Monthly Archives: August 2009

FILM REVIEW: Penelope Cruz in Almodovar’s ‘Broken Embraces’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Aside from the fact that one is a genuine film artist while the other is an annoying twerp, the difference between the sublime Pedro Almodovar and the ridiculous Quentin Tarantino can be seen in their … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: ‘Under Bauern: Saviors of the Night’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – German cinema’s growing number of films willing to address topics relating to World War II has a fine addition in Ludi Boeken’s “Under Bauern: Saviors of the Night”, which tells of farmers — unter … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Frederic Mermoud’s ‘Partners’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Swiss director Frederic Mermoud’s “Partners” is a police procedural with sex that deals with two sets of couples on both sides of the law involved in the murder of a male prostitute. The provocative … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Urszula Antoniak’s ‘Nothing Personal’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Holland-based Polish director Urszula Antoniak’s “Nothing Personal” is an intensely personal and engrossing tale of a ferociously independent young woman’s involvement with a kind widower in a remote part of Ireland. Lotte Verbeek (pictured) … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Sarah Leonor’s ‘A Real Life’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Sarah Leonor’s “Au Voleur” (A Real Life), starring the late Guillaume Depardieu, is an odd little picture that runs along like a somewhat dull tale of petty criminals but in the last third becomes … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Filippos Tsitos’s ‘Plato’s Academy’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Intelligent, warm and very funny, Filippos Tsitos’s “Akadimia Platonos” (Plato’s Academy) is a small tale of a proudly nationalistic Greek man who discovers that he might actually be Albanian, a situation that causes trouble … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Xiaolu Guo’s ‘She, a Chinese’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Chinese filmmaker Xiaolu Guo’s “She, a Chinese” is an absorbing character study of a young woman from rural China who makes her way to the big city and then to England in a journey … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: ‘Julia’s Disappearance’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Sophisticated and insightful, Christoph Schaub’s comedy “Julia’s Disappearance” is a romantic comedy about getting older that should charm grownup audiences keen for some wry laughs without sentimentality. The film won the public award after … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Valerie Donzelli’s ‘The Queen of Hearts’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – “The Queen of Hearts” (La Reine des Pommes) is a frothy but lame Parisian sex farce about a young woman who cannot get over being dumped by her boyfriend and so sets out to … Continue reading

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LOCARNO FILM REVIEW: Ho Yuhang’s ‘At the End of Daybreak’

By Ray Bennett LOCARNO, Switzerland – Malaysian director Ho Yuhang composes some arresting images in “At the End of Daybreak,” his film of two youngsters who discover that their society’s rules leave little room for youthful mistakes. A cautionary tale … Continue reading

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