ANOMALY20 REVIEW: Schlaf [Sleep] [2020]

Am I awake? The nightmares are never-ending for Marlene (Sandra Hüller). One second she’s watching television with her daughter Mona (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) and the next finds her screaming in the dark, desperate to grab hold of a bedside journal with which to draw what she’s seen. It’s a house she can’t recall visiting. It’s a suicide by hanging, a suicide by rifle, and a suicide by blade. Over and over the images flicker upon her eyelids because the drugs offer little reprieve. If not for leafing through an on-board…

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REVIEW: High Life [2019]

What do you know about cruelty? Redemption can be an illusion to so many people. They try so hard to make up for past misdeeds that they often fall prey to even more along the way. That’s what happens when you give your quest a tangible goal—achieving it becomes paramount, the process a means to an ends. If you tell a murderer that they will be forgiven upon saving their victim’s family, who’s to say they wouldn’t simply kill another to do so? If you tell someone that saving humanity’s…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: Lena [2011]

“Go on. Always go on.” A normal life was never an option for Lena. Whether a translation tick or a telling line throughout the film, the words “Be normal” crop up often as none of the characters traveling in and out of this young girl’s life come close to the definition. Raised by a prostitute mother constantly belittles her for being fat when not on the phone yelling in Polish about her dying, pimp father, Lena has nothing to her name but pain and suffering. Between the ridicule at home…

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