List Film

Reviews & features: Foreign

Force Majeure

26 Feb 20155 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Ruben Östlund's masterful dramedy foregrounds weakness

A family skiing holiday turns rivetingly sour in Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund's impeccably executed, discomforting dramedy, which holds humanity under an unflattering, unflinching microscope. It benefits from a simple but terrifically fruitful…

White God

23 Feb 20154 stars

Gripping canine drama from Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó

Kornél Mundruczó’s arresting, prize-winning drama imagines a revolutionary movement of cruelly abused dogs rebelling against their oppressors, and forcefully makes the point that the people running things are not as superior as they think. This…

The New Girlfriend

20 Feb 20152 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Jumbled, Ruth Rendell-inspired drama from François Ozon

François Ozon’s latest feature takes Ruth Rendell’s short story, 'The New Girlfriend', as its jumping-off point. But fans of Rendell’s gripping thrillers won’t find much stylistic likeness in this plodding drama, which is buoyed by its…

A Second Chance

20 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau impresses in this potent drama

Danish policeman Andreas (Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is adjusting to life as a new parent with wife Anna (Maria Bonnevie) when he visits the home of drug addicts Tristan (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and girlfriend Sanne (May Andersen) to discover…

Blind

19 Feb 20154 stars

Glasgow Film Festival: Eskil Vogt's impressive debut explores the titular condition

Norwegian writer-director Eskil Vogt's intriguing directorial debut skilfully investigates the experience of blindness and of social alienation more generally, probing the anxieties of a woman suffering from sight-loss who's become physically and…

The Green Prince

8 Dec 20143 stars

Fascinating but flawed documentary focussing on an Israeli informant

‘The Green Prince’ was the codename used by Israel’s intelligence service for its most highly placed informant, Mosab Hassan Yousef, when he was passing information to them on Hamas’ activities during the Second Intifada. So, at least, runs Yousef’s own…

The Circle

8 Dec 20144 stars

Swiss love story about a real-life romance and the struggle for gay rights

Hogmanay 2014 will bring the first same-sex marriages in Scotland. In terms of the struggle for equality it should be a moment to reflect on battles won, rights achieved and how far the UK has come. Sadly, global events from Uganda and Russia to the…

Manakamana

8 Dec 20144 stars

A mesmeric documentary following pilgrims as they visit the titular temple

Perched atop a mountain in the Nepalese countryside, the temple of Manakamana is a destination for thousands of visitors, devotees and tourists alike, who all make the trip via a panoramic cable car. And it's in this intimate setting that the entirety…

Me, Myself and Mum

1 Dec 20143 stars

Award-winning French comedy from Guillaume Gallienne that'll amuse and bemuse

Me, Myself and Mum has been one of French cinema's surprise crowd-pleasers over the past 18-months. Feted at Cannes 2013, it was also showered with César awards, including Best Film. You suspect British audiences might regard it as more of an acquired…

Eastern Boys

1 Dec 20144 stars

Morally complex, skilfully performed French thriller from Robin Campillo

A transgressive sexual connection gives way to a deeper, far more risky bond in this elegantly made and morally complex French thriller. Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin) initially solicits young Latvian immigrant Marek (Kirill Emelyanov) solely for sex...

The Grandmaster

1 Dec 20143 stars

Stunning but emotionally undernourished martial arts biopic from Wong Kar-wai

Flying fists and the agony of unconsummated romance power Wong Kar-wai's Oscar-nominated kung fu spectacle, which receives a belated UK release after its clandestine premiere when it was unmasked as the 2013 London Film Festival's surprise film

DVD Roundup: Winter 2014

27 Nov 2014

Including François Truffaut classics, Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films, The Lunch Box and Frank

Most of the recent François Truffaut films released on DVD by Artificial Eye don’t need much of a recommendation: films like 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist and Jules et Jim are masterpieces well-acknowledged. But two that might need a bit of a push are…

Edinburgh Greek Film Festival 2014

12 Nov 2014

Films showing include The Enemy Within, Miss Violence and All Cats Are Brilliant?

Greece has had it tough lately. Thanks in part to systemic political corruption and over-reliance on foreign investment, the global financial crisis set the economy reeling. A combination of public discontent and police brutality led to urban violence…

Africa in Motion 2014 film festival round-up

3 Nov 2014

Featuring Robots of Brixton, Afronauts, Beri and Amare, Picture Perfect Heist and Four Corners

Science-fiction is usually the preserve of Hollywood; new African film-makers take the visual cues of Soweto-shot sci-fi hit District 9 back to their roots. Kibwe Tavares' Robots of Brixton (●●●) mixes footage of real-life riots from 1981 with…

The Way He Looks

20 Oct 20143 stars

Charming Brazilian coming-of-age drama from director Daniel Ribeiro

The familiar growing pains of adolescence are captured from a fresh perspective in The Way He Looks, an unassuming but sweetly engaging coming-of-age drama that serves as Brazil's contender for the forthcoming Best Foreign Language Film Oscar tussle.

Mommy

20 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: Xavier Dolan's fifth film is a domestic drama that's raw and hilarious

Mommy deals with the complex issues of mental illness and domestic difficulties in a way that John Cassavetes would admire: by celebrating difference and not shrinking back or judging when things get ugly. After his taut thriller Tom at the Farm…

Scotland's annual film festival Africa in Motion celebrates 20 years of freedom in South Africa

15 Oct 2014

Events include dozens of film screenings, plus talks by directors Eric Kabera and Ian Gabriel

‘I’d like audiences to come away from the festival inspired by the beauty, spirit and innovation of the continent,’ says Natalia Palombo, one of the managers of Scotland’s Africa in Motion film festival, now in its ninth year. Started in 2006 by Dr…

Winter Sleep

10 Oct 20145 stars

London Film Festival: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winning drama is epic story of family in crisis

This masterful, achingly sad story of marital decay and societal rifts is the latest from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the winner of this year's Palme d'Or. It finds a tightly wound, quietly angry family gradually unravelling in their mountain…

Wild Tales

9 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: A hugely entertaining anthology film from director Damián Szifrón

Announcing its disregard for subtlety, sense, lawfulness and decency from the off, this Argentinean anthology film lays out a feast of unhinged antics, introducing us to a collection of diverse characters just as they reach their tipping…

You and the Night

29 Sep 20143 stars

Eric Cantona and Béatrice Dalle star in an oddly lovable orgy dramedy

Looking for the orgy? You’ll find it up Fassbinder Street, left at Almodóvar Corner, on the corner of Pierre et Gilles. Be sure to wear your eye-patch or maid’s uniform, and to bring a poignant story detailing what made you so depraved… Set among the…

Human Capital

24 Sep 20144 stars

An impressive Italian thriller starring Valeria Golino and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

The value of a human life is a question of cold hard currency in Italian writer-director Paolo Virzì's cynical, deftly performed latest. The death of a cyclist is the starting point for a cleverly structured story detailing the shifting, dovetailing…

The Keeper of Lost Causes

26 Aug 20143 stars

Functional Danish thriller featuring appealing performances from Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares

Arriving very late to the Scandi noir party, The Keeper of Lost Causes is based on the best-selling novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen, the first in his Department Q series. The title’s original translation, ‘The Woman in the Cage’, gives a better indication of…

FrightFest 2014: Alleluia

20 Aug 20144 stars

Volver's Lola Dueñas stars in a blood-splattered psychodrama outlining the perils of online dating

A directors' fortnight selection at Cannes 2014, this blood-splattered Belgian-French psychological horror is the fourth feature from writer-director Fabrice Du Welz. The subject is the dangers of online dating; Du Welz conjures up a small scale but…

DVD roundup July 2014: New European cinema releases

16 Jul 2014

A selection of new, under-the-radar re-issues by Leos Carax, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi

In this selection of DVDs there are four Polish films and two French works. Where three of the Polish movies are wonderful examples of what, in Poland in the seventies, was called the Cinema of Moral Anxiety, the French movies are by Leos Carax. Here…

Films from Nabil Ayouch and Peyman Moaadi among the highlights of Middle East Film Festival 2014

13 May 2014

The festival features screenings of Ali Zaoua, Polluting Paradise and The Snow on the Pines

This year's Middle Eastern Film Festival, which takes place at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh and GFT in Glasgow, offers an insight into the region's current political and social situation through the lens of contemporary cinema. The programme focuses on…