by InRO Staff

by InRO Staff Film Year in Review

Year in Review 2017 – Film

December 29, 2017
Film Feature

The finest films of 2017 simultaneously offered us a respite from, and a deeper reflection on, our fraught and fractured social and political realities. In sharp contrast to our unfortunate tendency to segregate ourselves with social media-fueled enclaves and ecosystems that do little more than reflect our own thoughts, opinions, and POVs back at us ad infinitum, these films cut through all that, artfully, and often provocatively, reminding us of the common humanity we share even with those who would seem to…

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by InRO Staff Music Year in Review

Year in Review 2017 – Music

December 23, 2017
Music

The best songs and albums released over the last 12 months found a way to subvert a hopeless political reality, to move and inspire us by striving for change. A Chinese rap group broke through to an international audience; a singer-songwriter sincerely mounted a mournful reflection on the death of a loved one; and there were plentiful, powerful depictions of womanhood. So let’s just cross our fingers and hope for more light in the darkness in 2018. I mean, it…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 5

October 20, 2017
Did You Wonder

Our fifth and final dispatch from this year’s New York Film Festival (here’s one, two, three, and four) includes a couple of films about various forms of appreciation (or lack thereof) for the arts — Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning art world comedy The Square and Todd Haynes’s YA adaptation Wonderstruck — as well as Greta Gerwig’s sharp and funny coming-of-age film Lady Bird. There are also three features here from outside of NYFF’s main slate: Sara Driver’s Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Travis Wilkinson’s Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (both…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 4

October 14, 2017
Before We Vanish

Our fourth dispatch from this year’s New York Film Festival (here’s one, two, and three) includes the Chinese-American filmmaker Chloé Zhao’s docudrama The Rider, about South Dakotan rodeo culture; Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers/Starman hybrid Before We Vanish; and Ben Russell’s Good Luck, a relatively normal (for him), 2.5 documentary about Surinamese gold panners.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 3

October 11, 2017
Zama

In our third dispatch from this year’s New York Film Festival (the first is here, second here): the “director’s cut” version of Arnaud Desplechin’s sprawling career summation, Ismael’s Ghosts; Argentinian filmmaker Lucretia Martel makes her long-awaited return with 18th century colonialist tale Zama; and Noah Baumbach’s latest dramedy, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 2

October 3, 2017
Lover for a Day

In our second dispatch from this year’s New York Film Festival (the first is here), we take a look at the veteran Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland’s “quietly radical” Spoor; the contemporary political implications of “Berlin School” director Valeska Grisebech’s neo-western, Western; two black-and-white films about infidelity, Hong Sang-soo’s The Day After and Phillipe Garrel’s Lover for a Day; and the NYFF’s Opening Night selection, Richard Linklater’s Iraq War-era dramedy, Last Flag Flying.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

New York Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 1

September 29, 2017
On the Beach

Most seem to agree at this point that the Cannes Film Festival’s competition line-up was not good this year. While the New York Film Festival’s main slate includes more than a few of the same selections, the films that didn’t make the cut are especially noteworthy: Michael Haneke’s cynical, typically mean-spirited career rehash Happy End; Sergei Loznitsa’s miserablist slog through Russian bureaucracy, A Gentle Creature; Michel Hazanavicius’s insulting Jean-Luc Godard biopic Redoubtable; and Fatih Akin’s flat-out offensive jihadist commentary-cum-revenge flick, In the Fade.…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 3

September 22, 2017
Redoubtable

For our third and final dispatch from the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (here’s number one, here’s number two), we take a look at the film that caused(?) bomb threats at its Cannes premiere this year: Michel Hazanavicius’s nose-thumbing Jean-Luc Godard “biopic.” This dispatch also includes a couple of Canadian films (this being TIFF and all); a prize-winning debut from the Locarno Film Festival; and one selection from the New York Film Festival’s main slate. (Our full coverage of that fest will begin next week.)…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 2

September 20, 2017
Faces Places

Our second dispatch from the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (you can find the first here; the third and final one will be up on Friday) includes a new collaborative film from a French New Wave legend; a domestic drama that’s much closer to a horror film; a “near three-hour Portuguese drama about labor in a capitalist society” (that’s also kind of a musical); a documentary about “the failed social and criminal policies of a thoroughly unwinnable war against narcotraffic”; a “cinematic…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2017 – Dispatch 1

September 15, 2017
jeanette

The fall film festival season is already in full swing, but the Toronto International Film Festival stands out due to its emphasis on commercialism, and its popularity with the general public. In fact, with each successive year (we’ve been attending since the mid-2000s), TIFF seems to increase its focus on celebrity and accessibility, and at the expense of its former, more exploratory programming (as is evidenced this year by TIFF dropping its standout Vanguard program as well as the diverse City to City program). The sheer…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Venice International Film Festival 2017

September 11, 2017
BPM

We have a lot planned for the fall film festival season—including multiple dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. But first, a modest precursor spotlighting five noteworthy titles that screened during the season’s initial Big Film Fest. Our sampling of the 2017 Venice International Film Festival (which wrapped yesterday) includes the latest from documentary godhead Frederick Wiseman; Brooklyn-based indie filmmaker Nathan Silver; the Sensory Ethnography Lab duo Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel; a debut film from Italian composer Giorgio Ferrero; and the winner of…

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by InRO Staff Film Year in Review

Top 10 Films of 2017 (So Far)

August 4, 2017
Logan

Deviating from protocol a bit with our timing (we swear we know when the halfway point of the year is), the following list is nonetheless our best approximation of a staff consensus for best films released from January to June of this year. Admittedly, the favorites skews toward auteurs, but few films bare much resemblance—a period biopic, a race-conscious horror film, a superhero deconstruction, and an intimate, maybe-ghost story (no, not that one) constitute a few of the movies we’ve championed.…

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