foreign

TIFF 2014: From What is Before Film Festival

TIFF 2014: From What is Before

Every time something gets written about Lav Diaz, an explanation of the director’s unusual, tough filmography feels necessary. When it comes to length, Diaz is one of the most maximal directors around. It says something when Diaz’s last film, the 4 hour Norte, the End of History, is one of his shortest works. From What Read More
TIFF 2014: Goodbye to Language 3D Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Goodbye to Language 3D

Like the film’s 70 minute runtime, I’ll be brief. Jean-Luc Godard tackles three dimensions in his latest film, a complete sensory assault that, like his other recent works, can only be attributed to the legendary filmmaker. Narrative and characters don’t truly matter here; something one character explicitly states at one point. There are two couples Read More
Tu Dors Nicole (TIFF Review) Movie

Tu Dors Nicole (TIFF Review)

Stephane Lafleur’s Tu Dors Nicole (literally translated to “You’re sleeping, Nicole”) takes place over one languid, youthful summer, shot gorgeously on black and white 35mm film. The 22-year-old title character (Julianne Côté), does nothing but aimlessly wander the neighborhood when not working at a thrift store, looking forward to summertime. With her parents away on Read More
TIFF 2014: Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

In Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, the title character (played by co-director Ronit Elkabetz) spends 5 years trying to divorce her husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian). In Israel, divorce cases are only handled by the Rabbinical Court, and religious laws state the husband must approve the divorce in order for it to be final. Elisha Read More
TIFF 2014: Goodnight Mommy Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Goodnight Mommy

Austrian filmmakers Veronika Franz (wife of auteur Ulrich Seidl) and Severin Fiala first present Goodnight Mommy as a mystery with a horror film premise–two nine-year-old twin brothers question their mother’s identity after a facial surgery leaves most of her face covered with bandages. The boys notice their mother acting out of the ordinary, she never Read More
Still the Water (TIFF Review) Movie

Still the Water (TIFF Review)

At one point during Still the Water, a character says one has to “keep a humble attitude towards nature; it’s impossible to resist it.” That line might be the most succinct summary of what writer/director Naomi Kawase shows throughout her film. Taking place on the gorgeous island of Amami-Oshima, Still the Water delves into themes Read More
TIFF 2014: Hill of Freedom Film Festival

TIFF 2014: Hill of Freedom

Hong Sang-soo has made yet another film (his 16th one, to be exact), and for those aware of the filmmaker it should come as no surprise Hill of Freedom shares similar qualities to his other works. Hong’s films, usually dealing with a director, some sort of romance, miscommunications, a lot of drinking and some sort Read More
TIFF 2014: 1001 Grams Film Festival

TIFF 2014: 1001 Grams

Prominent Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer returns to the festival in the Masters program with his latest film 1001 Grams. The film isn’t about drugs, but the premise is equally fascinating. Marie (Ane Dahl Torp) dedicates her life to measurements, carefully maintaining Norway’s national kilo at the perfect kilogram weight, the standard unit for which all Read More
Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (TIFF Review) Movie

Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (TIFF Review)

As Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait opens, a title card claims “1,001 Syrians” helped make the film. The reason for such a bold and unconfirmed claim is because of co-director Ossama Mohammed’s reliance on footage from online sources. Mohammed, a Syrian filmmaker, left his country in forced exile back in 2011 as the Syrian Civil War Read More