★★★☆☆ A gauche young man plays guitar and sings a song he wrote to the devoted pleasure of his parents. That was The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach’s 2005 acerbic comedy of family disintegration. Jesse Eisenberg played the young man, while the song was actually by Pink Floyd which the boy was trying to pass off as his own.
★★★☆☆ There’s something fitting about a zombie movie remake. To paraphrase Vic Reeves, “You wouldn’t let it die”. And if you’re going to remake a zombie film, why not pick one of the best of recent years. That seems to be the thinking behind Michel Hazanavicius’ Final Cut, a zom-com that faithfully replays Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead, which made a crimson splash in 2017.
The Croisette is teeming, the red carpet has been unrolled, and the ticket system is up the spout. In other words, Cannes is back. After the Covid-inflected – if not infected – July 2021 version, there is a sense of renewal as the film industry bounces back with the blockbuster delights of Top Gun: Maverick and a familiar roster of auteur talent.
The 7th edition of the Lonely Wolf International Film Festival exhibits sophistication, growth and maturity on both a logistical and thematic front. Behind the scenes, this year the festival has received a record amount of submissions for any one single trimestral virtual event so far, with 737 total audiovisual projects in competition.
★★★★☆ In his third feature, filmmaker Einari Paakkanen turns his attention to the phenomenon of Finnish karaoke and its capacity to bring disparate people together. Karaoke Paradise is a charming, insightful and often moving study of normal people’s lives through the medium of belting out great tunes.
★★★☆☆ When the legend becomes truth, print the legend. So goes Matt Eskey’s directorial debut, The Mojo Manifesto, a documentary in thrall to its subject. Luckily for us, its subject is Mojo Nixon (née Neill Kirby McMillan), the cartoonishly raucous musician and one of cow-punk’s leading proponents.
★★★☆☆ How do we balance modern faith with the often unsavoury legacies of religion, and how are those legacies used to excuse immoral behaviour in the present? Filmmaker Mariana Bastos gestures at these questions in her second feature (her first as solo director), a compelling magical realist drama.