Category Archive: Reviews

Review: The Russian Woodpecker (Gracia, 2015)

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Fedor Alexandrovich, the subject of firsttime director Chad Gracia‘s documentary The Russian Woodpecker, is a Ukrainian Elijah Wood lookalike with yellow smoke-stained teeth and bulging, deranged eyes. An artist and activist, Alexandrovich embarks… Continue reading

Review: Mardan (Ghobadi, 2014) – MVFF 2015

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As a child playing by the river, Mardan (Hossein Hasan) witnesses his younger brother gang-raped and then killed by a group of men. Now a corrupt police officer in the same region of… Continue reading

Review: Nena (Diesing, 2014) – MVFF 2015

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It is 1989 (again!) in the Netherlands. Nena (the lovely Abbey Hoes) is in high school. She listens to punk rock, makes snarky comments, and falls in love with Carlo (Gijs Blom), the… Continue reading

Review: The Pawn (Delaloye, 2015) – MVFF 2015

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Many in the U.S. will remember the recent controversy over the waves of child migrants fleeing violence in Central America and seeking refuge here. Director Jean-Cosme Delaloye‘s takes a personal look at the source… Continue reading

Review: Princess (Shalom-Ezer, 2014) – MVFF 2015

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Filmmaker Tali Shalom-Ezer‘s sophomore feature Princess is hands down one of the most compelling films I’ve seen in recent memory. Shira Haas is brilliant as Adar, a feisty and precocious pre-adolescent. Adar regularly… Continue reading

Review: The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows (2015)

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If you’ve ever enjoyed yourself a Pixar movie or a Miyazaki film (and, be honest, who hasn’t?), you’re bound to find something you like in the 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows, a collection… Continue reading

Review: Amnesia (Schroeder, 2015) – MVFF 2015

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When I visited Berlin in 2011, I was struck by how much World War II was still very much in the public consciousness of the country. One woman I  met in a professional… Continue reading

Review: Stations of the Cross (Brüggemann, 2014) – SFIFF 2015

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Stations of the Cross is a religious drama brought to us by German brother-and-sister team Dietrich and Anna Brüggemann–one for which the filmmaking duo won the 2014 Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for Best Script.… Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Book (Cohn, 2015) – MVFF 2015

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In The Girl in the Book, Alice Harvey (Emily VanCamp as adult Alice, Ana Mulvoy-Ten as young Alice) is a downtrodden assistant editor who, in addition to working the slush pile at her publishing… Continue reading

Review: Magical Girl (Vermut, 2014) – SFIFF 2015

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Films can be dark in many ways. You have your classic revenge narratives, your psychosexual thrillers, your gritty shoot-’em-ups, and then your plain old sad bad-luck stories. Spanish director and writer Carlos Vermut‘s… Continue reading