints. Jonathan Ogilvie’s LONE WOLF takes Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent into a near-future Australia, where the surveillance state can see – and access – every waking … Continue reading Lone Wolf
“Something happened to the men’s blood. They remained children.” Thus speaks Margarita, the matriarch of her family. She is convinced that someday her family curse will be broken – their winter stagnation will come to an end, her love will return to her, and perhaps, at the magical thirteenth hour, they will defeat death itself. … Continue reading The North Wind
While impossible to epitomise French cinema’s various movements and themes, Benoît Jacquot’s domestic drama – adapted from a play by Marguerite Duras – certainly captures many popularly held ideas of French stories, at least on the surface. Suzanna (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is married to a philandering millionaire; she does not know where he is. She appears … Continue reading Suzanna Andler
ARISTOCRATS is an anti-romcom decked out in the trappings of a romance film. The action is set in a city of opportunity, where two women chase their dreams against societal and family expectation. Carmen Paddock at IFFR.