CineVue

Film reviews and more

Patrick Gamble

Film Review: Cinema Paradiso

★★★★☆ A major contributor to the reverential narrative of wistful cinema, Giuseppe Tornatore’s magnum opus Cinema Paradiso is an elegant distillation of the form’s escapist qualities and the garland of an industry that understands global audiences’ enduring appetite for wild nostalgia. Returning to his lavish Rome apartment, revered film director Salvatore Di Vita (Jacques Perrin) is informed by his […]

Film Review: Infinite Football

★★★★☆ A Romanian pen pusher’s attempts to revolutionise the beautiful game goes far beyond inverting the pyramid in Corneliu Porumboiu’s hilarious Infinite Football, a semi-follow-up to The Second Game. The introduction of rules to the game of football gave it a shared language and helped turn it into a spectator sport – but as the old adage goes, all […]

Film Review: Ghost Town Anthology

★★★★☆ The reverberations of loss in a small town awaken the spirits of the recently deceased in Denis Côté’s chilling adaptation of Laurence Olivier’s Répertoire des villes disparues. Occupying a peculiar space between life and death, arthouse and genre, Ghost Town Anthology isn’t a horror story exactly, but a portrait of a place where the supernatural just so happens […]

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 drama about a petulant 10-year-old boy growing up in […]

Berlin 2019: Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms wins Golden Bear

With Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick passing on the baton to former Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian from next year, no one knew quite what to expect from this year’s competition strand. In the end, it was very much business as usual, with the Golden Bear for Best Film eventually going to Nadav Lapid’s autobiographical study of national identity, Synonyms. […]

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 from state-controlled communism to state-sanctioned capitalism, So Long, My […]

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 and satisfying films. The Cornish coastline is the backdrop […]

Berlin 2019: The Plagiarists review

★★★★☆ A pair of self-absorbed millennials are forced to confront the lack of originality behind their ideas in Peter Parlow’s The Plagiarists, a dramatic comedy that asks the questions; who has the “right” to access culture and who possesses the authority to speak on its behalf? The film opens with an argument between aspiring memoirist Anna (Lucy Kaminsky) and […]

Berlin 2019: God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya review

★★★☆☆ Teona Strugar Mitevska’s previous film When the Day Had No Name was a bleak exploration of the cultural tensions in Macedonia, demonstrating how a world built on violence will inevitably breed more violence. It was a bold, if flawed, dissection of macho culture in the Balkans, a theme she develops further in God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya, a […]

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 year, 60 million tonnes of soil is moved by […]

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 coitus, with what initially feels like a bumbling police […]

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. Since then, Romanian directors have tended to avoid LGBTQ+ […]