sun 25/09/2022

film festivals

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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Berlinale 2021: Petite Maman review – magical musings on the parent-child relationship

Hot on the heels of her 2019 triumph Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature continues a perfect track record; this is yet another gorgeous and perceptive film, told from a determinedly female perspective but with a wisdom...

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Berlinale 2021: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review – cheeky, timely and very provocative

The Romanian director Radu Jude invariably serves spicy satire that challenges his compatriots to face historical crimes and present failings. The latest is an erudite and daft, raunchy and knockabout, endlessly provocative film that, for sake of...

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Blu-ray: Liberté

Catalan director Albert Serra’s interest in late 18th century France is well established – his previous film was The Death of Louis XIV – but the title of his new one has precious little to do with the triadic revolutionary slogan that swept away...

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