NYFF

Min Yè, 2009

During the Q&A for the film, Souleymane Cissé and lead actress Sokona Gakou remarked that with only one remaining movie theater in the country, just being able to make a film in Mali is something of a small miracle. It is a responsibility to Malian and African culture that is not lost in Min Yè,… read more »

The Flower of Evil, 2003

François (Benoit Magimel) has returned to France after living in Chicago for the past three years to find that, despite his father Gérard’s (Bernard Le Coq) intriguing intimations, little has changed in the petit bourgeois household of the Charpin-Vasseurs. His determined stepmother Anne (Nathalie Baye) has channeled her energy towards a mayoral candidacy, against the… read more »

Climates, 2006

Nuri Bilge Ceylan elegantly channels the spirit and self-reflexivity of Atom Egoyan’s Calendar and Roberto Rossellini’s seminal Voyage in Italy (that in turn, paved the way for Michelangelo Antonioni’s psychological landscape films) to create an equally sublime, serenely composed, and understatedly bittersweet chronicle of the dissolution of a relationship through the austerity and desolation of… read more »

Tulpan, 2008

Similar to Kazakh filmmaker Serik Aprimov’s perestroika comedy, The Last Stop, Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Tulpan is also a chronicle of a young man’s readjustment to a civilian life in the bucolic steppes after an adventure-filled military service that brought him to the far reaches of the former Soviet Republic. Longing for a nomadic life in the… read more »

A Christmas Tale, 2008

Returning to the recurring themes of parental alienation and surrogacy of La Vie des morts, Playing “In the Company of Men”, and Kings and Queen, A Christmas Tale is a quintessential Arnaud Desplechin film in its ingenious, heady collision of disparate, often contradictory, yet integrally interconnected forms. On one level is the intersection of savior… read more »

Kings and Queens, 2004

In a subtly revealing scene that occurs in the first hour in Desplechin’s intelligently conceived, incisive, and immensely engaging film Kings and Queen, a woman in her late thirties named Nora (Emmanuelle Devos) stops to visit a powder room after a frantic all-night drive from Grenoble to Paris in order to check her appearance, fix… read more »

The Tenth District Court: Moments of Trial, 2004

Perhaps better known for his early career in photojournalism or his austere, yet sublime ethnographic portraitures of the Sahara desert in such docufiction films as Captive of the Desert and Un Homme sans l’occident, Raymond Depardon continues in a similar vein as his earlier exposition into the domestic justice system of Délits flagrants in The… read more »

White Material, 2009

A textured panorama of modern day Africa’s dynamic and volatile cross-cultural landscape, Claire Denis’s White Material is an abstract and elemental, if oddly sterile rumination on colonial legacy and socioeconomic stagnation. Unfolding in episodic flashbacks as second-generation coffee plantation owner, Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert) scrambles to make her way back home after a forced evacuation… read more »

L’Enfant, 2005

There is a palpable spirit of Robert Bresson (most notably Pickpocket and L’Argent) and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment at work in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s L’Enfant, so it comes as no surprise that during the subsequent Q&A, the brothers remarked that one of the images that they had wanted to capture in the film… read more »

The Queen, 2006

The Queen transforms the morbid spectacle surrounding Diana’s tragic death in the summer of 1997 into a trenchant, elegant, and compelling exposition into the nefarious role of the media as both creator (and self-generator) of news and manipulator of public sentiment. By juxtaposing Diana’s death within the framework of Tony Blair’s recent election to the… read more »

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