Film

by Tony G. Huang Film Retrospective Film

Retrospective | Hong Sang-soo: Look at Everything Again Slowly

October 17, 2018
Hong Retro

When Hong Sang-soo made his debut feature, 1996’s The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, the South Korean cinema had not yet developed into the internationally acknowledged movement it is today. With accomplished debuts from Lee Chang-dong and Bong Joon-ho coming soon after, Hong would seem to ride in on a wave of filmmaking that established a new independent national cinema. Indeed, The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well now seems unusual, in the context of Hong’s filmography, due to…

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#StreamingScene by Kathie Smith Film

The Kindergarten Teacher | Nadav Lapid

October 17, 2018
Kindergarten

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that the recent Maggie Gyllenhaal vehicle The Kindergarten Teacher was a remake of a 2015 Israeli movie. Although the original breezed through film festivals and a limited release without much fanfare, Nadav Lapid’s unorthodox character study is a singular piece of psychological and societal contemplation, channeled through the lead character and coy camerawork.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 1

October 17, 2018
long_days

The 2018 New York Film Festival just wrapped over the weekend — which means it’s curtains for 2018’s fall festival season (I’m so sorry). Our first dispatch tackles Main Slate selections from the fest that we haven’t already covered (see our five Toronto Film Festival dispatches and Private Life), and that we don’t have plans to cover soon (next month, look for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Joel & Ethan Coen’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in Streaming Scene and Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk in Blockbuster Beat).…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Private Life | Tamara Jenkins

October 16, 2018
Private Life

Set amidst a deeply bourgeois milieu where children tend to be treated more like expensive fashion accessories than actual human beings, Tamara Jenkins’s wise, warm, and altogether lovely Private Life  (her first feature in 11 years) introduces us to a middle-aged couple living in a rent-controlled apartment in New York’s Alphabet City. Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), a playwright, and Richard (Paul Giamatti, in his best role since 2004’s Sideways), a retired theater director, are trying desperately to have a baby in the face of mounting odds…

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#StreamingScene by Paul Attard Film

Bleach | Shinsuke Sato

October 9, 2018
Bleach

In the world of Shonen Jump (a Japanese comics anthology series aimed at teenage boys), Tite Kubo’s now-defunct manga Bleach once ranked near the top — and then it’s worldwide popularity suddenly plummeted, about a year prior to an abrupt discontinuation in 2016. (The anime adaptation of the franchise ended even earlier than that.) It’s hard, then, to understand why a live-action film version has appeared now, dumped onto American streaming services about two months after its Japanese theatrical release.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 5

September 20, 2018
TIFF5

Our fifth and final dispatch from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first, the second, the third, and the fourth) represents perhaps our most eclectic group of films yet: There are acclaimed filmmakers whose new works were seemingly passed on by some of the season’s other major fests (Xavier Dolan’s The Life and Death of John F. Donovan, Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro), an under-the-radar directing pair whose latest has been slowly accruing buzz since its Cannes premiere (Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s Birds of Passage), a hotly tipped fall…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 4

September 18, 2018
TIFF4

Our fourth dispatch from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first, the second, and the third) continues sifting through the various cinematic voices, styles, and pedigrees that make-up this year’s official slate. This time, we offer our takes on a big historical epic from a mainstay of international cinema (Mike Leigh’s Peterloo), the sophomore feature from a breakout director of the film festival circuit (Laszlo Nemes’s Sunset), prestige Hollywood actor fare (Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carrell in Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy, Lucas Hedges in his dad Peter Hedges’s Ben Is Back),…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Predator | Shane Black

September 14, 2018
THE PREDATOR

The stripped-down premise and formal exactitude of John McTiernan’s 1987 Predator are precisely not present in Shane Black’s The Predator, the latest attempt to drag-out and elaborate on a franchise that shouldn’t be burdened by much more than ‘scary monster kills people.’ This new installment collapses under the weight of four separate groups of characters whose plot strands strain to intertwine before the show can get rolling — and what’s worse, Black’s film bears all the hallmarks…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 3

September 13, 2018
TIFF3

Our third dispatch from the Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first and here’s the second) includes our takes on a few hold-overs from this year’s Cannes slate (Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I & II, Gaspar Noe’s Climax, Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun), a couple of mammoth documentaries (Wang Bing’s Dead Souls, Frederick Wiseman’s Monrovia, Indiana), high-concept films by two of international cinema’s most accomplished formalists (Zhang Yimou’s Shadow, Christian Petzold’s Transit), and a movie by that guy who got blasted with a shotgun by Naomi Watts (Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux).…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 2

September 11, 2018
TIFF2

Our second dispatch from the Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first) acts as a nice microcosm of the fest as a whole, and of what distinguishes it on the international stage — namely, it’s breadth. The newfound restraint employed by TIFF’s programming still sees over 300 films screen across a variety of distinct programs. In this dispatch, we take a look at a work of avant-garde cinema from Wavelengths (Andrea Bussmann’s Fausto), a blockbuster film from Midnight Madness (David Gordon Green’s Halloween), a serious-minded…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 1

September 7, 2018
Image Book

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival, it has to be said, looks as if it may be one of the strongest slates since our site first started covering the fest, a full 10 years ago. There are a number of reasons why this could be: As with many of the fall fests, TIFF’s programming draws in part on films from the earlier part of the year, and notably from an exemplary 2018 Cannes Film Festival line-up. This year also feels like something…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

Kin | Jonathan & Josh Baker

September 7, 2018
Kin

From a distance, Kin looked like a pretty promising mid-budget sci-fi. But if you can’t engage in Marvel-style big budget spectacle, you better have some ideas on deck to make up for it, and unfortunately, Kin doesn’t deliver on that front. The film starts off well enough, with troubled young Eli (Myles Truitt) finding an alien weapon while scavenging for copper wiring inside an abandoned building. He hides his discovery at home, while dealing with his stern…

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