5 ½ hour film dominates awards at Locarno

5 ½ hour film dominates awards at Locarno

From What is Before, a 338-minute film by Filipino director Lav Diaz, has won the Golden Leopard, grand prize of the 67th Locarno Film Festival. The moody and atmospheric black-and-white film depicts rising levels of fear, violence and suspicion in a small village, reflecting the widespread impact of Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, which imposed martial law […]

Shorts at #Locarno67: meditation vs testing the audience’s patience

Shorts at #Locarno67: meditation vs testing the audience’s patience

A guest blog from Mico Tatalovic When the representative of Single Stream, one of the shorts screened here, said ‘hope you enjoy our trashy movie’ I didn’t actually expect it to be about trash. Nor would I have guessed that 23 minutes, without dialogue, of shots of the inside of a recycling plant could be […]

‘The Fool’: A modern propaganda film

‘The Fool’: A modern propaganda film

Dima Nitikin is an honest plumber who lives with his wife and son in his parents’ apartment. Studying architecture in his spare time, he’s what you might call ambitious, but not by his mother’s standards. She berates him and his father for refusing to play the system: when all of the neighbours are stealing to […]

Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice: At sea in search of love

Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice: At sea in search of love

  A mechanic in the French navy, Alice (Ariane Labed) spends much of her life on board cargo ships. Her new boyfriend Félix, a Norwegian graphic novelist, waits patiently for her at home. She is called to serve on the Fidelio to replace a man who has died on board. Having taken over the dead […]

Shorts at Locarno 2014: Highlights from young talent

Shorts at Locarno 2014: Highlights from young talent

 A guest post from Mico Tatalovic, in Locarno, Switzerland. Strolling through the narrow streets of Locarno, a picturesque lake-side town surrounded by the Alps, on the way to screenings, one feels the buzz and quaintness that come with the festival’s prestige and location – but, perhaps unexpectedly, one also gets a lot of negative vibe […]

Cinema at the Margins

Cinema at the Margins

Wheeler Winston Dixon’s Cinema at the Margins is an enlightening collection of essays and interviews. Wearing his encyclopedic knowledge lightly, Dixon shares his expert insights and research in an eloquent, eminently readable style. I chose to review his new book because its reference to the ‘margins’ held the enticing promise of new discoveries, and a […]

Les Invisibles: Speaking up, stepping out

Les Invisibles: Speaking up, stepping out

Les Invisibles does more than you’d expect of a documentary about elderly gay and lesbian people. I went into this film anticipating a series of interesting stories about individual lives, but this is a film that offers far more. Sébastien Lifshitz has imposed a true director’s conception of mood and theme to this film, which […]

Before Midnight: Unevenly Matched

Before Midnight: Unevenly Matched

Before Midnight offers a long-awaited update on the lives of Céline and Jesse, the couple who met on a train to Vienna in the 90s, then came together again in Paris the 2000s after Jesse wrote a book about their brief encounter. The second film, Before Sunset, ended ambiguously, with the possibility that Jesse might […]

New Japanese Cinema at ‘Nippon Connection’

New Japanese Cinema at ‘Nippon Connection’

Founded in 1999 by students at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, the Nippon Connection film festival has become the biggest platform for current Japanese cinema outside of Japan. The festival prides itself on the proportion of premieres: in 2012, of 142 shorts and features screened, 42 were world premieres and 14 international premieres. Most of […]

Avant-Garde to New Wave: Czechoslovak Cinema, Surrealism and the Sixties

Avant-Garde to New Wave: Czechoslovak Cinema, Surrealism and the Sixties

The French New Wave was not the only new wave of the 1960s: during a temporary loosening of the Communist regime’s hold on culture, Czechoslovakia had its own new wave that produced films just as beautiful, witty, exciting, innovative and thought-provoking as the French. The 1960s saw two Czechoslovak winners of the foreign language Oscar: […]

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