Movie Review: The Children Act (2017)
'The Children Act showcases yet another powerful performance from Emma Thompson, who elevates this undeniably flawed picture into an affecting adult drama..
TIFF 2018 • It’s That Time of Year for Paprika Steen
From Danish director and actor Paprika Steen comes a caustic comedy about the deep-rooted grievances that can rip families apart -- and the ties that bind them together..
TORONTO 2018: Soudade Kaadan • Director • Interview
'You don’t know how much you are traumatised until you leave.' Soudade Kaadan’s magical realist tale set in Syria in 2012 won Best Debut Film at Venice. Cineuropa chatted to..
VENICE 2018 • Interview
Sudabeh Mortezai on "Joy"

The second film by Sudabeh Mortezai, winner of the Europa Cinemas Label in the Giornate degli Autori, is a provocative unique and feminine take on human trafficking..
Film Review: A Fortunate Man
Bille August, the director of Pelle the Conqueror, nails another Danish classic. A Fortunate Man, as challenging as any project that August has taken on, is based on Henrik Pontoppidan’s Nobel Prize-winning Lucky Per..
As I Lay Dying (2018)
Mostafa Sayyari's free adaptation of William Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' will be screened in the Orizzonti Competition, which is dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in..
3 Iranian films at Venice festival 2018
Three Iranian movies will be screened in the various categories of the 75th Venice International Film Festival which opened in the Lido on Wednesday..
Iranian 'Master Actor' Entezami Diess at 94
Ezzatollah Entezami, one of the most prominent actors of the Iranian cinema and theater, who was named ‘master actor’ in his memoirs, died on Friday at the age of 94..
Tickets on Sale Now:
The 11th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco

Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco, the first independent Iranian film festival outside of Iran, will present 48 films at its 11th annual event..
Putin's Witnesses
Interview • Vitaly Mansky
Cineuropa met up with Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky at the Odesa IFF to discuss his latest award-winning movie, Putin’s Witnesses. Putin in 1999 and what he is..
Brothers (Kardeşler) (2018)
Turkish filmmaker Ömür Atay’s Brothers is a heady slice of familial melodrama that centres on the fractured relationship between two brothers and the secrets of the past that threaten to tear them apart..
Tully (2018)
The Importance of Self-care
"Tully" unearths uncomfortable truths in a wry, wise way. It delves into the modern parenthood experience with an admirably deft blend of humor and raw honesty..
Film Review: ‘Pollock’
What happened to Jackson Pollock when he was painting? That's what Ed Harris communicates in the film. What Harris, in an Oscar-nominated turn, is able to show in "Pollock" is that..
'20th Century Women'
Chain-smoking and Birkenstock-wearing 55-year-old Dorothea "comes from the Depression," explains her 15-year-old son Jamie, as though "The Depression" is the planet Jupiter..
Film Review: ‘Aquarius’
Led by a powerful performance from Sônia Braga, Aquarius uses a conflict between a tenant and developers to take an insightful look at the relationship between space and identity..
Factory of Lies (2018)
The False News From Russia
Russia has launched an information war - introducing a new weapon. Hundreds of young Russian are producing fake news from fake profiles. But some brave Russian..
Film Review: ‘Mary Shelley’
“Mary Shelley” is a rarity: a literary biopic with an argument. Which is by no means to say that the film, directed by Haifaa al-Mansour (“Wadjda”) forgoes the expected pleasures of the genre..
The legendary actress leaves our world
Today the legendary Iranian-American actress Vida Ghahremani passed away after battling cancer for many years. She went beyond taboos of her time to have the very first..
A Thousand Times Goodnight: Absorbing fact-based drama
Beautifully filmed and powerfully acted, 1,000 Times Good Night achieves absorbing fact-based drama without overindulging in Hollywood contrivances. Starring Juliette..
Cannes 2018 • Changeless Change • Jean-Luc Godard and Jia Zhangke
“We are never sad enough for the world to be better,” laments a concluding female voice in 'The Image Book.' “Something that burns so..
Sridevi honoured At the Cannes Film Festival 2018
Veteran Bollywood actress Sridevi was honoured with the TITAN Reginald F Lewis Film Icon Award at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival..
CANNES 2018 • Awards
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film has scooped the top prize, while other names on the winners’ list include Europeans Alice Rohrwacher, Marcello Fonte, Pawel Pawlikowski and Jean-Luc Godard..
CANNES 2018 • Un Certain Regard • Awards
CANNES 2018: Victory for the film by Swedish-Iranian director Ali Abbasi. Girl scoops the Award for Best Performance, while Sofia, Donbass and The Dead and the Others are..
Cannes Film Review: ‘Ash Is Purest White’
Jia Zhangke’s gangster epic is a twisting tale of love and survival in 21st-century China. A winding tale of love, disillusionment and survival that again represents his vision of..
Cannes 2018: Lars von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built’
It’s a drama that leaves you shaken yet detached, chilled and a little numb. Almost every scene in it has been overly designed to grab your attention..
Cannes Film Review: ‘Bergman — A Year in a Life’
Ingmar Bergman emerges as a compulsive figure with a very grand hunger in a penetrating documentary about his pivotal year of 1957..
CANNES 2018 Competition • 'Summer' (Leto) • Review
CANNES 2018: You'd be right in thinking this was a biopic, but Kirill Serebrennikov's new film – in the running for the Palme d'Or – is above all a ray of light and colour..
Cannes Film Review: Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘The Image Book’
Jean-Luc Godard's new film is a kaleidoscopic bulletin on the state of our world, and the question it asks could apply to itself: Is anyone watching?..
Iran’s Asghar Farhadi • On the push and pull of home
CANNES, France — The Cannes Film Festival opening-night premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows” coincided almost exactly with President Trump’s announced..
Cannes Film Review: ‘Sextape’
Half the conversation in “Sextape” is about blowjobs
Two cads treat their girlfriends like sex toys in a slice of bad behavior that would like to be a vérité youthquake but sticks to the raunchy..
CANNES 2018 • Un Certain Regard • Ali Abbasi • Border
CANNES 2018: Cineuropa talked to Tehran-born director Ali Abbasi about his sophomore effort, Border, based on a short story by John Lindqvist and screening in Un..
Cannes 2018: The directors who are banned from attending the film festival
Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi and Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov – who both have films competing for the Palme d’Or – have..
'Wonder Wheel'
A larger-than-life Kate Winslet

Actress sets the screen on fire in filmmaker's torrid period drama about broken Brooklyn dreamers. Kate Winslet is on fire in Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel..
Through the Black Forest
A Rare Interview With von Trier
Here he looks back at his work, talks about his forthcoming movie, and reveals his idea for a new series of small films. Finally he makes a comment on his controversial statement..
Nasser Cheshmazar
'Rain of Love' creator dies at 68

A prominent Iranian composer who was best known for his memorable album “Rain of Love” and theme music for over 20 movies, died of a heart attack on Friday. He was 68..
The Young Karl Marx
Brainy Content Bracing
The early years of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Jenny Marx, between Paris, Brussells and London. In Paris, Marx struggles, unpaid by Ruge, unable to provide for his wife Jenny..
'Lucky' • Movie Review
Harry Dean Stanton Gets the Goodbye He Deserves

Lucky is a bittersweet meditation on mortality, punctuating the career of beloved character actor Harry Dean Stanton. The late, great..
U – July 22 • Film Review
Norwegian kills for thrills?
Erik Poppe’s hyperrealist one-take dramatisation of Anders Breivik’s summer camp massacre offers little sign of moral perspective..
Interview • Kamyar Mohsenin
The Fajr International Film Festival’s manager of international relations, Kamyar Mohsenin, explains to Cineuropa how the gathering has played a vital role in the development of Iranian cinema..
Inuit drama "Aga"
Crowned best at Fajr Film Fest
Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov’s drama “Ága” about two Inuits that live with the dream of reuniting their family has been picked as best movie at the 36th Fajr International Film..
Interview • Director Sergei Loznitsa on Russia
The acclaimed Ukrainian director discusses his latest drama A Gentle Creature, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the ‘hell’ of Russian history. “Hell isn’t when horrible things..
Oliver Stone In Iran 2018
For attending Movie Festival
American movie director Oliver Stone was Iran on Monday attending an international film festival. Stone hosted a workshop for filmmakers during the Fajr Film Festival..
Cate Blanchett • To Lead Cannes Film Festival Jury
Chaired by Australian actress Cate Blanchett, the competition jury at the 71st Cannes Film Festival (9-19 May) has now had its line-up unveiled in its entirety..
CANNES 2018 Official Selection
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Yann Gonzalez and Sergey Dvortsevoy are all now in the race for the Palme d’Or. Lars von Trier will feature out of competition, while Terry Gilliam will close the festival..
Lars von Trier
Receives Denmark's Largest Cultural Award

Denmark's largest cultural award of one million kroner, awarded to Danish film director Lars von Trier on Thursday at the University of..
IRAN NOW • A Mini Festival
The Danish Film Institute 2018
IRAN NOW is a mini festival that looks into the situation in Iran right now, as it is expressed artistically, culturally and socially. Through plenty of guests, we explore the..
The Party (2018)
It Knocks The Wind Out of You

Potter's comic dissection of the London intelligentsia's personal and political angst is completely of the moment. Old-fashioned charm meets sharp wit and modern social..
'Umbra' and 'Like a Good Kid'
Two Iranian movies join Cannes competition
Two movies by Iranian filmmakers will be competing in the Cannes Film Festival as the 71st edition of the event will open with..
Peter Bradshaw on the Cannes 2018 lineup
Some mixed signals with the traditional unveiling of the Cannes film festival’s official selection: a very lively and effervescent list, with eight newcomers in competition and..
Cannes Festival To Feature Films By Dissident Iranian, Russian Directors
France's Cannes film festival has made a show of support for dissident directors in Iran and Russia in unveiling its selection of films..
Cannes 2018
Un Certain Regard puts its faith in young talents

The Cannes selection features a strong European presence, six feature debuts, and films by Valeria Golino, Bi Gan, Ali Abbasi..
Jafar Panahi: Cannes 2018
French Authorities To Appeal Iran For Filmmaker’s Fest Presence. Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux said today that the festival will appeal to Iran for the filmmaker’s presence..
Copenhagen to screen
'The Home' (Ev) from Iran

A superbly cinematic chamber piece, 'The Home' (Ev) has been selected for screening at Danish Film Institute during a festival of Iranian films..
Last Men in Aleppo (2017)
Feras Fayyad’s Breathtaking Work
Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature and winner of the Grand Jury documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival..
Doc on Farhadi’s “Salesman”
to premiere in Tehran

A documentary on Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama 'The Salesman' is scheduled to premiere in Tehran in the near future. It will be screened at the Art and Experience..
'Everybody Knows' to open the Cannes Film Festival
The film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi will be screened in competition as the opening movie of the 71st Cannes Film Festival starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Ricardo Darin..
Faces Places (2017)
A Visual Ode to Ordinary People

Agnes Varda is almost 90 years old and she is still making fantastic films. Searching, compassionate, provocative, funny, sad ones. This is one of them..
A Fantastic Woman (2018)
The story of Marina who undergoes several misfortunes after losing a loved one. A woman who is not granted the respect a grieving wife or girlfriend would receive. All she wants is be allowed to say goodbye, to grieve publicly..
‘In the Fade’ (2017)
A Tale of Grief and Violence

How should liberal societies deal with homegrown political extremists, who seek protection from the democratic norms and institutions they are committed to destroying?
John Malkovich • Interview
Recently, at the Hotel Caron in Paris, I got up to use the bathroom one night and found myself out in the hallway instead. But that is one of a million: I am a constant source of embarrassment to myself..
'Loveless’ (2017)
Unnerving and Fearless

Loveless is a stunning indictment of complacency, and a reminder of how fast something you love — like our democracy — can suddenly go poof if you look away..
The Big Lebowski
A typical Coen brothers film is like no film you've ever seen. It blows other more recent slacker comedies out the water and proves that Bridges can do any role..
Berlin: Mani Haghighi's "Pig"
Talks Buzzy Black Comedy

Iranian director and actor Mani Haghighi is a Berlinale aficionado. His gender-bender “A Dragon Arrives!” made a splash when it launched from the fest’s competition section..
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Anger is an energy in Martin McDonagh’s brilliant “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ,” one of the best films of the year. A vigilante mother takes matters into her own..
36th Fajr Film Festival
winners honored

The annual Fajr Film Festival (FFF) came to an end on Sunday at Tehran’s Milad Tower after presenting awards to the best of cinematic productions in the past year..
The Glass Castle (2017)
Affecting, Moving and Well acted
A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s..
Lars von Trier receives the biggest award in Denmark
The biggest cultural award in Denmark, the Sonning Prize (Sonningprisen) this year goes to Danish filmmaker and screenwriter Lars von Trier, who was elected by a committee..
Armed With Words & Wings
Michael Strunge became the voice of a new generation and a mirror reflection of their identity and life, while he struggled with anxiety and psychotic attacks that pushed him to commit suicide at the age of 27..
THE INSULT (2017)
Civil War Beirut Style

Lebanese film director Ziad Doueiri made headlines recently when authorities in Beirut arrested him at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport for questioning about..
The Apu Trilogy
Achingly poignant, beautifully shot, and evocatively atmospheric, Satyajit Ray's classic trilogy is a masterpiece no cinephile can afford to miss. "I can never forget the excitement in my mind after seeing it..
Walk With Me (2017)
A thoroughly meditative cinema

One of the most calming documentaries you’re likely to ever see is “Walk with Me,” a documentation of Zen Buddhists and their community of Plum Village in France..
What Will People Say (2017)
TORONTO 2017: Cineuropa spoke with Norwegian director Iram Haq whose latest film 'What Will People Say' had its world-premiering at Toronto. “I used the knowledge I have to tell a story so we can build bridges..
Silence (2016)
A once in a lifetime movie

Is it moral to allow others to suffer when their suffering can be ended with a single symbolic gesture? Would God want that? Maybe the priest is destined to realize that it’s all right..
Sepideh Farsi preparing The Siren
1980, Abadan. The capital of the Iranian oil industry is resisting an Iraqi siege. Omid, a 14-year-old boy, has stayed back in the city, with his grandfather, waiting for his..
Sohrab Shahid Saless
The Experience of Exile

A visionary and truly transnational artist, Shahid Saless remained a solitary figure throughout his life. Still his films have left an indelible mark..
EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2017
The Square sweeps the Awards
Ruben Östlund’s film The Square – and more specifically a comedy – has taken home most of the awards from the European Film Awards ceremony..
Sophie's Choice • Review
Streep is memorable as Sophie

So perfectly cast and well-imagined that it just takes over and happens to you. It's quite an experience. 'Sophie’s Choice' begins as a young Southerner's odyssey to..
'Vanaja' • Movie Review
A wondrous piece of filmmaking
A Sensitive, Engaging movie from a first-time filmmaker. Rajnesh Domalpalli made this poignant 2006 drama as his thesis film for a master's degree at Columbia University..
Invasion (2017)
How Thirsty are you?

'Invasion' is Shahram Mokri’s third feature after Fish & Cat. Both pics experiment “with nonlinear narrative, thriller elements and point of view,” as Variety critic wrote in her..
Half Moon | Niwemang
A road movie unlike any other
The Kurds may not yet have a country, but as long as Bahman Ghobadi keeps making movies they have a national cinema. Bahman Ghobadi's Half Moon is a beautiful and..
Emma Thompson demands
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is brought home

Actress Emma Thompson has accused Boris Johnson of doing “sweet FA” for the British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran..
Kedi (2017) • Movie review
As soft and warm as a kitten
Kedi is a cat fancier's dream, but this thoughtful, beautifully filmed look at Istanbul's street feline population offers absorbing viewing for filmgoers of any purr-suasion..
'Young Torless' • Cruelty of Man Is Explored
A great psychological and philosophical treatise on how normal, well-to-do people, can turn themselves into "torturers and sacrificial lambs," as Torless himself states..
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Movie Review
With uniformly great performances throughout the cast and Lanthimos’ stunning eye for detail and composition, this is one of the most unforgettable films of the year..
Until the Birds Return (2017)
My characters are at a turning point in their personal lives, yet they are not and do not want to be actors for change. In the 1990s an unprecedented civil war left 200,000 dead in Algeria, and tens of thousands..
The Divine Order (2017)
A hilarious comedy that hides ill-concealed discomfort
Petra Volpe continues to talk to us about women, and does so by turning the spotlight on a somewhat inglorious episode
Iranian filmmaker Cannot attend stokholm film festival
The acclaimed Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof has been denied exit from Iran and will not be able to attend the Stockholm International Film Festival..
WINDOW HORSES • A Canadian film about Iranian Poetry
A young Canadian poet with Chinese and Persian parents travels to Iran to perform at a poetry festival. Ann Marie Fleming’s..
A Look at “My Brother Khosro”
An intelligent movie dealing with a pain, a pain that without any pessimistic approach is part of a pain of a family, one of whose members has a mental problem..
ON THE BEACH 2017
'This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.' These lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears..
Al Berto: A Biopic about the life of Portuguese poet
Liberty was there for the taking, but people had not been taught to be free and were not sure exactly what to do with it. Al Berto was ready for Sines, but Sines wasn’t..
Houman Seyyedi talks to CWB
I knew Houman Seyyedi as a very talented actor until I learned about him as a film director and then came the big suprise. After watching the four movies that..
Pouran Drakhshandeh talks about Under the Smoky Roof
Last Thursday, was the opening night of 'Under the Smoky Roof', a social drama directed by Pouran Derakhshandeh at the Fine Arts Theater, Los Angeles..
12 European films awarded At The Warsaw Film Fest
The Polish event’s Grand Prix went to the Chinese feature To Kill a Watermelon. Danish film The Charmer by Milad Alami won Competition 1-2 prize..
LOVING VINCENT (2016)
The final mysterious days in the life of Vincent van Gogh are the subject of investigation in this formally daring work, seven years in the making, that marries live action performance to..
Never Let Me Go
With Never Let Me Go, Mark Romanek has delivered a graceful adaptation that captures the spirit of the Ishiguro novel -- which will be precisely the problem for some viewers..
Interview • Milad Alami
SAN SEBASTIÁN 2017: Cineuropa chatted to Swedish-Iranian filmmaker Milad Alami, whose feature debut, The Charmer, is currently taking part in New Directors at San Sebastián..
Wild (2014)
Mini-Odyssey of a broken character
'I’m going to walk myself back to the woman my mother thought I was.' Powerfully moving and emotionally..
An Iranian film director
On the country's censorship

How does censorship work in Iran? The FRANCE 24 Observers team is publishing a two-part interview about censorship and Iranian cinema..
Mountain | Monte (2016)
Now, at 70 years old, Amir Naderi is a true international filmmaker. After "Mountain" (made in Italy) he is now ready to come home to US and start all over again. "It is just the beginning,"..
10th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco
Welcome to the 10th Annual Iranian Film Festival – San Francisco. This year, the festival presents 40 films from Iran, USA, Italy, France, Canada..
Shirin Neshat • Interview
VENICE 2017

Iranian artist Shirin Neshat remembers an iconic figure from Arab music on the big screen in Looking for Oum Kulthum, a film in competition in the Giornate degli Autori
VENICE 2017 • Interview
Emre Yeksan's The Gulf

“We live in a period of slow decay, and the smell won’t go away any time soon.” Emre Yeksan’s feature debut, The Gulf, has been premiered in the International..
Video Essay Explores
Orson Welles’ ‘F For Fake’

Most cineastes associate Orson Welles with films like “Touch of Evil” and “Citizen Kane.” But his 1974 oddity, is worth seeking out for those who wish to dig..
‘MOTHER! • VENICE 2017
7 Things to Know About

Darren Aronofsky's 'Mother' centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence...
Shirin Neshat • VENICE
'Looking for Oum Kulthum'

“story of an Iranian woman filmmaker, living in exile, who dares to make a film about an iconic Arab singer without being Arabic herself,” Neshat said in her first..
VENICE 2017 • Orizzonti
'Oblivion Verses'

Iranian filmmaker Alireza Khatami is presenting his debut feature Oblivion Verses in Orizzonti at Venice, where Cineuropa spoke to him about fantasy..
VENICE 2017 Competition
'Human Flow'

Artist Ai WeiWei is in the Venice competition with this documentary shot in 2015 and 2016, uncovering the growing crisis of displaced people across the..
Asghar Farhadi begins filming 'Everybody Knows'
The two-time Oscar winner is shooting this European co-production in Spain, with a Spanish-speaking cast headlined by Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz..
The Song Of Scorpions
Anup Singh’s ambitious third feature stars Golshifteh Farahani and Irrfan Khan, following an independent woman as she struggles against hardship and treachery to remain true to her own instincts..
Tokyo Sonata :: Movie Review
An adventurous work both disturbing and ultimately moving. Kiyoshi Kurosawa's first domestic drama is music to general audience's ears..
The Homesman (2014)
A genuine art film
"The Homesman," despite the title, is about women. Women are the center of the action, women drive the action forward, women are not only damsels in..
MONSIEUR IBRAHIM :: Movie Review
Tender but never sappy, Monsieur Ibrahim brings two people of vastly different age and background together in ways that are touching, and telling..
The Innocents (2016)
'The Innocents’ is a profound meditation on a forgotten moment in history. Lou de Laage shines in Anne Fontaine's provocative historical drama. When Anne Fontaine’s “The Innocents” made its..
VENICE 2017 :: Venice Days
Samira Makhmalbaf named as jury president for Venice Days 2017. The Iranian actress and director will chair the jury made up of 28 young viewers from..
NETWORK (1976)
It's never been more timely
Criticised by some at the time for a certain naivety and lack of subtlety, this remains one of the most devastating condemnations of the media's urge to..
Woody Allen & his New Orleans Jazz Band at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival
The iconic filmmaker and clarinet player Woody Allen joins the international headliners at the Copenhagen Jazz Fest
Death And The Maiden
A thought-provoking piece
"Death and the Maiden" is said to be based on events in Chile, but it could take place in any of the many countries where rule is by force and intimidation..
'Insyriated'(2017)
Gripping from start to finish

This nerve-wracking study of life in Damascus won an Audience Award at Berlinale. Hiam Abbass holds together a household under siege in..
Ali & Nino (2016)
A fascinating story of two young people in love who found themselves between East and West cultures during World War I and Civil War when young democratic Azerbaijan Republic got squashed by..
Dangerous Beauty (1998)
Venezia's Hidden Treasure

Based on the true story of Veronica Franco, a well-born Venetian beauty who deliberately chose the life of a courtesan because it seemed a better choice than..
The Polygon People
The Documentary
A First look at the ‘most nuked place on Earth’ where Soviet Union detonated 456 bombs over the course of 40 years. A look at the way locals’ lives were..
‘When God Sleeps’ (2017)
winner of the Golden Heynal

The best music documentary film and hence the winner of the Golden Heynal award at the 57th Krakow Film Festival, by the decision of the Jury under the..
Cannes 2017 • Awards
And the winners are...
Ruben Östlund’s The Square wins the Palme d’Or. Pedro Almodóvar’s jury divided its prizes across a generally deserving spread of films..
Retrospective • Dustin Hoffman • The Graduate
Dustin Hoffman turns 80 later this year, the Irish Film Institute (IFI) takes the opportunity to celebrate the work of Dustin Hoffman, on the occasion of..
Mohammad Rasoulof's
Goodbye | Be omide didar
Another superb piece of work produced in Iran. Let's pause for a minute and reflect on just how difficult it is to get these movies made..
A Master's Final Frames
Cannes 2017

Movingly presented at the largest cinema in Cannes, the Iranian auteur Abbas kiarostami's final film may be the most experimental ever shown at the..
Iranian filmmaker wins major prize at Cannes
Iranian auteur Mohammad Rasoulof's bleak drama "A Man of Integrity" won the Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes film festival on Saturday..
Kantemir Balagov's 'Closeness' at Cannes
A social realist debut from Kantemir Balagov is an intense film influenced by the Dardenne brothers. For the Un Certain Regard selection at Cannes..
Cannes’ FIPRESCI Prize goes to (Beats Per Minute)
The international critics have crowned Robin Campillo’s film BPM (Beats Per Minute); Closeness and The Nothing Factory also awarded..
The award winners of the Cinéfondation unveiled
Student films from Belgium, Iran and France, awarded at the Cinéfondation. The jury of the Cinéfondation, chaired by Cristian Mungiu, has handed prizes..
The Golden Eye goes to 'Faces, Places' at Cannes
The film by Agnès Varda and JR has won the award for the best documentary screened across the various Cannes selections this year..
'They' (2017)
Movie Review • Cannes 2017

A minor-key portrait of an identity crisis. Jane Campion executive produced Iranian-born director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh's debut feature..
Susan Sarandon talks film and politics • Cannes 2017
In the run-up to the screening, Sarandon, who was named an ambassador for the beauty brand last year, sat down with WWD to talk film..
Loveless (2017)
Cannes 2017 • Movie Review

Such a haunting experience that it remains absorbing even when it doesn't go anywhere. Russia has always been a cold and dreary place in the cinema of..
Get Out (2017)
With the ambitious and challenging “Get Out,” Jordan Peele reveals that we may someday consider directing the greatest talent of this fascinating actor and writer..
Karim Moussaoui
Interview • Cannes 2017

Cineuropa met up with Karim Moussaoui to discuss his first film 'Until the Birds Return', presented in the Un Certain Regard section at the 70th Cannes Film..
Alejandro Jodorowsky's 'Endless Poetry' (2016)
Alejandro Jodorowsky's 'Endless Poetry' is the most accessible movie he has ever made, and it may also be the best. It's Felliniesque and moving..
The Other Side of Hope
Movie review

Five years after Le Havre, Finland’s deadpan morose-romantic master delivers the second part of a prospective ‘dockyard trilogy’ with this..
Lerd (2017) • Cannes
Interview with M. Rassoulof
Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rassoulof represents Iran at the Un Certain Regard competition section of the 70th Cannes Film Festival with his latest film ..
Arnaud Desplechin talks about 'Ismael’s Ghosts'
CANNES 2017: French director Arnaud Desplechin talks about Ismael’s Ghosts, which was screened out of competition at the opening of the 70th Cannes Film..
Happy End (2017)
Cannes Film Festival
First Clip from Michael Haneke’s ‘Happy End’ Features a Very Unhappy Dinner Party. After all, this is the director behind such films as 'The White Ribbon,' 'Amour..
Vanessa Redgrave Sparks
'The Loves of Isadora'

Karel Reisz' biographical portrait of Isadora Duncan stars Vanessa Redgrave as the famed modern dancer, who gained notoriety for her revolutionary..
Wild Tales (2015)
An inventive Argentinian film
Argentina’s “Wild Tales” comes as such an extraordinary surprise. Perhaps the best multi-story feature this reviewer has ever seen..
Noureddin Zarrinkelk
Life Achievement Award

A tribute to legendary Iranian/American animation director, writer and illustrator. Born on April 10, 1937 in Iran, Zarrinkelk founded the first school of Animation..
"The Idea of a Lake"
By Milagros Mumenthaler
Finding inspiration in the true story of a woman whose father disappeared during the civilian-military dictatorship in Argentina..
Tehran Taboo (2017)
First animation in Critics’ Week

In his animated drama, the German-Iranian filmmaker paints a dark picture of the metropolis, a city of prohibitions..
The Day Will Come
London Film Festival 2016
Based on real stories from a boy home called ‘godhavn’, where lots of boys were victims of violent and sexual abuse and medical experiments...
Respiro (2003)
The Critics' Week Grand Prize Winner at Cannes 2002

A cheerful, life-affirming film, strong in its energy, about vivid characters ; using mental illness as an entertainment..
Southside with You (2016)
Barack and Michelle Obama's First Date
A mostly-true account of the first date between Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. A look back on a fateful..
History of the Festival de Cannes
A NEW FESTIVAL IS BORN

The first edition of the Festival was originally set to be held in Cannes in 1939 under the presidency of Louis..
Hidden Reserves:
Immortality, but at what price?
Vienna in the near future. An insurance company has created a system in which people do not even have a right to..
Slavoj Zizek's
The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

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Cannes 2018. Changless Change — Jean-Luc Godard and Jia Zhangke

Notebook Festival
Cannes 2018. Correspondences:
Changeless Change — Jean-Luc Godard and Jia Zhangke

Daniel Kasman, Mubi
13 May 2018

“We are never sad enough for the world to be better,” laments a concluding female voice in The Image Book.

“Something that burns so much is more pure.”

On "The Image Book", a new essay film by Godard on man's endless wars, and "Ash Is Purest White", Jia Zhangke's melodrama of a changing China.

Jean-Luc Godard's 'The Image Book' won the Special Palme d'Or at #Cannes71. This is not the official Palme, but a special, unique prize handed out by the Cate Blanchett jury.



The Notebook is covering Cannes with an on-going correspondence between critics Lawrence Garcia and Daniel Kasman.

Dear Lawrence,
I also was impressed by Jaime Rosales’s Petra—and especially, as you note, by actress Bárbara Lennie, whose reserved intelligence and natural poise suggest an eloquent capability of character: Whenever she is in a scene, whether in Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows or this one, one feels anything is possible in the drama, because she suggests an independence consciously held in check, thinking, feeling, waiting, and above all choosing when to speak, when to act.

When to act” could be the central question of Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book, which has premiered in the Cannes Film Festival's competition. Taking the form of an essay film collage akin to his opus Histoire(s) du cinéma, it is a salvo of anger and soul-searching inquiry from this director too-often venerated only for his 1960s films (Pierrot le fou adorns the poster for Cannes this year) and dismissed for his later ones that, with far greater rigor, ask some of the hardest questions about ourselves as people living in the same era as he.

Undoubtedly the most experimental feature ever shown in Cannes competition, collaging clips of film and news, some recognizable and much not, using sources of various resolution and quality and often distorting the material with extreme color filtration or smudged clarity, the soundtrack a beautifully abrupt edit of text readings (some by a beleaguered-sounding Godard, as if murmuring or reciting to himself late at night), film dialog (much unsubtitled) and music samples, The Image Book feel like notes from the underground, a bunker film, trying to assemble and learn from the moving image remnants of humankind in the 20th and 21st century.

This is as much “a film by Godard” as it is “research by Godard,” a work of poetic scholarship infused in equal measures by despair and aspiration. Premiering such an intimate and dense film, one which often makes the screen seem like a scarred, ancient entity, the cave wall on which we try to decipher old meanings and a transmission of values, in such a prestigious place as Cannes is an admirable gesture by the festival not merely to legacy of the Godard name, but to the urgency of the analysis of his thinking, and the deep warning and profound example The Image Book offers through this thought.

Made of five chapters, opening with “Remakes,” on the mutable repetitions of modern human wars, moving to a chapter on revolutions, trains (their possibilities of escape but also intimations of death camps), the “spirit of law”—who judges and thereby where justice lays—and concluding with “la région centrale”—a movement to the Middle EastThe Image Book absorbs clips from cinema and reportage, equating both, trusting both, to search for the reason why violence between human being continues. Why, the film asks, if we have the capability of filming, of recording, acts of horror, do we keep repeating the cruelty, continuing the oppression? Flattening the distinction between the fiction films Godard is citing (including many of his own) and newsreels and Internet clips, popping the aspect ratio of films to expand the frame, The Image Book sees the moving image culture of the cinema era as both inquisitor and evidence for our capacity for horror, as well as for compassion and grace. Siegfried spears the dragon in Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen, ISIS guns down pedestrians in the drive-by, and Orpheus, stabbed through in Cocteau's Testament of Orpheus, collapses: one, two, three. “Only a fragment leaves the mark of authenticity,” the voiceover later quotes.

This film, whose canvas of imagery is so generous that even with something like half of the film untranslated for this uneducated American the force and the meaning were clear, we read like a picture book—and indeed I wish I could flip back and forth, or, more appropriately, scrub through the timeline, revisiting passages like stanzas that were obscure or lost on me. (Watching films Godard has made since the 1980s on can often be a humbling encounter, strangely rare in the art of cinema, between an audience and daunting erudition.)

Through these pictures, Godard simultaneously shows the capacity for images not just to record and report but to argue and analyze, that reality is thought through in the movies, and the cinema is a powerful enough tool that we can use its art to think through itself. “Counterpoint is the discipline of superimposition,” Godard recites, and The Image Book is a mosaic of such superimposition, an extension of the soul and capacity of montage, edited with sublime rhythm: the alternation and combination of things to generate new meanings.

The final chapter of the film, which departs somewhat from the earlier ones that turn over so much of European and American cinema, goes to the Middle East as the locus in our time for the latest manifestation of this “remake” phenomena: a catastrophe of violence, and a crisis for representation.

As Godard turned, aghast, in the 1990s to the Yugoslavian war as an abhorrent, almost inconceivable repetition of the horror of the Second World War, The Image Book turns to “Arabiaas the frontline in a conflict human and cultural that the film implores we try to understand—and to stop.

In a touching coda, the film comes around to Godard himself, ending on images of a man’s extreme effort and collapse (the famous dance of death from the conclusion of one of the stories in Max OphülsLe plaisir) and on words on the continuation of hope, working towards a utopia. It feels like a gesture of finality for this most active of cinema-thinkers and cinema-makers, but one founded in passing to us, the audience and potential image-makers ourselves, the means of understanding and therefore the possibility for change. “We are never sad enough for the world to be better,” laments a concluding female voice.

The film’s final credits offer an unusually extensive list of citations—text, paintings, music, films—so that we, too, may go searching, understand what we’re seeing, keep the hope, and prevent disaster. In fact, these sources make up the entirety of the film’s trailer: so go forth, pursue your own research, and we urge you to report your findings.


Ash is Purest White Cannes, CREDIT: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Director: Jia Zhangke

With: Zhao Tao, Liao Fan, Xu Zheng
2 hours 21 minutes

More expository and down-to-earth than usual, Jia delves deep into the protagonists’ most vulnerable feelings as they pay dearly for both sin and honor.

Cinephile anticipation for anything helmed by the onetime Godfather of Chinese independent cinema will give this Chinese-French co-production a forceful push into Euro-art-house territories. Domestic response may depend on whether the work nabs any awards at Cannes, as in the case of the Berlin Golden Bear winner “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” which starred “Ash” leading man Liao Fan.

Change is also what Zhao Tao must reckon with in Jia Zhangke’s subtly majestic drama Ash Is Purest White. Revealing an ambitious, sprawling tale with sidelong storytelling that focuses on grace notes of a much bigger picture, it is an elegant evolution of the Chinese director’s neo-melodrama style showcased in his last film, Mountains May Depart. Like that film, Ash Is Purest White follows Zhao’s character across three eras (in this case, 2001, 2006 and 2018) of contemporary China as her life is turned upside down, the country evolves in the background, and those once close to her become irrevocably different. Continuing a formal approach begun in the earlier picture, each section in Ash Is Purest White is shot a bit different than the others, including format (film, Digibeta, HD digital), aspect ratio, and decoupage, and each self-reflexively calls back to and revises different films from Jia’s own career. It is a film that roves across the director’s country, his own filmography, and across time, with the magnificent Zhao Tao as the constant factor, the spirit and the hope.

In 2001, Qiao is one part of a power couple in the developing northern Chinese town of Datong, side-by-side with her gangster boyfriend Bin (Liao Fan), who runs “transport” and gambling in a town on the edge of growth. With looser camerawork and pulling from the gangster-noir qualities of A Touch of Sin, the atmosphere of relaxed bribery and nightclub evenings is disrupted by a new gang of youths who start to cause havoc with Bin's small-scale crime scene. But together, cutting a striking duo with Liao’s provincial tough guy mustache and off-hand demeanor and Qiao’s precise hair bob and fluid confidence garnering respect as she floats through a world of men, the couple can take on anything—that is, until another attack of the new generation spurs Qiao to violent action and lands her to jail.

In 2006 she is released to find Bin at the Three Gorges Dam (thus calling on Jia’s same-year Still Life), enmeshed in official business there and no longer interested in her love. Qiao resorts to petty frauds to find and confront him: “I’ve been living as a jianghu just to find you,” she says, referring to the gangster world from which they came. “Am I that important?” he scornfully asks. “If not that, then what is?” She keeps her head above water with no more family or support, but is unable to recapture the love and unity of the past. “We’re all prisoners of this world,” says a huckster she meets on the long train journey home; in a moment of tentative solace she joins him on his way—before abandoning him while he sleeps.

Finally, in 2018 she returns to a modernized Datong and the gambling dens of her past, but now she’s old, resigned and in charge—and it's Bin who must abjectly return. The couple is restored but no longer the same: time has tested one to the limit and crippled the other.

A slow-burning and poignant portrait of female fortitude and resolve, Ash Is Purest White pays homage to a Chinese woman both faithful and capable. Qiao is able to survive in a world that changes under her feet: as she journeys north to south, south to north, trying to rejoin he whom she loves, she finds men inconstant, insincere, cowardly and venal in a country tearing itself down and building itself up. “Something that burns so much is more pure,” she says early on of a dormant volcano, and this metaphor of person and land soon becomes clear. It is not a naive view of women simply as faithful, but rather that this woman has a moral constancy and the perspicacity not only to survive but to keep her being intact rather than be corrupted by time and change.

And Zhao Tao, building on the similarly epoch-spanning role of Mountains May Depart, reveals another tour de force performance. “How much love can be repeated”, asks a wonderfully terrible pop song in the film, “how many people are worth waiting for?”

And so, Lawrence, here's to hoping for our capacity to change (Godard) and to stay true (Jia).
Warmly,
Danny


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