Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Damned if I know why “Iranian filmmaker directing European art cinema” has turned out to be such a robust, reliable formula, but here we are with Everybody Knows, writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s eighth feature and the first made entirely outside of his home country, and the pattern holds. This is, admittedly, not necessarily the consensus opinion […]

A review requested by Brennan Klein, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! By the start of 1988, Pedro Almodóvar had already made six features, including at least one candidate […]

A previous version of this review appeared at the Film Experience. In 2011, Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero co-directed a very dark-hearted short film called Birdboy, based on Vázquez’s comic Psiconautas. It left only a bit of an impression on me at the time, but over the years has clung voraciously to the lower tiers […]

Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited!… I’m sorry, I can’t even, with that title. Every single Almodóvar film sounds better with its original right name (is not Carne trémula a thousand times sexier-sounding than Live Flesh? Does not Hable con ella flow off the tongue more beautifully than Talk to Her?) but even by those standards, […]

The Great Snow Whitening of 2012 is long past and happily consigned to memory, but let us stop briefly to pay homage to the third film of that calendar year to adapt the Grimm brothers’ most famous fairy tale – the sweetly trivial Mirror Mirror and the wholly useless Snow White and the Huntsman preceded […]

Hey everyone, let’s play a fun game I invented, called “Being Jessica Chastain”. Pretend it’s late 2011, and you are a 34-year-old actress who has gone from complete anonymity to ubiquity in the blink of an eye. You’ve already been in the year’s best-reviewed art film, and you’re one of the most-praised members of the […]

So as it turns out, the cultural hegemony angle on The Impossible is a bit of a non-starter. You know the one I’m talking about, if you’ve been paying much attention to the talk around the movie: the first major international film about the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, which tells the story of how hundreds […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/13 & 10/16Winner of the Silver Hugo in the After Dark CompetitionWorld premiere: 23 September, 2011, Fantastic Fest The newest film by director Jaume Balagueró, Sleep Tight, starts out with a grandiose gesture desiring, in the gravest way, to make us feel incredibly sorry for his protagonist, César (Luis Tosar), a bald […]

Categories: ciff, spanish cinema, thrillers

There are a whole lot of films based on the plays of William Shakespeare – some of them aren’t even Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet – and the great majority of them are bad. Alright, “bad” is a strong word: some of them are bad, such as George Cukor’s stillborn 1936 Romeo and Juliet that […]

Ever since its premiere at Cannes, The Skin I Live In has attracted the customary divisive reviews that attend to Pedro Almodóvar movies and become a talking point among cinephiles here, there, and everywhere. And in all this, not once have I heard of anybody pointing out the extremely important detail that this is basically […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/14 & 10/15 & 10/16World premiere: 4 September, 2010, Telluride Film Festival The reason that animated love story and 20th Century period piece Chico & Rita exists is, basically, because a documentarian, Fernando Trueba, and one of his subjects, the world-renowned designer Javier Mariscal, wanted to make a movie together. I admire […]

There’s a notion that every one of us has fallen into at one point or another: great art is depressing. It’s what drives the Oscars, film festival praise, top 10 lists (if you can think of any critics who explicitly or implicitly declared insightful relationship tragedy Blue Valentine to be superior to insightful relationship action […]