(Image Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

Film Review: ‘The Handmaiden’ Is an Erotic Exposé Into the Depravity of Man

The twisted mind of Park Chan-wook returns with “The Handmaiden,” a violently sensuous costume drama set in 1930s Korea. Adapted from Sarah Waters’ Victorian era caper novel, “Fingersmith,” “The Handmaiden” intersects the bourgeoisie aura of Western high society with the East’s tranquil yet honorable passivity. What emerges is a bloodbath pitting two lovers against the […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Elle’ Tantalizes Its Viewer With Difficult Material and Isabelle Huppert’s Striking Portrayal

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Paul Verhoeven has established himself as one of the most controversial directors working today. Constantly pushing the boundaries, and hitting contentious and often heavily questionable beats and choices, the “Showgirls” director has seemed to hone in most of that and put it to good use in his provocative thriller “Elle.” […]


Film Review: ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’ Packs a Featherweight Punch

You’ve seen it countless times before. An underdog fighter gets the chance of a lifetime to compete for the world championship title against a formidable opponent. He undergoes rigorous training to overcome the odds, often to triumphant ends. Juho Kuosmanen breaks away from the formula with “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki,” […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Things to Come’ Is Straightforward but Not Particularly Compelling

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Honest and real, Mia Hansen-Løve‘s look into the life of a woman whose world comes crashing down is at times compelling and provocative. Anchored by a strong leading turn from Isabelle Huppert, “Things to Come” is an ultimately satisfying examination, even if it slugs through its own narrative. Hansen-Løve focuses […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ Focuses on Technology and Nothing Else

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: With a luxurious resume that includes timeless films like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Brokeback Mountain,” there has been an expectation that there isn’t anything that director Ang Lee can’t accomplish. His last venture “Life of Pi,” which also premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2013, pushed the […]


Film Review: ‘Jackie’ Commands the Screen With Natalie Portman Heading the Charge

A biopic that breaks the barriers and conventions of the genre, Pablo Larrain‘s “Jackie” layers itself as a deeply felt drama masquerading as a new form horror venture. Exulting an adept and dexterous performance from Natalie Portman, “Jackie” transcends the ideas and imagery of the former first lady, and thrusts her into the spotlight of […]


Film Review: ‘Long Way North’ Delivers Compelling Adventure and a Strong Heroine

If there is one thing that the current hoopla surrounding Disney’s upcoming live action “Mulan” proves, it’s the evolving tastes of today’s audiences. Amid the anti-whitewashing protests, many were also concerned about the perceived prominence of the romance element. Indeed, audiences are no longer satisfied with the “princess needs Prince Charming for her happily ever […]

The Cinema Travellers

NYFF Film Review: ‘The Cinema Travellers’ Is a Moving Polaroid of a Time When Projectors Loomed Larger Than Life

The heart of the cinematic medium lies in its ability to provide a temporary escape from reality. This momentary break from one’s circumstances, circumstances like the harsh conditions depicted in “The Cinema Travellers,” a stunning documentary from filmmakers Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, reminds audiences of the ephemeral magic of the motion picture. Filmed over five […]


Film Review: ‘Blue Jay’ a Tender Tale With Delightful Performances From Sarah Paulson, Mark Duplass

In director Alex Lehmann’s feature debut, which premiered at TIFF last month, he paints a quaint picture of blissful domestic solitude, underscored by the infectious energy created by its stars – Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass (who also serves as the film’s writer). “Blue Jay” is a humble affair, freckled with subtle, flirtatious performances, but […]

Sky Ladder scheduled to stream on Netflix. Shown: Remembrance, chapter two of Elegy: Explosion Event for the Opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, realized on the riverfront of the Power Station of Art, August 8, 2014. Photo: Lin Yi, Courtesy of Cai Studio/Netflix

Film Review: ‘Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang’ Showcases an Awe-inspiring Artist

At one point in “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang,” the film mentions its subject Cai Guo-Qiang’s desire to top the great Pablo Picasso. Under normal circumstances, the statement would appear to be overly arrogant. But as director Kevin Macdonald proves in this new documentary, Cai Guo-Qiang is no ordinary artist. Indeed, this account of his […]


NYFF Film Review: ’20th Century Women’ Redefines Family and Relationships

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Clever and beautifully endearing, Mike Mills‘ beautiful portrait of five people in the late 1970s is one of the year’s most glamorous efforts. Vaunting an exceptional ensemble, Mills’ wistful and ingenious script stands tall above the competition. Sweet-minded and shimmering in its comedic beats and even more irresistible in its […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Toni Erdmann’ Is Ambitious but Ultimately Flawed

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Maren Ade‘s touching, and often funny “Toni Erdmann” finds the nuance in many family relationships. Its look into the lives of a father and daughter struggling to take the serious out of their life, and vice versa, is quite charming. It is weirdly neurotic and reckless, but by credits end, […]