Northwest – Nordvest Film Review (Denmark, 2013)

Michael Noer is a gritty realist, concerned with the unstoppable inertia of the city. Crossing back and forth between documentary and fiction, Noer sees no line between the constructed plots of his films and the real-life social fissures in Danish society. His depictions of the malfunctioning systems that entrap youth into a life of crime and poverty are starkly grounded in reality, which makes the characters in his films all the more believable and tragic.  

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Computer Chess Documentary Film Review (United States, 2013)

An abysmal effort in attempting to bring meaning to style, Computer Chess goes no further than a tedious exercise in stretching (bad) ideas until they tear. The film’s major selling point is that it was filmed using ancient video cameras, documentary style, in order to capture the spirit of the wild frontier of technology in the late seventies. But spirit seems to be the farthest thing from the filmmakers’ minds in this case; instead, C-grade characters with B-grade potential are burdened with a D-minus concept. And we’re given the raw result.  

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Our Children – À Perdre La Raison Film Review – Belgium, 2013

At the start of Our Children, a young couple frolicks about, madly in love, over-the-top saccharine, full of wordless smiles and child-like naivete. Soon, an elderly doctor, clearly a father-figure in the young man’s life, appears. He warns the young man against a serious relationship with the young woman, citing the cultural difference of her being Belgian and him being a Moroccan immigrant as a prime reason. This disapproval offers the first signs of strain, hinting that the young man is somehow indebted to the older man, though the reasons are unclear.  

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Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2013 Preview: Films We’re Looking At Potentially Being Excited About

Due the unfortunate fact that we are merely human and Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is just beginning its three-week film rampage, we’ve sifted through the Festival’s gigantic catalog to come up with the best films of the bunch — or so we suspect. SIFF is annually guaranteed to have a mixture of some of the best and worst films that one can see — and these film recommendations come from the minds of three REDEFINE writers with good intentions. Yet at best, these selections are our most educated hypotheses, determined from a mixture of film industry knowledge and intuitions based on trailers. Below, we’ve grouped our selections for 2013 by world region. Stay tuned in the weeks to come,

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Portland International Festival 2013: Festival Preview & Picks

The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is upon us again, and we have whittled down their list of 100+ international shorts and full-length films to summarize the most interesting, socially-conscious, and boundary-pushing of the bunch. This year’s festival runs from February 7th through the 23rd, beginning with an Opening Night celebration featuring Blancanieves, a silent Spanish reworking of Snow White. Purchase tickets and find out more. Our festival preview begins below with this year’s top five picks, followed by the rest in alphabetical order. Beyond The Hills Directed by Cristian Mungiu (Romania) Based on the novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran, which are real-life documents of demonic possession, Beyond The Hills is a bleak and stark religious drama set an Orthodox

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Almanya – Welcome To Germany (Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland) (2011) Film Review

During the 1960s, a flood of immigration brought thousands of Turks from their homeland to Germany, with promises of well-paying career opportunities. Without cultural context, one might find such a German and Turkish association to be bizarre — but when given historical context, which the heartwarming and humorous Almanya — Willkommen in Deutschland provides, one begins to understand the fascinating culture surrounding that population, which has now spent decades in a foreign country. Almanya documents the story of a Turkish family, headed by a grandpa who has seen his children grow to father more children in Germany. Each member of the large family seems to hold a different opinion about his or her Turkish-German upbringing and personal degree of assimilation

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Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom Giveaway!

Recent influence polls with REDEFINE artists and musicians have revealed that director Wes Anderson, known for such hits as The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, and Life Aquatic, has a new film out in theatres! Set in the ’60s, Moonrise Kingdom is the tale of two young kids who fall in love and run away together. When the entire island town mobilizes to search for them, everything turns unpredictable — and unpredictably filled with Boy Scout costumes.   See all artists & musicians inspired by Wes Anderson In honor of the release of this film, Focus Features is offering a prize pack for giveaway! Three (3) winners who send a message to letters@redefinemag.com with the subject line “MOONRISE KINGDOM” and their name

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Rent-A-Cat (2012) Film Review

Rent-A-Cat chronicles the good-heartedly travels of Sayoko (Mikako Ichikawa), a woman who lives alone. Well, she doesn’t exactly live alone; Sayoko lives with cats. A lot of cats. After her grandmother died, Sayoko operates a cat rental business where she loans out cats to the lonely individuals throughout the world seeking to fill holes in their hearts. All the while, Sayoko deals with her own loneliness, because despite being surrounded by the cats she loves…cats can only love so much.   Directed by Naoko Ogigami Director Naoko Ogigami is sort of a Japanese Wes Anderson — someone who lives and dies by the quirkiness of her films. Rent-A-Cat is chock full of repeated scenarios. Each time Sayoko loans a cat

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Fuck My Wedding (2011) Film Review

Most often when you are attending a foreign film at a film festival, you expect something dark, heavy, and pretty much non-American. For that reason, it is almost a nice breath of fresh air to see Fuck My Wedding at Seattle International Film Festival, as it is a traditional American romantic comedy that just happens to take place in Santiago, Chile and star Chilean actors and actresses.   Fuck My Wedding takes up where its predecessor Fuck My Life ends. Javier (Ariel Levy) proposes to his berserkly attractive girlfriend Ángela (Andrea Velasco) after she accidentally gets pregnant. From the onset, it is clear that Javier’s head isn’t in the relationship, as he is tempted by his boss’s daughter Lucia (Lorenzo

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Rebellion (2011) Film Review

Expectations can be a tricky best, especially when it comes to films. The trailer for Mathieu Kassovitz’s newest film, Rebellion, really makes it seem like a wartime story. In a sense, Rebellion is a wartime story, insomuch that it is set against the tense occupation of the French colony of New Caledonia. But from pretty much the opening sequence on, Rebellion is less a story of battle than it is a story of trying to stop one.   Fellipe Legorjus (Kassovitz) is the captain of the GIGN, a special forces unit trained to tactically deal with terrorist operations generally involving hostages. Legorjus arrives on the island of New Caledonia because Kanak separatists led by Alphonse Dianou (Iabe Lapacas) have taken

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Italy: Love It or Leave It Film Review (2011)

Italy, for all of its romantic and historic wonder, is a country that often seems to be masquerading as a third world country. This is a country, after all, whose recent Prime Minister resigned after a sex scandal (his umpteenth one) that would make a soap opera love triangle seem standard. Italy is a country thoroughly embracing the European debt crisis, and the unemployment rate in young adults is sky high. But despite all of this, Italy, is still a country that virtually every foreigner loves unto death. Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi are looking at a crucial moment in their life. Most of their friends have departed from the country, and Gustav wants to move to Berlin. Luca still

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Klown (Klovn) Film Review (2010)

There was a time when it seemed that the only way an American studio knew how to make money was to churn out some poorly written, slapstick, gross-out comedy with sexual hijinks that invoked cringes, laughs, and three or four poorly written sequels. But just to be clear: films relying entirely on hyper-sexualized situations don’t necessarily have to be from a US studio, as the Danish film Klown demonstrates.   KLOWN FILM REVIEW AND THEATRICAL TRAILER CONTINUED BELOW Klown follows the clueless and witless Frank (Frank Hvam), who just found out his wife Mia (Mia Lyhne) is pregnant and doesn’t think that Frank has what it takes to be a good father. To prove her wrong, in a series of

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