wed 01/02/2023

film festivals

Markie Robson-Scott's Top 10 Films of 2022

Madness, introspection, and childhood trauma all feature in the best films of 2022: a good year for delving deep. Triangle of Sadness is over-the-top, cathartic lunacy – don’t see it before going on a cruise – while The Banshees of Inisherin...

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Nick Hasted's Top 10 Films of 2022

Audrey Diwan’s French abortion drama Happening was the year’s hardest but most luminescent watch, as a fiercely intelligent young woman fights for her future survival as an artist in 1963, when illegal abortion requires wartime subterfuge and bloody...

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Directors the Dardenne brothers: 'To be living means to be fragile'

Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have made their home region of Liège the site of excruciating moral crises and crushing injustice. Their 12 masterful, double Palme d'Or-winning films act as parables for the embattled human soul.The...

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Hit the Road review - leaving Tehran for truth and freedom

The trailer for Panah Panahi’s award-winning first feature Hit the Road is one of the most misleading I’ve yet seen thanks to its jaunty Western pop soundtrack and reassuring caption that the movie resembles an Iranian Little Miss Sunshine.Yes, it’s...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Parallel Mothers

Parallel Mothers unfolds at a daringly slow pace, and there are moments in the first half of Pedro Almodóvar’s 2021 drama when you wish that things would speed up. And then you’re wrong-footed by the unexpected shifts in tone and direction, and...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 33: Ukraine special - musicians and artists direct from Ukraine, with co-host Anastasia Piliavsky

The latest edition of Peter Culshaw’s occasional global radio shows focuses totally on Ukraine, looking at music, art, culture and resistance.Culshaw has reported over the years on the Odessa Film and Jazz festivals for theartsdesk, and written for...

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Murina review - her father, her jailer

Murina, the suspenseful first feature written and directed by the Croatian filmmaker Antoneta Alamat Kusijanoviće, depicts a cruel dance that three of the four participants can't or won't stop. Its instigator, a father and husband in thrall to his...

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Blu-ray: Down by Law

Does restoration and upgrading to 4K always make a film better? I used to think so but after watching an unnervingly image-perfect Blu-ray of Down by Law, I’m not so sure.Jim Jarmusch's shaggy dog tale about three strangers thrown together in a...

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Best of 2021: Film

Like every other artform, cinema suffered greatly in a year of lockdowns. But despite an ever-changing outlook, theartsdesk still managed to review over 130 films in 2021!Long-awaited blockbusters and no-budget indies fought for screen space big and...

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Titane review - love under the bonnet

The restrictiveness of conventional gender identities explains the extreme body horror of Titane, in which a pregnant rookie firefighter frequently invoked as Jesus bleeds car oil from her vagina and from the stigmatic splits in her swollen belly....

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Blu-ray: Beginning

This debut feature from the young Georgian writer-director Dea Kulumbegashvili is exceptional in many ways. It stands out not only for its hypnotic quality as a film that feels like that of an already formed auteur, as well as for the complex...

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Verdict review - social realism and court procedural combine in powerful Manila drama

There’s something of an anomaly in Filipino director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s debut feature between its fast-moving dramatic opening, defined by an agile hand-held camera, and the much slower, more static scenes that follow. That early material,...

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