TIFF REVIEW: Duelles [Mothers’ Instinct] [2019]

“Forgive me” Director Olivier Masset-Depasse lets us know exactly what to expect out of Duelles [Mothers’ Instinct] from the start, introducing an idyllic bourgeois home with all the sensory cues to foreshadow melodramatic suspense. Alice Brunelle (Veerle Baetens) peers out her window as neighbor Céline Geniot (Anne Coesens) leaves, rushing out once the car pulls […]

TIFF REVIEW: Les filles du soleil [Girls of the Sun] [2018]

“Women, life, liberty” It’s just like America to document ISIS as a fight we must combat—like the saviors we are. There’s a reason for this from our perspective, but our jingoistic thought process does detract from what’s occurring on the ground. People are engaged in a war that they have no way to avoid. They’ve […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Jessica Forever [2018]

“Why wouldn’t you come with us?” Redemption is a tricky concept. Can you be redeemed without forgiveness from those you wronged? Are our actions in the aftermath enough to achieve some semblance of peace if they show we’ve learned through remorse? Everyone has a different opinion on the matter whether victim, loved one, stranger, or […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau [Les Salopes or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin] [2018]

“In the end there are only human experiments” Can skin tell the difference between love and desire? It’s an intriguing question Marie-Claire (Brigitte Poupart) can’t help but want to answer as a dermatology professor and lover of sex if only to supply a reprieve from the usual carcinoma studies her doctorate students tediously gravitate towards. […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Un ange [Angel] [2018]

“I’d rather consider myself a gazelle” Two lost souls struggling to reconcile their image meet in Senegal by chance. One’s a prostitute—although she rejects the label and the registration card that’s as much a means to procure wealthy clients as a permanent brand upon her skin. The other is a world famous cyclist just recovered […]

REVIEW: Irma Vep [1996]

“Have you sex with girls?” If you’re going to poke fun at the film industry, you might as well go for broke. Take Olivier Assayas‘ Irma Vep for example. Hot off the success of his acclaimed Cold Water, he was recruited for a project about foreigners in Paris with Claire Denis and Atom Egoyan. When […]

REVIEW: L’eau froide [Cold Water] [1994]

“Extravagant maneuvers” Originally envisioned as a 52-minute chapter of a television anthology series with strict thematic and contextual rules, Olivier Assayas‘ L’eau froide [Cold Water] eventually found itself as the much sought-after 90-minute Cannes debut that cemented the auteur’s style, acclaim, and promise without ever reaching American shores due to lapsed music rights. He would […]

REVIEW: Un beau soleil intérieur [Let the Sunshine In] [2017]

“Being a backstreet lover is just unbearable” Is love all consuming? Or disposable? If you discover it’s one above the other, how do you know you’re right? The answer is simple: love is whatever you need it to be for yourself. Don’t compromise your happiness or comfort. Don’t allow your beau to walk over your […]

REVIEW: Le Redoutable [Godard Mon Amour] [2017]

“I was lucky enough to admire my lover” We’re introduced to Emile (Marc Fraize) halfway through Michel Hazanavicius‘ Le Redoubtable [Godard Mon Amour]. He’s a local Frenchman with a car and the means to procure enough gas to drive an argumentative Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), his wife Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), and their friends (Micha […]

REVIEW: Hannah [2018]

“He’s not coming” To see the titular character (Charlotte Rampling) at the start of Andrea Pallaoro‘s Hannah is to see someone like any other. She rides public transportation to her eccentric acting class, cooks dinner, and enjoys a quiet evening beside her spouse. The film’s start is ostensibly a silent one with only the noises […]

REVIEW: La passion de Jeanne d’Arc [The Passion of Joan of Arc] [1928]

“His ways are not our ways” The history of Carl Theodor Dreyer‘s masterwork La passion de Jeanne d’Arc [The Passion of Joan of Arc] is almost too perfectly attuned to the subject matter itself. Here was a renowned director hired to craft a movie about France’s most famous Catholic despite being neither French nor Catholic. […]