Review: Azor

Director: Andreas Fontana Stars: Fabrizio Rongione, Stéphanie Cléau, Carmen Iriondo There are few films in recent years that have felt as slippery and evasive as Azor. Considering I have a somewhat high tolerance threshold for obtuse and mysterious cinema, you can take that as your first warning. However, if these are qualities that tend to …

Review: Cryptozoo

Director: Dash Shaw Stars: Zoe Kazan, Lake Bell, Angeliki Papoulia In the hand-drawn fantasia of Jane Samborski and Dash Shaw's Cryptozoo, mythical animals, chimeras and bestial hybrids - Cryptids - exist, gathered by humans to the titular sanctuary in the American MidWest; a kind of amusement park that creates revenue to help rescue more of …

Review: Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

Director: Lili Horvát Stars: Natasa Stork, Viktor Bodó, Andor Lukáts Remember at the end of Before Sunrise, after Jesse and Celine had spent 24 hours bonding so completely on their journeys around Vienna, when they made a pact to meet up 6 months later without swapping phone numbers? Sure you do. Now imagine if Before Sunset …

Review: New Order

Director: Michel Franco Stars: Naian Gonzalez Norvind, Diego Boneta, Darío Yazbek Bernal Bong Joon-Ho's globally lauded Parasite wasn't exactly sly with its observations on class disparity, but it seems positively nuanced when set beside the blunt force trauma of Michel Franco's latest offering from Mexico. New Order presents a rapidly escalating conflict between working and upper …

Review: Nadia, Butterfly

Director: Pascal Plante Stars: Katerina Savard, Ariane Mainville, Eli Jean Tahchi At the time of writing, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are, belatedly, in full swing, but its a games unlike any other. It's a year late and the bleachers are empty, the audience is missing. Economically, it's a disaster for Japan, as the additional revenue …

Review: The Halt

Director: Lav Diaz Stars: Joel Lamangan, Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao Shot and assembled in 2019 before the pandemic came the dominate the world, Lav Diaz's quasi-sci-fi dystopian epic The Halt (Ang Hupa) now seems phenomenally prescient. Running close to 5 hours, his film documents a tapestry of lives in Manila circa 2034. Volcanic eruptions have blotted …

Review: Beginning

Director: Dea Kulumbegashvili Stars: Ia Sukhitashvili, Kakha Kintsurashvili, Saba Gogichaishvil A communal space - a place of worship - lies empty. Gradually it fills with people and then, mid-sermon, it is dramatically emptied again, as Molotovs are thrown inside. The place burns and it descends into chaos. All of this happens without a cut and …

Review: This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

Director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese Stars: Mary Twala, Jerry Mofokeng, Makhaola Ndebele Lesotho sits in the midst of South Africa; a landlocked island on a continent whose cinema seldom makes it to our shores. A vast area of filmmaking effectively silenced by poor distribution and widespread apathy to what it has to say. This makes any …

Review: Liberté

Director: Albert Serra Stars: Iliana Zabeth, Helmut Berger, Marc Susini Consisting in the main of a furtive, debauched orgy in the moonlit French woods toward the end of Louis XVI's reign - conducted by libertines expelled from his court - Albert Serra's Liberté was largely rejected at Cannes in 2019 but has recently surfaced for …