We'll tackle any film foreign or otherwise, paying exclusive attention to Arthouse, Indie & Cult features. Selected up to the minute News will also be given prominence.


April 30, 2008

Children Of Heaven







Director
- Majid Majidi

Genre - Comedy/Drama


The beauty of this movie lies in its simplicity. With a story involving a pair of shoes and a family on the brink of poverty, its message is one of hope and love. Often, a film containing such a theme would be cliched and overly-melodramatic. However, in Majid Majidi's hands, it is both bittersweet and poignant. Ultimately, this is the kind of celluloid magic that will stand the test of time. If enough people see this, it might even have the power to cure apathy and end wars. Instant classic.

5 STARS!

All about Children Of Heaven

April 28, 2008

Breath (Soom)







Director
- Kim Ki-Duk

Genre - Drama


Two lost souls yearning for a connection find each other in the most unusual circumstances. Waiting in the claws of imminent death, a prisoner receives and gives in to an unexpected visit. Thus begins the story of twisted notion of love found between these broken beings. Kim Ki-Duk as an auteur is always interesting but this latest offering from him doesn't quite enthrall like the rest of his masterful repertoire. The characters here are just too unlikable as people for us to invest our emotions in them.

2.5 STARS!

All about Breath (Soom)

April 26, 2008

Hard Candy







Director
- David Slade

Genre - Drama/Thriller


A modern take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' that will have you on the edge of your seat. Ellen Page who is also in 'Juno' is a revelation here, displaying a maturity in her acting that surpasses even older and more experienced actresses. Basically, the whole film centers on the excellent script and the terrific performances by the actors. A thriller that is cunningly deceptive.

4 STARS!

All about Hard Candy

April 24, 2008

Trouble Every Day







Director
- Claire Denis

Genre - Horror/Thriller/Drama

This nauseating French film starring Vincent Gallo should never have seen the light of day. Its bizarre combination of love, sex and cannibalism just made no sense. The only imaginable use for this monstrosity is as a torture tool for criminal interrogation. Force apprehended suspects to watch this movie repeatedly and they would just break down. A dark stain on the entire history of filmmaking. Also, a lifetime ban from making movies should be imposed on the director and producers.

0 STAR! D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival)

All about Trouble Every Day

April 22, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon







Director
- Sidney Lumet

Genre - Crime/Drama/Thriller

Based on a true story. This is one of director Sidney Lumet's best and Al Pacino cemented his status forever as an icon in this film. Watching this is like witnessing a heavyweight champion strut his killer moves in the ring and Lumet had provided the perfect stage for Pacino to just blow us away. It is also probably the most realistic movie based on a bank robbery ever made. Highly, highly, highly recommended!

5 STARS!

All about Dog Day Afternoon

61st Festival De Cannes

Source from The Hollywood Reporter




Pierre Collier designed the poster for the 61st edition of the Festival de Cannes, working from a photo by David Lynch. Collier's other poster designs include those for Jim Jarmusch's "Mystery Train," Shoei Imamura's "The Eel," Edward Yang's "Yi Yi" and 2006 Palme d'Or winner "The Winds That Shakes the Barley" from Ken Loach.

April 20, 2008

Paranoid Park







Director
- Gus Van Sant

Genre - Drama

This is a delicate and gracefully filmed lamentation on the disaffected, indifferent youth of America. Totally immersed in his own world, the leading character is a kid who exudes a disturbing air of nonchalance and appears to be unfazed by life itself. Based on a Blake Nelson novel, it is also in essence a murder mystery. The cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li embraces the movie like warm solace and the soundtrack is bizarrely tempting.

3.5 STARS!

All about Paranoid Park

April 19, 2008

I Stand Alone







Director
- Gaspar Noé

Genre - Drama/Thriller


An uneasy but incredible offering from Gaspar Noé. The story centers on a despicable human being who has basically no redeeming qualities. Vile, disgusting and ranting incessantly about the state he's in, the leading character invites no sympathy. Like 'Irréversible', we are eager to walk away outraged, but the director had already taken us prisoners 10 minutes into the film. Stay away if you're a puritanical do-gooder, for the rest of us sick f*cks, Noé pushes the boundaries of filmmaking to the utmost edge and we're glad to be taken along for the ride.

4 STARS!

All about I Stand Alone

April 17, 2008

Slacker







Director
- Richard Linklater

Genre - Comedy/Drama

The fact that Richard Linklater actually chose to make his debut as a director with this should inform us of his integrity as an artist. Abandoning linear storyline, plot or any semblance of commercialism, this movie is his 'f*ck you' to the industry. And unlike Steven Soderbergh who was once also an indie director, you know Linklater would never sell out to do Ocean's 11, 12 and 13. All that said and done, this still only showed a very tiny spark of his potential.

3 STARS!

All about Slacker

April 14, 2008

American Gangster







Director
- Ridley Scott

Genre - Crime/Drama/Thriller


Based on the true story of drug dealer Frank Lucas, this movie hits most of the notes correctly but feels a bit predictable. Although the performances of Denzel and Russell are good it offers nothing new in terms of being a gangster flick. Too many great gangster or underworld movies have come before this. It's an entertaining enough take on a genre that Hollywood seems to be obsessed about though.

3 STARS!

All about American Gangster

April 12, 2008

My Blueberry Nights






Director - Wong Kar Wai

Genre - Drama/Romance


It's often when we are in love that we reveal our absolute, true selfs. That's when we are most vulnerable. Not when we are battling aliens or giant apes. Wong Kar Wai has been trying religiously to capture these moments of absolute truth in all his films, and he has managed to make compelling works of art every time. Singer Norah Jones in her debut as an actress is captivatingly better than Madonna ever was in her many films pretending to be one. An elegant American romance with substance.

4 STARS!

All about My Blueberry Nights

April 11, 2008

Mee Pok Man





Director - Eric Khoo

Genre - Drama/Romance


A low budget indie gem from Singapore. There's a very intimate and down to earth feel to this film by director Eric Khoo. The story revolves around a noodle seller who falls for a hooker. It's not exactly a highly conceptual or inventive script, but what this movie serves up is an abundance of heartfelt and relatable storytelling. Like the hot, steaming bowls of satisfying noodles the lead actor makes, every strand of the story is imbued with warmth and passion.

3.5 STARS!

All about Mee Pok Man

April 10, 2008

The Brown Bunny





Director - Vincent Gallo

Genre - Drama


Vincent Gallo's much derided, self-indulgent and languid second film. The script written by Gallo himself has a plot that takes forever to unfold. He has a very authentic, singular style but it's a shame that he chose to waste it on this unfathomably boring story. The central character played by Gallo himself is shown driving endlessly along the vast American landscape, testing our patience so much that a fatal crash scene would be gratefully appreciated.

2.5 STARS!

All about The Brown Bunny

April 9, 2008

Daisuke Tengan's 'Answer' To Japan's Declining Birth Rate

Daisuke Tengan, son of legendary director Shohei Imamura, who is also an accomplished screenwriter (Takashi Miike's Audition), has an 'answer' to Japan's major social crisis: declining birth rate, by writing and making his new film titled The Most Beautiful Night In The World. The official synopsis says "Tomorowo Taguchi plays the starring role as a newspaper reporter demoted to the town 14 years ago. Ryo Ishibashi is an ex-radical trying to start a “sexual revolution,” and former Takarasienne Sarara Tsukifune plays the gentle “mama” of a snack bar. Other cast members include Shiro Sano, Akira Emoto, Shunsuke Matsuoka, and Yukiya Kitamura". Here's the official Trailer.

All about Daisuke Tengan

Bong Joon-Ho's MOTHER

Source from Twitch

Bong Joon-Ho is a busy, busy man. Since wrapping up his huge international hit The Host he’s done his bit for the three part anthology Tokyo, he’s prepping his big budget French graphic novel adaptation Le Transperceneige a.k.a. Snow Train with Oldboy's Park Chan-Wook on board to produce, and he’s rapidly gearing up his next feature, Mother. What’s it about? It’s about an antisocial outcast framed for murder because, frankly, he’s the sort of guy only a mother could love. And his mother does love him and so, in the face of indifference and hostility the older woman sets out to find the real killer and prover her child’s innocence. In Bong’s hands this should be pure gold.

And now we have both mother and son. According to Variety Asia Bong has cast veteran actress Kim Hye-Ja as the mother and Won Bin - in his first major role since breaking out in Taegukgi - as the son. Very nice choices, both.

All about Bong Joon-Ho

April 7, 2008

Reservoir Dogs







Director
- Quentin Tarantino

Genre - Crime/Thriller

Dialogue driven movie made with a low budget but a lot of heart. It shows that the combined power of a good script together with great performances will always triumph over bad material and lousy acting. Armed with his hip words and kicking soundtrack, Tarantino's actors are super cool cats whom you'd want to emulate. Despite having very little action scenes for a bank heist story, it's still one devilishly clever film.

4 STARS!

All about Resevoir Dogs

April 5, 2008

Days Of Being Wild





Director - Wong Kar Wai

Genre - Drama


Wong Kar Wai's beautifully crafted film about the search for love. The late Leslie Cheung gave one of his most memorable performances as a cool ladykiller who is more complex than he looks. Directed like a love letter written by Wong for an era gone by, it is poetic, hip and undeniably an artistic achievement. The script is deeply intriguing and cinematography by Christopher Doyle, sheer class.

5 STARS!

Al about Days Of Being Wild

April 4, 2008

Visitor Q







Director
- Takashi Miike

Genre - Comedy/Horror/Thriller


This movie lives on the edge of insanity and repugnance. What is peculiar though is that Miike has, out of all the filth, created an extreme vision of beauty. It is a beauty that we are surely reluctant and loathe to accept, but it's still what it is. Call it a satire on eroding family values, human indifference, or simply call it a creation of a disturbed individual. What survives in the end is a film that takes you where you've never, ever been before.

5 STARS!

All about Visitor Q

April 3, 2008

Oldboy








Director
- Park Chan-Wook

Genre - Drama/Mystery/Thriller


Park Chan-Wook's most notorious and remarkable film to date. Once you have watched this, you are never the same anymore. It's like going from cigarettes to taking drugs in a blink of an eye. Emotionally charged, it goes from being graceful to downright scary and back again, leaving you disturbed forever. Leading actor Choi Min-Sik is spectacular in a role that few actors could even imagine playing.

5 STARS!

All about Oldboy

April 1, 2008

Brokeback Mountain







Director
- Ang Lee

Genre - Drama/Romance


Ang Lee-directed movie starring the late Heath Ledger. Tender moments pervade this film although scenes of violence always seem to loom threateningly. A conflicted and tortured man learning and dealing with being gay in an otherwise masochistic terrain, Ledger's character Ennis Del Mar almost carried the whole movie single-handedly. Gay theme is not for everyone though.

3 STARS!

All about Brokeback Mountain