Archive for October, 2015

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Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro, 2015)

October 15, 2015

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Why do you watch horror? If it’s solely about preying on your primal fears through a high-concept premise, it’s possible you might not get a great deal out of Guillermo del Toro’s gothic opus Crimson Peak. If you’re after jump scares, then you’ll probably hate it. If, however, you’re attuned to and appreciative of the ways in which some of the best horror films can not be about boogeyman scares, but instead cover a wide array of different emotional concerns, then proceed with less caution.

Imbued with the aesthetic and tonal spirit of bombastic, luxuriantly-coloured, oft-melodramatic Euro-horrors of the 1960s (think the films of Mario Bava or Roger Corman’s Edgar Allen Poe adaptations), Crimson Peak also has a dash of The Innocents (and thus The Turn of the Screw) and specific Hitchcocks (Rebecca and Psycho) in its lush blood, as well as a bit of Brontë – a good chunk of the story could be interpreted as Jane Eyre with more literal ghosts…

Click for the full review for The Skinny

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LFF 2015: Live from New York! (Bao Nguyen, 2015)

October 13, 2015

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Anyone looking for a really meaty documentary on a still on-the-air television show may be put off when hearing of extensive involvement of the head honchos behind said property. Even more worrying is also finding out that the 40-year portrait of the series only runs 78 minutes (despite what IMDb may tell you), which doesn’t exactly sound like the most ideal length considering that the documentary is about Saturday Night Live, a television show riddled with myriad controversies, success stories and career implosions over those 40 years. If you have a hunch that Live from New York! might play like little more than a hagiographic, superficial skip through self-serving sound-bites, then… well, you’re absolutely right…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages

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LFF 2015: In the Room (Eric Khoo, 2015)

October 10, 2015

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Love and lust across a century form the backbone of In the Room, the latest film from director Eric Khoo (Tatsumi, Be with Me). An anthology feature with five main vignettes (titled “Rubber,” Listen,” “Change,” “Search,” and “First Time” in the end credits) and a few recurring revisits to the exploits of characters who have come and gone, the entire film is set within the confines of one Singapore hotel room, bar the occasional meet-cute or tearful lament in the corridor right outside…

Click for the full review for The Film Stage

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LFF 2015: The Corpse of Anna Fritz (Hèctor Hernández Vicens, 2015)

October 6, 2015

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World famous Spanish actress Anna Fritz (Alba Ribas) has suddenly died. On the night of the death, young mortician Pau (Albert Carbó) takes a photo of the dead celebrity and sends it to his friends, Ivan (Cristian Valencia) and Javi (Bernat Saumell), who promptly turn up at Pau’s hospital while on their way to a party. After doing some coke by the hospital’s bins, Pau and Ivan think it a good idea to have a look at the body up close in the morgue; the comparatively mature Javi is disturbed by the idea but tags along anyway. Down in the morgue, Ivan feels an apparent need to touch the beautiful starlet, and also observe her fully nude form. Ivan then also feels an apparent need to defile her body. And then so does Pau. And then, ignoring Javi’s disgusted protests, they proceed to do so.

If you’re still reading this review after that initial plot dump, let it be known that the remainder of this piece will not shy away from spoilers, as The Corpse of Anna Fritz, the feature debut of director Hèctor Hernández Vicens, is difficult to discuss without divulging information beyond, say, the 20-minute mark of the film. It is vital to discuss where this film gets at least a little interesting, as the opening 20 minutes which encompass those cited plot points are, frankly, hideous without the context of what follows (and are still a rough enough ride even with the next developments). Ready? Okay…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages

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Fidelio: Alice’s Journey (Lucie Borleteau, 2014)

October 3, 2015

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Undoubtedly the sexiest film set on a freighter since Captain Phillips, Fidelio: Alice’s Journey, the French feature debut of actress-turned-writer-director Lucie Borleteau, is a riveting exploration of sexual relationships, everyday sexism, and seafaring struggles (with a touch of sex)…

Click for the full review for VODzilla.co