No Man’s Land is a small yet devastating film about two soldiers from opposing sides stuck in a trench on the battlefield (no man’s land), somewhere near Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
With this film, Méliès, the first master of cinematic magic, showed how to dazzle an audience, and he deserves all the recognition of being the first dreamer of the cinema and for engaging our fantasies in a way that demonstrated the far-reaching possibilities of filmmaking.
There is greatness behind every shot in Steve McQueen’s Hunger. This film marks the début of a remarkable talent that does not come round very often and demonstrates what is still possible within the realm of so-called alternative cinema.
A Russian Youth spends much of its time on the front lines of foolishness with a silly central character who shows no development and an experimental format that undermines its own potential seriousness.
The sharp focus on Chakra, who appears in every single scene, draws us into his story regardless of whether we feel we understand him. Although a couple of the scenes are haunting because of their implicit inhumanity (the dismemberment of one of the slaves is particularly tough to watch), Buoyancy does not engage in gratuitous violence. Its mostly taciturn central character stoically confronts…
The Double is a stylish, surrealist neo-noir that you shouldn’t be watching if you expect all your questions answered, but on top of wonderful casting and a frightening sense of doom throughout, this may be one of the most original films in recent memory.
For the film critic, the problem with twist endings is that it is frowned upon to dwell on that final revelation, despite their importance to the experience. Even just mentioning that there is a last-minute information dump that causes us to rethink the entire film is often too much for the reader to handle. It’s a fine line to walk, but neither the critic nor the reader/potential viewer should be overly sensitive, particularly if it is made clear why such information is included.
Films like Gravity are one in a million. Besides reminding everyone of the incredible visual talents he has that never overwhelm the story he tells, Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, who has honed his skills at directing long but dynamic scenes with a single take, ambitiously faced the challenge of a minimal cast and has delivered a film for the ages.
The splendour of Fellini’s eighth and a halfth film lies in its ability to entertain us so effortlessly while being simultaneously incessantly creative, weaving together dream, fantasy, recollection and present reality, and commenting on the struggles of an artist while doing all of the above completely coherently.