Film reviews and more

Day: 14 September 2015

Toronto 2015: ‘Koza’ review

★★★☆☆ The distant memory of former glories fuels the tragicomedy of Ivan Ostrochovský’s fiction feature debut, Koza (2015). The title is the Slovak for ‘goat’ and was the nickname of protagonist Peter Baláž (himself), a boxer who represented his country […]

Toronto 2015: ‘Hardcore’ review

★★☆☆☆ If there’s something that can be said of Russian director Ilya Naishuller’s Midnight Madness violence-fest Hardcore (2015) it’s that you’re unlikely to see anything else like it, which deserves to be celebrated in and of itself. On the downside, […]

Toronto 2015: ‘French Blood’ review

★★★★☆ As the name would suggest, Toronto’s Platform strand offers up-and-coming filmmakers a springboard from which to showcase their work on the world stage. The singularly named writer-director Diastème brings his devastating second feature French Blood (2015) to the festival […]

Toronto 2015: ‘The Event’ review

★★★★☆ With Maidan (2014), Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa made a stunning document of recent events, giving the sensation that history was being freshly minted and world-changing events taking place amidst the stink of burning tires and the febrile excitement of […]

DVD Review: ‘The Wonders’

★★★★☆ Casting a peculiar spell over its audience, The Wonders (2014) is a rural ghost story masquerading as a coming-of-age tale. Unfolding like a morbid reverie for a bygone era, Alice Rohrwacher’s follow up to 2011’s Corpo Celeste reverberates with […]

DVD Review: ‘The Salt of the Earth’

★★★★☆ Life in the twenty-first century is saturated with images. Our hourly or more likely by-the-minute interaction with screens presents us with a multitude of ideas, news and more often than not, waffle clamouring for our attention. Yet a singular […]

DVD Review: ‘Marshland’

★★★★☆ Opening with spectacular aerial shots of the labyrinthine Andalusian wetlands, where the raped and mutilated bodies of two local teenage girls are found, Marshland’s (2014) plot twists prove as compelling, obscure, and ultimately treacherous as the terrain it features. […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Hard to Be a God’

★★★★☆ Aleksei German’s epic Dark Ages sci-fi Hard to Be a God (2013) took over a decade to make its way onto DVD and Blu-ray this week. Shot on-and-off for more than six years, the revered filmmaker regretfully passed away […]

DVD Review: ‘The Dance of Reality’

★★★★☆ It’s been more than two decades since audiences last got to see a new film from visionary Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, with Frank Pavich’s documentary on an abandoned sci-fi epic – Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013) – looking like being the […]

DVD Review: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

★★★★☆ There was a shot in Joss Whedon’s box office behemoth Avengers Assemble (2012) which set fan’s tongues a-wagging when it popped up in a trailer. The camera panned around the team of superheroes as they regrouped against an overwhelming […]