2001-2010

Apichatpong Weerasethakul – The Anthem (2006)

Quote:
The Anthem is a celebration of filmmaking and the viewing experience. In Thailand, before every cinema film screening, there will be a Royal Anthem before the feature presentation. The purpose is to honour the King. It is one of the rituals imbedded in Thai society to give a blessing to something or someone before certain ceremonies. The Anthem presents a ‘Cinema Anthem’ that praises and blesses the approaching feature for each screening. This audio-visual purification process is performed by three old ladies. They also channel energy to the audience in order to give them a clear mind. Read More »

Eddy Terstall – Vox Populi (2008)

“This highly acclaimed Dutch film is about politics. A dangerous subject, because it is too easy to (seemingly) take sides. “Vox Populi” (“the voice of the people”) is a sharp view on the Dutch politics of today. A populist rightwing makes a high flight in the polls and we follow a “red/green” politician whose party makes a drop. When he comes in contact with a real Amsterdam family who says exactly what they think, the politician starts to copy harsch statements about Muslims, pocket-filling politicians, etc. much to the dislike of his fellow party members, but all the fuss does raise the party in the polls. “Vox Populi” is a real Dutch film with nudity, sex and strong language, but also with a nice magnifying glass on politics, society and the gap between these two. Read More »

Dominik Graf – Kalter Frühling AKA Cold Spring (2004)

Ekkehard Knörer @ jumpcut.de wrote:
Dominik Graf makes movies for TV that are bigger than TV, but in his case this might be not a problem at all. It seems that his films work best as movies made for TV, TV as movies. This is because of the hackneyed stories he and his writers certainly twist and turn – without the intention, however, of turning them into art. Or rather, it is an art that turns its back to TV. This movement of turning its back remains important, though, as a gesture, a gesture that works best at the place it turns away from: TV. Dominik Graf’s art is an art of transcending TV by means of using it, of reproducing it in a radically transformed way. It remains recognizable in the stories, the motives – not the emotions, though. Read More »

Ann Hui – Tin shui wai dik ye yu mo AKA Night and Fog (2009)

Russell Edwards at Variety:
Domestic violence gets a compelling once-over in Hong Kong vet Ann Hui’s “Night and Fog,” which rises above its low-budget limitations on the basis of its hot-button topic and stellar performances. Establishing an air of fatalism at the start, this is a distinctly grim companion piece to Hui’s 2008 pic, “The Way We Are,” which offered a more benign portrait of the same Hong Kong town. Hui’s home fanbase should ensure respectable B.O. upon release in May for a subject many would like swept under the carpet. Further afield, the pic will become a fixture of quality fest programs. Read More »

Toshiaki Toyoda – Kuuchuu Teien AKA Hanging Garden (2005)

Quote:
Meet the Kyobashis, a model suburban Japanese family. Or are they? In director Toshiaki Toyoda’s skillful examination of contemporary domestic malaise, a mother’s plan for the perfect family initially seems to be working, but we soon learn that her perceived perfection is a lie that each family member chooses to believe at the expense of reality. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Ten (2002)

Quote:
A visual social examination in the form of ten conversations between a driving woman and her various pick-ups and hitchhikers.

Jonathan Romney for Screen Daily wrote:
A defiantly no-frills exercise even by his ascetic standards, 10 is Abbas Kiarostami’s triumphant vindication of digital video’s potential to produce a kind of cinema that cannot be achieved by other means. This is screen minimalism at its most uncompromising: 10 sequences of varying length, shot with a locked-off DV camera, of people talking in a car, seemingly improvising around what may be a very loose script. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – 10 on Ten (2004)

Quote:
Documentary where Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami reflects on his own film-making techniques, drawing from his own films – and 2001’s Ten in particular.

An IMDb reviewer wrote:
This isn’t so much a documentary as it is an 80 minute class with Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarstomi. Using his movie “Ten” as an example, he breaks down his theory of filmaking in 10 chapters, ranging from his preference of camera, to his take on character and directing. Read More »