The Tree of Life (2011)

By Janine Gericke. A tree has wide spread roots – thousands of forking lines that twine into a long straight trunk – and branches, which themselves twine up and away toward the sun. And that is the very structure of the story elements woven into Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. This […]

Hunger for power: Limitless

By Rajko Radovic. I like films that tell me something about the world we live in. I like to see mechanics exposed, a provocative plot line that does not only connect the dots but also shows the ways in which cogs fit together inside the clockwork. And this is where […]

127 Hours (2010)

By Bryan Nixon. The opening credit sequence of 127 Hoursis a split screen triptych bursting with vibrant colors of modern society: crowds cheering, the running of the bulls, competitive swimmers racing, New Yorkers scurrying to work, an overpopulated California beach, and a fridge containing Gatorade and Coors. The fridge belongs […]

THE ROBBER: Crime, Resistance, Rebellion

By Matthew Sorrento. Along with a direct title, this film has a high-concept premise: a long-distance runner who robs banks. Once we hear this log line, poster copy from old-time Hollywood appears in mind: He runs! He steals! He runs again! It’s the kind of idea that a studio could […]

Kung Fu Panda 2

By Jacob Mertens. Watching narrative films has always been a fleeting, ephemeral experience for me. After the initial flush of excitement, each viewing slowly diminishes in standing, it’s potency ebbing away from repetition. However, on occasion a film surprises me with its depth and I’ll notice underlying subtext that I […]

Trollhunter (2010)

By Jacob Mertens. The towering behemoth of a forest troll looms over the cameraman, its three heads sniffing the air violently, a shaggy tail swishing through the brush. The scene is punctuated by percussive shifts between night vision and standard, as the awkward bulk of the troll evaporates in darkness […]

Bridesmaids (2011)

By Jacob Mertens. There’s a lot at play with the new female-driven comedy Bridesmaids, directed by Paul Feig. The chaos of marriage and weddings, and the fluctuating dynamic of long sustained friendship is all laid bare, while a balance is constantly maintained between frivolous humor and genuine emotion. More importantly, […]

Alain Resnais: Wild Grass (2009)

By Kierran Horner. The opening sequence of Resnais’ latest film is an abstract one; a non-narrative medium-shot of a tower in a field, disused one assumes, into which the camera passes, through a blackened doorway. From this blackout, an edit posits us in close-up above a crack in a road […]

A Minor Buñuel: Susana

By Kierran Horner. Susana (1951) is a minor Buñuel film, even within the scope of his comparatively weak Mexican period, as director for hire. A melodrama, ostensibly in the moralistic mould of Hogarth’s ‘A Harlot’s Progress’ say, it plots the brief rise and re-descent of its eponymous, sexually-suffused anti-heroine. Depicted […]

CinemAfrica 2: Outside the Law

By Daniel Lindvall. With Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi, 2010; an Algerian, French, Belgian and Tunisian co-production) director and co-writer Rachid Bouchareb follows up his Days of Glory (Indigènes, 2006). The latter film dealt with the discrimination against North African colonial soldiers fighting for France in World War Two. After a […]