Film, Foreign

278 articles

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28 Jun 20133 stars

An impressively-realised historical drama from Korea sadly let down by weak characterisation

Widescreen and monochrome, expressively lit and chapter-headed, O Muel's film is a piece of cinema with a subject to match. In 1948 American influenced Korean troops brutally stamped out perceived communist activity on the southern island of Jeju.

Comrade Kim Goes Flying

26 Jun 20133 stars

An enjoyable, family-friendly drama from North Korean

When talking about North Korea, we tend to think of nuclear tests and one of the last Communist autocracies in the world. So when this North Korean/western co-production was billed in the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 programme as a…

Come As You Are

25 Jun 20133 stars

Three young disabled men head to a special brothel in Spain

Think of a story of three friends on a quest to lose their virginity and you may think of American Pie, but in Belgian drama Come As You Are, each of the protagonists is struggling with more than just hormones: each one also has a disability. Geoffrey…

Paradise: Love

14 Jun 20133 stars

An unsettling romantic drama of moods and moments that doesn't quite gel into a compelling whole

The pursuit of happiness leads to inevitable disappointment in Paradise: Love, the first in a trilogy from Austrian director Ulrich Seidl that focuses on three women from the same family. In Love, plump, fifty-something mother Teresa (Margarete Tiesel…

The Stoker (Kochegar)

17 May 20134 stars

A strange, dark and clever Russian black comedy with an unexpectedly forceful moral message

Edinburgh’s beloved Filmhouse cinema has chosen an unusual and intriguing curio for its first release as a distributor. Directed by the prolific Alexey Balabanov - known for his unflinching but darkly comic fables of the Russian criminal underworld…

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30 Apr 20134 stars

Fast-moving martial arts flick with dazzling action scenes

A welcome entry to the martial arts genre, Peter Chan's Dragon is a fast-moving action thriller that has the brains to match its brawn. Set in the Yunnan province in China in 1917, the film picks up as peaceful handyman Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen) is forced…

I’m So Excited

18 Apr 20133 stars

Pedro Almodóvar returns to the brassy style of his earlier films

The new comedy from beloved Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar begins with a message assuring us that the film ‘is fiction and fantasy, and has no connection to reality’; a provocation to assume the opposite is true if ever there was one. But while there…

Five reasons to go to the Italian Film Festival in Scotland 2013

17 Apr 2013

Every Blessed Day, The Commander and the Stork and Piazza Fontana among the festival highlights

The Commander and the Stork 'This is by director Silvio Soldini, who has been to the festival a couple of times in the past. He also made Bread and Tulips, which was very popular when we showed it. We’ve been very supportive of him. It’s a magic…

Me and You (Io e te)

16 Apr 20133 stars

Bernardo Bertolucci's family drama is a minor triumph, starring Jacopo Olmo Antinori and Tea Falco

Bernardo Bertolucci probably never expected to direct another feature film which is why the mere existence of Me and You is a minor triumph. Plagued by ill health over the past decade and now confined to a wheelchair, the director of Last Tango In Paris…

Everybody Has a Plan

16 Apr 20132 stars

Viggo Mortensen stars in this schlocky-but-solemn, slow-paced Argentine noir

Not necessarily a good plan, though, eh? Viggo Mortensen here plays Agustin, a classy Argentinian paediatrician who, frustrated by his bourgeois life and his wife’s attempts to further pin him down by adopting a child, takes advantage of an unexpected…

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In the Fog

16 Apr 20134 stars

A stately, austere and richly atmospheric war film from director Sergei Loznitsa

‘I have done nothing wrong,’ insists railway worker Sushenya (Vladimir Svirskiy), when two local partisans Burov (Vladislav Abashin) and Voitik (Sergei Kolesov) call on his modest family home. We’re in occupied Belarus in 1942, and a group of saboteurs…


16 Apr 20134 stars

A deft portrayal of the French Pacific 1988 Ouvea conflict from actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz

In Rebellion (L'Ordre Et La Morale), Mathieu Kassovitz revisits events on the French Pacific territory of Ouvea in New Caledonia in 1988 when a small local uprising was met by the full force of the French army. Kassovitz's hard-hitting reconstruction…

Thursday Till Sunday

28 Mar 20133 stars

A beautifully-crafted but directionless Chilean drama about marital strife

This South American drama depicts a four-day cross-country car journey taken by a family, for reasons kept intentionally vague, from the perspective of 12-year old Lucia (newcomer Santi Ahumada), travelling with her parents and little brother Manuel.


22 Mar 20133 stars

The low budget, sex and violence-filled movie is available uncut in the UK for the first time

When it comes to splitting opinion straight down the midriff, few films from the last couple of decades have been quite so marmite as Baise-Moi. For some, this low-budget French movie from 2000 was simply a porno with a bit more story than usual. For…

Matteo Garrone, director of satirical drama Reality - interview

19 Mar 2013

The filmmaker behind astounding Mafia portrait Gomorrah turns his eye to reality TV

It was thanks to his theatre critic father that Italian film director Matteo Garrone first came across the work of the Fortezza theatre company, based at a maximum-security prison in Tuscany. ‘I used to go with my dad to see lots of plays,’ recalls the…

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Post Tenebras Lux

18 Mar 20134 stars

A probing, ambitious and frequently exasperating work from Mexican visionary Carlos Reygadas

The marvellous Mexican director Carlos Reygadas (Japon, Battle in Heaven, Silent Light) is a filmmaker given to making films that jar. Whether it is a suicidal solitary having sex with a woman in her mid-seventies or the aloof sex club where the central…

Profile: Francois Ozon, director of In the House

8 Mar 2013

The former enfant terrible of French cinema on his dislike of writing and admiration for Hitchcock

Born 15 November, 1967, Paris Background On the basis of his early shorts See the Sea and A Summer’s Dress and his debut feature Sitcom, writer-director Francois Ozon was labelled in the late 1990s as an enfant terrible of French cinema. He has…


26 Feb 20134 stars

1920s set silent take on the Snow White story, with seven bullfighting dwarves

It’s going to be difficult to get through a review of Blancanieves without mentioning The Artist, so let’s get it out of the way now. Both films are European, black and white, reduced format silent films in romanticised 20th century period settings.

Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 2)

26 Feb 20133 stars

Highly entertaining second part of the vibrant Bollywood gangster drama

The second half of Anurag Kashyap’s Hindi gangster epic picks up immediately where its predecessor ended; with the marketplace murder of Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) by a gang of masked motorcyclists. Despite his initial reluctance, Sardar’s son Faizal…

Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 1)

26 Feb 20134 stars

Epic Bollywood gangster saga influenced by The Godfather

Anurag Kashyap’s Hindi gangster saga is a considerable undertaking; split into two parts of over 160 minutes each, it follows the fortunes of a criminal dynasty with exhaustive attention to detail. The model is clearly Francis Ford Coppola’s study of…

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26 Feb 20132 stars

Inert Thai drama about a directionless twenty-something in Bangkok

Form follows content in this tediously inert Thai drama about a young man caught between eastern and western cultures and suffering from emotional paralysis. Emotional paralysis is quite possibly the state writer-director Aditya Assarat’s film will…

Neighbouring Sounds

26 Feb 20134 stars

A clever and original social drama from Brazil directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho

The current resurgence in Brazilian cinema throws up a major work in Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighbouring Sounds, an allegorical tale of class conflict set in a Recife condominium. From the opening scene, in which young mother Bia (Maeve Jinkings) hides…

Thérèse Desqueyroux

26 Feb 20133 stars

Claude Miller's final film is an adaptation of Francois Mauriac's book starring Audrey Tautou

François Mauriac’s 1927 novel is one of the cornerstones of French literature, but is less familiar to non-Gallic audiences. Casting comely Amelie star Audrey Tautou as the repressed wife who impulsively seeks revenge on her domineering husband suggests…

The Gatekeepers

22 Feb 20135 stars

Oscar-nominated documentary about the heads of internal Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet

Shin Bet is the name of Israel's internal anti-terrorist intelligence agency, the identities of its personnel are all top-secret, with the exception of the man in charge. In this remarkable, vital documentary Israeli director Dror Moreh interviews the…

White Elephant

22 Feb 20134 stars

Contemplative Argentinian drama about a team of Catholic priests working in Buenos Aires' slums

In this unique and impressive drama Argentinian filmmaker Pablo Trapero (Carancho) invites us into the lives of a team of dedicated Catholic priests, led by Father Julian (Ricardo Darin), who work with and live amongst gang members, drug addicts and…