Berlinale 2021: Céline Sciamma, Jacqueline Lentzou and the other women who competed for the Golden Bear
Five of the 18 titles that competed for the Golden Bear, are directed or co-directed by women. A look at Petite Maman, Moon, 66 Questions, and Ballad of a White Cow.
Luiz Bolognesi’s The Last Forest, playing at Berlinale 2021, takes us to the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon basin
The Last Forest brings up the often-debated question about whether indigenous people should be allowed to be who they are or brought into the fold of a modern world.
Dekel Berenson’s superb short film Anna sheds light on the “love tours” industry in Ukraine
This 15-minute film is about: meat. Rather, women treated as meat, ready to be picked up by American men who want someone to cook and clean.
Martin Scorsese’s recent essay on Federico Fellini makes a very important point about what cinema is
When you see certain films, you sense the presence of a director. And to me, that is the crux of defining “cinema”: whether it’s been made by a “director”.
Uberto Pasolini’s Nowhere Special, screening at IFFK 2021, is moving without being melodramatic
This film about a father and a son is designed as "sad" but not "depressing."
International Film Festival of Rotterdam: In Dear Comrades!, Andrei Konchalovsky’s record of the Novocherkassk massacre
What is the real “truth” behind the Novocherkassk massacre? Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky's latest film — premiering at International Film Festival of Rotterdam — explores this in detail.
Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning, on MUBI, studies a suffering woman with a static camera
When the camera remains stationary, it’s objective. It’s omniscient – like a cold, distant, Bergmanesque God who stays silent and remains, well, un-moved by suffering.
Massoud Bakhshi’s Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness, which screened at IFFI, is an 'eye for an eye' drama set in a TV studio
Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness was screened at the International Film Festival of India.
Mads Matthiesen’s Sundance winner Teddy Bear, now on MUBI, is a gently told male-emancipation story
Teddy Bear turns the “emancipation movie” on its head. Most times, the person who needs emancipating is a woman. It’s interesting to see this most masculine-looking of men needing to “find himself”, too.
Pradeepan Raveendran’s Soundless Dance dives into the war-torn mind of a Sri Lankan Tamil in Paris
Through Soundless Dance, the director asks: Isn’t the pain of a torn country, the pain of separation from family enough? Does one need to manufacture more “drama”?
Ekwa Msangi’s Farewell Amor is an immigrant drama about coming to terms with a family member who’s now a stranger
Farewell Amor made me wonder about the marriages and separations we are more familiar with.
Maurice Pialat’s The Mouth Agape looks death in the eye without sentimentality or embellishment
The Mouth Agape is shockingly un-aestheticised. If Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers was a “dream," then this is the nightmare equivalent.
Hannes Stöhr’s Berlin is in Germany talks about an East German adjusting to life in a unified nation
What if you were raised in a place that resembled jail, and that’s your default state of being? You don’t know what it is to be free.
Jan Komasa’s The Hater on Netflix is a quietly chilling story about the virtual world’s revenge on the real world
The Hater shows us, with sickening procedural detail — how easily we are manipulated, and how “perception” is everything.
Soorarai Pottru, The Motorcycle Diaries, and a response to the truth-versus-fiction issue in biopics
All that matters in a biopic is whether the spirit of the subject is captured. That’s what you should base your evaluations on: basically, not the story you know but the story the film chooses to tell.
Sophia Loren transformed from glam star to great actor in Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women
You could say the reason glamorous stars de-glam themselves is because nobody takes them seriously. It’s only when Sophia Loren plays Cesira in Two Women that we sit up and say, “Oh wow, what a performance!”
Fernanda Valadez’s Identifying Features, playing at Dharamshala, is a poignant drama about would-be illegal migrants
Identifying Features may show a journey that may be about the son. But the story is about the mother.
Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi, playing at Dharamshala, makes you think about faith and prayer, sinners and saints
The Polish entry for the Best International Feature Film at Academy Awards 2020 reiterates that religion isn't something that has to be followed by the book.
Isamu Hirabayashi’s Shell and Joint, playing at Dharamsala, is a fascinating look at life and death
Isamu Hirabayashi’s Japanese-Finnish feature debut Shell and Joint is playing at the Dharamshala International Film Festival.
David and Àlex Pastor’s The Occupant on Netflix is a solid psycho-thriller about a man who loses a job, and loses it
The protagonist Javier's desperation underscores the fundamental truth about how many of us live: it’s not just about the job, it’s about a certain kind of lifestyle.