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Young Critics

Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

‘Suspiria’ - Andrew Lapin

Film Fest Gent’s Oct. 18 screening of ‘Suspiria’ didn’t boast an original print of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic, and offered no retrospective discussions, yet it was the best experience imaginable for the film. This was due to the presence of Italian prog-rock band Goblin, who crafted ‘Suspiria’s’ much-lauded score and performed it live in sync with the images. While Jessica Harper stumbled her way through a creepy dance academy and witches’ coven onscreen, the band power-blasted their keyboard and bass guitar, banged on the timpani and whispered raspy nonsense into the microphone.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

‘Turist’ - Vanity Celis

It's never easy to see a grown man cry, and if seen, best seen by as few eyes as possible. “Could you please – please – give us some privacy?” The command is directed to the unwanted onlooker who isn't supposed to stare at the walls of the bourgeois fortress crumbling. In 'Turist,' a hotel cleaner in an Alpine skiing resort witnesses the breakdown of a pater familias. It is only one of the many examples where director Ruben Östlund fools around with what should best be kept behind closed doors, but fails to remain hidden.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: ‘White God’ - Andrew Lapin

Kornél Mundruczó’s animal fable ‘White God’ depicts the stray dogs of Budapest rising up against their human tormenters after putting up with one too many abuses. The film was clearly made by dog lovers: Mundruczó shoots often from his canine stars’ eye level and allows them to band together in a kind of squatters’ community on an abandoned lot. When they rebel, the language of Cinema Apocalyptica – empty streets, people falling over each other in their mad rush to escape, wind howling through hastily made barricades – emboldens their cause. Nevertheless, the film shows dogs being shot, drugged, and tortured for sport, making a mockery of DoesTheDogDie.com.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: ‘Gente de Bien’ - Vanity Celis

Franco Lolli's debut feature is a contemporary exercise in Neorealism that concerns itself with the misfortunes of a slightly disheveled pair. Ten-year-old Erik seems nothing short of a hoodlum in the making. His father Gabriel is a lethargic layabout who means well but cannot get his finances straight.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: An Educator’s Devotion and the Wrong Kind of Intimacy in ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ - Fran Hoepfner

Educators are tasked with a great responsibility: inspiring a thirst for knowledge and a passion for art and science in each generation’s youth. Nadav Lapid’s new film ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ takes this mission to a new extreme. The story itself is simple. The teacher Nira (Sarit Larry) discovers that one of her students Yoav (Avi Shnaidman) – a quiet, stoic child – will recite his own poems whose brilliance goes above and beyond her own abilities as a writer. In turn, she deems it her mission to nurture his ability at the risk of his and her wellbeing.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: ‘Reality’ - Chris Frieswijk

'Reality' is like a graphic by M.C. Escher: a film that'll actively approach your viewing experience and its conventions. It might leave the viewer puzzling though, as every attempt to make sense of the story is countered with ever more complex layers of metafiction and internal references. Several layers of reality are presented without a clear coherency in space and time, leading the unsuspecting viewer into elusive paradox. The film's form ties ends together in an impossible way and thereby hints to the artificial and dream-like nature of cinema.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: ‘Black Coal’ - Zack Miller

The only thing slicker than the ice that coats the ground in Diao Yi’nan’s ‘Black Coal’ is the heavy aestheticism that has dominated the neo-noir genre of late. Ablaze with colored lights in nearly every frame, Diao’s northern Chinese detective puzzler holds on to the stylish tendencies of American counterparts like Drive, but grounds them in a world that feels ultimately more livable.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: 'Jauja' - Vanity Celis

What makes a life function and move forward? The quote is a question that is visually posed in Jauja, an existential parable that uses the outlines of a Western to treat us to a profusion of iconic shots, toned in deeply saturated colors to resemble vintage photographs, or painted stills from a 19th century novel.

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Film Fest Gent -
Young Critics

Review: 'Waste Land' - Andrew Lapin

The line between seen and unseen threats is a prominent theme in Pieter Van Hees’s 'Waste Land'. What begins with a straight-shooting yet violently impulsive detective’s routine murder investigation quickly jumps down a rabbit hole into dark, trippy cultural mysticism.

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