CREATION STORIES occasionally hits a good note, but after the cacophonous entropy it generates getting tuned up, it struggles to recover anything harmonious from its orchestra of creative talents.
In the end, BLACK BEAR is a bit of a Penrose triangle of a film. Viewed from certain angles, it may make little sense, but when considered from a new vantage point or spun around, it paradoxically comes together elegantly and beautifully.
MINARI is an emotionally graceful portrait of a family whose members are trying to find their way in the world and amongst each other. Lee Isaac Chung lays out the path for their story with skill and a beautifully light touch.
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH doesn’t quite ascend to divine status, but it uses its lead actors’ bright performances to shine a new light on the infernal actions of intolerant institutions.
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
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
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
David Bonneville’s latest feature, THE LAST BATH, is a distorted, unnerving story that unites a nephew and aunt under unfortunate circumstances and plunges the pair into an intense, and surprisingly close relationship that clears the hurdle of being dysfunctional. The nephew Alexandre (Martim Canavarro) arrives on our screens in a flurry of road dust and … Continue reading The Last Bath
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!
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