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 […]

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 […]

A Traditional Period Piece: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Cannes 2019)

By Ali Moosavi. Twenty-five years ago Pulp Fiction premiered at Cannes, won the Palm D’Or, and had an everlasting impact on the art of film making. Numerous films have been influenced by its structure, and the term “Tarantinoesque” has become commonplace. This year, Tarantino was back in Cannes to unveil […]

At War with Trump, Etc: 2018 Cannes, Week One

By Ali Moosavi. The honor of opening the 71st Cannes Film Festival went to the Iranian director, and multi Oscar winner, Asghar Farhadi’s new film Everybody Knows. This thriller stars the real-life couple Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, plus the always impressive Argentinian actor Ricardo Darin. In the press interview following […]

There is No “There” Anymore: Shin Su-Won on Madonna (2015)

By Amir Ganjavie. What is particularly amazing about new Korean movies is their ability to be simultaneously popular and very critical of Korean society. We have already see this in masterpieces likes Memories of Murder (2003), a touching detective story that probes its social milieu throughout. Madonna, directed by Shin […]

Beyond Documentary: Brillante Mendoza on Taklub (2015)

By Amir Ganjavie. Taklub (2015, “Trap”), the most recent movie from Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, represents the lives of three families after the devastating Typhoon Yolanda. Here the established director uses his artistic tools to raise awareness about climate change and although it is a government-funded project, he has managed […]