Archive for February, 2013

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Stoker (Park Chan-wook, 2013)

February 28, 2013

Stoker-Mia-Wasikowska

Stoker marks the English language debut of contemporary South Korean cinema poster child Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Thirst), and the film is full of the striking compositions and sweeping camera movements of his prior acclaimed work. Unfortunately, free of compelling, well-realised material to frame his style around, Stoker sees the director’s worst tendencies in full force; those of garish melodramatics and shallow showiness…

Full review for The Skinny

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GFF 2013: Byzantium (Neil Jordan, 2012)

February 27, 2013

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Two female vampires holed up in a seaside town hotel; for certain savvy viewers, this distilled description of Byzantium’s premise may bring to mind Harry Kümel’s strange and sensual film Daughters of Darkness from 1971. Neil Jordan’s return to both horror and the bloodsucking is a much different beast, though…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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GFF 2013: The History of Future Folk (John Mitchell/Jeremy Kipp Walker, 2012)

February 23, 2013

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Arriving on our planet to evaluate it for invasion and resettlement, General Trius (d’Aulaire), later called Bill, is seduced by the sounds of music, a concept previously unknown to him. Smitten, he abandons his plans and eventually starts a family. Years later, fellow Hondonian Kevin (Klaitz) is sent to set Bill straight, but the pair end up forming a bluegrass duo instead, as you do, leaving both to deal with another threat sent by their home…

Full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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GFF 2013: Vito (Jeffrey Schwarz, 2011)

February 23, 2013

Vito-Russo

The life of the late Vito Russo, an activist for both LBGT rights and AIDS awareness, has particular resonance for cinephiles, being that he was also a film historian and the author of The Celluloid Closet. That famous, influential 1981 book – later adapted to documentary form in 1995 – examined the history of how Hollywood films have portrayed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters, whether through coded subtleties, realistic portrayals or cruel stereotypes…

Full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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GFF 2013: A Late Quartet (Yaron Zilberman, 2012)

February 22, 2013

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Approaching their 25th anniversary concert, a world-renowned string quartet find their world disrupted by the news that cellist Peter (Walken) has been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. The prospect of replacing him forces all to re-evaluate lives that have long been based on rigorous routine and familiarity. Egos clash, lust is unearthed and complacency is questioned, particularly by the married couple within the group (Hoffman and Keener)…

Full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny

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GFF 2013: The Sex of Angels (Xavier Villaverde, 2012)

February 22, 2013

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One commendation to throw the film’s way is that in its depiction of the complicated situation, it never reproaches bisexuality or depicts it in a sleazy manner as many filmmakers with this material may be prone to do. That is about the only positive, though, as The Sex of the Angels is an insipid slog full of bare stereotypes for both protagonists and supporting players. This is the sort of relationship drama that goes beyond just having naive characters, instead presenting frustratingly idiotic ones that always put themselves in situations with the utmost potential for dramatic scandal; be sure to keep a tally of just how many times characters will perform actions they want kept secret in public places, often knowing a party they want unaware is within the vicinity…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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GFF 2013: The Thieves (Choi Dong-Hoon, 2012)

February 21, 2013

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This South Korean blockbuster incorporates stars and locations from across Asia, though is most strongly influenced by the American Ocean’s and Mission: Impossible franchises. A team of bickering Korean thieves team up with a Hong Kong group to rob a heavily-secured Macau casino of a precious diamond, a theft masterminded by a former partner. Everyone involved has a separate agenda and things – of course – don’t quite go according to plan…

Full review for The Skinny/The CineSkinny