IFFR 2016: Préjudice review

★★★☆☆ Notions of marginalisation, responsibility and the ambiguities of nature versus nurture all collide in Antoine Cuypers’ handsome and austere feature debut, Préjudice. The film is built around enormously compelling performances from Thomas Blanchard and Nathalie Baye, as an antagonistic son and mother. They take the leads in a taut Continue Reading

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Russian Film Week 2013: Intimate Parts review

★★★☆☆ The debut feature from Natasha Merkulova, Intimate Parts (2013) is an acerbic and comedic exploration of attitudes towards sexuality amongst the intelligentsia of contemporary Russian society. Attempting to debunk the media conceived misconception that Russians don’t have sex, Intimate Parts tackles taboo subjects such as homosexuality, infidelity, promiscuity and Continue Reading

Russian Film Festival 2013: ‘Betrayal’ review

★★☆☆☆ Themes of distrust, obsession and revenge all combine to somewhat underwhelming effect in Kirill Serebrennikov’s Betrayal (2012), a downbeat and ironically passionless excursion into restrained melodrama. Blending some deft and weighty camerawork with an oblique narrative of bewildering twists and turns, Serebrannikov’s latest is an alluring, if tedious example Continue Reading