Foreign

Movie Review: A Gentle Creature (2017)

“Certain persons in the world exist, not as personalities in themselves, but as spots or specks on the personalities of others” — N. V. Gogol, “Dead Souls” A Gentle Creature is as Russian a creature can ever be. It is the kind of character-driven story where the protagonist is bereft of all possible character —…

Movie Review: Foxtrot (2017)

Winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival and Israel’s submission to the 2018 Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, Israeli director Samuel Maoz’s (“Lebanon”) brilliant and confounding Foxtrot reveals itself less by narrative than by images: A narrow road in an empty stretch of desert, a lonely camel meandering through a…

Movie Review: Gantz: O (2016)

“Gantz” is a 37-volume manga series written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku from 2000-2013, whose worldwide distribution has sold an excess of over 20 million copies. Hallmarked by its sexual overtones and sadistically gory aesthetic in tandem with deep sociological, psychological and anthropological themes dissecting morality, it is considered one of the most controversial seinen…

Movie Review: Double Lover (2017)

It is fitting that there are two competing readings of François Ozon’s Double Lover. The film dually presents as a highly stylized, seductively sleek French psychosexual thriller and this “I Know Who Killed Me”-esque overtly overly symbolic camp. Not wanting to assign one dominance over the other or perhaps unable to distinguish between apparent equals,…

Movie Review: My Happy Family (2017)

Following the release of “Lady Bird,” Anne Helen Petersen wrote a moving essay on the supporting roles of mothers in relation to their daughters’ central stories entitled “Moms Are Main Characters Too.” Petersen writes, “But something you learn after high school is that, without the momentousness of ‘firsts’ . . . and societally ordained milestones…

Movie Review: Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)

Mary and the Witch’s Flower, based on the English book “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart, is the first female-led action action fantasy film exploding into theaters in 2018. Originally released in Japan in 2017 this new movie, engineered by some of the directors and animators behind classic cartoon adventures such as “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s…

Movie Review: Time Share (2018)

Time Share (Tiempo Compartido) is set in an oppressive, claustrophobic time share community called Vistamar, a vacation spot owned and operated by Everfields International. The latter is a phantom company purportedly headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, perhaps a nod to the very American-style promise of fun and restoration that the community promises its guests. However, the…

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