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 […]

Duality of an Exile: Anton Walbrook, A Life of Masks and Mirrors

A Book Review by Bibi Berki. Author James Downs asserts that Walbrook (above in Der Kurier des Zaren, 1936) was always drawn to parts that contained some degree of duality and wonders if this might have been related to the fact that the exile lives a ‘destabilised’ kind of life, […]

From Prankster to Politician: Jasmine Stodel’s Kid Candidate

By Thomas Puhr. What is surprising is how the lifelong Amarillo resident leveraged his fifteen minutes of fame to start a legitimate campaign, one which Jasmine Stodel chronicles in the documentary Kid Candidate.” Hayden Pedigo – a twenty-something musician residing in Amarillo, Texas – became an online sensation when his […]

Ladies in Rescue: Black Widow

By Elias Savada. The scenery, as in any big Marvel or James Bond movie (many shot at Pinewood Studios, like this was) moves about the globe…. Plenty of races, car chases, collateral damage….” There’s a lot to like in the latest chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plenty of action, […]

The Good Life – Happiness by Design: Modernism and Media in the Eames Era

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Film scholars don’t seem to be the primary audience here; as such, they may find the text more confounding than captivating. However, adventurous readers as well as film enthusiasts wishing to understand the medium in a much-wider context will find a veritable treasure trove […]