The Girl Without Hands (France – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Sébastien Laudenbach’s The Girl Without Hands (La fille Sans Mains),  his first feature after a string of highly promising shorts, is a hand-painted animated jewel of a film in glorious 2D. The story of a young woman, collateral victim of her father’s pact with the Devil, challenging the darkness of the world with her purity of mind and body.

Freely adapted from European folk tales (once collected by Brothers Grimm), The Girl Without Hands is mainly the results of Continue reading

Logan Lucky – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Once asked why he resumed his directing career, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman said it was because he was cured. Apparently, Steven Soderbergh is not. After a short hiatus he hits back the big screen with Logan Lucky, a foray into familiar territory, the heist movie, a genre he tried to redefine (pretty successfully), as far back as in 1995’s The Underneath (which was more of a take on the Brink’s job gone wrong type), also in Out of Sight and of course the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Logan Lucky stars Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, as the Logan brothers, trying to pull off a smooth robbery during a NASCAR race. Supporting cast includes Daniel Craig, who’s main purpose seems to be Daniel Craig in an unusual role, and Continue reading

Ingrid Goes West (US – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Meet Ingrid. Fresh out of a mental wellness facility but not quite ‘cured’ of her social awkwardness. How can we cure what the Internet and Smartphones have created? There is, at present, no quick remedy for social media fixation and stalking. First-time feature film director Matt Spicer’s dark comedy, Ingrid Goes West introduces its story through a pastiche of familiar fonts and cliché travel photography. It’s like being in an Instagram photo collage app. Only, reality clouds the arty pretentiousness very quickly.

Debating whether the perfect reply to your SNS buddies is Hahaha or Hehehe? Salivating over those three dots that indicate someone is responding to your message? So is Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza). She is like us and not like us. We want to like her but Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: Cinetalk’s Final Cut

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We’re reaching final stage at Fantasia 2017.

There is still much to see if you want to catch up within the next days. It ends on August 2, the closing film being South Korea’s A Taxi driver. The same day (at 6:30) don’t miss the 4K restoration (supervised by legendary cinematographer Luciano Tovoli) of Dario Argento’s seminal horror film, Suspiria (1977). Note that the programming team added a special showing, the North American Premiere of Takashi Miike’s Samurai fantasy Blade of the Immortal (July 31st).

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Then, our final statement (some of the films we reviewed still showing) …

While she mostly went for Japan, Daria’s round up of favorites includes Cocolors for its digital animation imitating traditional Japanese woodblock printing with great layered background artwork, plus a heartwarming ending (playing this afternoon of July 29, 4:15 PM). Her short review, here:  https://cinetalk.net/2017/07/28/fantasia-2017-cocolors-japan-2017/

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With Rage (also playing tonight at 8:30PM), Daria noted the Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: Spoor (Poland – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Director Agnieszka Holland learned her trade with Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda. The Polish director is a three times Oscar Nominee, for Angry Harvest, In Darkness (both in the Best foreign language film category)and Europa, Europa (Best screenplay category, 1990).

Spoor, Holland’s new film (co-directed by, Kasia Adamik, her daughter)is based upon the book by Olga Tokarczuk.

A strange series of killings occur in Poland’s beautiful Kłodzko Valley (Near Czech Republic border). Animal rights activist Janina (played by Agnieszka Mandat) regularly confronts the local corrupted power (which share link with poachers) and befriend the outcasts of the village. Soon, poachers and officials are dying, one after another, and she tries to convince authorities it is animal vengeance. Could it be that she is right? Continue reading