Interview: Brady Corbet, dir. Vox Lux

In 2015, Brady Corbet went from supporting roles in films like Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen, Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (US) and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, to suddenly being lauded as one of the most exciting new directors working in American Cinema. Corbet’s debut The Childhood of a Leader, a historical coming-of-age Continue Reading

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Berlin 2019: So Long, My Son review

★★★★☆ Sixth generation director Wang Xiaoshuai returns to Berlin with a decade-spanning family drama set against some of the most turbulent events in recent Chinese history. At just over three-hours, So Long, My Son is an emotionally wrenching film that’s epic in scope but intimate in feeling. Depicting China’s difficult transition Continue Reading

Berlin 2019: Bait review

★★★★☆ Bait joins a recent spate of British films that have abandoned the cities to depict a countryside in crisis. But, unlike social-realist dramas like The Levelling, Dark River and God’s Own Country, Mark Jenkin’s wonderfully weird debut subverts the kitchen sink template to create one of Berlin’s most original Continue Reading

Berlin 2019: Earth review

★★★★☆ Highlighting the significant impact of mining and large-scale construction on the planet’s ecosystem, the latest film from documentarian Nikolaus Geyrhalter Earth is a powerful example of politically charged landscape filmmaking. A brief introduction underlines the extent to which mankind is now the most destructive force on the planet. Every Continue Reading

Berlin 2019: Öndög review

★★★★☆ A beguiling drama laced with dry humour and lashings of spiritualism, Wang Quan’an’s Competition entry Öndög possesses a mysterious grandeur that should ensure it doesn’t leave the Berlinale empty-handed. Concerned with the mysteries surrounding life and death, Öndög opens with the discovery of a dead body and ends in Continue Reading

Berlin 2019: Monsters review

★★★☆☆ Following in the footsteps of Adina Pintilie’s controversial Golden Bear winner Touch Me Not, Marius Olteanu’s Monsters is a tragic saga that explores the social taboos surrounding sexual identity and female emancipation in modern-day Romania. It’s been over a decade since Tudor Giurgiu released the lesbian romance Love Sick. Continue Reading

Berlin 2019: Fourteen review

★★★★☆ Fourteen, the follow-up to former Los Angeles Reader film critic Dan Sallitt’s incest drama The Unspeakable Act, is a subdued drama about a friendship ageing over time. A nuanced portrait of female camaraderie presented in all its messy complexity. Mara (Tallie Medel) and Jo (Norma Kuhling) have been best Continue Reading

IndieLisboa 2018: The Wild Boys review

★★★★☆ The debut feature from provocative French filmmaker Bertrand Mandico is a film of unadulterated artifice. An exhilarating and highly surreal tale of gender-warfare, The Wild Boys is a maximalist work of paperback eroticism that almost defies categorisation; a film that marries cinematic heritage with progressive ideas to create a Continue Reading