Stars: Ewen Leslie, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danae Skiadi, Marton Csokas, Yigal Naor, Jean-François Balmer, Thanos Samaras, William Zappa
Screenplay: Louise Fox
Directed by: Tony Krawitz | Running time: 84 minutes
Based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas (better known for his 2008 novel, The Slap), Dead Europe can be seen as a twisted tale of secrets, lies and the dark stories families would rather not pass on to the next generation. But, despite all the potential this suggests, its characters head out on a trip that is as uninviting as it is unlikely.
Isaac (Leslie) is a photographer – his trademark shots appear to be stark, direct-to-camera portraits that are meant to be windows to the soul – who travels from Australia to Athens following the death of his father. He has an exhibition there, but he also plans to scatter his father’s ashes back in the ‘old’ country. The mere mention of his pilgrimage prompts wails and cries from his family, particularly his mother, whose racism comes to the fore as she mutters about a curse placed on her late husband over an event during the second world war. Continue Reading »
Posted in Film reviews | Tagged Christos Tsiolkas, Dead Europe review, Ewen Leslie, London Film Festival, London Film Festival 2012, Tony Krawitz |
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm, Susse Wold, Alexandra Rapaport
Written by: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg | Running time: 111 minutes
Sometimes you don’t need guns or big explosions to grab an audience’s attention. Sometimes you just need a huge dose of injustice. And maybe a side order of lies. The Hunt, from Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, shapes up like it wants to take everything away from its central figure, Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen). It targets his job, his family and his friends, and aims to drive him away from them and leave him in the wilderness to rot.
That may not sound like fun: it isn’t. But what Vinterberg successfully delivers is a film that wants to engage head and heart, and which seeks to shine a light on themes such as trust, reputation, gossip and hysteria. The Hunt is thought provoking, confrontational and never less than immensely watchable. And that goes for performances, cinematography and soundtrack. Continue Reading »
Posted in Film reviews | Tagged drama, Jagten review, London Film Festival, London Film Festival 2012, Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt review, Thomas Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg |
Stars: Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko, Frank Habicht, the people of New York
Screenplay: Florian Habicht and Peter O’Donoghue
Directed by: Florian Habicht | Running time: 94 minutes
The hold New York City has over filmmakers is as enduring as the magic of the movies. Writer-director (and here, actor) Florian Habicht won’t be the last to send NYC a filmic love letter but his composition is definitely among the most quirky, offbeat, and hypnotic.
Part fiction, part documentary, and even part artistic project, Habicht takes us on a journey that touches on his own fantasies and hopes for love. He puts himself at the heart of this story: he is a man looking for amour in the big city. He meets a Russian girl (Masha Yakovenko) near the subway; she’s carrying a piece of cake. He wonders, to her, if they meet again amid these millions of people whether it might be fate. With his camera at his side, he then films New Yorkers, asking them what are the chances of meeting a second time? When he does see Yakovenko once more his next question to them is: what should happen now in this story? Continue Reading »
Posted in Film reviews | Tagged film review, Florian Habicht, London Film Festival 2012, Love Story review, movie review, New York |
The Central Park Five
Written by: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Directed by: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon | Running time: 119 minutes
The Central Park jogger case that began on 19 April 1989 marked a pivotal moment in New York’s modern history. It forced the city’s authorities, suffering civil unrest and a rising drug problem, to address the fears of its population, for whom the mean streets had become too dirty.
While the attack and sexual assault of a young female investment banker in the park ultimately meant the city changed, for the five black and Latino teenagers arrested and wrongfully convicted of the attack, it is a story of injustice and police corruption. Even now, over 20 years later, that story has yet to be successfully resolved. Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon’s affecting film may take the form of a conventional documentary, with its mixture of archive material, stock footage, talking-head interviews and atmospheric shots of the city, but the sheer strength of its story makes it a truly remarkable piece of work. Continue Reading »
Posted in Film reviews | Tagged documentary, Ken Burns, London Film Festival, London Film Festival 2012, New York, Sarah Burns, The Central Park Five |
Sex, drugs, and yoga … in a cabin in the woods, in winter, with hippies. Or as Benjamin Dickinson’s affecting and stylish movie should be called: Apocalypse, Wow! This is a moody indie/arthouse that opts for ambiguity over answers but is none the worse for that.
Prepare to be unsettled during the movie’s opening sections, as Dickinson’s camera doesn’t sit still. It swoops and swirls around the members of a commune as they go through their daily cooking routines, yoga sessions and evening relaxations (three people in a bed, that’s for warmth, right?). It’s a relentless and dizzying experience – but is one that makes sense in relation to the end goal for the movie and its characters in their search for tranquility. Continue Reading »
Posted in Blogpost, Film reviews | Tagged apocalypse movie, Benjamin Dickinson, film review, First Winter, movie review, tribeca film festival 2012 |
Harmony Korine, Alexey Fedorchenko and Jan Kwiecinski each take a directorial segment in this trio of short (around 30mins each) films based around the concept of the fourth dimension. Each has its own distinctive style and tone but in so doing reveals the problem of buffet filmmaking: if you only like one of the dishes, I’m sorry but you’re actually stuck with the other two as well.
Each director was given a set of rules to abide by in making their short – including using a song made up especially for the movie, having a character called Mickey House, and shooting one scene blindfold – but how they put those into practise was down to them. It’s a list reminiscent of the Dogme school of filmmaking – itself a signal that you might expect mixed results. Continue Reading »
Posted in Blogpost, Film reviews | Tagged Alexey Fedorchenko, harmony korine, Jan Kwiecinski, movie review, the fourth dimension, tribeca film festival 2012, val kilmer |
And lo, it was written ‘manners maketh man’ but just below that it should also read, ‘and manners can also dump you in a whole heap of trouble.’ Such is the way of things in director Jeremy Power Regimbal’s tense home-invasion thriller Replicas; a powerful and compelling movie that’s likely to leave you slamming the door in the faces of any new next-door neighbours.
The reason manners and politeness figure so prominently here is because what Replicas plays and preys upon is the situation where you find yourself opening up that front door and welcoming people into your home, when all of your spidey-senses tell you that you shouldn’t. Most of us feel the need to be ‘nice’, even when the vibe is all wrong. Herein lies a warning … Continue Reading »
Posted in Blogpost, Film reviews | Tagged joshua close, replicas, replicas movie review, selma blair, tribeca film festival 2012 |