2001-2010

Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Kôhî jikô AKA Café Lumière (2003)

Quote:
Hou’s latest film continues in a similar vein Cafe Lumiereof hermetic environment and translucently slight narrative that have come to define his later, apolitical (and largely transitional) works (beginning with The Flowers of Shanghai). Opening with the reassuringly familiar sight of the Mount Fuji Shochiku logo that can be seen at the beginning of many of Yasujiro Ozu’s films as well as a train traversing a horizon demarcated by power lines at dusk, Café Lumière then sharply diverges from Ozu’s familiar camerawork and images of Japan in the film’s inherent asymmetry, aesthetically irregular compositions, awkward angles (during the parents’ visit in Yoko’s apartment, Hou seemingly attempts an Ozu-like low angle then, faced with a troublesome, truncated image of the stepmother standing in the foreground, inexplicably pans up to reveal her face before resuming the low angle), and opaque and unengaging characters (except for Yoko’s stepmother, played by Kimiko Yo). Read More »

Hans Petter Moland – En ganske snill mann AKA A Somewhat Gentle Man (2010)

After serving a 12-year sentence for killing a man for sleeping with his wife, a man ponders whether he should try and reconcile with his family, or take revenge on those who turned him in.
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Mohammad Rasoulof – Jazireh ahani AKA Iron Island (2005)

Ostensibly a fast-paced tale about poor people in the Persian Gulf living aboard a sinking oil tanker, “Iron Island” is a galloping fable full of offbeat characters and entertaining moments. At the same time, it doesn’t take much to read this second feature from director Mohammad Rasoulof (“The Twilight”) as a sharp-edged allegory about the country of Iran. Festivals will be happy to sail on its irony and invention, though it may take auxiliary engines to market such a hard-to-classify little gem. Read More »

Paolo Sorrentino – Il Divo (2008)

IMDB:
The story of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, who has served as Prime Minister of Italy seven times since the restoration of democracy in 1946. Read More »

Michael Cuesta – L.I.E. [+Extras] (2001)

What could have been just another of the countless coming-of-age tracts churned out on the indie-sector conveyor belt each year becomes a deeply nuanced drama full of original angles in Michael Cuesta’s accomplished feature bow, “L.I.E.”

SYNOPSIS
Central character, adolescent Howie (Paul Franklin Dano), is introduced precariously balancing on the expressway overpass, his voiceover recalling the number of lives claimed on the road, from celebrities like Harry Chapin and Alan J. Pakula to his mother years earlier. He barely communicates with his building contractor father, Marty (Bruce Altman), who’s preoccupied with sleeping with his girlfriend and his mounting legal problems over a fire probe into the use of unsafe materials. Read More »

Naoko Ogigami – Toiretto AKA Toilet (2010)

Dysfunctional family and culture run amok in Toilet, which had an absolutely packed house last night at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and had many of the cast & crew in attendance at the screening. The film certainly has it’s Toronto roots showing as it was filmed here (although it’s actually set in the US), with familiar faces & locations on screen. We follow a family through a dysfunctional and eccentric set siblings Ray, Lisa and Maury and their grandmother from Japan, however a language barrier exists between the generations. It’s not the only barrier here as there are strong emotional barrier in each of the characters, all of whom have their own issues to work though. It’s an interesting tale of the individual journeys with the collective family journey, which although unintended become completely intertwined. Read More »

Anna Azevedo & Renata Baldi & Eduardo Souza Lima – Rio de Jano (2003)

Meet Rio de Janeiro… through the eyes of Jano!
Jean Leguay, working under the pseudonym Jano, is a pop French visual artist. He teamed up with Bertrand Tramber to create his first comic, ‘Kebra’, for the magazine B.D. in 1978. When the magazine folded, the ‘Kebra’ series was continued other magazines like Métal Hurlant, Charlie Mensuel, Rigolo, L’Echo des Savannes and Zoulou.

In late 2000, he visited Rio de Janeiro in order to make this book. Jano immersed himself completely in the “Rio de Janeiro life style”, going to places that will never be showed on post cards, meeting people from all layers of society, observing, experimenting, interacting. Read More »