Zalava – Film Review | TIFF ’21

While investigating a town with a shared belief in demonic possession, military sergeant Massoud’s (Navid Pourfaraj) beliefs are challenged by the zealous exorcist, Amardan (Pouria Rahimi Sam). Demonic possession films are fairly commonplace in the world of horror and thrillers. Many of them as derivative as the next. More often than not, this type of …

Reflection (Vidblysk) – Film Review | Venice 2021

Serhiy (Roman Lutskyi), a Ukrainian surgeon captured by Russian soldiers at the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war, is subjected to witnessing the inhumane treatments of fellow Ukrainian captives while serving as medic for the Russian military. Upon release, Serhiy must put together the pieces of his now shattered life and learn how to cope with …

The Guilty – Film Review | TIFF’21

Huis-clos thrillers aren’t the easiest to pull off. But when you want to make a movie during a pandemic, it might be your best bet of getting something made. Antoine Fuqua takes a stab at remaking the Danish movie ‘Den Skyldige’ and comes out mostly unscathed. Officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) has issues. Plenty of …

Violet – Film Review | TIFF’21

Depending on our age, we all know Justine Bateman from somewhere. Whether it be next to Michael J. Fox in ‘Family Ties’ or guest starring in everything from ‘Desperate Housewives’ to ‘Arrested Development’. Turns out this familiar face also has a knack for filmmaking, as her feature film debut ‘Violet’ is released to the world. …

As In Heaven – Film Review | TIFF ’21

As a cis-gender male, I feel somewhat uncomfortable reviewing a film that so obviously deals with the plight of women. But to simply reduce Tea Lindeburg’s debut feature to a feminist pamflet would be doing it a grave disservice. Lise (Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl), a teenage girl growing up among her many siblings on a …

Promises (Les Promesses) – Film Review | Venice 2021

Clémence (Isabelle Huppert) is a soon to be retired mayor of a small, French town outside of Paris. Together with her Chief of Staff, Yazid (Reda Kateb), Clémence is faced with the choice of becoming a Minister in Paris or following the path already set out in front of her. Despite its seemingly uninteresting plot, …

Django & Django – Sergio Corbucci Unchained – Film Review | Venice 2021

Guided along by the narration of Quentin Tarantino, Django & Django explores Sergio Corbucci’s robust volume of work within the Italian Western sub-genre. Using his own work as an introductory framework, Tarantino introduces Corbucci, his more famous works, and the details that lead to their creation. While solid in its delivery of the information, Django …

Dusk Stone (Piedra Noche) – Film Review | Venice 2021

A year after the mysterious disappearance of their son, Greta (Mara Bestelli) and Bruno (Marcelo Subiotto) have resigned to selling their home in a rural coast town and leaving the past behind them. Joining them in preparation for the move is Greta’s childhood friend, Sina (Maricel Álvarez), an outsider from the city. Sina is the …

Erasing Frank – Film Review | Venice 2021

Gabor Fabricius’ debut feature follows punk rock singer Robert Frank (Benjamin Fuchs), who after getting arrested by the police for singing words that are too political, gets sent to the open ward of a psychiatric clinic. Angry at the state, he’ll stop at nothing to express his feelings, but freedom of speech doesn’t go without …

Bloody Oranges – Film Review | Cannes 2021

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” ― Antonio Gramsci Alex (Alexandre Steiger) is a lawyer looking to make his way up in the world when he starts working with the corrupt Financial Secretary of France, Stéphane (Christophe Paou), who is trying to change …