Browsing: Reviews

Bahaman Maghsoudlou an Iranian/American filmmaker, has dedicated his life in recording valuable information about Iran’s contemporary art and culture. Bahman’s films are not only introducing Iranian artists and art to the world, but overtime it will turn into a treasure of information for future generations. I have always admired Bahaman Maghsoudlou for his tireless and continues work, but I had always been waiting for him to prove himself as a filmmaker with certain point of view. And all this has happened with his latest documentary feature, Bahram Beyzaie, A Mosaic Of Metaphors.  Bahram Beyzaie,…. is a very powerful, artistic and…

It’s nearly the end of the year—reflecting on your favorite cultural moments of the year, whether in literary, musical, or on-screen formats, is de rigueur. Movies are a big one, but casting your mind all the way back can be a tricky exercise—did that film come out this year? Really? If you need a reminder, here are the films that excited, moved, and tickled us in 2019. https://youtu.be/MnoBx999MZM Everybody Knows Hollywood once led the world in glamorous melodramas, but these days the splashiest ones come from abroad. Take Everybody Knows, a platinum-level soap opera by Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi. Penélope…

Cold Case Hammarskjöld is a shocking documentary by Mads Brügger. In 1961, United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and most of the crew. We had an audio interview with Mads Brügger that we post it here as one of our podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/user-222526075/cold-case-an-interview-with?in=user-222526075/sets/cwb-podcast With Dag Hammarskjöld’s case still unsolved 50-plus years later, Danish journalist, filmmaker, and provocateur Mads Brügger (The Red Chapel, The Ambassador) leads us down an investigative rabbit hole to unearth the truth. Scores of false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews later, Brügger and his sidekick, Swedish Göran Björkdahl, begin to sniff out something more monumental than anything…

Cold Sweat is one of those films that is right out of newspaper pages, or in this age, right out of social networks pages. A female futsal player of the Iranian national team (Afrooz) is banned by her husband from traveling abroad to play in a tournament’s final game. The husband is a famous TV show host. This story took place in the real world so recently that is still in the Iranians’ memory with all details and this is the film’s Achilles’ heel. The film does not have much more to offer to its viewers than what they already…

This not a film critique, this is a love letter to a film. I just finished watching Caramel on MUBI and, ladies and gentlemen, I am totally shocked. How on earth could I have misjudged this film? In 2008, I watched five minutes of Caramel and I decided it does not deserve my royal attention. Last night after watching it to the end, I was ashamed of myself for ignoring such a masterpiece. As punishment I sentenced myself to watch three episodes of the Game of Thrones! I asked myself, what happened to Nadine of Caramel? Of course, I liked…

Shown as part of the 2019 Wisconsin Film Festival, Tito and the Birds is one of those animations that can appeal to a wide range of audience. Its surface message can easily get to children, and at the same time, adults can pick up on the hidden images and deeper messages. But before getting to the messages, we should praise its visual style. A combination of oil painting and computer graphics have given a uniquely dynamic and otherworldly look to this animation. The backgrounds and landscapes are especially very dynamic in the way that they smoothly transform to different images…

A new documentary exploring the Satanic Temple and its followers has debuted at the Riviera Theatre, much to the dismay of a local religious leader. “Hail Satan?”, directed by Penny Lane that premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival, follows The Satanic Temple’s origins and grassroots political activism. Lane aims to show these Satanists as hard-working activists striving to preserve the separation of church and state in the face of religious hypocrisy. In a recent review, The New York Times described The Satanic Temple as “basically the Yes Men with an ethos, using humor and outrageous behavior to call attention to hypocrisy, particularly…

Marcus Lindeen’s new documentary confronts its viewers with their obsession with sex and violence. Santiago Genovés, a Mexican anthropologist, decided to isolate and study a group of people on a raft while crossing the Atlantic ocean for 3 months in 1973. He got the idea for this study when, in November 1972, he was flying to a conference on violence and his plane was hijacked by a group of terrorists. Santiago was hoping that by this isolation and confronting the participants with harsh situations, he would find the root of the human conflicts. After many people volunteered to participate in…

The entire story takes place in less than a day, and in one location, in a middle-aged woman’s house, where she has been living there alone. All her attachments to life are 4 picture frames of the men of her life. One from her husband, a man who once supported Mossadegh (the democratic prime minister of Iran in 1950s that his government was overturned by a CIA coup in 1953), but after many years he goes to Hajj while drinking alcohol privately (forbidden for Moslems). Also there are two picture frames of her sons, one from his son that had…

A group of young girls argue with each other on what they’ve seen and done on Instagram as they walk on street. One of their fathers calls and the girl starts to come up with excuses for why she hasn’t come home yet. Suddenly people around them start to run. We follow the girls until we see a chopped off head on the sidewalk. This is how Pig starts. All this time, the sound has made us uncomfortable to finally give us the final shock. The sound of the girls talking over each other mixed with the urban noises, especially…

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