Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Film Review (Israel)

Set almost exclusively in a tiny courtroom, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, is an Israeli-French film about a couple’s lengthy battle for divorce. Simple from its get-go, the film’s major strengths lie in its tense appeal and multiple layers of meaning, which build slowly through use of seemingly trivial gestures. Director-siblings Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz use the limitations of space, time, and color to give viewers a glimpse into Israeli society, where religious views and patriarchy can dominate female rights. This film was seen as a part of Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) 2015.  

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The Gambler Film Review: A Dying Breed?

Runner Runner (2013), which starred Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, also garnered dismal reviews as well as dire box office takings. The indie film Poker Movie, which featured a psychopathic killer and a number of poker-playing police officers, failed to even make the cinemas regardless of its stellar cast. But arguably the most disappointing was The Gambler, Rupert Wyatt’s remake of the 1974 classic that originally starred James Caan and was loosely based off a novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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The Tribe – Плем’я – Plemya Film Review (Ukraine)

Calling to mind controversial films like Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible (2002) or Harmony Korine’s Gummo (1997) and Kids (1995), The Tribe can be construed by some as a film of senseless depravity. Over the course of two hours, it is unrelenting as it bleakly follows the lives of an isolated group of deaf-mute schoolchildren that perpetuate a hierarchical system of bullying, violence, and prostitution within the confines of their school and its adjacent living quarters. The film boasts proudly that no spoken words and no subtitles are necessary to convey its themes of love and hate — and in this regard, The Tribe is, from the get-go, unlike any other. Bold and polarizing, it wordlessly pulls one deep into its trenches,

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Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) 2015 Film Previews & Selections

The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is back, this year with numerous can’t-miss films from all corners of the globe. The festival screenings kick off February 5, 2015, and continue through February 21 at various theaters around Portland. Over the next several weeks, check back here for in-depth reviews of those screenings — but in the meantime, study up; we’ve culled together a list of the most tantalizing offerings you’ll want to check out.

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Top Grossing Marvel Character Movies

Stories of superheroes have been a popular form of entertainment ever since comic books were introduced into the mainstream, but these days, it is the numerous comic book films produced annually that are making the greatest impact. Marvel has benefit from this popularity the most, releasing up to 3 films a year, the most recent being Guardians of the Galaxy. Comic book franchises have some of the highest grossing films of all time, but here are the top 5 featuring their superheroes. This post is a sponsored advertisement.

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I Origins Film Review & Interview w/ Director Mike Cahill: Notes on Spiritual Subjectivity and Artistic Magnetism

An I Origins film review and interview with director Mike Cahill, intertwined with personal anecdotes and musings on past lives, coincidence, and the ability of art to attract like-minded individuals across distances.

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Brian Reitzell Retrospective Feature: From Film Soundtracks to Auto Music

Kraftwerk’s 1974 album, Autobahn, was inspired by the feeling of traveling freely along the open German motorways it was named after. Forty years later, a different driving journey serves as a guiding force behind Brian Reitzell’s debut album, Auto Music: Reitzell’s commute to and from work in Los Angeles. Its motorik kinship with other Krautrock greats is keenly present on tracks like “Auto Music 1″, echoing as it does Can’s formative free-form instrumentation and the metronomic pulse of Neu!. In that sense, the song and album’s influences feel expertly curated–which isn’t surprising, given that Reitzell is the same man who is responsible for the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Just Like Honey” playing over the closing scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation–as well as getting My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields to contribute to that film’s soundtrack after a long spell out of the spotlight.

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Alice Cohen Animator Interview & Music Video Retrospective

“What appeals to me is the potency in the image — the object itself, or the mysterious atmosphere it holds. A truly beautiful image has the power open up this whole inner world; it’s like a visual “key” that unlocks and fires up your imagination.” - Alice Cohen

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DamNation Documentary Film Review (USA, 2014)

“Dams don’t just blend in as part of a landscape anymore. Knowing what I know now, it’s impossible for me to look at dams in the same way as I did a few years ago — or even rivers, for that matter. Dams and hydropower represent a pivotal part of U.S. history; there’s no denying that. But just like any other resource development in the U.S., we took it too far.” - Ben Knight, Director of DamNation

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Kenzo’s Dawn In Luxor Video (Directed by Kahlil Joseph; Music by Shabazz Palaces)

In this slow-moving dream world, long-time collaborators Kahlil Joseph and Shabazz Palaces focus their eyes on a number of figures inhabiting different spaces: a blue-faced boy sitting on a beach; a figure scampering across a dark room; a strong woman standing tall in the breeze. It’s a fashion video that flies in and out of synth washes and the rhymes of Shabazz Palaces, who encourage you to fly with them along metaphysical spaceways. Egyptian hieroglyphics are spliced between scenes — and combined with the veiled figures and African artifacts, one has to wonder what Joseph’s secret message is.

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Class Enemy (Razredni Sovražnik) Film Review (Slovenia, 2014)

Nusa (Masa Derganc), every student’s favorite teacher, goes on maternity leave and is replaced by Robert. Robert is everything that Nusa isn’t — a man who believes in rigid authority and an older style of teaching. A private meeting with a struggling Sabina (Dasa Cupevski) sends her out of Robert’s office in tears, and it is the last memory her classmates have of her. Sabina later commits suicide, and the class, left struggling to comprehend their own emotions, squarely places the blame on Robert. Rok Bicek’s debut feature-length film, Class Enemy, is an interesting exercise in grief, and Bicek undertakes the painstaking task of showcasing how it hits the cast of characters differently. Luka (Voranc Boh), who has just lost

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Four Corners Film Review (South Africa, 2014)

The narrative of Four Corners is equal parts Tsotsi and City of God, set in the sprawling South African ghetto of Cape Flats and following the people that struggle to survive it. At times, the dialogue is sparse and the acting is relatively wooden, but the overall message, and the despair of the situation, makes it an engaging film worth noting. Selected as the official South African submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, Four Corners missed out on a nomination, but remains a bold undertaking by director Ian Gabriel, who chose to tell the story in Sabela, the secret language of certain gangs in South Africa), Tsotsi taal and Afrikaans. Four Corners Theatrical Trailer

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