Monthly Archives: October 2020

BIFF 2020: Oct. 27

I haven’t seen that many Vietnamese movies, but all the ones I’ve seen I’ve seen at BIFF, and I’m pretty sure all of them were about people of limited means, which I interpreted to represent the bulk of the population. … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 26

Debut features, especially by university trained directors, are a crap shoot, since they often replicate graduation projects. That isn’t usually the case, however, in South Korea, where film students with real ambition and talent are put through the ringer, and … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 25

I spent all day on Kazuo Hara’s latest epic, Minamata Mandala, which is six hours and 12 minutes, thus making it almost twice as long as his last epic, Sennan Asbestos Disaster. The two documentaries are very similar in both … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 24

This is the first time in recent memory that there hasn’t been an Iranian film directed by someone I’m familiar with; or maybe I should say it’s the first time there hasn’t been an available Iranian film directed by someone … Continue reading

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Review: Destroyer

“High-concept” is a term used to describe Hollywood projects that are based on extremely easy-to-grasp ideas that have little to do with story or production values. They’re more like riffs on traditional genre tropes: zombies on Mars, say, or Shakespeare … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 23

Though I’m not writing for a paying media outlet this year, I was still hoping to “attend” a few press conferences. There aren’t that many except for the Opening and Closing films and the features in the Gala Section. Last … Continue reading

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Review: Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band

The title tells you right off the bat what you’re getting into with this supposedly definitive documentary about The Band: Robbie’s version, which has been contentious for years owing to how much drummer/singer/nominal frontman Levon Helm resented his post-breakup stewardship, … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 22

In-person events are the bread and butter of the Busan International Film Festival, which, despite its global reputation as the most important international film festival in Asia and the significance of its concurrent Asian Content Film Market, is by and … Continue reading

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Review: Madre

The news that Spanish director Rodrigo Sorogoyen was going to expand his Oscar-nominated 2017 short film to feature length was met with both excitement and dread. The premise of the short was high-concept to the point of gimmickry, and yet … Continue reading

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BIFF 2020: Oct. 21

I was finally given the tools I needed to register for online press screenings for the Busan International Film Festival. Obviously, I’m not there in person, but the organizers were kind enough to invite me to “attend” remotely, the benefit … Continue reading

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