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Nyff Review: ‘Dragonfly Eyes’ Captures the Malleability of Postmodern Identity
12 hours ago
The modern pervasiveness of surveillance technology causes an unfamiliar type of cognitive dissonance where their use is collectively recognized but an innate fear of privacy lost has been pushed into the subconscious. Whether it’s security cameras posted in neighborhood bodegas, webcams affixed to almost every laptop made after 2010, or the increasing appearance of dash cams, nestled inside vehicles that can capture either the pure mundanity of the metropolitan commute or the underlying tension of it mortally barreling out of control: they’re watching, and the rapid proliferation of public-monitoring equipment makes it hard to tell who “they” are — if anybody — or why they bother to watch in the first place. Chinese visual artist Xu Bing, whose previous work includes a calligraphic book and installation piece, Tianshu, that deconstructs the logical patterns we associate with language — in this case, interpreting 4,000 nonsense characters designed to look like Mandarin — boldly approaches the »
- The Film Stage
Nyff Review: ‘The Venerable W.’ Examines the Roots of Modern Extremism
13 hours ago
When attempting to parse the root causes of religious extremism, a common argument in western discourse involves not only pointing to Islam as an inherently violent ideology, but to Buddhism as its polar opposite; a dogma so rooted in peace and non-violence that it could not possibly result in terror. Of course, these arguments are rarely in good faith, and they are un-attuned to the full scope of the global refugee crisis and its long, macabre history. The Rohingya displacement in Myanmar has seldom touched their borders. Such is the limitation of the western lens, but it’s a lens that French director Barbet Schroeder puts to tremendous use in The Venerable W., a chronicle of our modern extremist and “fake news” climate delivered in a highly concentrated dose, so much so that its New York Film Festival screening had to be prefaced by the short film What Are You Up to, »
- The Film Stage
Hamburg Review: ‘Cocote’ is a Drama of Visual Virtuosity and Tantalizing Promise
14 hours ago
Fans of fierce, challenging indigenous cinema rejoice. It’s not every day that you see a film from and depicting the life in the Dominican Republic, let alone one as intriguing as Cocote. Writer/director De Los Santos Arias’ feature debut shines a light on an underrepresented part of the world and casts a truly outlandish spell that confounds and overwhelms. Fair warning: sheer cultural divide would most likely prevent a deeper appreciation of the film, but the authenticity and intensity of its voice alone proves excitingly – if also gruelingly – memorable.
The protagonist Alberto (a brooding, charismatic Vicente Santos) works as a gardener at an über-affluent family in the island state’s capital. This key bit of background information is communicated efficiently through two static shots of a giant, shockingly beautiful swimming pool that more or less bracket the movie. Though seen from afar to take in the royal height »
- Zhuo-Ning Su
San Sebastián Review: ‘Apostasy’ is a Restrained, Troubling Portrait of Rigid Religiosity
16 hours ago
A central scene in Apostasy, the powerful debut from British director Daniel Kokotajlo, has a group of kids stage a re-enactment of King Solomon’s judgment, the parable from the Book of Kings. In the story, the king concocts a plan to settle who is the true mother of young boy. He says he’ll cut the child in two, dividing it among the two women. The true mother, of course, is declared after she says she’ll give up the baby. The king knows this because no mother would kill her child.
The story echoes disturbingly through this compelling drama, set in a close-knit family of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The clan’s beliefs mean they refuse hospital treatment (as seen in another fall festival picture, The Children Act), and the mother here places her trust in religion that could compromise her daughter’s life. The conflict at the heart »
- Ed Frankl
‘Félicité’ Director Alain Gomis on Morality, Musicality, and Modernity
18 hours ago
Set in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félicité is the new film from Alain Gomis, a French director of Guinea-Bissauan and Senegalese descent. It tells the story of its eponymous heroine, a singer trying to put a life together and barely making it work. It is a poignant portrait of a woman in crisis but is also about Félicité’s search for herself, for peace, for a contented soul. The film, which will represent Senegal in the Foreign Language Oscar category, recently played at the New York Film Festival and will open in limited release on October 27. We had the chance to talk to Gomis about his film, and you can read our conversation below.
I’m curious about the inception of the project. How did you come about it?
It was a mystery! I had this character, this woman I knew in Senegal. And her son, this kid with an amputated leg. »
- The Film Stage
Second Trailer for ‘Black Panther’ Finds Chadwick Boseman Protecting a Nation
18 hours ago
In just a few weeks we’ll see what a Taika Waititi-directed Marvel movie looks like, then a few months later, Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) will deliver his version with Black Panther. While the character has popped up in the Marvel universe before, this will be his first solo outing and now a new full-length trailer has landed.
“It’s something people are excited about because people haven’t quite seen it before, and I would concur,” Chadwick Boseman tells Metro. “I’ve never played anything quite like it, and it is going to be an exciting time.” With a cast that also includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis, check out the trailer below.
- Jordan Raup