Crises Around the Globe: Three from Berlinale 2021

By Ali Moosavi. Writer-director Igor Drljaca shows us the wide gap and the glaring contrast between the haves and have nots in Sarajevo.” In Tabija / The White Fortress, Faruk (Pavle Cemerikic) is a young Muslim boy living in Sarajevo. His mother has passed away and since his parents were […]

Trusting the Process: Oscar Contender Maria Sødahl on Hope

By Robin Gregory. Hope is also about blended family, the modern family, the structures and mechanics of that. For example, how you love differently or the same, stepchildren versus biological children. All of these things can have taboos around them (that) I wanted to explore.” Cancer is not for the faint […]

Mystical Recognition in the Czechoslovak New Wave

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, 1970 By Levan Tskhovrebadze. Most of the features of the period are meticulous representations of social wonders and miracles.” In 1964, Czech critic Antonín J. Liehm described Czechoslovak New Wave as a “film miracle.”[i] Later, producer Carlo Ponti successfully introduced to western society cinema […]

A Deadpan Crime Comedy: Quentin Dupieux’s Keep an Eye Out (2018)

By Gary M. Kramer. Keep an Eye Out juggles so many different styles of farcical humor and manipulates the police genre that its few lapses can be forgiven.” French writer/director Quentin Dupieux makes idiosyncratic films that either charm or annoy viewers. Folks who admire the cheekiness of his 2010 breakout […]

A Boy’s Best Friend is His Mother: Ivan Kavanagh’s Son

By Thomas Puhr. A well-crafted genre exercise…[that] ultimately offers mere glimpses of what made The Canal so strange and surprising. One of the great joys of our streaming era is the discovery – usually after scrolling through dozens of bottom drawer B-movies – of an overlooked horror film: one that […]

Dinner Served Darkly: Michael Mayer’s Happy Times

By Elias Savada. There is plenty of dark humor to be found in this Israeli-American hybrid from Haifa-born and Los Angeles-based director Michael Mayer…[a] horror excursion into impolite Los Angeles manners….” Don’t let the title fool you. What looks like happiness on the surface ain’t what’s underneath. Nowhere. No how. […]

Expanding the Dialog on National Cinemas: an Interview with MK Raghavendra

Zibahkhana (Hell’s Ground, Pakistan, 2007) By Devapriya Sanyal. MK Raghavendra, a film critic and leading scholar of Indian cinema, has authored eight books with leading publishers to date. He offers fresh and invaluable insights into the world of Indian cinema not only restricted to studies of Hindi or Bollywood (as […]

An Artist in a Land Divided: Arman Nshanian’s Songs of Solomon

By Ali Moosavi. A praiseworthy debut feature for Armenian director Arman Nshanian.” Songs of Solomon, which is Armenia’s entry for this year’s Foreign Language Oscars, uses the life of the Armenian composer known as Komitas to cover an era of history which includes the Hamidian Massacres of Armenians by the […]