mon 18/12/2017

film festivals

DVD: A Journey Through French Cinema

Bertrand Tavernier’s trip through French cinema is shot through with the love of someone who has grown up with cinema and knows how to communicate his passion in a way that is totally engaging. The three hours-plus that he delivers make you want to...

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DVD: The Work

“Doing work” is the phrase that inmates of California’s New Folsom Prison have adopted to describe the group psychotherapy sessions that have been run there for more than 15 years now. Given that Folsom is a Level-4 penitentiary, in which murder is...

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DVD: The Death of Louis XIV

Albert Serra has earned himself the directorial moniker “the Catalan king of stasis”, and nothing in The Death of Louis XIV is going to dispel such a reputation – if anything, he has honed that characteristic approach further, concentrating this...

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Heartstone review - huge visuals, close-up performances

Icelandic writer-director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson has made an impressive feature debut with this story of crossing the threshold from childhood to young adult experience. Heartstone acutely and empathetically catches the path from innocence to...

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theartsdesk at the Viennale: shunning the 'illusion machine'

The Viennale is one of the best film festivals in the world and an indispensable part of Vienna’s cultural life. Yet this year’s edition was launched amid trying times. For one thing, whatever sanity-altering toxin is affecting voters the world over...

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DVD: The Ornithologist

While bird-lovers will certainly not be disappointed by Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues’ new film, the ambitions of The Ornithologist stretch considerably beyond such avine fascinations. Its opening title, “Whoever approaches the Spirit will...

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Dina review - a poignant treat

Director Dan Sickles has known Dina her entire life. He knows her engaging personality, and he knows her tragic past. It’s the former which he and co-director Antonio Santini feel is worth celebrating in this Sundance award-winning documentary.Dina...

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DVD/Blu-ray: A Man Called Ove

It takes a while to get going, and doesn’t altogether evade sentimentality but overall this black comedy is hugely endearing. Rolf Lassgård (complete with bald cap) plays Ove. He's a depressed and resentful 60-year-old widower who can’t see any...

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Zoology review - the tale of a tail

Russia has its own rich traditions of satire and the grotesque, but at first glance we may wonder whether in his new film Zoology Ivan I Tverdovsky, a director who, still to turn 30, certainly belongs to the new generation of that country’s...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

A decade after his masterpiece, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, won the 1978 Palme d’Or at Cannes, Italian director Ermanno Olmi took Venice’s 1988 Golden Lion for The Legend of the Holy Drinker (La leggenda del santo bevitore). Festival victories aside,...

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Patti Cake$ review - endearing tale of a big girl with big dreams

Hearing that a music video director has just made their first feature film generally strikes fear into my heart. But in this instance, Geremy Jasper has done a pretty good job, directing a warm and quirky drama about a young woman from a working-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Tree of Wooden Clogs

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L’albero deli zoccoli) is a glorious fresco that reveals, over the course of an unhurried three hours and with a pronounced documentary element that virtually...

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