Monthly Archives:

September 2017

Before We Vanish by Alex Engquist Film

Autumn, Autumn | Jang Woo-jin

In this modest second feature, Jang Woo-jin demonstrates a canny eye for separations between people and within space and time. Autumn, Autumn tells two stories neatly partitioned by a title card 35 minutes in, both originating from strangers sitting together on a train from Seoul to…

September 29, 2017
Before We Vanish by Luke Gorham Film

I Am Another You | Nanfu Wang

As a documentary film student newly arrived in America, director Nanfu Wang’s probing I Am Another You begins as she meets a charismatic, intentionally homeless 22-year-old named Dylan, a symbol of the quintessential notion of freedom Nanfu transplanted herself to find. After Dylan grandly announces…

September 27, 2017
by Justin Stewart Film

Porcupine Lake | Ingrid Veninger

Slovakia-born Canadian director Ingrid Veninger’s Porcupine Lake is a sensitive, sun-dappled summer idyll (with dark undercurrents) on themes of coming of age, preteen-love-fumblings, and the inevitable realization of the adult world’s fallibility. Newcomer Charlotte Salisbury (palpably raw and naturalistic) plays Bea, up from Toronto in the…

September 22, 2017
by Luke Gorham Film

Mademoiselle Paradis | Barbara Albert

Mademoiselle Paradis tells the true story of the titular musical prodigy, an Austrian contemporary of Mozart, during a most strange period of her life. Blind from the age of three, Maria Therese Paradis (Maria-Victoria Dragus), at the behest of her embarrassed, vapid parents, temporarily…

September 21, 2017
by Matt Lynch Film

Cocaine Prison | Violeta Ayala

Violeta Ayala’s fascinating documentary Cocaine Prison doesn’t have anything particularly new to say about the failed social and criminal policies of a thoroughly unwinnable war against narcotraffic. But it does boast a heartbreaking worm’s-eye-view of some of the people most caught up in it. When…

September 21, 2017
by Justin Stewart Film

High Fantasy | Jenna Bass

The no-budget, dually high-concept premises of Jenna Bass’s High Fantasy: four South African twentysomethings (two women of color, a white woman, and a black man) go camping in some arid Northern Cape preserve, argue loudly about race, gender and apartheid issues, then wake up…

September 21, 2017
Before We Vanish by Lawrence Garcia Film

Thirst Street | Nathan Silver

Gina (Lindsay Burdge), a flight attendant, hooks up with Jérôme (Damien Bonnard), a mustachioed bartender at a Parisian strip-club, after her husband commits suicide (a scene that’s drolly narrated by Anjelica Huston) in Nathan Silver’s Thirst Street. To Gina, Jérôme is a figure of fate, a man with “something…

September 20, 2017
In Review | Online film and music criticism