Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In the first decade of the 21st Century, Argentine director Lucrecia Martel made three feature films and instantaneously became one of the most important and exciting voices in international cinema: first came 2001’s La Ciénaga, then 2004’s The Holy Girl, then 2008’s The Headless Woman, and then silence. Not calculated silence; just one of those […]

The original sin of the anthology film is that no matter how tightly controlled it is, no matter how thematically tight, and no matter how aesthetically consistent, there’s always going to be a segment that isn’t as good as the others, and it’s going to feel like it showed up in the worst possible place […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/18 & 10/19World premiere: 21 May, 2013, Cannes International Film Festival I suppose if the situation was reversed, and The German Doctor was the movie that I think I want it to be, then I’d be bitching in the other direction: that the film was a hopelessly tacky and crass and exploitative […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/18 & 10/20 & 10/21World premiere: 11 February, 2013, Berlin International Film Festival The Argentine coming-of-age psychodrama in static long takes La Paz treads in so many clichés that I honestly don’t know if it avoids tracking all of them all over the nice clean movie theater, let alone how it avoids […]

Let this not be the spot for grousing about the Academy Awards, save for mentioning in the most off-hand way I can that I’ve now seen four of the five nominees for the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and the winner, The Secret in Their Eyes, is the fourth-best of them. I phrase […]

From time to time I stumble across a movie that I really just don’t know what to make of. An example: La León, an Argentinian/French co-production and the feature debut of writer-director Santiago Otheguy, and winner of a special mention at the Berlinale. It’s the last of those that makes me wonder if there’s something […]