Brothers’ Nest (2018)

Brothers’ Nest
Director: Clayton Jacobson
Writer: Jaime Browne, Chris Pahlow
Cast: Shane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson, Kim Gyngell, Lynette Curran, Sarah Snook
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Brothers Terry (Shane Jacobson) and Jeff (Clayton Jacobson) have it all planned. To be fair, Jeff has done the lion’s share in planning, but Terry is there and they are ready to set their plan into motion. They start to meticulously prepare for a murder, but working with family is never easy.

Brothers’ Nest is a tense film with good characters that I absolutely enjoyed. It’s fantastically entertaining and both funny and sad at the same time. It was a wonderful discovery and may have been one of my favorites of the /slash Filmfestival this year.

The film poster shwoing two men pushing bicycles.
Continue reading

Khook [The Pig] (2018)

Khook
Director: Mani Haghighi
Writer: Mani Haghighi
Cast: Hasan Majuni, Leila Hatami, Leili Rashidi, Parinaz Izadyar, Saber Abar, Mahnaz Afshar, Siamak Ansari, Vishka Asayesh, Payman Maadi, Biuk Mirzaei, Ali Mosaffa
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Hasan (Hasan Majuni) has really been struggling since he was banned from making movies. Not knowing what to do with himself, things at home aren’t good and he is even more frustrated that his muse, his star Shiva (Leila Hatami) is working with other directors now. But most galling of all: a serial killer has been murdering Iranian directors left and right, but Hasan appears to be perfectly save from the killer. And that really is unacceptable since Hasan knows that he is the greatest director of them all. He is determined to find out what is going on.

Khook is one of those films where the movie marathon that the /slash Filmfestival is for me came to bite me in the ass: I was just too damn tired and kept falling asleep, regretting every second I missed of the film, because the parts I did see were absolutely fantastic.

The film poster showing Hasan Majuni in a colorful outfit standing in a dark corridor.
Continue reading

Piercing (2018)

Piercing
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Writer: Nicolas Pesce
Based on: Ryû Murakami‘s novel
Cast: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Reed (Christopher Abbott) has a wife (Laia Costa), a baby and a pretty good life. Unable to shake the urge to kill, though, one night, he has to leave them: he wants to hire an escort and plans to kill her. He finds Jackie (Mia Wasikowska) who is taken in by his good looks and charm, so his plan is off to a good start. But things do take a different turn than he anticipated.

Piercing is a strange film. It’s fucked up, but it’s also very romantic in a way. Whatever it is, I was completely engrossed in it.

The film poster showing Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott.

[Slight SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Re-Watch: My Own Private Idaho (1991)

My Own Private Idaho
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Gus Van Sant
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V (loosely)
Cast: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert, Rodney Harvey, Chiara Caselli, Flea, Grace Zabriskie, Udo Kier
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Mike (River Phoenix) and Scottie (Keanu Reeves) are hustlers, living in the streets of Portland. Scottie has been living this way for longer than Mike and shows Mike the ropes a little, introducing him to Bob Pigeon (William Richert) who is something between a pimp and a father figure for a lot of more or less homeless hustlers in the city. Scottie also takes care of Mike when he has one of his narcoleptic spells. Despite their closeness, there’s a chasm between Mike and Scottie as Mike doesn’t have many choices to live the way he does, while Scottie comes from a rich family and chose to hustle to embarrass them.

I saw My Own Private Idaho around 20 years ago and I understood very little of it back then. Seeing it now, opened up the film to me much more. That in itself is already a beautiful experience, but even without that part of the experience, the film is wonderful.

The film poster showing River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.
Continue reading

Hua li shang ban zu [Office] (2015)

Hua li shang ban zu
Director: Johnnie To
Writer: Sylvia Chang
Cast: Sylvia Chang, Yun-Fat Chow, Eason Chan, Wei Tang, Ziyi Wang, Yueting Lang, Siu-Fai Cheung, Tien-Hsin, Stephanie Che, Timmy Hung, Kin-Kwan Chu, Adrian Wong
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Ho Chung Ping (Yun-Fat Chow) runs a very successful company with Winnie Chang (Sylvia Chang) and they are about to take the company public. But with that move comes a lot of office politics, rivalry and interpersonal tensions. Caught up in it are two new assistants on their first day: Lee Xiang (Ziyi Wang) and Kat Ho (Yueting Lang). Lee is all optimism about his new job, while Kat desperately tries to hide the fact that she is Ho Chung Ping’s daughter.

Office is a musical that is generally underwhelming but has one of the greatest sets I have ever seen, making up for a lot, albeit not everything.

The film poster showing a group of people in business attire leaning on the word "office".
Continue reading

Inuyashiki (2018)

Inuyashiki
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Writer: Hiroshi Hashimoto
Based on: Hiroya Oku‘s manga
Cast: Noritake Kinashi, Takeru Satoh, Kanata Hongô, Fumi Nikaidô, Ayaka Miyoshi, Nayuta Fukuzaki, Mari Hamada, Yuki Saitô, Yûsuke Iseya
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Inuyashiki (Noritake Kinashi) tries his best, but he is getting older and success has so far evaded him. He works as hard as he can and his family still isn’t satisfied with the money he makes. Or his personality. To make matters worse, he is diagnosed with cancer and doesn’t have much time left anymore. Just as he wonders how to tell his family about this, he gets struck by a weird light in the park. After that he realizes that he has been given new, superhuman abilities. And he isn’t the only one: Hiro (Takeru Satoh) was also struck. But not everybody should get such powers.

Inuyashiki didn’t really work for me, although I did like Inuyashiki and the film does have a cute dog. But that wasn’t really enough.

The film poster showing a few stills of the film.
Continue reading

Aterrados [Terrified] (2017)

Aterrados
Director: Demián Rugna
Writer: Demián Rugna
Cast: Maximiliano Ghione, Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, George L. Lewis, Julieta Vallina, Demián Salomón, Agustín Rittano, Natalia Señorales
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
A young couple, Juan and Clara (Agustín Rittano, Natalia Señorales), have issues with their neighbor Walter (Demián Salomón) who seems to be renovating his flat at all hours. But things quickly become stranger than just late-night banging. And it doesn’t stay the only strang occurrence in the area. When police man Funes (Maximiliano Ghione) is called in, he in turn brings in three paranormal experts (Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, George L. Lewis) to investigate with him.

Aterrados has a great set-up, but once it is done putting everybody in place for the showdown, it kind of lost its steam, and I lost my interest. That being said, it starts off so well, that it makes the rest of the film definitely worth it, too.

The film poster showing a zombie with a split head.
Continue reading

St. Agatha (2018)

St. Agatha
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer: Andy Demetrio, Shaun Fletcher, Sara Sometti Michaels, Clint Sears
Cast: Sabrina Kern, Carolyn Hennesy, Courtney Halverson, Seth Michaels, Trin Miller, Lindsay Seim, Shaun Fletcher
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
It’s the 50s in Georgia and Agatha (Sabrina Kern) is pregnant but unmarried. There’s only one place she can go: the convent that has been taking in women like her for many, many years now. What seems like the perfect place to have her child in peace and then be able to return to her old life as if nothing has happened, quickly turns sour as Agatha starts to find out more about the convent and what happens inside its walls.

St. Agatha didn’t work for me at all. On the one hand, it handles a very sensitive topic very badly and on the other hand it doesn’t make much sense. Additionaly, it’s so full of clichés, it made the entire thing even more annoying.

The film poster showing two nuns with covered faces standing over a girl cowering on the floor.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

The Dark (2018)

The Dark
Director: Justin P. Lange
Writer: Justin P. Lange
Cast: Nadia Alexander, Toby Nichols, Karl Markovics, Sarah Murphy-Dyson, Dan Beirne, Margarete Tiesel
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
1-gif-review

Content Note: abuse

Plot:
Alex (Toby Nichols) was kidnapped by Josef (Karl Markovics) a while ago, but Josef has to make a run for it. With Alex, traumatized and blinded, in the trunk of his car, he drives off and ends up at an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Only that the house isn’t quite as abandoned as he thought: Mina (Nadia Alexander) lives there. Mina finds Alex and since she, too, has experienced unspeakable violence, the two bond and find strength in each other.

The Dark might be a little too long and a little too thin in the story department, but I enjoyed watching it, even if I don’t agree with the story’s angle.

The film poster showing the silhouettes of two kids holding hands in the woods.
Continue reading

Prospect (2018)

Prospect
Director: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Writer: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl
Cast: Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Pedro Pascal, Sheila Vand, Andre Royo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Cee (Sophie Thatcher) and her father (Jay Duplass) have been roaming space for a while, always looking for the next possibility to make a little money. Now they have a contract to mine for gems on a remote moon. Their mission is not without its dangers to start with, but it becomes even more complicated than they thought. They run into Ezra (Pedro Pascal) who is looking for the very same gems they are – a volatile situation, leaving Cee to make some tough choices.

Prospect was pretty good, but not great. Overall, it left me with a positive impression but it just didn’t make me entirely happy.

The film poster showing Pedro Pascal, Sophie Thatcher and Jay Duplass wearing spacesuits.
Continue reading