Michel Merkt

Movie Review: Western (2017)

Like a lonely, mysterious gunslinger from the Old West, a tall, slender rugged-looking man with a thick mustache comes to a small Bulgarian village near the Grecian border as part of a German work crew in Valeska Grisebach’s (“Longing”) Western. The man is Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), in Bulgaria to work on a hydroelectric power station…

Movie Review: Elle (2016)

Paul Verhoeven is back with more scratchy sexual politics, darkly comic innuendos, and harshly nasty violence. First things first, the most joyous part of that sentence is the beginning. Paul Verhoeven is back. Not back to Hollywood, of course, which he left nearly 17 years ago after the dismal response to his schlocky invisibility thriller…

Movie Review: Aquarius (2016)

In “Neighboring Sounds,” Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho’s first feature, the focus is on the anxiety that grips a middle-class neighborhood in Recife (Brazil’s fifth largest city), that has residents so fearful of their safety that they hire security guards to protect their buildings. Also set in Recife, Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius narrows its focus to…

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