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Ben Nicholson

KVIFF 2022: Our festival highlights

Returning to its traditional early-July slot after two editions disrupted by Covid, the 56th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival felt very much like business as usual. The renovated pool was open and the music was blaring as the festival ran from 1-9 July in the picturesque setting of the chocolate-box Bohemian spa town.

Game Review: The Complex

★★★☆☆ Fans of text adventures and the sadly defunct Telltale Games series can get their latest fill of branching narratives and choosing their own storyline courtesy of the new interactive sci-fi film, The Complex. “Here is a brand new idea...

KVIFF 2019: Our festival highlights

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival returned to Bohemia this year with another feast of cinema from Europe and beyond. Running from 29 June to 7 July, this year’s festival was notable for two excellent retrospective strands to complement their competitive programmes, including the always interesting East of West Competition.

Film Review: Shirkers

★★★★☆ Sandi Tan’s luminous and shape-shifting documentary Shirkers is a journey back in time through the 16mm reels and sinister true story of the long-lost indie movie of the same name that she shot in Singapore over 25 years ago....

Film Review: Christopher Robin

★★★☆☆ Ideally, Disney would stop updating beloved cartoon classics into new live-action films, but as that seems unlikely, it’s lucky the Marc Forster-directed Christopher Robin has enough charm to get by. Over the past few years, Disney has doubled-down on the...

KVIFF 2018: Our festival highlights

Radu Jude’s film claimed the top prize at this year’s festival and it’s easy to understand why. It embraces the kind of boldly political stance of classic Polish cinema from the Communist era like a riff on both Wajda and Zanussi. The result is a formally loose, but dizzyingly dense and morally forthright examination of national attitudes and the myopia of nostalgia.

KVIFF 2018: Winter Flies review

★★★★☆ Olmo Omerzu’s follow-up to 2015’s Family Film is another tale of children left to their own devices by negligent parents, but this time takes the form of winning road movie caper Winter Flies. The title perhaps refers to resolute dipterans that have refused to be cowed by seasonal colder weather and are attempting to make the very best of harsh conditions.

KVIFF 2018: Profile review

★★★☆☆ Timur Bekmambetov’s new thriller Profile seeks to explore the murky world of how social media is used to recruit vulnerable young women to ISIS. The results are as compelling as they are silly. Back when the entirely desktop-based Unfriended was released in 2014, Bekmambetov was candid about wanting to expand the conceit into an entire genre unto itself.

KVIFF 2018: I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians review

★★★★☆ Following 2015’s Aferim!, Radu Jude returns to the topic of historical Romanian anti-Semitism in his furious new satire “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” which picked up the top prize at the 53rd edition of Karlovy Vary. Where Aferim! was a shaggy-dog road trip through 19th century Wallachia, Barbarians turns its scalpel to more recent events.

Film Review: A Cambodian Spring

★★★☆☆ Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs 2017, Chris Kelly’s A Cambodian Spring is an intimate and upsetting account of community activism and the shaping of modern Cambodia. “This is a fake democracy,” says a resident of...