King and the Clown

Admittedly, this was my first Korean clown-and-king epic with a dash of gay subtext, but King and Clown is, to my mind at least, a baffling mess of a film. There are moments of great beauty and fun, with acrobat scenes shot with aplomb, beautiful colours and costumes floating across the screen. At other times, […]

After the Wedding

Another Danish family drama, this one involving a Billionaire, his wife and family, and an idealistic teacher of orphans living in the slums of Bombay. Plot-wise, this is a predictable mish mash of tragic situations, deceit, powerplays and reconciliation. The film’s actors, however, bring such raw, powerful performances that the story limitations are for the […]

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Lots of my favourite war films (Full Metal Jacket, Saving Private Ryan, etc.) start with a tremendous flourish, lots of ambivalence and confusion that eventually settles down into a somewhat traditional playing out of war film thematics. Loach’s film about Northern Ireland plays in exactly the opposite way. The first hour is so stark, so […]

Mon Meilleur Ami (My Best Friend)

This is perhaps what passes for puff-piece, light-comedic adult films in France, which is saying something quite positive about contemporary French pop cinema. A man (Daniel Auteuil) finds out that he actually has no friends (only acquaintances and colleagues) and sets out to find a friend in order to settle a bet with his co-worker […]

When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts

Spike Lee (with the help, according to the credits, of a number of NYU Film school interns) has crafted a lengthy, quite compelling look at Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Mixing news footage with talking-head interviews with survivors and those in power, this “Film Document” does an admirable job of detailing many of the key […]