Slaps precede sweet talk and lovers’ tussles are primal and sexually charged in Yorgos Lanthimos’ ‘The Favourite’ (2018). Sex and power prove to be interconnected forces at play and feed off of each other, often in destructive ways. The film is an irreverent spin on a cliché-ridden genre that in Lanthimos’ capable hands transforms into a hilarious lesbian love and sex story involving a battle of wits coupled with a mud-caked, spittle-flecked take on physical comedy.
The title of “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History As Barbarians” comes as part of a larger monologue about halfway through Radu Jude’s newest filmic hybrid of fiction and history, when an actor portraying Nazi collaborator Ion Antonescu quotes a speech, which was originally delivered in 1941 to justify the massacre of Romanian Jews.
Out of the several literary giants that director Nuri Bilge Ceylan namechecks in the end credits of ‘The Wild Pear Tree’, Dostoevsky seems to have the strongest presence, since what has come before has been determined by the whims and failings of an ‘underground man’ named Sinan.
Brisk honesty in long takes is the main character in actor Paul Dano’s debut feature Wildlife (2018). The anthropomorphised camera is the unnamed sibling in this 1960s American family portrait, based on a novel of the same name by Richard Ford, telling the coming-of-age story of Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), Jean (Carey Mulligan), and their son Joe (Ed Oxenbould).
Photogénie and Film Fest Gent proudly present the 4th Young Critics Workshop (October 12 – 20, 2017), open to aspiring film critics (aged 18-26) from Belgium and abroad, offering them the opportunity to cover the 44th edition. The participants cover the festival by writing both short reviews and an in-depth piece. The participants are guided by film critic Nick Pinkerton (Film Comment, Sight & Sound, Reverse Shot, …) and the Photogénie team. Today: Susana Bessa writes about Call Me By Your Name.
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.
Bas Devos’ first full-length film is one of the most realistic and sensitive portrayals of grief ever depicted on screen. ‘Violet’ is steady, calm, not without some emotional climaxes, but otherwise quiet in its representation of youth coming to terms with death.
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.
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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