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NYFF Review: Zama

Zama is a novelistic film, but not because it's an adaptation of a 1956 Argentinian novel by Antonio di Benedetto. Watching Zama creates a feeling that's similar to reading. The shots are so carefully composed, the sound design so meti...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Thelma

Each critic has their own process. Some take notes while watching a film and others will rush home to type up their thoughts immediately after a showing. Others still don't write anything for a while, preferring to mull it all over in their...

 
 
 
 
 
 
Review: Endless Poetry photo

Review: Endless Poetry

In what may be the final years of Alejandro Jodorowsky's life, his work has turned inward and become sentimentally personal. He's exploring his own autobiography, but retelling it in his own odd way. Jodorowsky's previous film, 2013's The D...

 
 
NYAFF 2017 photo

The 2017 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) starts today

It's that time of year again. One of the best film festivals in the city is about to get underway. The New York Asian Film Festival kicks off tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The annual showcase of Asian cinema runs from June ...

 
 
 
 
Review: King of Peking photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: King of Peking

There's something undeniably charming about Sam Voutas' King of Peking. I smiled my way through a lot of the film, and snippets of its feel-good score (AM radio easy listening, in a good way) have been stuck in my head this week as I'v...

 
 
Review: Mr. Long photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Mr. Long

Juzo Itami's Tampopo was a quirky blend of western tropes and epicurean delight. SABU's Mr. Long is sort of like a nihilistic Tampopo. We follow a skilled assassin from Taiwan named Long (a brooding Chen Chang) who gets waylaid after a botc...

 
 
Review: November photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: November

I want to describe the opening scene of Rainer Sarnet's November because it's absolutely bonkers. There's a sentient creature comprised of three scythes and a cow skull. It moves in a herky-jerky fashion using its scythes as feet and l...

 
 
Review: Rock'n Roll photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Rock'n Roll

I feel like I might have appreciated Rock'n Roll more if I was familiar with French pop culture and the country's film industry. Writer, director, and star Guillaume Canet packs his comedy with real-life French celebrities playing surreal c...

 
 
 
Review: Your Name photo

Review: Your Name

Makoto Shinkai's Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film of all-time, and it hasn't even come out in the United States yet. It beat Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away; give it a few more months and Your Name may beat Spirited Away as the h...

 
 
 
Review: Raw photo

Review: Raw

While playing at film festivals last year, the hype over Raw was insane. Writer/director Julia Ducournau's coming-of-age horror/cannibal drama purportedly caused audience members to faint, to vomit, to leave screenings in distress. These ar...

 
 
My Life as a Zucchini photo

Review: My Life as a Zucchini

There's this pervasive idea that children are resilient, that they're able to cope well even in dire circumstances. In stories about forlorn kids, a combination of optimistic pluck and boundless imagination helps them through their troubled...

 
 
Review: Ugetsu photo

Review: Ugetsu

The films of Kenji Mizoguchi have been a major blind spot in my life as a filmgoer. I've seen plenty of Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu films, but for some reason Mizoguchi had always hovered on my to-watch list, always put off until recent...

 
 
Review: We Are the Flesh photo

Review: We Are the Flesh

Reviewing We Are the Flesh from writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter is tricky. On the one hand, it's a deeply flawed film aimed at a limited audience. It's transgressive in the extreme, sexually explicit bordering on pornographic, nonsens...

 
 
 
 
 
 
NYFF Review: Toni Erdmann photo

Review: Toni Erdmann

There's no way Toni Erdmann could ever live up to its hype. Reviews from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival touted the German film as a 162-minute screwball comedy masterpiece, packed with high emotional stakes and major lau...

 
 
 
 
 
Review: Evolution photo

Review: Evolution

There's so much going for Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution, a film expertly lensed from the deliberate first shot: looking up to the sky from underwater. From beneath, the ripples and waves on the ocean surface produce undulating shadows, ...

 
 
Review: Elle photo

Review: Elle

Elle has been billed as a rape-comedy, but that's a misnomer. It's a comedy in the classical sense given the events of the story, but it's not necessarily funny (there are funny scenes, though). And yes, it's about rape. Elle has been laude...

 
 
 
Review: Tampopo photo

Review: Tampopo

Prior to this week, the last time I saw Juzo Itami's 1985 food comedy Tampopo was in the mid-90s. I remembered so little of the movie save for the fact that I enjoyed it. Some isolated scenes are easy to recall, though. There's an etiquette...

 
 
Review: Fire at Sea photo

Review: Fire at Sea

Sometimes I'll see a movie and that makes me shake my head and say, "Okay, yeah, I get it". These sorts of movies are ones that I can understand at a formal, metaphorical, or thematic level, and yet even though I understand the choice that ...

 
 
Review: Under the Shadow photo

Review: Under the Shadow

Some of the most notable indie horror movies of the last few years have been by women or about women. For example, see Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, David Robert Mitchell's It Follows, and Robert Eggers' The Witch. Each of these films ...

 
 
 
 
 
Train to Busan Review photo

Review: Train to Busan

In my review of Yeon Sang-Ho's Seoul Station from this year's New York Asian Film Festival, I said that I felt it would have been better as a live-action film than it was as an animated one. There was just something about its visu...

 
 




Reviews   filter by...

Wonderstruck"When the might of artifice meets the disappointing limitations of realism"

 

The Foreigner"Jackie Chan has a certain set of skills, too"

 

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)"Damaged people, decent people, dysfunctional families"

 

NYFF Lady Bird"Fly, birdy, fly"

 

The Mountain Between Us"Why didn't they eat the dog?"

 

My Little Pony: The Movie"Straight to the glue factory"

 

Blade Runner 2049"Does Hollywood dream of electric reboots?"

 

Cult of Chucky"Don't cults require followers?"

 

NYFF Zama"Strange and without category, Lucrecia Martel's return to filmmaking is the best and most idiosyncratic movie of 2017"

 

Jeepers Creepers 3"Where does he get those wonderful toys?"

 

Battle of the Sexes"A back and forth volley never settling on a tone"

 

NYFF Thelma"Everything you need and more"

 

American Made"Sex, drugs, and Tom Cruise"

 

NYFF Last Flag Flying"Richard Linklater standing at attention, but not at ease or at rest"

 

Preacher (Season 2)"Adapting the unadaptable"

 

Mother!"Mother of god this is pretentious"

 

American Assassin"American Ass"

 

It"Stephen King's scariest adaptation to date"

 

Good Time"Robert Pattinson: Vampire, no more"

 

Logan Lucky"No relation to Wolverine"

 

The Defenders (Season 1)"Masters of karate and friendship "

 
 
 
 
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