tue 20/08/2019

film festivals

10th Odessa International Film Festival review - exquisite gay love stories and visionary new music

Odessa, the so-called "pearl of the Black Sea", is a Ukrainian city full of lovely 19th-century Italianate architecture and sandy beaches, with a reputation, even in Soviet times, for a certain bohemian sense of freedom. It has also, for the past...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Ash Is Purest White

Chinese director Jia Zhangke has made a masterful career from following the changes that his native land has undergone in the 21st century, catching the speed of its transition from old ideological order to the relentless dynamism of subsequent...

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Varda by Agnès review - a richly moving film farewell

French director Agnès Varda looks back over a cinematic career of seven decades in this a richly moving film farewell, finished not long before her death at the end of March, aged 90. It’s structured around a series of masterclasses in which she...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mirai

Mirai made animation history when it was included in the Director's Fortnight at Cannes in 2018, the first Japanese anime feature to be so honoured. It went on to be nominated for an Oscar. Director Mamoro Hosoda, who worked at Studio Ghibli before...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Sauvage

Anyone who saw Félix Maritaud playing the angry activist Max in Robin Campillo’s Paris ACT UP drama 120 BPM will certainly remember him (main picture). He came to the film as a non-professional, from an arts student background, and builds on that...

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Cannes 2019: Matthias & Maxime review - a gently charming new drama

It has been ten years since Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan first debuted I Killed My Mother at the Cannes Film Festival. A decade on he returns in competition with a title that shows an evolution of his filmmaking that leaves behind many of the...

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Cannes 2019: Week One - a genre-heavy opening

Every year the Cannes Film Festival is a swirl of chaos, excitement, and controversy. Last year, the festival had a markedly different feel. Gone were the big starry names. Replacing them were less glitzy films that were given a chance to shine....

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Cannes 2019: The Dead Don't Die review - festival opens with rich zombie satire

“The world is perfect. Appreciate the details” says a WU-PS driver played by RZA, in Jim Jarmusch’s gleefully meta zombie-comedy that has just opened the Cannes Film Festival. It’s good advice. Jarmusch’s latest work is a finely tuned, deadpan...

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Blu-ray: Khrustalyov, My Car!

The title of Khrustalyov, My Car! comes, infamously, from the words uttered by NKVD chief Lavrenty Beria as he departed the scene of Stalin’s death in March 1953, and Alexei German’s film comes as close as cinema can to dissecting the surreal terror...

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Donbass review - war stories from the Ukrainian front

The latest from the prolific Sergei Loznitsa, Donbass is a bad-dream journey into the conflict that’s been waging in Eastern Ukraine since 2014, barely noticed beyond its immediate region. The titular break-away region, also known as “Novorossiya” (...

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DVD: The House by the Sea

Robert Guediguian has spoken of the influence of Chekhov on The House by the Sea (Le Villa), and the shadow of the Russian dramatist, particularly The Cherry Orchard, can certainly be felt in the French director’s latest film, his 20th in a career...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Wild Pear Tree

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan has been a Cannes regular for almost two decades now, and one of the festival’s more frequent prize-winners: over his career he has come away with two Grand Prix (for 2003’s Distant and 2011’s Once Upon a Time in...

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