Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There are “right now” movies, and there are movies you expect will live on and linger for all time. It’s not, I don’t think, an insult to A Fantastic Woman, the 2017 Berlinale competitor and winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, to say that it’s 100% a “right now” movie, and it will […]

It’s rare enough for a filmmaker in these fallen days to release two major films in one calendar year. It is virtually unprecedented in modern times for both of them to be outright masterpieces, like Pablo LarraΓ­n has gifted unto the world in 2016. And both of them coming from the almost invariably shitty genre […]

It is clear to anyone who’s followed my reviewing through more than one Oscar season, I’m sure, that I have very little use for biopics. But anything can be done right, and there’s not much more right you can get than Jackie. On paper, at least, the film looks like a craven attempt to win […]

Septuagenarian documentary god Patricio GuzmΓ‘n scored an enormous triumph with 2010’s Nostalgia for the Light, one of the most important and under-seen films of the decade. Two things are thus unsurprising: that Nostalgia‘s 2015 companion piece, The Pearl Button, would fail to match the same heights; and that The Pearl Button would still be a […]

The pitch for Gloria from virtually every angle has always been some variant on “yada yada, but Paulina GarcΓ­a is amazing“. And boy, is she ever. Few actors are ever called upon to support an entire feature-length film with such totality – there is, I think, a grand total of one shot in which she […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/11 & 10/13 & 10/22World premiere: 26 August, 2013, Santiago International Film Festival It is good to respect bravery in filmmaking, for there is not enough of it; and not much is braver than trying to make something as thoroughly stagebound as a two-hander work onscreen. A two-hander, for those not versed […]

No

In his reasonably young career, Chilean director Pablo LarraΓ­n has been fighting a hard, bitter battle against long-gone dictator Augusto Pinochet, with largely good results. His second film, Tony Manero, is a breathtakingly cynical black comedy about the degradation of culture and morality in the end of the 1970s, and its follow-up, Post Mortem, a […]

Most of us would not, I suspect, look at the 17-year reign of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and then the branch of astronomy concerned with the study of stellar remnants and the origin of heavy elements, and say to ourselves, “You know, those two things seem to me like two sides of the same coin”. […]