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Strand Releasing

Before We Vanish by Justin Stewart Film

Félicité | Alain Gomis

Alain Gomis, a French director of Guinea-Bissauian and Senegalese descent, knows the value of a good face. This is why he fills so many of Félicité‘s frames with the visage of Véro Tshanda Beya (a singer, making her film debut). Beya plays the title character here,…

by Drew Hunt Film Horizon Line

The Ornithologist | João Pedro Rodrigues

Utterly adventurous, João Pedro Rodrigues’s dizzying and highly personal The Ornithologist is loosely based on the life of St. Anthony of Padua and unfolds in the remote northeast wilderness of the director’s native Portugal, where the film’s central figure, the handsome Fernando (played by Paul…

by Lawrence Garcia Film Horizon Line

Staying Vertical | Alain Guiraudie

In the case of Alain Guiraudie’s relentlessly weird Staying Vertical, there may not be anything to do except surrender to the strangeness. The story follows the peripatetic Léo (Damien Bonnard), a screenwriter suffering from writer’s block, as he explores the southwestern French countryside. He…

In Review | Online film and music criticism