Posts Tagged ‘2012’


Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)

January 9, 2014


In this documentary-fiction hybrid, a guard (Sommer) at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum strikes up a friendship with a lonely Canadian tourist (O’Hara) present in the city to visit her estranged cousin in a coma. Though there is this narrative through-line, Museum Hours is more a collection of diary musings on larger issues of culture, perspective, art and its relation to life, and the inevitability that all things will fade. The closest comparison might be to say it’s like a non-romantic cut of Before Sunrise blended with Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil

Click for the full DVD review for The Skinny


Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda, 2012)

December 23, 2013


Forgot to repost this during the UK theatrical release, so here it is for the home video release. Following a rewatch, I now like the film a lot more. Love, in fact.

Breakthrough success for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars outside of Japan has seen director Mamoru Hosoda labelled “the next Miyazaki” in certain circles, in regards to being an anime filmmaker of increasing international reach and appeal. Perhaps befittingly, his new film Wolf Children has some similarities in feel with highlights of Studio Ghibli’s output. It combines a high-concept, fantastical premise – like, say, Miyazaki having a literal flying pig as a protagonist in Porco Rosso – with a tender exploration of human growth as found in Ghibli’s more low-key dramas like Only Yesterday and the wonderful Whisper of the Heart

Full review at Sound on Sight


Ernest & Celestine (Stéphane Aubier/Vincent Patar/Benjamin Renner, 2012)

December 9, 2013


Based on Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent’s children’s books, Ernest & Celestine is an infectiously joyous piece of entertainment from the duo behind the manic A Town Called Panic, who direct here alongside Benjamin Renner. That earlier film’s stop-motion approach is abandoned for a more traditional hand-drawn animation style, presented in a beautiful, gentle watercolour palette. Ernest & Celestine is also not quite so anarchic in its humour, though one struggles to think of what film could match A Town Called Panic for that, but shares its predecessor’s wittiness regarding heated exchanges and heightened characters prone to snap decision-making…

Click for the full review for Sound on Sight


Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor/Verena Paravel, 2012)

November 29, 2013


Paravel and Castaing-Taylor’s non-narrative, anthropological collaboration – both a documentary and an abstract horror film – depicts the mayhem of life and labour on a large fishing vessel through chaotic, overwhelming first-person footage on the ship, under it and even above it. The name comes from that biblical terror from the sea, and the film is a thundering beast itself…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu, 2012)

July 9, 2013


The following review was written as what was intended to be my last submission to Subtitled Online. I was sent a screener by Artificial Eye and the review was to be produced so as to coincide with the film’s early June release on DVD and Blu-ray. The review has yet to be published over a month after both my submission and the release date, and so I am now posting it here. If it does eventually appear on Subtitled Online, I will edit the post so that it links to there. The review was written to conform with that site’s house style, hence quite a lot of plot synopsis. Read the rest of this entry ?


EIFF 2013: Three Sisters (Wang Bing, 2012)

July 7, 2013


Wang Bing’s epic-length documentary is an intimate depiction of childhood in the context of extreme poverty, providing an observational portrait of a Chinese peasant family. In a remote mountain village in China’s Yunnan province, which borders Burma, the every-day lives of the three youngest members of a multi-generational farming family consists of aiding their grandfather and operating an existence that should be well beyond their years. The eldest of the three girls, ten year-old Yingying, has the most responsibility and is the most stretched in terms of sadly necessary physical demands. Her sisters – aged four and six respectively – are largely spared of most tasks for now, but their lives are little more than just the process of surviving each day. Their mother has abandoned the family, while their father is attempting to find work elsewhere in cities far away; places less stuck in time and that receive considerably more attention from those who run and revamp the country. The vast majority of the film takes place on the farm and in the surrounding homes and mountains, though there are some diversions to the school Yingying is sometimes able to attend…

Click for the full review at Sound on Sight


EIFF 2013: Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (Sophie Huber, 2012)

June 28, 2013

Harry Dean Stanton - Partly Fiction

In keeping with the acting style of the subject of its focus, Sophie Huber’s Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction stays away from extremes in its portrait of one of America’s greatest actors. There is affection, but it is understated and not glowing, while any melancholy elements are not over-stressed. The facts and opinions expressed, through Stanton and various collaborators, are simply allowed to be – free of added manipulation – in what amounts as a rather quiet documentary, excluding film clips with their own soundtracks and instances in which we get to see Stanton express his passion for performing music. Like the documentary’s most discussed film, Paris, Texas (1984), Partly Fiction is serene but also apt at emotional devastation, though as in Wim Wenders’ masterpiece, sorrow and optimism are intertwined…

Click for the full review at Sound on Sight