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

Fantasia 2017: Fritz Lang ( Germany – 2016)

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for Cinetalk.net

With Fritz Lang, Gordian Maugg directed a risky fantasized story about the famous German director set at the beginning of the 1930’s. Lang had yet to direct his first talkie, Germany was on the verge of disasters to come with the rise of the Nazi party, a series of gruesome murders, by serial killers, was terrorized the German public.

Fritz Lang & wife/ screenwriter Thea von Harbou, for their first sound film, that would become the celebrated M (1931), draw inspirations from serial killer Peter Kürten, dubbed the “Vampire of Düsseldorf “, but also from the Fritz Haarmann and Carl Grobmann cases.

Fritz Lang is not your typical biopic. It approaches its subject as if Continue reading

BILL FRISELL, A PORTRAIT

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Sandro Forte for Cinetalk.net

Emma Frantz new music documentary Bill Frisell, A Portrait, is about feelings, exploration of ideas and creative process more than it is actually about music itself.

A witness to the simplicity (and talent) of a gifted guitarist, in which arrogant rocker behavior is denied, Bill Frisell, A Portrait offers selected insights (with the participation of a collection of colleagues and admirers) about the work and the input of Frisell from Hal Willner, Paul Simon, Ron Carter,  Bonnie Raitt, Nels Cline, Jim Hall , Jack DeJohnette, Michael Gibbs & Al.

Bill Frisell, A Portrait may take a time for beginners to get into it, Continue reading

KEDI (Turkey – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Turkish director Ceyda Torun’s Kedi propose a singular look at the city of Istanbul through the eyes of its emblematic inhabitant: the street cat.

Ceyda Torun, who grew up in Istanbul, provides numerous portraits of individual felines with an obvious sympathetic view of an animal arguably very difficult to shoot with. Today’s light camera offer the opportunity to trail the furry beast and follow it in its footsteps and into alley cats territory. The shooting certainly took a lot of patience. And it is the most rewarding asset of the project.

A feature that goes beyond the cat video, while sharing its cuteness, Kedi unfortunately runs slightly out of gas halfway through. It introduces some insight and stories about the pussy invasion within the walls of the city but it simply does not furnish enough content to fill 80 minutes. These links about the immigration of our fellow with claws should have been extended to keep it going. But it simply doesn’t. Still, Kedi is a pleasurable adventure into the world of our favorite flea bag.

First date movie? Sure.

*** For Montrealers, the film started May 26th at Cinéma du Parc.

Chuck (US – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Chuck (it was titled the The Bleeder when shown at TIFF in September)is based upon the real life story of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner who had a shot at glory in 1975 facing Muhammad Ali in the ring and making it to the 15th round.

Directed by Philippe Falardeau (The good lie) it stars Liev Schreiber (Spotlight, X-Men), Naomi Watts and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). It is said that Wepner’s story was influential in the Making of Rocky (1976). At least that is what he wants us to believe.

We are witnesses to the preceding, then the fight and the ensuing downfall. The depiction of 1970’s era is honest, the performances are enjoyable, especially Perlman as the manager. A colorful manager is a must to any boxing film.

Chuck is a pedestrian ride narrated with with a great dose of narcissism, but in such a self-deprecating way it ultimately becomes sympathetic. Chuck is much about trusting the word of the one telling the story…