Halima’s Path [Halimin Put] (2014)

olga-pakalovic_as-safija

★★★★☆

A story of the Bosnian war of the 1990s, Halima’s Path is an overpoweringly sad film about  the devastating coincidences of war and the path to reconcilation and closure within four afflicted families, told through the unfolding complexity of interchange between them

Directed by Arsen A. Ostojic (Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2014).  Director of Photography, Slobodan Trninic.  Production design by Ivo Husnjak.  Music by Mate Matisic.  Edited by Dubravko Slunjski. Starring Alma Prica, Olga Pokalovic, Mustafa Nadarevic, Emina Muftic, Izudin Bajrovic, Miraj Grbic, Aldin Tucic, Mijop Jurisic. Read More

Jeune et Jolie [Young and Beautiful] (2013)

JEUNE_ET_JOLIE_CMJN

★★★★☆

Ozon’s Jeune et Jolie is a startling and unusual film with a high likelihood of being misunderstood.  Like Steve Mc Queen’s hard-hitting Shame (2011), it deals with the annihilating effect of the sexual encounter in which intimacy is impossible, and the subsequent search for some form of control which gives meaning to an otherwise baffling and distressing condition.

Written and directed by Francois Ozon (France, 2013). Director of Photography: Pascal Marti.  Edited by: Laure Gardette.  Production design: Katia Wyszkop.  Music: Philippe Rombi.  Starring: Marine Vacth (Isabella), Geraldine Pailhas, Frederic Pierrot, Jeanne Ruff, Charlotte Rampling, Frantin Ravat, Stefano Cassetti. Read More

Mr Turner (2014)

CANNES_FILM_FESTIVAL_MR_TURNER_NYET343-2014MAY14_204407_858.jpg

★★★★☆

True to form, Mike Leigh’s film on the life of the painter Turner is less a costume biopic and more a study of an irascible free spirit cocking a snook at uncomprehending fellow contemporaries, and a dazzling evocation of his revolutionary paintings and their modernist content.  Always good on relationships, Leigh also paints us a picture of Turner’s singular love life and, in brilliant vignettes, his capacity for loss and isolation.

Written and directed by Mike Leigh (United Kingdom, 2014).  Cinematography by Dick Pope.  Production design by Suzie Davies. Art direction by Dan Taylor.  Music by Gary Yershon.  Starring Timothy Spall (Mr Turner), Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey. Read More

Alps [Alpeis] (2011)

ArianeLabedAlps

★★★★☆

Yorgos Lanthimos’ third feature film is a difficult journey, yielding its secrets slowly, resonating long after one has stopped watching it.  It buries its sombre and poignant emotional core in an elliptical dramatization and style which embodies the extreme difficulties associated with the subject itself, that of the intractability of grief.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece, 2011).  Written by Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos.  Cinematography by Christos Voudouris.  Production design by Anna Georgiadou.  Starring Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Stavros Psyllakis, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Vekris. Read More

A Touch of Sin (2013)

A_touch_of_sin_04_web_0

★★★★★

Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin is a shockingly bleak and sad tale of ordinary Chinese lives blighted by catastrophe in a rapidly changing modern world, giving the audience a good drubbing and with only a glimmer of hope at the end.

Written and directed Jia Zhangke, China/Japan, 2013 Read More