At one point, late in in ENFANT TERRIBLE, the titular character of this bio-pic, omnisexual filmmaker and agent provacateur of the German New Wave, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Oliver Masucci), calls himself an uber-pig. It’s part boast, part confession, and part apology. As seen in Oskar Roehler’s stunningly oneiric film, they are all consistent with the… Read More »
At no point in Christian Petzold’s UNDINE do we encounter anything as pedestrian as a character discussing the nature of the supernatural creature at the heart of this exquisitely enigmatic, emotionally intense film. Rather, we are left to ponder just what the nature of our title character is on a more human level. Whether or… Read More »
In one of the series of vignettes that make up Roy Andersson’s ABOUT ENDLESSNESS, we find a city café where the patrons sit in carefully constructed isolation among one another, in the foreground, a dentist who we know from the previous vignette, is in a bad mood and plagued with problems. Snow falls. Christmas carols… Read More »
Christian Petzold has done something extraordinary with TRANSIT. Using the novel of the same name by Anna Seghers, he has taken the story of a young German fleeing the Nazis during World War II and transmuted it into a universal story of refugees. By removing the specifics and setting it in the first-world present, the… Read More »
Thus begins her journey, artistic and literal, in this understated yet study of art and life that is sharp, uncompromising, and suffused with mordant humor amid the tragedies and quirks of la vie quotidienne.
7500, the code used for hijackings, takes the all-too-familiar tropes of a terrorist hijacking and reframes them with a harrowing story that unfolds in real time. By removing any hint of sensationalism from the events, filmmaker Patrick Vollrath focuses on the moment-to-moment uncertainty of people ripped in an instant from the security of their familiar… Read More »
A lively, cinematic page-turner of a documentary, CRYPTOPIA: BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAINS AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET, takes us on a rollicking journey through the history of Bitcoin: its detractors, its disciples, and its philosophers.
There is a distinct strain of melancholy nihilism throughout Stephen Burke’s MAZE. Based on the 1983 prison break by 38 inmates of the eponymous maximum security prison in Norther Ireland, it mixes the suspense of plotting an escape dependant upon split-second timing from an inescapable prison with the psychological games the prisoners play with the… Read More »
Florence Green, the widowed heroine of THE BOOKSHOP, is a woman of patience, determination, and kindness. Qualities that would stand anyone in good stead, they are enough to get her dream of opening the eponymous entity in this evocative adaptation of the Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel. Whether they will be enough to keep it going in… Read More »
Playing on the most primal of fears is a time-honored horror tradition. And Gore Verbinski’s A CURE FOR WELLNESS does just that. And then continues to do so for an unwarranted running time of around two-and-a-half hours. This hodge-podge of dental torture, putative madness, and a very clumsy use of eels as metaphor wears out its welcome well before the final credits roll, skittering at the end, and pell-mell at that, towards an ending that is painfully obvious and even more painfully trite.