Stillwater: Sub-Par McCarthy, with Damon as Everydad

By Elias Savada. I pray that Stillwater is just a blip on the director’s stunning career. I wish that I could recommend this latest film from director Tom McCarthy, whose first feature, The Station Agent, remains fresh in my mind after 18 years. I loved that inaugural work (“a film […]

Panorama of Change: Venus By Water (Cannes 2021)

By Yun-hua Chen. A tribute to all women who flourish against all odds, showing unusual maturity and sobriety for a debut film.” A panoramic view on women’s living conditions in a southern Chinese city in the 90s, Venus by Water, premiered in the parallel section ACID in Cannes, focuses on […]

Missed Opportunity – Joanne Woodward: Her Life and Career

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Compared to the acting studies of the type produced by Richard Dyer and James Naremore (neither of whom receive mention in either text or bibliography), this study is severely lacking.” This book promises much but delivers little. Far from being “the first to be […]

A Rural Portrait of China: Ripples of Life (Cannes 2021)

By Yun-hua Chen. With such a team, it is thus no surprise that Ripples of Life is able to tellingly allude to Chinese arthouse cinema’s current trend of exploring rural portraits, examine unequal relationships between those who film and those who are filmed, and question the innate outsider perspective of […]

Ambiance over Narrative: Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Cannes 2021)

By Yun-hua Chen. With its fair share of problems, Are You Lonesome Tonight attempts to be unpredictable…like a film which indulges itself in ambiance at the expense of narrative.” Rarely do we see a Chinese noir thriller that is so invested in style and ambiance. Wen Shipei’s debut feature Are […]

Unsavory Blend: Touch (2020)

By Yun-hua Chen. Drifting between numerous subject matters, genres, emotions, cultures, the film proves how too many ingredients can spoil a dish as well as a film.” Touch, the directorial debut of Aleksandra Szczepanowska, is an audacious attempt to mix genres and defy cultural barriers. This one-woman show, where she […]

Seeking the Unknown – The Loneliest Whale: the Search for 52

By Elias Savada. A fascinating tale about a undiscovered, single beast that emitted a sound, one that other whales did not comprehend. No one has ever answered his call…. Zeeman casts this project as something akin to the old Leonard Nemoy television series In Search of….” There are plenty of […]

Offbeat, with Occasional Quotes: Maria Bissell’s How to Deter a Robber

By Theresa Rodewald. Problematic implications aside, How to Deter a Robber is a confidently directed film that has the potential to become an unconventional Christmas favourite, thanks to its off beat humour, nuanced female lead and sharp-eyed depiction of dysfunctional family dynamics.” It’s Christmas in snowy, rural Northern Wisconsin. Madison […]