Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Review: 'First Position' A Warm Portrait Of Talented Kids With Big Ambition

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • July 21, 2012 8:11 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The world of ballet largely exists in somewhat rareified air, and doesn't often enter the wider pop cultural sphere, and thus it's a pleasant surprise that Bess Kargman's "First Position" is so immediately engaging. A documentary about a ballet contest might not seem inherently dramatic or even interesting for anyone who doesn't particularly enjoy dance, but by finding the human stories and letting the often breathtaking physicality speak for itself, "First Position" is a simple, but effective portrait of ambition and determination in an art form where the stakes are high and the rewards are few.

Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review Roundup: 'Boy Eating The Bird's Food,' 'Camion' & 'Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 16, 2012 9:38 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
For the first few minutes of “Boy Eating the Bird’s Food” (“To agori troei to fagito tou pouliou”), the feature debut from Greek director Ektoras Lygizos that premiered In Competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one could be forgiven for believing him to be heavily under the influence of his countryman Yorgos Lanthimos: the film starts with a slightly surreal sequence in which the central character, played by Yiannis Papadopoulos, goes to audition/interview for a peculiar job which requires him to sing in an oddly creepy falsetto. The bleached-out grade and handheld, close-up-heavy camera work add to the claustrophobic discomfort, but it soon becomes clear that this is not a Lanthimos-esque carefully constructed alternate universe.

Review: Visceral 'The Dark Knight Rises' Is A Cinematic, Cultural & Personal Triumph

  • By Todd Gilchrist
  • |
  • July 16, 2012 3:00 AM
  • |
  • 55 Comments
In a season filled with big movies that somehow ask even bigger questions, “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the superego to its competition’s id. An action opus that manages at to be both viscerally and intellectually engaging, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated third Batman film comes full circle, examining both the Dark Knight and the society that produced him without sacrificing any of the sweeping thrills for which the series is known. A literate, thoughtful and invigorating finale, “The Dark Knight Rises” delivers everything audiences ask for and then some, albeit in fewer of the ways that they might expect.

Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review Roundup: 'Shameless,' 'Hay Road' & 'Nos Vemos Papa'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 15, 2012 11:30 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
"Shameless" This year at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, a mini-trend emerged in the form of incest movies, with films that dealt, overtly or tacitly, with the taboo liberally dotting the programme. “Shameless” (“Bez Wstydu”), the debut feature from young Polish filmmaker Filip Marczewski, is, as the title suggests, certainly on the overt end of the spectrum as regards to putting an intra-sibling affair front and center of the story. But while there is much to admire, especially for a novice filmmaker, here the film would have benefitted from spending less time on the splashy, logline-grabbing brother/sister romance, and a little more on the supporting cast and subplots that actually turn out to be a great deal more intriguing.

Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review: Leila Hatami Shines In Wry, Tragicomic 'The Last Step'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 14, 2012 12:12 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
If last year’s fantastic “A Separation” put Leila Hatami on everyone’s World Cinema Movie Star radar (you’ve got one of those, right?), then “The Last Step” ("Pele Akher"), which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and is directed by her husband, Ali Mosaffa, may be the film that consolidates her position. But while it has already deservedly scooped her the Best Actress award in Karlovy Vary, we shouldn’t let her shimmering but grounded portrayal outshine the film itself. Also the recipient of the International Critics' Prize, the movie engrosses from beginning to end as an inventive, playful, semi-tragic drama of marriage, jealousy, love, death and filmmaking in modern-day Tehran.

Review: Michael Winterbottom's 'Trishna' Is Picturesque, But Entirely Lacking In Passion

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • July 12, 2012 2:02 PM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Over his career, Michael Winterbottom has hopped frequently from genre to genre, from subject matter to subject matter, rarely covering the same territory twice. But one of the few things he has returned to is the work of Thomas Hardy. The late 19th century British author has so far inspired two of the director's films: 1995's "Jude," an adaptation of "Jude the Obscure" with Kate Winslet, and "The Claim," a version of "The Mayor of Casterbridge" moved to a Californian mountain Western setting.

Review: Daniel Espinosa's 'Easy Money' An Absorbing Crime Tale With Electricity Pumping Through Its Veins

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • July 12, 2012 12:56 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Before we even get into a review of the twisty Swedish thriller, "Snabba Cash," retitled "Easy Money" for North American audiences by The Weinstein Company who has picked it up for U.S. release, one has to to first note its trajectory.

Comic-Con '12 Review: 'Dredd' A Visually Strong, Engaging But Ultimately Empty Cinematic Experience

  • By Todd Gilchrist
  • |
  • July 12, 2012 8:27 AM
  • |
  • 18 Comments
Remakes and reboots always seem to demand comparisons to their predecessors, but “Dredd” evokes a slightly different relationship: What Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” is to George Romero’s original, Pete Travis’ film is to, no, not Danny Cannon’s 1995 film “Judge Dredd,” but Paul Verhoeven’s “Robocop.” In both cases, gifted visual stylists took fertile, socially-conscious subject matter, pared out the cultural commentary, and left behind an engaging, if empty, cinematic experience.

Review: 'Drunkboat' Features A Compelling One-Two Acting Punch In A Weightless Stagebound Adaptation

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • July 11, 2012 6:59 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
At the start of “Drunkboat,” Mort Gleason (John Malkovich) is abandoned at the bottom of a bottle, reduced to a near-catatonic stupor. He’s a forty-something drunken layabout who’ll either be seen wearing a mop on his bald pate for laughs, or lying on the floor passed out as the mop wears him. To say he has no memory of his family is to give him too much credit – the randomly erudite screwup is more often staring quizzically at his friends and enemies as if his reaction time was Cro-Magnon.

Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review: Based On Real Events, 'Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy' Is A Stylish, Densely Plotted Treat

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 11, 2012 5:59 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
A deserving winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, “Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy (Romanzo di una strage)” is a film so skilfully and stylishly put together, that so easily slots into the familiar "procedural" genre, that it almost left this festival attendee feeling guilty, on two counts. Firstly, in amongst the less accessible, though often equally worthy fare that made up a great deal of the programme, the film was remarkable for its commerciality. And by that we don’t mean to damn with faint praise, simply to state that it’s the kind of film that hardly seems to need festival exposure in order to find its audience.

Email Updates

Recent Comments