Film Review: The Taste of Things (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant)

A Filmic Feast for the Eyes: The Gastronomy of L’Amour Writer/director Trần Anh Hùng’s The Taste of Things,a tasty full-course movie meal that serves up spectacular cuisine and rarefied romance, is an acquired taste. For popcorn munching multiplex denizens conditioned by frenetic superhero histrionics and antics, the 135-minute Taste will likely unspool at an excruciatingly slow pace, and requires reading dreaded subtitles, to boot. Likewise, Continue Reading...

Film Review: A Love Song

Waiting for Lito: Is Love Ageless and Color Blind? At a time when superhero and other action flicks explode and careen across our screens, with its decidedly indie sensibility, Max Walker-Silverman’s little gem A Love Song goes against the blockbuster grain. It is as gentle as Marvel Universe flicks are violent. With its simple, naturalistic style tinged by sly humor, A Love Song is a motion picture paean to the human condition, filled with Continue Reading...

Film Review: Three Thousand Years of Longing

Impish: Still Dreaming of Genie My readers (Hiya Ma!) know I hate plot spoilers but the following is not only revealed within the first few minutes of Three Thousand Years of Longing, but is also the main premise of Australian director George Miller’s (the Mad Max franchise) new movie. In Longing, Alithea (British actress Tilda Swinton of The Beach, Snowpiercer, Doctor Strange) is a narratologist – a scholar who studies storytelling – Continue Reading...

Film Review: Klondike

Ukrainian Actress Presents Antiwar Cinematic Stunner at SEEfest   If it’s true, as General William Tecumseh Sherman reputedly observed during America’s Civil War, that “war is hell,” according to Kyiv-born Maryna Er Gorbach’s Klondike, the “hottest seat in hell” (to paraphrase Dante) seems reserved for those ensnared in the civil war in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. One of the grimmest films I’ve ever seen, Klondike is so bleak in its Continue Reading...

Film Review: Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

Oh! Kolkata: Yogi Bare, Boo-Boos and Bikram Academy Award winning Australian filmmaker Eva Orner’s well-made documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator is an 86-minute creepfest perfect for the #MeToo Movement and moment. This no-punches-pulled nonfiction film purports to chronicle the career, life, lies, and sexual abuse of Bikram Choudhury, the main ballyhooer of Bikram or “Hot Yoga” in America and beyond. The ornery Orner goes after Choudhury Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Pact

Melancholy Danes: A Scandinavian Sunset Blvd Academy Award-winning Danish director Bille August’s screen adaptation of Thorkild Bjørnvig’s (played by Simon Bennebjerg) memoir The Pact, about his experiences with the celebrated Out of Africa novelist Karen Blixen (who was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 1985 Sydney Pollack-directed film of the same name, but is here played by the Copenhagen-born actress Birthe Neumann), is a movie meditation Continue Reading...

Film Review: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Lunana of the North Snows: Learning Life’s Meaning at the World’s Remotest School Writer/director Pawo Choyning Dorji’s heartfelt Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom will charm the pants off of you – or, rather, the robes off of you. Because this captivating feature was shot mostly in the hard-to-get-to Kingdom of Bhutan, a Buddhist nation of less than 1 million inhabitants straddling the Eastern Himalayas between India and the Tibet region of the Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Whistlers

La Gomera’s Goombahs: Film Noir, Romanian Style Writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu’s slyly stylish The Whistlers is one of those productions film buffs relish largely because of their cinematic references. In one scene characters appear in a theater where John Ford’s 1956 classic The Searchers is being screened. But while the 97-minute-long Whistlers’ Romanian characters may very well be searching for something (and/ or someone), the Continue Reading...